The life insurance industry is a carefully regulated industry. Every state has its own insurance department to monitor the activity of insurers. You very rarely hear of life insurance companies that dissolve because of financial problems. Insurance companies have to prove financial strength to operate in most states. Insurance commissioners have the authority to approve or deny rate changes. There are consumer guides that are available to help you compare companies. The AM Best Company is the most reliable resource in the industry. You can visit AM Best online and you will find all the information that you need about financial strength and product information.
Life insurance companies distribute their products many different ways. The agent distribution system has been around a long time. The life insurance professional is a valuable resource for people that need an on going relationship and an agent. A lot of folks need the personal service that only an agent can provide. Life insurance can also be purchased through the mail. There are a number of companies that use direct mail as their distribution system.
Insurance companies are also offering life insurance online. This is convenient for most folks that love to use their computer to make purchases. The online purchase can also lead you to an agent. That can give you the best of both worlds. You can begin the process by getting a quote online and finish the purchase and an agent from a company of your choice. The company best for you would be the combination of the financial strength and whether or not you prefer to be serviced by an agent.
There is one more factor when selecting an insurance company. Do you need to purchase insurance from a stock company or a mutual company? Stock companies are owned by the stock holders while the mutual companies are technically owned by the policy holders. Mutual companies pay dividends. Stock companies do not. Compare the rates of a stock company with a mutual company first and then compare the rates of stock companies with stock companies and mutual companies with mutual companies.