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Getting insurance quotes frequently appears on to-do lists but sometimes doesn't get marked done. The prospect of talking with an insurance agent seems daunting. Getting pitched a policy may even seem scary. Fortunately, the process can be much easier today than when I first began insurance shopping and buying.
How I (Finally) Bought Life Insurance
When I was a young woman, married just a few years, the idea of buying life insurance surfaced. I learned about term insurance and decided that it was right for my husband and me. It cost significantly less than other types of life insurance and it was easy to understand. As perennially frugal person, I savored the idea of keeping more money in our pockets each month. I also liked that I didn't have to choose between being insured and being an investor.
Actually buying a term policy, though, was problematic. My regular insurance agent refused to sell me a term policy, arguing that whole insurance was much better. Another life insurance agent told me that she didn't think I'd use the “buy term and invest the difference” argument and didn't know how to proceed. She couldn't (or wouldn't) sell a term policy to me. Eventually, I encountered an agent who was willing to write the policy we wanted.
How You Can (Easily) Buy Life Insurance
Today, Policygenius offers an easy way to get quotes and apply for term life insurance. You can also get quotes on whole life insurance and other types of life insurance. The initial application process takes less than 30 minutes. I'll walk you through the steps so you can mark this must-do item off your list and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being covered.
Kick off the process by visiting the Policygenius website. Then take these steps:
- Respond to basic questions (e.g., whether you have a significant other) and enter your birth date and zip code
- Answer general health questions pertaining to height, weight, treatment for specific diseases, tobacco use, etc.
- Respond to follow-up questions for any potential risks
- View general pricing information that indicates lowest available monthly premiums for specific terms (10 years, 15 years, 25 years, etc.) for specific coverage amounts ($200,000; $400,000; $750,000, etc.)
- Compare policies, select the one to which you'd like to apply, and click “continue”
- Enter your first and last name, email, and phone number to initiate the application
Policygenius will contact you by phone to confirm your identity. You may also initiate a call at your convenience.
A Few Things to Know When Looking into Life Insurance
When I first bought life insurance, there were just a few things I really needed to know. Here are the basics to get you going.
Why Investors Buy Term
There are many types of life insurance, such as term, whole life, and universal life. The type that I purchased is term: it covers you for a specific term, such as 20 years or 30 years. If you die during this term, the insurance company pays the amount of your coverage (the policy amount) to your beneficiary. If you live beyond the term of the policy, you or rather your beneficiaries don't receive a payout.
Policygenius allows you to get term life insurance quotes, making it much easier today than for me years ago. The term quotes are easy to compare as you pay a certain price for a certain amount of coverage for a specific term. But if you wish, you can also get quotes on other types of life insurance. The arrangement with other types of insurance can be much more complicated. In addition, term can be as much as ten times less expensive than whole life. So if you're looking for insurance only (and not an investment component through the policy), typically you'll find term to be much more affordable.
For over 20 years, my husband and I have held term policies, rather than permanent ones, allowing us to spend and invest in other areas. We've paid off our mortgage, sent two kids to college, traveled, opened and funded a donor-advised charitable fund, and built up retirement accounts and regular investment accounts. We've amassed more than the face amount of our term life insurance policies. Buying term insurance rather than a more expensive type of policy has helped us reach our financial goals. When I compare term life with whole life pricing at Policygenius, I find that I can save over $280 per month on a 30-year policy.
How to Determine Coverage Amounts
You may wonder how much life insurance you need. A simple formula is ten times your annual salary; so if you earn $60,000, then you'd get $600,000 in coverage ($60,000 x 10 = $600,000).
If you'd like to think more deeply about your needs, consider getting coverage to take care of the following:
- outstanding loan balances (mortgages, car loans)
- college funding for your children
- support of family for a certain number of years
- death-related expenses (medical bills, burial costs, estate taxes)
If you don't hold a traditional job or run a business that generates income, you might consider the economic value of your work. That is, if you weren't around, how much would it cost your family to outsource your services? Things to consider could include:
- care of a family member with health problems
- grocery shopping and meal preparation
- household and financial management
From these amounts, you'd deduct savings and investments. For example, if you project your college-savings needs to be $200,000 and you'd already funded a 529 plan with $200,000, then you wouldn't need to consider college funding when calculating coverage needs.
What to Know About Pricing
Generally, the prices offered by Policygenius are “level term,” meaning that the price stays the same throughout the term of the policy. Other types of policies increase in premium prices every year, becoming more and more expensive as you get older. Locking in a price now could save you money in the future. Further and more to the point, level term is useful for budgeting purposes. You can determine exactly how much to set aside for life insurance now and don't have to worry about the price becoming out of reach later.
You may also see approximate pricing on whole life insurance policies and other types of policies that are not term policies.
Getting Quotes and Applying for Life Insurance Online
If you'd like to see the application process online, you can watch my video detailing the process:
I hope this helps you get life insurance quotes and buy life insurance easily. Dealing with risks and gaining the peace of mind has been one of the smartest moves I've made.
How did you buy your life insurance policy?