Shopping for a Safety Net on the Net


Looking for low-cost term insurance? Quote services on the Internet allow you to search for term policies and compare policies and premiums from different companies. A variety of services offer quotes, so you’ll get a better selection if you shop more than one service. Keep in mind, though, that not every insurance company will make all its products available this way.

To use the services, you can either dial a toll-free number or complete a form on the Internet in which you provide your gender, age, whether you smoke, various details about your health and lifestyle and the amount of coverage you would like. Some services provide immediate quotes; others will mail quotes to you.

Here are some noteworthy Web sites:

* AccuQuote. Provides an e-mail quote form, life insurance “needs calculator” and descriptions of the basic types of life insurance--term, whole, universal and so-called second-to-die. (800) 442-9899


* InsuranceQuote Services. Provides five lowest-cost term insurance policies from dozens of companies and hundreds of policies. Provides calculator to help figure your needs. (800) 972-1104

* InstantQuote Online Insurance Services. Provides personalized quotes, ranks policies, provides details on underwriting guidelines, gives insurance company ratings and detailed policy options and riders information. Online application. (888) 223-2220

* MasterQuote. Generates cost comparisons from more than 200 insurance companies, showing you the five lowest quotes available. (800) 627-LIFE

* QuickQuote. Online quotes with real-time comparisons from a database of more than 1,500 term-life and annuity plans. Online purchasing service. (800) 867-2404

* Quotesmith. Instant term-life quotes from 134 insurance companies, price comparisons, ratings and online applications. (800) 556-9393

* TermQuote. Covers 75 companies and provides three to five quotes on either term or permanent insurance. (800) 444-8376