You take steps every day to protect your loved ones. You make sure your children wear their seat belts in the car and look both ways before crossing the street. You want to keep your loved ones safe, and buying life insurance is an important decision that could help you secure your family's financial future.
Before you jump into the buying process, it's important to explore your life insurance options and discover which policy fits your needs best. Once you've chosen the type of life insurance policy you want, you're ready to take the necessary steps to purchase that policy.
1. Get Your Policy Quote
A financial representative can help you at every stage in the process of buying life insurance. He or she can help you choose the right life insurance policy for your needs and determine your policy quote.
Generally, life insurance is meant to help financially protect the lives of people without chronic or terminal health conditions. However, if you do have health issues such as these, a financial representative can also discuss your available options.
2. Start the Application Process
The standard life insurance application process has many steps, including a lifestyle, medical history and health questionnaire. There may also be a need for an in-person medical exam to assess your health. While there are policies available that don't require these steps, they could cost more than the policies offered after the standard application process.
There are many reasons you may need to go through the full process, including your age, medical history and family's medical history. This process could also be required if you engage in certain high-risk activities, such as smoking or hobbies like skydiving, motor sports or rock climbing.
3. Get Your Health Exam
The health exam is an important part of the process, as it's meant to determine your health status at the time of application objectively. The health insurance company will pay for the medical exam, and a registered nurse will meet you at your home or office to collect urine and blood samples, ask medical questions and check your height, weight and blood pressure. The nurse will also get your doctor's information to verify everything.
Some chronic health conditions in your medical history, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, could disqualify you from approval for a policy. A smoking habit could also cost you more in premiums. While the health exam may feel like a big step, a clean bill of health — along with the notification you've been approved for your policy — can bring long-term peace of mind.
4. Submit Your Application
Once you have completed the health exam, filled out the questionnaires and submitted your application, you may receive a phone call to verify the provided medical and health information, as well as the data collected during the in-person interview.
The period between submitting your application and having your policy approved can vary. It often depends on how quickly the insurance company can verify your information.
You could receive the approval decision as an offer of coverage as quoted. You could also be bumped into the preferred rating category and receive a lower premium than quoted — or even be able to increase your term or coverage amount for the same price due to your excellent health and age. Unfortunately, your policy could also be denied, or you may be quoted a higher premium due to information uncovered during the verification process.
5. Pay Your First Premium
Your financial representative will notify you when your policy is approved. Generally, the representative will collect your first premium payment to bind the policy at the time of your application. This puts the policy in force immediately — so if something happens to you during the approval period, the insurance carrier will still pay your death benefit. Of course, this depends upon your ultimate approval.
Buying life insurance can help you protect your loved ones when you're no longer here to remind them to buckle up or look both ways. These five simple steps will help you get from quote to coverage — and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with an active policy.