22. April 2019 15:34
by John

How Family History Affects your Term Life Insurance Rates

22. April 2019 15:34 by John | 0 Comments

Did either of your parents smoke a pack a day for twenty years? How about your brothers or sisters — do any of them have a penchant for all things deep-fried? If you’re nodding your head right now, read on. Despite your model health habits, you may be the one who gets punished for your family’s misdeeds.

Arguably one of the most contentious (and many people would say unfair) components of life insurance underwriting is a family history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. After all, it does seem unjust to be penalized for the misfortunes or lifestyle choices of our relatives. But like it or not, life insurance companies actively consider family history. And since there’s no use crying from the rooftops, we’re better off understanding what it is, how it works, and how it may affect your term life insurance rates.

There are two types of family history that life insurance companies consider. Let’s take a look at each one.

Family History of Cardiovascular Disease

A family history of CVD includes a range of conditions related to both the heart and vascular system.

  • heart attack
  • angioplasty
  • bypass surgery
  • valve surgery
  • arrhythmia

Family History of Cancer

Cancer history guidelines have evolved considerably over the past several years. Many life insurance companies have pared their lists of ratable cancers to just a handful. These typically include:

  • breast
  • colon
  • lung
  • melanoma
  • pancreatic
  • prostrate
  • ovarian

Also, companies such as Transamerica Life will not penalize applicants with a family history of gender-specific cancers. For example, a male applicant with a family history of ovarian cancer can still qualify for the best rating class. The same is true for a female applicant with a family history of prostate cancer.

Sometimes we see life insurance companies lift family history of cancer guidelines entirely. Two such companies are VOYA Financial (ReliaStar Life) and Banner Life. Neither company considers cancer history against applicants, regardless of cancer type or gender!

Life Insurance Company Guidelines

Life insurance companies have specific guidelines for family history, and they vary widely by company. In general, these guidelines apply to applicants under the age of 60 – 70. Before we can look at these guidelines more closely, we need to define a few terms life insurance companies use.

What is ‘Family?’ – Family members include natural parents and siblings. Some companies do not consider siblings’ history, only your parents.

What is ‘Occurrence?’ – This means your family member was diagnosed with or received treatment for the medical condition at any point before a certain age (usually 60 – 65).

What is ‘Death?’ – This means your family member died due to the specific medical condition before a certain age (once again, usually 60 – 65).

So, family members include parents and siblings. Sometimes it’s both and other times just parents. But it’s never just siblings. Also, we’re talking about blood relatives; so this applies to birth parents and siblings, as long as there is a blood relation.

Another important distinction to make is the one between an occurrence and death. As mentioned, occurrence just means your relative was diagnosed with or received treatment for the condition at some point. Death means a family member died precisely due to the condition. It’s important to know the difference because company guidelines vary based on occurrences and deaths. For example, one company may allow a Preferred Plus rating class if there was an occurrence prior to age 65, but another company will not.

Age Guidelines

In addition to differences in condition types and outcomes, life insurance company guidelines also vary by age. Take a look at the table below to see the role age plays for each company.

Family History & Life Insurance

Gray Areas

Family history comes with it’s gray areas as well. For example, some people do not know one or both of their birth parents. Others may not know the particular cause of death of a family member. Many people have trouble remembering the exact age their passed away or the exact age they developed specific medical conditions.

If you’re not sure of your family history, it may be best to gather as much information from other family members as you can before applying for term life insurance. And if that approach doesn’t prove fruitful, simply provide your agent or broker with the information you do have. It’s always best to be honest when submitting a term life insurance application and remove the risk of problems down the road

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20. April 2019 17:21
by Jamie

Can’t Afford Health Insurance? Here’s What You Should Do

20. April 2019 17:21 by Jamie | 0 Comments

Lupita is a single mother who can’t afford health insurance. She is a registered dental assistant working overtime to make ends meet. Not having health insurance is scary for Lupita. She knows that something like a car accident or an illness will be financially devastating.

