I primary help my clients purchase term life insurance. I work with Lenz Financial, a firm in Portland that has some of the best companies and rates, and super back-office support.
Life insurance planning is a complex issue regarding some guidance. The first issue is determining how much coverage you should have. If you are replacing a bread-winner's income, a decent rule of thumb is to buy a death benefit equal to 5-10 times your current income. More adequate is for you to do a formal 'needs analysis'. A good non-profit calculator can be found at the web link below:
Before applying for coverage I would like to ask you about your recent health history and prescriptions you take. This will help me pre-screen to recommend a company that works well for your history.
Applying for Life Insurance process
Once we get an idea of what you would like the death benefit (like $500,000), the guaranteed term you want your premiums guaranteed for (10, 15, 20, 30), and the likely underwriting level you will qualify for (Standard, Preferred, etc), we're ready to apply.
I can email you various quotes, we can select a company, then make application either electronically or old-school paper. Once the application is submitted the insurance company will order an in-home paramedical exam. The examiner will come out, ask you the medical history, take a blood and urine specimen, and sometimes a EKG--at no cost to you. If they have questions on your health history, they may request medical records from your doctors offices.
Once all this data comes back, a Life Underwriter looks at it all, decides on an tier of coverage to offer you (Preferred rate, Standard), then issues a policy for you to examine with a 30 day free look period.
At that point you can either accept the insurance offer, reject it, or ask for a lesser coverage.
For example: Bob applies for a $500,000 Term life plan with a 15 year rate guarantee, and was quoted a 'Preferred Rate' of $50 per month. In the Underwriting process they uncover an untreated high blood pressure issue and Bob is offered a $500,000 plan with a Standard rate of $60 per month.
Bob can then:
1. Accept the plan as offered for $60
2. Request a lower benefit, like $400,000 of coverage for $50 per month (if that's his budget)
3. Say no thanks and reject the coverage without obligation.
HOW LONG DOES THE LIFE INSURANCE APPLICATION PROCESS TAKE?
It can take from 2 weeks to 3 months, depending on whether medical records are required.