Bestow’s claim to fame is that it offers term life insurance with no medical exam — ever.
It’s among several direct-to-consumer “insuretech” startups focused on convenience and speed with its online application and purchasing process.
In this article, I’ll help you determine whether Bestow’s term life insurance product is the right fit for you.
Table of Contents
- Bestow Insurance Review: Quick Look
- What Is Bestow Life Insurance?
- Bestow Review: Where It Shines
- Bestow Review: Where It Falls Short
- Examining Bestow’s Term Life Insurance Product
Bestow Insurance Review: Quick Look
|Company Type||Term life insurance agent|
|Key Features||No medical exams|
|Downsides||Narrow product offering|
|Best For||Younger, healthier customers|
What Is Bestow Life Insurance?
Founded in 2017 and based in Dallas, Bestow claims it’s the only term life insurance company that will give you a decision almost instantly — without a doctor’s visit.
Although the company has plans to become a fully-licensed insurance carrier, Bestow operates as an insurance agent for now.
Bestow policies are issued by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, which has been around since 1886 and carries an A+ rating from A.M. Best. Money expert Clark Howard says you should buy life insurance only from a company that has earned an A.M. Best rating of A+ or A++.
North American Insurance approves the underwriting rules, policy design and application questions for all Bestow customers.
Bestow’s stated mission is to expand access to term life insurance by making it simpler. Term life insurance is its only product.
Bestow Review: Where It Shines
Here are some of the positive aspects of Bestow:
- No medical exam required. Life insurance policies traditionally require medical exams that involve blood and urine samples. Bestow takes advantage of instant access to data to avoid that step. Other direct-to-consumer companies offer policies that aren’t fully underwritten (read: more expensive) or require medical exams. You must approve access to sensitive information such as your medical records. With your permission, Bestow instantly pulls your records and feeds them into its automated underwriting algorithm, which then assesses you as an insurance risk. Insurance companies pulling data like this is not new, but the ability to access and assess the data instantly and automatically is a recent development.
- Online applications with instant decisions. “No medical exams” is a nice marketing message. It’s debatable whether that’s the best approach to make life insurance accessible to everyone. But Bestow succeeds at being the simplest-to-use insurance company I’ve reviewed. You fill out an online application for its only product, term life insurance. You get approved or denied. Then you buy or you don’t.
- Agents don’t work on commission. Bestow isn’t set up to funnel you to a human gatekeeper. But it does offer customer service as well as help from licensed agents. The agents are not paid commissions.
Bestow Review: Where It Falls Short
Here are some of the negative aspects of Bestow:
- Lower coverage limits. Bestow currently offers coverage up to $1.5 million. Its closest competitors have higher limits. Haven Life offers coverage up to $3 million, and Fabric offers coverage up to $5 million.
- Limited product offering. Bestow offers only term life insurance. That’s the product that Clark recommends for almost everyone, so that’s not a huge deal. But there are some instances where other products fit certain individuals. Bestow used to offer fewer term length options than its competitors but added 15-, 25- and 30-year terms in 2021.
- Age restrictions. You can’t apply for a 25-year or 30-year Bestow policy if you’re older than 45. For its 10-year term product, you can’t be older than 59.
Examining Bestow’s Term Life Insurance Product
|Gender/Age||Policy Amount||20-Year Term Life|
Bestow offers term lengths of 10 and 20 years and coverage between $50,000 and $1 million.
You can apply for a 20-year policy if you’re between 21 and 49 years old. That age range expands to 21 to 59 for 10-year policies.
Bestow asks you about your health and lifestyle and uses its predictive models to assess you as a risk. Bestow also offers customer support and advice from life insurance agents.
It’s important to remember that North American Company for Life and Health Insurance actually issues the policies sold through Bestow. North American holds an A+ rating on A.M. Best, which is a credit rating agency that specializes in the insurance industry.
A 35-year-old Florida female in excellent health can get a 20-year policy with $500,000 of coverage for $19.75 per month through Bestow. That compares favorably to Fabric ($20.28/month) and Haven Life ($25.57/month).
Bestow’s prices are competitive if you’re younger and buying less coverage, especially if you follow Clark’s advice. Clark says it’s important to buy life insurance from a company with an A.M. Best rating of A+ (A++ if you’re buying a term of longer than 20 years). Some of the options that are cheaper than Bestow do not have such high ratings.
Although Bestow has not made our list of best term life insurance companies, Bestow could still be a good option for you if:
- You’re young
- You’re healthy
- You don’t want to submit to a medical exam
- You want minimal hassle during the application process
Among the term life insurance products available from insuretech companies, there are more similarities than there are differences.
Some of them partner with legacy insurance companies (Bestow with North American, Haven Life with MassMutual). Some offer decisions in minutes and offer policies that never or rarely require medical exams (Bestow and Fabric). Others may offer cheaper prices in exchange for an application process that typically lasts several weeks (online insurance broker Policygenius).
If it’s important to you to have a short application process with a guarantee that you won’t need a medical exam, Bestow will give you what you want. But if you’re out to find the best price on the market from any company with an A+ or A++ A.M. Best rating, you probably can find a cheaper alternative.
Before buying a term life insurance policy, we recommend you read our full guide on how to shop for term life insurance.