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If you’ve been around our site for any length of time we are pro-life insurance. And, more specifically, term life insurance.
I got my term policy back in 2004 after waking up to my financial situation of being some $20k in debt, unemployed, and not wanting to leave a legacy of debt behind should something happen to me in my late 20s.
While I didn’t have children at the time, I felt it was important to leave something behind to my family so they could at least pay off my debts (make things right) and then have a little something to leave behind to care for my mother.
So, I’m 13 years into that 30-year term policy which is for about $250k. On top of that, I have a policy at work that provides 2x my salary in the event that I should pass.
Even with this coverage, I still think I’m under-insured due to the fact that my wife cannot work full-time due to some health issues.
When we were approached by a new life insurance start-up company called Bestow earlier this month, it got me thinking again about the need to increase my policy (you may have heard about Bestow from their $5 Amazon gift card giveaway for providing your email a few weeks ago).
According to Bestow, 83% of Americans have stated that they would consider life insurance more intently if it was easier to understand. Bestow is taking a process that normally takes 4-6 weeks from the time of application and providing coverage in less than 10 minutes.
I recall that initial month-long process of getting my policy going back in 2004, so coverage within 10 minutes would be an amazing offering from Bestow.
Men vs women and life insurance
I decided to do a little bit of digging to find out some of the stats around men and women and life insurance. Since my wife doesn’t currently have a policy herself – I was curious if this was the norm. Also, what were the rates that men were paying vs women?
Here’s a few of my findings:
- Fewer women than men have life insurance (52% women to 62% men)
- Life insurance generally costs more for men, than women due to their life expectancy being shorter
- Women have 31% less dollar coverage than men
My guess is that men tend to be the breadwinners in a household and therefore feel as though they ought to have the main (or only) life insurance policy. While this is likely changing some – stats seem to point to this still being the case.
The barriers to buying life insurance
It was a friend of mine who first alerted me to the importance of having a life insurance policy. I remember him talking about how affordable a term life policy could be for someone our age.
At the time, the cost was of great importance and after investigating it some, I realized I could get a decent amount of coverage for very little cost each month. That’s what got me over the “barrier” to purchasing a policy.
For others, I suspect some of the following reasons may be hurdle to getting a policy:
- An extra monthly cost they don’t wish to take on
- Process too lengthy / cumbersome
- Not a priority / no time
- Don’t feel they “need it”
- Already have enough “in the bank”
How Bestow aims to remove the barriers to obtaining a policy
I had the pleasure to speak with a representative at Bestow before writing this article and a few things stood out about what they are trying to do in the life insurance space.
One, is their desire to make life insurance easier to understand by “humanizing the process of term-life insurance.” There is no fussing with commissioned agents or medical exams.
Second, the whole process can be done online through an easy questionnaire.
“Millions of Americans value life insurance but lack coverage because traditional offline options don’t align with today’s digital consumer,” according to Bestow Co-Founder and President, Jonathan Abelmann.
“We knew there had to be a better way. We reimagined the entire experience with a fully digital solution that delivers coverage in a few minutes, removes pain points like medical exams, and is super easy to manage. It’s empowering families to get the affordable protection they deserve.”
Bestow will offer an option for policy holders to “round up” their policies and the proceeds will be given to charitable causes set-up through their own Bestow Foundation.
They’ll be launching their services in early 2018.
Do you have a life insurance policy? What were some of the barriers to purchasing a policy?
Update 10/17/18: Bestow is now selling in most states. Here’s a list: Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico North Carolina Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Rhode Island South Carolina Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming