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    A Life Insurance Actuary's Guide to
    Term Life Insurance Quote Sites

    by Norlyn Dimmitt, FSA, Founder of ExamFirst                                  
    About ExamFirst
    Life Insurance Actuaries

    Term-Life-Insurance-Quote

    Term-Life-Insurance-Quote
    The easiest way to discuss the qualities that one should look for in a term life insurance quote site is to examine a hypothetical case.
    Term-Life-Insurance-Quote

    Mr. Smith is looking for a $500,000 life insurance policy with a 10 year term for guaranteed premiums. He is age 45 and he doesn't use tobacco. He has high total cholersterol of 290, but this includes a lot of HDL or "good" cholesterol. This brings what is called his cholesterol ratio down to 4.0, which is very good.

    Given these life insurance underwriting variables, Mr. Smith uses the Internet to find his lowest premium. His intention is to then apply for life insurance with the selected company Mr. Smith visits some Websites that have been recognized in the media, and then he applies to the six companies that showed the lowest premiums.

    Term-Life-Insurance-Quote
    Mr. Smith then compared the lowest six premiums offered at the four Websites he visited -- QuickenInsurance, InsWeb, InsuranceGuide and Reliaquote. Here is what he found:
    Term-Life-Insurance-Quote
     
    Actual Premium
    InsuranceGuide
    Quicken
    InsWeb
    Reliaquote
    Transamerica
    460
    460
    885
    N/A
    885*
    Empire General
    535
    535
    N/A
    N/A
    900*
    First Penn Pacific
    560
    560
    N/A
    N/A
    750*
    Ohio National
    715
    N/A
    715
    715
    N/A
    North American
    730
    N/A
    N/A
    730
    730*
    CNA
    869
    N/A
    695
    695
    695*

    Blue = misquote high
    Red = misquote low (the worst kind of misquote, creating mistrust in customers)
    N/A = This company is not available through this term site

    * The lowest quotable risk class (standard) was selected for Reliaquote. Mr. Smith actually exceeds the cholesterol level limit specified by Reliaquote for standard (285) by 5 points.

    RATES AS OF NOVEMBER 7, 2000

    Term-Life-Insurance-Quote

    InsuranceGuide provided accurate quotes and returned Mr. Smith's top three choices. Reliaquote has the same top three, but misquotes each of them, because its guidelines try to force a "one size fits all" formula for each company.

    InsWeb and QuickenInsurance are fairly accurate in general, they were not accurate in Mr. Smith's case because they did not account for his low cholesterol ratio.

    InsWeb, QuickenInsurance, and Reliaquote picked CNA first, which is incorrect. Not only do they misquote (by understating) CNA's premium, but they fail to present Transamerica as the actual lowest premium. InsWeb doesn't offer Transamerica, and the other two misquote Transamerica by overstating its premium.

    The problem with picking the wrong company is this all-too-familiar scenario: You choose a company because the quoting site displays it as the lowest rate. Eight weeks later, you find out that you don't qualify for that rate because of your health history. Instead, you have been approved for a (often much) higher rate.

    If you had known this in advance, you would have requested life insurance quotes from another company that used different underwriting criteria. Instead, you now have to start all over again, presumably with an agent representing many life insurance companies, and with the experience to help you choose the correct one. You can find a more detailed and general analysis by Clicking Here.
    Term-Life-Insurance-Quote

    Term-Life-Insurance-Quote