Our society is so bombarded by ads concerning low-priced insurance that I think we are expecting that all insurance agents are out to get us. We aren’t getting the best deal if we aren’t talking to the guy we saw in the last tv commercial.

I’ve got good news. There are a few “ancient secrets” that can aid you in paying the lowest price possible.

The way of the Early Bird: You know the old cliche, “The early bird gets the worm”? Yeah, well it’s true. The earlier in life you buy your life insurance, the larger your worm will be. If you are thinking about any type of permanent insurance, consider buying it sooner rather than later. Permanent life insurance rates favor the early bird. Lock in the rate when you are young, and consider a “Paid-up at 65” payment cycle if your policy offers that. Term policies are more forgiving when it comes to age, but they still won’t get any cheaper as you get older. I have plenty of life insurance customers that got good deals on policies in their 60s and 70s, but all of them wish that they had bought their life insurance younger.

The way of the Cheapskate: Have you ever bought a car after looking at just one dealership or just one model? It’s rare. Don’t look at prices from just one carrier; compare prices from multiple carriers on multiple policy types. The best way to do this is through your local brokers. They usually have people who specialize in life insurance (that’s ME!), and they will be able to shop your policy for multiple carriers. By shopping you around they can find you the best deals through the carriers they offer. Some prime examples of this are tobacco chewers and people who suffered from melanoma. Most insurance carriers treat a tobacco chewer like a tobacco smoker. A couple, however, gives them a much better rating and price. Most carriers treat skin melanoma like you had full-blown cancer. Some look much more favorably on it after they get your doctor’s report. Local brokers know this stuff and can use it to your advantage. Also, your local broker has relationships with each carrier. They hold power over the insurance carriers in the form of business, so they can lean on the carriers to get you the best rates.

The way of the Inner Circle: There is a common practice among those “in the life insurance know” that can save everybody money. Buy two policies! “But, Steve,” you are saying, “You said you would help me save money!!” I am, and here is how. Buy a small-ish permanent policy to handle your end-of-life expenses and make it a “Paid-up at 65.” This way you pay very small insurance premiums for a policy that frees your family from having to deal with your end-of-life expenses. The policy will continuously accumulate cash value should you ever want to cash it in, and it’s paid-up when you want to retire. Secondly, buy a large, cheap, term policy to cover yourself until you will be financially comfortable and reasonably out of debt. This way you are maximizing your insurance dollar. Just a single-term policy wouldn’t last you through retirement, and a big permanent policy can be pricey. “Stick it to the man” and work the system a little.

So the basics of this lesson are the following: If you have decided that life insurance is right for you, buy it soon; shop around and look for the best deal; check with brokers and ask for the life insurance specialist, and buy smart–buy a smaller whole life policy and a larger term life policy to maximize your insurance bucks.