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Choosing a Reputable Life Insurance Company

In today's busy, high-stress world it should come as no surprise that life insurance as a means of providing financial protection to your loved ones is becoming more and more popular. Still the question remains: how do you choose a life insurance company that will meet your needs?

Since as many as 1,000 life insurance companies offer policies in the United States alone, it is important to keep some general principles in mind regarding their qualifications when shopping for a policy.

• Licensing - It is important that the insurance company you choose be licensed in your state so that you can get assistance from the state department of insurance. If you have a problem with your insurer, such as the insurance company becoming insolvent or refusing to pay a valid claim, your state's insurance department will only deal with policies of insurance companies that are licensed in that particular state.

• Policies - Many insurance companies offer a wide array of different policies with varying features. Make sure the company you choose has the right policy for your particular needs.

• Solvency - Life insurance is a long-term commitment, so it pays to have a policy with a company that not only is financially sound, but will continue to be so for a long time. Policy holders are not protected like bank depositors in the case of their insurer's insolvency, so make sure you check the financial rating of the insurance company with more than one independent rating agency such as Standard and Poor's or Moody's.

• Ethics - Watchdog associations, such as the non-profit Insurance Marketplace Standards Association, keep track of and promote ethical marketing practices for life insurance companies.

• Claims - Every state's insurance department keeps records of the "consumer complaint ratio" that tallies how many complaints have been filed for every 1,000 claims made against a particular insurer.

• Premiums - Because some companies charge more than others for the same services, and because of the difference in services offered by different companies, the premium you pay can vary considerably. It really pays to compare similar coverage plans with different companies taking into account at least the following factors: your age, policy type (term or permanent, for example) and face value.

• Indexes - To determine the cost of the protection portion of your policy so that you can compare premium quotations from different insurers, an insurer can inform you of the Net Payment Cost Index (depending on whether the policy pays dividends or not), and the Surrender Cost Index (if you only want to hold the policy for a pre-determined period of time).

All things considered, depending on your financial position and on how many dependents rely on you; there are many advantages to having life insurance. Especially if you are interested in providing for your loved ones after you are gone. Doing some research to find the best deal and the right policy is considerably easier when you know exactly what your needs for the policy are, how much you can afford to spend and what to keep in mind when assessing insurance companies.

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Must Know

Life Insurance Premium Costs

Once you have decided to purchase life insurance, if you are like most people, you will want to find out how to minimize your costs in doing so. Being aware of the factors that affect your life insurance premiums allows you to make appropriate changes in your lifestyle to reduce your premiums as well as making you a smarter shopper when entering the life insurance marketplace.

Life insurance premiums are based upon the risk of you dying which will trigger a large payout to your beneficiaries. Therefore, your age will be one of the most important factors contributing to the cost of your premiums.

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Buying Life Insurance

What are the odds of you dying tomorrow? This may not be a thought that many people like to contemplate, but death is as much a part of life as having children or making a living. If you are a young person, then the thought of buying life insurance probably hasn't even crossed your mind, but as time goes on and people age, life insurance makes more sense according to the specific life situations that arise over time.

For example, if you are a person with no dependants who can cover all of the debts you have incurred during your lifetime, as well as the expenses of dying (funeral, legal fees etc.) or if you have dependents and are able to provide for them through investments or other means after your death, then you probably don't really need life insurance.

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