Many Americans like her understand the importance of health insurance but cannot afford it. Things will start changing for them from October 1, 2013. That is when open enrollment starts for Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare).

Lupita is a single mother of a nine year old. She can’t afford health insurance

If you don’t know about Affordable Care Act yet then this is what you need to know to get started.

Affordable Care Act or Obamacare in a Nutshell

  • Under Affordable Care Act health insurance companies will no longer be able to deny health insurance for preexisting conditions. They can’t deny coverage to smokers and seniors.
  • Health carriers cannot charge more from smokers and those with preexisting conditions.
  • The act makes health insurance policies more transparent. Health insurance marketplaces have been created where interested carriers can list their products. Four types of policies will be sold through the marketplace. Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Bronze policies are cheapest with lower coverage and higher deductibles. Platinum policies are the most expensive but also have more coverage and lower deductibles. Participating health insurance companies will have to offer standardized products. Buyers can compare policies online.

Can’t Afford Health Insurance? Now You Can

Buying health insurance through the marketplace is not mandatory. You can still buy it outside the marketplace. Marketplace provides a good alternative. So if you are interested in buying your health insurance from the marketplace here is what you need to do.

Step 1: Set Up Your Account

The first step is to create your account. Start the process by visiting your state’s marketplace website.

Step 2: Fill The Online Application Form

This form requires you to provide information about you and your family. Keep information like your income, current health coverage income etc. handy.

Step 3: Compare Your Options

Once you have filled the online application you will be able to see all the options you qualify for. The options will include private insurance plans, children health insurance program. The website will also tell you if you qualify for low cost or free coverage through Medicaid.

Step 4: Choose a Plan & Enroll

The final step is to choose a suitable plan and enroll. The coverage will start from 1 January, 2014. If you need health insurance for the intervening period then you have to choose from currently available options.

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13. April 2019 13:58
by Harry

How to Protect Yourself Against Uninsured Drivers

13. April 2019 13:58 by Harry | 0 Comments

While all states require that drivers have some form of insurance, not everyone chooses to obey the law. It can seem like a cut and dry case if you are hit by an uninsured motorist but many times it is not and there are always extenuating circumstances that can be involved. Take for example the recent ruling in South Dakota. There was a lawsuit that challenged the owned but not insured exclusion in insurance policies. Weeler and Farmar insurance company of Nebraska added south dakato to the list of states that will not allow an insurance company to limit coverage based on owned but not insured exclusions.

What Does This Mean?

When an individual buys unsured coverage they are basically buying a safety net which protects them from uninsured or underinsured drivers on the roads. If you get hit by someone like this, your policy will cover for damages that would normally be covered under the other person’s insurance had they been insured. Some insurance companies will try to get out of paying damages by claiming that even though someone is insured under the uninsured motorist policy that they bought, if they are hit buy a car that isn’t included in this coverage, the insurance company is not responsible for paying damages. This is increasingly becoming challenged by many states and insurance companies are finding themselves having to pay out claims regardless because courts are ruling their argument as invalid.

The South Dakota Case

This was the first case South Dakota had to deal with in the case of “owned but not insured” exclusion. Wheeler, a woman, was driving a car that was owned by her father when she was hit by a drunk and injured. Her injuries were deemed severe and she needed some type of compensation. The driver that hit her was not insured. Normally, this is where uninsured motorist coverage would come into play but it’s also where the situation gets sticky. Because the vehicle the woman was driving was owned by her father, they paid the limits of his uninsured motorist policy but because the young lady’s injuries were so severe, his uninsured motorist policy didn’t cover the entire amount of the accident cost.

She then consulted her mother’s insurance company to try to tap into her uninsured motorist benefits and even though the young woman was insured under her mother’s policy, the vehicle was not. Therefore, the insurance company denied her claim based on the “owned but no insured exclusion.” This was because the young woman was driving her father’s car. The parents were divorced. The woman involved in the accident didn’t take no for an answer and sued the insurance company, claiming that the “owned but not insured” exclusion was not applicable in South Dakota.

