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Making Sense of Your Term Life Insurance Quote

Aug 17, 2007
Like many things you purchase, term life insurance begins with the quote. You provide some basic information and a person or a computer system churns out a base price for a term life insurance policy. Whether online, in person, or on the phone, you can receive a term life insurance quote instantly.

However, if you want a more accurate idea of the price you'll be paying for your term life insurance, it's really important to understand all that this type of insurance offers.

Understanding term life insurance

Term life insurance typically is the most uncomplicated of the various insurance packages. Term life insurance remains in effect for the entire term that was selected by the insured.

Term periods generally range between 1 year and 30 years. If the insured dies within the term that was purchased, the individual or individuals that are named as beneficiaries on the policy receive the death benefit amount that also was chosen at the time the policy was purchased.

For example, when you purchase a 20-year term insurance policy with a specific payout or face value, your beneficiary will receive that amount, in full, if you die anytime during that 20-year period.

Any payout is subject to whatever restrictive clauses are in the policy, such as suicide exclusions. And the payout would occur provided you did not allow your policy to lapse.

If the 20-year term passes and you do not die, your term life insurance policy simply would expire. If your term life insurance quote included a renewal clause which you had written into your actual policy, at the end of the term you would be able to renew the policy.

You can usually do so without having to go through another round of medical history review. The only real drawback is that if you did take advantage of the renewal feature, you'd likely have to pay a much higher premium because you would be 20 years older than you were at the time of original purchase.

How to compare various term life insurance quotes

When you are comparing term life insurance quotes, make sure you are making an equal comparison. Specifically, some quotes will include at no extra charge additional benefits such as accelerated death, accidental death or a disability waiver of premiums.

Other quotes may either omit these benefits or make them available as a rider for which you'll pay an additional cost.

You might also find that some term life insurance quotes include a conversion to permanent policy opportunity, which you usually are able to take advantage of within the first few years. Again, some companies won't require a re-evaluation of your health while others will.

The bottom line is that life insurance is a very competitive business and there are companies that will low-ball their term life insurance quotes in order to attract your business.

Before you purchase any policy, make sure you fully understand exactly what the term life insurance quote you receive does and does not cover.
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