Do Larger Insurance Companies Offer Cheaper Insurance Rates?

A big question that many insurance consumers ask is, “Do larger insurance companies offer cheaper insurance rates?” Let me answer this question by saying that just because the larger insurance companies may do business in multiple states, this doesn’t mean their share of the market is bigger, nor does it mean they can write lower premium policies for everyone in every state.

The amount of insurance that each company writes may vary from state to state based on their experience in that particular state, or even in a certain region of a state. Insurance consumers should also be aware that there may be smaller regional insurance companies that offer the same coverage at a lower rate. Although the regional companies may not be as big as the larger insurance companies, they still may be competitive and financially sound. Bigger is not always better. In my experience as an independent insurance agent, I have discovered that savings were available to some customers by writing the customer’s insurance with a smaller regional company.I would suggest that people who are looking for the lowest insurance rates consider requesting insurance quotes from the smaller regional companies, as well as a larger national company. Most smaller regional insurance companies do business through local independent agents. In order to request quotes from smaller companies, you will most likely have to use a local independent agent.

If using a smaller company is a concern, then I would also suggest that you request from the writing insurance agent the companies their AM Best rating and financial information. The AM Best rating can be a handy tool for consumers.

The A.M. Best Company is an independent, full-service credit rating organization. They assign a rating for each insurance company based on the insurance company’s financial strength. Based on the outcome, a company will receive a rating of Superior (A++, A+), Excellent (A, A-), or Good (B++, B+). Per AM Best, companies with a rating between A++ – B+ are considered to be financially secure. Other ratings include Fair (B, B-), Marginal (C++, C+), Poor (D), Under Regulatory Supervision (E), In Liquidation (F) and Suspended (S). According to AM Best, companies with a rating between B – S are considered to be financially vulnerable.By comparing multiple insurance quotes from both large and smaller regional companies who have B+ or better rating, consumers should be able to feel secure in finding the cheapest insurance rate.

Term Life Insurance Companies, Their Ratings And More

There are countless term insurance life insurance companies. As someone who’s been a life insurance professional for more than 20 years, I can honestly say that the best term life insurance companies, the top rated term life insurance companies, and the best rated term life insurance companies are very similar. It’s not to say they are all exactly alike but they are usually similar. To compare term life insurance companies is really a matter of what’s important to prospective insurance client.

Your priority

My experience has been that what most people are concerned with when it comes to term insurance is what it will cost them.

Clearly some term life insurance companies are more highly rated by companies such as A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor.

Some of the factors that determine a company’s rating are:

  • Financial strength
  • Financial stability
  • Ability to pay claims
  • Claims paying expediency

If any of these factors, among the others that are used, are important to you when you compare term life insurance companies, how important are these factors to you in comparison to price?

What if one company is considered one of the best term life insurance companies in the industry but the premium cost is double that for the same amount of coverage by one that is not considered one of the best rated term life insurance companies?

What’s your priority?

Ratings

Similar to being in school, term life insurance companies and all insurance companies are rated on an A-F basis.

Seems easy to understand, right?

Did you know that and “A” rated company can be rated anywhere from A++ to A-?

Did you know that different ratings companies, including those mentioned above use different criteria to determine ratings?

Did you know that an insurance company can be rated differently by the different ratings companies?If an insurer receives a favorable rating from one rating company and a less favorable one from another rating company, which one do you think they’re going to make sure you’re aware of?

Underwriting

Insurance companies use the term underwriting to determine who pays how much for what. Different companies have different underwriting guidelines. Its name literally means that someone in the company places a signature on the policy saying a particular person meets the company’s underwriting guidelines.

There are three main methods used for underwriting life insurance policies:

  • Fully underwritten-most common-may involve medical exam (blood/urine specimen/attending physician statement).
  • Simplified issue-less common-no medical exam-decision regarding issue usually swift
  • Guaranteed issue-anyone who applies and meets certain conditions is guaranteed that a policy will be issued-(includes accidental death insurance and graded death benefit policies)

There are also different underwriting classifications. The most common:

  • Preferred-best rates
  • Standard-most common
  • Sub-standard, also known as rated or table

Some companies subdivide the classifications. For example:

  • Super preferred
  • Ultra preferred
  • Standard plus

Table can be in the form of a number (usually 1-6) or a letter (usually A-G) – the higher the number or letter, the higher the premium.

Convertibility

Some companies allow for conversion of a term policy to a permanent policy at a later date without proving insurability.