The Ruling

Ultimately, the court ruled in the young woman’s favor. The wording of the statute played d a major role in determining their decision. Claims Journal reports that “the underinsured motorist coverage statue states that cover is, ‘subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. The uninsured motorist coverage statue, however, does not include any similar language subjecting the uninsured motorist to the terms and conditions of the policy.” The fact that the same policy language was not in the uninsured clause was ruled intentional and therefore, the court case went in the favor of the young woman. Other states have not ruled the same way and have voted in favor of the “owned but not excluded policy. One of these states is Utah. In a Clark v.State auto life insurance, they found that the insurance primarily rests with the vehicle and not the person that is necessarily named on the insurance policy. This can make you rethink how your insurance policy is set up.

What That Means For You

While the ruling in the South Dakota case was primarily based on language inconsistencies, court justices acknowledged this. Insurance companies and consumers alike should take note of how their insurance policies’ language can affect different lawsuit outcomes and familiarize themselves with how this directly translates into understandable terms. The first step is to make sure that you are protected by adding an uninsured /underinsured coverage to your insurance policy. What this will do is pay for any injuries that occur to you or your passengers if you are hit by an uninsured motorist.

Uninsured and underinsured are two different things and it’s important to understand the distinction. Uninsured drivers are those that have no insurance. Hit and runs can also count as uninsured claims because you have no idea who hit your car. Underinsured motorist are those who do have insurance policies but cannot legally pay all of the financial consequences of an accident because they lack the appropriate amount of insurance. The Insurance information Institute vice president Carolyn Gorman says, “You absolutely need this coverage because if you get into an accident with someone who is driving without insurance or doesn’t have enough of it, you want to be made financially whole again. You have to protect yourself fiscally and physically and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection can help you in that regard.”

Gorman is right. Getting into an accident can be a very stressful time period in your life and if you are hit by someone who doesn’t’ have insurance, it can be a much bigger headache. Even if you think you are insured properly, it is always a good idea to sit down with your agent to get them to interpret the legal language that makes up your policy. If you completely understand how your insurance will look at an accident, in the event that something happens, you will understand the best route to take to make sure everyone is protected.

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7. April 2019 22:44
by Harry

3 Reasons You Should Sign up for Health Insurance

7. April 2019 22:44 by Harry | 0 Comments

Early this year, a spike in flu cases was seen across the country. According to the CDC, 104 children died across the country during the 2016-2017 flu season. The CDC doesn’t track how many adults die from influenza each year. To prevent yourself and members of your family from falling ill, being hospitalized, and missing work and school, be sure to get a flu shot. The CDC recommendations for 2017 include getting vaccinated before the end of October. If you’re wondering whether health insurance will cover the injection, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) says your health insurance company is required to cover flu shots without charging a co-payment, but you may need to visit a specific facility.

“Some insurance plans only cover vaccines given by your doctor or at a limited set of locations,” says the HHS.

Here are three more reasons to sign up for health insurance during the 2017 Open Enrollment period.

Accidents Happen

If you get into an accident while driving to or from work, and you don’t have health insurance, you could wind up having to pay a few thousand dollars for an emergency room visit or tens of thousands of dollars for long-term care.

Heath care plans vary, but all of them at least partially cover the following:

  • Emergency room visits
  • Outpatient care
  • Inpatient care
  • Lab tests
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitation services, such as physical therapy and psychiatrist appointments
  • Dental and vision care
  • Pre- and postnatal care
  • Substance abuse rehab
  • Preventive services, such as screenings and vaccinations

In case you’re still on the fence about whether you want to part with a monthly payment, more than half of consumers who signed up for 2016 Affordable Care Act coverage selected a plan with a monthly premium of $100 or less after tax credits. That $100 per month is a lot less than you’ll spend if you’re hospitalized after a car accident and, unfortunately, odds aren’t in your favor. According to the Department of Transportation, someone was injured in an accident every two minutes and eight seconds in 2016. Additionally, the US lost 35,092 people in traffic crashes in 2015, ending a 5-decade trend of declining fatalities with a 7.2% increase in deaths from 2014.

