Nov 242014

There are some really great online tools for shopping term life, and many of the tool providers will also sell you a policy. Before I go any further, you should know that rate discrimination is illegal and no insurer in the United States permits it. I emphasize that because it means the plans and rates offered for life insurance on the internet are no different than those offered by your financial advisor. Since most of the internet sites selling life insurance are essentially independent brokers, their products and rates are exactly what you would find from an independent broker in your neighborhood.

Back to the internet: good, objective, thoughtful advice is a tough internet query. You likely don’t even know what questions to ask. Comparing (or contrasting) various product features is no easy task. How much choice is available for conversion opportunities? –Is a chronic illness provision something you care about? And what about insurance company ratings and other signals of financial strength? Nobody wants a sub-par company but does paying more for a AAA insurer’s term life plan versus a AA insurer’s plan really make sense?

Then there is the question of completing the paperwork and getting accepted by the insurer. Internet search engines focusing only on price are often silent on how much paperwork and how complex it is, and how long it can take to get through the underwriting process. Nearly identical policy cost at one insurer with a one-week process could take a month or more at another insurer.

Web-based cost comparison is an excellent idea, but when it comes time to pull the purchase trigger, nothing beats the advice, guidance and recommendation of an independent advisor. Our advice: shop on line but purchase in person.

*Consumer Perspective (Click here for Advisor Perspective)

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