Life insurance is important, but it is not easy to understand or buy. Here are six tips to help you get the right insurance:
1. Shop around. Rates vary from company to company, even for the same type of insurance. Get quotes from at least three different places.
Tip: Don't buy a policy just because it's cheap. A much lower price may mean you are not getting the same product.
2. Choose the right type of insurance for you. There are many kinds of life insurance. Before you buy, compare your choices. Then choose insurance that truly meets your needs.
Tip: Some people buy only Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance. You often see special offers for it in the mail. It tends to be cheaper than life insurance, but AD&D insurance does not pay a benefit if you die from illness or old age.
3. Buy only what you need. Some people use a guideline. They say you need to cover 10 times your salary. The problem with guidelines is that you may get too much or too little insurance for your situation.
Tip: Find out if you have life insurance from work, your company pension or from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). If so, you will not need to buy as much insurance on your own.
4. Watch out for scams. Watch out if a salesperson suggests that you replace the insurance you have with something else. They may make money, but you may lose out.
Tip: If you buy from a licensed insurance agent or broker, they have rules and ethical guidelines they must follow.
5. Buy from a good insurance company. They should have a good credit rating and long track record. Make sure the company is a member of Assuris. If your life insurance company fails, Assuris protects your benefits up to certain amounts. Before you buy, find out how much of your policy is covered.
6. Don?t forget about your other insurance needs. Some people think they need only life insurance, but did you know that you are three times more likely to become disabled than die early? You need to save some of your insurance dollars for disability and other kinds of insurance.
Remember: It pays to be a smart shopper
Insurance is not simple and the lowest price isn't always the best deal. If you talk to an agent, broker or a financial adviser, you'll get expert advice on your choices.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.