You know you're not going to live forever. No one does.

But you don't even want to think about buying life insurance or are afraid it's too expensive. Or don't understand what you need to know to buy the right amount and kind.

According to LIMRA, a research and consulting firm, less than half of all households have life insurance and those that do have only enough to replace 3.5 years of income.

Lifeline Direct Insurance, a national insurance agency that specializes in term life insurance, has posted a new blog to help consumers better understand buying term life insurance. The post, written by Matt Loughran of Lifeline Direct, explains the essentials of term life insurance and tells you how to compare life insurance quotes.

Three Major Factors to Consider

According to the post, you should consider three major factors:

  • The death benefit. The death benefit is how much money your survivors will be paid on your death. That's providing, of course, that your payments are up-to-date and the coverage is in effect. You generally buy term life insurance to cover your mortgage or perhaps to pay for your child's education should you die unexpectedly. You want to buy the right amount of life insurance so that your family is protected. You and your agent should do a detailed needs analysis to determine the amount of the death benefit that would work best for your survivors.
  • Premiums. The premium is the amount you pay to keep the policy in force. For most term life insurance policies, your payments stay the same over the life of the policy. Most policies are paid monthly but you can pay annually. Look at your budget to determine which payment method you're most comfortable with. You may be able to save money by paying once a year. Also, you may find that just a few extra dollars can result in a much higher payout.
  • Term length. Most term life policies are offered for terms of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years. Not all life insurance companies offer all the terms - 5 and 25 being the hardest to find. The longer the term, the more you will pay for the policy. However, you will save money if you buy a longer term at a younger age rather than waiting until you are older to renew your policy. Your age at the time you buy is the most important factor in determining price.

Shop for the Best Terms, Rates

Some policies require you have a physical exam first, others do not. If you choose a no-exam policy, your coverage may begin within 24 to 48 hours of your buying the policy.

You should shop for the best rates with major companies.