Term Life Insurance Companies, Their Ratings And More

There are countless term insurance life insurance companies. As someone who’s been a life insurance professional for more than 20 years, I can honestly say that the best term life insurance companies, the top rated term life insurance companies, and the best rated term life insurance companies are very similar. It’s not to say they are all exactly alike but they are usually similar. To compare term life insurance companies is really a matter of what’s important to prospective insurance client.

Your priority

My experience has been that what most people are concerned with when it comes to term insurance is what it will cost them.

Clearly some term life insurance companies are more highly rated by companies such as A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor.

Some of the factors that determine a company’s rating are:

  • Financial strength
  • Financial stability
  • Ability to pay claims
  • Claims paying expediency

If any of these factors, among the others that are used, are important to you when you compare term life insurance companies, how important are these factors to you in comparison to price?

What if one company is considered one of the best term life insurance companies in the industry but the premium cost is double that for the same amount of coverage by one that is not considered one of the best rated term life insurance companies?

What’s your priority?

Ratings

Similar to being in school, term life insurance companies and all insurance companies are rated on an A-F basis.

Seems easy to understand, right?

Did you know that and “A” rated company can be rated anywhere from A++ to A-?

Did you know that different ratings companies, including those mentioned above use different criteria to determine ratings?

Did you know that an insurance company can be rated differently by the different ratings companies?

If an insurer receives a favorable rating from one rating company and a less favorable one from another rating company, which one do you think they’re going to make sure you’re aware of?

Underwriting

Insurance companies use the term underwriting to determine who pays how much for what. Different companies have different underwriting guidelines. Its name literally means that someone in the company places a signature on the policy saying a particular person meets the company’s underwriting guidelines.

There are three main methods used for underwriting life insurance policies:

  • Fully underwritten-most common-may involve medical exam (blood/urine specimen/attending physician statement).
  • Simplified issue-less common-no medical exam-decision regarding issue usually swift
  • Guaranteed issue-anyone who applies and meets certain conditions is guaranteed that a policy will be issued-(includes accidental death insurance and graded death benefit policies)

There are also different underwriting classifications. The most common:

  • Preferred-best rates
  • Standard-most common
  • Sub-standard, also known as rated or table

Some companies subdivide the classifications. For example:

  • Super preferred
  • Ultra preferred
  • Standard plus

Table can be in the form of a number (usually 1-6) or a letter (usually A-G) – the higher the number or letter, the higher the premium.

Convertibility

Some companies allow for conversion of a term policy to a permanent policy at a later date without proving insurability.

Other companies allow for conversion but require proof of insurability.

Some companies do not offer convertibility at all.

If convertibility is offered, it is often within certain time limits.

If you’re sure you want term and nothing else, then this is not something you need to consider.

Price

The main factors that affect price:

1. Health

2. Age

3. Life style

They are numbered as such because that is generally the order of priority companies use to classify prospective clients.

Poor health can and will exclude someone regardless of age and lifestyle and no amount of money will buy insurance. On the other hand excellent health can go a long way in reducing premiums.

A person’s age is the next factor. The age is compared to mortality rates. Different companies have different charts for mortality rates.

Another way to describe mortality rate is how many years someone of their age is away from death.

Statistically speaking, insurance companies know pretty accurately how many people of a certain age will die before their next birthday.

Life style is the third factor. The most common consideration is whether someone smokes but there are others as well, such as what someone does for a living. Certain professions are more hazardous than others.

A person’s hobbies have an effect as well. Sky diving, and speed racing are often frowned upon, and may not result in denial of coverage, but could result in higher premiums.

Regardless of all factors, female rates are nearly always lower than male rates.

Fully underwritten vs. simplified issue vs. guaranteed issue

All things being equal, fully underwritten is going to result in the best priced premium. However, often times all things are not equal.

Are you sure your health is as good as you think it is or is it possible a blood/urine sample, saliva swab, or doctor’s report could reveal something you’re not aware of, or if you’re not the most ethical person, perhaps something you simply don’t want to reveal?

A fully underwritten policy takes much more into consideration when determining rating class and price than a simplified issue policy.

Depending on your point of view, that can be an advantage or a disadvantage.

Assuming you’re being honest and there’s not already information reported about you to the medical information bureau (MIB), your chances of a policy being issued as applied for are as high as 9 out of 10 if you apply for a simplified issue policy.

On the other hand, there is about a 60% chance you will not qualify for a fully underwritten policy as applied for.

A guaranteed issue policy will definitely be issued. You will know if you qualify before actually signing the application. It’s either yes or no. However because it’s guaranteed, the price is usually much higher, unless it is a conditional policy such as an accidental death policy.

Conclusion

Unless you know the ropes and/or can take the time to weigh all the factors when comparing term life insurance companies, an experienced professional can steer you the best term life insurance companies for you to consider.

Having said that, if you want to be absolutely sure that you’ll get the insurance you want, it’s best to buy a guaranteed issue policy.

