Term life insurance websites started to appear on the Internet in 1995. Back then, most sites allowed a person to get an estimate of term life insurance rates. The websites would collect personal information such as your name, telephone number and email address. And then your voicemail and email inboxes would start filling up as fast as seats at a Justin Bieber concert.
For the most part, term life insurance websites have evolved, and the process of buying a term life insurance policy online is much improved. However, there are still plenty of websites that merely give a basic quote then bombard you with sales calls. The following tips will help you avoid such websites as you navigate your way toward buying a term life insurance policy online.
1. Look for a Qualified Online Life Insurance Broker
A website is just that … a website. Anyone can put a website together and start collecting personal information from people looking for term life insurance quotes. But you are smarter than that. Play it safe and look closely for the following:
- How long has the company been in business and how long has the company been online?
- Is the company a licensed life insurance broker and, if so, how many states is it licensed in?
- Does the company have licensed life insurance agents you can speak with?
- Is the company a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business and does it have a seal on the website?
A qualified broker will have a history of providing term life insurance online, will be licensed in all 50 states (or most of them), will have licensed life insurance agents on staff and will have a good track record with the Better Business Bureau. You should be able to verify this by clicking the BBB seal on the website.
2. Look for Quality Life Insurance Companies
A good website will have several quality life insurance companies in its marketplace. A quality life insurance company has the following characteristics:
- A company rating of A or better by AM Best and Standard & Poor’s. Ratings go as high as A++ for AM Best and AAA for Standard & Poor’s.
- A solid financial history. The company ratings take financials into consideration. But you should also focus on companies without recent financial difficulties or a reputation for financial trouble.
- A reputable name. Not all life insurance companies have multi-million dollar advertising budgets to build powerful brand names for themselves. You don’t necessarily need to buy a policy from the most popular company. But be careful of companies with a lot of negative new surrounding them.
Remember the life insurance broker works for you, not for the life insurance companies. Their agents should be able to give you guidance on which companies are best for your specific circumstances, without bias to any one company.
3. Keep Your Personal Contact Information to Yourself!
If you’ve shopped for life insurance online, you’ve most likely come across something like this:
GET YOUR FREE QUOTES!
Date of Birth _______________________
Why would a qualified, reputable term life insurance website ask for your name, telephone number, and email address before giving you a ‘free’ quote? That’s an easy one … so they can market to you! If the quotes are really free, they shouldn’t cost you this information. It’s simply not required to give you a quote. Stand firm. Don’t give it up. However, once you decide on a company or decide to discuss your options with an agent, you should be prepared to complete the requested forms. At that point, it’s okay to play nicely.
Another fun little trick some websites play is to ask you to input all of your information, including name, telephone, and email. Then when you click “Get Quotes’, you are rewarded with a nice message that says something like, “Thank you! A representative will contact you within 24 hours with your quotes.” Ummm, no thanks. That should be a huge sign to you saying it’s time to look elsewhere.
Remember, there are plenty of good online life insurance brokers with good websites. Pay attention to these simple tips, and you are sure to find one you are comfortable working with. And that’s the most important thing of all.