Introduction:

Glass is a non-absorbent painting support which does not allow paint to easily adhere to it – apart from through the paint’s own drying process.  4×8 plexiglass

For this reason the outlines of a subject painted on glass need to be simplified when applied to an extremely smooth glass surface. Simplifying a subject does not necessarily detract from the end result after the painting is completed and the final result can often have an appearance similar to that of naive art in relation to composition and form and a certain number of other details. Many artists may find that such simplification can actually be very appealing.

Working the paint or changing outlines without smudging the surrounding areas of undried paint may require some concentration in the beginning, as well as a certain amount of skill, but with patience and the development of their skills using this painting technique, artists will find that applying and mastering the use of glass as a support will become easier as time progresses.

MATERIALS REQUIRED FOR PAINTING ON GLASS

Glass

Choose clear unflawed glass (or plexiglass) in the shape and size you wish to use. In order to begin mastering the technique of reverse painting it is advised to choose smaller sizes to begin with.

Paints

It is important to use a paint that will adhere properly to the surface of the glass. Oil based paints or acrylics are often used for this reason.There are also opaque and transparent ceramic artist colours that have been especially manufactured for using on a non-absorbent surface. Metallic colours (eg. gold, silver or copper) can also be interesting to work with. There are an increasing number of new art products available today that may be suitable for painting on a non-absorbent surface such as glass.

Paintbrushes

To begin choose a selection of small or medium-sized paintbrushes with fine, flat and pointed tips. Larger brushes can be used for working on a larger scale. Artists can also use less conventional tools for applying paint if they wish, depending on the effects obtained through experimentation that may interest them.

A penholder

Used for outlines (if required) and finer details. It can be an advantage to use interchangeable nibs suitable for creating both thick and thin outlines.

Ink for creating outlines on glass

The inks used need to be suitable for applying to a non-absorbent surface such as glass. As an alternative paint can also be thinned down into a more liquid form and used for creating outlines in which case attention must be given to to creating the right mixture of fluidity and thickness.

A painting palette or something similar to mix your paint on.

A palette knife -(optional) for mixing paint.

Artists paint cleaner or thinner – used for cleaning or sometimes for thinning, and depending on whether oil based or water-based paints are used.

A paint-drying agent – (optional) For mixing with paints to help speed up the drying process

Paper towelling or some clean rags

A mirror – (optional) can be used to check the progress of your painting while you are continuing to work. Place the mirror in a position where it will reflect your artwork from its viewing side.

Cellotape – or a similar average-width sticking tape

An easel – (optional) to prop your work on

A glass-cleaning product

PREPARING THE GLASS

Choose a piece of clear glass in the dimensions you would like to work with and check carefully to make sure the glass is neither scratched nor flawed. It is worthwhile remembering that a flaw in the glass itself will often detract from the finished appearance of a painting and may be impossible to remove after the completion of your artwork.

The sheet of glass that is to become your artwork constitutes the following:

(1) The ‘painting side’ – which is the side you will be painting on.

(2) The ‘viewing side’ – which is the side you will be looking at (or through) as you progress with your work and after it has been completed.

To render the cutting edges of the glass safe take a length of cellotape that will correspond to the length of one edge. Apply it carefully along that length (ideally so that it is folded equally over each side of the glass).

Repeat this procedure for the other 3 glass edges. The edge of the cellotape will also help mark the outer limits of your artwork.

Clean the surface of the glass thoroughly with a glass-cleaning product. Use paper towelling or any cleaning material that will not leave dust or threads on your painting surface.

Store the glass where it will be safe. If placed between sheets of newspaper it will be protected from scratches and dust.

CREATING OUTLINES

Art products in liquid form that are suitable for creating outlines on glass may be readily available in some countries. Oil-based paint,water-based acrylic and ceramic paint can also be used for this purpose.In order to create fine lines these paints must sometimes be thinned down in order to use with a pen nib or similar line-drawing tool.

To prevent lines from being effaced too easily you can use a paint that is oil based for creating the outlines of your subject if the paint you will be applying over the top of it (after it has properly dried) is water based. Reverse this procedure if your outlines are created with a water-based paint.

Always use a liquid paint product that will provide the best adhesion possible to a glass surface.

Due to pen nibs clogging relatively easily, attention must be paid to cleaning the nibs regularly.

