Insure.com: Life Insurance Prices Drop to All-Time Lows Again
Insure.com, Inc. (ticker: NSUR, exchange: NASDAQ) News Release - 11/15/2007
Insure.com: Life Insurance Prices Drop to All-Time Lows � Again
Bargains Abound for Life Insurance Shoppers
DARIEN, Illinois (November 15, 2007) -- Insure.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: NSUR) has today released the results of an extensive life insurance price comparison survey showing that term life insurance premiums have once again dropped to all-time lows.
Life insurance shoppers wanting free quotes or advice based upon their own criteria can visit www.insure.com.
"The term life price wars are in full swing this season," commented Insure.com editor, Katherine Mazeika. "Unlike what's happening with healthcare costs and fuel prices, money-saving bargains for life insurance shoppers are now readily available, which is good news for consumers."
Several major life insurance companies have recently reduced rates according to Phil Young, senior market reporter at Insure.com. "Major players in the term life market such as American General Life/AIG, ReliaStar Life/ING and others have recently reduced rates for new applicants. We're clearly seeing a buyer's market now and seeing the lowest life insurance prices we've ever seen."
The company said that numerous factors appear to be causing lower premiums.
- The U.S. term life market is highly competitive with dozens, and if not hundreds, of companies competing for business.
- Death rates in the U.S. have been steadily declining since the 1950s. In fact, deaths declined by 50,000 people, or 2%, in 2004, representing the largest single decrease since the 1930s. Age-adjusted death rates fell to a record low of 801 deaths per 100,000 people in 2004, down from almost 833 deaths per 100,000 in 2003.
- Men are catching up in life expectancy to women, according to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Market survey methodology
Insure.com polled more than 25 leading U.S. life insurance companies to find the best rates available on the popular $250,000, $500,000 and $1 million term life insurance policies. All companies examined have top-notch ratings, i.e. they are rated either "Excellent" or "Superior" by A.M. Best Company, an independent rating organization. The sample applicants do not use tobacco and range from 30 to 70 years of age. The table below contains the lowest possible rates found for the 10, 20 and 30-year level term life policies for somebody residing in California.
For example, in the case of a 40-year-old male in good health, a $500,000, 20-year level term policy would cost only $345 per year with ReliaStar Life or Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts, and $355 with West Coast Life.
What it takes to actually get the lowest possible rates
In an industry notorious for quoting one price and then delivering a policy at another price, many life insurance shoppers have mistakenly come to believe that you must be in perfect health in order to get the best rates that the industry has to offer. "Not always so," claims Phil Young, senior market reporter at Insure.com. "Many visitors to Insure.com are pleasantly surprised to find that the acceptance guidelines shown on their Insure.com illustrations are actually more liberal than they might have first thought. Because we have assembled the rates of more than 25 life insurers in one place, consumers can now shop the market in less than 5 seconds. What's more, people with heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other medical conditions can also search the market and view the best available quotes at Insure.com in just a few seconds."
In order to actually obtain a policy at the lowest possible rates, life insurance shoppers need to understand that they must meet certain medical history, family history and lifestyle qualifications at the time application is made. Some of the more important acceptance guidelines used by those companies offering the lowest prices to our sample 40 year-old male would include:
- Height/Weight Ratio. Height/Weight Ratio. Hold the mayo! Allowable maximum weight for a 6' male wanting to pay the lowest possible life insurance rates are a reasonable 206 pounds with ReliaStar Life, 203 pounds with Savings Bank Life of Massachusetts, and 198 lbs. with West Coast Life. If you take that weight up, say, to 215 pounds, expect to pay about 30 percent more.
- Family History. If a parent or sibling has passed away as a result of heart disease before age 60, you can expect to pay as much as 78 percent more. Multiple family deaths by cardiovascular disease before age 60 could bump your rate up by 100 percent.
- Tobacco Use History. Here we found that the guidelines contained some good news for occasional cigar smokers. While most best buy companies have the stipulation that an applicant cannot have used tobacco in any form within the past 5 years, ReliaStar Life might offer their lowest rates to an occasional cigar smoker who can attest to smoking no more than 1 cigar per week and, through a third party urinalysis test, prove themselves negative for cotinine, a nicotine marker.
