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Of all the tasks on your to-do list, is purchasing term life insurance at the top? If you’re like me and most other people, the answer is a big, fat no.
But in our defense, who can really blame us? If you’ve ever started down the path of purchasing a term life insurance policy, then you know it quickly takes on a life of its own. Between the numerous new terminology and dealing with insurance agents, let’s just say it’s easy to put at the bottom of our checklists.
But there’s a relative newcomer to the term life insurance scene trying to make the task of purchasing term life insurance a little easier. Bestow Insurance was founded in 2016, with the promise of doing things differently with term life. I took a look at what they have to offer and put together this Bestow Life Insurance review.
Founded in Dallas, Texas in 2016, the startup was born from the idea of using artificial intelligence to create a better experience shopping for term life insurance. Bestow operates completely online, and brings term life insurance directly to you without the use of a salesperson.
Bestow’s premise is to make purchasing term life insurance so easy, you can’t put it off any longer.
Strong financial and customer service ratings
Bestow is backed by two reputable insurance companies. The policies are actually issued by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance™. Then, the policies are reinsured by Munich Re, to further guarantee financial strength of the policies. Both companies have strong, A+ financial ratings from A.M. Best.
Bestow has received an A+ rating from BBB too, and is accredited by them.
Before we get into how Bestow works, let’s review term life insurance in general.
When it comes to life insurance, you have two major policy options: whole life and term life.
Whole life. Also known as permanent life insurance, is a policy that covers your entire lifetime. Your beneficiaries receive a payout (referred to as a death benefit) based on the premium you’ve paid over the entire life of the policy. As long as you’re paying your premiums, your death benefit will be paid out. Most whole life insurance policies build a cash value over time.
Term life. Term life insurance is different because you select term lengths such as a 20-year-policy during which a death benefit would be paid. If you die during the term, then your family receives the death benefit (or whoever you select). If you die after the term is complete, then no one receives anything. Terms can be purchased anywhere from a 1-year increment up to 30-year policies, depending on the life insurance agency. Term life policies do not build any cash value.
Whether you purchase whole life or term life insurance, one of the frustrations of purchasing a policy is the application process and medical exams required. The lab tests and interview questions are enough to send anyone over the edge. This all takes place before you’ve even made your first premium payment!
Bestow’s mission is to simplify the application process. Not only do you only have to answer a handful of questions but Bestow has cut out the medical exam too. The company can do this through an accelerated-underwriting process, relying on artificial intelligence to review health conditions instead of people to underwrite your policy.
Bestow goes so far as to claim once you answer the simple questions, you can have your term life policy within 5 minutes — completely unique in the insurance industry!
How much does Bestow cost?
Like other forms of insurance, term life varies greatly from person to person. A variety of factors influence your term life insurance premiums including your age, tobacco usage, where you live, your gender, and of course your medical history.
And even without the use of a medical exam, Bestow claims to offer competitive term life rates.
Bestow writes policies for 21- to 55-year-olds, with death benefits in the range of $50,000 to $1,000,000, and in 10- or 20-year terms. Because Bestow is writing policies with these specific guardrails in place, it helps keep the cost of monthly premiums competitive over other insurance providers.
Bestow term life policies start at $8 per month. But here are other examples of average monthly premiums with Bestow:
Male, 10-year term
Male, 20-year term
Female, 10-year term
Female, 20-year term
I put in my own parameters for coverage amounts and you can see my life insurance quote for a female, living in North Carolina with a 10-year, $500,000 policy as a non-smoker. This free quote literally took seconds to receive, and you can see the life insurance rate quoted is quite affordable.
Bestow has several features you don’t often find with the traditional life insurance company.
Policies backed by a reputable carrier
Bestow is backed by an insurance powerhouse with North American Company for Life and Health Insurance™. This is an insurance company founded in 1886, which gives a good indication of how strong a company it might be.
A quick process
One of the biggest hassles in purchasing term life insurance is the medical exam — and it’s likely why we put off the purchase. Bestow guarantees you’ll get quotes in seconds and the application only takes a few minutes to fill out.
You might expect a company that cuts out the medical exam to pass on the risk with your monthly premiums. But Bestow’s monthly premiums were found to be as competitive as other term life insurance carriers.
Who is Bestow best for?
Term life insurance is a financial necessity, as it helps protect the ones you love in case something should happen to you. But who specifically is Bestow best for?
Those with dependents
If you have dependents, either in the form of kids, a spouse, a partner - or anyone who depends on your income - then you owe it to yourself to purchase a term life policy. This gives you peace of mind knowing your outstanding financial obligations and missing income will be covered.
Those who are healthy and young
Bestow, like other term life carriers, offers the most competitive rates the younger and healthier you are. It’s less of a risk for the insurance carrier, so if you can lock in when you’re younger, you’ll be rewarded with low rates.
Those who need $50,000 to $1,000,000 in benefit
If your insurance needs fall within the $50,000 to $1,000,000 range, then Bestow is a great option for you since it’s so quick and convenient.
Here are a few scenarios where Bestow might not be the best fit.
