Finding the Best Term Life Insurance is Now Easier Than Ever
- Not all life insurance websites are equal—beware ‘lead generation' traps!
- Policygenius provides real-time quotes from competing insurers.
- Qualified applicants can buy term life insurance instantly from sites like Haven Life and Bestow.
Life insurance is a part of any sound financial plan, but finding the best term life insurance policy is often an uphill battle. Without proper guidance, many people stumble over complicated policy options. Even worse, they're misdirected by insurance companies and brokers who are out to make a buck at the consumer's expense.
This is how the life insurance industry has worked for decades. Often, salespeople will play on buyers' emotions, trying to convince them to purchase more coverage than they need by capitalizing on their desire to protect their loved ones.
It doesn't have to be this way!
Although there certainly are plenty of honest and reputable life insurance salespeople out there, more people than ever are choosing to purchase their policies on their own. By doing your research, determining how much life insurance you need, and choosing a great term insurance website, you can avoid the sales pitch altogether and get the coverage you need (and nothing more).
But, there’s a catch. Although shopping online for your own policy can shield you from the salesman’s pitch, it’s important to remember that there’s more to proper life insurance coverage than just finding the cheapest possible policy. Choosing the right policy for your needs is all about following sound life insurance buying principles.
Once you decide exactly how much and what kind of coverage you need, you’re faced with the challenge of choosing a reputable company with a strong financial backing. There are no shortage of life insurance companies out there, making it a challenge to wade through your options.
- Is there truly a difference between one company and the next?
- Which company is best for your specific needs?
- How do you find the best price without sacrificing quality?
These are all great questions! Let's take a deeper dive.
Why Are Term Life Insurance Quotes Different?
Each life insurance company prices policies differently depending on the applicant’s age, gender, current health, and medical history.
Each company has its own method for determining how risky it is to cover your life and the premiums they need from you to offset that risk. If you ask for a quote from ten different companies, it’s highly likely that you’ll receive ten different prices.
Knowing this, it's clear that it's a good idea to “shop the market” before making your final decision. After all, no one wants to purchase a life insurance policy without knowing whether it's competitive. Requesting quotes from several of the top-rated insurance providers can help you make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck. However, going to ten different insurance company websites and entering your information ten times isn’t feasible for most people. Pricing policies this way can also create inaccurate comparisons.
Luckily, there’s an easier way.
By visiting a life insurance comparison site, you can enter your information a single time and easily compare quotes for the exact same coverage from several different companies. This simplifies things and makes it easy to determine which company is truly offering the best deal.
Unfortunately, like most things in life, this isn’t as straightforward as you might have hoped. You see, there are many comparison sites available, and they’re not all created equally. To further complicate things, you’ll also come across lead generation sites, which look like comparison sites but are actually cleverly disguised advertisements that simply want to capture your contact information so telemarketers can harass you. Understanding the different types of life insurance websites out there will help you avoid falling into a sales trap.
How to Choose the Best Life Insurance Comparison Site
The best life insurance comparison sites will ask you a series of questions and then provide immediate online quotes based on your personal information.
If you decide to move forward with purchasing a policy, the information you entered is transferred over to the company website or a company agent, shortening the application process. When using a quote comparison site, you should never have to worry that they’ll sell your personal information to another company.
Lead generation sites, on the other hand, are created to – you guessed it – generate leads for their advertisers. While you’ll find information about insurance companies on these sites, they’re not going to give you a personalized quote or help you compare policy prices. Even worse, when you enter your information on these sites, you’re almost always going to start receiving calls from robocallers and sales agents. Save yourself the headache and avoid these sites at all costs.
When searching for a quote comparison site, you’ll also want to find out if you're receiving estimated quotes or “real-time” quotes based on your personal information. The latter is always preferred as it’s far more accurate. If you choose a policy based on an estimate, you may end up finding out further down the line that the price you’ll pay is much higher than you expected.
