Choosing a life insurance policy to protect your family is an important decision. There are multiple types of life insurance that provide varying coverage at different costs, so it’s important to understand your options. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best life insurance companies in Buffalo to ensure your family’s financial stability.
Life insurance policies protect your family by providing a financial benefit when you pass away. This benefit can be used to cover final expenses, such as funeral costs and medical bills, or as replacement income. Other uses for life insurance benefits include:
Education costs for your children
Paying off a mortgage
Providing a donation to a favorite charity organization
Providing support for older family members
While many people may have life insurance policies through their employer, that coverage may not provide a sufficient benefit to enable your family to be financially secure if you die unexpectedly. These policies also generally expire with the term of employment, leaving you unprotected if you leave your job or retire.
Types of life insurance in Buffalo
Life insurance policies can be broken into two main types:
Term life insurance policies cover the insured for a certain period of time. Your beneficiaries are paid if you die before the end of the predetermined term, usually between one and 30 years. The premiums are generally nonrefundable, meaning these policies have no guaranteed return on investment.
Whole life insurance policies provide lifetime coverage and do not expire. These policies are generally more expensive than term life policies, but you can receive lower premiums by purchasing a policy when you are younger. These policies also often have a cash value you can borrow against.
Other types of life insurance include universal life insurance, which has death benefit and investment components. These policies provide lifetime coverage but tend to be more flexible and less expensive than traditional whole life policies.
Information on additional policy types can be found on New York State’s Department of Financial Services website.
The cost of life insurance in Buffalo
In general, younger people receive lower rates on life insurance. Lifestyle issues, such as smoking habits, prior injuries and medical history, may affect the cost, and people who have dangerous occupations or hobbies may also pay more for life insurance policies. Some whole life policies are based on current interest rates, so the premiums may fluctuate.
Policies may also exclude specific causes of death from an insurance policy. However, supplemental insurance waivers, known as riders, may be available to provide additional coverage.
Choosing a life insurance provider in Buffalo
When comparing insurance providers, be sure to look at the financial health of the companies. Companies such as MetLife, Prudential Financial, State Farm and New York Life Insurance Group have a long history of stability and offer life insurance in Buffalo. You can also verify a company’s financial stability through an independent credit reporting agency such as Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s or A.M. Best.
You should also work with a provider or agent who makes you feel comfortable. If a company is unable to answer your question or provides poor customer service, your beneficiaries are likely to receive the same treatment when it comes time for them to file a claim and receive the policy’s benefit.
Discounts on life insurance in Buffalo
Life insurance providers may offer discounts if you are a military veteran or member of an organization such as AARP or certain credit unions. Check with organizations to which you belong to see if they have partnerships with any life insurance providers, and ask your insurance agent if they offer discounts for any organization memberships.
Some companies that provide multiple types of insurance may offer discounts when you bundle auto, home or other insurance policies with life insurance. Ask your existing home and auto insurance provider if it offers life insurance and what discounts may be available.
Policygenius is an online company that matches you to insurance providers and allows you to compare multiple policies. The company charges no application fee and gives you a wide range of policy options while simplifying the life insurance application. Buffalo reviewers enjoyed the company’s ease of use and low rates.
EverQuote offers online services that match you with numerous life insurance companies. The application is free, and you’ll be put in touch with companies offering term life, whole life and other types of insurance policies. Buffalo customers enjoyed how easy the process is, but some people found the resulting sales calls too aggressive.
Willoughby Insurance is a local company that provides a variety of insurance options, including life insurance. The family-owned company has locations in Buffalo, Hamburg, Tonawanda and Niagara Falls. Buffalo residents say they enjoyed the personalized service and ability to speak with a local agent.
Allstate is a national insurance company with agents in Buffalo and the surrounding areas. The company can bundle your policy with home, auto or renters insurance, and it has Spanish-speaking agents available locally. Buffalo customers say they are pleased with the Allstate’s friendly and knowledgeable insurance agents.