The title is not misleading – I really did find a life insurance policy that amounted to getting it for free, and I never had to leave the house. Of course, it is a term life policy, not whole life, which makes a huge difference in cost. Nevertheless it is a steal at that price and I will tell you how I lucked onto it.
I started about two months before my 50th birthday, as I knew rates went up significantly at milestone birthdays. There are several online insurance quote sites, where several companies share access to you, the e-consumer, as you sit innocently in your pajamas at the keyboard. You may as well don a suit of medieval armor to do battle with the vultures who will land on you first before the more reputable agents can contact you.
Leaving aside the topic of armor for a moment, let’s list a few of the better-known quote services. The biggest names are netquote.com, insure.com, esurance.com, insurance.com, ehealthinsurance.com. There are many others, and this is in no way a comprehensive list. I might mention first of all that I also took the opportunity to check quotes on auto insurance, as my premium was coming due late in the month.
(Let me digress and answer the issue of car insurance. To make a long story short, I wound up retaining my present auto insurer. Why? Three reasons:
1) Prominence of the company and its unique combination of services,
2) Convenience of location,
3) Ability to combine services like travel maps and also car license renewals, and 4) Length of time that I had done business of any kind with the company. I was offered comparable auto policies in terms of coverage and services, and good savings if I combined by auto and rental with any of the insurers. One even had a significantly larger total value for the contents of my apartment, but I would have had to provide photographic evidence of the contents, and it would have given me depreciated valuation, not replacement value.)
NetQuote is good because the searcher can get quotes on the four main categories of insurance: auto, property, life and health. It will try to match you up with as many as five agents ready to work up a quote for you. To start, just key in your zip code and what line of insurance you want a quote for.
Please ignore a site called InsuranceAssociatesLLC, as it is only a front for funneling customers to a single company. They go through a phony process of comparing policies with four other companies, only to show that X company supposedly has the best coverage. I cannot take seriously any company that would engage in those kinds of business practices.
So once I had gotten through the process of filling out the online application form, which asks for your vital stats and so forth, I began to receive phone calls and mail offers from a few insurance companies. If you were not serious about finding an insurer, then you can just put a phony phone number or a work number where an answering machine takes messages.
This is where the real work in finding a great policy begins. Because now you can get quotes that actually mean something. The online, instant quotes mean nothing. Those quotes are not based on enough facts, and the final premium can vary considerably if there are other details in your profile that raise or lower your insurability.
So once I received these phone calls from insurance carriers offering quotes, I would ask for a couple of different quotes based on different variables (deductible, hospital, an HSA component). And by the way, do you have anything with a return-of-premium rider?
Why of course, they will reply. We’d be happy to write up as many quotes as you like.
So that is how I found a term life insurance that was basically for free. After ten years of paying $33 a month, I will get that money back (provided that I am still alive and kicking, of course).
Most insurers will not even quote clients for something with a return-of-premium rider because most people are just shopping for the rock bottom price. The rider will add a couple dollars a month, but if you are going to get that money back after ten years, what does that matter?