Some Colleges Require Health Insurance

Not only may the federal government charge a penalty for not having health insurance, some universities require students to have their own plan or remain enrolled on their parents’ policy. If you’ll be attending college this year, contact the admissions department to see how this affects you.

It’s the Law

The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance. If you don’t, you may pay a penalty come tax time.

Should You Sign up During the 2017/2018 Open Enrollment Period?

Health insurance is a wise investment, but if you can’t afford any of the plans on the Health Care marketplace, contact Freeway. Our friendly, knowledgeable representatives will help you find a plan that fits your budget. 

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2. April 2019 18:51
by Ammelia

Buying Term Life Insurance in Your 30s

2. April 2019 18:51 by Ammelia | 0 Comments

It’s the best time to buy life insurance.

Okay, so maybe they don’t actually say that, but the point still stands: Life insurance in your 30s is often one of the most practical, impactful and affordable times to buy a policy. (And, it’s not a coincidence that our average Haven Term customer is in his or her mid-30s.)

Your 30s are riddled with numerous changes and responsibilities that drastically impact your finances.

Perhaps you just got married, had your first child, or bought a house. These are all significant life milestones that typically result in you having people in your life who rely on you and your income.

Why You Need Life Insurance in Your 30s

When you have people who financially depend on you, it’s time to get life insurance. Buying a life insurance policy in your 30s allows you to lock in affordable rates while you’re still young and healthy. It’s also a prime time to purchase adequate protection for the long-term.

#1: To Financially Protect Your Family

Many people are married and planning for kids by their 30s. It’s a decade where a lot can happen within a short period of time.

In buying life insurance now, even if you don’t have kids yet, you can help ensure that your spouse has a financial cushion from the unexpected. And, you will have peace of mind in knowing that your partner can cover many debts and day-to-day expenses if you were no longer around.

Financially protecting children you don’t have yet may seem like an abstract concept. However, the moment you lay eyes on your child, reality and the need to protect firmly takes hold.

But, you don’t have to wait until the day your child is born to get adequate life insurance coverage. Be proactive. Get it while you still have the luxury of a little something known as “spare time” (aka, life before kids).

#2: To Lock in Affordable Pricing

Because of the way life insurance premiums are determined, the early bird really does get the worm. Premiums for a term life insurance policy can be very affordable when you’re young but tend to increase with age. For example, a healthy 30-year-old woman can purchase a 30-year, $500,000 policy for about $34 per month. If she waits until 40 to buy a policy, the starting price for the same amount of coverage would be $53.

That’s part of the reason buying life insurance in your 30s is so smart – you’re old enough to need it but young enough to get a good deal on coverage.

#3: To Protect Co-Signers and Loved Ones From Debt

Adults in their 30's have, on average, anywhere from $82,500 to $185,900 in debt.

Mortgages, student loans, credit card debt, car loans – you name it, you may have this debt in your 30's. It’s imperative to ensure your family is financially prepared to cover these debts if you were no longer around.

Without a life insurance policy, your surviving family members might struggle to pay the mortgage or keep your car payments up-to-date. They may even need to quickly sell off these assets to get out of the debt.

No one would knowingly leave their family to struggle financially. A life insurance policy with an adequate coverage amount should account for replacing your income and paying off your debts.

#4: To Protect Your Business

If you have any business dealings on the side, life insurance is essential. Let’s say you buy and sell real estate for a profit. What would happen if you passed away in the middle of a deal? What if you flip houses for a profit? How would your family handle your project if you passed away during a flip or a major remodeling job?

