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THE BOTTOM LINE
Founded in 2016, Bestow goes all-in on all-digital life insurance. You can apply online in five to 20 minutes, never undergo a medical exam, and even film claims online. Rates are very affordable, too. If you’re young, healthy, and in need of quick, convenient life insurance, Bestow has you covered with its basic term life policy.
But if you’re older, in poorer health, or simply want more robust coverage — and higher coverage amounts — you’ll need to continue your life insurance search.
No medical exam required. Bestow’s single available product, a basic term life policy, does not require a medical exam to apply. And if you want to renew your policy, you won’t need a medical exam either.
Instant approval. Bestow does not require a medical exam, and it offers accelerated underwriting. This allows for instant decisions — Bestow claims approvals can happen in as little as five minutes. That’s very fast compared to most other companies, which usually take two to six weeks on average to approve a policy.
Online application and claims filing. The whole Bestow experience is completely virtual. You can apply online using their website, and also file claims online using their customer portal. You never need to speak with a live agent unless you want to.
30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re unsatisfied for whatever reason, you can cancel and get your money back within 30 days of buying your policy. Getting your paid premiums back after cancellation isn’t always a guarantee with most companies, but that isn’t the case with Bestow.
Small coverage amounts. Bestow’s minimum coverage amount is $50,000 and the maximum is $1,500,000. Those are rather small sums compared to most competitors. For example, AIG offers a minimum of $100,000. If you want larger death benefits, you’ll want to work with another carrier.
Not available for seniors. Seniors aged 60 and above will not be able to apply for a term life policy with Bestow. You’ll need to apply for a policy with another carrier if you don’t fit within the 18 to 59 age eligibility bracket.
No riders available. Most life insurance companies include the option to add riders to policies. Bestow has no riders to offer, meaning customers can’t personalize their coverage.
No policy conversion. Bestow offers only one product, a term life policy, so there is no option to convert to a whole life or universal life policy down the line. If you want more permanent insurance, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Not available in New York. Bestow is available in every state except New York. If you live in the Empire State you’ll have to look elsewhere for life insurance.
Bestow offers only one product — a term life policy to people aged 21 to 59, with no medical exam required. Terms are 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. Coverage ranges from $50,000 to $1.5 million, which are fairly low amounts compared to competitors.
However, underwriting and approval decisions are instant. If you’re young, healthy (and impatient!) then Bestow may be a good fit for you, especially when you consider their affordable rates.
But if you’re older, have any chronic conditions, or simply want a higher coverage amount, you should consider other options.
|Eligible ages||18 to 59|
|Term lengths||10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, or 30-year terms|
People over 59 are not eligible for Bestow. But that does not mean your policy will expire the moment you hit 60. If you buy a 10-year term policy at age 53, you will have coverage until age 63 so long as your premiums are paid.
If you want to renew your policy, you will not have to undergo a medical exam.
All customers have a 30-day free look period, so if you don’t like your policy Bestow will give you a full refund if you cancel within the first 30 days.
→ Read more about the “free look” period for life insurance.
Currently, Bestow does not offer any riders.
Most competitors offer optional riders that applicants can add to their policy. These riders typically enhance coverage. You can get extra coverage for a child or spouse, access your death benefit if you become terminally ill, or waive your premiums if you become disabled. If you’re interested in these options, you’ll have to look at other carriers besides Bestow.
→ Read more about all the different types of life insurance riders.
Temporary coverage is not available from Bestow since they have no waiting period. Your coverage begins immediately once you complete the purchase of the policy.
Since Bestow doesn’t have permanent life insurance to convert to, there is no policy conversion option. If you want to convert to a whole life or universal life policy down the line, you’ll need to look at other carriers.
Most life insurance companies allow you to reconsider your premiums after a year or so. If you become healthier over time, you could get the opportunity to pay less. With Bestow, you cannot reconsider your rates. Your monthly premium will remain the same throughout the entire term you select.
Here’s a sample profile of Bestow’s main — and only — term life product, which provides instant coverage for 10, 15, 20, 35, or 30 years with no medical exam required.
The rates are based on a healthy male in his 20s applying for a $500,000, 20-year term policy (except for the 50s age range, which is based on a 10-year term).
Rates current as of December 2021.
