Applying for Life Insurance – What You Need to Know

life insurance form

Getting life insurance in today’s era typically begins with an online search for instant life quotes in order to gather information and start the discovery process of the general cost. The problem is life insurance companies do not underwrite policies the same way; people often overlook the intricacies of the insurance industry and assume the process is the same across the board. It’s not that simple, depending on a person’s age, health, kind of insurance and the amount of life insurance, different insurance companies will have the best deal. Some insurance carriers are better with height and weight, while other insurance companies are better for tobacco users – giving them a non-smoker rating for everything but smoking cigarettes. Most people do not understand the difference between a super preferred (best rating possible) and a standard rating (most common rating), which is why it is extremely important to work with a knowledgeable independent agent who is appointed with multiple life insurance companies.

In searching for term and permanent life insurance quotes it is prudent to establish the correct amount of life insurance that is needed. Next, find a website that will generate multiple instant life insurance quotes without having to provide personal information. Of course we recommend but there are numerous websites where someone can generate free instant life insurance quotes online. Unfortunately most websites require your personal information which can then be sold as a sales lead. A lot of websites as well as commercials on television and radio portray super preferred non-tobacco rates which only about five percent of people ever qualify, leaving the average person with unrealistic expectations. It can be overwhelming when searching for instant life quotes because there might be twenty or thirty insurance companies with different life insurance rates. A lot of times people will just select the company with the lowest premium, but this isn’t always the best strategy when it comes to purchasing life insurance. The company with the lowest premium might have the toughest underwriting guidelines and intentionally price the product as a marketing ploy. Generally people do not receive a super preferred rating when applying for life insurance, but if it is marginally more expensive than planned people will usually accept the offer, which means the marketing maneuver actually worked. Unfortunately the applicant might have actually received the best rate class from another insurance company who might have been further down the initial list when the search happened. This means the applicant could end up paying more for their insurance because they assumed life insurance companies underwrite the same way. Instant online life insurance quotes are helpful with establishing a foundation for general prices but understanding which insurance company will most likely offer the best deal usually only comes from speaking with an experienced independent insurance agent.

The best advice in searching for life insurance is to be realistic and candid about your medical history. An individual should be honest about their weight when applying for life insurance because underwriting departments typically do not budge when it comes to a person’s build. Here is a general example of what people need to weigh in order to get a super preferred with most life insurance companies:

applying for life insurance

If a man is 5’10 and under the age of 70 then he needs to weigh less than 195 pounds in order to qualify for the best rate class. If a woman is 5’6 and under the age of 70 then she needs to weigh less than 161 pounds. There are also minimums people need to weigh which typically come in to play with women more than men. Meaning, if a woman is 5’6 and under 118 pounds she cannot receive a super preferred rating. It is wise to be aware of the insurance company’s underwriting guidelines when applying for life insurance, this way a person can work on getting into the desirable rate classification. People should not make the mistake of applying for life insurance expecting to get the best rate classification if their build does not fall within the supper preferred guidelines.

Medications are also a significant piece of the underwriting process commonly overlooked by people’s expectations in getting the best rate classification for life insurance. If the proposed insured is taking any medications at all they should not expect to receive a supper preferred offer from a life insurance company. That being said, there are a handful of carriers who will still offer the best rate class if the proposed insured is taking medication for certain medical conditions but their readings with the medication have to be perfect.

Adverse family history can be another disqualifier for a super preferred rating. If the proposed insured has any type of negative family history they should not expect to receive the best rate classification for life insurance. Adverse family history applies to family members who have a history of cancer, stroke, or cardiovascular disease before the age of sixty. Certain people feel it is unfair for insurance companies to penalize people based on a family member’s medical history but insurance companies construct underwriting guidelines based on actuarial tables which prove people have a higher probability of genetically incurring similar illnesses.

To recap, typically a person’s build needs to be within range, medications have to be perfect, and no adverse family history in order for a life insurance company to offer a super preferred rating. If a person is only focused on paying as little as they can for life insurance they are totally missing the boat. The most important thing is to get the correct amount of life insurance for the time period you need the life insurance to last and then focus on the premium. If a person receives a substandard rating and has to pay more because of their lab results or medical history then look at less death benefit or a shorter time period in order to get the cost to fit into your budget. Don’t just throw the baby out with the bathwater and not get any life insurance at all, some life insurance is better than no life insurance at all.

If a person is in decent health it is smart to complete a medical exam when applying for term, universal, or whole life insurance. Several companies offer non-medical life insurance policies which averages good health risks with standard to substandard risks, meaning it is a better deal for people with some adverse medical history than it is for people who would most likely qualify for a preferred or super preferred rating. The process of completing a basic paramedical exam begins with a trained examiner who normally comes to the applicant’s residence and takes a urine specimen, blood draw, vitals, and questions the proposed insured about their health history. If you are apprehensive about giving blood or meeting with a paramedical examiner then non-medical life insurance could be the best solution, however death benefits are typically limited anywhere from 50,000 to 500,000 and there is no guarantee the insurance company will offer insurance. In applying for life insurance and completing a medical exam it is important to properly prepare your body and mind for the paramedical exam, make sure you are relaxed so the examiner can take normal blood pressure readings and eat healthy for a couple weeks before giving blood. An applicant should also be consistent with current medication schedules and doctor’s recommendations. An example could be a person who uses a CPAP machine when they sleep. If the doctor’s orders are to use a machine for sleep apnea, insurance companies would rather see the applicant using the machine according to their doctor’s instructions than not using the machine at all. It is also important to note if the insurance company requests to review an applicant’s medical records it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to obtain the records. Often times applicants become frustrated with the agent or insurance company when in reality it is the doctor’s office who is causing the delay. An insurance company’s underwriter will evaluate the lab results, paramedical exam, medical records and multiple insurance databases and then either decline the application or come back with an offer (AKA rating) for the applicant to either accept or reject. Life insurance policies are contracts of adhesion which means there is zero negotiating with the insurance company, a person can either accept the offer from the insurance company or change the type or amount based on the final health rating.

Once a life insurance policy is issued it is important to understand the provisions inside the contract. Generally most policies are about twenty pages with a copy of the insurance application in back. The first pages usually have the insurance company’s information with the “RIGHT TO EXAMINE THE POLICY” which gives anywhere from ten to thirty days to analyze the policy; if you are not satisfied with the terms the policyowner can return the contract within this timeline and get all premiums refunded. Next should be a table of contents referencing where to find certain provisions in the policy. It is especially important to understand the additional riders or accelerated death benefit provisions because these are benefits you can typically access before you die in the event of a qualifying illness. Furthermore most contracts have an “incontestability” period for two years, which means after two years the insurance company can only deny the death benefit in the case of fraud, when permitted by applicable law in the state where the policy is delivered or issued. Life insurance policies broadly fluctuate between companies so it is important to understand the provisions inside the contract rather focusing on just the price.

At Pacific Insurance Group pride ourselves on giving people free instant life insurance quotes online without personal information. We understand most people want information before speaking with an insurance agent. Utilize our website for instant life insurance quotes for both term and permanent insurance. When it comes to life insurance we take an unpressured holistic approach to matching the right products with the correct death benefit to meet the applicant’s need. Pacific Insurance Group works with people and businesses all over the United States, please email or call our office with any additional questions at 425-246-4222.