By timestaff
May 7, 2013
An ordnance man inserts a fuse into a 500-lb. bomb in the bomb-bay of a B-29 Superfortress.
Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Term life insurance is getting costlier — and a bit harder to find.

Following a decade in which prices fell to all-time lows, premiums for new term policies last year rose an average of 3%, says online agency IntelliQuote, which forecasts more increases this year.

The culprit? Sickly yields on bonds, in which insurers invest most of customers’ premiums.

Hit hardest are policies longer than the standard 20-year term; top firms Genworth and ING have stopped selling 30-year term, and rates are up about 5% among remaining carriers, says Byron Udell of term life agency AccuQuote.

Despite the general increase, premiums can vary widely. To nab a low-priced policy, start your search online with either IntelliQuote or AccuQuote.

Stick with insurers rated A or better for financial strength by A.M. Best. And should you want coverage beyond your guaranteed term, screen for policies giving you until age 60 to convert to permanent insurance without a physical — a big plus if health changes make you uninsurable.

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