As you see, Bestow’s pricing is very affordable, especially for younger, healthier people. People above the age of 59 can’t apply for a policy with Bestow. If you’re older, or have any pre-existing conditions, you could look for other policies from other carriers.
The following conditions will disqualify you from a policy with Bestow: alcohol and drug use, cancer (except basal and squamous cell skin cancer), diabetes before the age of 40 (except gestational diabetes), heart disease, HIV, kidney disease requiring dialysis, stroke, and organ transplant.
→ Check out the best life insurance companies for seniors.
Bestow bills itself as the “digital life insurance company.” Started in 2016, they’re a new life insurance company financially backed by two other, bigger life insurance companies: North American Company for Life and Health Insurance and Munich RE.
The former has been around since 1886, and they have over $22 billion in assets. The latter was founded in 1959. We’ll be using their financial ratings for the purposes of this review.
A.M. Best: A+
Standard & Poor’s: A+
A.M. Best, focuses specifically on the insurance industry, so it’s a great indicator of a carrier’s financial health. As mentioned, the companies that back Bestow have an A+ rating (effective December 9, 2021) from A.M. Best, which means their financial outlook is stable.
The bond credit rating firm Moody’s does not have scores available for these companies.
Standard & Poor’s, another major credit rating agency, gives North American an A+ rating. Their ratings scale ranges from D to AAA. An A+ means a company has a very strong ability to meet its financial commitments.
Ratings from credit analyzers are one thing, but what about the thoughts and feelings of Bestow’s own customers?
They’re pretty satisfied with their service, based on a handful of third-party ratings we look at to determine overall sentiment.
Consumers Advocate is a third-party review site that looks at a company’s reputation, policy information, and overall stability. They give Bestow an “excellent” 4.8 out of five stars in their review.
Consumer Affairs gives verified customers the chance to directly write reviews of companies. Based on a scant 24 reviews and ratings submitted, Bestow is rated 5 out of 5 stars, which is very high for an insurance company on this website. People generally approve of the affordable policies, quick turnaround, and ability to skip the medical exam.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks complaints submitted to state insurance departments. A company with a ratio over 1 received more complaints than average. They have not received any complaints about Bestow yet. However, North American Company for Life and Health, which backs Bestow, has a complaint index number of 0.68. That’s fewer complaints compared to competitors.
Bestow makes researching and applying for affordable life insurance as quick and hassle-free as possible. There’s an online quote tool, a FAQ and blog section, and email, phone, and live chat options (with a real live agent) available on their website.
Since you don't need to undergo medical underwriting, applying for Bestow’s term life policy is fairly fast. They use “big data” to make a decision, which basically means they use an algorithm to analyze your answers related to health, family, lifestyle, hobbies, and medical histories. The whole process happens online. If you want to talk to a real live person, you can call Bestow’s customer service or use their chat tool.
To start the application you input your basic information (age, height, weight, where you live, whether or not you smoke) in an online quote tool.
Decisions are made within five to 20 minutes. Coverage begins immediately upon first payment.
Bestow delivers the policy electronically.
Bestow is available in all states except New York. Sorry Yankees fans!
Pretty much everything, including policy changes and adding and modifying beneficiaries, can be done through Bestow’s built-in online customer portal.
But, to cancel a policy, you need to call customer service.
Bestow only accepts payment by credit card. Payments are automatically drafted until the term’s end or the policy is cancelled.
Bestow has an online quote tool and a chat tool that you can use to talk to an automated bot or a real person.
Beneficiaries can call customer service or file claims online. Bestow needs the following information:
- Name, phone, and email of beneficiary
- Name, date of birth, and current address of the policyholder
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Bestow offer online quotes?
Yes, you can get free quotes on Bestow’s website. Just enter your age, height, weight, and ZIP code, as well as desired coverage amount and term length, and you’ll get an estimated monthly rate.
Do I need to take a medical exam with Bestow?
No, you’ll never need to take a medical exam with Bestow since all of their underwriting is accelerated. But, to apply, you will need to answer questions about your medical and prescription histories, family medical history, hobbies, lifestyle, and other personal information.
Does Bestow offer permanent life insurance?
No, Bestow has only one product: a term life policy. For whole life, universal life, indexed universal life, or other insurance types, you’ll have to look at other companies.