With all of these variables to consider, how do you know which site will give you the most useful and accurate information? Do you just pick the one at the top of Google and hope for the best?
That’s no way to make an important financial decision!
Before you begin shopping for your term life insurance policy, check out this review of three popular online life insurance websites.
Policy Genius vs Haven Life vs Bestow
|No Medical Exam Coverage|
Policygenius was one of the first websites to offer personalized term life insurance quotes in real time and, today, it's one of the most popular sites for hassle-free life insurance quotes.
Their quote generator starts by asking whether you want “more support,” which will provide you with both human and computer support if you need it, or “less support,” which allows you to navigate the experience on your own. Don’t worry, even if you choose “less support,” you’ll still have access to help if you decide you need it.
No matter which option you choose, once you get started answering the questionnaire, you’ll see a small question mark in the top right corner next to each data entry box. Hover over it to see an explanation of why they’re asking the question. After providing basic information like your date of birth, height, and weight, the questionnaire will move on to some simple health questions. If any of your answers create a possible red flag, the site indicates that your application will be reviewed by an agent who specializes in your specific health profile. This will help ensure that you end up with quotes from companies that are most likely to offer you coverage at the best rates.
Once you’ve finished your questionnaire, you’ll receive personalized quotes from over a dozen highly rated providers. Since the quotes include your health class rating, you’re assured a more accurate result. The quotes will automatically default to your recommended coverage and term amounts, but it’s easy to change these to suit your preferences. Simply use the slider bar to choose the coverage amount and term you’re interested in. Not sure how much you need? Click the link under the “Coverage Amount” box to walk through a series of questions that will help you make your decision.
Clicking “Compare Insurers” generates quotes for several term policies and a whole life policy. Once you receive your results, you can use the drop-down boxes to change the coverage amounts, coverage periods, and whether you want to see the quotes as monthly or annual payment amounts. Click the “Read Details” link under each quote to see information about the insurance company including its financial strength and customer service ratings, the year the company was established, and how many customers the company currently serves.
How does the Policygenius Application Process Work?
Policygenius makes it easy to complete your application right from their site by working directly with their licensed agents. So, if you find a quote you like, there's no need to go to that company's website to apply.
The agents handle communicating with the insurance company, so you don’t have to. There’s no extra costs for this service and it’s hassle-free.
If you run into a roadblock or have questions along the way, it’s easy to contact support over the phone or through a live online chat. Since Policygenius pays their agents a salary instead of commissions, you can feel more comfortable that you’ll receive honest advice instead of a sales pitch. According to the website, Policygenius experts have been rated “excellent” by 94% of Trustpilot reviewers.
Policygenius is an independent broker that’s not affiliated with any specific insurance company. This is important, because it means you can trust they're not selling you one policy over another because it makes them more money. In addition, Policygenius only works with companies that have a financial strength rating of A- or better and aren’t biased to any one of their carriers over another.
Not only does Policygenius provide accurate quotes, but you can also feel confident that your information is secure and that you’re under no obligation to make a purchase. Since you don’t have to enter your contact information to receive your quotes, spending time on Policygenius is risk-free. Best of all, you won’t need to worry about ending up on a robocall list or receiving annoying follow-up calls from desperate sales agents.
Who is Policygenius Best For?
Policygenius is great for people who:
- Want to compare quotes from multiple highly rated insurance companies.
- Appreciate having plenty of options and flexibility.
- Want accurate term insurance quotes without pressure to buy.
Haven Life is an online product, offered by the well-known insurance company Mass Mutual, that provides low-cost term life insurance policies with a fast approval process.
While Policygenius offers all kinds of insurance quotes, including term and whole life, Haven Life focuses only on term life insurance policies. Rather than offering a comparison of many different companies, this site offers you a simple, low-cost term insurance policy with a fast approval process. The company was established in 2015 by Mass Mutual, which has an A.M. Best financial rating of A++ (Superior).
