You Are Going To Die

The Most Inconvenient Truth

I’ve written many things on this blog over the years. Some things are agreed on by almost everyone who’s read it. Other articles have garnered controversies and attacks against my character and my ability to perform at my job. But whatever you think about any of my advice or opinions on retail banking and customer service, there is one simple but painful truth that you cannot deny.

You–yes, YOU specifically–are going to die.

Your death might be today. It might be tomorrow. It might be decades from now. You might die peacefully of old age, or you might be caught in the crossfire of a gang shootout. You may fall off a building, or be trapped in a fire, or be killed by a drunk driver. You may be stabbed by a mugger, or you may be killed in a mass shooting, or you may die from a degenerative disease.

Either way, you will die. It’s unknown whether there is life after death or infinite nothingness, but what is known is that your body will lose consciousness permanently and your bodily functions will cease. You body will eventually decay as your cells stop reproducing. Your skin will rot to the bone, until a weak and fragile skeleton is all that remains of your once active and healthy body.

This is your fate. This is the fate of your loved ones. Everyone who’s ever cared for you, relied on you, loved you, and loathed you will all meet this fate one way or another.

It will happen to you. And like I said, it can happen to you at anytime. Even tomorrow. Even today.

Now, for many of us, that’s a bit of an issue because only 70% of America’s children live in two parent households. That means 30% of them are living with only one (or less) person providing for them financially.

What happens if you are the parent or guardian of one of the 73.6 million children in the United States and you die tomorrow? And what if you have a house with a mortgage, and your spouse doesn’t work (or there is no other caretaker but you)? How will your children be provided for? How will your non-working spouse be provided for? How will your mortgage be paid without your financial support?

Remember, you will die. I can promise you that. Hopefully, you live a long and healthy life like everyone says, but that I can’t promise. You might die an early death. If you do, how does your family survive financially?

You need to look into getting the best term life insurance policy for your family if you want to be able to answer that question with confidence.

Yes, this is a life insurance article. Deal with it. Protecting your family is worth it. [Photo courtesy of pixabay.com]
Yes, this is a life insurance article. Deal with it. Protecting your family is worth it. [Photo courtesy of pixabay.com]

Different Types Of Life Insurance

At its most basic level, life insurance is a risk-transfer tool. For a monthly (or quarterly, semiannual, or annual) payment called a “premium”, the insurance company will agree to pay out a certain sum of money to your chosen beneficiary in the case of your untimely death.

The death benefit (the term used for the payout amount) will always be far greater than the amount of those premiums even after years and years of payments, so the insurance company will only insure you if they have reason to believe that you won’t die. They will do medical checks to ensure that you are healthy. So even though it sounds crazy that they are signing a contract agreeing to give your family a million plus dollar check in return for premium payments of only a couple hundred dollars a year or something, they only pay that money out if you die. If they’ve decided to enter into an insurance contract with you, then they’ve analyzed the risk and determined that it’s far more likely that you will live a long life and that they will continue to just collect premiums from you and never pay out the money.

Yay for you then?

An insurance contract is a transfer of risk. In the end, you are transferring the financial risk that comes from your death to a large corporation rather than to your poor family. The insurance company is accepting that risk for a fee. You are doing it in case you die, and they are gambling that you will live.

But like everything else in life, life insurance isn’t that simple. There are many different types of life insurance and you need to choose the best one for you and your family. Some of these are fairly simple and some of these can get pretty damn complicated.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is life insurance at its most life insurancey.

Term life insurance is what most people are thinking of when they say “life insurance”. You pay a monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual premium for a policy that covers you in case you die.

The insurance coverage is temporary; you are covered for a set amount of time called a “term”, hence the name “term life insurance”. Terms are usually for about 10-30 years, but it could be anything. Because it’s temporary and offers no additional benefits, this is the cheapest type of coverage there is. However, the insurance company only pays a death benefit if you die during the term. If you purchase a 30 year term life insurance policy and die 35 years from now, your family gets nothing.

That’s really all there is to it. You pay your premiums, you get coverage. It’s insurance, nothing more.

