How to Get Life Insurance

Life insurance provides a financial safety net that your spouse, children, and other family members could depend on if you die. Buying a life insurance policy doesn’t always top the to-do list because most people don’t like to think about dying. Whether you’re just curious, looking for information, or ready to buy, here’s how to get the life insurance you need.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Life insurance can be an essential part of your overall financial plan.
  • Having life insurance can make it easier for your beneficiaries to pay everyday living expenses if you die.
  • You can buy life insurance directly from an insurance company or through an agent or broker.
  • Underwriting guidelines may be different throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

How to Get Life Insurance

Life insurance is not a one-size-fits-all purchase. You have to decide on the type, length, and amount of coverage you need. As an example, you might want to buy a 20-year, term life policy with a $500,000 benefit.

Of course, you also have to decide where to buy it. In general, there are three places to get life insurance:

  1. Directly from a life insurance company
  2. From a life insurance agent
  3. From a life insurance broker

Life Insurance Companies

If you want to go directly through an insurance company, you can generally buy a direct term policy. This type of policy fulfills your insurance needs for a specific amount of time—such as for 10, 20, or 30 years.

To buy this type of policy, you typically fill out an online application, review your quotes, choose a policy, and pay. Depending on the company, you may have an option to buy a guaranteed issue policy that doesn’t require a medical test. A direct term policy can be a good option for people who may otherwise have trouble getting life insurance because of health issues.

A direct term policy can be a quick way to buy coverage, especially if you know the exact type of coverage you want (and it happens to be something the company offers). However, if you need any guidance, have any questions, or want more options, you’re better off with an agent or broker.

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