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Life Insurance Basics

Considerations for buying life insurance: What first time life insurance shoppers need to know

Shopping for life insurance can become an overwhelming task. The good news is once you have mastered a few basics and follow a few considerations, the process becomes much less complicated. Read on to learn about 5 considerations for buying life insurance, especially if it's your first time.

When it comes to buying life insurance to protect your family, you have a lot of choices to make. Everything from selecting the right amount of coverage to choosing a reputable life insurance company to buy your policy from can make the process feel overwhelming. The good news is that once you get started, you may discover that the process of buying life insurance really isn't that complicated.

If you're a first time life insurance shopper, a good place to start is by getting a rough estimate of how much life insurance you should be purchasing to protect your family. For a quick and easy way to calculate your needs, try using Protective Life's Needs Calculator. Next, get an understanding of the difference between term and permanent* life insurance so you'll have a good sense of what direction you should take when it comes to these two basic policy types.

Finally, before you go shopping for your first life insurance policy, here are a few considerations for finding the right policy at an affordable price:

1. If necessary, take advantage of the “free look” period
Even after your policy issues, you'll typically have what is called a free look period. During this time, you'll have a certain number of days in which to make changes to your policy, or even reject it altogether. Be sure to ask your company representative how long your free look period is and when it begins. If for some reason you don't feel the policy is right for you, this is the time when you can change your mind with no financial obligation. Read more about the free look period.

2. Compare apples to apples
When getting price quotes on life insurance, be sure that you are comparing similar products. Because term life generally has lower premiums than a permanent life policy, there can be a big price difference for a $50,000 term policy compared to a $50,000 permanent policy. Depending on your coverage needs, it's important to look at every angle, not just the monthly premium.

3. Understand that life insurance is designed for protection
Your main purpose for getting life insurance should be to protect your beneficiaries financially in the event of your death. While permanent life insurance policies have the potential to earn cash value over time, they are not meant as investment vehicles.

4. Enhance your coverage with policy riders if necessary
When you select a policy, ask your company representative about the types of policy riders that may be available to you. Riders or endorsements are ways in which you can customize your policy to meet your needs and budget.

5. Buy from a reputable life insurance company
Your life insurance policy is meant to financially protect the people you love when you are no longer here to do so yourself. Do some homework on the life insurance company that you are considering buying from and learn more about how to select a reliable life insurance company.

For more considerations when buying life insurance, or shopping for a life insurance company when you have existing health issues, visit the Protective Learning Center.


*Provided required premium payments are timely made.



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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective or its subsidiaries.

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