This is the best option to choose if you are young and starting a family. Doubly so if you just bought your first home. You might have level term (the payout amount stays the same, though the premiums might increase as you become more of a risk (unless you buy guaranteed level premium term life insurance)), increasing term (the payout and premiums increase over time), or decreasing term (the payout decreases over time, but the premiums remain level). So you might want to, say, buy decreasing term insurance if you just bought a home and want to simply ensure that your family can pay the mortgage in case of your untimely passing. Or you would buy level term if you want your family to have a specific cash cushion.

You definitely would want to take the time to shop for the best term life insurance policy if your goal is to simply cover your loved ones on the cheap. It’s why I recommended it in the first section of this article. But there are other types of life insurance out there that you should consider before you make any major decisions.

Strap yourselves in, because it’s about to get way more complicated from here.

Whole Life Insurance

If term life insurance would be considered “renting”, then whole life insurance would be considered “owning”.

Whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance. Yes, permanent. Unlike term life, which covers you for X amount of years, whole life policies are for your whole life.

Hey, I just realized. “Whole life” for your whole–mind blown!

Mind blown. [Photo courtesy of pixabay.com]
Mind blown. [Photo courtesy of pixabay.com]
That’s not all. Unlike term life insurance, whole life insurance has an investment component as well. As you pay premiums, your policy builds cash value. This cash is invested and earns you a guaranteed interest rate. Over time, you can withdraw from this policy or take loans from it. There are no credit checks involved in these loans because the money you’re borrowing is your own, not the insurance company’s. Oh, and the cash is growing tax deferred. Not bad.

In addition to that, some of the insurance companies that sell whole life contracts are considered mutual companies, and their whole life policies are considered “participating policies”. Unlike a publicly traded life insurance company that you can buy on a stock exchange, a mutual life insurance company is not available on any exchange. The only way to become a shareholder of the company is to own their whole life insurance policy. These whole life insurance policies issued by mutual life insurance companies are called “participating policies”, and being a policyholder means that you own a piece of the company as a shareholder otherwise would. That means that you would be entitled to collect dividends if the company declares them.

So not only are you buying insurance that lasts a lifetime, but you also are building a tax deferred investment that has a guaranteed rate of growth and might even pay you dividends. You can be part owner of a profitable company that is otherwise inaccessible to people through the stock market. So what’s the catch?

Those premiums are higher. Much higher.

The good people at NerdWallet created a lovely little comparison chart that I’m going to shamelessly steal:

Photo courtesy of nerdwallet.com]
[Photo courtesy of nerdwallet.com]
Wow, that is a pretty big difference. A quarter of a million dollar policy would cost me an extra $2,000 annually. I ain’t got that money. I barely have the $240 for the term life policy.

Similar to how owning your home is more expensive than renting, having a whole life insurance policy is more expensive than a term life policy. Though then again, it is possible for your term life premiums to go up over time, depending on your policy. Just like your rent will increase with inflation while your mortgage will remain the same.

But generally, whole life is more expensive.

Whole life is best for people who want to diversify their investment portfolios, have a lifelong dependent that they need to take care of financially, want to ensure that their grandchildren are cared for, or want to avoid funeral costs for their loved ones in case of a late-life death (rather than an untimely and unexpected death in your thirties). It can also provide money to your heirs to pay your federal and state estate taxes.

Okay, so that wasn’t too complicated. What other types of life insurance are out there?

Universal Life Insurance

To explain universal life insurance, I’m going to ask you to remember whole life insurance. You shouldn’t have too much trouble. You just read about it a second ago.

For the most part, universal life insurance has all the same benefits has whole life. I won’t list them all again. But universal policies are more flexible.

Whole life insurance policies have level premiums for the life of the policy and specific death benefits. A million dollar policy is a million dollar policy, and the above 30 year old male is paying $2,385 per year until death. No changes allowed.

With a universal life insurance policy, the premiums and the death benefits can be altered to fit the policyholder’s needs. Maybe as time goes on, you realize that your family is growing and you will need more insurance. Or perhaps you want to decrease your premiums, or stop them altogether! Or maybe you want to increase them in order to build more cash value.

