How do I buy life insurance?

When shopping for term insurance, check out Web sites such as and

Try to make sure you only buy a policy from an insurance company that's in great financial shape, so it doesn't go out of business before you do. Before you purchase a policy, ask the agent - or check the insurer's Web site - for the company's financial strength rating, a letter grade from major rating services. Stick with the top grades.

The top grades from the major rating services are:

  • A.M. Best: A++ and A+
  • Standard & Poor's: AAA and AA+
  • Moody's Investors Service: Aaa, Aa1, Aa2, Aa3
  • Fitch Ratings: AAA, AA.
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