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 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 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.

Life Insurance Plan Online – 7 Terms You Should Know

Being able to search for the perfect life insurance plan online has enabled more and more people to get just the plan they want. Going on line avails the consumer of free quotes on plans not to mention an array of information from which to draw. One cannot hope to get a quality product without being an informed consumer and so before searching for a life insurance plan online it behooves one to become acquainted with the terminology and intricacies of the life insurance world.

There are seven particularly important words and phrases whose meanings have direct bearing on how you streamline your policy. Knowing what they represent is a integral ingredient to the process of figuring out which is the best plan for each individual situation.

And the terms to know are…

1. Face Value

This is pretty self explanatory. If a policy has a face value of $15,000.00 then that is the amount that will be paid out upon death of the policy holder.

2. Accidental Death Benefit

Also known as “double indemnity” this benefit stipulates that an additional amount of money will be paid out if the insured dies due to an accident.

3. Disability Income Rider

This provision pays the insured a set sum each month after the first six months of suffering with a disability.

4. Guaranteed Insurability

This allows the insured to buy additional coverage at any point in their life even if they’ve reached the point where they are considered uninsurable.

5. Incontestable Clause

A good protective device this states that after the policy has been in effect for one or two years the company can’t contest it.

6. Policy Loan Provision

This allows the policy holder to borrow money against a permanent life insurance policy for any value up to the amount of the cash value of the policy at the time of loan application.

7. Waiver of Premium Benefit

This stipulates that the company will pay premiums, should the insured become disabled for a period no longer than six months, from the time of disability.

More About the Term Life Insurance Plans

There are several insurance plans that can suit the needs of every client. Term life insurance is coverage where a client pays a fixed premium rate during a specified period. The beneficiaries of the life insurance can only get the benefits paid if the insured person dies during the contract period. However, if the insured person survives the period of the contract, he can opt to let the coverage go, or he may continue to pay the premium and extend the contract period. The company can choose to include new terms and conditions to the contract if the client chooses to extend the contract period.

Term life insurance plans allow clients to pay premiums for a specified period, which is mostly up to 30 years. With this in mind, clients should consider their lifestyles to see if they are at risk of dying sooner than they think. Many older clients can consider taking short term life insurance to increase the chance that the insurance will be effective, because they do not have a long time to live. On the other hand, young clients can take long term insurance coverage, to make sure that their families get payment when sudden death occurs.

There is also a whole life insurance coverage which offers clients the opportunity of using their premiums as an investment option. This insurance type is known as flexible premium adjustable insurance. The client who opts to buy this insurance can use the premium he or she accrues, through the years to buy items or to borrow loans using it as collateral. The main factors which affect the use of this policy as an investment option is the length of the contract as well as the face value of the policy. The premiums which a client pays also affect the effective use of this insurance as an investment opportunity. A client should try using quote comparison, so that he gets the best quotes.

When getting whole life insurance coverage with adjustable premiums, a client should consider the time it will take before the policy can accrue cash value. Many insurance companies deduct the amount a client borrows against the policy from the death benefit pay out, if he does not repay the amount before his death. With this in mind, many clients would go for the policy which accrues cash value faster than the rest. Before getting into any contracts, a client should use quote comparison, to decide which insurance policy suits him or her best.