Top Questions About Bestow Answered
Often times, we hear this: "I don't know what questions to ask." If that's you, you've come to the right place! Here you'll find the top questions people just like you are asking.
August 11, 2021 • 5 Min readRead article
Author: Bestow Team, reading time: 4 minutes
No Medical Exam Life Insurance: What to Know
Between work, home repairs, and a to-do list that never seems to shrink, it can feel like there is no time for extras. It’s safe to assume that most people would prefer not to take hours out of their day to get a life insurance medical exam. If this is the case, then why do most insurance companies require it?
The life insurance industry is not just old, it’s centuries old. In fact, the first life insurance policies in the U.S. were written in the 18th century. Obviously, we didn’t have the technology then (or even just a few years ago) that we do now, so medical exams have been a necessary step in the underwriting process. But times have changed, technology included. Is it still necessary to undergo a medical exam to buy life insurance? For some, the answer is yes, and for others, no. As a consumer, you have options.
What is No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance?
No-medical exam life insurance is exactly what it sounds like: a life insurance policy that does not require a medical exam to apply.
The traditional way of applying for a life insurance policy can involve medical exams, lab tests, and in-person interviews. With this traditional underwriting process, you might find yourself waiting up to a month to get a decision.
Accelerated underwriting uses technology to make the process of applying for life insurance more efficient. As in, an application decision and knowing if you are eligible in minutes – not weeks. Pretty cool right?
As with all types of life insurance coverage, whether or not a policy is a right fit for your needs depends on, well, your needs. Some may have higher premiums, some may have differences in the application process. There are a lot of options. Here, we’ve gathered some helpful info on some of the most common life insurance coverage options which may not require a medical exam.
What Are the Different Types of No Medical Exam Life Insurance Policies?
Term life insurance can be a solid choice for many families because of its simplicity and affordability, but there are a few other types of no medical exam life insurance options, as well.
No-Medical Exam Term Life Insurance With a Fast Decision
With this option, instead of bloodwork and a medical exam, applicants will answer health and lifestyle questions and provide information about their medical history to see if they qualify for a policy.
Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance
In some ways, simplified issue is similar to the above. There’s no medical exam, and you’ll instead provide information about your lifestyle and general health, including disclosing any medical conditions you may have. It’s an option worth considering if you’re generally in good health and looking for fast coverage.
One key difference, though, is just how much life insurance coverage you can get. Simplified issue insurance typically caps off around $100,000 (although some life insurance providers do offer more coverage). Plus, a simplified issue policy may have graded death benefits, which means that your beneficiaries only get the full value of the policy if you pass away at least two years after you purchase.
Because there are minimal questions and quick coverage, the cost for simplified issue policies will typically be more expensive than both no-medical exam or traditionally underwritten life insurance.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Guaranteed issue life insurance is a kind of whole life insurance policy (a type of permanent life insurance) that doesn’t require any health qualifications. There are no medical exams or health questionnaires. The coverage amount is quite limited though – usually between $2,000 and $25,000 – typically enough to serve as final expense insurance.
Guaranteed issue coverage is typically purchased by people who can’t qualify for any other type of life insurance. If you are approved for guaranteed life insurance, your policy will likely have a waiting period before your benefits go into effect, typically two or three years. You would pay your premiums during this time but if you were to pass away during the waiting period, your beneficiaries would not receive the death benefit.
Group Life Insurance
Your employer may offer group life insurance with a coverage amount equal to your salary. This coverage is generally inexpensive or free and there’s usually no medical exam. It’s a nice perk if you can get it, though it’s important to remember that you usually can’t take your coverage with you when you leave the company.
Moreover, some people find that a simple one-time salary replacement is not an adequate amount of coverage. You may be able to purchase extra coverage through your employer, but consider getting a quote for a term policy before you do. You may be surprised at how much coverage you can get for the same price.
Who Can Buy Life Insurance Without a Medical Exam?
Generally speaking, healthy adults between the ages of twenty-one and forty-five may be eligible to buy a term life insurance policy online. (Bestow can underwrite policies for individuals ages eighteen to sixty, for terms of ten to thirty years, if approved.)
