Make no mistake about it, there are a lot of good reasons why Select Quote has become one of the largest independent life insurance brokers in the country and it’s not only because they represent some of the best life insurance companies in the nation!
In fact, we at IBUSA believe that their pioneering of industry standards that allow people to get insured from the comfort of their own home through online and telephone communications, rather than in-person appointments and interviews, is the primary reason for their consistent ranking as one of the best independent life insurance brokerages.
Their primary goal is to provide customers with convenient access to competitive premium quotes, and they have helped over two million clients achieve this goal, as stated on their website.
However, before jumping in, let’s take a closer look at what Select Quote does, how they operate their call centers, and their relative strengths and weaknesses so that you can make an informed decision on whether they are the right brokerage for you to apply with.
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About Select Quote Life Insurance
Life insurance agents generally fall into two categories: captive agents and independent agents.
Captive agents work exclusively with one insurance company and market only policies offered by that company.
Independent agents, on the other hand, have relationships with a network of insurance companies and can direct clients to policies offered by any of the life insurance carriers in their network.
SQ is an Independent Broker
Select Quote is an independent insurance broker that mainly focuses on marketing life insurance policies.
It is important to note that Select Quote is not a life insurance company and does not directly issue or underwrite policies. Instead, the company acts as a broker, marketing policies on behalf of the life insurance companies in its network and helping connect potential purchasers with insurers.
Home, Auto & Medicare
Select Quote also brokers home and auto liability coverage and Medicare insurance, but life insurance—and especially term life—is their bread and butter.
Select Quote is a major player in the life insurance marketing field, and their advertising budget reflects it. If you belong to a key life insurance purchasing demographic, you’ve likely heard or seen their ads on radio or TV.
Their advertising efforts have proven effective, as evidenced by the millions of dollars in new business they generate each year and their presence in every state except South Dakota.
However, Select Quote’s life insurance department does not rely solely on advertising to generate revenue, as it costs a lot of money. Instead, they provide assistance to consumers with policy selection and application, as well as relatively quick and easy access to term life insurance rates from multiple well-regarded life insurance companies.
In essence, Select Quote helps customers compare term life insurance companies, policies, and rates to identify the best deal available. As an independent agency, they work with a variety of insurance companies, and larger carrier networks facilitate rate competition between insurers, often resulting in a better bargain for customers. If a customer purchases a life insurance policy, Select Quote receives a commission from the insurer.
Therefore, the company does not directly charge customers for the service they provide, as revenue is derived from commissions on completed sales.
Is it cheaper to buy from the insurance company?
Whether you buy your life insurance from Select Quote Insurance, the actual insurance company, or another life insurance broker, such as IBUSA, the life insurance cost will be the same.
The Select Quote Life Insurance Application and Sales Process
Select Quote aims to simplify and expedite the life insurance application process with a streamlined approach. The process starts with a phone call or online form submission to speak with a Select Quote representative, during which you provide basic information about the type of insurance you are seeking.
Once you have determined your general requirements and situation, you will be asked to complete a more comprehensive application with the information required by life insurers for underwriting. This includes detailed personal and family medical history, tobacco use status, and a checklist of high-risk activities and conditions.
After submitting your application, you will have a more in-depth phone call with an agent who can assist you in narrowing down the ideal company and policy for your needs. If you decide to purchase coverage after reviewing your options, you may need to schedule a physical exam (if required for the policy) and receive a formal offer. If you are satisfied with the terms, you can commit to the policy.
It is important to note that once you purchase a policy, you enter into a contractual relationship with the insurance company, not Select Quote. Select Quote receives its fee in the form of a life insurance commission from the insurer.
What Select Quote Does Well (Pros of Select Quote)
According to Select Quote’s website, the company is the oldest and largest independent direct-to-consumer life insurance sales agency in the United States.
Despite its significant size, Select Quote provides excellent customer service, with representatives who are known for their courtesy and knowledge. These representatives are individually licensed in the states where the company operates, enabling Select Quote to serve a wide customer base effectively.
