If you have spent time online recently, you’ve likely been barraged with ads for life insurance quotes. Looking at them, you might think shopping for a policy is as easy as plugging your date of birth, height, weight, and requested death benefit into these calculators. Unfortunately, this assumption can help you get a policy, but it may not be the right policy for you with the coverage you need. Many of these online portals are missing the most important and essential services offered by a licensed life insurance agent, and purchasing a policy online leaves you uninformed and quite possibly with the wrong policy.
Let’s review some of the pitfalls of online quote generators:
1. There is no comparison of ‘real’ policy values. Online calculators compare premiums of policies only. They do not compare the value of the policies based on the benefits they provide. Without knowing all the nitty-gritty details of your policy options, you could choose a policy that offers less value to you and your family than another at a comparable price. For example, term insurance policies usually offer a convertibility option where the insured can convert the term policy to a permanent policy with no health questions asked for a certain period. Some policies might provide a 10-year conversion period, whereas others might offer a conversion period matching the policy length.
2. You don’t get to see how your needs are covered. Everyone needing a life insurance policy has their unique situation and distinct needs. Without an expert in life insurance to understand your needs and who can design a policy that suits them, you could end up with the wrong policy. Licensed agents are trained and experienced in complex policy design and can take your information, situation, and budget and create a custom package just for you. They go beyond simply comparing prices with various insurers and weigh the value of different options that act as vehicles for your perfect life insurance solution. You can add riders that cover other family members or allow the death benefit to be paid out early in the event of a terminal illness, get insight into choosing the right life insurance amount, and design your premiums to remain fixed. There are so many options for personalization-something an automated service can never provide and explain.
3. You could choose an insurer not in it for the long haul. Sure, that quote for a $1 million dollar death benefit from Joe Bob’s insurance was ultra-affordable-but when Joe Bob’s goes under, and they are no longer around to pay your death benefit and your premiums have been sent in vain, will you still appreciate the “value” of the policy? Many of these online quoting systems deliver quotes from low-rated insurers who may be unable to fulfill their obligations. When you work with an agent, he or she can teach you about the rating agencies and explain the rating information for potential insurers.
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