Can You Really Get Life Insurance Instantly?

October 16, 2020
Jonathan Fritz
B.A. Risk Management
Life Insurance Agent
instant life insurance buyer

Life insurance underwriting used to be a long process that took several weeks from start to finish. Modern technology makes the process much faster. Customers shopping for life insurance now expect results a lot sooner. After all, you can now get decisions on everything from bank accounts to car loans online with a few simple clicks. Life insurance approval is a more complex process than opening a new savings account, but it's gotten faster, too. Today, underwriters can assess your information rapidly and come to a coverage decision. In some cases, you might even be able to get instant coverage.

What is instant coverage?

Instant life insurance coverage is coverage you can get an immediate answer on. Your policy will start as soon as your application is approved, meaning the whole process can be done in less than half an hour.

However, there are a few things you need to be aware of. First, instant coverage only applies to term policies with accelerated underwriting. Second, you'll need to be in very good health to qualify.

Many websites are promising instant coverage that starts today, but that doesn't mean every applicant will qualify. Often, customers will submit an application thinking it's for instant coverage, only to be met with a message they need to take a medical exam. Other applications might find that the specific terms they want aren't available instantly.

So, while it's possible to get life insurance instantly, it's not an option for everyone and it doesn't fit all situations. If you think it might be a good option for you, keep reading for more details on how the process works, what companies offer this kind of policy, and what you'll need to know along the way.

Instant Life Insurance – How is it possible?

The traditional life insurance process involves analyzing all the data provided on your application, the results of your health exam, and information pulled from databases to either accept or reject your application. The same information was then used to approve or deny your application.

When you apply for an accelerated life insurance policy your data is analyzed instantly. A computer algorithm analyzes the data from your application along with information about you from credit reporting agencies, the DMV, the Medical Information Bureau, and data services like LexisNexis.

The algorithm uses the data to calculate your risk of dying during your requested policy term. You'll then receive instant approval, instant rejection, or notice you need to take a medical exam. You might need to take a medical exam if your application or the data pulled about you reveal any health conditions or concerns.

Best Companies for Instant Life Insurance

There are several options for instant life insurance. It is important to note that while many traditional life insurance companies offer accelerated underwriting with fast approval, you might need to go through an agent to apply. They also don't have user-friendly, online applications.

The companies below offer completely online, user-friendly options. They all offer the possibility of an instant decision.

Haven Life

haven life

Haven Life policies are backed by Mass Mutual and have been offered since 2015. The company offers policies to applicants between 18 and 64. Applicants under 45 are eligible for policies of up to a million dollars instantly. Haven will let you know instantly if you're approved. Even if you need to take a medical exam, you'll still be able to buy your policy right away. Haven will give you an estimated quote. You can pay for your new policy, and it will be active right away. After your exam Haven will either confirm your quoted price or adjust it based on new information. You'll have the option to accept or decline the new terms.

Ladder

ladder life

Ladder policies are backed by Fidelity Security Life. The company offers flexible, instant policies to people between 18 and 60. Ladder policies allow you to make changes to your coverage over the life of your policy if your needs change. Like Haven, you can get an instant decision with Ladder. If you're approved but need a medical exam to finalize your price, you'll see an estimated price quote. You can buy your policy and have coverage instantly. You'll then take an exam to receive your final price.

Bestow

bestow life

Bestow policies are backed by North American Life Insurance Company and have been offered since 2017. Policies aren't available to residents of New York state. The company offers policies to applications between 21 and 55 for a ten-year term, and between 21 and 45 for a 20-year term. You'll get an instant decision from Bestow. There are no medical exams required for any applications.

Ethos

ethos life

Ethos policies are backed by Banner Life Insurance. The company doesn't offer policies to residents of New York state. Policies are offered applications between 18 and 65. Just like Haven and Ladder, you might need to take a medical exam when you apply for coverage with Ethos. However, the company says that the majority of applicants can get coverage without an exam. Unlike Haven and Ladder, your Ethos policy won't start right away if you need an exam. You'll need to wait until your exam results are back to get a price and buy coverage. Unlike Fabric, Ethos quotes you a price range before you apply for coverage.

Fabric

fabric life

Fabric policies are backed by Vantis Life Insurance Company. The company offers both accidental death and term life policies. Coverage isn't available to residents of Montana, New York. or California. Accidental death coverage isn't offered in:

  • Pennsylvania
  • Colorado
  • Massachusetts
  • North Dakota
  • Virginia
  • Washington

The company is aimed at families with children and also offers tools like will guidance for parents of young children. You can apply for term coverage online. You might receive a decision instantly. In other cases, you'll need to supply more information or take a medical exam. Like Ethos, you won't receive a final price or decision until after the exam is complete. What is frustrating is that you have to fill out the entire application before you know how much it will cost.