While some customers have raised complaints, these are relatively few and far between, and the overall quality of customer service provided by Select Quote is commensurate with its size and reach. It is worth noting, however, that there may be differences in the performance of individual representatives, and customers should exercise due diligence when dealing with the company.
Efficient and Simple
Select Quote’s business model prioritizes efficiency and simplicity, with a streamlined application process that can be mostly completed by customers from the comfort of their own homes.
Almost all transactions with Select Quote are conducted either online or over the phone, making it a convenient option for those looking to expedite the insurance-shopping process. However, some customers may find this impersonal and prefer face-to-face communication.
On the other hand, it is important to note that Select Quote does require at least one phone call, which may be an issue for those who prefer to work exclusively online. Nonetheless, the company’s focus on streamlining the application process has made it a popular choice for those looking for an efficient way to purchase life insurance.
Select Quote operates as an independent agent and acts as a broker for a variety different highly rated life insurance companies in all states except for South Dakota. This allows representatives to provide multiple life insurance quotes to customers for comparison, which can help them identify the most attractive rates offered among comparable policies.
This approach often helps customers save money by providing them with a range of options to choose from. It is important to note that underwriting standards vary between companies, which can result in notable differences between high and low quotes. This is particularly true for customers with a medical history that includes one or two potential issues. Nonetheless, the ability to compare multiple quotes is a significant advantage of working with an independent agent like Select Quote.
Top Rated Companies
Although they only work with a dozen or so companies, Select Quote’s life insurance network includes some of the most highly rated life insurance companies.
So, if you’re able to find the right policy, there’s a good chance you’ll pay lower premiums working through Select Quote than what you could get from a captive agent that only does business with one carrier.
The potential savings Select Quote advertises comes from rate competition among the insurers in its network.
Accordingly, rates available through Select Quote usually won’t be any better than rates available through another independent agent with a comparable network.
And, of course, an independent agent with a larger network of companies to offer may be able to produce a better rate.
According to the Select Quote life insurance website, they don’t favor one insurer over another when making suggestions and recommendations, which allows representatives to provide objective advice and genuinely shop for the best rates.
And they also get paid on the back end, as a commission from the life insurance company, so it doesn’t cost you anything if Select Quote can’t deliver an offer you’re happy with.
Select Quote’s Weaknesses (Select Quote Cons)
Select Quote is pretty good at what it does, but it’s important to recognize that the company’s business model isn’t suited to the needs of every potential life insurance purchaser.
Since SelectQuote represents only a dozen or so companies, there is no way they can meet the need of every client.
With hundreds of life insurance companies in the marketplace, it pays to have options.
Many companies not represented by Select Quote represent various health and lifestyle niches that could potentially save a prospective client thousands of dollars over the life of the policy.
Term is Not Always the Right Choice
And because Select Quote’s life insurance model emphasizes efficiency and sales volume, they strongly favor term life insurance.
If you’re not sure what kind of life insurance you need, there’s a good chance Select Quote will recommend term coverage.
Term life is the simplest and usually the cheapest life insurance product—and it’s definitely useful in some situations—but it has noteworthy drawbacks.
Term policies eventually lapse, by definition, so there’s no guaranty of an eventual payout.
And term coverage doesn’t accumulate cash value and therefore has limited utility as a retirement or estate-planning tool.
Limited Permanent Insurance Policy Options
Select Quote also brokers universal life insurance, which does accrue cash value.
However, Select Quote isn’t well-adapted to brokering more complex policies.
When purchasing term life coverage, personalization is usually limited to the coverage amount and duration. Permanent policies, though, leave substantially more room for customization.
If you don’t take the time to adjust a permanent policy to your individual goals and situation, you might not end up getting the full potential benefit of the policy.
High Volume Call Center
Select Quote is essentially a call-center and online marketplace that prioritizes volume and efficiency (it takes a lot of sales to support a big ad budget).
There’s nothing inherently wrong with that business model in the appropriate context.
If you’re looking for a simple, cheap term policy to act as a financial backstop in the event of untimely death, Select Quote can do that pretty well.
