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Answering the 6 most common questions about life insurance

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Insurance industry research group LIMRA reports that three out of five Americans own a life insurance policy, which is great!

The bad news? Another 40% of us have no coverage in place in the event of our untimely passing.

A lot of people shy away from life insurance simply because they don't understand it. Here are some common questions about life insurance and the answers you need to know to make an informed decision.

What kind of life insurance do I need?

Clark recommends what's called level term insurance.

"Level term" means you pay one flat rate year after year for the length of the policy. This policy will replace your income should you die prematurely.

You buy it for periods of 20 or 30 years and the premium stays the same during the life of the policy.

How do I shop for it?

You can comparison shop for term life insurance quotes at any of a number of sites like Quotacy.com, PolicyGenius.com, 1stOptionInsurance.com,  Insure.com, AccuQuote.com or QualityTermLife.com.

By shopping online, you avoid an insurance salesperson trying to up-sell you from level term coverage to another insurance product that may be unsuitable for you.

Can I afford it?

Yes! One non-profit insurance industry group says that a healthy 30-year-old man can get a $250,000 level-term policy for 20 years at a cost of less than $13 a month.

That's around $150 a year…and the price never goes up with a level-term policy!

How much coverage should I buy?

When it comes to the question of how much you should buy, people can get crazy with all kinds of complicated formulas. Clark says that you should buy six to 10 times your annual income.

Should I get it through work?

This is a popular option for a lot of people. But it's often better to qualify on your own and go through medical underwriting so you can buy a policy independent of your employer.

The reality is most of us don't stay at the same place forever and you may not have a right to take that insurance with you.

Do I really need it?

Does somebody depend on you? Do you have young kids or a spouse or significant other that depends on you financially? Then you need life insurance!

And don't forget about stay-at-home spouses. Should a stay-at-home spouse pass away, the remaining parent would have to suddenly pay for childcare and everything else a stay-at-home parent does on a day-to-day basis. That's why it's essential the parent at home have a policy too.

Don't have any one who financially depends on you? that's the only time you don't need a policy.

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