Increasing them is beneficial in order to build up your cash savings accumulation (total premium=cost of insurance + extra cash value contribution), or if you need a higher death benefit and you need to cover the cost of insurance without sacrificing your cash value’s rate of growth. But decreasing the premiums may be necessary in case of other expenses. As long as you cover the cost of insurance, you can decrease your premiums at any time to whatever you want.

Hell, if you have enough cash built up, you can stop paying your premiums altogether and let the policy draw from the cash value in order to keep it in force.

But for every good, there is a bad. A downside of universal life is that the interest rate that was guaranteed in the whole life policy ain’t guaranteed here. You see, insurance companies make money by taking your premiums and investing them. People think that your premiums are their entire income, but that’s a mistake that’s very similar to the misconception on how banks make money. They invest your premiums into conservative investments (usually Treasury bonds) and share the investment gains with you.

But whereas whole life was able to guarantee you an interest rate (because they knew exactly how much you were paying), universal life policies do not. The interest rate can increase or decrease with investment performance. Because you can change your premiums according to your financial circumstances, so can the life insurance company change the interest rate they’re paying you.

Hey, what’s fair is fair, right?

I would say that universal life insurance would be best for someone who was considering a whole life insurance policy but felt that a little more flexibility was in order. Looking for a little more flexibility and willing to accept some interest rate risk.

Variable Life Insurance

Now we’re about to start getting dicey.

Variable life insurance is taking universal life insurance to the next extreme.

Remember how whole life insurance paid you a guaranteed interest rate, but you were paying a level premium? And remember how universal life insurance allowed you to essentially choose how much premium you wanted to pay, but at the expense of the guaranteed interest rate?

Well, we’re going from guaranteed returns to interest rate risk to full on capital risk. Where whole and universal placed the cash value of your policy into a savings account and paid you an interest rate, variable life insurance places your money into investment sub-accounts. Each account is essentially a mutual fund that only exists through the life insurance policy. You can’t find it anywhere else.

As a result, you can receive huge gains on your policy’s cash value. But you can also lose money. And if the cash value of your policy goes down and risks cutting into the cost of insuring you, you may find your variable life insurance premiums going up.

Nothing is worse than having to pay higher premiums to keep the same level of insurance. Except for management fees.

Yes, these sub-accounts are high fee mutual funds. In the bad times, you are paying a higher premium. In the good, you are paying higher management fees.

I guess this is good suitable for a young person with years to invest who is expecting the market to boom and for those market gains to be able to either lower his/her premiums or purchase a higher death benefit.

Eh.

Like Max here, I can't even fake enthusiasm. [Photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net]
Like Max here, I can’t even fake enthusiasm. [Photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net]
Wow, so these types of life insurance are getting ridiculously complicated now. It feels like someone’s screwing with me. Wouldn’t be funny if they just went all out with this and combined those last two into–oh nonononononononono–

Variable Universal Life Insurance

Oh Jesus Christ, let’s just get this over with.

So a variable universal life insurance policy combines the flexibility of the universal life insurance policy with the increased risk/reward factor of a variable life insurance policy. Your premium is still going into various investment sub-accounts and being invested into stocks and bonds (at least, the part that isn’t covering the cost of insurance is), but now you have the ability to choose how much premium you pay.

This type of policy is considered to be the most complicated type of life insurance policy out there. It’s best for investment savvy people who have the stomach for risk, the need for insurance throughout their whole lives, and are trying to transfer money to their children while minimizing their estate tax burden.

It’s also fantastic for people who enjoy trying to figure out how their life insurance policy works. It’s an activity that you’ll never finish.

So Which Type Of Life Insurance Is The Best For You?

So that’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it?

Here’s the thing: No two people are the exact same. Everyone has a different financial situation and different life insurance needs. I can’t sit here and tell you what’s best for you because that would be wildly irresponsible. As someone who holds a state life insurance license, I would never recommend any insurance or annuity product without first getting a customer’s full financial picture and understanding the purpose of the life insurance policy.

That said, I would really say that term life insurance is the best for everybody looking to purchase life insurance. And I’m not the only one. Forty one personal finance bloggers chose term life insurance as the best possible type of life insurance you can buy. Well, forty two now.