But, if you’re in the market for a more versatile permanent life insurance policy tailored to your personal lifestyle, retirement or estate plan, Select Quote’s business model isn’t designed for that kind of personalization.
No Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is an afterthought, if considered at all, in Select Quote’s marketing. For plenty of insurance shoppers, though, whole life proves to be the best option.
For consumers, whole life combines life insurance with a recession-proof, fixed-rate savings component that’s valuable in retirement planning.
For business owners, whole life provides a guaranteed funding source for succession planning and buy/sell agreements.
And, in the estate-planning context, whole life ensures ready cash for taxes, final expenses, estate debts, or to fund a trust for the long-term care of a dependent loved one without risk of Medicaid disqualification.
Whole life is not the right pick for everyone, so if you’re a better candidate for term coverage, Select Quote’s narrow focus isn’t as big of a factor.
Notably, though, not all independent life insurance agents focus on one type of coverage, and some independent agents can assist clients in purchasing all types of life insurance coverage.
Tough to Meet the Needs of Non-Standard Clients
Although Select Quote’s volume and efficiency-based approach allows it to capably serve a large number of customers, the approach also limits Select Quote’s ability to devote ample attention to customers with nonstandard needs.
For instance, customers who are generally eligible for life insurance but have an imperfect medical history—or seniors older than most insurers’ normal application ranges—are less likely to find the right coverage working with an agent with less time to spend on each individual applicant.
An independent agent who can commit greater attention to each client and offers a more extensive network of insurers is much more likely to help clients with more complex profiles find the company with the best rates.
Be Prepared for the Upsell
It’s also worth noting that, in addition to life insurance, Select Quote also markets home and auto coverage, so you may hear a pitch for other insurance products even if you’re only interested in life insurance.
That doesn’t bother some people, but if you have a hard time saying “no,” or if “upselling” is one of your pet peeves, your experience might be better with a broker who focuses on life insurance.
Generally speaking, Select Quote’s status as an independent broker is a good thing—it allows customers wider selection and enables greater objectivity by Select Quote’s representatives when making recommendations.
According to Select Quote’s website, though, they only have existing contractual relationships with eleven companies (and not every company offers every type of coverage).
A dozen or so life insurance carriers isn’t bad. It gives you more selection than you’d get with many agents. But there are independent agents out there who work with considerably more carriers, allowing customers much more selection than Select Quote.
By way of comparison, IBUSA has relationships with dozens of life insurance carriers and can usually offer a greater variety of policy options and a larger number of rate quotes.
Is Select Quote Life Insurance a Good Option?
If you do a Google search for Select Quote you will see the option asking “Is Select Quote a Scam?” We are not sure how you could come to this conclusion as Select Quote is a fairly good option if you’re fairly certain you want term life insurance and you don’t mind limited individual attention.
Their streamlined approach and customer service typically make the application process quick and easy, and their network of inexpensive life insurance companies can produce competitive rates in most cases.
Not Ideal if You Need Permanent Coverage
If you need life insurance personalized for an estate, retirement, or business-succession plan—or you want a policy to do more than just provide a time-limited death benefit—you’re probably better off with an independent agent whose business model is more conducive to permanent life insurance and personalized policies.
Select Quote strongly emphasizes term coverage, so customers who would be better off with whole life or universal life may not end up with the right policy.
Dozens of Choices
Similarly, if you want the most affordable term life insurance, but you have an existing health condition, a dangerous hobby or occupation, then seeking out an agency that works with dozens of life insurance companies will probably be a better choice.
You see, finding the best policy for older applicants or applicants with medical issues sometimes takes additional legwork.
Select Quote’s volume-based business model can disincentivize the extra individual attention needed for customers with unique needs.
Buying life insurance should be a relatively painless process. If you’re inside Select Quote’s term-life wheelhouse, they can make finding a cheap term life policy relatively simple.
But if you anticipate needing more individual attention or are in the market for permanent life insurance, there’s a good chance you’d be better off with an independent agent who can offer more balanced guidance and a more personalized experience.