Your family could face similar struggles if you run a small business that buys and holds inventory, has business-related debt, or has ongoing business expenses to cover. If you buy enough life insurance, on the other hand, you can leave behind enough cash so that your family could deal with your business holdings the way you would have wanted.

#5: To Cover Burial Expenses

Your funeral is not something anyone ever likes to think about. But for a moment, consider this: the average burial now costs around $7,000 to $10,000. Imagine your family members having to deal with that expense at the same time they are grieving your death?

If you didn’t have life insurance, your spouse or other immediate family members would need to come up with the cash to pay these expenses at the same time they’re grieving your death. Far from ideal.

How Much Life Insurance Does a Thirty-Something Need?

While individual life insurance needs vary, you can get a general sense of your coverage needs by taking a closer look at your income. If you’re earning $75,000 per year and want to replace your income for 5-10 years (a standard recommendation from experts), you’ll need a term policy for $375,000 – $750,000.


A life insurance policy should help cover:

  • Lost income and living expenses, like rent or daily bills
  • Debts you leave behind
  • Childcare if you are a stay-at-home parent
  • Burial, estate taxes, and other final expenses
  • College expenses for your children
  • Unpaid medical bills or taxes

If you have children, carry substantial debt, or have a side business, you may need significantly more. The best way to get a personalized coverage recommendation is to input your information into a life insurance needs calculator. By sharing some basic details about your income, your family structure, debts and more, you can find out how much coverage is right for you.

Choosing a Life Insurance Term Length

Term life insurance is a simple product to research and buy. Beyond selecting a coverage amount that works, you need to decide how long you want your policy to last.

Fortunately, you have plenty of options available to you, especially in your 30s. You can buy term life insurance coverage for 10, 15, 20, or 30 years depending on your needs. While longer policies tend to cost more each month, they do offer a longer span of coverage that may bring even more peace of mind. For example, a longer term length could help cover your 30-year mortgage or until the kids are projected to finish school.

Shorter term policies, on the other hand, offer short bursts of coverage meant for a particular need. For example, a short, 10-year business loan that you wouldn’t want your family to be stuck with. “Laddering” policies is a common way to help ensure adequate financial protection from life changes without needing to purchase another large, long-term policy.

Choosing a term length does not need to be a confusing task. An online life insurance calculator will take into consideration the ages of your children and debts you have to recommend a length that will adequately protect your family. On average, most of our Haven Term policyholders purchase coverage for 20 or 30 years.


The Easiest Way to Get Life Insurance

The best part about being a thirty-something is that you’re likely still in excellent health. If that’s the case, you may be able to get affordable life insurance without a medical exam (and at no additional cost for the convenience.)

Getting quality life insurance today is simpler than ever because of new online options for purchasing a policy. You can get an instant decision on eligibility and pricing and, if approved, start coverage immediately.

Don’t put off buying life insurance in your 30's because of fear of a confusing, time-consuming task. Thanks to modern technology, it’s easier than ever to get high-quality and affordable protection for the people you love most. Having complete peace of mind never gets old.

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2. April 2019 12:45
by Jamie

Understanding Life Insurance

2. April 2019 12:45 by Jamie | 0 Comments


What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a contract where, in exchange for premium payments, a lump sum of money is paid upon the death of the insured person.  Life insurance can fit into two main categories: term and permanent.  Term insurance is designated to last a specific number of years.  Permanent insurance is intended to cover an individual for their lifetime.

What are the key benefits of owning life insurance?

1.  Life insurance provides funds when they are needed most and the death benefit is typically significantly greater than the premiums paid.

2.  Life insurance proceeds usually avoid probate, which means the insurance company can pay the death proceeds to the beneficiary without delay. The only way life insurance benefits become part of probate is when they are paid to or for the benefit of the estate of the insured.

3.  No public record is made to whom the death benefit amount is paid.

4.  Policies generally have some creditor protection. This means that even if the insured owes money, creditors cannot come after the death benefit owed to the beneficiaries.  This can vary by state, however.

