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An expecting father's real life insurance story

People buy life insurance for a variety of reasons. Here's a case study of a 38-year-old first time father figuring out his family's financial plan.

Real Stories

Brian's life insurance story

Keith-Thumb-7f1f1f985cdc9a064451ac1be59c8da8 Brian, 38 Creative Director

Meet Brian

  • Married to Yvonne, who is pregnant with their first child
  • Is an exercise buff and loves to go skiing

Brian's financial situation:

  • Salary: $120,000
  • Shared retirement savings: $200,000
  • Mortgage: $300,000
  • Auto loans: $43,000

After years of talking about starting a family, Brian and Yvonne have finally decided to take action, and now Yvonne is pregnant. During all of the excitement of telling their friends and family, people keep telling them that they should definitely buy life insurance now that a third person will be dependent on them.

Brian and Yvonne couldn't agree more. It's an especially resonant topic for them, because Brian comes from a family with a history of heart disease, and he already battles high cholesterol levels even though he follows a good diet. He and Yvonne think the odds are with them that he'll be fine in the coming years. But the more important question for them is what kind of effect on pricing Brian's health condition will have. Will they even be able to afford life insurance?

What should he buy?

  • Brian wants to make sure Yvonne has a safety net to protect her from being stuck with a $300k mortgage if something happens to him.
  • He also wants to take care of the car payments to reduce her burden.
  • Yvonne should already have enough for retirement at the rate she's saving, so he's not as worried about that.
  • And then there's their forthcoming child, who will need tens of thousands of dollars to raise over the years, not to mention the cost of putting him or her through college. Brian wants to pay for all of that whether he's around to see it or not.

Brian's favorite way to comparison-shop is to use a spreadsheet to track all the details of each product. It's not just the price that matters to him; it's the trustworthiness of the brand, reviews from third parties, and financial stability ratings. And of course, the details of what each policy offers compared to the others.

While looking at online reviews of insurance aggregators and online brokers, he keeps seeing Policygenius mentioned, so he pays a visit. Brian is pleasantly surprised to find that the site offers a neutral breakdown of each policy's terms, riders, and prices—enough so that he can compare products side by side right on the site… or so he can move the data to his own spreadsheet and then can collect quotes from other sites and cross-compare.

One thing Brian immediately notices is nobody else asks for details of his health information, and not surprisingly the quotes they give him are markedly lower than what he got from Policygenius. Then he remembers the help text on the Policygenius site saying that this detailed health information is critical to get an accurate quote, and that makes Brian feel a lot more confident in their accuracy.

Eventually he decides that the policies he's found through Policygenius are the ones that, after taking his health condition into account, offer the most value from the strongest brands in the marketplace. Also, the way they presented the offers to him suggests they understand what he's looking for and that they trust him to make his own decisions when presented with the right information.

Brian decides to buy a 30-year term policy for $800,000

Brian is most concerned about covering their current debt and any future debt that will come from their child's higher education in 18 or so years. He and Yvonne are not as concerned with buffering her retirement savings. Even so, the $800k benefit provides enough buffer to help give Yvonne some extra money to do whatever she feels is best.

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