How To Buy Life Insurance Online

Today most of our never ending lists of to do’s are completed through scrolling on our phone, ipad, or laptops. Amazon prime has simplified most of our routine shopping needs into a “buy it now” two day, even two hour, process.

Buying life insurance online isn’t offered on Amazon YET, however, completing the process can be just as simple.

Just ahead, we reveal why buying online is beneficial and then how to move forward!

Why Buy Life Insurance Online?

There are advantages when you buy life insurance online, including:

Lower Cost

Let’s start with this benefit since it’s of interest to everyone. The process itself enables insurance companies to lower expenses. That means they can charge lower premiums when you apply online. It also means there’s no commission to be paid to life insurance agents.

Shop Between Multiple Providers

When you shop via websites, you can cover more territory in less time. If you shop for life insurance in the traditional way, it can take days or weeks to make contact with several different companies. By contrast, web marketplaces (like Policygenius) allow you to shop several companies with a single application.

No Face-to-Face Meetings

Everyone’s busy these days, and arranging a face-to-face meeting with an insurance agent can be inconvenient. It can also take time, especially if you need to travel to the agent’s office.

Less Documentation Required

Most companies rely primarily on a combination of database information, algorithms and artificial intelligence to process your application. There’s no need to download hospital records or medical evaluations.

Online Application

Fast disappearing are paper applications. It’s much quicker and easier to complete an online application, not the least of which because it’s easier to make corrections. You also don’t need to mail the application, since all that’s needed is to hit the send button.

No Medical Exam Requirement

Many people are understandably hesitant to submit to an insurance medical exam. Not only do you have to arrange the exam at home or in your office, but it slows the application process. Many platforms don’t require a medical exam.

Documents Can Be Easily Uploaded

If any additional documents are required, they can be easily uploaded with your application.

Online Tracking

You can usually track the progress of your application from start to finish, and entirely online.

Faster Approvals

Because of all the streamlining above, life insurance approvals happen faster, often in a matter of days rather than weeks. In some cases, decisions can be rendered in just minutes!

Online has become the new, preferred way to buy life life insurance online

How to Buy Life Insurance Online

The basic process of applying for life insurance is similar to the old, face-to-face method.

But now, the process is simpler, faster, and almost always less expensive.

There are two ways to buy life insurance on the internet.

One is buying life insurance directly through specific insurance companies. The other is to submit an application to an online life insurance marketplace.

Complete A Web Application.

Whichever source you choose, you’ll generally start by providing some very basic information. That will enable you to run various life insurance scenarios (amount, term, type of policy, etc.), and get premium quotes.

This isn’t a formal application, but more like a shopping expedition. It’ll give you an opportunity to determine if the company is right for you, and if the premium is affordable.

You can get that information before going through the full application process. That’s usually the best way to determine which company is best for your needs.

Once you select an insurance company you’re satisfied with, it will then be time to complete a full application. The entire process will take place online, including uploading any required documentation. However, once again, documentation requirements are usually minimal with online insurance applications.

If you need help along the way, there’s usually either phone contact or a live chat option. That will give you the ability to have only as much human interaction as you need, while avoiding any extraneous sales pitches.

How Quickly Can I Get Life Insurance Coverage?

Your completed application will then go through the underwriting process.

Approval usually takes place in anywhere from one to just a few days. And most companies will make your policy effective from the date of application, not approval.

4 Tips to Know Before Applying for Life Insurance Online

When it comes to buying online life insurance, the insurance companies have already done everything possible to make the application process easier on themselves and on you. But you can make the process faster and simpler by following a few extra steps:

Tip #1: Be as thorough as possible in completing your application. Leaving out requested information or providing vague answers will only invite requests for clarification and additional documentation.

Tip #2: Be absolutely truthful in completing your application. If you have a health condition or a risk related habit, like smoking, disclose it on your application. If you omit it, and the insurance company finds out about it from third-party sources, your application may be denied. Worse, if they find out about it after the fact, they can deny paying benefits based on the omission.
Tip #3: Once your application has been submitted, stay alert for phone calls and emails from the insurance company. Once your application goes into underwriting, there may be additional questions, even if you fully completed the application. Often, those questions are generated from publicly available information the insurance company obtains on you. The quicker you respond to requests, the faster your approval will come.
Tip #4: Be fully prepared to set up an auto-draft payment method. Insurance companies that operate online look to minimize expenses from every direction. One of the ways they do this is through auto-draft arrangements. Have your bank or credit card information available when completing the application.

