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There is a rampant misconception out there that life insurance is too expensive and for that reason many people forgo even considering it as a financial planning tool. In a time when many families live paycheck to paycheck it is understandable that they would turn their backs on anything that they perceive as expensive.

But you know what is free? It doesn’t cost a dime to talk to a professional independent agent and find out exactly what life insurance will cost and exactly how much insurance you can comfortably fit into your budget. People are often pleasantly surprised, and relieved, to know that even the most meager of budgets can generally provide some meaningful amount of family protection.

One of the great safety nets that has been built into the life insurance application process is the free look period. In most states the free look period will allow you, having applied and been approved for insurance, to look it over without any obligation for 20 days. If you decide for any reason that it isn’t going to work for you, it can be returned to the agent without any cost to you.

One of the other great opportunities, although not all agents or agencies will do this, is to apply through an agent who doesn’t require any money with the application. The truth is that there is rarely a good reason for an agent to ask for money up front other than the “psychological consummation of the sale”. Even though the money is fully refundable if you withdraw the application or in the end you don’t accept the policy, it is just a fact that it throws up a mental red flag about changing your mind. People are less likely to take action that is adverse to an agent that they’ve given money to.

There are plenty of agents out there who agree with me that the process should have no hooks in it from beginning to end. Personally I would steer clear of any agent or agency that requires you to place money with the application. Again, there is no reason other than psychological for them to ask for it. They should have the confidence to win your trust by coming through with the policy you need first, and then earn your business.

Bottom line. Take advantage of the experience and expertise of an independent agent of your choice and find out exactly what you can do for your family without busting the budget.