Personal life insurance is a way to secure the financial future of your loved ones in the event of your unexpected passing. It helps to cover any financial obligations you leave behind, such as mortgages and loans, and it also provides support for family members. There are many different types of life insurance protection out there, so you will want to do your due diligence when selecting a policy. 

Here are five common mistakes to watch out for when seeking life insurance. 

1. Not shopping around for the best rates

Premium costs for life insurance vary from provider to provider, even for plans with similar coverage. Check out several different plans and insurance companies (i.e., AARP Life Insurance, First Horizon, etc.) before making your decision. Otherwise, you may find yourself needlessly overpaying every month for coverage that may not be the best match for your specific health or medical needs.

2. Being unprepared for your medical exam

Many insurance companies require you to undergo a physical exam before buying life insurance. Just as with a usual physical, the doctor will check your weight and your blood pressure. But you may also be asked personal questions about your family health history, prescription usage, your activity over the course of the week, lifestyle habits (i.e., smoking), and even your driving record. If a physical is part of your policy obligations, make sure that you avoid alcohol, caffeine, and salty food the day before. Also, be prepared to have answers to any questions about your current health, family health, and your medical history. 

3. Hiding information from the insurance company

Habits such as smoking will not prevent you from buying life insurance. However, it may raise your premium. You may be tempted to hide such bad habits to save money. However, if you withhold information and the insurance company is able to determine it later, they may not pay out on a claim. Therefore, be sure to be honest when giving them information about your personal health. 

4. Buying too little coverage

You don’t want to underestimate how much support your family will need in the event of your passing. In order to ensure that they are adequately provided for, take stock of your current assets such as savings and investments. If you have a non-working spouse and young children at home, you may need more coverage than if you are older with money already set aside for the future. 

5. Relying too much on employer coverage

It might seem convenient to depend upon the life insurance your employer offers. However, this is typically a policy that offers very little in the way of benefits. A private policy will net you five to ten times the coverage of a typical group employment policy. In addition, if you change jobs your coverage may be revoked even after years of paying the premiums.