Life insurance is one of those products that most people need, and few people ever want to buy. But, if 2011 holds for you an upcoming marriage, birth or home purchase then you should consider getting life insurance, as each on its own is a major milestone when you should consider your life insurance needs.

When shopping for life insurance in 2011, keep in mind the following tips and you could save money on the life insurance you need.

  1. Consider term life insurance

    Term life insurance typically offers you the most coverage for the least amount of money, and although there is no investment or saving component, there are many who would tell you to "Buy term, and invest the difference."

    Compare term life insurance quotes.

  2. If you're healthy, avoid guaranteed issue policies.

    Guaranteed issue policies typically do not require a medical exam, which is why they are generally more expensive. A guaranteed issue policy is available to everyone, healthy or not, and this is reflected in higher premiums.

    Note: Guaranteed issue policies are ideal for people who are unable to get any other life insurance. While it may be more expensive, it is still worth having a guaranteed issue policy over having no life insurance coverage at all.

  3. Buy only what you need.

    Knowing what you would like to accomplish with your life insurance policy will help you determine how much coverage you need. Consider common goals like covering the cost of funeral arrangements, paying outstanding debts like mortgages, providing money for the future education costs of your children, and offsetting the loss of your income into the family.

    You'll find that many industry folks suggest that the amount of life insurance coverage you should buy should be five to ten times your annual, before-tax, income.

    Exceptions to the rule. Sometimes-not always-the more you buy, the cheaper the policy. Sometimes companies will charge you less if you purchase a slightly larger policy. For example, if you are considering buying $200,000 in coverage, get quotes for the next common face amount $250,000. You'll be surprised to see how in some cases the premium is actually less.

  4. Consider a two-in-one policy.

    If you're looking to get life insurance for yourself and your spouse or partner, then consider buying one joint policy, instead of two individual policies. The premium is usually about 15% less for a joint life policy than 2 single life insurance policies of the same coverage amount.

    Compare joint term life insurance quotes.

  5. Pay once a year, instead of monthly.

    Save money by paying your annual premium all at once, instead of setting up a monthly payment plan. Almost all life insurance companies will charge you a little extra to cover the cost of administering your payments every month.

  6. Buy before your half-birthday.

    Your next birthday may be 6 months away but in the eyes of most life insurers you've already hit that next magical number. It's called "Age nearest", and it's what happens when you get quotes for life insurance. The quote you're offered is usually based on the age you are closest to, which 50 per cent of the time is your age at your next birthday.

  7. Compare quotes.

    Compare the life insurance policies and prices of competing insurers. Every company prices their policies differently. A real easy way to do this is to compare premiums and policies online. It's a great way to compare prices and see what different companies have to offer.

    Compare life insurance quotes today.

  8. Compare standard and preferred quotes - but not to each other!

    There are two basic life insurance rate groups: standard rates and preferred. Most people qualify for standard life insurance rates, while only about one third of the population is eligible for preferred rates.

    Preferred rates are offered to exceptionally healthy people and means that you may pay a smaller premium than most. Usually preferred rates are offered only once the results of the medical information and tests are known.

    Compare standard and preferred term life insurance quotes side-by-side.

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