But why is that?

Well, remember the one thing connects all life insurance policies and the one financial need that spurs one into buying a policy: the death benefit. Ultimately, the need to provide a death benefit to your loved ones is why you’re buying any life insurance policy of any type.

Sure, the savings, investment, and lending options of the permanent policies are nice, but that’s not why you’re buying a life insurance policy. The need to provide your family with a death benefit in case you die prematurely is why you’re buying life insurance.

So it makes sense to choose the type of policy that offers the most death benefit at the lowest premium. All the other bells and whistles aren’t necessary; other savings, investment, and lending products exist.

The only reason to buy anything other than term is if you have a lifelong insurance need. If that’s the case, look for a mutual company with participating policies and buy a dividend paying whole or universal life insurance policy. I would recommend whole life over universal life because of the guarantees that it offers (the flexibility of universal life insurance is overblown and even one or two missed payments can put your entire policy at risk), and I would avoid anything with the word “variable” in it. I see no value in variable life insurance and variable universal life insurance; the management fees in the investment sub-accounts are way higher than that of most mutual funds and you are at inherent risk of losing the cash value of your policy. Go buy an index fund instead.

Mind you, if all policies magically had the same premium, I would buy a whole life insurance policy. But they don’t. You have limited money to pay in premiums, and the most important thing your premiums can go toward is the death benefit.

You’re not buying an investment. You’re buying insurance.

To me, it’s a no-brainer to buy a term life insurance policy.

Now, you’re going to want to shop around for the best term life insurance policy. The question is where to find the best term life insurance.

How To Buy The Best Term Life Insurance Policy

The method of buying the best term life insurance policy is very simple if you know what you’re doing. It may seem like a daunting task for the uninitiated, but all you need to do are these two things:

  1. Figure out how much insurance you need.
  2. Shop around for the lowest premiums for that amount.

That’s it.

Now, as far as figuring out how much insurance you need, there are calculators for that. But I don’t really think you need any. To figure out how much insurance you’re going to need, you just need to have a ballpark answer to the following questions:

  • Who is this insurance for? My non-working spouse? My children? Knowing that, how many years will I need coverage for?
  • How much will my child’s education cost?
  • How much is remaining on my mortgage/What would X amount of year’s rent cost?
  • What is our annual household spending? What is our annual for X amount of years?
  • How much non-mortgage debt do we have? Is there credit card debt, an auto loan, or anything else?
  • How much extra cash cushion on top of education, housing, debt, and other household spending costs do I want to provide?

What you are doing here is trying to figure out how much money you would otherwise spend over X amount of years, and then buy a policy for that amount. That death benefit would simply be a replacement for your paycheck and pay for all the same necessities.

As for what X equals, it’s not a complex algebra equation (thank God, because math was not my strong subject in school). You need to think about who you’re insuring and what long term debts/expenses you have. If you just had a child and want to make sure their college tuition is taken care of, then a 20 year term policy may be needed as this financial need (kid’s college tuition) won’t exist after then. If you just closed on a house, then a 30 year term policy might be something you need if your mortgage is a 30 year.

Pretty much, you need to determine what your total financial obligations are and how long you will have them. I’ll give a quick hypothetical example. Let’s look at Bob.

Look into Bob's dreamy eyes. [Photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net]
Look into Bob’s dreamy eyes. [Photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net]
Bob, age 30, is married and just had a child. He also just closed on a $500,000 home and has a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. He makes $70,000/year and his 30 year old wife makes $50,000. They only plan to have the one child and will be sending that child to a state university where he estimates a $20,000/year tuition bill. He and his wife have a combined $100,000 in student loan debt, and they are thankfully paying a lower rate after reading about how to refinance student loans with credit unions and community banks. They have no other debts, and the family’s annual spending is about $50,000, a little below the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ 2016 average consumer spending determination of about $57,000.

So what would be the best term life insurance policy for Bob?