OUTLINE METHODS

Method 1.

If you have a steady hand you can use a freehand method for applying outlines directly onto the surface of the glass.

Method 2.

Use an original subject for your painting (e.g. a drawing) and place this under the glass then copy it onto the glass surface.

Method 3.

Place a layer of carbon-paper on top of the glass then place your drawing on top of the carbon paper and with a pointed object trace the subject onto the glass. Be careful not to damage your original image (the image being copied) when using a pointed object.

Method 4.

A tracing table can be used for creating outlines. This is a table with a sheet of clear glass inserted into the top and with an electric light source situated beneath it. For those who frequently need to trace their work a tracing table can be very practical and useful.

Method 5.

You can omit outlines altogether.

APPLYING THE PAINT

Most artists have a preference for how to work when creating an artwork. Once it has been decided whether to work on a table or use a table-easel or a standing easel, it will be necessary to view the artwork regularly from its observation side in order to see its progress.

Some artists simply take the glass in their hands and turn it around to look at it directly from the observation side. Others prefer to use a mirror placed directly opposite their working area so that they can observe their progress while they paint.

Mixing and blending

If you are blending colours always do so on a palette or similar flat object before applying them to the glass. If colours are not well blended or mixed the result will be a streaky appearance in the paint on the observation side of the glass.

Avoiding smudges

When creating a reverse painting on glass it is important to watch out for smudges or particles of dirt or dust that may accidentally be transferred onto unpainted areas of your artwork as you are progressing. Unless removed these may appear as flaws that will show when viewing the artwork from its observation side. If they are also inadvertently covered with a layer of paint removing them afterwards may become very messy and difficult. When lifting off any smudges always be careful not to damage outlines or other areas of paint you have already applied.

Applying the paint

Once the outlines of your subject have thoroughly dried you can begin to apply paint to fill in the remainder of your artwork. Begin with the smallest and most detailed or intricate areas first e.g. eyes, faces, small figures or objects etc – and always keep in mind that your artwork will be observed from the opposite side to the one your painting on and that you are painting in reverse and that therefore foregrounds precede backgrounds.

 

Why should someone go for Marble tiles? Is there durability and too much maintenance cost for marble? Are these questions stuck in your mind? The answer is here.

For anyone who is looking to refine the beauty of their house or want to give an elegant and lost lasting look, the option should be marble. It will be an add-on if people are using Crema Marfil marble. Marble flooring has been in trend for centuries and will live for longer and generations to come especially for the residential purpose. The bright and gorgeous look with a variety of patterns and colors recognized from ages. Marmor vægure i sort og hvid

So, if you are looking for a unique and outstanding finish to your house, this is where your search should end. These marbles tiles create artistically; rarely customization is also considered to a certain extent, though it is not common and is expensive and not affordable by all. Hence, these have become a part of the elegant and classic choice of collections. It is a natural stone relied upon by ancient Roman Spas and Greek.

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If someone has a unique artistic taste about the installation of marbles and tiles, this can be contented through Crema Marfil marbles. You will have the advantage of finding these in varied colors like red, brown, white, and beige shades. You can use these marble tiles in hallways, kitchens, bathrooms and lobbies. To make marble flooring economical, you can choose different collections for the different place in your home. Living space and bedrooms can have good and expensive collections as compared to other. Well, these are suggestions just to help you to be economical and smart.

Advantages of Crema Marfil Marble Flooring:

• Very long lasting and durable
• Increased attractiveness
• Bacteria resistant and water resistant
• Can be polished again to maintain shine and gloss
• Allergen resistant
• Best for designer flooring
• Attractive appearance
• Available in wide range of colors

Of course, there are few disadvantages with any marble flooring like you will have a hard and cold underfoot; polishing is required post lying marble floors and in years of intervals to maintain gloss and shine, it will be slippery and is expensive as compared to other types of flooring.

As busy as our daily personal lives are, it is often a comfort to know that some things can easily be obtained without taking too much of our precious time. Some of these are take-outs, drive-thrus and yes, bottled drinks.

