Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Who needs to win the lottery when you can just die instead?

It's official. DH and I are insured. Apparently if either of us dies while engaging in a felony all bets are off but they didn't say anything about murdering the other person. Bwah ha ha ha ha. Of course if I kill DH, who will rake all of the leaves? I'm better off waiting until the Spring.

The whole process to get term life insurance was kind of a pain in the ass. Sure, we could have gone through an Internet site and spent less time but DH wanted to start with MetLife who is our current P&C and Home Insurance provider. MetLife referred us to an independent firm in Charlotte a few miles from our house. DH placed the initial call, got some numbers and we went down to meet with the financial advisor. "Financial advisor?" you might be asking. Yes, which is probably why the process took far longer than it should have.

DH told me that the guy he spoke with was young so I wasn't surprised when a young man came out to greet us when we arrived. By the way, this was a Friday so I was attired in jeans and a sweatshirt. Hey, I enjoy working from home on Fridays so there was no way I was going to dress up to spend far too much money for a "just in case" situation. After we settled into the conference room an older man entered and introduced himself as Bill. He was the "big guns" and the person we ended up dealing with for the rest of the process. We never saw the young man again. He made such an impression I can't even remember his name.

Would you be shocked if I told you I finally had to cut our meeting short after 90 minutes because I had a conference call I needed to be on? Yes, apparently it takes 90 minutes to convince Bill that no, we really do just want term life insurance. No, we aren't interested in learning more about the financial advice and products you offer. Let's just see how this goes first (and by the way, not great so far!). No, just term life insurance. We aren't interested in Whole Life or Universal Life right now. OK, it's been an hour. Can we go ahead an put some numbers up now?

DH loves that I tend to be the more assertive person in these meetings. As someone who sits on hours of meetings every day I try not to beat around the bush. Give me the information, identify the follow up and move on. Bill finally took some information from us and plugged it into the MetLife online tool. It was a complete waste of time because he generated the same numbers that DH got over the phone from Young Man. Basically what it boiled down to was the numbers depend on our test results and smoker status. I quit smoking two years ago but DH was more like 18 months so he was falling under the "less than 2 years" category.

Upon the recommendation from Bill we decided to request quotes from two providers. Part of the application process required that Bill and Young Man verbally ask us questions and write down our responses. I'm not really sure why that was required but insurance is still one of those laggards related to technology and process improvement. I would think at this point that there would be some kind of universal application that could be sent to dozens of firms at one time. But I guess there are enough differences in what firms look for in order to calculate their rates that every application must be completed separately. 30 minutes later we escaped and scheduled an appointment for a nurse to come and take blood and urine samples. Wow, that woman was efficient! She was at our house for maybe 20 minutes and had just as much paperwork to fill out as Bill.

Two weeks later we had received our reports back from the two providers. Everything looked good numbers-wise. DH's cholesterol levels were much better than anticipated which was a nice surprise. We trekked back into Bill's office to receive the final numbers and figure out next steps. The numbers actually looked really good from one provider and were about 20% higher for the other. Not surprisingly DH's rates were much higher than mine. Apparently women are cheaper to insure because we live longer. Because we are just going with term we decided to go with the cheaper option. Bill then started talking about annual vs. monthly payments. He told us, "I know that there isn't a big savings but..." I interrupted him, "Well, amortized over the lifetime of the loan it is quite substantial." That kind of shut him up and he didn't try to push us any more on other products. I love it when I can pull out my MBA knowledge. I rarely get to use the financial aspects of my degree in my daily work life.

DH is going in today to drop off the check and we will have completed one of life's major milestones: getting life insurance. How did your experience compare to ours? Did you just get term insurance or did you mix it with other products?


confused homemaker said...

Getting life insurance is never much fun. I put it up there with having teeth pulled, necessary but a pain to go through even with a nice insurance person (or dentist) to help you (which we do have for both occasions).

LauraC said...

We got term life insurance. Jon used to work in insurance so our insurance guy was super fast with us. It still took an hour to complete the forms. But I will tell you our story!

Jon's dad had a heart attack before 50 so that automatically puts him in the highest rate category, independent of Jon's health. SUCKS. We got our life insurance while I was pregnant. My cholesterol before pregnancy was 145 (!) so we weren't expecting anything negative. My cholesterol test while pregnant came back 301!!! When the insurance guy told us, Jon and I freaked. Apparently your cholesterol spikes when pregnant.

We went ahead and got the policy bc maternal death rates are higher for multiple mothers. I had it re-rated earlier this year when it was up for renewal. My rate dropped in half as I was in the lowest rate category. Good thing I re-rated bc 6 months later I got melanoma!

For us the hardest conversation was who gets the money and who gets the kids if we both die at the same time.

Amanda said...

we had a nice chat with MetLife too and haven't gone back. mostly because we are putting off the process. We both have term life through work (which is much cheaper but you lose if you leave your employer) and a small universal life policy I've had since I was 18. oh the joys.

Mommy, Esq. said...

Avoid financial advisors.

Nicole S. said...

Hmmm - I don't have life insurance but DH does. We should probably get some for me because I would be pretty expensive to replace. How much would a live-in nanny, maid, and cook cost?

Drew said...

Uh oh, another thing I should look into... I love Nicole S.'s post!