Okay, so we’ll say that Bob’s goals are to pay off his mortgage, his child’s college tuition, all the family’s debts, as well to help cover any shortfalls in meeting household spending needs. He also wants to give his wife a “cash cushion” for emergencies, but when pressed further, he shrugged and said he hadn’t really thought about what he would need. He just walked in and asked for life insurance. He doesn’t know what types of life insurance even exist because he never read this article. So it’s up to us to figure everything out. And we will do so without any advanced insurance calculators.

Okay, so we already know that term life insurance is the best policy for Bob. But how much insurance does he need and for how long? What’s the best term life insurance policy for the Bobster here?

Well, let’s figure out how long he’ll need coverage for. Because one of his goals is to cover his mortgage, I would say a 30 year term is best. A 20 year term might actually work for him if his family saves more and pays down additional principal, and if his wife is working and also has life insurance. But let’s be absolutely safe and go with 30 years. That mortgage is a thirty year commitment. If all he cared about was providing for his kid’s college, I would definitely say a 20 year term as his child’s college needs would be over by then (or just about). But that’s not the case. We’re also not going to go with anything longer (or any permanent policies) because they are saving and his wife is working, so everything should be fine once the kid moves out and the mortgage is gone.

Okay, so a 30 year policy. But for how much?

Well, let’s start with the $500,000 mortgage. If the mortgage was the only thing he wanted to be insured against, I might stop and recommend a decreasing term policy for that amount, but that’s not the case so let’s move on. A $500,000 mortgage plus a $100,000 student loan debt are part of what’s being covered, as well as $20,000/year in expected tuition costs (total education costs=roughly $80,000). While the possibilities of private colleges and grad school aren’t out of the picture (as well as the possibilities of academic or athletic scholarships), right now they aren’t expecting anything more than a four year degree. That’s an absolute must in their eyes.

We want to convince Bob to provide income replacement as well during that time. While we are working with a 30 year term policy, we don’t necessarily want to go overboard and provide thirty years of income replacement. Remember that, again, the wife works. The family saves. Their expenses will decrease over time as debt is paid off and the child moves away. So we’ll say ten years of income replacement in case Bob were to die tomorrow, which comes out to $700,000 based on his $70,000/year salary.

So far, we’ve got $600,000 of debt, $700,000 of income replacement, and $80,000 of education costs. Add in a funeral that rests comfortably between “lavish” and “dumping the body in the river” and we can guestimate about $20,000 there. So all in all:

$500,000 mortgage + $100,000 student loan debt + $80,000 expected tuition costs + $700,000 ten years income replacement/cash cushion + $20,000 expected funeral costs = $1,400,000 of insurance needed

I don’t usually sell life insurance, so actual experienced insurance agents can weigh in and check my math and reasoning, but I would recommend to Bob a 30 year term life policy with a death benefit of $1.4 million.

That sounds like a lot, right? How can poor Bob afford such a clearly extravagant rich-person policy?

Well, that goes into the next phase of buying life insurance, which isn’t too different from buying literally anything else. We’ve determined what Bob needs. Now we’ve got to figure out how to pay as little as possible for it. And we do that by engaging in my mother’s absolute favorite hobby: comparison shopping!

There are various places and ways to go about comparing life insurance quotes. So where do we go to get the best 30 year term life insurance policy for Bob Almighty here?

Directly to the insurance company

This sounds like it should be the best way to buy life insurance–like going directly to the manufacturer and getting wholesale prices–but it’s really not.

Because there are a ton of insurance companies out there. And “going directly to the insurance company” means that you either chose the first one you saw instead of shopping around (and are probably paying too high a premium as a result), or you went to each insurance office, called each company phone number, or went to each company’s website one by one.

I’m glad to see you have that much time on your hands. I don’t. I don’t even have time to write this article. Who’s writing this!?

If you want to spend your day running the same quote a thousand time on individual websites and recording them all, go ahead. There’s no way you’re getting to each insurance company, first off, as there are way too many. And second, that’s a lot of wasted time.

And fielding phone calls from insurance salespeople trying to upsell you those expensive permanent policies will probably be your new full time job now.

Insurance agents

Insurance agents are an independent intermediary between you and the insurance company. They are commission-based salespeople who represent one or more insurance companies.

