5 Tips to Get the Cheapest Term Life Insurance Program

by Neal Frankle, CFP ®

Here are 5 tips to get the cheapest term life insurance program possible. (If you’re not sure about term life insurance versus whole life or you aren’t sure how much you need…don’t worry. I’ll be writing about those topics soon…)

1. Go shopping.

This is likely the only time you’ll hear me tell you that you should go shopping. When it comes to term life insurance, it really pays to shop every few years – especially when you are younger than 50. It’s likely that you’ll be able to replace your old term coverage with better coverage for lower premiums. At least that was my experience. Why?


People keep living longer. This happens because the doctors and drug companies work miracles to expand our lifespan. So we’re all going to live much longer than we thought. That means we’re going to be around a lot longer to pay those insurance premiums, and the insurance companies know that.

It also means lots of us are going to die AFTER the policy expires. That translates into bigger profits for insurance companies. As a result, it’s cheaper for the insurance companies to provide insurance and they’ve reduced the rates to be more competitive. If you haven’t gotten a quote for life insurance in the last five years, you owe it to yourself to get a quote today. I saved a pile of dough…why shouldn’t you?

2. Don’t wait.

I know I just finished saying that I saved money as I got older, but I don’t want you to misinterpret that. If you need life insurance, you should get it now. Today. This minute. Why? One major reason.

You have no guarantee that there is a “tomorrow” with your name on it. (Read Do You Need Term Life Insurance?)

Nobody knows when their time is up. If you’ve read my story, you already know I’m a big believer in taking your responsibilities seriously. If people depend on you – like a spouse or children – take care of them. I lived through a situation where people I depended on really didn’t do what they should have. As a result, my siblings and I struggled for years.

Get insurance now if somebody relies on you. Don’t make me come over there…OK?

3. Stay healthy and ditch your Harley.

Life insurance companies may be many things…but stupid they are not. If they make you pay a lot more (or refuse to insure you completely) because of some lifestyle issue, it may be time to rethink your priorities.

I know you love that double double cheese whopper, but does your heart? If it’s time to lose 20 pounds, get on that now. You may love skydiving, but if the insurance companies won’t insure you if you do, maybe you should take up chess instead.

They’ve done all the research. They know what kills people. All you have to do is listen to them. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re the one who’s going to beat the odds. You might beat the odds of course…but what happens to your spouse and kids if you don’t?

4. Be honest.

If you lie about your health and hobbies on your insurance application and then die, your family isn’t going to receive the death benefit you paid for. If the insurance company proves that you completed the insurance application falsely, they’ll just refund the premium you paid to your beneficiary. That’s a bummer.

Be honest (but stop doing things that make you a bad risk for the insurance companies).

5. Don’t buy insurance from your brother-in-law or best friend.

OK…I know that if you have a life insurance agent you really trust, nothing I say is going to get you to buy term insurance from someone else. But that shouldn’t stop you from shopping around for the policy. Remember, buy term only (unless you have estate planning needs) and keep everyone honest by getting a few quotes. Then when your brother-in-law rolls out the new policy he has in mind, you’ll be even more convinced he’s trustworthy. Win-win.

What money-savings tips have you come up with when it comes to getting term life insurance?

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