How to get life insurance quotes in 10 minutes

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 December 23, 2016|5 min read

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You’re busy. I get it. Job, kids, errands; you barely have time to watch a single episode of a Netflix original, nevermind binge watch a whole season. So who has time to get life insurance quotes?

Answer: you do.

You can get life insurance quotes from dozens of insurers in under ten minutes. That’s faster than your average Seamless delivery. That’s shorter than one of your kids’ outbursts. That’s quicker than it takes to grab lunch or your morning coffee.

But it’s not enough to just obtain term life insurance quotes. It’s important to get accurate quotes that you can actually use to apply for your ideal policy. Here’s how you can get life insurance quotes that you can actually use in under 10 minutes, in three easy steps.

1. Figure out how much coverage you need

Life insurance should protect you for, oh, the next 20 or 30 years. How are you supposed to possibly know how much coverage you should buy?

It’s actually pretty straightforward. With tools like PolicyGenius’ coverage calculator, you can even have someone else crunch the numbers for you.

First, take a close look at what you provide for your dependents. If you’re married and have kids (or are planning to), your family will need a replacement for your income replacement if you’re no longer around to provide for them. They’ll need to be able to pay the mortgage and save for future expenses like college (never mind the everyday costs they need covered). Also think about caring for elderly relatives; it’s becoming more common for elderly parents to move in with their children’s family, so consider the costs and resources you’ll need to provide for them, too.

Second, make a list of your current assets and debts. You may want to make sure your kids have enough money to go to college, but if you already have $10,000 set aside in a 529 savings account, you’re well on your way to providing them with an education, and you should keep that in mind all of your current savings when deciding how much you need.

On the other hand, if you have credit card debt, outstanding student loans, or one of those pesky mortgages, make sure you don’t saddle your loved ones with those expenses. If you’re not able to pay them off, make sure your family can. They’ll have enough on their mind without worrying about how to pay down debt or deal with collectors’ calls.

Finally, decide what your family’s financial goals are. We’ve covered some of these, like providing for a house and college expenses. But do you want to leave a legacy behind to a charity? How much will your spouse need for retirement? Your death benefit should cover all of these financial goals, so when you’re getting life insurance quotes, make sure you tally all of these up.

If you’re financially savvy enough to be looking into life insurance, you probably have a good handle on your money and expenses already. But that doesn’t mean you need to put any extra work on your shoulders; our insurance checkup will let you see where you have gaps in coverage and how much insurance you need overall to support your financial plans.

2. Have your medical information ready

Life insurance premiums are based largely on your health. A life insurance carrier wants to know how risky you are to insure – how likely you are to outlive your coverage. They do this through the underwriting process, where they’ll look at your current health, your health history, and maybe do a medical exam to get a full picture of your health.

If you have this health information ready, you’ll ensure your life insurance quotes are as accurate as possible and you’re making the best use of these 10 minutes.

  • Know your current health conditions. Do you suffer from high blood pressure? Depression? Sleep apnea, asthma, or diabetes? Life insurance carriers want to know. Now, if you’re not entirely sure how, say, your cholesterol is doing, it’s not the end of the world; the insurer may have you take a medical exam (basically your average physical exam) and can uncover some of these things. But if you do know this information, the quotes you get now are more likely to accurately reflect your final premium rates.

  • Know your family health history. If your family has a history of cancer, heart disease, or other genetic maladies, that makes you risky and will probably raise your rates slightly. It’s still possible to get competitive rates if your family (or even yourself) suffer from some of these diseases, but again, the quotes you get probably won’t match what you’ll end up paying. If you don’t know your family’s health history, ask around next time you see them.

  • Know your hobbies. Okay, so you probably already know your hobbies and this won’t require much research. But "risky" hobbies like rock climbing, skydiving, and scuba diving, along with vices like drinking, smoking, and drug use can affect your rates. Word of warning: don’t try to hide these. If an insurer finds out during the first two years of coverage (the contestability period) that you lied on an application, they can revoke your coverage. For the sake of your family’s financial protection, be upfront about everything.

  • Know your driving violations. Insurers want to know if you’re a speed demon and will dig into your driving record. Be ready to disclose any driving violations when you’re getting your life insurance quotes.

Again, getting term life insurance quotes is easy, but you don’t want just any quotes. If you don’t have the right information, your quotes might as well be random dollar amounts. By coming with all of the relevant information in hand, not only will you be able to complete the quote process even faster, but the quotes you get will actually be relevant rather than a waste of time.

3. Know your insurance carrier options

This might seem like the hardest step because what do you know about life insurance carriers? And what sorts of things should you even be looking for?

Don’t worry: you can find it all in our insurer reviews.

Obviously you want to get the right coverage at a cost that fits into your budget. But you also want an insurer that’s easy to work with. How fast is their turnaround time from application to in-force policy? How easy is it to update information, like your beneficiaries? How much can you do online, and what requires paper mail sent in? These are questions you need to ask (and that PolicyGenius can answer).

You can also see an insurance carrier’s financial ratings with various institutions to give yourself some peace of mind about their stability, and you can see what term lengths, coverage amounts, and rider options they have so you’re confident they can provide policies that work for you.

That way, when you get to the point where you’re comparing life insurance quotes from the nation’s top carriers, you’re able to instantly know which companies deserve your attention, and which you’re going to kindly pass on because they don’t offer everything you need.

There you go: three steps to getting life insurance quotes (that matter to you) in 10 minutes. If you follow these steps, you’ll get the most accurate quotes available, which means you’ll only have to do this once – a true 10-minute process.

But that doesn’t mean you’re on your own. If you want to ask some questions, you can get in touch with one of our independent licensed experts. They’ll be able to help you figure out exactly what you need so you can get your quotes and apply for life insurance and protect your family as soon as possible.