And your favorite bottled tea is no exception. best kratom in austin

Bottled tea has emerged only in the recent years. Many companies are offering this interesting drink in an assortment of flavors such as black, green and even strong herbs like ginseng. The growing popularity of bottled tea is credited to the fact that people do not have enough time to spare doing the traditional brewing and also the convenience of being able to drink tea anytime and anywhere is a consumer buying factor. It has become very extraordinarily popular and is a favorite thirst-quencher especially in the hot summertime. Even children who dislike the taste of the traditional brewed tea enjoy cold bottled teas in sweet fruity flavors.

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Many tea lovers are curious to know whether it is as healthy as brewed tea or even healthier.

The honest and blunt answer is ‘no’. Although tea in general is known for the presence of polyphenol–a powerful antioxidant that is known to fight the process of aging and kill certain cancers–bottled tea contains lesser amount of it compared to brewed loose tea leaf. This is so because most bottled teas have water and high sugar content and some have been processed to preserve and lengthen their expiration date. This processing contributes to the lowering of the amount of polyphenols and other health elements that are naturally present in unprocessed tea leaves. Other bottled teas have also been mixed with fruits and other flavors to give them a fruit-juice appeal to be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Moreover, a study suggests that the level of polyphenols in bottled tea is 10 to 100 times lower than the traditional brewed tea. So if you want to take full advantage of the health benefits in tea, brewing loose tea leaves is still a better and healthier choice.

However, don’t get too dismayed by quitting to drink bottled tea altogether. If you still could not resist drinking it, continue to do so. It still contains a certain amount of antioxidants that can be compared to eating fruits and vegetables. Just don’t fail to read the label and check the contents of the tea to help you make a better choice. The higher antioxidant benefits, the better.

 

The history of sports photography is tightly related to the trends of sport gaining popularity throughout human history. The technology of photography from the early 1800s onward leaped forward in bounds and aided an emerging media, sporting journalism. agen domino

The inspiration of athletics and sport in art can certainly be seen in the work of the ancient Greek masters of sculpture, however this type of expression was not as prevalent in modern sporting venues until the invention of wet-collodion and dry-plate photographic processes. These processes allowed for posed studio images on glass plates and tin-types, but were just not ‘fast’ enough for the ‘stop-action’ images we are used to seeing today.

As the 19th Century was coming to a close, in the 1880s scientific motion studies of athletes in action were produced in the United States and Germany, the technology was still not considered on the sporting field. This all changed with the advancement of photography and sports journals in the last part of the century. As the first sports journals began to appear around 1900, the public became more and more interested in the sports image, which often would include images of players on the tennis green, golfling or on the hunt for wild game.

In the history of sports photography the earliest of contributors were more concerned with the activities of the country elite, but by the end of World War I, readers of sporting journals were becoming interested in the professional athletes of American baseball and tennis. The majority of these early images were of prominent players in posed situations, giving te sense of action. Baseball players were posed with bat in hand at the plate, teams were lined up for group shots and so forth, however the ‘action’ shot was still not widely seen.

With the 1930s more and more images of athletes in action were appearing in magazines, assisted in their growth through camera systems allowing photographers shutter speeds up to 1/1000th of a second. This gave way to styles highlighting blurred subjects suggesting movement and ‘stop-action’ images of the athlete in activity. Photographers began adopting signature styles and the popularity of the genre began to grow rapidly as the public began to expect the excitement of seeing their favored athletes in ‘action.’

In 1954, Sports Illustrated – the vaunted digest of sports and athletics – premiered and suddenly the position of being a sports photographer became even more engrained in the public eye. The magazine highlighted the exploits and professional and amateur athletes the world over, increasing the need for the art form and those who practiced it. By this point, technology had more or less caught up with demand, with the advent of small, compact single lens reflex (SLR) cameras and the fast shutter speeds offered in the models. The history of sports photography is strongly tied to lens technology, as well, had advanced to offer the photographer a wide choice of methods to compress perspective and using depth of field for dramatic effect.

 

Among the safest sports of all is fencing. Many parents don’t want their children to play sports because they fear that the children may get injured somehow, but fencing does not put children at risk.

Impact of Non-safe Sports LIVE22

One of the reasons that parents get children involved in sports is because they can lead to scholarships for schools that might not otherwise be financially accessible. When children enter sports for this reason, it may mean putting other areas of their lives on hold, even if they aren’t really interested in the sport they joined. The parents limit childrens’ activities in order to put them in a position of avoiding normal injuries that come with childhood. While being a member of a team affords the children the opportunity to socialize and make connections, the impact on their lives outside of the sport may be such that their social opportunities are limited.

