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The Hazards of Buying Life Insurance Direct
 

When you buy homeowner’s or auto insurance, you probably count on your insurance professional to help you understand the many options and choices.  What deductible to choose?  Emergency road service or not?  What limits of liability?  Should your teenager have his or her own car?  How much coverage do you need?  You value this relationship, but you are wondering if you might get a better deal on your life insurance if you buy direct and cut out the middleman.

You might get a better price, and you might not.  More importantly, you may get what appears on the surface to be a better deal, but on closer examination is not as good as you originally thought.

If you call a life insurance company and apply over the telephone for the life insurance they quote you, you may be in for several surprises, either now or later.

First, cutting out your insurance professional does not always result in a lower life insurance premium.  It does, however, mean you will have to rely on an “800” number and the person answering the phone.  As with any telemarketing organization, there is high turnover so you will probably never have a relationship you can count on.

Second, insurance plans may appear the same on the surface, but when you examine the details, all “comparable” policies are not created equal.  The period where the premium stays the same (for term life) may vary; the guaranteed and current interest rates may vary (for universal life); the investment options may not meet your needs (for variable life); and the interest/dividend crediting may not be what you think (for whole life).  There are many riders, options, and other features that can make one plan more suited to your needs.  Unless you know about these options and can tell the voice at the other end of the phone exactly what you need and want, you may end up with the wrong insurance policy altogether.

Third, your insurance professional knows you and your needs.  Someone you have never talked to before may not know about your disabled son, your planned pregnancy, or your need for spousal insurance.  If they don’t know you, how do they know to ask about these things?  An advisor who knows you and your family is in a much better position to make sure you obtain both the right type and right amount of life insurance.  They can also decrease the likelihood that you are surprised, after underwriting, with a much higher premium than you were originally quoted.

Fourth, you may have existing life insurance that can be adapted to meet your current needs.  This reduces or avoids underwriting and may save lots of money in new premiums.

Your financial needs are complex and ever changing.  Working with a professional who knows you and can meet with you face-to-face can help you avoid hassles and possibly costly mistakes when you are buying life insurance.           


 

 
 

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Brentwood TN 37027
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