How to get the best life insurance rates

By Maryalene LaPonsie on March 12th, 2013

Life insurance companies may each use their own underwriting guidelines when it comes to setting life insurance rates. However, there are some universal truths when it comes to which policyholders are offered the lowest premiums.

If you are trying to find low life insurance quotes, start with these five steps.

1. Buy young

You may think you don't need coverage until you get closer to the inevitable end, but for affordable life insurance, buy as soon as possible. It may seem unnecessary to buy life insurance as a 30 or 40-something, but the price can be so low (think less than $30 a month for $50,000 in coverage), it can be well worth the peace of mind. In addition, buying coverage young can guarantee your insurability should you become sick or injured later.

2. Kick the habit

Nothing seems to drive up life insurance rates quite as quickly as smoking and with good reason. After all, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report cigarette smoking causes approximately 20 percent of the deaths in the U.S. each year, and smokers tend to die, on average, 14 years earlier than non-smokers. If you want affordable life insurance, not to mention a long life, it may be time to stop smoking.

3. Lose the love handles

Like smoking, being overweight can reduce your lifespan and increase your life insurance rates. If you are planning to apply, now might be time to lose those pesky extra pounds. However, don't make the mistake of putting off life insurance coverage indefinitely while you try to get in shape. HoHIf you have a lot of weight to lose, remember you can always buy life insurance now and then shop around for better rates once you get closer to your goal.

4. Consider term life

Whole life insurance can be a great way to build up cash value for future expenses such as college or retirement. However, it can be cost prohibitive for those on a budget. Term life is an affordable life insurance option and can offer the protection you need until you can afford a permanent policy.

5. Shop around

Finally, just like the rest of your insurance policies, you should shop for new life insurance quotes every couple years. Life insurance companies can change rates to reflect market conditions and even though you will be older in a couple years, you may find premiums have lowered since you first took out your policy.

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