5.  Cash values from permanent policies can be accessed on a tax favored basis via withdrawals and loans.

6.  Life insurance proceeds are generally not subject to federal income taxes.

7.  Interest earned on permanent policy cash values is generally not taxable unless or until the policyowner surrenders the policy for cash.

Life insurance is not one-size-fits-all and people buy life insurance for different reasons.  Life insurance can help individuals and families in many ways.

Life insurance can help…

  • Protect against the financial risk of premature death.
  • Tax favored wealth accumulation.
  • Fund a business transfer.
  • Provide for special need children or adults.
  • Compensate a business for a key person loss.
  • Provide funds to pay estate settlement costs.
  • Create or replace a charitable gift.
  • Accumulate funds for potential income needs such as education or retirement supplement.
  • Finance employee benefit plans.
  • Equalize inheritances.
  • Pay off a mortgage.

How much life insurance is needed?

We recommend term insurance for most families.  Term insurance is simple and affordable.  While permanent insurance has its benefits, term insurance oftentimes is all you need.  The primary purpose of life insurance is to replace income.  For many families, there is a specific period of time when you steadfastly rely on a steady income – this is when you have young children to care for, are saving for their college tuition, and when you have a mortgage.

If you are not sure how much coverage you need, check out our Needs Analysis Tool.  There are only three questions you need to answer and then the tool calculates an estimate for you.  Let’s go over an example.  For this example, we’ll say the user is a 35-year-old male.

Question #1 – How much debt do I want paid off?

John Smith currently has a $10,000 auto loan, $5000 in credit card debt, and his mortgage loan has $210,000 remaining.  He then has a total of $225,000 he would like paid off upon his death so his family does not end up dealing with the debt.

Question #2 – How much monthly income do my loved ones need?

John currently brings home a monthly income of $3000.  Since life insurance is income replacement, this is also how much he would like the death benefit to replace.

Question #3 – How many years do my loved ones need income?

John’s wife Joanna is a successful businesswoman with a steady income.  He knows that if he were to die prematurely, the death benefit would ensure the house would be paid off and she wouldn’t become saddled with his debt.  With these debts paid and Joanna’s income, he believes the family could be financially stable within five years.

Putting these answers into the Needs Analysis Tool, John ideally would need $405,000 in life insurance coverage.  Because term insurance is affordable, he decides to round the coverage amount up to $450,000 to include any incidentals his loved ones may come across.  To find out how much a $450,000 policy would cost John let’s put the numbers into our term life insurance quoting tool.

How do I get a term life insurance quote?

To get a quote on Quotacy.com all you need to enter is your zip code, gender, birthdate, and whether you rather pay monthly or annually.  See the screenshot below of John Smith’s information.


After you put in that information, you can see premium estimates instantly.  Take a look at John’s premium estimates for his $450,000 policy.  He can always use the tool sliders to adjust his coverage amount or term length to see how it affects his monthly pricing.  As you can see in the Estimated Monthly Premium box, it will give you a cost range that can be affected by which company’s plan you choose and health questions.


To start comparing policies and pricing, you next answer a few quick questions about your height and weight, your tobacco usage, heart health, and your family history.  Because Quotacy is an independent agency, we work with multiple top-rated life insurance companies and you will be able to see an array of policy options.  The screenshot below is just a sample of the options John Smith can choose to apply from.


Once you find a plan you are satisfied with you can go ahead and apply for it.  Applying is all done online and couldn’t be simpler.  We’ll need your contact information when you apply so we can reach you, but we promise not to sell your information.  We aren’t a lead generating company nor do we buy leads.  You won’t have to worry about spam or telemarketers when you work with us.

As your application moves through the buying process, Quotacy keeps you updated every step of the way.  We pride ourselves on our great customer service.  If you have any questions about life insurance or our process, feel free to contact us.  We’re more than happy to assist you.

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