Bestow Life Insurance Review: Fast & No Medical Review Required

Bestow

9

Product Rating

9.0/10

Strengths

  • Fast online approval
  • No medical exam required for approval
  • 10 - 30 year term life
  • Up to $1,500,000 of coverage

Weaknesses

  • Not available for 45+ or 55+ depending on term
  • Not available in New York
  • Only term life insurance available

One of the obstacles to purchasing life insurance is the application process. With traditional life insurance, you sit with a life insurance agent, who asks a series of deep and often uncomfortable questions as part of an application process that seems to take forever. Then you may have to wait weeks for an approval, and hope it will come with the premium rate quoted by the agent.

But the Internet is changing the way consumers apply for life insurance.

One of the companies at the forefront of that transition is Bestow. It offers an all-online application process, that provides approval in minutes, without a medical exam, and with a firm, low-cost premium quote.

If you want fast life insurance, Bestow is one of the few companies that can offer it.

Bestow in a nutshell:

  • Fast, online approvals with no medical exam
  • One of the lowest cost life insurance providers in the industry
  • Policies available for up to $1 million
  • Terms up to 20 years

Intrigued? Let's dig deeper:

What is Bestow Life Insurance?

Bestow is an online life insurance company that sells low-cost life insurance policies that require no medical exam. All policies offered are term life insurance, ranging from two years to 20 years. The site was launched in November 2016 and is based in Dallas, Texas.

Life insurance quotes are provided by Bestow Agency, LLC and the policies are issued on policy form LS181 and LS182 by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance.

North American Company is a privately-owned insurance company that's been in business for over 130 years. They have more than 600,000 life insurance policies and annuity contracts in force.

North American Company has the following ratings by the major insurance industry rating services:

  • A.M. Best, “A+ Superior” (second highest of 15 rating categories)
  • S&P Global Ratings, “A+ Strong” (fifth highest of 22 rating categories)
  • Fitch Ratings, “A+” (fifth highest among 19 rating categories)

Bestow has a Better Business Bureau rating of “A” (on a scale of A+ to F). The company has been BBB accredited since October 9, 2017.

How Bestow's Life Insurance Works

Bestow uses big data and technology to streamline and speed up the life insurance application process.

The entire application process takes place online. You'll be asked questions about your health and your lifestyle. The company's algorithm analyzes information available from big data and technology (largely MIB, the insurance industry's medical database) and offers an answer in a matter of minutes. This is unlike the traditional life insurance application process that can take several weeks.

Best of all, Bestow does not require a medical exam or lab tests for policy approval.

There are no paper forms to complete. If your policy is approved, you'll be given your rate, and an opportunity to choose the amount and term of your policy. You can pay for your policy using a credit card.

Bestow in a snapshot:

  • Type of life insurance offered: Term life only (no cash value policies)
  • Policy terms available: 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year terms
  • Maximum policy amounts: Up to $1.5 million
  • Minimum policy amounts: $50,000
  • Medical exam requirement: Not required
  • Age limits to apply: 18 – 60
  • States available: 49 (all except New York)
  • Premium payment frequency: Monthly
  • Health exclusions: Heart disease, stroke, cancer (except basal and squamous cell skin cancer), organ transplant, diabetes before 40 (except gestational diabetes), alcohol or drug abuse, HIV, or kidney disease requiring dialysis
  • Customer service: Available by phone, email, and live chat on the website

How Much Does Bestow's Life Insurance Cost?

Bestow offers term life insurance policies to US citizens and residents, who are generally healthy (see table below for exclusions related to health). To apply, you must either be employed full-time, a homemaker, or a student.

The company offers several different types of term life insurance policies but there is no longer a difference with who is eligible for which term period.

For example:

10-year term: Provides longer-term protection for your loved ones, as well as funds to pay off debts upon your death. Premium payments are fixed for the entire 10-year term. The 10-year term policy is available for applicants between the ages of 18 and 60. It's available in amounts ranging from $50,000 to $1.5 million.

20-year term: Works similar to the 10-year term policy, but with double the term for longer-term protection. The 20-year term policy is available for applicants between the ages of 18 and 60. It's available in amounts ranging from $50,000 to $1.5 million.

