insurance

The Best in Insurance

Here is where to find the best deals on life, health, auto, homeowners and long-term care insurance.

We scoured the Web to find the best sites for insurance quotes -- from auto to Medicare. And we've also tracked down the companies that offer top value for long-term-care coverage and health savings accounts.

BEST SITES FOR LIFE-INSURANCE QUOTES
Insure.com, AccuQuote.com
Insure.com asks all the right questions about factors that can affect your premiums, and it provides quotes from 40 companies quickly without alerting insurers who you are. A bonus: The site posts underwriting criteria for each policy, so you know what standards youÕll have to meet to qualify for a particular rate. Want personal help, or have a medical condition that could affect your purchase? Call AccuQuote.com at 800-442-9899 and speak with an agent.

BEST SITE FOR AUTO-INSURANCE QUOTES
InsWeb
InsWeb provides instant quotes from up to six companies (the number varies by state), including big names such as AIG and Liberty Mutual, plus quotes by phone or e-mail from American Family, Nationwide and MetLife. (For rates from other major insurers, including Progressive, Geico and Esurance, you'll have to go directly to the companies' sites.) To get an accurate price, you'll need to provide your Social Security number and let the insurer look up your driving record and credit history.

BEST SITE FOR HOMEOWNERS-INSURANCE HELP
AccuCoverage.com
AccuCoverage.com can answer your toughest question: How much coverage to buy? Run by Marshall & Swift/Boeckh, which provides building-cost estimates to the insurance industry, the site can calculate how much it would cost to rebuild your house. There's a reasonable fee of $7.95, and it takes about ten minutes to fill out an online questionnaire about your home's age, size and other features.

BEST SITE FOR HEALTH-INSURANCE QUOTES
eHealthInsurance.com
In the market for private health insurance? Go to eHealthInsurance.com, where you'll also find quotes for short-term policies, student policies and health savings accounts. The site lets you quickly compare benefits and prices. If you have a medical condition, call eHealthInsurance.com at 800-977-8860 for personal help, or work with a health-insurance agent in your area (to find one, go to www.nahu.org).

BEST SITE FOR MEDICARE QUOTES
Medicare.gov
To find a Medicare supplement policy, check out the personal plan finder at www.medicare.gov/mppf. For help choosing a Medicare prescription-drug plan, go to the prescription-drug plan finder.

BEST LONG-TERM-CARE INSURANCE
Genworth, John Hancock
For married couples who are in good health, Genworth offers the best value, including a 40% spousal discount. It also covers the broadest range of home-care services. John Hancock offers more-lenient medical underwriting for people with certain health conditions, such as diabetics who use insulin, and can be better for single individuals.

BEST HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT
HSA Bank
When you buy a health-insurance policy with a high deductible (at least $1,050 for an individual or $2,100 per family in 2006), you may also be eligible to open a health savings account that gives you multiple tax breaks. The best place to go is HSA Bank, which offers low fees, a knowledgeable call center and plenty of investment choices. You can open an account online for a set-up fee of $18. There's also a monthly fee of $2.25 until your account balance reaches $3,000.

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