Life insurance coverage is extremely easy to buy, but it can be daunting to find the right policy first.
With new life insurance products hitting the market from hundreds of life insurance carriers, who could possibly know which kind of insurance they really need?
Fortunately, we’re here to show you how simple it can really be.
Life insurance is an insurance which pays a lump sum upon your death, and the proceeds are typically 100% tax free.
- Term life insurance coverage lasts only a certain period of time, or “term.”
- Whole life insurance coverage lasts your whole life, so long as you pay your premium.
More About Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is the best way to get the most bang for your buck. It’s the type of life insurance with the cheapest cost per thousand in comparison to universal or whole life, or anything in between.
You pay a steady monthly premium for a specified duration (or “term”) such as 10 years, 20 years, or 30 years. If you keep your payments up to date at all times, your policy will stay in force. The death benefit amount stays level as well, never going up or down.
There are some simple guarantees in term life insurance:
- The premium will never change throughout the duration you choose. As long as you keep your policy up to date, make your premium payments on time, and don’t make changes to the base policy, you’ll pay one set price as long as you hold the policy, or until you need to make a claim.
- The face amount, or death benefit, will not decrease. If you use the policy in the last month before it expires, or any time previous, the amount of proceeds is a set amount, and guaranteed to never change.
- When the term life insurance policy ends, the insurance company owes you nothing. Even if you pay a policy for 30 years, the company does not owe you anything unless you die. The only way a term life policy will pay you back is upon a valid death claim. There are policies which do offer money back, but they are more advanced than a simple term policy.
What Is The Process To Get Term Life Insurance
Buying term life insurance is no longer a lengthy, hand-on process like it used to be. You can still go about it the conventional way, meeting an agent, going through all of your financials and filling out paper applications. But we know some of you are looking to get your coverage in place much faster.
Here are the steps to buying life insurance online:
Get A Term Life Quote. There are plenty of places to get a quote for life insurance, but not all quote engines are equal. If you put your information into a website, make sure you’re getting a quote right then and there. Otherwise, you’ll be getting a phone call from many places around the country looking to offer you quotes, you’ll get a barrage of e-mails, and you may even get spam down the road. For example, get a quote from our website and you’ll get your expected premiums right now, no waiting, no hassle.
Fill Out An Online Application. When you find the policy you’re looking for from the company of your choice, go through the process of filling out the online application, or the e-app. The online application will ask you for basic contact information, ask you some related health questions, and then the application will be e-mailed to the address you provided.
E-Sign The Application. Inside the e-mail you receive, your application should be waiting. Verify the contents, make sure the information is correct, then e-sign the application and send it back. E-sign is a one-click process where you are applying your signature to the application online, and the day and time will be attached as well. This eliminates the need to sign paper applications, and also keeps you from having to snail mail or fax the paperwork in.
Quick Telephone Interview. The telephone interview is not necessary for all applications, but may be required by certain carriers to verify you are who you are, and to ask personal questions which may not have been asked online to secure your privacy. This “interview” takes 10-15 minutes, and is pretty painless.
Schedule Your Free Medical. After your application has been processed, a third party medical company will call to schedule your medical appointment. A traveling nurse will come to visit you, usually at a time and place you specify. She’ll gather additional health information from you, such as height, weight, or ask additional health related questions. She may also require a urinalysis or blood profile, depending on the amount of insurance you chose.
Wait (Maybe the Hardest Part). While some life insurance policies only take 24 hours to issue, most normally underwritten policies take 4-6 weeks time. This gives the insurance company time to evaluate the information you provided on your online application, review your driving record and previous medical records, and to also request further information from your doctor, should they require it.
That’s It, You’re Done! You’ll receive your policies in the mail after they have been issued, or if you deal with a local agent, they’ll deliver it to your door if you choose. The overall process if you buy life insurance online should take a total of 45 minutes of your time, and you won’t need to leave the comfort of your home.
When You Shop Your Life Insurance Rates, Keep In Mind…
There are a few things you’ll want to keep a sharp eye on throughout the process.
Be sure you are using a reputable site, and don’t ever offer up information such as your social security number just to receive a quote. While you may need to enter your name and e-mail address or other basic contact information, do not give your private information to anyone unless you are on a secure site, and are filling out the paperwork for an actual application.
Ask questions if you have any! Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your purchase, even before you buy. While most products look identical on the surface, they may have some differences. You’ll want to know exactly what you’re buying before you make your purchase, as you may own the policy for 30 years or more. You would ask your real estate agent lots of questions before you bought a house, right?
If you have special considerations, be sure to ask about those, too. For example, if you are prescribed marijuana as a treatment, you might be curious to know what your options are to obtain coverage. Perhaps you use an alternative tobacco or vape and want to now if you can get coverage as a non-smoker. Or maybe you’re a single mother and you just want to know what the most affordable coverage is.
Last, keep record of your purchase. Print out things like your application, and e-mails you may receive from the insurance company, and keep your life insurance policy in a safe place one you get it in the mail. It may not be a bad idea to tell some close family members or friends you have life insurance also, in the event a claim needs to be made. If nobody knows you bought a policy, how will they know to file a claim?
The 10 Day Free Look Period
Even if you’ve gone through the entire process, and have already received your policy in the mail, you still have what is called a Free Look Period to modify or cancel your policy.
Usually, you have 10 days after you’ve signed the acceptance of your policy to change your mind. Whether it’s buyer’s remorse, incorrect information, or you’ve chosen to change the policy in any way, you have a time period where you can return your policy without obligation. In some instances, you may have up to 30 days, but always be sure to let the insurance company know in some way before the time period is up. A written letter with your signature will usually be required to supplement a phone call or e-mail, just to make it official.
If there is basic information which needs changed, such as a misspelling of a beneficiary’s name, for example, it won’t require you to get a whole new application. You’ll just need to contact the carrier and let them know what needs to be changed. They’ll update it where necessary and get you a new application in the mail.
Term Life Insurance Annual Review
Now that you have your life insurance coverage in place, keep an eye on the policy and review it annually. Pull out the policy, blow the dust off of it, and go over its contents.
Look to make sure your basic contact information hasn’t changed, such as address, e-mail, phone number, or name change. Review the beneficiary information to make sure it is correct as well. Last, review the coverage amount and the time remaining on your policy to make sure it still suits your current needs.
If you have any other questions on how to buy life insurance online, we’d be happy to help. In the meantime, check out our blog for other things to consider when buying life insurance.