To get started, you’ll want to click the “Apply Now” button on the Haven Life website. If you’re not ready to provide all of your personal information, you can click “Estimate Your Rate” and answer a few simple questions. This will give you a price range based on your age, the state you live in, the amount of coverage and term you’re looking for, and whether you consider your health to be excellent, good, or average. This isn’t a very accurate way to shop for insurance, but it will give you an idea of your starting point. To find out your “real rate,” you'll want to continue with the application.
How does the Haven Life Application Process Work?
Applying for term life insurance with Haven Life can be done online and takes about 25 minutes. Applicants under age 59 who are in excellent health and applying for less than $1 million in coverage may qualify for immediate approval, whereas other applicants may need to go through a traditional underwriting process.
When you’re ready to get started, you’ll be prompted to create an account by entering your username and password. You’ll also need to enter your mobile phone number so you can receive a security code. Once you’ve completed these steps, the site will walk you through a series of questions about your personal and family health history and your lifestyle. The entire process takes about 25 minutes to complete.
Haven Life uses an “algorithmic underwriting process” to determine right away whether they’re willing to write a policy for you. As soon as you complete your application, you’ll find out whether you're approved and see your monthly premium amount. The company offers two different underwriting options, InstantTerm, which doesn’t require a medical exam, or standard underwriting with a medical exam.
If you’re under age 59, in excellent health, and are applying for less than $1 million in coverage, you may qualify for InstantTerm. In this case, you can often have a policy in place within a couple of hours.
Otherwise, you’ll have 90 days after you submit your application to complete the standard medical exam. However, Haven Life will issue temporary coverage immediately. This means that as long as you’re ultimately approved, you’ll still be covered while going through the underwriting process. If you pass away before completing your medical exam and receiving your policy, your beneficiaries will still receive the death benefit. Note that if you’re required to complete a medical exam, your quoted monthly premium can change depending on the results of your exam.
This might sound a little nerve-wracking, but it’s not as bad as it seems. If you don’t like the final price or change your mind at any point in the process for any reason, you aren't under any obligation and can easily cancel your policy.
What Do Haven Life Rider Options Mean?
Haven Life also offers optional benefits, called “riders,” that you can add to the policy for an additional premium amount. This includes “Haven Life Plus,” Accelerated Death Benefit, and (in some states) Waiver of Premium.
Haven Life Plus offers policy owners exclusive deals and discounts on a variety of services like a digital solution for creating your wills and trusts and an online safe deposit box for secure digital storage. The Accelerated Death Benefit rider allows policy owners who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness to collect a portion of their death benefit while still living. Finally, with the Waiver of Premium rider, if you become completely disabled, you have the option to stop paying your life insurance premium and retain your coverage.
While adding riders will increase your out-of-pocket costs, some people want the extra peace of mind. Before adding a rider, make sure you understand exactly how it works and carefully considers whether the extra expense over the remainder of your life is truly worth the benefit you'll receive.
If you have questions at any point in the application process or after your policy is issued, it’s easy to reach Haven Life’s customer service representatives by phone, email, or chat.
Who is Haven Life Best For?
Haven Life is a great choice for people who:
- Want a simple, low-cost insurance policy from a highly rated company.
- Aren’t interested in spending time comparing quotes from multiple companies.
- Are looking for an insurance policy with a fast and easy application and approval process.
Bestow offers easy-to-apply-for term life insurance policies issued by A+ rated North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®. In addition to 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies, Bestow also offers a two-year short-term life insurance product.
Just like Haven Life, Bestow only offers term life insurance policies. However, unlike both Haven Life and Policygenius, this company offers a two-year, short-term life insurance policy as well as 10-year and 20-year terms. This gives you the flexibility to add some extra insurance coverage during times of transition or to get some insurance coverage in place while you figure out exactly how life insurance fits into your long-term financial plan.
