AccuQuote Blog

Our life insurance blog is dedicated to providing you with valuable information from experts on the topics of insurance, financial planning and personal finance.

What Are My Insurance Agent’s Motives?

By Byron Udell

 

At AccuQuote, our motives are clear and our mission is simple. We are dedicated to communicating the importance of life insurance to as many people as possible. We strive to be the best source of advice and helpful information on life insurance you can find.

That’s why a Gallup poll I recently saw really bugged me. In a survey about honesty and ethical standards, 36% of people scored insurance agents as “low or very low” in this area. Only 15% of respondents gave agents a “high or very high” score. (As a point of reference, 10% gave members of Congress a “high or very high” ranking.)

I am aware that some people think of life insurance agents as an irritation, but these numbers really surprised me. I’ve known thousands of insurance professionals over the years, and I’ve employed hundreds of them. By and large, they are high-integrity professionals.

Have you ever wondered why life insurance agents do what they do?

The vast majority of life insurance agents wakes up in the morning and thinks about protecting families. Period.

EVERY AccuQuote agent wakes up thinking about that. I am 100% certain about this. I wouldn’t allow them to work here if that wasn’t the case.

Many of them have personally experienced the amazing impact of life insurance.  Many of them have seen the devastation that occurs when a loved one passes away without coverage…

Our agents are advisors, not high-pressure sales people. They will never rush you into making a hasty decision, and they’ll never advise you to take action they don’t believe is in your best interest. They are not looking to make a quick sale and never speak with you again. (In fact, we even serve customers who DIDN’T buy insurance from us!)

When you become a customer, the AccuQuote team becomes your advisor FOR LIFE.

The premature death of a spouse or parent, or even a business partner, can cause a financial disaster for the survivors.  We’re committed to making it as simple and easy as possible to get the life insurance you need to protectthe people you leave behind.

Those are the motives that drive our insurance agents.

We believe that life insurance is the most important product in the history of mankind.  It’s our job to spread the word. And we take that job seriously.

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Posted in Accidental Death Insurance | No Comments »

3 SIMPLE Health Tips the Media Isn’t Telling You

By Sami Udell

 

Do you ever feel inundated with new information about what is healthy and what is not? There are plenty of new diets claiming to be the best along with proven studies to show how and why they work.  For example, you might read an article about how a girl who gained 50 pounds attributes the weight gain to peanut butter, and then later that same day read a headline saying, “Peanut Butter is the Miracle Fat Burner.”  The truth is you can find evidence for whatever you choose to believe.

So how do you know what to eat? Many people complain that they have no time to cook meals.  We are living in a culture that is seduced by anything that mentions energy on it because we find ourselves overworked and exhausted.  We drink caffeine to power through our day, buy fast food to save time, and eat our food while texting, driving, or working.  It’s no wonder that we are confused what to eat. Chaos has become the norm.

As a result, our country’s health is suffering.  According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are leading causes of death for both males and females in the United States.  Also, obesity has more than doubled worldwide since 1980.  There is clearly a health crisis in this country; our nation is becoming unhealthy and overweight.

Life insurance rates are determined by the quality of your health, which is evaluated after a medical exam.  Obese people can pay as much as double or more. Rates for diabetics can be up to triple what a perfectly healthy person would pay.  When people with these (and other) conditions apply for life insurance, and find out that rates are higher, they often opt to go without coverage.  So, ironically, those who need it most end up least likely to own it. 

The good news is that taking control of your health is not as complicated as the media makes us believe.  One thing the media often fails to mention is that we are all unique individuals.  Perhaps your friend can eat all the peanut butter she wants and still lose weight while you find yourself feeling lethargic after just one spoonful. You’ll understand this better after reading these three vital health tips.

1. Everybody is different; get to know what works for you
If every human were the same, there would only need to be one item on every menu at every restaurant.  As humans, we have different taste buds, different needs, and different foods energize each of us.  Sure, everyone can benefit from reducing sugar, dairy, and packaged food intake, but do not feel discouraged if your spouse or friend thrives eating a certain way that is not working for you.  If you are feeling tired, gaining weight, or constantly getting sick, it’s time to explore something different in your diet.

Ask yourself, “What foods am I currently eating that do not make me feel my best?”  Get to know your body.

2.  Find ways to enjoy spending time in your kitchen
You can read every article under the sun and you’ll probably never stumble upon a headline that says, “Eating Out Is Healthier For you Than Preparing Your Own Meals.” You are far likelier to eat healthy when you buy, prep, and cook your own food.

