life insurance quotes and tips for choosing

Tips for Getting the Best Life Insurance Quotes

There are lots of insurance companies offering online life insurance quotes, but how do you know you’re getting the best one? 

In this article, we’ll answer your life insurance quotes FAQs, explain when to shop online vs. shop through an insurance broker, and list top tips for getting the best life insurance quotes for your budget and financial goals. 

What factors affect my insurance quote?

The three main factors that affect life insurance quotes are age, gender, and health, but there are several factors your insurer may take into consideration:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Health
  • Family health history
  • Height & weight
  • Occupation
  • Hobbies
  • Travel
  • Driving record
  • Criminal record
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol consumption  

Additionally, the type of insurance you purchase will affect your quote.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is usually the least expensive insurance for healthy adults, but it also comes with the least amount of benefits. You only receive a death benefit if you die within the specified term; otherwise, you receive nothing for what you’ve paid in premiums. If you outlive your policy and need more insurance, your premiums are typically significantly higher due to older age and changes in health.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is more expensive than term life insurance, but can also include living benefits like cash value—a built-in savings component that may earn interest dependent upon various market-based performance factors. The cash value in a universal policy can be used to pay insurance premiums, but the premiums themselves are subject to change at the discretion of your insurance company. There are no guarantees your premium won’t go up (it likely will), and insufficient cash value could void your insurance policy. 

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is often the most expensive kind of insurance, but in addition to earning cash value, it offers guaranteed interest and potential dividends that can be withdrawn or borrowed for anything the policyholder chooses. Whole life policies also come with certain tax advantages that make them ideal for families with large estates. With whole life insurance, the death benefit is guaranteed, regardless of when you pass away, as long as premiums are paid. This type of insurance costs more, but offers more guarantees and benefits. 

How much should I expect to pay?

Life insurance policy premiums vary based on insurability factors as well as policy type and any policy riders you may attach to customize your policy to better fit your family’s needs and financial goals. Life insurance quotes for term insurance policies also differ based on the face value of the policy (the death benefit) and the length of the term.

Term policies for healthy, non-smoking adults in their 30s average $30-$50/month or $360-$600/year, depending on coverage and gender. But older adults can pay hundreds of dollars a month and thousands per year for term policies due to decreased insurability. Sometimes, it’s actually more affordable for adults over the age of 40 or 50 to buy permanent insurance.

Permanent policies, like universal life and whole life, can cost 10-15 times as much as term policies, especially for younger adults. However, accumulated cash value may be used to pay for policies down the road. Additionally, because whole life premiums are guaranteed for life, buying insurance while you’re young and healthy equate to significant savings in the long run.

Why are life insurance quotes different for men and women?

Because men and women have different life expectancies, their life insurance quotes differ. On average, women live 5 years longer than men, which typically equates to lower premiums.

Can I rely on life insurance coverage from my employer?

Many companies offer some degree of life insurance coverage, but often it isn’t enough to replace lost income if you were to pass away. The types of group coverage and guaranteed issue policies offered by employers typically only provide enough of a death benefit to cover funeral costs, unless an employee opts to increase coverage at their own expense. 

It’s also rare for employers to offer permanent life insurance to employees, which means if your employment is terminated or you retire, you’re often left without coverage. If you’re an older individual, life insurance quotes significantly increase so getting coverage in retirement may be prohibitively expensive. It may be beneficial for your financial goals to purchase your own life insurance and accept whatever free insurance your company offers as supplemental coverage.

How much coverage do I need?

How much insurance coverage you need depends on your financial goals. Are you looking to cover end-of-life expenses or replace lost income? If you utilize permanent life insurance, are you relying on the cash value of your policy for retirement income? Are you buying insurance to protect your business or create a business succession plan?

The more ways you plan to use your insurance policy, the more complex it becomes. Speaking to your financial advisor or a Wealth Strategist can help you determine adequate coverage. 

When is the best time to find life insurance quotes?

The younger and healthier you are, the better your life insurance quote will be. Don’t put off insurance coverage. In fact, certain whole life insurance policies can be purchased for children, guaranteeing a low premium for their entire lives. 

Which insurance companies offer the best quotes?

The best life insurance quotes differ depending on your individual health, age, gender, and financial goals, plus any insurance policy riders you may want to add. To find the best quotes, meet with a qualified insurance broker or Wealth Strategist. At Paradigm Life, we work with top-rated mutual insurance companies to get you the best policy for your budget and goals. For whole life insurance policies, the insurance companies we work with have paid out dividends for over 100 years.

How do I get a better rating from my insurance company?

Improving your health and quitting smoking are the two best ways to get more favorable life insurance quotes. If you’ve been denied coverage in the past or are unhappy with your insurance rating, contact an insurance broker or Wealth Strategist. We’re experts at finding insurance policies for any budget from top-rated mutual insurance companies and can help you navigate the underwriting process.

Do I really need a medical exam?

Certain policies don’t require a medical exam for insurance coverage, but typically still ask a number of health-related questions as part of the application process. Some companies may pull your most recent medical records, with your consent, instead of requiring an additional medical exam. If your health has improved since your last physical or if you’re trying to get a better life insurance quote, however, it may be in your best financial interest to have a new medical exam. 

At Paradigm Life, our customer experience team can schedule an at-home exam for you with our paramedical provider, ExamOne. It’s recommended that you hydrate, avoid alcohol or caffeine prior to your exam, reduce sodium intake, get a good night’s sleep, and avoid strenuous exercise for 12 hours prior to your exam for best results. 

Who needs to be involved in my decision?

You may want to discuss your life insurance quotes with your family and/or beneficiary, your financial advisors and/or tax accountants, and business partners, depending on the type of insurance you buy and what you intend to use it for. Properly structured insurance can be a beneficial asset to your financial portfolio and may offer tax advantages, interest and dividends, and function as a source of business capital. 

Is an insurance illustration the same as a life insurance quote?

A number of companies provide quick life insurance quotes online, but to compare quotes among top-rated insurers, it’s best to go through an insurance broker or Wealth Strategist. By providing more details about your budget and financial goals, we can customize your life insurance quotes and provide you with insurance illustrations for potential policies. 

Insurance illustrations are much more detailed than a quote and outline how your premiums will break down by month, quarter, and/or year. You’ll also be able to see how additional policy riders affect costs. For whole life policies, your illustration will show guaranteed interest year over year as well as non-guaranteed values with potential dividends. 

What happens after I decide on an insurance policy?

After you select an insurance policy, your application will be submitted to underwriting. There are three types of underwriting:

Full underwriting is the most common and typically includes a medical exam as well as health and financial questionnaires. Full underwriting can take up to 60 days. Although more extensive, full underwriting can be beneficial in that it provides your insurer with the most accurate picture of your insurability, which often translates to lower premiums. 

Accelerated underwriting is similar to full underwriting, but you may be able to use recent medical history instead of a medical exam. Accelerated underwriting availability depends on your insurer and the face value of the policy; very large life insurance policies may not be eligible. If offered, accelerated underwriting can help you get insurance quickly and affordably.

Simplified issue policies like the ones you can easily apply for online are the fastest way to get insured, but often more expensive. No medical exam is required, which means your insurer doesn’t have sufficient details to accurately assess your risk, therefore they tend to overcharge. 

Regardless of the underwriting process, the Paradigm Life team can help you from start to finish. Consultations are always free.