Those who need more than $1,000,000 benefit
If you and your family determine you need more than $1,000,000 to fit your family’s needs, Bestow caps out at this amount.
Those who want a whole life policy
Bestow only offers term life insurance, and policyholders will not be able to convert to whole life.
Those who want policy customization
Not only do the term life policies only come in a 10- or 20-year increment, you do not have the ability to further customize your policy. Other insurance carriers allow you to have add-on benefits to your policy, but you do not have this option with Bestow.
Pros & Cons
No medical exam required. Bestow relies on its artificial intelligence technology to quickly provide you with a yes or no acceptance answer. Using a special algorithm, it cuts out the need for a time-consuming medical exam.
No interview or phone calls required. Other insurance companies might require additional phone calls or ask you to submit your medical records. Bestow asks detailed questions upfront so you don’t have to worry about an additional time-consuming application process. The only reason you need to give your phone number is to have it on record with your new policy.
About as simple as it gets. Again, you only fill out an online application without any interviews, phone calls, or a medical exam.
Answer within minutes. With Bestow, you’ll know within minutes if your application is accepted. The quote process literally only takes seconds, and the application questions take a few minutes. You’ll know right away if you’ll be extended a policy.
Affordable. For term life insurance, it’s more affordable. Bestow offers competitive rates for term life so we really have no more excuses to put off the purchase!
Policies limited to $1,000,000. Bestow caps out the policies at a $1,000,000 death benefit.
Limited to 10-year and 20-year increments. You might not be interested in limiting your policy to a 10- or 20-year term. You may prefer a shorter, or longer, time frame with your guaranteed rate. Bestow is limited to only these two terms.
Excludes those who have had cancer. You should also note if you have battled cancer within the last 10 years, Bestow does not offer policies to anyone who has been medically diagnosed or treated with cancer in the last 10 years.
Limited options. With Bestow, you have two terms to choose from (10- and 20-year) and very little opportunity to customize your policy. As long as you are good with the parameters for benefits and terms, then Bestow can work for you.
Bestow versus competitors
Bestow is definitely not the first online insurance company, and not the last either. I wondered what the difference between Bestow and other popular online insurance companies might be.
Ethos life insurance
Ethos is another online-only insurance company similar to Bestow, but Ethos has some stark differences compared to others.
For starters, Ethos offers both term life and whole life options. Ethos also claims most applicants do not need a medical exam, but it’s not guaranteed you won’t either.
Ethos accepts applications from people ages 20-65, which is a wider age range among its competitors. You should know, Ethos doesn’t currently offer term life insurance for residents of New York, but all other locations are available, including Washington D.C. - this makes it more widely available than Bestow.
Ethos offers more policy customization too, with both benefit amounts and terms. You can purchase anywhere from $100,000 to $1,500,000 in benefits, and choose from term options of 10-,15-, 20-, or 30-years.
Fabric life insurance
Fabric is another online life insurance company. Fabric offers more products than Bestow, including term life and accidental death insurance. Fabric also has a free online will-writing tool.
A company like Fabric can be a convenience for busy parents who don’t have time to shop for multiple different companies. Fabric considers itself a one-stop-shop for taking care of your family’s finances.
After your application is reviewed by a team of underwriters, it’s possible you must submit additional medical documentation. You will likely be subject to a medical exam.
10-, 15-, 20-, 30-year
10-, 15-, 20-year
$50,000 to $1 million
$100,000 to $1.5 million
$100,000 to $5 million
Term and whole
Term, accidental death, will
Policy issue age
Pricing for 20-year term $500k, healthy male in 30s
How much term life insurance should I purchase?
This is a highly personal question and only you can determine what is best. Generally speaking, you should purchase enough so your loved ones could cover any debts, mortgages, and missing income for the next few years. Another easy rule to remember is 5x your annual income, but this is only a starting point.
Does Bestow offer term life insurance to anyone?
Bestow does not guarantee approval to anyone who applies. For starters, you can only apply with Bestow if you’re between the ages of 21 and 55. You will need to provide your social security number for a soft credit check as credit score is a factor used by all insurers when insuring individuals.
Can I replace my current term life policy with one from Bestow?
If you have a current term life insurance policy with another company, yes, technically you can replace it. The exception is if you live in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, or Wyoming. These states do not allow replacement term life policies. You should note the application process is different for a replacement policy versus a brand new policy with Bestow.
Can I have more than one term life policy?
Yes, you can have more than one term life policy if you want to manage different policies from different companies. Some companies restrict the number of policies you can have or the life insurance coverage options. Some companies will exclude you completely if you already have one or more policies.
The bottom line
The bottom line is, shopping for term life insurance is — dare I say — easier with Bestow. As long as you are comfortable with the limitations of either a 10- or 20-year term, with a $50,000 to $1,000,000 benefit. Bestow has fantastic reviews, a quick quote and application process (thanks to the miracle of AI), and competitive rates.
If purchasing term life insurance has made its way to your “Least Favorite Things To Do” list, then I encourage you to look at Bestow. You just might get the task of term life insurance checked off your list sooner than you think.