Ask yourself, “What is it that I do not enjoy about cooking my own food?”  If the answer is time, find ways to save time.  For example, if you like eating whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice, cook enough for you to eat for the whole week.  Simply put the leftovers in Tupperware containers and keep it fresh in the fridge.  Do this with your protein as well.  Make enough fish, chicken, tofu, or beans at dinner to eat for lunch the next day. If you want to take ownership of your health, start by bringing back home-cooked meals.

3. Do not necessarily go on a diet; you do not need to cut foods out completely
People often find nutrition overwhelming because they are given strict orders about what to do.  You do not need to say goodbye to all your favorite foods.  Rather, add foods to your diet that make you feel great. Instead of putting ice cream on your “give up” list, try adding greens, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts to your diet.

You will find that after eating five servings of veggies during the day, the desire to devour a whole carton of ice cream in the evening lessens.  When you fill your body with wholesome, nourishing foods, you will automatically start to want to eat healthier.  The best part about adding these nutrient-dense foods to your diet is your body will start to naturally crave them. It is often more realistic to adopt new life habits than to go on a diet, which typically only last a few weeks. Be patient with yourself.

Don’t let outside factors—the media, friends, family—dictate how you go about being healthy. Remember to ask yourself, “How do I feel?  How do I look?  Do I think I could be healthier?”  And if you believe you can feel better trying something different, try it.  It’s really that simple.

Sami Udell is a Chicago native living in L.A.  She is a certified holistic health coach committed to healthy eating, healthy living, and overall wellness.  She is a self-proclaimed foodie and chef.  Passion runs deep in Sami’s family—her brother Jake is a rising star on the music management scene and her dad Byron is one of the foremost experts in the country when it comes to life insurance (and the regular author of this blog).

Have comments or question for Sami or want to learn more about her and wellness?  Email her at samiudell@gmail.com, visit WholeSam.com or follow her at @_WholeSam.

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Posted in Health Insurance , Insurance | No Comments »

Prevent Your Life Insurance Company from “Dining and Dashing” with Your Premiums

By Byron Udell

 

  

It’s perfectly legal for life insurance companies to take years or even decades of premiums from their customers and NEVER pay on a death claim.

In fact, insurers depend on this happening more often than not.

Remember:

Fact #1:  When it comes to life insurance, there’s ALWAYS a loser.  It’s either the customer or the insurance company.  

Fact #2: If the insurer pays the death benefit, it’s virtually impossible for them to make a profit from your policy.

Fact #3:  A shockingly high percentage of policies NEVER HAVE TO PAY the death benefit.

There is a surefire way to know that, when the time comes, your insurance company WILL pay up, even though the odds seem to be stacked against you.

The Secret Is Very Simple…

The secret to winning the game is simple.  It can be summarized in six words:  DIE WITH YOUR POLICY IN FORCE.

Sounds easy, right?  So why do so many people lose the game?

They lose because their policies lapse before they die.

Again, MOST policies NEVER PAY the death benefit – not because of negligence on the part of the insurance company, but because of voluntary or inadvertent lapses caused by the policyholder.

This can happen for a myriad of reasons.  Sometimes it’s because they no longer want the policy.  Maybe they get divorced, so they intentionally dropped the policy.  Sometimes it’s because they run across some tough times, lose their job.

The bottom line is that the insurance company doesn’t care why they lapsed…  They’ve collected premiums for years, and never end up having to pay a claim.  In other words, they WON and you LOST.

The profits the insurance companies make on all these lapsed and expired policies SUBSIDIZE the ridiculously high rates of return for the people smart enough to keep their policies in force until they die.

In effect, the losers pay the winners, and the “house” (the insurance company) takes a small cut.  Almost like a casino…

Here’s the bottom line:  TO WIN THE GAME OF LIFE INSURANCE, you have to own a policy that you’ll be able to KEEP until you die.  For most of us, that means a policy with an affordable, predictable, and level premium for life.

The Reasons I’m Speaking Out

So why would I share the secret with you, even if you don’t buy your life insurance from me? 

Firstly, I’ve been in the life insurance industry for three decades.  I’ve delivered benefit checks to teary-eyed widows. I’ve seen mortgages paid and college tuition paid for.  And I’ve seen financial devastation piled on top of an already grieving family.  I hate to see families pay premiums for years and NEVER get anything back because they allowed the policy to lapse.

Secondly, I’m hoping that now that you know the secret, you will trust AccuQuote to handle your life insurance, like hundreds of thousands of other folks have.    

At AccuQuote, life insurance is what we do.  We live, eat, breath, and sleep life insurance.  I’ve been on the radio and on TV for over two decades talking about how amazing and important life insurance is, and I’m regularly called upon by the media, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNBC, The New York Times, and Kiplinger’s magazine, to comment on insurance industry issues.  I’m passionate about helping every single person I can to understand all this!

If you are going to own life insurance, you’re either going to WIN the game, or you’re going to LOSE it.  We WANT our customers to WIN.  Call us toll-free at 800-589-0466.  We’ll tell you how to win, and give you simple ways to make that happen.

You can also get a free quote on a life insurance policy with an affordable, predictable premium that will never increase here.

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Posted in Life Insurance | No Comments »

Personal Finance Guru Terry Savage Talks Life Insurance in the News, On the Web, On TV, and on the Radio

By Byron Udell

 

For more than two decades, I’ve been helping personal finance expert and nationally syndicated columnist Terry Savage spread the word about life insurance. 

Terry’s a friend, but she’s also one of the people in the media who gets it right when it comes to covering and reporting on life insurance.  She educates her readers, listeners and viewers (yes, she has all three, as she’s now part of the Tribune Content Agency; this means she’ll still be seen on WGN TV, she’ll still be heard on WGN Radio, and now she can be read in the Chicago Tribune and other outlets).

What I really like about Terry, who is a best-selling author, is that she makes life insurance very simple for her audience to understand.  And she does this while still conveying how important it is.

This time, Terry tells us 5 things to know about life insurance.  She cites AccuQuote and quotes me.  Read the piece in the Tribune (if you can’t access because of a pay wall, read it on Huffington Post).  Listen to her talk about life insurance recently on WGN Radio.  And watch her a couple weeks ago on WGN TV’s top rated morning show.

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Posted in Life Insurance | No Comments »

Life Insurance Exam Tips that Could Save You Thousands

By Byron Udell

 

You probably know that your health is an important factor life insurance companies use to decide how much to charge you for coverage.  The healthier you are, the less you pay.  They get a lot of the information they need by performing a medical exam.

Sometimes the difference in cost is dramatic. Bad results can even cause your application to be denied.  So there’s a lot riding on those results.

What Happens During a Medical Exam?
After you’ve appliedfor a life insurance policy, your agent will schedule a time for you to meet with a nurse or medical examiner. In most cases, the examiner will be able to meet with you at your home or office.

The examiner will ask you some questions about your medical history.  They’ll check your blood pressure. They will also measure your height and weight to determine your body mass index (BMI). Your BMI is an important indicator of your risk of premature death.

(If you’re curious, you may want to find out your body mass index using the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s super-easy BMI calculator.)

You’ll provide a blood and urine sample.  A resting electrocardiogram (EKG) or additional tests maybe required, depending on your age and the size of the policy.

The entire exam typically only takes about 30 minutes.

How Should I Prepare for My Medical Exam?

We’ve provided some helpful tips that will help you get the best possible results on your medical exam in the video below. Following these simple tips will help you pay the lowest rate possible.

Here are a few additional details:

- Eat healthy foods to make sure your blood work is as clean as possible. Really, you should always try to eat healthy (for the record, I’m a vegan).  Even if changing your diet isn’t a priority for you, you should do your best to cut out the junk food for the 7 days before the exam.
     o Green vegetables like broccoli and spinach are known to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Foods high in fiber are good for your cholesterol, too.

- Try to avoid stress and be well-rested, especially the day before the exam.

- Avoid drinking alcohol for at least the 3 days leading up to the exam. Remember, you’re trying to flush the “bad stuff” out of your blood.  You don’t want the insurance company thinking you can’t stop drinking for a couple days, either.

- On the day before the medical exam, try not to take any painkillers or stimulants, including caffeine.  Take prescription medications on schedule but avoid nasal decongestants, aspirin and ibuprofen if possible.

- Avoid any strenuous activity (exercise, heavy lifting, etc.) on the day of the exam.  That ensures you don’t have any extra protein in your urine.

- You’ll want to start fasting (not eating) for at least 8 hours before the exam.  You can drink water – that’s it.
     o It’s a good idea to drink a glass or bottle of water before the exam so you’re ready to give the urine sample.

- Don’t use any form of tobacco the day of the exam.

These medical exam tips can help you avoid abnormal test results.  Failure to follow these basic tips can put you in a lower rate class, which can cost you thousands of dollars in premiums over the life of the policy.  You may even have to retest with your primary care physician at YOUR expense.

We want to make sure you get your life insurance at the lowest rate you can qualify for.  These tips will help you do that.

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Posted in Medical Exam | No Comments »