Future Issues in Other Sports

Those who wonder how it is possible for professionals to keep playing even after experiencing a serious injury may be in for a shock. No matter how resilient the player is, that isn’t normally the reason that they can keep playing. Instead, medications keep the pain at bay in order to keep the player on the field. That doesn’t sound too bad until you consider the long term effects.

There is always the possibility of addiction, but that may not even be the worst part. The body sends pain signals as a warning to the brain. The warning is that if the current action is not stopped, the individual may be at risk for a more serious and long term injury. Pain killers prevent the brain from getting these signals, so the player continues on, serving the game well, but forgetting about the risks to their own bodies.

Fencing May Be the Safest Sport

Among the safest sports is fencing. Fencing requires that the participants are essentially protected from head to toe as the goal is not to injure the opponent but to make contact correctly. This makes it one of the safest sports, but it also teaches children a level of control over their own bodies that they may not have realized before.

Fencing may not be among the most wildly popular sports, but it does carry with it comes elements that other sports simply cannot. It is among the safest sports, but it also teaches integrity and true teamwork.

 

The DIY solar panel industry is booming. Thousands of do it yourself enthusiasts are taking advantage of the easy to follow instruction manuals that can be downloaded. As a result in the increase in sales of solar energy panels, the components required to repair and replace them have become common place and can be found in any hardware store. a solar home in Kansas

The only problem that still remains is…

Buying panels is still extremely expensive.

As a result of this, there is a hungry growing market of people looking for cheap panels. Many entrepreneurial diy enthusiasts have seen a market that they can take advantage of and are selling their homemade panels online and in local classifieds and are making a very lucrative second income from them.

How Do You Start

In order to sell homemade panels, you need to make them first. Getting a comprehensive diy guide is easy and building a single panel will take no more than a few hours spread out over a weekend (taking into consideration paint drying time).

How Much Is the Setup Costs

Your initial investment will include the manual you will need which includes the tax rebate form that you will want to hand to your clients so that they can receive tax credits. An average for such a manual is $50 and then you will need to pay for your solar panel components.

If you decide to start small and build just one panel to sell and then use the profits to build another, your initial outlay should be no more than $300 for everything.

How To Sell The Panels

Marketing a product that is in demand is easy, but you can also advertise that you build custom sized solar panels to suit area and space as well as needs. Bespoke solar panels usually cost a fortune, so this is a great market to get into.

Solar Panels Can Be Affordable.

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Solar energy is no longer expensive or difficult to build. You can build your own solar panels within a few short hours and start saving on your electricity bill today.

 

Nowadays, children, besides of going to the school, practice a sport, mostly a team sport. And just like so many things, this also has its advantages and disadvantages on physical, emotional and mental field.

The decision of which one is greater, the advantages or the disadvantages depend on the point of view of the parents and of the children. 먹튀

Emotional advantages:

– They will learn the value of teamwork
– They will learn how to work in a team
– They will develop their ability of trusting someone else
– They will learn how to select the trustful people
– They will make more friends

Emotional disadvantages:

– the pressure of being the best
– the possibility of not being the best
– possible emotional implications of not being the best can affect the self-esteem of a child

Mental advantages:

– physical activity stimulates the brain
– sport is a way of relaxing of the stress and pressure from the school, therefore, after exercises, the lessons will be automatically easier to understand and to learn

Mental disadvantages:

– competitive sport takes precedence over a child’s education
– learning may be neglected
– lack of mentally challenge

Physical advantages:

– they will learn the benefits of being fit, limber and strong
– it ensures a great and healthy growth of the body of the child
– they will be protected by obesity

Physical disadvantages:

 

The term blockchain has been used in numerous social and corporate conversations in recent years and everyone seems to have heard about blockchain technology, but a majority of the population actually has no idea what it actually means. Read more

In order for us to clearly explain what blockchain technology actually means allow us to give you a brief breakdown about the history of how the transaction of money has evolved. Historically whenever people used to exchange valuable items there were middle men whose sole purpose was to record the authenticity of both parties and build trust between them. Currently these middle men are known as banks. The use of banks and brokers has continued over time and with the emergence of digital assets like stock, electronic money, and intellectual property the need for a more secure method has emerged. This is because digital assets are usually files within a computer that are therefore vulnerable to manipulation and theft. Thus the use of the blockchain technology enables parties to transact openly and transparently ensuring that the exchange is secure and efficient.

