11 Things You Need to Know About Buying Life Insurance in 2024
There are a lot of misconceptions about purchasing life insurance.
Fortunately, obtaining coverage is a lot easier than most people think.
To help relieve your anxiety, we’re here to dismiss some of the rumors that you may have heard about qualifying for an affordable life insurance policy.
We’ve also provided some insider’s tips and expert advice to help you get the best rates, even if you have a few health issues.
So if you want to learn how to get great rates on life insurance, keep on reading!
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
Quick Article Guide
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
1. Life Insurance is Less Expensive Than Most People Think
According to a recent consumer study by LIMRA, almost 80% of Americans grossly overestimate the cost of life insurance. Some consumers even estimate that the cost of their life policy by as much as ten times its actual cost.
Purchasing life insurance when you’re young and healthy is always best, but even if you're nearing retirement age you should not let that discourage you. Depending on your age and health, you can probably secure a size-able amount of coverage for less than your monthly cable bill.
2. You Don’t Have to Have Good Credit
You may think that life insurance carriers are concerned with your credit score, but in reality - they’re not. They’re much more interested in your expected lifespan, and how much of a risk they’re going to take by insuring you.
The only time when carriers would care would be if you filed a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. In the case of Chapter 13, they will want to make sure that you have been making your credit card payments on time for the past one to two years (at minimum). If you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all they want to see is that it was discharged. If you haven’t experienced either of those or have completed those requirements, you’re in the clear!
3. You Might Not Have to Take an Exam
When people are thinking about applying for life insurance, many times the part they dread most is taking the medical exam. If you’re one of those people, we’ve got good news - you may not have to even take the exam!
No exam life insurance policies used to be crazy expensive. However, in the past few years, they’ve increased immensely in popularity, making the rates much more comparable to traditional life insurance.
If you have a health condition that would cause a traditional policy rate to skyrocket, we suggest opting for a no-exam policy instead. Not only do you save your time, but you can save some money as well!
To learn which no exam life insurance companies are the best in 2024, click here.
4. Some Companies are Less Expensive Than Others
There’s a reason that there’s multiple life insurance companies - not all are created equal! Just like with anything else, some are going to be pricier than others. A well-known company that is very established might get away with charging a little more than a lesser-known, newer company. That’s why you want to make sure you speak with an independent agent who can search quotes from multiple companies and compare to find the right policy price for you.
5. Your Weight Doesn’t Matter Quite as Much as You Think
Along with the medical exam, many people are worried about how their weight will affect their life insurance rates. However, many life insurance companies are quite lenient with this.
In fact, losing a bunch of weight right before you apply for life insurance won’t do you any favors - if the life insurance companies haven’t seen you maintain that weight for at least a year, they’ll only give you credit for half of the weight you’ve lost.
Say you weighed 220, and lost 20 pounds in the past year - instead of quoting you at 200 pounds, companies will quote you at 210. The reasoning for this is due to the fact that, statistically, many people will regain at least half of the weight they lost within six to 12 months of losing it. While it may be unfair to generalize like that, again, life insurance carriers want to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
If you end up maintaining your weight for over a year, you can always ask your agent to help you re-apply and obtain a replacement policy with your new health class placement (and get lower rates!).
6. Most Companies Will Overlook an Occasional Cigar
We want to first start off by saying we are in no way condoning smoking, but there is a difference between someone who occasionally smokes a cigar (say, for new years), and someone who smokes cigarettes every day.
If you are the former, you’re in luck. Many life insurance companies will allow up to 12 cigars a year as long as you test negative for nicotine. They understand that life happens, and don’t want to penalize you for having a celebratory cigar.
Do note though that if you smoke cigarettes or cigars regularly, they won’t be as forgiving. While it may be tempting to lie to your agent about your use, you’re better off being upfront with them - it will only help them to know what kind of case they are dealing with so they can match you appropriately with a company.
7. Most Companies Overlook Routine Medications for Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
However, if you’re taking a medication that is consistently keeping the condition in check, that’s all that most life insurance companies care about! It’s even better if you’re getting regular check-ups with your doctor - carriers are most concerned that you’re working to get your health back in line. As long as that checks out, you may very well get quoted some affordable rates.
8. It Won't Cost You Anything to Apply
Ah, the word everyone loves to hear most - FREE.
Unlike many other applications, it’s completely free to apply for life insurance (as well as take the medical exam, if you choose to go that route). So you literally have nothing to lose when applying. Life insurance is a very necessary thing most of the time, and companies understand that. That’s why they want to make it as easy as possible to receive coverage - and making the application free is just one of the ways they do so.
9. You're Never Too Young to Apply
It's a common misconception that you don't have to worry about buying life insurance until you're older and (potentially) have a family, but that's not true. In fact, buying life insurance when you're in your 20s may save you a lot of money later on.
As we all know, our health starts to decline as we age. If you purchase a policy while you're young and healthy, you'll likely get placed in a higher rate class, giving you lower premiums. Even if you don't purchase a permanent policy, you have the option to add a conversion rider, allowing you to convert part or all of your coverage to permanence later down the line, without having to re-apply or take a medical exam.
10. Every Company Sets Its Own Approval Guidelines
Like stated previously, not all companies are created equal. Each life insurance company is going to have specific niches, or categories, that they are more lenient with than others. Some specialize in giving great rates to those who are a little overweight, while others may be more lenient with those who have dangerous hobbies.
There’s a life insurance company for everyone, which is what makes this field so great. This also ties into our last point…
11. Using an Independent Agency Can Save You a Bundle
Use an independent agent! Seriously.
Say you directly called a life insurance company, and spoke with one of their agents. Chances are, their agents are working off of commission. This means that they will (most likely) say whatever needs to be said to close the deal with you. You also won’t get quoted rates from any other companies this way.
With an independent agency like JRC, we have the ability to search 63 top-rated life insurance companies. Our agents have collectively over 100 years of experience, so we like to think we know what we’re doing when matching clients with a company. We also don’t work off commission, so we are totally unbiased and genuinely want to find you the best fit.
JRC Insurance Group is an independent and non-partial life insurance agency. Our agents go above and beyond to make sure you are matched with the best life insurance policy available. We don’t work off commission, so you can rest assured that you are getting honest advice, and that we will only offer life insurance.
Give us a call today! Toll-free, no obligations: 855-247-9555.
You can also request a free instant quote online below to instantly compare rates from 63 highly-rated life insurance companies in less than a minute.
Managing Partner and Co-founder
Cliff is a licensed life insurance agent and one of the owners of JRC Insurance Group. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.