Introducing PolicyGenius' life insurer reviews

Colin Lalley 1600


Colin Lalley

Colin Lalley

Insurance Expert

Colin Lalley is the Associate Director of SEO Content at Policygenius in New York City. His writing on insurance and personal finance has appeared on Betterment, Inc, Credit Sesame, and the Council for Disability Awareness.

Published October 30, 2015|5 min read

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Here’s what we do at PolicyGenius: we make buying insurance easier.First, we brought the purchasing process into the 21st century. The Personal Insurance Checkup gives you a holistic view of your finances and where there are gaps. This lets you choose the insurance that’s right for you. We give you accurate estimates, instant policy comparisons, and an easy application process.We also wanted our customers to be as educated as possible. That’s why we provide resources like the Genius Center, where you can find informative (and occasionally witty) articles on how to reduce the risks in life.Now we’re introducing one more thing to make you even more knowledgeable. Introducing PolicyGenius’ life insurer reviews.

Why insurance company reviews are important

As we worked to build the best online platform for researching and buying life insurance, we noticed a trend. People wanted ratings of insurers during their decision-making process.Makes sense, right? Life insurance is a big deal. It’s a long term commitment, and the point of it is to keep your loved ones safe from financial hardship. A little piece of mind isn’t too much to ask.So people would leave the PolicyGenius site, google "Insurer X reviews," and see some complaints. They’d assume the worst, get cold feet, and not finish the application process.The thing about online reviews is that they tend to skew toward the extreme. They’re left by people who had an exceptional experience or by people whose experience was a nightmare. You don’t often see reviews from people who had an average, did-what-I-needed-but-nothing-special experience. Reviewers are a vocal minority.That was the first problem: the reviews people were seeing likely weren’t representative of the insurance company's customers' experiences as a whole. The second problem is that, well, it’s really hard to judge a life insurance company.What do you usually look up reviews of online? Restaurants? Shoes? Movies? Whatever it is, it’s probably pretty straightforward. The restaurant had good food and service, or it didn’t. The shoes were fashionable and comfortable, or they weren’t. And regardless of whether these things were good or bad, you’re going to another restaurant or seeing another movie soon. In the grand scheme of things, they’re kind of inconsequential.With life insurance, though, it gets more complicated. How do you judge it? On how easy the application process was? On the coverage you’re getting? On the premiums? On how quickly the death benefit was paid out? There’s a lot more that goes into it, and the consequences are just a little more important than whether or not you should buy a certain pair of shoes.And speaking of that death benefit... the other part of this issue is that, if the life insurance is used – the person who bought it dies – an entirely different person experiences an entirely different part of the process. Again: complicated.We wanted to remove some of that complication. We collected everything you need to know about life insurance companies based on our experience, and what is important for life insurance shoppers, and put it all in one place.

How we rated life insurance companies

So that’s the "why." But what about the criteria we used to give our reviews?

The basics

First we give the basics. You can see when an insurer was founded and how many policyholders they have. Some applicants sleep easier when they can see their life insurer has been around for 100+ years and has a few million other people they’re covering. We also give ratings from popular agencies in case you need a second opinion.

The application process

Next, we rated each insurer based on being an applicant and being a policyholder. The two distinct parts of life insurance – before and after you have your policy – have different expectations. Breaking this up made it easier to judge each insurer fairly.When you’re an applicant, there are a lot of hands-on parts. You want to know how long it will take, what steps are involved, what can be done electronically, and so on. Every step of the process affects how and when you’re able to move forward.

The customer service

Once you’re a policyholder, though, you’ll hopefully have little interaction with your life insurer. There are very specific instances where you’ll have to be in touch with them, and that’s why we focused on things like how easy it is to change your address, update your beneficiaries, or cancel your policy. That’s why we highlight these sorts of customer service-related actions.

The plans

Finally, we dig into the actual plans that are offered by the insurer. There are some features that are common to all of the plans we offer. You’ll find these listed, appropriately, in the "Common features" section, along with a short definition of what each feature means for you.

You’ll also find a list of unique features for each plan. Some plans, for example, don’t require a medical exam up to a certain amount of coverage; some are better for people with complicated medical histories; others have customizable terms. If there’s something specific that makes an insurer’s plan stand out, we’ll let you know about it.

Then there are the details. This section outlines the nuts and bolts of what you’ll actually be getting if you apply for a particular plan: minimum coverage amounts, available terms, payment methods, and so on. It’s the "boring" stuff you might find elsewhere about purchasing a life insurance policy – but combined with the other information we provide, it makes you the most educated customer around.Keep in mind that while some insurers rate higher than others – that’s sort of implicit when it comes to ranking things – we don’t work with any insurers that we don’t believe in or aren’t comfortable doing business with. We wouldn’t do that to you. We want you to feel comfortable with our partners, however, which is why we've provided you with everything we know about them.And we know what you’re thinking: life insurers are covered, but what if I’m looking for reviews for other insurer types?Sit tight. We’ve got more big things coming soon.

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Insurance Expert

Colin Lalley

Insurance Expert

Colin Lalley is the Associate Director of SEO Content at Policygenius in New York City. His writing on insurance and personal finance has appeared on Betterment, Inc, Credit Sesame, and the Council for Disability Awareness.