The Future of Bitcoin

Blockchain has the ability of completely disrupting the financial industry the same was social media disrupted mainstream media or the same way Betflix destroyed Blockbuster films. Blockchain technology has the potential of being used as a platform that provides financial services to everyone on the part of the world, this includes people in developing countries who may not have the access to traditional banking services and cannot afford the rates required to make large transactions. This technology has the potential of making major breakthroughs in nearly all major industries that are usually manipulated by big corporations.

The use of Blockchain technology in Education

Blockchain technology in education can be used to figure out the students that actually need the scholarships and those who can afford it. This is because a few students have been bypassing the system and getting financing. This would actually end up being detrimental to the needy students who end up dropping out or accruing a lot of debt that causes them to work for nearly.

Lastly, a huge number of the population may currently be hiding their heads in the sand as they wish blockchain to go away but this piece of technology is definitely going nowhere. In the near future we will all be trading using blockchain as part of our daily activities our great grandchildren will read about money and ATM machines just as how we read about barter trade and gold. It is therefore imperative that we jump on the bandwagon as soon as possible and get adjusted before we are forced to adjust.

 

Critical illness insurance is a relatively new type of policy that is frequently misunderstood. Today, we will clarify what it is, and what it covers.

How Does Critical Illness Insurance Work?
Critical illness is similar to term life insurance, except it is paid out when you are diagnosed with an illness covered by the policy, rather than being paid out upon death. However, some people confuse this type of insurance with disability insurance, which substitutes your income if you become disabled.

Illness insurance, like term life insurance, is paid in a lump sum, should you be diagnosed with a pre-defined disease such as cancer. You decide how this amount will be spent – some people put it into additional medical treatment (especially if there are some treatment methods that are not covered by provincial healthcare), others decide to take time off work to spend with family, or to travel. https://www.medical-intl.com/

As with many insurance products, this type of insurance plan comes with an extensive insurance quote, application and underwriting process that the insurer analyzes before you can get a policy; and as with any insurance policy, a critical illness policy comes with both pros and cons.

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of this type of insurance.

Pros of Critical Illness Insurance
There are several positive aspects:

  1. Funds that can help where needed: The lump sum you receive if you are diagnosed with a critical illness will allow you to get better treatment and, hopefully, fully recovery in some cases. You can also spend these funds on other needs or projects (such as travel or taking items off your bucket list).
  2. Protection for your own business: If you have your own business, you might need to work part time, after being diagnosed with a critical illness (reduced work hours are common when extensive medical treatment is required). It closes the financial gap created by your reduced hours at your company. With the funds, you could hire somebody to help out with your business.
  3. Stackable protection: Unlike disability insurance, critical illness coverage is “stackable”. With disability insurance, coverage is limited because it is based on your income, and you cannot go over that limit even if you have several disability policies. You can, though, have several policies with varying coverage amounts of different diseases. If you have, for example, two policies with benefits of $250,000 and $300,000, you can get a $550,000 payout when you make a claim.

Cons of Critical Illness Insurance

  1. Expensive: This type of insurance policy is not cheap. As an example, a Term 10 insurance policy with $500,000 coverage (Term 10 means a policy that covers you for 10 years) for a 35-year old non-smoking male without any pre-conditions costs around $180/ month (exemplary quote) whereas a Term 10 life insurance policy with coverage of $1,000,000 for the same person costs around $50.
  2. Definitions matter: If a diagnosed disease, such as a heart attack, is not aligned with the definition of this illness in the policy, your claim may be not paid.
  3. Does not cover you immediately: Policy typically comes with a waiting period (e.g. 90 days) during which you are not covered.
  4. Payout is not immediate: If you are diagnosed with a critical illness, there is “survival period” – (e.g. 30 days). If you die within that period, your claim will be not paid.

 

Secret #1: Don’t spend too much time on a life insurance quote.

