5 factors to help you choose the right life insurance company
Looking for the best life insurance company? Well, you probably already realize there are a TON of them out there. And picking just the right one with all those choices may feel a little daunting.
Luckily, it’s actually a lot simpler than you might think. All you have to do when choosing which life insurance company is right for you and your family, is follow some basic tips – and in no time, you’ll be on the right path to finding a company that’s a great fit for you and your budget.
People buy life insurance for many reasons, but the biggest one of them all is to ensure that their loved ones are in good financial shape no matter what. Similarly, the life insurance company that you choose must also be in good shape from a standpoint of dollars and cents.
Thankfully, it only takes a second to do your homework. AM Best – an independent, 3rd-party rating agency – is a great measure of a life insurance company’s financial strength. You’ll want to take note of the grade that they assign each company. A rating of A+ thru A-minus indicates an especially trustworthy and financially stable company. (Not to blow our own horn, but SBLI has consistently earned an A rating from AM Best. We’re proud of the fact that we’ve remained one the nation’s most financially secure life insurance companies – dating all the way back to 1907.)
Term life and permanent life insurance are the two life insurance products an insurance company offers most. Many insurers will carry both types, while some may just specialize in one product or the other. Most people choose term life insurance1 because it is straightforward and has a relatively low monthly cost. However, permanent life insurance is also something to consider. We offer the more straightforward kind of permanent life insurance, called whole life insurance. Here’s a great place to learn more about the difference between term and whole life.
Think twice before working with a life insurance company that claims to specialize in every type of insurance under the sun. We think it’s better to choose life insurance from a company that specializes solely in life insurance products. That way you can be sure you’re working with a seasoned life insurance professional who can help you customize your policy to fully protect your loved ones and be as cost-effective as possible.
Some of the oldest, most experienced insurers in the U.S. today are life insurance companies, operating for more than 100 years in several cases (like us at SBLI). This fact alone is a good indication that a company knows what it takes to serve its customers.
However, a lengthy tenure doesn’t necessarily mean a life insurance company has a stellar track record. Organizations like J.D. Power and Associates, the Better Business Bureau and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners perform surveys and studies regularly that gauge customer satisfaction, based on claims filed, policy cancellations and how long the claims process takes before policyholders are compensated, among other factors. This is a great way of doing your due diligence because service is the name of the game.
But rather than merely letting these organizations report for us, we think it’s even better to actively engage with our customers so we can hear their unbiased opinions. To do this, we work directly with two, 3rd-party organizations to help lead an initiative we call Total Customer Happiness. Check it out.
And with any insurance company you’re considering doing business with, ask for real customer reviews and a Net Promoter Score (NPS). They’re both great ways of getting an accurate sense of how happy people are with them.
Cost of coverage
The healthy amount of competition in the life insurance industry helps keep premiums affordable, as several polls over the years have shown. But be careful not to instinctively buy the plan that costs the least. After all, our research shows that shoppers aren’t necessarily after a bargain basement life insurance company. They want one that will provide for their needs at the best VALUE, not just the cheapest price. So what does “best value” mean? It means finding a company whose rates are fair and competitive without sacrificing service. And most importantly, it means feeling 100% confident that whatever happens, the insurance company you’ve chosen is one you can rely on to be there for your loved ones years down the line.
So what about SBLI? Honestly, sometimes we have the lowest rates, and sometimes we don’t. But whatever they are, they’ll always be fair and competitive. And they’ll always come with our promise to deliver the kindness, compassion and respect you deserve.
Who Owns the Company?
When it comes to life insurance, a lot of people think that their best choice is to buy from a financial services, or insurance behemoth with publicly traded stock. The thing is, that’s not always the best idea.
Why? Because big corporations answer first and foremost to their shareholders. The decisions they make, the prices they set, the products they sell are all designed to deliver maximum profits to the people who own their company’s stock. Which means customers don’t come first.
The good news is, there are other options out there. A mutual life insurance company is actually owned by policyholders, NOT shareholders. Which means every decision they make is designed to benefit their customers (AKA, their bosses). They focus their resources on making policyholders like you — and not Wall Street investors – happy. Most importantly, by choosing a mutual life insurance company, it means you’ll have a lot more say in how you and your family are treated.
Since 1907, SBLI has moved the life insurance industry forward by staying focused on what matters most: helping protect our customer-families. With that ever in mind, we prioritize value, speed and reliability. Get a quote today and discover for yourself the SBLI difference.