- How much life insurance do I need?
- How much insurance does a non-working spouse need?
- Does it cost anything to apply?
- How do I begin the application process?
- How is my "health class" determined?
- How can I be sure that I am purchasing life insurance from a good company?
- Why is Insurance 360 different from any other agent or company?
- Why shouldn't I just call my old agent?
- Who actually insures me? Insurance 360 or a company like Transamerica or John Hancock?
- If I shop around, would I be able to find the same policy for less?
- What happens to the policy's premiums after the initial guaranteed level period?
- How long are my rates guaranteed to stay level?
- Can the insurance company cancel my policy at any time?
- Is there any reason the company will not pay the claim at death?
- How is the death benefit paid to my beneficiary?
- Can my policy be cancelled due to changes in my health?
- What is the difference between the various premium rate classes?
- What if I smoke cigars? How will that affect my rate?
- I am thinking about replacing an existing policy. What are my risks?
- When should I cancel my existing policy?
- What if I have some health issues? Can I get coverage?
- What riders/features are available on my policy?
Q: How much life insurance do I need?
A: Experts recommend 6 to 10 times your annual income as a good place to begin. Most families will suffer a financial setback in the event of a “breadwinner’s” death. Therefore most companies will allow the working insured to purchase 10 to 20 times their annual income depending on your age. So if the insured makes $100,000 a year, in many cases it justifies a policy between $1 million and $2 million to ensure financial security for your beneficiaries.
Q: How much insurance does a non-working spouse need?
A: In most cases the non-working spouse will be able to purchase up to 50% of the insurance that the working spouse has on his/her life. These maximums will differ by company, but as a general rule this amount can be up to $500,000 provided that the working spouse is insured for $1,000,000 in coverage. This coverage can be beneficial to the surviving spouse because it allows for career changes and time to care for the family after the death of a parent/spouse.
Q: How do I begin the application process?
A: Once we speak with you for 5 to 10 minutes and gather some personal information, we will help you pick a policy and company that best fits your needs. Then we will set a date and time for your medical exam. This exam can be done at your home or office and it is free. This entire process can be tailored to fit your schedule and your needs.
Q: How is my "health class" determined?
A: Each company has its own health class criteria. While similar in most areas, certain factors can yield significant fluctuations in pricing. This is where Insurance 360 can assist you in choosing the company and coverage best suited for you. Our 25 years of experience allows us to help you choose a company that addresses your specific needs. For example, if you have a family history of cancer or if you are on blood pressure medication, we know which company will be more likely to issue better rates.
Q: How can I be sure that I am purchasing life insurance from a good company?
A: All companies that we represent are rated by independent financial rating services such as A. M. Best, Standard & Poor's, and Moody's. These independent rating services evaluate the overall financial strength of the company and Insurance 360 can provide you with the most current rating available.
Q: Why is Insurance 360 different from any other agent or company?
A: Insurance 360 is privately owned and operated by Scott Harper. Scott has been at the forefront of the term insurance industry since 1983, and is widely recognized as a “customer first” professional. Private ownership allows Insurance 360 to move quickly to leverage the constant change of market conditions and pricing, and this nimbleness has resulted in significant cost savings to customers. The best prices for our customers with the best companies and the best service are only possible because of direct, hands-on customer advocacy by experienced professionals.
While you would be hard pressed to name any owners or even the top management of most large internet agencies, Scott is present and available in our office on a daily basis. Although we are a large company, we still provide the personal service most customers desire. Please feel free to call our owner, Scott Harper, or any of our managers at (800) 327-2866 to discuss your specific needs.
Q: Why shouldn't I just call my old agent?
A: Being comfortable with your advisor is very important, and that’s why our relationships span decades. The reason you should shop and compare is that you may find that your existing agent may be tied to one company or limited with the choices he/she has to offer. With over 25 years of experience, Insurance 360 is on the forefront of competitive term insurance price and options. Our licensed agents have been well trained to help you with your pricing options whether you are in perfect health or have a few bumps in your health history. Ultimately, comparison-shopping is the best way to get the best price, and we’re confident that when you compare us to others, we’ll be your agent for life.
Q: Who actually insures me? Insurance 360 or a company like Transamerica or John Hancock?
A: Your policy will be written with top insurance companies such as Transamerica, Prudential, or ING.
One of the above, or another top-rated company will be insuring your life and providing the coverage for your beneficiaries. Upon death your beneficiaries may contact either the company directly or our office at Insurance 360. Either way, the claim forms will be forwarded to the beneficiary and assistance will be provided to help collect on your proceeds.
Q: If I shop around, would I be able to find the same policy for less?
A: Our experience and expertise ensures that you’ll get the best prices possible based on your unique needs. The same coverage with the same company will have the exact same price anywhere you go. This is because the individual insurance company (not the agent or broker) sets the prices for your personal policy based on your individual health, habits, and additional factors. Should you find that another agency is showing a lower price for the exact same policy, then you are looking at a lower rate class quote. Only the life insurance company will determine the price on your policy after looking into your medical records and other factors. At Insurance 360, we price you as accurately as possible based on the initial information you provide to us. The skill lies in finding the best price based on all factors, and that’s where our experience and industry knowledge works in your favor.
