|Fundamentals of life insurance|
Life insurance is a contract or agreement between an insurer and a policyholder in which the insurer agrees to pay a specified amount of cash in the event that the insured dies while the contract is in force. The insurance company promises the death benefit in consideration of the payment of premium by the policy owner. The death benefit is payable to the beneficiary, which is a person, trust or corporation that has been named ahead of time by the policy owner. The most common use of life insurance is to replace lost earnings of a family breadwinner. Example: John, a 45-year-old husband and father of three, makes $95,000 per year as a salesman. John has elected to carry a $1,000,000 policy on his life, which costs only $49 per month. His wife is his named beneficiary.
Recognizing that each person's situation is different depending upon their age, income, net worth, debt, lifestyle, desire to leave an inheritance, the number and age of dependents and amount of life insurance provided by an employer (typically not more than 2x annual earnings), here are some basic guidelines:
For a quick, easy, and confidential way to estimate your life insurance needs, try our Life Happens Needs Calculator. Do not rely solely upon employer-provided life insurance because it's probably not enough, and it's probably not portable if you leave or change jobs. Ownership of that kind of policy resides with your employer, not you, and that might not be the best situation for your long-term family needs.
If you are working and have children or a mortgage, we recommend buying cheap term life insurance to cover you until your youngest child has graduated from college or until your mortgage debt is paid off, whichever is longer. This conservative approach means that you'll have coverage through the critical period of family life. Make sure to also review quotes for those life insurance plans that now offer early payouts for long term care expenses or a critical medical event such as heart attack or cancer. Those plans are soaring in popularity because that extra protection often costs no more or only a small amount more.
Let's say that you estimate that your youngest will be out of college in 14 years and that your mortgage has 20 years to go. We'd then recommend that you buy a 20-year initial rate guarantee policy. Once the children are on their own and the mortgage is paid off, you may or may not have a need for life insurance.
However, during the formative, "high risk" years in which you have dependents and debt, we recommend loading up on cheap term life. Families with special needs children should discuss with us their needs because we'll often recommend a lifetime policy in that case.
If you're looking to have insurance for funeral costs and other final expenses, however, you should consider what's called "final expense" whole life insurance that is available with no exam required and often with no health questions asked.
Modern life insurance policies generally cover death by any cause, at any time, in any place, except death by suicide within the first two years of a policy (one year in some states). An exception to this is a single-peril policy such as an accidental death policy that pays when the death was caused by a covered accident. Accident-only life policies are popular because there is no underwriting and no exam required. Accident is today the #1 leading cause of death for Americans age 1-45.
Term Life insurance is designed for people who want coverage for a set number of years, normally 10-30 years. Premiums stay level during the initial rate guarantee period. Term life is designed to replace lost earnings of a family breadwinner and is thus very popular among parents. Term Life is economically priced because it pays only if the insured dies; there is no cash value buildup.
Whole Life (and Universal Life) insurance are generally designed to provide a level amount of coverage at a guaranteed rate for the entire life of the insured. Whole Life accumulates cash value over time while Universal Life can be setup to have cash values or no cash values. Right now, a version of Universal Life that offers level premiums and coverage for life with no cash value is very popular with life insurance buyers.
"Final Expense" insurance is a popular form of whole life coverage that is sold in amounts up to $25,000. This kind of policy is designed to pay for burial and other final expenses. Final Expense coverage typically does not require medical underwriting; some policies require medical questions while others have no medical questions and are known as guaranteed-issue.
'Guaranteed Issue' means there are no health questions or exams to obtain a policy.
'Accidental Death' is a type of life insurance that pays only if you die as a direct result of an accident.
Life insurers compete through underwriting strategies based on factors related to the health and lifestyle of applicants.
So, a customer with certain characteristics might find that one company to be the least expensive option, while another customer with different characteristics would find a different company to be the least expensive.
Waiver of premium means that, if you are unable to pay your premiums due to permanent or total disability, the premiums are waived for a certain period of time. Each company has their own standards for waiver of premium.
Today, 108 million Americans are covered under
employer-provided life insurance vs. 102 million who own
personal life insurance policies. What's wrong with this
|Applying for coverage|
Yes, in almost all cases. A non-working spouse might not produce income, but if he or she should die, there will often be a need to pay for childcare, funeral arrangements, and other final expenses. Typically, a non-working spouse can purchase 50%-100% of the life insurance benefit of a working spouse, but underwriting rules vary by company.
Yes, you are eligible for coverage. Please review the illustrated acceptance guidelines after you complete your profile.
There are several reasons to consider buying life insurance for your children.
First, while the mortality rate for children is low, you'll want to have money for final expenses should they tragically fall victim to an illness or accident.
On the brighter side, policies for children are often whole life policies that build cash value, which can later be accessed for college or given as a gift when they become adults. Some child policies allow coverage to be increased without proof of insurability.
You may find it convenient to add a child "rider" to your own policy when you apply for coverage. All eligible children can generally be covered for one price.
Sure, as long as these conditions are met:
Yes, we have something for everyone, regardless of your health history. Just go to www.lifequotes.com and click 'View Instant Quotes' to get quotes tailored to your specific situation.
You've already taken the first step by coming to www.LifeQuotes.com.
Click "View Instant Quotes", start your application, and click for a price comparison among our 40 different companies. You can complete your application online or call us to speak to one of our licensed agents.
Once you've completed the application, you'll be assigned to a LifeQuotes employee who will assist you.
Not necessarily. We have many no-exam options available for those who don't have the time or don't want to take a medical exam.
Yes. All life insurers underwrite coverage based upon an applicant's health history; most will require access to your health records.
Yes. Some companies may not offer coverage until you have given birth.
Of those companies that might cover you, you need to know that:
Please contact us if you are pregnant, and we will review your options.
It's okay to enter "N/A" (Not Applicable).
No, the person seeking coverage must complete the application himself or herself. This can be done online or over the phone with an agent.
Generally, you shouldn't.
Every applicant should complete his or her own application because:
Only under rare circumstances can one person buy life insurance on another. Even then, the insured person must be available to answer questions.
A beneficiary must have an insurable interest in your life.
That is, a beneficiary must be someone who would be negatively impacted financially in the event of your passing. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, your spouse, child, or other family member who is financially dependent on you.
Once a policy is issued, a policyholder can, at any time, establish or change contingent beneficiaries, who are paid only if primary beneficiaries are not living at the time of an insured's death.
This online application does not have a contingent beneficiary section; the paper version does. We advise that you complete the application and submit to underwriting. Once the policy is issued, we can provide a beneficiary change form.
Most companies will allow you to do this either with one policy or two. It's entirely your choice.
Since life insurance pricing is a bit like buying in bulk, you may save money by purchasing more coverage under one policy and splitting the death benefit among the different beneficiaries.
Yes, the sample rates shown in our ads are real and available to applicants who have no ratable health or lifestyle issues. Prices are based on age, gender, health, and lifestyle details.
We provide as many options as possible, but all of our carriers are very highly rated with A.M. Best, Standard and Poor's, and other rating agencies. Any one you choose will have an excellent reputation.
Most people choose the company that costs them the least, but the choice is entirely up to you.
It varies from company to company, but rarely more than 30 days.
Some companies that do not require paramed exams can issue policies immediately for healthy individuals seeking less than $500,000 in coverage. Also, most life insurers provide coverage during the underwriting period, as soon as an application is signed.
It can take longer than 30 days for final approval if medical information must be obtained from several sources.
Most companies offer a Temporary Insurance Agreement (TIA) or Conditional Coverage. If you choose to apply for the TIA/Conditional Coverage, are eligible for the coverage, and remit payment with your application, you can be covered during the underwriting process.
Some of the no-exam or instant-decision products do not offer this feature. In that case, our application will have details of the terms and conditions of any temporary coverage.
When you purchase a term life policy, your premium will typically be guaranteed for a defined period of time. When that period ends, a policyholder typically has these options:
Most importantly, the last three options can often be exercised with no medical exam. Given that, we advise that you consult a reliable life insurance agent. Never allow your coverage to lapse without doing so.
If approved at the rate you applied for, you can expect a draft to be made immediately against your account.
If the price is going to be different from what you applied for, the insurance company cannot draft. LifeQuotes will then notify you of the new price and discuss your options.
To get a policy issued at a requested price, make sure you meet the 'Acceptance Guidelines' on our illustration. The insurance underwriters will then review your file and make the final determination regarding price.
Once a policy is issued, the prices cannot change during the initial rate guarantee period.
|The role and value of LifeQuotes|
With something as important as life insurance, you need an advocate working for you. That's what you get with our 37 years of experience under the same management, 90 insurance professionals, and 390,000 sales.
Whether you need $10,000 in coverage or $25 million in coverage, we have the expertise to give you sound, unbiased advice so you can have peace of mind. We have held an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for over 10 years.
We represent 40 leading life insurance companies, far more than most insurance agencies. Our selection ensures that you will pay the least amount of money for a life insurance that best meets your needs.
Our carriers include:
For personalized quotes, go to www.lifequotes.com, and click 'View Quotes Now'.
You will be asked to provide your height, weight, and age, then asked some questions regarding your tobacco use, health, and lifestyle. Please answer all questions, and you will be able to view all available quotes. You can even complete the application online.
The 40 companies available through LifeQuotes sell through independent agents. Very few of them sell directly to consumers.
Please call 1-800-324-6370.
There are important benefits to applying online or by phone with LifeQuotes.
First, many of our companies do not sell directly to consumers. By using us, you are able to compare many different companies and plans, to ensure you are getting the best option you. If you go directly to an insurer, it may only have one or a few plans to offer.
Secondly, our experienced support staff can help you through the process, answering your questions and alerting you to important considerations you may not be aware of.
Return of premium plans are listed at the bottom of each term policy option. Each plan will have 'Return of Premium' or 'ROP' in their plan title.
We automatically provide whole life quotes on all requests. When you get to the screen that displays quotes, see the quotes under the tab called, 'LifeTime Plans'.
No, you and your spouse would have to apply for separate term policies for each of you to receive the full amount of coverage. Some policies offer 'spousal coverage' riders but those riders are often for small amounts of coverage.