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About 1,700 companies in the United States sell life insurance. While some consumers prefer to buy policies directly from a company, most people buy life insurance through agents or brokers.

Before purchasing a policy, check the company's financial condition.  Make sure that the company you buy from is financially stable so you know they will be around to pay any claims.  The following companies rate insurance company strength:

Ask an agent or request information from your state's insurance department or click this link to find your state insurance regulator:  National Association of Insurance Commissioners  Contact the insurance department to be sure the company is licensed in your state.