Comparing life insurance quotes online: Tips and tricks

To discover the optimal life insurance policy for your requirements, it’s most efficient to compare quotes offered by various life insurance companies.

Get a Life Insurance Quote

How much does life insurance cost?


Monthly estimates for Best health

$–Good health

$–Average health

$–on Policygenius

What Is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is a contractual agreement between you and a life insurance company, known as a policy. In this agreement, you commit to paying a premium—usually regular installments over time—to keep the policy active. In return, the insurance company pledges to provide a death benefit to your chosen beneficiary if you pass away while the policy is valid.

The size of the death benefit is determined by the coverage amount you select, ranging from modest sums, like covering funeral expenses, to substantial amounts extending into the millions. You have the flexibility to designate multiple beneficiaries and allocate specific percentages of the payout to each or opt to assign a charitable organization as a beneficiary.

Your premium increases with the amount of coverage you choose, and factors like your gender, age, and health at the time of application influence the life insurance quotes you receive. Once you purchase life insurance, your rates remain fixed, regardless of any subsequent changes in your health.

Delaying the purchase until significant health issues arise can result in substantially higher rates or even denial of coverage.

Benefits of Life Insurance

Life insurance offers crucial financial stability to your loved ones in the event of your demise. Moreover, it can provide financial assistance during your lifetime, either through the cash value component of the policy or via living benefits that enable access to funds from your death benefit if you encounter severe health issues, such as an accelerated death benefit for terminal illness.

The flexibility of life insurance payouts allows beneficiaries to utilize the funds according to their most pressing financial needs at the time. Furthermore, life insurance benefits typically come without tax obligations, offering a significant tax advantage. Although there are rare instances where life insurance payouts may be taxable, in general, beneficiaries receive the full death benefit tax-free.

Who Needs Life Insurance?

Life insurance is essential if you have dependents who rely on your financial support. For instance, you might require life insurance if:

– Your family depends on your income.
– You have a financially dependent individual, such as a special needs child.
– You wish to cover your burial expenses.
– You intend to leave an inheritance to your children without the need for substantial savings.

Types of Life Insurance

There are two primary types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance, each offering various options:

Term Life Insurance:

– Provides coverage for a set term, typically ranging from 5 to 30 years.
– Premiums remain fixed during the term.
– Pays a death benefit if you pass away within the coverage period.

Permanent Life Insurance:

– Offers lifelong coverage as long as premiums are paid.
– Accumulates cash value over time, growing tax-deferred.
– Includes options such as whole life, guaranteed issue, universal life, guaranteed universal life, indexed universal life, and variable universal life, each with distinct features and benefits.

Comparison: Term Life vs. Permanent Life Insurance

Term life insurance Permanent life insurance
Locked in for the level term period, such as 20 years
Varies: Some types have a fixed premium, others can be varied
Cash value?
Are life insurance quotes typically lower or higher?
Guaranteed death benefit
Not always

Amy Danise

Amy Danise is the managing editor for and Forbes Advisor's insurance section, covering auto, home, renters, life, pet, travel, health, and small business insurance. With over 30 years in the insurance sector, she specializes in simplifying complex insurance topics into actionable information. Amy collaborates with her team to translate insurance jargon into clear language for consumers, helping them understand insurance costs and find top-rated companies. Leveraging her extensive industry contacts, she develops Forbes Advisor's insurance content and analyzes state regulatory filings for insights. Amy's expertise has earned her features in major news outlets like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. She holds a Bachelor's degree in American Studies from Wesleyan University.

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