Instant Life Insurance Price Comparisons

Here is a price comparison of insant life insurance for a 50 year old male in good health. Prices are for a 15 year, $250,000 term life insurance policy.

  • Haven Life - $47.51 per month.
  • Ladder Life - $56.48 per month.
  • Bestow - $34.58 per month. Note: This is for a 10 year term, Bestow does not offer 15 year terms, and their 20 year term isn't available after age 45.
  • Ethos - $62 - $112 per month depending on their underwriting.
  • Fabric - We have no price sample from Fabric, as they require you to go through the entire application before you are shown a price.

Who is instant life insurance best for?

Instant life insurance policies are designed with younger and healthier people in mind. Many companies limit eligibility by age.

For example, at 50, you wouldn't be eligible for an instant 20-year term policy from Bestow, even if you were in great health. Even when you meet the age requirements, you might have a hard time getting instant coverage if you have health concerns. While some health concerns might just delay your underwriting while you take an exam, others will cause you to be denied a policy altogether.

How does the application process work?

Most people start the life insurance buying policy by getting a quote. You can get quotes by entering some basic information online like your age, gender, and general health status. You can then select a company and adjust your plan.

For example, let's say you got a quote for $50 a month for a $500,000, 20-year policy. You could adjust the term and benefit amount before you begin the application.

Higher benefit amounts and longer terms will raise your life insurance rates, while lower benefit amounts and shorter terms will lower them. You can set the exact coverage you're applying for and then start your application.

A life insurance application will ask you for a lot of information. You'll need to provide your health history and your family health history. You'll also be asked about your job, hobbies, and lifestyle. It's important to be 100% honest on your application. If the company finds you didn't disclose information, your policy could be denied. The decline can be reflected in your insurance score, making it harder to get coverage in the future.

Once you submit your application, the underwriting algorithm will analyze your information and pull data to come to an instant decision. From there, you'll either be denied, approved, approved with a rate increase, or approved pending a medical exam. A medical exam could be prompted by data you provide on your application or on information the company pulls from medical records.

How is instant life insurance different than no exam life insurance?

No exam policies aren't the same as accelerated underwriting policies. While the products and coverage you can get are similar, the underwriting process is different. Most no exam policies use a process called simplified underwriting and you generally are not approved instantly. You'll need to wait on a coverage decision for a few days, even though you don't need to take an exam. A simplified underwriting policy will ask you detailed questions about your medical history and recent medical care during your application. An instant issue policy will do the same, but with the difference in underwriting you can get an instant decision.

How is instant life insurance different than guaranteed issue life insurance?

There are several differences between guaranteed issue and instant life insurance. First, guaranteed issue policies aren't term policies. Second, the coverage amounts are lower, but the premiums are often higher. Plus, guaranteed issue policies aren't able to be used during the waiting period. This means you can't access the full death benefit amount for a set amount of time. For most policies, the waiting period is two years. However, you can get a guaranteed policy instantly and you likely won't have to answer any medical questions.

Is instant issue life insurance what I need if I want a policy with no medical exam and no waiting period?

Yes. If you're in good health and can qualify, an instant issue policy will allow you to get coverage with no exam and no waiting period. What if you're in less than perfect health and want a policy with no waiting period? In that case, a simplified issue policy with no exam might be best for you. Either policy will allow you to get quick coverage you can use as soon as your policy is active if you need it. Keep in mind that simplified issue policies will take a few days, while instant policies are, as the name implies, instant.

Red Flags to Watch Out for When Buying Instant Life Insurance

Buying an instant policy can be a fast and easy process, but there are a few things you should watch out for. Before you hit that purchase button make sure that:

  • You're buying a term life policy and not an accidental death policy. Accidental death policies can be issued instantly, but they only cover you if your cause of death is an accident. They don't provide coverage for illness. Some companies will issue you an accidental death policy instantly but require you to take an exam for a term life policy.
  • You've read the fine print. Some websites are full of colorful images and bold promises. Make sure you read all the details. If a website seems like it's pushing too hard to make a sale, there might be details you're not getting.
  • Your agent has answered all your questions. Just like websites, some agents emphasize they can get you covered today without going into detail or providing you the information you need.

Final Word

It's possible to get life insurance online instantly, but it's not right for everyone. If you're not sure what type of policy is right for you, give us a call (888.407.0714). Our agents will explain the options and help you figure out what type of underwriting and policy is best for you.