- Cholesterol. Allowable maximums for cholesterol ranged from 200 to 240 with a ratio of good-to-bad cholesterol of 4.0 to 5.0. All three companies may award their lowest rates even if you are taking cholesterol medication.
- Blood Pressure. All plans within the best buy range require that you not have a history of high blood pressure or be on any medication for high blood pressure. Allowable readings for the 40-year-old were 130/80 with Savings Bank Life, and 140/85 with both West Coast Life and ReliaStar Life.
- Driving Record. Life underwriters do not like to insure unsafe drivers and, therefore, want to know all about your recent driving record. For example, none of the top 3 best buy companies would allow a DUI within the past 5 years. Guidelines involving moving violations varied: Savings Bank Life and West Coast Life permit no more than one in three years, while ReliaStar Life allows no more than two in the last three years.
- Intended Foreign Travel. No life insurance company is interested in granting their lowest rates to Rambo or any other person who has intentions to travel to dangerous places. Life insurers like to use the current U.S. State Department Travel Warnings List, a list that now contains the names of 28 countries and regions, including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Kenya. While India does not appear on the current State Department list, be prepared to provide an explanation of where you intend to visit and for how long if you are planning travel to India.
- Intention to participation in dangerous sports or hobbies. Each of the lowest-priced companies will rate you up or decline you altogether if you engage in risky activities such as motorcycle racing, skydiving, bungee jumping or mountain climbing.
The Lowest Life Insurance Rates in America
The following table represents actual term life premiums that are available in the California marketplace as of November 12, 2007 (see Notes to Tables below for further sample premium methodology information). Prices can sometimes vary by state.
| $250,000 Term Life Sampler
| $500,000 Term Life Sampler
Recent Accolade for Insure.com
In its November 2007 issue, Kiplinger's Personal Finance once again named Insure.com as a "Best Site" for life insurance. In a special report titled "The Best List: 25 Web sites You'll Want to Bookmark" Kiplinger's stated that Insure.com offers, "accurate price quotes from up to 30 top insurers, along with detailed criteria you must meet to qualify for those rates."
Insure.com provides a comprehensive consumer information service and companion insurance brokerage service that caters to the needs of self-directed insurance shoppers. Visitors to the Company's flagship Web site, www.insure.com,, are able to obtain free, instant car insurance quotes, instant life insurance quotes, home, business and health insurance quotes from leading insurers and have the freedom to buy online or by phone from any company shown. Insure.com also plays home to over 2,000 originally authored articles on various insurance topics and also provides free insurance decision-making tools that are not available from any other single source. Insure.com generates revenues from receipt of industry-standard commissions, including back-end bonus commissions and volume-based contingent bonus commissions that are paid by participating insurance companies. We also generate advertising revenues from the sale of Web site traffic to various third parties. Insure.com was originally founded in 1984 as Quotesmith Corporation. Shares of the Company's common stock trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol NSUR.
Notes to Tables
Final premiums and coverage availability will vary depending upon age, sex, state availability, hazardous activities, personal and family health history. Underwriting actions based on foreign travel activities are not permitted in some states. The sample, California non-tobacco use premiums shown above may include: American General Life, Houston, TX, form 07007; Genworth Life and Annuity, Lynchburg, VA, forms 1420(96) and ULFCL99; Minnesota Life Insurance Company, St. Paul, MN, form 00-410; Pruco Life, Newark, NJ, form PLTIC-2007; (ING) Reliastar Life Insurance Company, Minneapolis, MN, form 1177R; Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts, Woburn, MA, forms B36 and B46 series; Stonebridge Life Insurance Company, Rutland, VT, form TL03 1005; West Coast Life, San Francisco, CA, form 001119300. Actual policy forms may vary by state. California and Utah dba Insure.com Insurance Services, Inc.: CA #0827712, #OA13858; UT #90093. Some premiums shown are graded premium life policies and/or term-like universal life policies. Term life premium rates always escalate after initial rate guarantee period. All sample rates shown are effective November 12, 2007 and subject to change, state availability or withdrawal without notice.
SOURCE: Insure.com, Inc.
CONTACT: Katherine Mazeika, Editor, (630)515-0170, ext. 327, firstname.lastname@example.org