If you’re pretty sure you’re in good health but don’t want to go to the trouble of a medical exam or paramedical exam (blood/urine), or you don’t want to reveal certain matters that could affect your ability to obtain insurance, you should consider a simplified issue policy.

Once you qualify for a policy, assuming no fraud is involved, the only one who can cancel the policy once it’s been issued is you. The insurance company cannot cancel you as long as the premiums are paid.

Perhaps it makes sense to apply for a guaranteed or simplified issue policy first. Once issued then shop for the best price and/or the best rated term life insurance companies.

What’s best for you?

I invite any and all questions and comments.

The 4 Most Unanswered Questions about Services

A Beginner’s Guide to Finding Expert Criminal Lawyers

You will come across situations in your life where hiring the services of lawyers is a must. You can never get out of your case unscathed no matter how minor or significant your situation is. That is why there are plenty of lawyers who are more than willing to give you the legal guidance and services that you deserve. You can hire a range of lawyers for the field of legal cases you are dealing. For example, family law attorneys are the legal professionals that you go to when your case is associated with family law. On the other hand, hiring criminal lawyers is vital if you are facing a criminal case. Here you will find out about criminal lawyers and what they can do for you. You will also be getting a beginner’s guide to finding expert criminal lawyers here.

Criminal lawyers are basically the legal professionals that you turn to if you find yourself accused of felonies like family violence, assault, embezzlement, murder, and the like. For the entire judicial process, you have to make sure to protect your rights at all costs. A criminal lawyer is the only person that you can rely on to shelter your rights in the process. In dealing with criminal cases, the consequences include mandatory treatment, fines, probations, and incarceration. Your life is affected on a significant level with these matters. Hiring criminal lawyers with adequate knowledge and experience is vital.

Today, when it comes to criminal lawyers, you have several choices to make. There are also many sources of criminal lawyers in the industry. Make sure that you take the time to look into these resources when you require the services of a competent criminal lawyers. You can start with getting some referrals from people you know. A criminal lawyer name or two may come from your friends, family members, work colleagues, and the like. You may also check with the public defender’s office to get a list of reliable criminal lawyers.

You can also find an excellent criminal lawyer to hire when you see public sessions ongoing in course for criminal cases. Once you find a lawyer whom you believe has the right experience and expertise, do not be afraid to approach them. To get more criminal lawyer names in your vicinity, check with professional legal organization. There are national associations of criminal lawyers and similar organizations that are more than willing to help. A list of criminal lawyers in the area will be provided to you by these organizations. You can also get referral services of criminal lawyers on the internet from these organizations. To gather more information on a particular criminal lawyer, you can check with your local bar associations. Take, for instance, how experienced they are in the field. Make sure to also look into phone directories, newspapers, and the yellow pages for more information. After getting a list of names, you proceed to meet with the criminal lawyer for the first time.

Reasons to Avoid Mortgage Life Insurance

Please see below on why you should consider owning an independent life insurance policy (or term life) vs mortgage insurance (creditor insurance) sold from the bank:

1. Post-Underwriting – Bank insurance is post underwritten. Companies investigate the eligibility AFTER a claim has been made; ie you may be paying premiums for years and in the event of a tragedy your loved ones may discover you never qualified for the insurance in the first place.

2. Cost – Often, mortgage life insurance with less features and flexibility actually costs MORE than an independently owned insurance policy.

3. Portability – If you buy the coverage from your lender, it may disappear if you refinance, however in the case of a new lender it will require a new policy based on attained age at that time. Just as you want to avoid depending on your employer’s life insurance coverage, in case you change jobs, you should also make sure your insurance isn’t going to vanish just because you found a better mortgage.

4. Named beneficiary – The proceeds if something were to happen will bypass your loved ones. Mortgage insurance plans purchased through the bank automatically pay off your loan no matter what situation your family faces at your death. An individual life insurance policy lets you name your spouse or children as beneficiaries, giving them flexibility to pay off the mortgage when they feel the time is right.

5. Declining benefit – As mentioned above the banks creditor policy is a declining benefit ie the benefits may vanish before your eyes. Mortgage insurance benefits gradually decline in an attempt to match the declining balance of your debt (declining benefit). Those plans are like a runaway train, you may move into a bigger house with a bigger mortgage, but the death benefit keeps shrinking anyway. Buying an individual life insurance policy keeps you in the driver’s seat, letting you lower the benefits as you see fit or keeping a level benefit for life.

6. Convertibility – An individually owned term insurance policy in most cases will allow the policy to be converted without medical to a permanent (life long) solution. A creditor insurance policy owned through the bank does not provide this benefit, which is especially important if one gets sick and can no longer qualify for coverage.

