Before the Purchase

When buying life insurance, you should read the contract carefully and, if necessary, ask your producer for a point-by-point explanation of the language. To help the consumer, many insurance companies are writing their newer contracts so that they are more understandable. Keep in mind, however, that these are legal documents and you should be familiar with what they promise, even though some technical terms are used.

In addition, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and many state insurance departments have prepared buyer's guides to help you further understand life insurance terms, benefits and relative costs. Buyer's guides are distributed through your agent and insurance company, so be sure to ask for one. If you have more questions about companies or policies, many state insurance departments provide consumer information.