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As AI and digitization become more advanced, many companies are starting to offer online life insurance, a type of life insurance coverage that foregoes the traditional interview and in-person medical exam that life insurance applications have historically required. 

“The digitalization of the insurance industry allows people to research, compare, and purchase life insurance policies from the comfort of their own homes,” says Sean K. August, CEO of The August Wealth Management Group.

These policies are similar to traditional life insurance in many ways. Coverage is robust and pricing is competitive. Where online life insurance and traditional life insurance differ is in the application process. 

What type of online life insurance coverage is available?

You can get two of the main types of life insurance from online life insurance companies: term life and whole life. 

Term life insurance

Most online life insurance companies offer term coverage. Term coverage lasts for a set amount of time — generally 20 to 30 years. As long as you pay the policy premiums, your beneficiaries will get the death benefit if you die while the policy is active.

Term life insurance doesn’t come with any other bells and whistles, like a cash value component. It’s simple, straightforward coverage, which makes it relatively affordable. 

Whole life insurance

Not all online life insurance companies offer whole life insurance, though some do. Ethos, for example, offers a whole life insurance policy for seniors that mirrors final expense insurance. 

Whole life insurance policies are a type of permanent life insurance. This coverage lasts your entire life, as long as you pay the premiums. There are many different types of whole life insurance, so the exact coverage you will get will vary depending on the insurer. You can expect either final expense insurance or cash value insurance. 

Final expense insurance is catered toward seniors and generally offers limited coverage. It’s meant to pay for end-of-life medical bills and funeral costs. Meanwhile, cash value life insurance offers robust coverage and comes with an investment-like component called cash value. The money from the cash value can help you build your nest egg. 

Whole life insurance offerings from online life insurance aren’t as common as term life insurance, so you may need to get a medically underwritten exam if you can’t find the right policy. 

How much online life insurance coverage can I get?

Just because you’re getting the policy completely online doesn’t mean online life insurance companies are lacking in coverage options. When evaluating the insurers ranked in our Best Online Life Insurance Companies ranking, coverage went as high as $8 million. All of the insurers ranked offered coverage in the millions, providing robust coverage for applicants. 

Supplemental online life insurance coverage

Many traditional term life insurance policies offer rides so that policyholders can have even more comprehensive coverage. These riders provide coverage that goes beyond the policy’s standalone offerings. For example, some riders pay out if you need long-term care or cover your premiums if you experience a qualifying disability. 

Not all online life insurance companies provide these riders, though some insurers have a selection of riders available. Various online life insurance companies also offer additional perks that aren’t normally provided by industry giants. For example, Wyshbox will let you add on more coverage to your policy later, without an additional cost. Meanwhile, Haven Life provides living benefits to the policyholder, such as credits that go toward workout classes.

Each insurer varies in their offerings, so it’s important to explore your options. 

Alternatives to online life insurance

If you can’t find the coverage you need from online life insurance, you can still get life insurance coverage without taking the medical exam. 

To start, see if you are eligible for traditional term and whole life insurance no-medical-exam options. Traditional policies offer up to millions in coverage and are competitively priced. While many traditional term policies require an in-person medical exam, many insurers will let you forgo the medical exam if you are in good enough health. Talk to your agent about your options. 

If you’re not eligible for a no-medical-exam policy, then you can get final expense insurance. Final expense insurance offers a lot less coverage than traditional policies and is also more expensive. Because of this, it’s best for people who aren’t eligible for traditional life insurance, but still need coverage. If you can get a traditional policy, you’ll save much more in the long run. 

Online life insurance provides robust coverage at an affordable price. What’s more, the application process takes just minutes, and you get coverage almost immediately. But if you can’t get the coverage you want, there are other no-medical-exam options available.

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