An agent can be either a captive agent or an independent agent. A captive agent represents a single company and may or may not be being held in the office against their will. An independent agent represents multiple insurers.

While some insurance companies sell directly to the customers (as in the previous example), most work with agents. If you ever walk into a State Farm, New York Life, or AIG office, then you are probably dealing with a captive agent. Believe it or not, they are not employees of the insurance company but instead are independent contractors (similar to Uber drivers, but theoretically better paid).

An agent–captive or otherwise–will usually have access to the full range of an insurance company’s products and know the ins and outs of each one. And that’s probably best if you’re dealing with complex variable universal policies, but you’re not. You’re going for simplicity and affordability in search for the best term life insurance policy, and an agent that only represents one or two companies is going to only present you with one or two options. That’s no good.

Insurance brokers

“Agents” and “brokers” are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same thing.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve been using them interchangeably yourself. After all, they are incredibly similar. Both are commission-based insurance salespeople that run quotes, present and write policies, and are legally bound to make product recommendations that are suitable for your needs.

But the differences between them are very important. Unlike an agent, a broker doesn’t represent any specific insurance company. A broker represents you, and will shop around on your behalf to many different companies. Whereas the agent represents an insurer, a broker represents you and thus has a fiduciary duty to act in your best interest.

A broker may not have an in-depth knowledge of a specific company’s policies (products) and policies (procedures), but they can work to find you the best possible rates on an insurance policy that’s right for you. They can do this by their ability to reach out to as many insurance companies as need be, thus increasing the amount of insurers competing for your business.

Finding A Broker To Get You The Best Term Life Insurance Policy

Between direct writers, independent agents, captive agents, and insurance brokers, you’re best bet to find the best term life insurance policy for your loved ones is with a broker. A broker represents you and not the insurance company, and they can shop around and get you the best deals.

Honestly, you can probably just jump on Google and look for life insurance brokers in your area. There can’t be one too far away from you. Then again, I live in a big city, so nothing is too far away from me. Except my job.

If you either live in the boonies, there aren’t any reputable brokers near you, and/or your work schedule doesn’t afford you the time to have a sit-down with your broker, then you can head online and find a reputable online insurance broker.

There are lots of very good brokers online that will allow you to get quotes. I personally recommend PolicyGenius, which is a popular online insurance broker offering multiple different types of insurance. I recommend them so much that I’ve partnered with them to bring you a term life quote calculator. I’ve partnered with them so much that I even have my name on their site.

Did you think I was kidding? I am not kidding. [Photo courtesy of policygenius.com]
Did you think I was kidding? I am not kidding. [Photo courtesy of policygenius.com]
They work with so many A-rated companies that I can’t even screenshot their list.

You can also calculate how much coverage you need, get a quote from multiple different insurers, and apply for life insurance on one site. They don’t even route you to the insurer’s application page; you apply with PolicyGenius itself.

It really doesn't get much easier than this. [Photo courtesy of policygenius.com]
It really doesn’t get much easier than this. [Photo courtesy of policygenius.com]
It literally took me two minutes to impersonate Bob and calculate his coverage for him. PolicyGenius came up with $980,000, but agreed on a 30 year term policy. That’s because it took a few things into account that I didn’t, because PolicyGenius is significantly better at this than I am.

By clicking on this link (or on the picture above), you can calculate your own coverage and run a rate quote for yourself. Let’s do Bob a favor and find the best 30 year term life policy.

If we were to run the numbers that I recommended, we’d have to round up to a $1.5 million policy. Running a quote through PolicyGenius would get us:

best 30 year term life insurance policy
There were actually four choices, but it was too big for a screenshot. [Photo courtesy of policygenius.com]
About $89/month. That’s not terrible. It’s actually pretty good considering Bob’s household income and the death benefit. But, being terrible at this, we may have had Bob buy way too much coverage. PolicyGenius doesn’t think he needs so much, so let’s round their quote up to $1,000,000 and see what happens:

best 30 year term life insurance policy
Oh wow, I never considered zooming out before saving the screen! [Photo courtesy of policygenius.com]
Now we’re down to $61/month. $61/month for Bob to buy the best 30 year term life insurance policy he can and provide for Mrs. Bob and Bob Jr. even after his death.

