No one wants to consider a premature death, but failing to do so can create serious financial difficulties for those you leave behind. Getting this aspect of your financial plan under control is important.

There are more than 2,000 companies selling life insurance in the United States, all offering similar products. Finding the right product at the right price for your situation can be a challenge.

These strategies will help lower your premiums:

1. Consider Term Life Insurance

Term Life Insurance only covers you for the term of the policy, which is typically 10-30 years. Depending on the length of the term, permanent life insurance premiums can be higher in premiums but usually these plans are purchased as part of a long term financial strategy.

2. Get In Shape

You can get a better rate at 150 pounds than if you’re over 200 pounds. Taking a couple of months to whip yourself into shape could be worth it. You’re also likely to lower your blood pressure, which is another important health factor.

3. Stop Smoking

Smoking is a significant risk factor for an early death. Not only will you get a better rate on your insurance, but you’ll also feel healthier and save a lot of money when you quit smoking.

4. Start Young

You can get a lower rate when you’re younger. Your health is also likely to be better, making it easier to qualify for the best rates. If you wait until you really need life insurance, unforeseen health problems might be a real obstacle.

5. Shop Around

Different companies will evaluate your risk differently. This is especially true if you have a risky job or hobby. For example, some companies exclude skydivers, while others don’t

“If a child, a spouse, a life partner, or a parent depends on you or your income, you need life insurance.”

6. Get the Amount of Coverage that fits your Needs

Many people acquire more coverage than they need. Pull out a calculator and come up with a number that makes sense for you.

7. Consider the Future

If your kids will be out of college in 5 years, your insurance needs are likely to change at that point. Likewise, if you pay off your mortgage. You can get term insurance for a non-standard number of years if you ask. Example: 7 year term or 12 year term

8. Abstain from Alcohol or Drink Less

Three to four drinks per day can raise your premiums as much as 50%.

9. Drive Safely

Car accidents are a significant cause of death at any age. Serious driving offenses can really raise your premiums.

10. Avoid Guaranteed Policies

These policies only ask a few health questions. If you’re young and healthy, take a medical exam and get a policy with a much lower rate.

11. Pay Your Bill Annually

Paying monthly will cost more than making a single annual payment.

When you follow several of these tips, you can really cut down on your insurance premiums while still getting the coverage you need to protect your family. Plan ahead before you apply. You’ll be glad you did.

“You don’t buy life insurance because you are going to die, but because those you love are going to live.”