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According to the Insurance Information Institute only 1/3rd of Americans hold a life insurance policy. While there’s no doubt life insurance is a must for you and your family’s peace of mind, it’s an expense that can stretch tight budgets to the limit.

But did you know that there are a number of factors that affect how much you have to pay for your life insurance plan? It’s true: factors such as age, health and even gender have an impact on how much money your policy is going to cost.

If you’re looking to invest in life insurance, then there are certain things that you can do to make sure that you’re paying the lowest rates possible. The less you pay for your plan, the more money you will have to invest in other places…or just to pay the bills!

Tip #1: Watch Your Health

Your health is one of the most important factors that influence your life insurance rates. Those who smoke pay much than those who do not. The reason? If your health is poor, there is more of a risk that you could die early. This means that the life insurance company will not be able to get nearly as much money out of you as they would like to, and your payout for your family with be substantially larger than the amount you put in to your plan.

If you are looking to invest in life insurance, then it’s critical that you take care of your body. The first thing you want to do is get a full physical exam, with blood work. This will allow your doctor to tell whether or not you are currently suffering from any medical conditions. If you are not, then you’re good to go.

But if you suffer from something such as high blood pressure or poor cardiovascular health, it’s important that you address these issues before you purchase a plan, as they can make your rates significantly higher.

Tip #2: Get Life Insurance Younger

As morbid as it sounds, the older you are, the closer a life insurance agency is going to feel you are to dying. This may not be fair, as there is a large number of the 35 to 50 year old age range that is in phenomenal health today, but the life insurance companies look at the investment portion of the deal. If they allow you to pay a lower rate and you are 50, and you get a pretty large amount of life insurance, if you die within five years, they do not get paid nearly as much for the plan as they would if they had charged you double. Thus, getting life insurance at a younger age is almost always better.

When you are younger, life insurance rates are going to be excellent almost entirely across the board. You should definitely take advantage of this, as it won’t last forever.

Tip #3: Shop Around

Of course, not all of your savings are going to have to do with your age or health. A lot of what people end up paying for their life insurance plan ends up being dependent upon their willingness to do some work.

If you want a cheap life insurance rate, you are going to have to put in some time and research different life insurance providers. You can almost always find a top life insurance provider for a good rate if you dig deep enough and take the time to do your homework. As it stands, even calling around and getting quotes for the lowest rates you are eligible for based on your age and health standing can help you to make a more informed choice.

Tip #4: Get Off Your Hog

This is an unfortunate truth that many people learn when they get life insurance; rates are astronomical for those who ride a motorcycle. If you love to ride, you’re going to end up with a very tough choice to make. You can continue to ride your bike, or you can sell it off and save money on your life insurance plan. This may not seem fair. But the simple fact remains: those who ride motorcycles are at a much higher risk of dying than those who drive cars and trucks.

Tip #5: Don’t Get Suckered In

There is always going to be that one very nice life insurance agent. And sure, they might have a winning smile and talk about how great their plan is, but the reality of the situation is that you should always put the life insurance plan first. If it helps, always picture the life insurance agent as a boring professor you had in college; focus on the numbers, and how they relate to you. Nothing else.

Tip #6: Tell the Truth

You would be surprised how many people lie on life insurance forms. But even if that does not surprise you, what will surprise you is to learn that lying on your life insurance plan paperwork can forfeit all of the benefits and money that your family should receive upon your death. So be certain to be honest, even if you have to pay a bit more, because if you are not, you are running a great risk.

Tip #7: Ask Around

You have friends, right? How about family? Well, if they have life insurance, ask them about their plans. Sometimes getting the cheapest rate is as easy as talking to a friend or coworker about their life insurance. Chances are high that they will tell you the truth, especially if they have had any negative experiences with the provider.