Other companies allow for conversion but require proof of insurability.

Some companies do not offer convertibility at all.

If convertibility is offered, it is often within certain time limits.

If you’re sure you want term and nothing else, then this is not something you need to consider.

Price

The main factors that affect price:

1. Health

2. Age

3. Life style

They are numbered as such because that is generally the order of priority companies use to classify prospective clients.

Poor health can and will exclude someone regardless of age and lifestyle and no amount of money will buy insurance. On the other hand excellent health can go a long way in reducing premiums.

A person’s age is the next factor. The age is compared to mortality rates. Different companies have different charts for mortality rates.

Another way to describe mortality rate is how many years someone of their age is away from death.

Statistically speaking, insurance companies know pretty accurately how many people of a certain age will die before their next birthday.

Life style is the third factor. The most common consideration is whether someone smokes but there are others as well, such as what someone does for a living. Certain professions are more hazardous than others.

A person’s hobbies have an effect as well. Sky diving, and speed racing are often frowned upon, and may not result in denial of coverage, but could result in higher premiums.

Regardless of all factors, female rates are nearly always lower than male rates.

Fully underwritten vs. simplified issue vs. guaranteed issue

All things being equal, fully underwritten is going to result in the best priced premium. However, often times all things are not equal.

Are you sure your health is as good as you think it is or is it possible a blood/urine sample, saliva swab, or doctor’s report could reveal something you’re not aware of, or if you’re not the most ethical person, perhaps something you simply don’t want to reveal?

A fully underwritten policy takes much more into consideration when determining rating class and price than a simplified issue policy.Depending on your point of view, that can be an advantage or a disadvantage.

Assuming you’re being honest and there’s not already information reported about you to the medical information bureau (MIB), your chances of a policy being issued as applied for are as high as 9 out of 10 if you apply for a simplified issue policy.

On the other hand, there is about a 60% chance you will not qualify for a fully underwritten policy as applied for.

A guaranteed issue policy will definitely be issued. You will know if you qualify before actually signing the application. It’s either yes or no. However because it’s guaranteed, the price is usually much higher, unless it is a conditional policy such as an accidental death policy.

Conclusion

Unless you know the ropes and/or can take the time to weigh all the factors when comparing term life insurance companies, an experienced professional can steer you the best term life insurance companies for you to consider.

Having said that, if you want to be absolutely sure that you’ll get the insurance you want, it’s best to buy a guaranteed issue policy.

If you’re pretty sure you’re in good health but don’t want to go to the trouble of a medical exam or paramedical exam (blood/urine), or you don’t want to reveal certain matters that could affect your ability to obtain insurance, you should consider a simplified issue policy.

Once you qualify for a policy, assuming no fraud is involved, the only one who can cancel the policy once it’s been issued is you. The insurance company cannot cancel you as long as the premiums are paid.

Perhaps it makes sense to apply for a guaranteed or simplified issue policy first. Once issued then shop for the best price and/or the best rated term life insurance companies.

What’s best for you?

I invite any and all questions and comments.

Find Life Insurance Leads

People buy life insurance to ensure the financial security of their dependents in case of their untimely death. This means that the risk of death of the policy owner is transferred to the insurance company or the insurer. Insurance agents are representatives of these insurance companies, who assess the needs of the people and help them choose the best insurance plan. Life insurance agents specialize in selling life insurance policies and therefore, posses all the expertise and knowledge to assist their customers in choosing the right policy. These agents have to find such customers for their business and they do so by, generating leads. Leads are nothing but lists of names and contact details of potential customers. There are many companies that specialize in generating and selling these lists to insurance agents as well as brokers.

To find life insurance leads insurance agents and brokers follow various courses of action. They can opt to generate their own leads by following the local resources or they can buy them. There are several companies that claim to provide fresh and unused leads for a price. These leads are usually generated though the list of people who may have requested for a quote online. These leads are considered the best, as such customers, are already looking for life insurance and are more likely to buy a policy. These web-based lead providing companies offer many packages to the insurance professionals. These packages generally include monthly or yearly accounts, pay-per-lead accounts, and customized leads account. Usually the information provided for every prospect is limited to contact details and requirement from the policy. However, more detailed information can also be purchased for a higher price.

Popular ways of generating leads include putting up advertisements on billboards or in newspapers and or having ads aired on local radio stations. People responding to these advertisements will be the leads and potential customers. It is now up to the life insurance agent to convert these leads into policies. Life insurance leads are pivotal for establishing a thriving insurance-based business.