No one will vet your yoga class attendance record or that marathon sticker on your Subaru’s rear window. But if you are in overall good health, a no-medical-exam life insurance policy might be the right fit for you.
However, there are certain criteria that may prevent you from purchasing a policy without a medical exam. If you have a serious medical condition (such as heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, or blood pressure issues) or risky hobbies (like hang gliding, for example), you might need to speak to a licensed insurance agent to help you find a life insurance policy that fits your needs.
How To Get a Fast, Free Quote Right Now
Bestow offers term life insurance for today’s busy families. We believe that everyone should have access to the financial protection that life insurance can help provide, and that it should be convenient, affordable, and fast.
Author: Bestow Team, reading time: 4 minutes
Who Needs Life Insurance – How It Works, and When You Should Have It
In the event you’re not around to provide for your family members, the death benefit from a life insurance policy may leave your loved ones with some degree of financial security. And for a lot of people, especially parents, that peace of mind is priceless.
You’ll have plenty of options when selecting life insurance from different face values and term lengths to riders and even policies that hold cash value. At the end of the day, the choice is personal, but knowing about all of your options can give you more confidence to finally purchase that policy.
How Life Insurance Works
In short, you pay a life insurance company a set amount of money each month (that’s the premium) for an agreed upon amount of time (that’s the term). If you pass away during that term, the insurer pays your beneficiary (the person you choose to receive the benefit) the life insurance payout.
The payout is typically tax free, and many view it as income replacement. Others plan for it to cover daily living expenses, a mortgage, or even fund higher education. You can name nearly anyone as your life insurance beneficiary and they can spend the money however they need it.
It really can be that simple. You continue to pay your insurance premiums on time each month, and you can feel good about the financial protection you are providing your family should they ever need it.
Who Needs Life Insurance?
Most people start to think about life insurance when they start a family or buy a home, but the truth is, it’s always a smart time to start buying life insurance. That’s because, typically, the most affordable time to buy is now. For most people, life insurance rates get more expensive as you age.
Anyone with someone who depends on their income is a good candidate for life insurance.
Having kids means having bills, from early childcare costs for young children to higher education for older kids. Their financial needs are unpredictable and often come by surprise.
2. Spouses or Partners
From living expenses to outstanding debts and even private student loans, the loss of a loved one could be compounded by crushing financial burden. That’s to say nothing of the funeral expenses and other final expenses that face those left behind.
3. Stay at Home Parents
Stay at home moms and dads contribute a significant amount of non-paid labor in a home. While not typically viewed as financial support, the value of this work can easily be in the six-figures. Life insurance can help to cover the costs associated with childcare, home maintenance and more.
4. Small Business Owners
The terms of a small business loan often require life insurance, but having coverage can also solidify a commitment to employees, business partners, and small business cosigners, whose livelihoods may depend on your contribution to the company.
Even if you were offered life insurance through work, that typically vanishes when you leave a job. Many retirees live on a fixed income and when a spouse or partner passes, a life insurance policy can ensure the other lives out their days comfortably.
6. Anyone with Shared Debts
If you and your spouse’s names are both on the mortgage, if your parents cosigned your student loans, or if you share a credit card, you may be leaving loved ones responsible for debt they aren’t able to pay off.
Watch this video to learn more about who might need life insurance.
Who doesn’t need life insurance?
If no one in your life depends on you for any financial support, you may not need life insurance coverage right now. But there’s no harm in looking at life insurance quotes today.
If you work with a personal finance advisor, it’s likely they’ll bring up life insurance while you are young, if they think you may need life insurance in the future. That’s because, in most cases, life insurance will never be as affordable as it is today. Yup. Right now. Your premium rate is determined by a number of factors including your age and health, often with a medical exam. The rate you get at 25 will probably differ significantly from the rate you get at 35.
What Kind Of Life Insurance Is Best For You?
Once you’ve got an idea of the amount of life insurance you need, you’ll need to understand which type to buy. There are several types of life insurance coverage with differing amounts of coverage, policy lengths, and even add-ons. Let’s break it down.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance (or permanent life insurance) is a policy you purchase and pay premiums on for the rest of your life. When you pass, as we all do, your beneficiaries receive a payout.
