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How to Get a Deal on Life Insurance

"Most new parents have a 'holy cow!' moment when they realize they now have this little financial dependent," says David Woods, president of the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education. You know life insurance is a good idea, but buying it can be easily pushed aside in the fog of diaper changes and sleepless nights. Luckily, it's not as complicated, or as expensive, as you may think.

Consider term insurance. "Term life insurance is an affordable choice for young parents on a tight budget," says Woods. Expect to pay $60 to $80 per month for a $1 million policy. Unlike permanent (or whole) life insurance, term protects for the specific period of time you choose, such as until your child graduates from college.

Buy only what you need. Plan to cover funeral expenses and debts, as well as future obligations, like college. For a rough estimate, use the life insurance calculator at life-line.org

Shop around. Ask the benefits representative at your job if your company offers supplemental insurance beyond the usual benefit of one to two times your salary. Search online for competitive rates and to get instant quotes. Check out:

* Gerberlife.com

* Statefarm.com

* Farmers.com

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