A few months ago, as my wife and I were reviewing some of that “important” stuff, we realized that it was time to update my life insurance coverage. Based upon our current situation and our changing needs over the last few years, I needed to ditch the policies we had and pick up some new term coverage.
Now… I’ve heard the radio ads from the “big guys” promoting their websites… and I’ve also done some price comparison. And even though I wanted to handle the transaction online (as much as possible), there’s something reassuring about knowing that there’s a real agent on the other end of the website that you can get on the phone if you need to talk. My term life insurance is probably not the last thing I’ll need from an independent agent, so building a relationship (much like the old-school hometown insurance agent we all grew up knowing) seemed like a good idea. But I still wanted the convenience of instant online quotes and a transaction that didn’t eat up huge amounts of my time.
For all of those reasons, I chose to go with TermDog.com. Even though they’re not based here in Florida (HQ is in Naperville, IL), TermDog is licensed to sell insurance in a number of states. Mike Fry and his team have done an outstanding job of providing a very high level of service. Here’s what my experience was like.
- I went to the TermDog site and played with the online quote generator. It’s easy to find, as they’ve stuck it on every page of the site. After playing with a few parameters, I found the approximate level of coverage I could buy and still fit my budget. In my case, I needed more than $500K worth of coverage, but wanted to spend less than $50/month. Within just a couple of minutes, I had settled on a $750K 20-year policy and got the process started. (I liked the fact that even though I was giving the website enough information about me to generate a quote, I wasn’t asked for my real name or e-mail address until I was pretty sure I wanted to move forward.)
- Within a day or so after submitting the quote, I heard back from Michael Fry. He needed to ask a few more questions, which only took a few minutes on the phone.
- A few days later, a package arrived containing the life insurance app from the company that Mike had determined would probably be the best fit for me. It’s been quite a while since I bought life insurance, and I must say the length of the application surprised me. But after checking around a little bit, I’ve found out that that’s the new “normal.”
- I actually dragged my feet getting the app filled out (did I mention I wanted to spend as little time on this process as possible?). Thankfully, Mike gave me a couple of gentle reminders. I truly don’t like being harassed, and Mike kept me from forgetting about it without being even remotely annoying.
- I had the option of scanning and e-mailing the app, faxing it, or mailing it. Ultimately I opted to drop it in the mail because it feels more likely to keep my information secure. Arguable, I realize. But I needed to send a check for the first month’s premium as well as a voided one for the automatic draft, so it made sense just to do it all at once.
- After reviewing my app, Mike did me a favor. There were a couple of characteristics about my situation that didn’t match up perfectly with the original company he had in mind, and he’d also had a little bit of difficulty with that particular company. So… he and his team completed a new application for me using the information I’d provided on the first one and they e-mailed it to me already ready to sign. Nice huh?
- From there, I faxed in the signature pages from the newly completed app (just for speed).
- In no time, I was getting phone calls from a local company here in town who handled the health screenings. They were easy to deal with and even had a location 5 minutes from my house. They took blood, weighed, measured, poked and prodded… all the usual stuff. I was fully prepared for the experience because TermDog had e-mailed me a list of what to expect. A very nice touch.
- Within a few days, I received a call that my policy was on its way… and the premium was lower! Evidently my health screening results put me in a different category on the actuarial tables. And that saved me 20%. When was the last time somebody quoted you something and then sold it to you for less?
- I had to sign the policy and drop a check in the mail (made out to the new company). Nothing to it. I’m now insured.
The Bottom Line
The whole experience was virtually ideal. I’m very busy and didn’t have time to visit an agent’s office and spend a lot of time on the phone. With TermDog’s online quoting, I was able to make my own decisions about the level of coverage without being pressured by an agent. Once I had decided to move forward, they handled the whole process very professionally and expediently. I not only highly recommend TermDog, but I plan to use them for future insurance needs.
For the record, I’m not being compensated or otherwise rewarded for telling you about this. I realize some bloggers get paid to express opinions. That’s not the case here. I’m absolutely a TermDog fan. You will be too!