Buying Tips

Before a Purchase

Look for a company that is reputable, consumer-oriented, and financially strong. A number of insurance rating services rate the financial strength of companies, and such information can be obtained from your agent or from public or business libraries. Rating agencies include A.M. Best Company, Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investor Services IncStandard & Poor's Insurance Rating Services, and Weiss Ratings.   

  • Review outlines of coverage so you can compare the features of several policies. Make sure you fully understand what the policy covers and note when the insurance becomes effective.
  • Make sure the information you provide is accurate and that your application has been filled out correctly. Always answer questions about your medical history and health carefully and truthfully. Promptly notify your agent or company of errors or missing information.
  • Make your check or money order payable to the insurance company, not the agent. Do not pay with cash and get a receipt.
  • Consider having the premium automatically taken out of your bank account, so you won't lose your coverage if an illness or accident prevents you from paying your premium.

ACLI has created a policy checklist to help you compare policies offered by different companies, or different policies offered by the same company. 

After a Purchase

  • Carefully review the contract during the "free-look" period. After you have purchased an insurance policy, you may have a "free-look" period -- usually 30 days after you receive the policy -- when you can change your mind. If you decide not to keep it, the company will cancel the policy and give you an appropriate refund.
  • Contact your agent or insurer if you don't receive your policy within 60 days.
  • Notify your insurance company if you change banks, if you have premiums automatically deducted from your bank account. A missed payment could jeopardize your policy.
  • Contact the insurance company's customer services division with concerns or complaints about your agent or the company. If you are still dissatisfied, contact your state insurance department.

Publications & Resources

Long-Term Care Crisis, 03/06/2015. ACLI’s Andrew Melnyk discusses life insurers’ role in providing long-term care solutions for a growing elderly population in a New York Times Letter to the Editor.

Who Will Pay for Our Long-Term Care? Report and Infographic. The increasing cost of long-term care is expected to continue its upward trend. A growing number of seniors requiring long-term care and a greater cost per recipient will result in a 64 percent increase in total long-term care expenditures by 2030 ($392 billion). Download the report and the infographic to learn more.

A Woman's Guide to Long-Term Care. For women, the risk of needing long-term care is quite high. Learn about the risks and how long-term care insurance can help protect your savings from the high cost of services.

Long-Term Care Insurance Brochure: Protection for Your Future. Saving for retirement is only half the story. A lifetime of retirement savings can be wiped out by an unexpected need for nursing home, assisted living, or at-home care. Long-term care insurance can cover the costs of those services and protect lifetime savings. This guide answers commonly asked questions about long-term care insurance and provides a checklist for selecting a policy. Available in English and Spanish.

Long-Term Care Insurance Policy Checklist. Use this checklist to help you compare policies offered by different companies, or different policies offered by the same company.

State Insurance Department Directory. The State Insurance Department Directory, with contact information for 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Includes names and phone numbers for key personnel and specific subject contacts.

National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information. External site.