If you still have a life insurance policy you bought more than 10 years ago, you’re probably paying too much for the coverage. In recent years, Americans’ life expectancy has increased dramatically, due largely to medical advances. Longer life expectancies mean fewer payouts by insurers, so premiums charged on new policies have dropped.
Therefore, it might make sense to replace your old life insurance policy with a new one. Especially if you’re in good health for your age, you might be able to get equivalent coverage at a much lower price.
Step One is to review your current need for life insurance. If your children are grown and living independently, you might need less coverage. Alternatively, you might need more coverage if your existing insurance is inadequate for your family’s current lifestyle.
Step Two is to decide what type of life insurance you need. Generally, inexpensive term insurance is best. You can buy a policy with fixed premiums for 10 or 20 years.
However, if you’re not sure your need for life insurance will ever expire, a more expensive permanent life policy might be a better choice. This coverage is known as “whole life,” “universal life,” or “variable life” insurance.
Once you make these decisions, work with an experienced agent to shop the market and get the best deal. Don’t cancel your old policy until the new one is in effect. If you’ll owe income tax on a policy cancellation, ask your agent to arrange a tax-free exchange from your old policy to the new one.