Q: What happens to the policy's premiums after the initial guaranteed level period?
A: Your premiums are fixed for 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. At the end of the initial period the premiums all take a big jump in price, however clients have several options. At any time within the initial period, clients can shop other options and try to extend their coverage with a new health exam through another company. Depending on your age and the specific policy, you may have the option to convert to a permanent policy without a new medical exam. Some clients may decide to continue the current policy and pay the increased premiums, but the most important thing to remember is that it is your decision. Of course, we’ll be happy to council you on the best options for your specific policy.
Q: How long are my rates guaranteed to stay level?
A: Depending on the policy you choose, the rates are guaranteed 10, 15, 20, or even 30 years. The rates are guaranteed for the fixed period and the death benefit is locked in for the entire life of the policy.
Q: Is there any reason the company will not pay the claim at death?
A: The only reasons the death claim will not be paid are contestability and suicide within the suicide provision period. This period is generally 2 years for most states but will be outlined within your policy. In addition, full and complete disclosure is required on all applications and exams. Failure to disclose any information could also result in a claim being denied at death. Most contestable periods are the first two years of the policy and will be outlined within your policy. This provision may vary by state.
Q: How is the death benefit paid to my beneficiary?
A: Unless you or your beneficiaries choose otherwise, the claim will be paid in one lump sum. Other settlement options are available, such as monthly payments. However, this will be your choice as to what best fits your needs.
Q: Can my policy be cancelled due to changes in my health?
A: No. If your policy is in force, the company cannot cancel or change your policy if full and complete disclosure was provided at the time your application and exam were completed.
Q: What is the difference between the various premium rate classes?
A: Typically, each company will have 3 rate classes that are considered “preferred” rate classes and the benchmark of the “standard” rate class. Most companies start your underwriting at the standard rate class and begin adding or subtracting credits and debits based on your individual health factors. For example, if you have not used nicotine in 10 years, have an excellent family history, no alcohol or drug abuse, but take medication to control your blood pressure, you could very well qualify for the “preferred” rate class. If that same person had a parent who died from cancer in their 50's, you would likely be increased to a “standard plus” rate class.
At Insurance 360, it is our goal to qualify you as much as possible when you make your initial request for a quote. Our agents will ask you a series of questions that will help us deliver an accurate price for your coverage. The specific criteria will differ from company to company, so it is our job to help place you with the company that will give you the best rate based on your specific health history. Every company is different, so this is why our 25 years of experience will be beneficial in your insurance purchasing decision.
Q: What if I smoke cigars? How will that affect my rate?
A: Most companies will treat the use of cigars, chew, pipe smoking, and nicotine gum the same as if you smoked cigarettes. However, one well known insurance company will still give you a non-smoker rate even if you use nicotine products as long as you don't smoke cigarettes. This company can actually save you up to 50% on your term insurance cost per year when compared to other companies.
Q: I am thinking about replacing an existing policy. What are my risks?
A: The first thing you should be aware of is that any new policy will have a new suicide period (normally 2 years) and a new contestability period (again, normally 2 years). Also, if you are replacing a term policy with a term policy, be sure to compare things like the rate guarantees, convertibility, company strength, as well as price.
Please remember that there are no guarantees that you will be offered a new policy. Do not cancel anything until you secure your new coverage and confirm that the new policy is in force.
Q: What if I have some health issues? Can I get coverage?
A: Even if you have some health concerns, we can often find a policy for you. The real question is at what price? The good news is that over the last 25 years, we have the expertise to shop for coverage with a number of big-name, quality companies. Depending on what issue you are dealing with, we know which companies are likely to do the best job with your concern. Often, we will request a preliminary inquiry from the company so you will have a better idea what price you can expect before you take the time to complete your medical exam.
Q: What riders/features are available on my policy?
A: Most companies have similar policy rider options. These options can vary with age and coverage. Some of the typical rider options are waiver of premium, accidental death, children's term riders and accelerated death benefit.
Waiver of Premium - If totally disabled, the insurance company will continue to make your premium payments on the policy.
Accidental Death Benefit - Is an extra death benefit that is paid in addition to the actual face amount of the policy.
Children's Term Rider - This rider provides a small policy on the insured's children in the event of their death.
Accelerated Death Benefit - This feature advances a portion of the death benefit if the insured is diagnosed with a specific illness that is expected to result in death within 12 months.
We hope these answers have helped you in your decision. As always, please feel free to contact one of our agents and we’ll be happy to walk you through the process.
© Insurance 360 is a DBA owned and operated by James Scott Harper (Licensed Agent) in all states including Washington DC but excluding Hawaii. For a list of specific license numbers refer to the license tab at the top of each page. For further information call 800-327-2866. CA Lic # OB62912. Local Phone 512-345-9500 Austin, TX.