Do I need to buy life insurance from a local agent or can I buy it online and/or over the phone/by mail?

UPDATED: Jun 25, 2012

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UPDATED: Jun 25, 2012Fact Checked

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Asked June 25, 2012

1 Answer

Depending on the type and amount of the life insurance you are trying to buy, you may be able to get the policy by phone or through the mail, and the Internet has become a popular marketplace for life and other insurance products. The key is not whether you can get life insurance through these convenience methods, but what types of policies you are able to buy. For example, purchasing a universal life insurance policy over the phone without a medical exam is probably not possible, but getting term coverage may be, and some types of whole life policies are as well.

Life insurance companies weight the risks associated with insuring you, including your health, to determine whether a policy is available and what your premiums would be. To get an accurate assessment of your health, most insurance companies will require a medical exam before they will write the policy. This could hamper purchasing coverage over the phone or by mail, unless you have access to your medical records and can forward or fax the necessary documents.

No medical exam insurance is available over the phone, by mail and online. This type of insurance bypasses the need for a medical exam but limits the value of the policy or has other conditions which must be met. If you have a preexisting condition which could prevent you from getting insurance after a medical exam, this type of whole life is still available.

Insurance policies which have cash value, including most forms of whole life insurance, will allow you to submit your application over the phone, by mail or over the Internet, but you will still have to get a medical examination. The results of the exam can be delivered directly to your insurance company, and it is entirely possible to get a whole life policy without ever seeing an insurance agent in person.

Answered June 25, 2012 by Anonymous

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