Jeffrey Manola is an experienced life insurance agent and the founder of Top Quote Life Insurance. His mission when he created Top Quote Life Insurance was to provide online consumers searching for life insurance with the absolute best quotes for term life insurance, permanent life insurance, no medical exam life insurance, and burial insurance. Not only does he strive to provide you with the ...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Nov 4, 2020

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The #1 determining factor when it comes to purchasing the most affordable life insurance coverage is you. The price you pay for affordable life insurance coverage is primarily based on your overall risk to the life insurance company.

The less of a risk you are to the life insurance company having to pay out a death claim, the lower the price you pay for coverage.

The more of a risk you are to the life insurance company, the more you will be required to pay for the life insurance coverage.

Top Quote Life Insurance can help you find affordable life insurance options. 

Looking to compare life insurance policies? We can help. Enter your ZIP code to get free quotes from multiple insurers.

Health Risk Classifications

Life insurance premiums are based on what life insurance companies call risk classifications, also called health classifications. From most favorable to least favorable, risk classifications are often classified as Preferred Plus, Preferred, Standard Plus, Standard, Smoker, and Table Rated.

When searching for the most affordable life insurance coverage, it is important to select an appropriate risk classification that you think you may qualify for. Each life insurance company will have its own set of guidelines to determine if you qualify for particular risk classification.

These classifications are based on several factors, such as your overall medical history, build, tobacco use, family history, driving history, foreign travel, and even participation in extreme hobbies or sport. If you’re unsure which risk class you may qualify for, a licensed life insurance agent at Top Quote Life Insurance will assist you.

EXAMPLE: If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you would not want to pick Preferred Plus, as the odds of you qualifying for that risk classification during the underwriting process is highly unlikely. A safer choice would be Standard.

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How the Life Insurance Company Determines your Health Risk Classification

If life insurance risk classifications are determined on overall health, how does the life insurance company get that information? Most life insurance coverage requires a medical exam. When applying for coverage, an exam will be provided to you at no cost. The medical exam consists of a series of medical questions pertaining to both your health, as well as a little information regarding your family members’ overall health.

Another portion of the medical exam is the blood and urinalysis sample, which is used to test for a1c levels, cholesterol, liver functions, liver enzymes, kidney functions, and nicotine.  The medical exam is nothing to worry about but should be looked at as if you wanted to score an A+ on a test. The best way to score an A+ on your exam is to be well prepared with doctor and prescription information.

After your application for life insurance has been fully underwritten by the life insurance company’s underwriter, your final risk classification will be determined. If all goes as planned, the risk classification that was used to determine your initial life insurance quote should be the same as the underwriter’s final approval.

Choosing a Type of Life Insurance Coverage

Getting the most affordable life insurance coverage also depends on the type of life insurance policy you purchase. It’s very important to keep in mind that the most affordable life insurance coverage may not always be the right type of life insurance coverage for your financial needs. If you’re unsure which life insurance coverage you should purchase, contact us and we will help you.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is the most affordable and commonly purchased life insurance coverage available. Coverage generally comes in fixed premium contract lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 year lengths.  There is no cash build up with term life insurance, but you have the ability to get larger death benefits than other types of life insurance coverage, at a much lower price.

Term life insurance is often purchased to solve many financial issues such as mortgage protection, income replacement, college funds, debt payments, final expenses, estate taxes, business loans, and keyman coverage.

PROS

  • The cheapest form of life insurance coverage
  • Ability to get larger death benefits at a low cost
  • High issue ages

CONS

  • Will always be more expensive at renewal
  • Have the risk of being declined if health has changed come renewal time
  • Does not build any cash values

No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance

No medical exam term life insurance has all the same features as traditional medical exam term life insurance except you don’t need to take the medical exam. No medical term life insurance is great for individuals who need life insurance coverage quickly or have a fear of needles.

The downside to no medical exam term life insurance is that the amount you can get is limited. Currently, the no medical exam term life insurance company that offers the highest death benefit is $500,000.

PROS

  • No need to schedule an exam
  • No blood draw or urinalysis
  • Quicker underwriting time

CONS

  • Cost more than regular term life insurance
  • Limited death benefits
  • Shorter issue ages

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance that can offer both a fixed premium and guaranteed death benefit. Universal life insurance does not have contract lengths like term life insurance. The concept of universal life insurance is simple, as long as you pay the premium the coverage will last forever.

You will never have to worry about the policy expiring, the premium changing, or ever having to renew coverage again. Universal life insurance also has the ability to make cash which means you could use the cash values to make premium payments or use it for loans.

PROS

  • Cheapest form of permanent life insurance coverage
  • Coverage can build cash growth
  • Never need to medically re-qualify for coverage

CONS

  • Cost 3-4% more than term life insurance
  • Policy loans need to be paid back
  • Interest rates are generally 2-4% so the cash build-up is not significant

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is another form of permanent life insurance that also has the ability to make the greatest cash values out of all types of life insurance coverage. With greater cash values, also come higher premiums.

Whole life insurance acts similarly to a savings account with much better interest rates than any bank offer. Whole life insurance also has the ability to produce dividends (cash) that can be used to purchase paid-up coverage or income.

PROS

CONS

  • Most expensive type of life insurance coverage
  • Dividends are often not guaranteed
  • Not as flexible as universal life, you must make premium when the premium is due

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance (Graded Death Benefit)

Guaranteed issue life insurance is the only life insurance coverage that you cannot be declined for regardless of your current or past health. Guaranteed life insurance coverage does not require a medical exam or even medical questions.  Issue ages are generally limited to 50-80 years old and has limited death benefits from $5000 – $25,000.

Coverage is a form of whole life insurance so it is permanent and can produce cash value. It is very important to understand that guaranteed issue life insurance comes with a drawback, which is its graded death benefit. Graded death benefit is if you pass away within the first 2 policy years, the only money paid to the beneficiary will be all premium paid plus 10% interest.

After the 2nd policy year, the full death benefit will be paid. This type of life insurance coverage is generally for individuals with serious medical conditions who cannot qualify for life insurance coverage and some senior citizens. The coverage is generally enough for final expenses, debt repayments, or funeral costs.

PROS

CONS

  • Smaller death benefits
  • Can be expensive
  • Possibility of paying more than what the coverage is worth

Need help with getting your affordable life insurance coverage? For instant term life insurance quotes, use the quote form directly to the right of your screen to start comparing the most affordable life insurance rates with the top life U.S. life insurance carriers.

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