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Term Life Insurance for Seniors- What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

Lenny Robbins
May 15, 2013 12:45:00 AM

Are you a baby boomer? Looking for life insurance? You aren't alone. As we affordable term life insurance for seniors. Read on to find out what you need to know!

1. Is Term Life Insurance Right For You?

The first thing you should think about is the difference between term insurance and permanent insurance. Which is right for you? Here's what to consider...

note saying are you covered? on a corkboard on our term life insurance for seniors- what you don't know can hurt you article
  • Term insurance will have a level premium for a specified time period, while permanent coverage will have a level premium for your lifetime.
  • How old are you? Will you need coverage when the level term ends? If so, perhaps a permanent policy is the right choice. As we age, the price difference between term and permanent coverage shrinks. 
  • Do you need coverage for a specific time period? Then term is just right for you.
  • The decision is one you can make with your agt as you discuss you goals!

When you talk to your agent, you will discuss these items and more before you make an informed decision! You should understand what you are buying.

1. Choose One Independent Agent to Apply With

With many of us doing some shopping on the internet, we are used to checking out the options and looking for the best deal.

However, life insurance works differently. Firstly, it's not something you just buy! You have to apply and get approved.

If you apply to more than one company at a time and have a problem you don't know about several things could happen. 
  • You might get a high rating, which would make your insurance more expensive from multiple companies.
  • You might even get declined from these multiple companies. 

That could mean your Medical Information Bureau (MIB) record would have multiple hits. Believe it or not, this could make getting insurance much more difficult because the next time you apply the new insurance company will see multiple rated offers or declines. Every insurance company checks the MIB to see if you have applied elsewhere and the results.

So what should you do?

Your best bet for getting affordable term life insurance for seniors is to find an experienced independent agent who works with many different companies and is an expert in senior life insurance. That agent will help you to choose the one best company to apply to by asking questions about:

  • Your age, height and weight.
  • Your health history and family medical history.
  • Your job risks and risks from any hobbies.
  • Your lifestyle health risks like smoking.

2. Independent Agent Lets You Shop Around Without Penalty

Independent life insurance agents offer you the best chance to get an outstanding deal on your policy. Why?

They know the ins and outs of each carrier. Did you know that every insurance carrier has their own set of underwriting guidelines that they follow? They are often more aggressive in different areas. (For example, some companies are better (more aggressive) with build issues (your height and weight) or diabetes or family history than others. Your agent should be aware of which carriers will be better for certain issues.

In addition, you can only get quotes online from certain carriers. Online sites limit the number of carriers you can see. There are many reasons for this, none of which are important. What is important is that you talk to an independent agent who can look at many more carriers than you can to see which will work best for you.

Also, your agent will know what things are likely to affect your underwriting rating and therefore your premium. Some of the more common issues affecting premium are:

  • age
  • build
  • medical history and medications
  • family medical history
You can't factor those things in because you don't know how the insurance companies factor in this information. But your agent should. An independent agent gives you many carriers to choose from, where a captive agent only has one company available. 
Independent agents can take the information you provide and match your with the insurance carrier most likely to give you a good rating, and therefore the best price.

Moreover, you only have to apply to one company, so you lessen the chance of multiple MIB rating or decline hits. In addition, if you do happen to get rated higher or declined, the independent life insurance agent and their in-house underwriter can work together to help you know what your options are.

3. How and Independent Agent Can Help You Get Insurance if You Get Denied

If you are denied insurance, the independent life insurance agent can help you devise a strategy to qualify. Sometimes, there is a health problem you can fix. For example, you can:

  • Work with your doctor to lower your cholesterol or blood pressure through diet, exercise, and/or medications.
  • Get help from doctor to find a program for weight loss.
  • Make eating and lifestyle changes to get your blood sugar under control.

Another help for you is that an independent life insurance agent can have their in-house underwriter approach other companies informally to find out which companies would be best for your issues. This is a service that no captive life insurance agent, who works for one company would be able to do for you.

The Bottom Line

If you are a baby boomer, now is the time to get life insurance. Life insurance will always be more expensive the longer you wait. To make sure you get the best deal, don't shop around by yourself. Talk with an independent life insurance agent. They will be sure to help you get the best deal on senior term life insurance.

Life Insurance for Seniors Guide