The insurance companies have done their part to expedite the application process. But your full cooperation is still necessary to make the process work the way it’s intended to.

Best Online Life Insurance Companies

Almost every company now enables you to apply for coverage online. But some companies have come to specialize in online life insurance, offering policies either mostly or entirely through the digital application process.

Best Life Insurance Marketplaces

If you prefer to apply for life insurance with several companies using a single application, you can do it through online life insurance marketplaces.

These are life insurance websites – commonly referred to as aggregators – that include participation by multiple insurance companies. Once you complete your application, you’ll get quotes from several companies.

Popular online life insurance marketplaces include:


PolicyGenius offers the advantage that they provide more than just life insurance.

It’s a virtual one-stop shop for all your insurance needs. PolicyGenius works with some of the biggest names in the insurance industry, and has live agents available to help you with the application process.

One major advantage they offer is that they provide coverage for all health profiles.


SelectQuote has been operating since 1985, making it one of the better-established marketplaces.

It’s an independent life insurance agency, working with some of the biggest names in the life insurance industry. This gives them the advantage of being able to help you get coverage if you have health conditions or other complications.

And while you’ll apply online, you’ll have the benefit of having access to live licensed agents.

Leap Life

Leap Life is a brokerage that gives you the option to complete the application process either via the internet or by phone.

They work with several different insurance carriers, including Pacific Life, American General, and Mutual of Omaha.

There are a variety of life insurance policies offered, including term life, whole life, and universal life, with policy amounts as high as $5 million.

The platform provides many options for no exam life insurance as well as policies for applicants up to age 75.

What You Should Know About Online Life Insurance Marketplaces

While life insurance marketplaces are often the best sources for coverage, there are some factors you need to be aware of:

  • Once you complete your application, you’ll be solicited by participating life insurance companies. You may be contacted by either email or by phone, and often well after you’ve accepted a policy from a single carrier. In short, online life insurance marketplaces put you on the participating companies’ marketing lists.
  • While you can begin the application process directly on the marketplace, you’ll ultimately be directed to completing the application with the selected life insurance company. At that point, you’ll be making direct application with one company.
  • Though you’re more likely to get a lower premium using a marketplace, not all life insurance companies participate on each platform. One may have participation by only 12 out of more than 100 potential carriers.
  • Since you’ll get quotes from several different companies, you can become confused by the information provided. This will be especially true if you get quotes from a large number of companies. You’ll then need to sort through the details to make the determination as to which will be best for you.

None of these issues mean you shouldn’t take full advantage of life insurance marketplaces. But in the interest of full disclosure, we want you to know exactly what you’ll be up against when you do. It’s a better world than the traditional life insurance application method, but it’s not perfect!

When Buying Life Insurance Online May Not Be the Best Strategy

If you notice from the descriptions of  several providers above, there’s a clear pattern that many life insurance sites cater to younger, healthier applicants. This is hardly unusual, and part of the reason why providers offer lower premiums than more traditional sources. This is also why online sources will generally quote extremely low monthly premium life insurance rates on very large policy amounts.

But if you don’t fit the profile of young and healthy, or if you want a different type of policy – particularly whole life insurance – you may be better served working with an independent life insurance broker.

An independent broker may work with dozens of different life insurance companies, rather than a select few. He or she may know exactly where to place your application if you have a health condition, like diabetes or hypertension. This kind of hands-on care may be especially important if you have a history of more severe conditions, like heart disease or cancer.

In the life insurance world, not all companies take the same view of each health condition. Some take a more favorable view and are more likely to approve your policy. Others may approve it with a very high premium, while still more may decline the application altogether.

An independent life insurance agent will be your best course of action to get approval for your policy if you have a significant health condition. It will also be the best opportunity you’ll have to get the most affordable premium.

If you’re young and healthy, buy life insurance online by all means. But if you have significant health conditions, or you’re older, or you’re looking for a different type of policy, it’ll be time to work with an independent life insurance broker.

Grant Sabatier

Grant Sabatier

Creator of Millennial Money and Author of Financial Freedom (Penguin Random House). Dubbed "The Millennial Millionaire" by CNBC, Grant went from $2.26 to over $1 million in 5 years, reaching financial independence at age 30. Grant has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, NPR, Money Magazine and many others. He uses Personal Capital to manage his money in 10 minutes a month.
Grant Sabatier

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