Chance are, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably thinking to yourself…
“I know Geico offers great car insurance, but I didn’t know they also offered life insurance?”
Which makes sense; after all, it’s almost impossible to go a day without hearing Martin the Geico remind you that…
“Fifteen minutes could save you 15% more on your auto insurance!”
Which we have to admit is a pretty “catchy” slogan.
It’s even more “catchy” cause it’s true!
But one thing you may…
Notice about Martin’s pitch is that he doesn’t say fifteen minutes could save you 15% more on your LIFE INSURANCE. And in our opinion, it’s because purchasing life insurance is a lot more difficult than purchasing auto insurance.
Now we’re not suggesting…
That purchasing a life insurance policy through Geico insurance can’t save you money, we’re just saying that it’s probably going to take you more than 15 minutes!
What you’re ultimately going to discover when you do try to purchase life insurance through Geico is that Geico doesn’t actually offer any type of life insurance policies directly. Instead, they rely on partnerships they have with certain life insurance companies and brokerages to help their customers find the cover that they need.
But let’s not…
Get ahead of ourselves; let’s first backtrack a little and focus on Geico as a whole and provide a few reasons why we have nothing but respect for Geico as an insurance company and discuss why we feel they are such a strong competitor in the insurance market at large.
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What is GEICO Life Insurance?
Thanks to its cleverly effective ad campaigns, GEICO is one of the best-known names in the insurance industry. There have been snooty cavemen, lizards with Michael Caine-like accents, and even a surprise appearance by 80’s rock group Ratt.
Behind all that marketing, though, GEICO (which is an acronym for “Government Employees Insurance Company”) is just an insurance company—no more and no less.
At this point, you may be thinking, “I thought GEICO could save me 15% or more on car insurance. Why are we talking about GEICO on a life insurance site?”
If so, you’re absolutely right.
GEICO does not underwrite life insurance. You cannot buy a life insurance policy directly from GEICO.
However, GEICO is an exceptionally well-known company in the insurance industry, with a huge customer base. It’s inevitable that some GEICO customers will ask about life insurance. When they do, GEICO—through its affiliate, The GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc.—refers customers to Life Quotes, an independent online broker.
Basically, GEICO and Life Quotes have a referral agreement that lets Life Quotes take advantage of GEICO’s famous name and marketing power.
So, when you shop for life insurance through GEICO—or when you request a life insurance quote on GEICO’s website—you’re actually working with an independent broker (Life Quotes). In turn, Life Quotes shows you policies issued by one of several life insurance companies in Life Quotes’ network.
Come to think of it, there’s not really any good reason to have GEICO involved in the life insurance process at all—except if maybe that’s the only insurance company phone number you happen to have handy.
But if you’ve already made it that far, you’ll need to know whether Life Quotes is worth your time. So, this review will focus on what it’s like to shop for GEICO life insurance vicariously through Life Quotes.
- A.M. Best: A++
- S&P: AA+
- Moody’s: NR
- Fitch: NR
GEICO, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, is undeniably a financial powerhouse. The company reports well over $40 billion in assets, including over $8.5 billion in reserves. That puts GEICO among the small group of companies at the top of the food chain in the insurance industry.
But, as we noted above, when you shop for GEICO life insurance, you’re not actually getting a policy issued or backed by GEICO. That means GEICO’s formidable finances won’t be behind the policy.
What you really need to look into is the financial ratings of whichever life insurance company will be issuing the policy that Life Quotes tries to sell you. As it turns out, Life Quotes has some pretty strong companies in its network.
Shopping for “GEICO life insurance” through Life Quotes.
Once you’ve passed through GEICO’s referral to Life Quotes, the process becomes very similar to working with most large independent agents.
You start by filling out an online quote form by selecting the “Find My Price” option on Life Quotes’ home-screen.
From there, you enter some basic information like your date of birth, gender, height and weight, tobacco-use history, along with the type of insurance and coverage amount you’re looking for.
You also need to provide your name, phone number, and email address—Life Quotes doesn’t provide quotes without contact info.
With the information entered, you’ll be able to review available options offered by some of the insurers Life Quotes works with.
Compared to many online independent brokers, Life Quotes has a sizeable network, including some very well-known, well-regarded insurers.
Mutual of Omaha, Lincoln Financial, Pacific Life, L&G, and Protective are all in Life Quotes’ network.