And, not joking here, it took me all of five minutes to calculate Bob’s coverage and run multiple quotes. Literally less than five minutes to calculate the coverage and premiums necessary to protect your loved ones

From there, you click “Continue” on whichever policy you choose. You fill out a more detailed application that is literally only one page long and submit. Again, you aren’t taken to the insurance company’s website. You do this all on PolicyGenius.

Once your life insurance application is submitted, you’ll receive a followup phone call from a PolicyGenius representative to verify your identity and answer any questions you have. Remember that these are salaried PolicyGenius employees and not commission-based insurance salespeople. So they have no incentive to upsell you more expensive products that you don’t need. They’re paid the same no matter what you buy or don’t buy. They are only there to help you.

From there, the rest of the process mirrors the normal life insurance process. They will set up a medical exam to determine the status of your health and then they send you your contract for final approval. From when you sign the contract, you will have what’s called a thirty day “free look” period, during which you can cancel your policy and get your first premium back.

Voila! Simple as that! Life insurance made easy! You know what? I’d recommend just going right to PolicyGenius. Don’t even bother with a local broker because you’ve still got to schedule time from your busy schedule to deal with this person. Here, though, you can input detailed information about your finances and your health, get a quote, and complete an application within minutes. Without leaving your house.

By God! That’s the power of the Internet! Witchcraft!

One final thing before the inevitable “Oh, but it’s definitely more expensive to go this route than to buy with a captive agent or direct from the life insurance company! You think they are going to run all these quotes and do all the legwork for free!?”. The commissions for life insurance are already baked into the premium. It’s the natural sales model of the industry. So regardless of where you buy life insurance, it won’t change the premium in any way. PolicyGenius can save you money buy shopping around for you, but a $250,000 20 year term policy from Mass Mutual (for example) won’t be any more or less for you regardless of whether you buy through PolicyGenius, through an agent, or direct from the company.

Terminal Final End

You are going to die.

There’s no question about that. No matter if you’re male or female, ugly or pretty, charitable or conniving, or any other set of characteristics or actions, it holds true for 100% of us all. There is no question that your death is approaching.

There are only two questions:

  1. When will it happen?
  2. Will you take steps beforehand to make sure your loved ones are financially secured in case it does?

I can’t answer that first one (if I could, I’d be on the front page of every newspaper everyday), but I hope this article helps you answer that second question with an enthusiastic “Yes!”.

If you have loved ones that depend on you, you owe it to them to make sure they are taken care of in case of your unexpected death. And frankly, you owe it to yourself if you truly care about them and have been working hard to provide for them. Why should their financial security after your death weigh on your shoulders? Lift that weight off! It costs practically nothing per month!

If you care about your family, you owe it to them to buy the best term life insurance policy you can. I know that sounds like I’m guilt-tripping you, but tell me I’m wrong. And remember that the best term life insurance policy isn’t necessarily the one with the highest death benefit, but the one that provides the best value for your loved ones as well as the to you right now. Think hard about what financial needs and expenses you want to cover and what sort of cash cushion you would want to provide, if at all. No sense in overpaying in premiums to provide way more than is needed.

You’re taking care of your family in life. Make sure you take care of them in death.

Readers–What do YOU think!? Have you taken steps to ensure the financial safety of your loved ones? What sort of life insurance do you recommend? And what do you think of using online brokers such as PolicyGenius over traditional methods of buying insurance? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Disclaimer–The links to PolicyGenius are affiliate links. Clicking on them and ultimately buying a policy earns me a small commission at no cost to you. Remember, PolicyGenius itself is a registered insurance broker, but as I said earlier, no one’s commissions changes what you pay. They are a popular and well-respected online insurance broker out to make the sale of life insurance cheaper, faster, and easier. So please, if this article does motivate you to take care of your family and buy life insurance, do so through my affiliate links so that I earn a commission. It means a lot to me, keeps this site afloat, and shows me that these long posts make some sort of difference.

Also, I snuck a LendingTree affiliate link in there as well. Same deal.

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