Do not be fooled by the low price quotes you get online – they don’t apply to you unless you are extremely healthy. Statistically only 10% of people who apply actually get the lowest priced policy. The premium you end up paying has nothing to do with the initial quote you get online or from an agent. It is amazing to me how often I see people getting duped by an agent who quotes company X at a lower price than another agent.

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Life insurance policies are the same price no matter who you buy from! One agent or website quoting a lower premium means nothing. Prices for any given policy is based on your age and health. There are a few exceptions to this but that is beyond the breadth of this article.

Most life insurance companies have 10-20 different health/price ratings and no agent or website can assure you the quote they give you is accurate. You have to apply, do a health check, and then go through underwriting (meaning you complete a mini-exam with a nurse in your home and then the company checks you doctor records and reviews and ‘rates’ your health) to get the real price of the policy. Remember that a health rating also factors in your family history, driving record, and the type of occupation you have. Only use quotes to help narrow down your choices to the top companies. You may want to consider a no load or low policy. The more that you save on commissions the more money builds up in your policy. You can even buy term insurance no load, and save a lot on premiums. You will not get the help of an agent, which may be worth something if they are very good.

The most important factor determining price is matching your particular health history with the company best suited for that niche. For instance company X might be best for smokers, company Y for cancer survivors, Company Z for people with high blood pressure, etc.

Secret #2: Ignore the hype on term versus cash value permanent insurance.

You can go crazy reading what everyone has to say on buying term insurance versus a whole or universal life policy. Big name websites give advice that I think borders on fraudulent. Simply put there is NO simple answer on whether you should buy permanent cash value policies or term insurance.

But I do think there is a simple rule of thumb – buy term for your temporary insurance needs and cash value insurance for your permanent needs. I have read in various journals and run mathematical equations myself which basically show that if you have a need for insurance beyond 20 years that you should consider some amount of permanent insurance. This is due to the tax advantage of the growth of the cash value within in a permanent policy. I am divorced and have taken care of my children should I die. I probably no longer need as much insurance as I now have. I have earned a great return on my policies and have paid no taxes. I no longer pay the premiums, because there is so much cash in the policies. I let the policies pay themselves. I would not call most life insurance a good investment. Because I bought my policies correctly, and paid almost no sales commissions my policies are probably my best investments. I no longer own them, so when I die my beneficiaries will get the money both tax free, and estate tax free.

Since most people have short term needs like a mortgage or kids at home they should get some term. Additionally most people want some life insurance in place for their whole life to pay for burial, help with unpaid medical bills and estate taxes and so a permanent policy should be purchased along with the term policy.

Secret #3: Consider applying with two companies at once.

Life insurance companies really don’t like this “trick” because it gives them competition and increases their underwriting costs.

Secret #4: Avoid captive life insurance agents.

Look for a life insurance agent who represents at least fifty life insurance companies and ask them for a multi company quote showing the best prices side by side. Some people try to cut the agent out and just apply online. Just remember that you don’t save any money that way because the commissions normally earned by the agent are just kept by the insurance company or the website insurance company without having your premium lowered.

Plus a good agent can help you maneuver through some of the complexities of filling out the application, setting up your beneficiaries, avoiding mistakes on selecting who should be the owner, the best way to pay your premium, and also will be there to deliver the check and assist your loved ones if the life insurance is ever used.

Secret #5: Consider refinancing old life policies.

Most companies won’t tell you but the price you pay on your old policies has probably come down dramatically if you are in good health. In the last few years life insurance companies have updated their predictions on how long people will live. Since we are living longer they are reducing their rates rather dramatically. Beware the agent may be doing this to obtain a new commission, so make sure it really makes sense.

I really am amazed at how often we find that our client’s old policies are twice as expensive as a new one. If you need new life insurance consider “refinancing” your old policies and using the savings on the old policies to pay for the new policy – that way there is no extra out-of-pocket costs. We like to think of this process as “refinancing your life insurance” – just like you refinance your mortgage.

Secret #6: Realize life insurance companies have target niches that constantly change.

One day company ‘X’ is giving good rates to people who are a little overweight and the next month they are super strict. Company ‘Y’ might be lenient on people with diabetes because they don’t have many diabetics on the books – meaning they will give good rates to diabetics. At the same time company ‘W’ might be very strict on diabetics because they are insuring lots of diabetics and are afraid they have too big of a risk in that area – meaning they will give a bad rate to new diabetics who apply.

