5 things to know about online life insurance agency Bestow

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Bestow life insurance homepage
Image Credit: Bestow

Bestow’s life insurance product is one option you should check out if you’re looking for a simple way to purchase a term life insurance policy.

Here’s what you need to know about Bestow’s life insurance product

Bestow is one of a handful of fintech startups leading the charge in an attempt to reinvent the way insurance is sold for a new generation.

Their business model involves a simple, streamlined application that’s all done online. It uses data and algorithms so you can skip the medical exam.

“Insurance is very tradition-bound. It’s hard to get people to change how they do things, but I think this is absolutely the future,” money expert Clark Howard says. “Nobody under 30 is going to put up with the process you have to go through now to buy insurance.”

In this article, we’ll take a look at the plans that Bestow offers, examine who qualifies for a policy, explain how to get a quote online and more.

Table of contents

  1. Product offerings
  2. Qualifications for potential customers
  3. No medical exam policies
  4. A.M. Best rating
  5. How to get a quote online

Product offerings

Bestow wants to make getting life insurance easy. The entire application process takes 10 minutes or less and is done online either on a desktop computer or from your mobile phone.

As part of that simplified process, Bestow’s life insurance plans offer nearly instant underwriting. That’s thanks to the company’s use of Big Data to shape the decision-making process. More on that in a bit.

The company offers a couple of common term life insurance policies — and even one policy that is completely unique in the field.

  • 10-year policies
  • 20-year policies
  • 2-year term policies

While 10- and 20-year term policies are pretty commonplace, a 2-year term policy is unprecedented in the world of online life insurance.

What Bestow calls its “2T plan” is comparable to annual renewable term (ART), which is what you get if you have access to a group life policy through your employer.

With an ART, you’re offered an insurance policy that covers you for one year — or two years in Bestow’s case. At the end of that time, you can renew for another trial period, usually at a slightly higher premium, or you can step up to a traditional term life policy of 10 or 20 years.

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However, Clark Howard says he’s skeptical of the 2-year policy.

“I don’t know what advantage it would be. Because with term life insurance, you really want to know that your premium is locked in for 10 to 30 years,” he says. “The premiums could start out really low with any kind of ART, but then they can get sky high at renewal time.”

So Clark’s advice is to steer clear of Bestow’s 2T Plan and focus instead on its 10- or 20-year term policies.

Furthermore, you want to be sure you have an “insurable need” for life insurance before buying it. As a general rule, if you don’t have any financial dependents, you don’t need a life insurance policy.

RELATED: What is term life insurance and should I buy it?

Qualifications for potential customers

Bestow’s life insurance product is available to people who meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen and resident
  • Must be employed, a full-time homemaker or a student
  • You should be generally healthy
  • Between the ages of 21-45 for 20-year term life
  • Between the ages of 21-54 for 2-year or 10-year term life

However, we should note that you can’t get coverage if you have or have had any of the following conditions:

  • Alcohol and drug abuse that requires treatment
  • Cancer (except basal and squamous cell skin cancer)
  • Diabetes before 40 (except gestational diabetes)
  • Heart disease
  • HIV
  • Kidney disease requiring dialysis
  • Organ transplant
  • Stroke

No medical exam policies

One of the biggest selling points of Bestow is that all the policies it offers are no medical exam policies. That means you don’t have to be pricked with a needle to determine your cholesterol levels, have your blood pressure checked or otherwise have any kind of physical or medical exam.

“They’re using algorithms that replace the nurse visit,” Clark says. “They believe they can properly and accurately reflect risk based on your prior medical and prescription history, by looking at anything they can find about you medically in your MIB report and elsewhere.”

Editor’s note: As part of the underwriting process, Bestow will request your MIB (Medical Information Bureau) report. Read more about this lesser-known health dossier on you here.

In fact, Bestow is just one of several companies offering no medical exam life insurance policies. Others who also do this include Haven Life, Globe Life and Mutual of Omaha. You can read about their product offerings in our “How to get term life insurance with no medical exam” article.

A.M. Best rating

All policies sold through Bestow are issued by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance.

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North American has an A.M. Best rating of A+ — the second-highest possible rating from this credit rating company that focuses on the insurance industry.

A.M. Best developed its proprietary ratings system because strength and financial stability are very important when you’re selecting an insurance company for the long haul. You want to be sure the company you’re getting a policy from today will be around in 20 years if your family needs to collect on a claim.

While no one can see into the future, A.M. Best’s scale is the closest thing we have to a crystal ball. By looking at an insurer’s balance sheet, financial strength rating, long-term issuer credit rating and other data points, A.M. Best is able to give the best educated guess in the industry about a particular company’s future claims-paying ability.

How to get a quote online

Here at Team Clark, we’ve walked through the process of getting a quote online from Bestow. Here’s what you can expect:

Step 1. Enter your basic info

  • Gender
  • Birthday
  • Height
  • Weight
  • State of residence

Step 2. Get set up to get your quote

  • Select your desired coverage (2-, 10- or 2-year policy and coverage amount between $50,000 and $1 million)
  • Enter your legal name and email
  • Create a password
  • Enter your phone number
  • Enter your residential address
  • Verify your previously entered gender, birthday, height and weight

Step 3. Answer health and lifestyle question

You’ll answer a total of 16 questions across two categories in this step.

Health questions about:

  • Your weight loss/gain patterns
  • Tobacco use
  • HIV status
  • Disability status
  • Surgery and hospitalization history
  • 10-year health look-back question about physical conditions that may disqualify you
  • Mental health questions

Lifestyle questions about:

  • Citizenship
  • Birthplace
  • Other life insurance or annuities you may have
  • Employment
  • Income
  • Dangerous hobbies or activities you like to pursue
  • Criminal activity or charges against you
  • Driver’s license

Step 4: Data authorization

You’re almost there! This is the final step before getting your quote!

  • Provide your Social Security number
  • E-sign a HIPAA authorization for release of health-related information

The whole process takes about 10 minutes and Bestow is able to deliver a quote with the real rate you’ll pay instantly thanks to its proprietary accelerated underwriting.

In plain English, this means Bestow uses its own algorithms to make a decision about your application instantaneously — instead of you having to get pricked with a needle or have a medical exam!

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If you decide you like the rate you’re quoted and sign up online, your coverage is effective immediately. But if you change your mind, Bestow offers a 30-day money back guarantee on policies. “If you cancel your policy within the first 30 days, you’ll receive a refund,” Bestow notes online.

Final thought

Buying life insurance is one of the most sensible things you can do if you have a family or someone who relies on you financially. And with Bestow, it’s so easy to go online and get a quote.

But the same is true with PolicyGenius and Haven Life, so be sure to comparison shop around!

If you’re not certain you need a policy, you may want to do a little background reading with our piece titled “What is term life insurance and should I buy it?

Once you’re ready to get shopping, you’ll want to see our step-by-step guide to how to buy term life insurance and check our list of the best life insurance companies before you sign on the dotted line.

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