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Here's How To BEAT The Life Insurance Game

They say there are only two consistents in life, death and taxes. We can't solve your tax issues, but we can help you figure out how to game the life insurance industry. After spending some time as a Florida licensed insurance and annuities agent, I can tell you that there's a huge difference in people, policies, purpose, and premiums.


People : Knowing what I know now, I would never buy from a captive insurance agent ever again. A captive agent works for a company, like Colonial Penn. They can only sell you what Colonial Penn offers. It doesn't matter if it's right for you, or more expensive, or doesn't have some specific riders. They get paid a salary to sell you what they have.

Independent insurance agents, on the other hand, can sell you what ever fits best. In Florida, we have our choice as an agent of tens of dozens of policies. As a result, a good independent life insurance agent will talk with you, figure out what you need, and then find a company that offers a policy that matches you. They work for you, they don't work for any particular company.

Trick number one of beating the life insurance game is to work with an independent insurance agent to make sure you get the best deal.


Policies :

Grandchild insurance : Here's the deal on these, and why we represent only the biggest credible insurer there is with an A+ rating. I happen to love these policies and what they do. You can buy them for babies, as an amazing baby gift. In fact, you can buy them all the way up to age 18. Here's what I like : it builds a cash value over time, cash they can access for emergencies later in life. The #1 reason I love these policies is they'll have the right to buy more coverage as an adult at the standard adult rate, regardless of health or occupation, as long as premiums are paid. You're giving the gift of a locked-in childhood premium. It will never go up as long as premiums are paid in full. Coverage starts for as little as pennies a day. It's one of my favorite things that we offer.

Term Insurance : Term insurance is what financial gurus recommend, because it's cheap. Keep in mind the best way to look at this is that it's for a "term." It expires, and after it expires in 20 or 30 years, it's over unless you resubscribe at much higher premiums. If you are in your 20's or 30's, it's a great way to provide for the unexpected death. It's a gamble. If you're in your 60's, it's cost prohibitive and will NOT last for the rest of your life. So use it for what its intended for, for a "term." It's NOT a savings plan. It's not a forever thing, but it's cheap and if you die while your family still needs your income, you will save them from calamity. Term insurance has no cash value.

Whole Life Insurance : Whole life insurance is a type of life insurance that provides coverage for the entire lifetime of the insured, as long as the premiums are paid. Unlike term life insurance, which provides coverage for a specified term (such as 10, 20, or 30 years), whole life insurance is designed to last for the policyholder's entire life. It also builds up a cash balance over time you can use like an emergency account. Financial gurus don't recommend whole life insurance, because it's more expensive. They recommend you use term insurance and invest the difference elsewhere.

Final Expense Insurance : We love this, and we're the fastest growing Final Expense Agents in the State of Florida. What is it? It's a small little whole life policy, that is intended for people without a ton of savings. It pays cash QUICKLY to your family when you die. It builds a little cash value you can use down the road. It's cheap, immediate, and really solves a great need for your family. No medical checkups, and guaranteed issue for Florida residents. It's truly a way to beat the system, and we can issue policies all the way up until age 80 and they can never cancel you nor raise your premiums. Also, even if you have other types of insurance, we can get your family cashed out in less than a week to cover funeral expenses (up to $50,000!) when a lot of other insurance policies screw around for months. This was actually recommended to us by a funeral parlor here in Florida to fill a need they saw for people who die with no savings, and it's what made us get licensed in Florida to help families.

Trick number two of beating the life insurance game is to match your insurance against your phase of life. It's not a one size fits all and we adjust what you need based on where you're at in life. It's the reason we shy away from "whole life" where you're paying for your whole life. Beat the system by only buying what you need, when you need it.


Purpose : You have a reason. Reasons might include :

  • a gift for a grandbaby that will far outlive you - this may be the most purposeful of all of the policies we work with

  • a short term window before your kids are adults in which they will be screwed if you die

  • a middle age window where you're looking at something like an annuity where it will provide income for you forever, no matter how long you live (so you can't outlive your savings)

  • later in life where you want to give your family the gift of some burial cash with a policy that will pay for the things you don't want to burden them with like a casket, a cremation, a memorial service, transporting you via a herse, or even some bills they can pay with the cash from the policy

Trick number three of beating the life insurance game is to match a policy with a purpose. You don't just need insurance to have insurance. Different phases have different needs.


Premiums : When is $100,000 not $100,000? When you have to wait two years (like some of the most popular brand name advertisements don't tell you) before your family would be able to cash out. If you die in the first two years, some of the more sleezy policies don't pay. Seriously. You die 6 months in and they send back your family your 6 months worth of premium payments and call it good.

You need to understand all of the fine print. If company A is an A+ rated company, and they provide you with $100,000 in coverage for $100 a month, that's better than company B who is a B- rated company, and they provide you with $100,000 in coverage for $150 a month. Shop around. An independent insurance agent does the shopping around for you, but a captive agent will sell you option B because that may be all they are allowed to sell you.

Trick number four of beating the life insurance game is to make sure you don't get sucked in by the fine print. Be smarter about this than the insurance salesman is. Know what to ask.


A lot of insurers would hate us for laying this out so simply for you, but frankly we don't care. That's the beauty of being an INDEPENDENT insurance agent. We didn't get in to this business because we love insurance. Quite the opposite. We got in because we want to help people. We don't care how much money we make. We care that you and your family are protected, get the best possible value, and that you know who to call on your darkest days when all of the preparations you made need to be cashed out. If the insurers are opposed to transparency (and the carriers we work with are NOT opposed to transparency) than keep shopping until you find the good ones.

David Happe for Form America, a licensed insurance agent in the State of Florida

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