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Looking at Term Life Insurance

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Term life insurance is cheap compared to whole or universal life options, and is probably the first place someone should look to protect their family's financial future.

In spite of a recent uptick in premiums, term life insurance is still cheap compared to options like whole life or universal life, which do double duty as a way to invest. There are exceptions — the older you are, the higher the premiums for term life, for example -- but for those who want to protect their family’s financial future, term insurance is probably the first place to look, say insurance experts.

Term policies stay in effect for a limited time period, anywhere from five to 35 years. The longer the term, the higher the premium, but it’s a mistake, say the experts, to choose too short a term just to save money. Opting for a shorter term may not provide protection during a time when financial obligations like a mortgage or college expenses could be a problem if you die. A longer term also assures you of coverage if you develop health problems that would make it hard to get a policy if you had to reapply.

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Shopping for a policy online is as easy as plugging “term insurance rates” into a search engine like Google. Dozens of sites are available that offer rate comparisons among several insurance companies. When choosing a policy, make sure you get guaranteed level premiums, which mean that the rate will stay the same for the life of the policy. It’s also a good idea to focus on the base amount of coverage you need and avoid add-ons, like double the payout for accidental death, which can boost the policy premium.


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