They also now offer terms as short as 10 years and as long as 30 years.

The policies are not automatically renewable. You would need to reapply once the term ends if you are still eligible based on age and health.

How much life insurance should you get? Use our guide to determining how much life insurance you need to figure out the amount and the term. Generally speaking, you want enough to cover current and future financial needs but not so much that you overshoot. Overpaying is better than underpaying but who wants either?

Bestow Pros and Cons

Bestow has quite a few Pros and Cons, here they are outlined:

Pros

  • Fast online approval: If you qualify, you can get coverage in minutes.
  • No medical exam: Getting coverage does not require a medical exam though it is not higher priced as a result.
  • Coverage up to $1,500,000 – Some of the highest coverages with terms of up to 30-years, all while still being able to get approval quickly.
  • Monthly premiums: You can pay monthly, rather than in an annual lump sum.

Cons:

  • Only term life insurance: Bestow only offers term life insurance, no permanent life insurance available.
  • A long list of exclusions: Because there is no medical exam and they do not charge you more as a result, there are health exclusions including heart disease, stroke, cancer, HIV, and more.
  • Not available to 45+ and 55+: Again, because there is no medical exam, older populations may not qualify.
  • Not available in New York

Alternatives to Bestow

Fabric

If you’re looking for an option in addition to Bestow, check out Fabric. Fabric is a term life insurance company that can offer coverage without a medical exam. Plus, they’re rated A+ with A.M. Best – which means that you don’t have to worry about the company not being able to pay out. Fabric provides premium estimates so you can see what a policy might cost.

Term life insurance is available for amounts between $100,000 and $5 million, and term lengths range between 10 and 30 years in five-year increments. In some cases, you can receive an offer immediately.

Their application takes about 10 minutes to complete and can be done either online or via their mobile app, available on both Android and iPhone devices. Like other insurance companies, Fabric offers a 30-day period during which you can cancel and get your premium back. 

Learn more about Fabric

Ladder

Ladder understands that you might require different amounts of life insurance at different points in your life. That’s why they make it easy to stagger your life insurance policies. For example, you can buy a 30-year policy to cover your mortgage payments and add on a 20-year policy to cover childcare and other kid-related expenses. 

You can buy between $100,000 and $8 million in coverage, and monthly premiums start as low as $5. They also claim that you can avoid a health exam if you buy less than $3 million in coverage.

You can buy terms between 10 and 30 years. Ladder claims that their online form only takes five minutes to complete, so it’s an easy option if you’re busy and want coverage quickly.

Here's our full Ladder review.

Learn more about Ladder

Final Verdict

Like many online life insurance companies that offer fast approvals and low-cost premiums, Bestow is designed primarily for those who are in good or excellent health, and generally younger (under 45 or 55, depending on the policy).

It's also an excellent choice if you're looking for fast approval, with low monthly premiums (started at just $5 a month), and no medical exam.

However, Bestow does not make policies available for those over 45 or 55 so you'll need to look elsewhere if you exceed those age limits. It also doesn't have policies available for those with significant health conditions, though it promises to add additional policy types going forward.

Bestow also does not offer permanent life insurance, in the form of cash value policies, like whole life insurance. I think term life insurance is better than whole life but if you're looking for permanent coverage, or longer-term policies (up to 30 years) you'll want to check out other sources.

Lastly, remember that the policies they offer are not automatically renewable. At the end of the term, you'll need to reapply for a new policy, if you're still within the eligibility parameters. But given the super low rates Bestow charges for coverage, it certainly benefits you to see what you'd pay on a policy if you are within the eligibility parameters set by the company.

In summary, Bestow offers fast term life insurance coverage for healthy younger applicants without a medical exam or lab tests. It's a great option if you fit into one of their prime categories and one you should consider if you're in the market for term life insurance (and are not a resident of New York).

If you don't know if you are in that category, or you are unsure, you can get a quote and find out pretty quickly. If you qualify, it's a great option because of how affordable it is. If you don't, you'd have to look elsewhere anyway!

If you'd like more information, or you want to get a free quote, visit the
Bestow website.

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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