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When shopping for life insurance quotes, make sure to:

  1. Compare quotes from various insurers to get the best price possible.

  2. Select life insurance policies with the same level of coverage to get the most accurate comparison.

  3. Check the features of each life insurance policy you compare. Some policies may include free life insurance riders that provide additional features, while others may have to be added at a cost.

  • Financial strength ratings. These determine an insurer’s ability to pay out claims in the future. You can check out insurers’ financial strength through ratings agencies such as AM Best or Standard & Poor’s. NerdWallet recommends choosing insurers with an AM Best rating of B+ or higher, if possible.

  • Complaint ratios. Ideally, you want to choose a company with a strong track record for customer service. NerdWallet’s life insurance rating methodology favors companies that have fewer complaints to state regulators.

  • Policy options. Not all companies sell the same types of policies, and some focus on specific products, such as life insurance policies for children. Narrow your choices by reading life insurance reviews and knowing the type of coverage you want before you begin comparing life insurance quotes.

How to apply for a life insurance policy

When you've found the right life insurance policy, it's time to apply. Collect the information you need before you start the life insurance application process. You’ll likely need to provide details about your current and past health conditions, as well as your family’s health history. The insurer may need your consent to get medical records and ask you to take a life insurance medical exam. Insurers also check other sources, such as MIB Group, which collects data on medical conditions, your driving record and hazardous hobbies.

When you choose life insurance beneficiaries — the people who will receive the payout when you die — be sure you have their Social Security numbers and dates of birth. You may also have to answer questions about criminal convictions and driving violations, such as a suspended driver’s license or DUI, particularly if they happened within the past few years.

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