How to Shop Online for Life Insurance

With the growing popularity of the internet and smart phones allowing us to shop online, there are an increasing number of businesses seeking to provide information, goods, or services.  Searching for your next life insurance policy is no exception.  It is important for you to know just what kinds of online companies can help you find the right policy.

If you’ve searched for life insurance online in the past, you’ve undoubtedly entered some sort of keywords in your favorite search engine to begin your search.  If you’ve entered these keywords in Google, the first 3 results at the top of your results page (within the highlighted box) are paid advertisements through Google.  The insurance companies pay Google for you to click through to their site (often upwards of $30 per click).  For them, it’s a simple return on investment (ROI) business proposition.  The remaining listings on the page are ranked based on a number of relevancy factors that Google won’t tell us.  Which brings me to my next point.

There are 3 general type of companies that compete for your business in the online life insurance world; 1) captive insurance companies, 2) lead generation companies, and 3) independent insurance brokers/agents.

Captive insurance companies are companies like Met Life, New York Life, State Farm, etc.  These companies sell life insurance exclusively through their own network of captive agents.  Since they don’t carry competitors policies, this tends to be the most expensive way for consumers to purchase insurance.

The second type of company specializes in lead generation and makes money by selling your quote request to one or more independent agents.  If you’ve ever filled out an online quote for term life insurance, you’ve probably experienced the results of this first hand – as many as 8 different agents calling and emailing you to sell you life insurance.  The two dominate players in this space are Bankrate and Quin Street.  Together these two companies own,,, and among others.  These companies pay Google millions of dollars annually.  They also recruit affiliates to put online quote forms on other sites.  These affiliates then take a cut as consumers fill out the quote forms.

The last type of company competing for your business online is the independent brokerage or agent.  The best ones have relationships with most insurance companies and allow you to see the best rates online, ranked by premium from lowest to highest.  These sites, like, instantly quote life insurance rates from nearly all the top companies. Then, if you choose, an independent agent will contact you and help with the application process.  Not only does this put the control in your hands but eliminates multiple agents from calling and emailing you.

If you know what kind of life insurance companies you’re dealing with, searching for life insurance online can be a rewarding experience.  Informed consumers often make better decisions leading to savings in time, money, and hassle.  Enjoy Life!

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