Time to Reprice Your Life Insurance

Insurers are slashing rates. Have you shopped policies lately?

If only everything you had to buy were like life insurance. Comparison-shopping for policies is easy, and prices have been going down for more than a decade. For example, a healthy 40-year-old man paid at least $995 per year for a $500,000 term-insurance policy with a 20-year rate guarantee in 1994. Now, the same policy would cost him as little as $355.

And you don't have to be in the best of health to find good deals. Until recently, it was nearly impossible to buy life insurance if you had been diagnosed with cancer. Several years after completing treatment you might have been able to find a policy, but you would probably have had to pay two to three times as much as a healthy individual.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.