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Bar News - November 19, 2004

Tips on Purchasing Life Insurance

From the NHBA Insurance Agency

BUYING LIFE INSURANCE is not in the same category as getting a new car or a spring wardrobe; it is a lot more complex and infinitely more important. Shopping around for the product that best meets your needs is of utmost importance.

Before you begin your search for the best policy for your needs and your budget, do some ground work. To help determine the amount of insurance you need, identify your dependents (this may include children, parents, spouse), your financial obligations, and your resources. In addition, here are 10 things you should do to make the most appropriate life insurance purchase:

  1. Make sure your agency and company are licensed to do business in your state. Call your state insurance department.
  2. Take your time. Make sure you understand fully any policy you are considering and that you are comfortable with the company, agent and product. Donít rush into a decision. On the other hand, donít procrastinate.
  3. Ask your agent if the company offers any "healthy lifestyle" reductions on your policy premiums.
  4. Do not omit any part of your medical history on your life insurance application. If you do, the company may be able to refuse coverage, deny a claim or cancel the policy
  5. Read the insurance contract carefully and, if necessary, ask your agent for a point-by-point explanation of the language.
  6. Expect delivery of your life insurance policy within two weeks of purchase. If it does not arrive, contact the company for a written explanation.
  7. Remember that you have a 10-day "free look" period that entitles you to change your mind about purchasing the policy. If you do so, the company will return your premium, without penalty.
  8. Write the check for your insurance premium to the company, not the agent. Be sure you are given a receipt.
  9. Inform your beneficiaries about the kind, amount and location of any life insurance policies you own. Keep your policy in a safe place at home and, in addition, keep your insurance companyís name and your policy number in a safe location.
  10. Review your life insurance coverage at least once every two years to be sure it meets your current needs. Be cautious if another agent or company contacts you and wants you to cancel your current policy to buy a new one

To sum up: When you are purchasing life insurance, shop carefully, ask questions, and make sure you understand the answers.

The NHBA Insurance Agency is now offering excellent life and disability coverage at discounted rates for NHBA members. Contact Sue Morand at the NHBA Insurance Agency at the Bar Center at 224-6942 for information. Information will be mailed to members regarding these offerings early in the New Year.



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