Unfortunately when you are applying a life insurance company will not tell you, “Hey, we just raised our rates in diabetics.” They will just happily take your money if you were not smart enough to shop around. This is the number one area a smart agent can come in handy. Since a good multi-company agent is constantly applying with multiple companies he or she will have a good handle on who is currently the most lenient on underwriting for you particular situation. The problem is that this is hard work and many agents are either too busy or not set up to efficiently shop around directly to different underwriters and see who would make you the best offer. This is a lot harder than just running you a quote online.

Secret #7: Don’t forget customer service.

Most people shopping for insurance focus on companies with the lowest price and the best financial rating. Unfortunately I know of some A+ rated companies with low rates who I would not touch with a ten foot pole simply because it’s easier to give birth to a porcupine backwards then it is to get customer service from them.

Before I understood this I used a life insurance company that gave a client a great rate but 2 years later the client called me and said, “I have mailed in all my payments on time but just got a notice saying my policy lapsed.” It turned out the company had been making lots of back office mistakes and had lost the premium payment!

We were able to fix it because we caught the problem so early. But if the client happened to have died during the short period the policy had lapsed, his family might have had a hard time proving that the premium had been paid on time and they might not have received the life insurance money – a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in that case.

Secret #8: Apply 3-6 months ahead of the time you need the insurance if possible.

Don’t be in a hurry to get a policy if you already have some coverage in force. But go ahead and apply right away knowing that you might need months to shop around if the first company does not give you a good rate. Even though the life insurance industry is getting more automated your application will still often be held up for weeks or months while the insurance company waits on your doctor’s office to mail them a copy of you medical records.

If you are in a hurry and buy a quickie ‘no-underwriting’ policy without going through the full health checks and underwriting that a mainstream life insurance company requires, you will end up paying 20%-50% more because the insurance company will automatically charge you higher rates because they don’t know whether you are healthy or about to die the next day.

Secret #9: Avoid buying extra life insurance through work if you are healthy.

I am sure there are exceptions to this “trick” but I have rarely found one. By all means keep the free life insurance your employer provides. But if you are healthy and you are paying for supplemental life insurance through payroll deduction you are almost certainly paying too much. What is happening is that your ‘overpayments’ ends up subsidizing the unhealthy people in your company who are buying life insurance through payroll deduction.

Usually the life insurance company has cut a deal with your employer and will waive the required health exam for all employees – instead they just average the price for all the employees and offer one or two rates for males or females at any given age. Life insurance companies know they will pick up lots of unhealthy clients this way so they jack up the price on everyone so that the healthy people end up overpaying so that the unhealthy employees get a cheaper policy. Also, unlike the guaranteed term policies which we recommend, most life insurance you buy through work will get more expensive as you get older.

Also group life insurance is generally not portable when you retire or change jobs meaning that when you retire or change jobs you might have to apply all over again even though you will be older and probably not as healthy and risk being turned down for a policy. If the group plan does allow portability they generally limit your conversion choices and force you to go into expensive cash value plans.

I remember helping someone evaluate his supplemental life insurance. He was sure it was a better deal than any policy I could find him. Little did he know that the price of his group plan would go up every year? By the time he retired his premium would have risen to over $10,000/year. I found him a policy for around $1000/year that would never go up. Also, unlike his old group life policy, he could take the individual policy with him when he changed jobs or retired.

Secret #10: Do a trial application on a COD payment basis.

Only send money with the application if you need the life insurance coverage right away. Sending a check with the application is a traditional practice agents used to do – I think mostly because it got them their commissions faster. If you send money with an application you usually get temporary coverage immediately but if you already have plenty of coverage and are just trying to get better rates ask your agent to do a trial application on a COD basis so you only pay once the policy is approved. If you do not send money, and you die before paying for the policy there is no coverage.

Secret #11: Wear your shoes when the nurse measures your height.

When the insurance company sends out the nurse to do your health check try to be as tall as possible if you are overweight? In most states you are allowed to wear shoes and if you are a little overweight your taller height/weight ratio will look a little better to the underwriter who is determining your health rating and policy price. Also do your exam early in the morning with no food in you – this will make your cholesterol count and various health ratios look the best.

Secret #12: Be careful with extra perks and riders.