Overall, it’s a solid list of insurance companies, which makes sense. GEICO wouldn’t want to have its name associated with Life Quotes if Life Quotes was working with fly-by-night carriers.
The advantage of the big network is that it gives you the opportunity to see more quotes from different companies to find the best rate. Or, if you’re in a situation where it’s hard to find coverage, a broker with a large network is more likely to find a carrier that will issue a policy.
If you see any quotes to your liking, the next step is to formally apply for coverage. Like with most other independent brokers, a Life Quotes representative will walk you through the process. The precise procedure for applying varies a lot depending upon which insurer you’re applying to and the specific coverage you are requesting.
Depending on the policy, the next step may be to complete a medical exam. Not all insurers or all policies require exams, so if you’re requesting a no-exam life insurance policy, you may be able to skip this step.
After the application is submitted, the next step is to simply wait for a coverage decision. Again, the length of the wait depends on the company and type of policy. With some, you receive a decision almost immediately.
Other insurers may take a week or two. If you get a positive coverage decision, you’ll see a firm offer of insurance with the final rates required. If you decide to make the purchase, the policy is issued, and you’ll start making premium payments.
What Types of Life Insurance Does GEICO / Life Quotes Sell?
Life Quotes primarily focuses on marketing term life insurance. Although many of the carriers in Life Quotes’ network offer whole life and universal life policies, Life Quotes is focused around term.
Because there are a wide variety of insurers to choose from, Life Quotes can offer terms from as short as one-year (with annual renewable term, or “ART” policies) to as long as 30 years.
Life Quotes also markets policies that provide term coverage through a specified age (“to age 65” or “to age 75,” etc.). Longer term lengths are often unavailable for older applicants.
Within the wider assortment of term policies, Life Quotes markets fully underwritten, simplified issue, and guaranteed acceptance policies.
A fully underwritten policy has the most thorough underwriting requirements, typically including a medical exam.
For young, healthy applicants, fully underwritten policies usually result in the lowest rates, but they also require the most legwork up front.
Simplified issue polices consider health information but don’t require a medical exam. You need to provide a fairly detailed medical history in the application and usually give the insurer permission to pull health history reports, but you won’t have to have a blood test or check-up.
Simplified issue policies generally cost a little (but not all that much) more than full underwriting.
Finally, guaranteed acceptance life insurance policies do not consider health information in the underwriting process. If you’re within the policy’s acceptable age range, you can get coverage.
The downsides to guaranteed acceptance are that policies have notably higher premiums, and there is often a year or two waiting period before the policy’s full coverage amount kicks in. The big up-side is that some people who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for coverage can obtain a guaranteed acceptance policy.
Rounding out the term-life options offered by Life Quotes are “ROP” (“return of premium”) term policies. ROP policies allow the policyholder to recoup the premiums paid into the policy if the term ends without coverage being triggered. Unsurprisingly, ROP policies require a larger premium, but they can be a good option for the right individuals.
Policy limits marketed by Life Quotes start as low as $25,000 and go as high as $9 million. Of course, not every carrier offers coverage within the entire range, and not every applicant will be eligible for coverage over the entire range. As a general rule, younger, healthier insureds can obtain policies with higher coverage amounts and longer terms.
Life Quotes Conclusion.
In the ever-expanding world of online life insurance brokers, Life Quotes is what you might call a “serviceable” option.
If you’re in the market for straightforward term coverage, Life Quotes will likely be able to connect you with a reputable company that offers a term policy that meets your needs.
You’ll probably even get to look at a few rates quotes to try to find a good deal on a term policy. Just remember that policy isn’t actually being issued by GEICO.
Where you might run into trouble is if you’re shopping for coverage but you have a pre-existing health condition.
Or you are considering a more sophisticated policy (like whole life or universal life) or if you want term coverage with some coverage-enhancing riders.
Life Quotes works with carriers who provide all of those things, but Life Quotes’ model is built around selling term insurance policies requiring relatively little agent time per policy.
So, if you want more customized life insurance coverage, you might be better off working with a broker that specializes in more complex policies requiring more individualized attention up-front.
If you’re not sure yet what kind of coverage you want, Life Quotes’ website is not a particularly helpful resource.
While the site does have a few well-written articles with good information about ordinary term coverage, it doesn’t have much about whole life or universal life.
Overall, Life Quotes doesn’t offer nearly as many useful tools or resources compared to many other online brokers.