It’s difficult for consumers to know if they’re being ripped off when it comes to life insurance. Price alone doesn’t tell the whole story because many products are cheap, but they have terrible coverage. Without much product knowledge, consumers will rely too much on price to make a buying decision, which quite often leads to a bad decision. At Houston Life Insurance Plans, we try our best to educate consumers with product knowledge so they make the best buying decision possible. Try out our blog page to get the product knowledge you need.
To get the best insurance advice, you should work with an independent agent that has experience. Experience is important because new agents don’t know the market very well. A new agent might think that a particular product is well priced, but an experienced agent may know of a better priced product. New agents may be biased in the products they recommend because they lack the experience working with different products. Finally, some agents are contractually obligated to sell insurance with only one company (called captive agents). Those agents are obviously biased in their recommendations. Not only that, but captive agents quite often sell products that are not competitively priced. It’s important to work with an experienced, non-captive agent to get unbiased advice, which is exactly the type of agent you get at Houston Life Insurance Plans.
If you have COPD or any other lung disease, insurance companies will put you in one of three categories: graded (also called modified), standard, or preferred. Graded plans have a two year waiting period for full coverage, and they are usually the most expensive. Unlike graded plans, standard and preferred offer immediate full coverage (no waiting period). The only difference between standard and preferred is the rate you pay, with standard being more expensive.
The category you fall under depends on three criteria: the insurance company, the type of lung disease, and the frequency of symptoms. As you probably know, different insurance companies have different appetites for risk. Some insurance companies try to put everyone with more than seasonal symptoms into a graded/modified plan. Conversely, some companies are fine giving preferred rates for chronic asthma. The type of lung disease matters to insurance companies because some types pose a greater risk to life. No company will give a preferred rate for COPD. A standard rate is the best you can hope for with that disease. As a general rule, you should expect a graded/modified plan whenever supplemental oxygen is used (some companies make an exception when oxygen is used for sleep apnea). The last criteria is frequency of symptoms. Inhalers are a good example. Inhalers used for yearlong symptoms will sometimes give you a less favorable underwriting decision than inhalers used for seasonal allergies. If you live in Houston or surrounding cities, you can get one of the Houston life insurance plans that cover COPD and other lung diseases.
New Year’s resolutions are often short lived because they require continuous effort. That fitness goal might last for a couple months until some excuse is made for skipping an exercise. Then the floodgates of excuses opens up and the goal is shattered. Luckily for life insurance, no continuous effort is required. Many life insurance policies don’t require an exam, so you’re done with the application process after the agent leaves your home. There are some items to take care of after a policy is issued, but its not a big ordeal. Who knows? Maybe your success with getting life insurance will act as a springboard for accomplishing more difficult goals. You’ll also be one of the few people who can brag about fulfilling your New Year’s resolution. If you start it after January it no longer counts as a New Year’s resolution. So the time is now to do it. I am always available if you need help figuring out the best Houston life insurance plan. Go to my contact page for ways to reach me.
Congratulations if you bought Houston life insurance. However, your job isn’t done yet. There are important steps to take after a policy is purchased.
The first step is putting your agent’s business card on the refrigerator so you always know where it is and it has no chance of getting lost. If you ever need to update your payment information or make another policy change, you’ll have a tough time doing it if your agent’s business card is shoved deep in a drawer and the policy is buried in a stack of papers.
The second step involves letting your beneficiaries know about their new status as beneficiaries. Keeping them in the loop will avoid confusion later. I don’t recommend having this conversation with contingent beneficiaries though. A contingent beneficiary is only entitled to the death benefit if the insured outlives all the primary beneficiaries. Contingent beneficiaries play an important role in making sure a living beneficiary is available for benefit payments. However, they may resent being told they are second in line.
The third step is deciding where to store your Houston life insurance policy. Many people give the policy contract to their beneficiary since the beneficiary will need immediate access to it when it comes time to filing a claim. If you want to keep the policy in your home and with the beneficiary, the insurance company will charge a small fee, usually around $25, for a duplicate copy. I also recommend placing it in a fire safe.
Perhaps the biggest reason people hesitate to buy life insurance is the fear of it being too expensive. It doesn’t help that most websites providing instant quotes default to $10,000 of coverage. How did $10,000 become the default amount to quote? That amount of money is excessive for the growing number of people choosing cremation over traditional burial. By using $10,000 as a default, people might assume that’s the minimum amount that can be purchased, and they might be using that to determine if life insurance is affordable. Fortunately, much lower amounts of coverage can be purchased.
Every life insurance company sets a minimum amount of coverage, but all companies that I’ve seen do at least $5,000 for a minimum. Many will go down to $3,000. The lowest I’ve seen is $1,500. These minimums can be helpful for those on a very restricted budget (low income) who are planning for a cremation. A cremation with ceremony shouldn’t run more than $5,000. People who don’t want a ceremony can get away with lower amounts of coverage. Here is a quoting tool where you can put in $2,500 for a minimum. Finding coverage amounts this low is only half the battle because you also have to find agents willing to write policies that small. You don’t have to worry about that with Houston Life Insurance Plans. We will write any amount of coverage, no matter how small.