Comparison shopping for term life insurance coverage is just a click away. However, before you go around clicking on websites, there’s some basic information you should be prepared to provide to get preliminary quotes.
Aside from the obvious underwriting information such as your name, age and gender, you will have to provide more detailed information such as:
- Weight: If your height weight ratio is not within certain limits (in other words you are overweight) it may affect your rate.
- Do you smoke? Smokers pay a higher rate than nonsmokers. Rates can be as much as three times higher. However, if you have quit smoking for at least a year prior to submitting your application, you may save some money.
- Health: Companies want to know how much you exercise and what type of lifestyle you live. Do you participate in risky activities like racing, scuba diving, sky diving, rock climbing?
- Type of work: Is your job hazardous? For example, if you work in underground mining, high-rise construction or work with explosives, you’ll carry a higher rate.
- Driving record: If you’ve been convicted of reckless driving or DWI in the last 5 years will increase your rate.
- Your familial history: Have your parents or siblings had cancer or cardiovascular disease before the age of 60?
You may be tempted to tell the insurance company what they want to hear (even if it’s not exactly the truth), but don’t. Lying on your application may void your insurance coverage.
Once you’ve elicited quotes from several companies, compare your rates and make sure your insurance company will be around for the long haul. Check their AM Best rating. AM Best is a company that measures the financial stability/solvency of insurance companies. A very low quote from a financially unstable company won’t do you a lot of good if they’re not going to be around to pay the claim.