A whole life insurance policy might be right for someone hoping to transfer wealth to their children. Or people who expect to have mortgages into old age. It is almost always more expensive than a term policy because it, at some point, will pay out.
Read more about the differences between term and whole life insurance here.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance policy is a great choice for people looking for more affordable rates and happy to have coverage for a set number of years (like 5, 10, or even up to 30).
You can usually find out a more flexible policy with competitive rates for the years when your death would most impact your family (duration of a mortgage, children graduating, etc.)
Watch the video below to learn more about how much insurance you need.
Buying Your Life Insurance Policy
Whether you’re looking to shore up your long-term financial plan or you’d just rest a little easier knowing you’ve done something that may help your family, life insurance is now a relatively easy place to start. With Bestow, you can get a fast, free quote in seconds. The full online application literally takes minutes, and you could have coverage today, if approved. Peace of mind could be just a few clicks today. So what are you waiting for? Get started today.
Author: Bestow Team, reading time: 6 minutes
How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
Ah, yes. The $50,000 question. Or is it the million-dollar question? Suppose it depends on your policy (that’s a little insurance humor for you).
If you’re considering purchasing a life insurance policy, chances are you’re looking to find some peace of mind and to provide support for your loved ones should you pass away. When determining the amount of life insurance you need, you’ll want to think not only about your financial circumstances, but also those of the beneficiaries you intend to name.
What Can Life Insurance Pay For?
The short, simple answer is anything. When beneficiaries receive a death benefit, it’s up to them how to spend it. There are no restrictions around a beneficiary’s usage of a life insurance payout.
When you set up life insurance coverage, you might want to sit down with the people you plan on naming as beneficiaries and discuss your intentions, especially if you are the financial planner of the family.
Though there are no rules, here are some examples of ways people use life insurance payouts:
- Mortgage: When calculating the ideal amount of life insurance coverage, some people will include the amount of their mortgage in the equation. Death benefits can be used to pay off a house or property.
- Debt: Welcome to adulthood; there are no cookies here but we do have debt. Whether it is student loans, a half-paid off car, or credit card debt, beneficiaries can use the tax-free life insurance payout they receive from your policy to pay off any debt you leave behind or to pay down debts of their own.
- College education: If there are kids in the picture, life insurance payouts can be used to cover tuition and other educational expenses.
- Income replacement: The loss of a financial contributor, whether considered the head of household or not, can be devastating. Life insurance payouts can be used to help your family keep up with the cost of living should you pass away unexpectedly.
- Childcare: Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or work full-time, consider the cost of childcare for your family should you pass away.
- Final and future expenses: Death isn’t fun to think about, but being prepared for the unthinkable can help offer some peace of mind. Your beneficiaries might use their death benefit to cover your final medical bills, pay for your funeral (around an $8,000 average expense), or cover the cost of a move should they decide to relocate.
- Gift: Maybe you’re covered in the debt and expense department (#blessed). You can still use life insurance as an added comfort for your loved ones, dependents or not. If you’re a business owner, you might name a business partner as your beneficiary to cover the cost of carrying on the company once you’re gone. Some people choose to leave a legacy by naming a non-profit organization as their beneficiary.
Diagnosing Your Coverage Needs
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just Google “how much life insurance should I have?” and the exact amount would appear on your screen? Maybe in the future, when cars fly and dishwashers have a put-away cycle, but for now, there is no clear consensus amongst financial advisors. But one rule of thumb you can use to help diagnose your potential needs is that coverage should be six to twenty times your annual income (helpful wide gap there we know).
When calculating the amount of life insurance coverage you need, you might consider the following.
Your Family’s Monthly Expenses
Monthly expenses vary from family to family. Maybe yours lives on a sustainable farm with solar panels. Perhaps you just bought your first house and have three kids with extracurricular activities.
Either way, it’s a smart idea to use your personal circumstances to figure out how much life insurance coverage you need. More so, imagine how your family would cover expenses if you were gone. Are you the primary caretaker, the main breadwinner, or a combination of both?
Here is a list (not exhaustive, but pretty close) of things to consider:
- Mortgage or rent
- Car payments
- Childcare ($8,355/yr average per child, and more in many places)
- Housekeeping (it’s tough to do it all)
- Education (school supplies, college tuition,etc.)
