Life Insurance Tips, Part 1: Ways To Get Prepared

When you let SelectQuote shop for your life insurance, the highly-rated companies we represent compete for your business – just like the leading college basketball teams contend for the championship during March Madness. With the first game of the 2016 NCAA men’s basketball tournament coming up fast on March 15, March Madness is in full swish. In the spirit of the tournament (and because we love sports analogies), this four-part blog series will provide a play-by-play account of what it’s like to get life insurance through SelectQuote – from securing a quote to activating your policy.

Preparing for the Big Game

No team makes it to March Madness by accident. It takes months of hard work – practice, coaching, bonding, and most of all, winning – to be able to compete in the tournament. The same holds true for purchasing a term life policy. While SelectQuote does a lot of the work for you, it’s not as simple as getting a quote and clicking the “Buy Now” button. Here are four smart ways to prepare for the term life application process.

Know the Truth About Quotes

Thanks to the Internet, term life insurance quotes are easy to get – but not so easy to understand. As a rule, the more information you provide about your medical history and lifestyle, the more accurate your quote will be. Regardless of what you are quoted, your final price will always be determined by the life insurance company you choose. Insurance companies calculate your final price only after the results of your medical exam and all other relevant records have been thoroughly reviewed by the underwriter. And remember: The same amount of coverage will vary in price from company to company.

Know Your Medical History

The more details your SelectQuote agent knows about you and your family medical history up front, the better your chances of being matched with the right policy and insurance company for your needs. Bonus: You’ll also get a more accurate quote. That’s why it pays to be forthcoming with your agent about any medical, professional or lifestyle factors that could possibly impact your price or eligibility to secure a policy in the first place. Be prepared to answer questions about any medical conditions you have, medications you currently take, or surgeries you’ve undergone.

Have a Sense of How Much Life Insurance You Need – and How Long You Need It

The better your sense of how much coverage you need to protect your family, the easier it will be for your SelectQuote agent to find the right policy at the best price for you. That’s why it’s a good idea to calculate how much your dependents would actually need to cover ongoing expenses such as food, clothing, mortgage payments, debts, education, and healthcare before you speak to your agent.There are several ways to go about doing this.

One method is to multiply your annual income by 10 and use that sum as your death benefit. Alternatively, you could hire a financial advisor to create a comprehensive financial profile with the aid of worksheets and other helpful tools. A less expensive option is to ask yourself a series of questions about your monthly and one-time expenses and perform calculations accordingly. For assistance, check out SelectQuote’s How Much Do I Need? worksheet and have our calculator add everything up for you.

Just remember that your family’s life insurance needs will change over time. Obviously, your expenses will be highest while raising and educating your children. But once they’re out of the house, chances are your expenses and the amount of life insurance you need will decrease significantly. That’s what makes term life insurance such an affordable solution: It’s only effective for the length of the term you choose, and you can cancel anytime.

Optimize Your Medical Exam Results

Just like the college basketball players who need a clean bill of health to compete during March Madness, you’ll need to undergo a medical exam in order to apply for most term life insurance policies. The better your results, the lower your premium will be. Although you don’t need to do much to prepare for your medical exam, here’s some advice for getting the best possible results:

  • Drink plenty of water in the 12 hours prior to your exam.
  • Eat wisely in the days leading up to the exam by avoiding fatty foods, rich desserts and alcohol.
  • Abstain from all food and beverages – except water – for six to eight hours before the exam.
  • Take any medications on your regular schedule.
  • Ask the exam technician to take your blood pressure last if it tends to be high.

Ready to get in the game? Click here to start your free term life insurance quote, or call 1-888-279-6192 to speak with a SelectQuote agent. Next week, we’ll show you why you need to comparison shop life insurance companies to get the right policy at the best price for you. Get ready for a real head-to-head challenge!

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