Bestow Life Insurance is an insurance carrier that was founded in Dallas, Texas in 2016.
It’s shaking up the sometimes archaic life insurance industry, using big data and technology to make the policy acquisition process smart, affordable, and convenient.
How does the company do this? They built an underwriting framework that can quickly analyze online applications and get you a life insurance policy in minutes. Sounds great, but there’s more you should know.
Read on for an in-depth look at Bestow to find out if the carrier offers the best solution for your life insurance needs.
Bestow life insurance highlights
What is Bestow all about?
- 100% online application and policy origination process.
- No commissioned sales agents.
- No medical exams.
- Term life insurance policies.
- Adjustable plans.
- Non-renewable plans.
- A+ financial strength.
- Terms from two to 20 years.
- Coverage from $50,000 to $1 million.
- Quotes in seconds, coverage in minutes.
- Only available to individuals aged 21 to 45 for a 20-year term and 21 to 55 for a two-year or 10-year term.
Now let’s take a closer look at how it works.
Life insurance plans
Bestow offers term life insurance with plans for two, 10, and 20 years. The amount of coverage ranges from $50,000 to $1,000,000.
- Up to $500,000 of coverage.
- No long-term commitment.
- No medical exam requirement.
10 or 20-year plan
- Up to $1 million in coverage.
- No medical exam requirement.
- No cancellation fees.
The plans are available in all states except NY, AL, D.C., GA, NB, ND, and PA.
What is the traditional process of getting a life insurance policy?
Traditionally, you have to meet with an insurance agent to get life insurance.
You can usually go through a prequalification process to get a quote. Then, if you want to move ahead with the offer, you’ll fill out lengthy paperwork about your medical history and lifestyle.
You’ll have to visit a doctor for an exam and lab work. And if you want the best rate, it’ll typically require additional interviews.
It’s often a tedious process that can take weeks to complete. But Bestow’s innovative solution optimizes the process.
Bestow application process
Here’s how Bestow’s online application works. Note: It doesn’t hurt your credit to apply.
1. Visit the website and click “Apply Now.”
2. Provide your name, birth date, height, weight, and state.
3. Select the type of coverage plan you want.
4. Provide basic information on the next few pages, including:
Full legal name.
Whether you were born in the U.S. or elsewhere.
The state in which you were born.
Social security number.
And a secondary contact (optional).
5. Next, you’ll decide if you agree to release your health information for the purposes of obtaining a life insurance policy. If you agree, you’ll click continue.
6. Now comes 18 questions to determine the level of risk you present.
The questions include:
7. Phew! That’s the bulk of the application. The next step is to select your beneficiary (beneficiaries).
8. Almost done! Select the coverage amount and monthly payment amount that best fits your needs.
The monthly premium amount will increase as the coverage amount increases. Further, each applicant’s premium will differ according to the level of risk they present.
9. Lastly, confirm your selection, agree to the terms, and make the payment.
That’s a wrap. Within a few minutes, you can have life insurance—and without ever leaving your couch!
While the process does have several steps—as it requires the collection of enough information to analyze the risk you present—Bestow’s API streamlines the process.
It communicates with third parties in real-time to verify your answers, which shaves time off the traditional process. Plus, it cuts down on the hours that representatives spend analyzing applicants, which reduces the costs.
Bestow partners with Munich Re Group and North American to provide life insurance to its customers.
- Munich Re Group. Founded in 1959, Munich Re Group is one the largest reinsurers in the U.S. In 2017 it received 49.1 billion euros in gross premiums. It offers life, disability, group, and credit reinsurance products to companies across the country.
- North American. Founded in 1886, North American offers term and a variety of universal life insurance products across the U.S. It is a member of the Sammons® Financial Group and has earned an A+ financial strength rating from A.M. Best.
Although both of these partners have multiple insurance offerings, Bestow is currently only offering term life insurance.
Bestow does not actually provide the insurance. It is an independent agent and third-party administrator which processes applications and handles underwriting, customer support, and sales.
It has partnered with two of the largest insurance companies in the world, with long track records and billions in assets. This gives them the ability to assure policyholders with an A+ financial security rating.
Bestow API for businesses
Bestow doesn’t just provide life insurance directly to consumers. The company also offers its API to businesses such as real estate and mortgage companies, banking and investment institutions, health and wellness companies, and more.
The goal is to help businesses offer their customers a hassle-free life insurance solution that complements their existing products or services. Companies can choose to include a smart quote widget, a quote rest API, or a coverage API.
What happens if you miss a payment?
If you miss a payment with Bestow, you have up to 60 days to catch up. If 60 days pass with no payment, your plan will be canceled for nonpayment. However, you can come back and reinstate it.
How is term life insurance different from whole life insurance?
Term life insurance provides you with coverage for a specific amount of time. The monthly premium amount is fixed and doesn’t change throughout the term.
Whole life insurance doesn’t have a specified end date. You can continue to pay the premium for the rest of your life and will have coverage.
Some whole life policies have a cash value component that enables you to build up savings (tax-deferred). With that feature, you can borrow against the cash value or surrender your policy and withdraw it.
Whole life insurance policies are often more expensive and complicated than term policies.
Does Bestow pay the claims?
No. Bestow’s partner North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® is the insurance provider and will process and pay approved claims.
Is Bestow right for you?
Bestow achieves its goals of making it easier and more affordable for its customers to get life insurance. That being said, however, the process of automation requires establishing hard rules.
Currently, the offering is only for term life insurance (not whole) and the term length only extends to 20 years, whereas many providers offer terms up to 30 years.
Further, there are strict parameters on who can get coverage. Bestow only approves individuals aged 21 to 45 for a 20-year term and 21 to 55 for a two-year or 10-year term. The company may also decline your coverage because of your hobbies, occupation, medical history, or citizenship status.
If you can get approved and Bestow has a policy that fits your needs, the company can be a great solution that saves you time and money.
But if you have a complicated situation or want a more comprehensive life insurance policy (e.g. whole life insurance with the savings component), it won’t be the right fit.
Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, Commonbond, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Guardian, Personalloans.org and many others. She specializes in taking personal finance topics like loans, credit cards, and budgeting, and making them accessible and fun.