Shopping for Life Insurance

Last updated: February 1, 2016

Tips for Navigating Life Insurance

Take Your Time

When looking to buy a new life insurance policy, take your time.

  • Don’t rush into a decision just because you are feeling pressured.

  • Make sure you understand the policy you are considering.

  • Wait until you are comfortable with the company, agent, and product.

Never Use Cash

Do not pay cash.

  • When you buy a policy, make your check payable to the insurance company, not the agent.

  • Be sure you receive a receipt.

You Have a 10-Day Free Look Period

You have 10 days after you receive the policy to return it to the company and receive a full refund of your premium.

  • You may return it for any reason.

Replacement Can Be Expensive!

Canceling a life insurance policy you already have and purchasing a new one is called "replacement".

  • Although Kansas law prohibits an agent from making misleading statements or misrepresenting a policy, you should still proceed carefully before replacing an existing policy.

  • Do not replace a policy without discussing the change with both your current agent and your company.

  • If you decide to do a replacement, do not cancel your old policy until your new one is in force.

Kansas law requires the agent to give you an “Important Notice” regarding replacement of insurance. This notice should be reviewed when considering replacement.

  • The agent writing the new policy is required to complete a replacement notice, which is sent to your current company to tell them of possible replacement.

Replacement is not always in your best interest for the following reasons:

  • The new policy is likely to be at a higher premium because you are older.

  • Your new premium must provide for initial start-up costs of writing a new insurance policy.

    • This means your cash value build up starts over.

  • Kansas law requires that “prior time served” under the old policy should be applied to a new policy.

    • Be sure you get credit and ask about the incontestability provision.

    • If you increase the death benefit on the new policy, you will start a new incontestable period only on the increased amount.

  • Existing policies may be more favorable in such areas as settlement options.

  • Your present life insurance company can often make the change you want at a lower cost to you.

  • It is usually not in your best interest to borrow against the loan value of your policy to get the money to buy a new policy.

This article is published on KansasMoney.gov. Find more information by contacting these state agencies: