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What Is Life Insurance?

"The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works is the family." —Lee Iacocca

If you're shopping for life insurance, chances are you're thinking about how to protect your family if anything happens to you. Life insurance is one of the few things you buy that isn't actually for you—it's for the ones you love. Here's what it can do:

  • protect your family
  • pay for funeral and burial costs
  • provide peace of mind for you and financial security for your family
  • be far more affordable than you think

At Trusted Quote, we want to help you learn, buy, and thrive. We'll explain what life insurance is, show you how affordable it can be, and walk you through the buying process once you're ready. To get started, just click the orange button to get a free quote— we'll bring you rates and policies from the country's top-rated insurance providers. If you have questions, call us at 800-823-4852 or use our Live Chat feature to get instant help online.

For more than 40 years, we've helped families protect themselves with life insurance. Remember, you only need one reason—what's yours?

Click Here for Life Insurance Quotes!

Can you explain what life insurance is?

Of course! To get you started, here's a basic definition:

Trusted Quote Life insurance is a type of insurance policy that pays an agreed-upon amount of money to a person’s beneficiaries when he or she passes away.

There are three main types of life insurance:

  • Term life insurance
    • Covers you for a particular period of time, called the "term"
    • Most affordable and popular type of policy
  • Whole life insurance
    • Permanent coverage
    • In terms of price, between term life and universal life
  • Universal life insurance
    • Permanent coverage
    • Costs the most, but provides ultimate flexibility and potential for investment profit

All three types provide a death benefit that is paid to your beneficiary (the person or people you choose to receive the money) when you pass away. That money can be used for anything they want—to pay bills, to put children through college, to expand a business, to relocate...the possibilities are endless.

Why do people buy life insurance?

Family playing in the yard
Americans bought $2.9 trillion of life insurance in 2010.

Life insurance is an incredibly versatile tool for your family's financial future. Here are some of the most popular reasons people buy policies:

  • To replace the income you provided for your family
    • Could your spouse make mortgage payments without your financial contribution?
    • Could your kids pay for college without help?
    • Can your elderly parents get by without your assistance?
    • If you answered "no" to any of these questions, life insurance can help.
  • To pay for funeral and burial expenses
    • Average cost of a funeral in 2009: $7,755
    • Average cost of a cemetery plot: $3,500
    • Average cost of a grave marker:  between $500 and $3,000
    • Total possible cost of a traditional funeral and burial: $11,755-$14,255
    • Do you have a spare $11,755-$14,255 lying around?
  • To provide for your small business
    • Could you afford to buy a partner’s share of the business if he passed away?
    • Has your partner used the business as collateral in any personal loans?
    • Can his family pay off those loans without selling the business should he or she pass away?
    • Certain types of life insurance are designed specifically to protect your financial interest in a business partnership.
  • To donate to a charity
    • Is there a charity you’d like to name as a beneficiary?
    • Would you like a way to reduce your taxable estate and give to your favorite charity at the same time?

Isn't life insurance for older people?

Smiling mother and a baby.
Life insurance is most affordable when you're young!

That's just a myth. According to LIMRA, a worldwide life insurance research group, 70% of American households have some form of life insurance.  

Nearly 66% of all Americans feel life insurance gives you peace of mind, while 70% of women agree that life insurance is a necessity. That's an awful lot of people who feel that life insurance is valuable for them and their families!    

There's more. Life insurance is most affordable when you're young and healthy. If you're just starting out or planning ahead for a secure retirement, now is the time to apply and buy. 

You may have seen news clips of Gene Simmons (of KISS) promoting his new financial services company, which uses low-cost loans as a way to finance expensive life insurance policies for the wealthy.  But don’t get the wrong idea.  It’s not just the wealthy who are buying life insurance. Life insurance rates are at historic lows, and more people are taking advantage of these rates. 

Culturally, the reasons for buying life insurance are as much of a motivator as price.  More than 80% of African-Americans believe loving your family is the number one reason to buy life insurance. 70% of Hispanic Americans think they need life insurance, largely to help pay for their children’s college education.  

The people who buy life insurance love their families.  It’s that simple. If you love your family and want to protect them, click here to get an instant quote

Okay, I'll think about it...while I visit Facebook.

Wait!  We’ve heard so many stories that begin with, “If only I’d thought about life insurance before…” 

The trick with life insurance is buying early, when you’re in good health.  (If this isn’t you, don’t worry—we’ve still got a ton of ways to help you get a policy and save.)  The folks who have the easiest time getting a policy are the ones who buy before something bad happens.  Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Accidents, bad medical news, or even death can happen at any time. One day can make the difference between an affordable policy and an expensive one. We won’t guilt trip you with tearful stories of widows and orphans, but they’re out there.  We all think it won’t happen to us, until it does happen to us.  Then we wonder what was so important before that we couldn’t take a few minutes to make sure our loved ones are provided for.
  • Some life insurance companies won’t write a policy for a pregnant woman. If you wait until you’re pregnant to become insured, the insurer might not want to cover you until after the birth or if they do, you might end up paying a lot more.

How much does life insurance cost?

Piles of coins stacked on bills
Life insurance could cost you less than a night on the town.

It often costs less than your monthly cell phone bill. 

We’re not kidding. 

The cheapest type of policy, term life, can cost a healthy person in their 30s between $30 and $50 per month. Jeff Rose writes that over 2/3 of those with life insurance are paying less than $100, and just under half pay less than $50 per month. 

Let's think about the cost another way. What was the grand total, including tax and tip, for your last meal at Chili’s?  For the cost of a sit-down family meal every month, you could give your loved ones peace of mind and security.  We think it’s worth passing on the apple-smoked-hickory-lickety-splickety-chicken-crispy-nugget-nacho-munchers platter.  

If you're the type who needs hard facts, we've got those, too. Rates differ by age, gender, location, and amount and type of coverage, but on average, a 38-year-old male who doesn't smoke and is in good health (the "preferred plus" rate class) can get the following:

  • $100,000 of 10-year term life coverage for about $8/month
  • $250,000 of 10-year term life coverage for about $11/month
  • $100,000 of 20-year term life coverage for about $11/month
  • $250,000 of 20-year term life coverage for about $16/month
  • $500,000 of 20-year term life coverage for about $26/month
  • $1,000,000 of 20-year term life coverage for about $45/mont

The financial blogger behind the popular Budgets are $exy blog shared his specific details about buying life insurance. He got a 30-year term life insurance policy for $30.99/month.  It pays out $350,000 if he dies within those 30 years.  His wife got a policy for even less, just $24.57/month, which also pays about $350,000 if she dies within the 30-year term.

The top two reasons people don’t buy life insurance are both financial—either they have other financial priorities, or they think they can’t afford it.  But here’s the kicker: if you’re struggling to pay a mortgage now, how do you think your family would pay it if you weren’t here?  Wouldn’t the struggle be even worse for them then?

How does it work?

Here's a brief timeline that shows you the four steps in the life of an insurance policy:

Step 1Step 2Step 3Step 4
a policy
Death of
insured person
paid out
  • Select policy length
  • Select beneficiaries
  • Make payments
  • Do you have enough coverage?
  • Change/add beneficiaries
  • Beneficiary makes a claim
  • Brief inspection for fraud
  • Check issued
  • Bills paid

You convinced me! What are my next steps?

  • Get a free quote by clicking the big orange button below.
  • Call us at 800-823-4852 and we’ll answer any questions you have. Get help Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, Pacific time. (We’re not as famous as Gene Simmons, but you don’t need a net worth of $20 million to work with us, either.)

Click Here for Life Insurance Quotes!

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Copyright 2002-Present Pinney Wholesale Insurance Services - All Rights Reserved 2266 Lava Ridge Court, Roseville, CA 95661

*Comparison of each carrier’s best published rates for a
10-year level term policy, 30-year-old non-smoking female

^Represents 10-year level term life insurance rates for 40-year-old female,
in good health, no tobacco, residing in Ohio.

R. Jan Pinney CLU, ChFC is a licensed life insurance agent in all states and the District of Columbia. The following agent license numbers are provided for R. Jan Pinney as required by state law: CA agent #0440057, LA agent #291116, MA agent #1674866, MN agent #20270113, UT agent #58330, agent R. Jan Pinney, DBA Pinney Insurance Services. Commercial use by others is prohibited by law. This site provides term quotes. Each rate is a quote based on information provided by the carrier. No portion of Trusted Quote may be copied, published, faxed, mailed or distributed in any manner for any purpose without prior written authorization of the owner.

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