NORTHBROOK, Ill., Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For most of us, shopping for life insurance ranks high on the "pain" scale, right alongside preparing your own tax return. Reading just half a page of fine print in an insurance contract or an IRS instruction booklet might make you want to run screaming from the room.
"The good news is that life insurance companies have recognized the need to simplify and better explain their products," said Shayna Schulz, Allstate vice president, corporate relations. "Navigating the decision to purchase life insurance is not as complicated as you might think – especially with a bit of assistance from a licensed life insurance agent."
Schulz offers the following tips for individuals who want to simplify their life insurance decision:
- Seek help from a professional. An insurance agent can provide a complimentary review of your needs to help you decide the coverage that's right for you. You might find a referral to a life insurance agent from your auto insurance agent, accountant or financial planner.
- Do a little reading beforehand. Spending a bit of time online can give you some of the basic concepts and terminology. Two of the most important terms to know are "permanent life insurance" and "term life insurance." Knowing a few terms and concepts will give you confidence (and maybe a few questions) when you meet with your insurance agent. You can find this information on the websites of insurance companies (such as Allstate, at www.myallstatefinancial.com/financial-articles-and-calculators) or not-for-profit organizations (check out the LIFE Foundation at www.lifehappens.org/life-insurance).
- Look for products you can truly understand. As an example of the new options now available, Schulz points to a new "Basic Term" life insurance policy offered by Allstate Life Insurance Company. People age 18 to 45 can purchase a 15-year Basic Term policy after a simplified application and shortened approval process of a few days. Based on your individual situation, you can choose from among three levels of coverage ($50,000, $100,000 or $150,000). To speed up the closing process, you can even sign the paperwork via the Internet.
- Go with a company you know and trust. Many reputable companies sell life insurance, so you shouldn't be surprised if you are not familiar with a given company's name. However, you might simplify the life insurance purchase decision if you begin your shopping with familiar brand names. You also may want to ask how long the company has offered life insurance to its customers.
- Choose a company with a good report card. On their websites, insurance companies often post third party ratings of their financial strength. For an example, see Allstate's website at http://www.allstate.com/about/financial-strength-ratings.aspx.
- Do it now. Sometimes, making excuses for important financial purchases is more complicated than resolving to take action. If you've been putting off a life insurance purchase, consider setting a goal to purchase a life insurance policy during September – which has been declared Life Insurance Awareness Month by the nonprofit LIFE Foundation. If you need more inspiration, view the "realLIFEstories" on the foundation's website.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer known for its "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan. Now celebrating its 80th anniversary as an insurer, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help nearly 16 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®.
Allstate Basic Term is a term life policy (LU10987 series in most states) issued by Allstate Life Insurance Company, Home Office, Northbrook, Ill. Available riders include the Accelerated Death for Terminal Illness (LU10990 series). See rider for terms, conditions and restrictions. Subject to state availability. Other life insurance products are issued by Lincoln Benefit Life Company, Lincoln, Neb.; American Heritage Life, Jacksonville, Fla.; and Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York, Hauppauge, N.Y.
SOURCE The Allstate Corporation