- Healthcare and insurance (your partner’s life insurance, medical insurance, homeowner’s insurance, car insurance)
- Entertainment (might seem silly to think of but happiness is something to consider in these situations)
Add Up The Cost Of Your Financial Obligations
After you’ve made your list, ask yourself: Did we miss anything?
Whether it’s debt, a monthly bill you rarely thinking about, or the cost of your parent’s apartment in an assisted living community, jot it down with an estimated dollar amount.
Total Everything Up
Add your monthly expenses to your debt and then factor in any additional financial components that made it onto your list. Write that number down.
Next, determine how many years of life you want to help cover with this insurance policy. One way to do that is to subtract your current age from your planned retirement age. Now take that number and multiply it by your annual salary (sorry about all the math).
How do you feel about that figure? Does it seem like the right amount of coverage? Would it cover the amount you wrote down earlier? Are there any factors that were left off that list that you would like to consider?
We would love to give you clear direction here, but alas, we can only offer guiding questions. Figuring out how much life insurance you need is a personal quest. Feeling overwhelmed or unsure about selecting a coverage amount? It might be a good idea to consult with your friendly neighborhood financial planner.
What Are The Different Types of Life Insurance?
If you were today-years-old when you found out there is more than one type of life insurance, you are not alone. While there are many, many varieties, there are two main types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. The latter has a few subtypes including whole life insurance and universal life insurance.
|Policy Type||Term Life Insurance||Whole Life Insurance||Universal Life Insurance|
|Policy Length||Coverage for a specific amount of time||Coverage for your whole life (hence the name)||Coverage for your whole life (hence the name)|
|Features||Tax-free death benefit with no cash value||Tax-free death benefit and cash value that accumulates tax-deferred||Tax-free death benefit and cash value that accumulates tax-deferred|
Which Type Of Policy Is Best For You?
Though they can guess your age and zodiac sign, the online quiz makers have yet to crack the life insurance policy code. And that’s just as well, because picking out a policy is a big (and deeply personal) decision. Ultimately, you’ll want to factor your age and current financial situation into the decision-making process.
Term life insurance typically offers smaller premiums than permanent life insurance, but it does not offer the cash value option that may be of interest to some. While whole life and universal insurance provide coverage for the extent of your life, term life insurance covers your life for a predetermined length of time, usually anywhere from five to thirty years.
A Few More FAQs
Who Needs Life Insurance?
It’s certainly not anyone’s favorite pastime, but if you take a moment to picture what life would look like should you pass away, that vision will give you an idea of whether or not you need life insurance. If you have children, a partner, or people who rely on you financially, you might need life insurance. Likewise if you carry a mortgage, have debt, or own a business.
If you’re financially well off and have far more assets than debt or expenses, or you are just starting adulthood, you may not need life insurance. However (and this a pro-tip), keep in mind that the younger and healthier you are when you initially purchase life insurance, the more affordable your premiums will generally be for the life of the policy.
What Determines Life Insurance Rates?
When you apply for a life insurance policy, the insurer will use a few factors to calculate your insurance rates. They will likely consider your age, health, lifestyle, and smoking habits. Many life insurance companies require a medical exam and blood sample to purchase coverage while others skip that process and instead use technology to scan your medical history to determine eligibility and rates.
Finding The Best Life Insurance For You
If you want to further explore life insurance coverage costs, you can get a free quote in seconds here. You’ll just enter your gender, birthday, height, weight, and zip code. From there you can explore different term periods and coverage amounts to get an idea of what your monthly cost might be with a policy underwritten by Bestow.
Bestow offers term life insurance coverage of up to $1.5 million and applying for a term policy is nearly as simple as our quote process. There are no medical exams or no blood samples required – with Bestow, you could have life insurance coverage in minutes, if approved.
Bestow does not give tax or legal advice. The information provided is not intended to offer any tax, legal or financial advice. It is always a good idea to consult your tax, legal and financial advisors regarding your specific situation. Our application asks about your lifestyle and health to determine eligibility in order to avoid requiring a medical exam.
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