Bestow, which has been around since 2016, provides users with affordable term policies issued by A+ rated North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®. Bestow is well-known for its fast and simple application and approval process.
Much like Policygenius, the customer service representatives and licensed agents at Bestow don’t work on a commission basis. This allows you to explore their coverage options and request assistance without feeling pressured to buy anything. Their reps are available to help you every step of the way and they're easy to reach through a live chat, on the phone, or by email.
How does the Bestow Application Process Work?
Bestow approves term life insurance applications using only an algorithm—there's no manual underwriting or medical exam required.
Unlike Policygenius and Haven Life, Bestow doesn’t do any medical underwriting for their insurance policies. They simply use an algorithm based on the information you provide to determine whether they're willing to offer you a policy and how much of a premium they'll charge. As soon as you complete the health profile, you’ll receive a decision. The entire process only takes about five minutes.
Since there isn’t an underwriting process, Bestow policies are only available for applicants between the ages of 21 and 55 who are relatively healthy. If you have any major medical issues like heart disease, cancer, or HIV, you probably won't get approved. However, if you have minor health issues that could impact your ability to get a great rate elsewhere, then a policy without medical underwriting may be your best bet.
Although Bestow is simple and easy, it's not the right solution for everyone. For example, for a 25-year-old with a family, the longest term offered by Bestow (20 years) would only provide coverage until age 45. At that age, there’s a good chance that the policy owner would still have a need for income replacement to help the surviving spouse pay the mortgage, cover burial expenses, and more. In this case, a 30- or 35-year term policy is likely far more appropriate.
Also, although Bestow's policies are generally affordable, they may not be as inexpensive as a policy that requires a full medical underwriting. Someone who’s very healthy might find better prices from other companies. This is something to consider carefully. Although going through the medical underwriting procedure takes time and can seem somewhat intrusive, it often results in lower premiums for healthy applicants. The downside, however, is if your medical exam turns up any disqualifying conditions, your application may be denied altogether.
Who is Bestow for?
Bestow is a great choice for people who:
- Need a short-term, “transitional” life insurance policy.
- Are short on time and don’t want to undergo a medical exam.
- Don’t need a policy for longer than 20 years.
- Are willing to pay a slightly higher premium in exchange for the added convenience.
What's the Best Term Life Insurance Website for You?
Although no one wants to think about the possibility of dying prematurely, ensuring you have proper life insurance coverage is critical for protecting your loved ones. Each of the insurance websites covered above offers affordable coverage and convenient service.
Policygenius is excellent if you want to shop around to ensure you get the best possible deal. This site also offers coverage for individuals who are outside the age ranges accepted by the other companies or who have some health issues. Policygenius also offers quotes for a wider range of policy types, with coverage options up to $10 million, terms that run from 10 to 40 years, and quotes for whole life insurance.
One of Haven Life‘s best features is their InstantTerm underwriting. This gives buyers the lower prices associated with medically-underwritten policies without the hassle of going through a medical exam. If you’re under the age of 59 and don’t need more than $1 million in coverage, this is definitely an option to consider. It might also work for you you’re 64 or younger, healthy, and don’t need more than $3 million in coverage – as long as you don’t mind going through a simple medical exam.
Finally, Bestow is the ideal option for those who are looking for short-term coverage, since this isn’t available from any of the other companies. Two-year plans are available with coverage from $50,000 to $500,000, while their 10- and 20-year plans range from $50,000 to $1,000,000. Remember, however, that they’ll only issue policies for applicants between the ages of 21 and 55. If you fall into this range, need coverage quickly, and don’t want to deal with a medical exam, then you’re likely a good candidate for a Bestow policy.
If you’re in excellent health, however, it's probably a good idea to check out multiple options to see if the price difference is significant enough to warrant the inconvenience of medical underwriting.
If you have the time and are willing to put in the effort, you may wish to consider checking out all three sites. After all, knowledge is power, and once you have a clear idea of all your options, you can make the best decision for you and your family.