Top 8 Life Insurance Mistakes to Avoid


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Mistake #1

Don’t forget to update the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies regularly. Update it every few years or when there’s a major life event such as marriage, divorce, new babies, death of beneficiary, etc. I hear sad stories all the time from people who’s husband, father, or wife forgot to update the beneficiary on their policy. Instead of the deceased’s family getting the money it’s some ex-wife, ex-husband, cousin, distant relative, ex-girlfriend and the current family and kids are left penniless. That’s tragic.

Mistake #2

It’s important to not let your life insurance lapse when you’re switching bank checking accounts. Most people have their life insurance premiums taken out by EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) every month and forget to notify the insurance company of this change. And guess what? Murphy’s law strikes when you least expect it and can’t afford it. It’s a high chance that something will happen when you’ve been paying 20 years for insurance and then when it has lapsed for 3 months there’s a car accident. Notify the insurance company when closing and switching bank checking accounts.

Mistake #3

When requesting life insurance quotes most people aren’t aware that they don’t have to set up an appointment with the first agent that calls to give them a quote. You can receive a quote over the phone or through email. And you don’t have to buy life insurance from the first Insurance Agent you talk to. It’s ok to shop around, but please be polite when you turn down the other agents. Selecting an Insurance Broker is often easier than working with an agent that only represents one life insurance company. A broker will try to find the lowest rate for you and the best policy to fit your situation. An agent that only works for one company called a “captive agent" can only offer you the products from that one company.

Mistake #4

Buying life insurance that does not require a medical exam. It’s often 2-3 times the price of normal life insurance and not worth it if you are perfectly healthy. A medical exam can be inconvenient but it can save you several hundred of dollars a year. Now think of how much you can save if you multiply that by 30 years or whatever length you plan to keep that life insurance policy.

Mistake #5

Buying the life insurance policy with the intent to commit suicide. Ok, this is silly but there are people that face depression and have suicidal thoughts. First, this idea isn’t going to pay because most insurance company and policies have this suicide clause that states if you commit suicide within the first 2 years the company won’t pay the death claim. Don’t do it, please get help if you are thinking this.

Mistake #6

Canceling your old life insurance policy when you’re purchasing a new life insurance policy with another company but the new policy hasn’t been issued yet. Wait until you have received the new policy before canceling your old one. You don’t want a few months where you don’t have life insurance. You don’t know what can happen during that time.

Mistake #7

Not getting enough life insurance coverage. It’s hard to understand why some people would spend money to buy $10,000-50,000 of life insurance. That is such a small amount, certainly not enough to pay off a mortgage, send a kid to college, pay off loans or debts, and can’t support someone for a few years. At least find out how much it cost for $250,000-300,000 of coverage. It may be cheaper than you think.

Mistake #8

Lying on the life insurance application. The insurance companies have a way of finding things out. If you lie on the application then insurance company may not pay the death claim and just refund the premiums if they find out. Be honest about all medical conditions and list all the medication you’re taking.

About the Author: Katherine Ly, licensed Life Insurance Agent. Author and Publisher of Katherine’s Guide to Insurance is an easy to understand source of information for consumers and provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding life insurance.


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