7. Preferred underwriting – an independently pre-underwriten policy allows the insurer to determine if you qualify for “preferred” rates which will lower premiums even further

8. Consolidation of benefits – by combining your mortgage insurance, with other insurance needs such as income replacement, child care, education etc you will benefit from fees saved on multiple policies and tiered discounts (typically insurance companies discount in 250K bands of insurance), along with simplicity of understanding how much coverage you have in one place. With a bank you can only insure your mortgage.

9. Discussed with a licensed insurance professional – Most bank staff selling creditor mortgage insurance are unqualified and unlicensed in life insurance. Licensed professionals shop the market

10. Shop the market – buying an independent life insurance policy from a licensed broker allows the market to be shopped to find the best possible solution from a wide range of insurers. Banks often work with only 1 insurance company to provide a singular solution. Furthermore, licensed professional have a responsbility to sell based on a Needs Based approach and can accurately assess your needs.

Lastly, while looking at life insurance, make sure to consider disability and critical illness insurance in case you become unable to pay your mortgage due to serious illness or injury.

Please contact your local independent life insurance expert to evaluate your options.

Life Insurance Basics

One of the most important things you can do as parents is to ensure the financial welfare of your children in the event of your death. Life insurance is the best way to be rest assured that your children will be taken care of if you die. Although we never like to think of that kind of thing happening, but it does.

What is Life Insurance

Life insurance is a policy that you can enter with your insurance company, which promises a certain amount to your beneficiary(ies) in the event of your death. Usually, a spouse will name the other spouse as well as their children as beneficiaries of the policy. As part of the agreement with life insurance, your insurance policy will be a monetary value, that you will in return, pay a monthly premium for. Premiums usually depend on your age, gender, occupation, medical history and other factors.

There are other types of life insurance that may provide benefits for you and for your family while you are still living. These policies can accrue a cash value on a tax-deferred basis and can be used for future needs such as retirement or your child’s education.

Do I Need Life Insurance

Earning an income allows you and your family to do many things. It pays for your mortgage, buys cars, food, clothing, vacations and many other luxuries that you and your family enjoy. However, certain situations can cause you to lose your income, and those who depend on you also depend on your income. If any of the following statements about you and your family are true, then it is probably a good idea for you to consider life insurance.

1) You are married and have a spouse.

2) You have children who are dependent on you.

3) You have a parent or relative who is aging, or disable and depends on you.

4) You have a loved one in your life that you wish to provide for.

5) Your 401K retirement plan, pension and savings aren’t enough to insure your loved one’s future.

What Are My Life Insurance Options

There are four basic types of life insurance that can meet you and your family’s needs:

Term Life Insurance

This is the least expensive type of life insurance coverage, and at least at the beginning, the simplest. Term life insurance policies do not accrue cash value, and are fixed over an extended period of time – usually one to 0 years, and they can be renewed. This life insurance policy pays the beneficiary of your policy a fixed amount in the even that you die in the period of time that your policy includes. The premiums of term life insurance are lowest when you are young and increase as you get older

Whole Life Insurance

This type of life insurance is similar to term life insurance, as well as provides cash value. Over time, whole life insurance generally builds up a cash value on a tax-deferred basis, and some even pay it’s policy holders a dividend. This type of life insurance is popular, doe to the cash value that is accessible to you or your beneficiaries before you die. Used to supplement retirement funds, or to pay for your child’s education, whole life insurance should be used for protection, rather than for accumulation.

Universal Life Insurance

This type of life insurance is a flexible kind of plan. These policies accrue interest and allow the owner to adjust the death benefits and premiums to their current life situation. You decide the amount of premium for universal life insurance, and of you skip a payment, this will be deducted from your death benefit. Universal life insurance stays in effect as long as your cash value can cover the costs of the policy. These rates are subject to change, but they can never fall below the minimum rate that is guaranteed when you sign up for universal life insurance.

Variable Life Insurance

This type of life insurance is designed for people who want to tie the performance of their life insurance policy to that of the financial market. The policy holder gets to decide how the money should be invested, and your cash value has the opportunity to grow more rapidly. However, if the market is poor, your life insurance policy’s death benefit will be poor. As with whole life insurance and universal life insurance, you may withdraw against the cash value. Be reminded that withdrawals of this life insurance policy will be deducted from the cash value.

How Can I Save Money With Life Insurance

Below you will find some suggestions on ways to save money while purchasing the life insurance policy that is right for you.

1) If you don’t need life insurance, don’t buy it. Don’t buy more insurance that you actually need in order to provide financial security for your family.

2) Shop around for competitively-priced life insurance policies while you are healthy. Don’t smoke, or do anything that might increase your rates. Take care of yourself by exercising regularly and maintaining a moderate and healthy weight.

3) If you purchase a term life insurance policy, look for guaranteed and renewable policies. That way you won’t have to periodically continue to shop around for those life insurance policies.

4) You should only buy optional forms of coverage such as riders only if necessary.

5) Shop around and compare life insurance policy rates and coverage. There are thousands of life insurance companies to choose from. It is advised that you get at least three separate quotations of life insurance, and then decide which is the best for you.