Frequently Asked Questions About Life Insurance
1) How do I purchase a policy?
First, an application is sent for your signature. At the same
time a medical examiner contacts you to set a convenient time at
your home or office to take blood and urine. On larger amounts or
older ages, a resting EKG or blood pressure check may be required.
It is important to give blood after a 12 hour fast so it is better
to do the exam in the morning. Once the insurance company receives
the exam results, the application, and any additional doctors
records that the insurance company obtains at their expense, we
receive an offer. Every expense in this process is paid for by the
2) How long does this process take?
If no doctors records are ordered, 3 to 4 weeks( Less if there is
an urgency). If doctors records have to be obtained, 4-7 weeks since
we are dependent on the promptness of the doctor.
3) If I apply and don't get the rate I applied for, what happens?
The company many times will make another offer. If our office
thinks we can get a better offer from another company, we will ship
your file over there.
4) Are these stable companies?
Every company our agency uses has a strong financial rating
as determined by the various rating agencies such as A. M. Best,
Standard and Poor's and Moody's Bond Ratings.
5) What is "Preferred Plus", "Preferred", and
Insurance companies are learning more and more about identifying
their risks. Since cancer and cardiovascular disease are the two
leading causes of death where the risk can be lessened by the
individual, companies zero in on these risks. Those that qualify for
the super preferred would be less at risk, then the preferred, then
the standard. These companies look at height and weight, blood
pressure, cholesterol(good and bad), family history(relatives dying
before 60 of CV disease or cancer), personal history of cancer and
CV disease, and smoking history. A more specific guide is as
6) What if I donít fit into any of these categories?
If an individual has one or more of these risk factors, they may
still qualify for preferred or standard. If even standard is out of
the question, there are some highly rated companies that will still
take the risk. Insurance companies fear the unknown. If they can
identify what those risk factors are, there is a greater chance they
will offer a policy. For example, someone just finds out he has a
blood pressure problem and his doctor is trying different
medications to bring it under control. Until the blood pressure is
under control, this remains an unknown to the insurance company.
Once under control it could be a preferred with some companies,
standard to others.
7) Do most companies treat pilots the same way?
No. If a pilot has enough hours to lower the risk to the insurance
company, it is possible to get preferred. Two of our companies with
the lowest rates will consider preferred.
8) Do insurance companies treat all tobacco users the same?
Cigarette smokers that smoke less than a pack a day have a chance to
get a non smoker rate with one company. Other companies treat pipe
smokers, chewers, and cigar smokers as non smokers. Still another
company gives almost all tobacco users a non smoker rate for the
first 3-4 years! This same company gives a preferred rate if you use
tobacco less than three to four times a year. They look at the
amount of nicotine in your system.
9) What if an instant quote is not right for me because of my
special medical history?
Using the same diligence we use to find the lowest preferred
rates for our customers, we will prepare a custom quote. Of course
we need to know the medical condition, its duration, treatment and
10) Can I apply at my age?
works with individuals 18 to 85! A few companies
provide policies to age 85 for term, second to die or Disclaimer
insurance. Occasionally Disclaimer is available past 85.
11) How are companies and rates selected by
A. M. Best is the industry's most recognized insurance rating
A.M. Best uses a letter grade to rate companies overall strength
and solvency. Our agency uses only insurance companies that
have at least an "A" rating with A. M. Best The top three
ratings with A. M. Best are:
The companies rated lower than this, generally speaking, don't
have rates that are as competitive.
CAUTION ABOUT THE LOWEST RATES!
DISTINGUISH WHERE YOU FIT BEFORE YOU PRE-APPLY!
Please read this section before you apply for insurance expecting
a particular rate. Almost all companies have a super preferred,
preferred, and standard rate. Although the requirements for super
preferred are similar for the term companies with the lowest rates, Our agency
knows these differences and would like to put you with the one with
the lowest rate but also the more feasible. Some companies only have
10-15% of their applicants come back with the super preferred.
Others are less strict and that percentage is closer to 50%. The
following are some general guidelines for super preferred: (unisex)
Each company is slightly different, and most allow 5lbs leeway.
No tobacco usage last 2 years.
Cholesterol 180-220 (A couple of our companies will go as high as
230 to 250)
Blood Pressure 140/90 (untreated)
Family history (No deaths before age 60, siblings or parents)
(sometimes one allowed) of cancer or cardiovascular disease
Aviation-No super preferred
Avocation (hazardous) -No super preferred
Driving- No more than 3 moving violations in last 2 years.
Travel- No extensive travel to underdeveloped or politically
If one or more of these variables are out of the guidelines, it
can move you from super preferred to preferred. Even if moved to
preferred these are still very competitive rates and only 5% to 10 %
higher. Again, the preferred rates vary between companies so it is
important to try to find which company will consider you preferred.
That's where we can help! The requirements vary between companies
but here are some general preferred guidelines:
Height and weight is the same as super preferred but with more
leeway sometimes up to 20-25 pounds.
Cholesterol 250 to 280
Blood pressure 150/90 (treated or untreated)
Family history cannot have both parents or one parent and one
sibling die before age 60 of cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Aviation-Sometimes depending on situation
Avocation-Sometimes depending on how hazardous
Driving- Same as super preferred
Travel- Similar to super preferred but not as strict
These are general guidelines and will vary more from company to
company than the requirements for super preferred.
If after seeing your quote, you would like to discuss this with
our office by e-mail, phone or fax, our office will be glad to
advise. Click here
Other factors that may or may not exclude someone from preferred
Current or history of alcohol/drug abuse
Asthma (current treatment)
Personal history of cancer or cardiovascular disease
Current treatment for depression
Diabetes (oral diabetics can get standard rates, others can get a
slightly higher premium)