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Research the Company

Some 1,700 U.S. companies sell life insurance. Make sure you choose a company in sound financial shape and licensed in your state. Contact your state's insurance department. A number of organizations rate the financial health of insurance companies. Many libraries have publications listing these ratings.

Points to Remember:

  • Take your time. Make sure you understand what the policy offers and that you are comfortable with the product, agent, and company.
  • Make your check payable to the company issuing the policy, not the agent. Get a receipt.
  • When you receive your policy, there is often a cancellation period.
  • Notify the company or the agent of any errors in your policy.
  • It can be expensive to surrender one policy and buy another.
  • Contact the company's customer service department with complaints. If you remain unsatisfied, contact your state insurance commission.
  • Review your policy periodically, especially when your situation changes, to ensure adequate coverage.

For More Information:

  • American Council of Life Insurers, Web: www.acli.com/public/media/mainframe_med.htm
  • National Insurance Consumer Helpline (NICH) 1-800-942-2424
  • Books and periodicals on personal finance and insurance in your local library
  • Consumer affairs division of your state insurance commission

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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