Life Insurance

5 Tips for Buying Life Insurance: Everything You Need to Get Started

If you're a first-time insurance buyer wondering how to buy life insurance, you may find yourself confused by the amount of options or intimidated by the details of policies. We don't blame you—the stakes are high: if you purchase the right policy, you'll get peace of mind knowing your family will be cared for if you're not there.

Don't worry—getting educated is the first step to making the best choice. Here at Ethos, we've got the best tips for buying life insurance, so you can get a policy that works for you. 

1. Determine the right time to get life insurance

First and foremost, know that the answer to when to get life insurance is a personal one based on the future needs of your loved ones.

Many people look into how to buy an insurance policy when they experience a significant life event, such as marriage or having children. For these people, a term policy that covers them until their children are grown is often adequate.

Others, including seniors, may want to leave a financial legacy to a charitable institution or ensure that a spouse or partner won't struggle financially if they're not there to support them. These individuals can purchase whole life policies from Ethos up until the age of 85. 

2. Consider your finances

If you're wondering how to decide how much life insurance to buy in the first place, Ethos Life can help with its personalized coverage calculator. The calculator will simply ask you a few health-related questions about yourself, your dependents, and your current financial situation. Then it will suggest an amount of coverage that will adequately meet your needs.

If the calculator's life insurance advice seems high to you, remember that you may have debts, such as a mortgage, that you'll need to pay off. If you have children, your life insurance should include a sum that will help them through college. The best life insurance quotes online may seem high, but remember that they must account for the various needs your loved ones will have over the years, coupled with inflation.

Wonder how much coverage you need?
Our coverage calculator helps estimate how much coverage you need to protect your family.

3. What type of policy do I need?

There are two major types of insurance: term life insurance, which covers you for a set period of years, and whole life insurance, which covers you for the rest of your life, as long as you pay your premiums. Whole life insurance is a common subtype of permanent life policies. These policies feature a cash value component that allows you to save money that you can draw upon later.

It's important to compare prices of term life insurance policies. To streamline your purchasing process, consider a no-medical-exam policy. Ethos Life offers policies with no medical exams. For permanent insurance, you also want to snag the lowest price, but keep in mind that you can use this type of policy to save money in addition to earning a payout when you pass away.

4. Understand convertible policies

Convertible policies offer an inexpensive term policy while your family is young, plus the option to switch to a permanent policy, like whole life insurance, when you're older. At that point, you may be more concerned with the twin goals of leaving a legacy and building a strategic financial portfolio of assets.

However, premium costs may increase five to 15 fold when converting from a term policy to a permanent policy. Rather than offer convertible policies, Ethos has both term and whole life policies. Your financial plan may include a combination of each at different points in your life. 

5. Buy from a reputable life insurance company

When shopping for where to buy life insurance, you have a few options. You can buy from a brick-and-mortar company that does business mainly through agents; you may need to go to an office to work with them on the application, or, increasingly, you may be able to begin the process online. You'll likely need to have a medical exam by one of their medical affiliates if you're going this route.

Ethos offers you a simpler process. You can check your price instantly, and your application takes only about 10 minutes to fill out online. If you have questions, an agent can answer them, but you won't be swamped with sales calls. You won't need to take a medical exam, either—you'll need to answer a few health questions--that's it. You'll get a quick decision, and if you're approved, you can activate your coverage immediately.

Wherever you purchase online life insurance, look for companies with a proven track record that are well-managed financially. Look out for good customer service and ensure they provide comprehensive coverage at a reasonable price. 

Ethos Life Insurance Services administers policies underwritten by some of the industry's top carriers. These include Legal & General America, AAA, TruStage™, and Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. All four score an "A" or "A+" from A.M. Best, which monitors financial strength. Older applicants have access to the Senior Life Insurance Company via Ethos. Rest assured that all of our carriers are carefully chosen to represent the best the industry offers. We're proud to partner with them.

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