Buying Life Insurance Online

While life insurance is typically purchased in person through a company or broker — and can be a drawn-out process, purchasing a policy online is a viable and growing option. The process is faster and can be a better option for some people than buying in person and having to undergo a medical exam.

Christian Simmons, writer and researcher for RetireGuide
Fact Checked
Fact Checked

Our fact-checking process starts with vetting all sources to ensure they are authoritative and relevant. Then we verify the facts with original reports published by those sources, or we confirm the facts with qualified experts. For full transparency, we clearly identify our sources in a list at the bottom of each page.

Cite Us
How to Cite's Article

APA Simmons, C. (2022, April 26). Buying Life Insurance Online. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from

MLA Simmons, Christian. "Buying Life Insurance Online.", 26 Apr 2022,

Chicago Simmons, Christian. "Buying Life Insurance Online." Last modified April 26, 2022.

How Often Do People Buy Life Insurance Online?

For much of the history of the life insurance industry, policies have largely been purchased in person. But that has been quickly shifting in recent years, especially in the wake of the pandemic.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 17% of consumers preferred internet or online sales in 2011. But by 2020, that group had grown to 29%. In person sales are becoming less and less popular, with consumers preferring to go with other options such as over the phone or online.

The internet plays a big role even for consumers who end up still buying life insurance in person, as many people go online to learn more about their options, study up on different companies and identify the plan best suited to them.

Given the way things are trending, online sales are likely to continue to become a more significant part of the life insurance industry.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying Life Insurance Online?

One of the main benefits of purchasing life insurance online is the convenience. You can identify and buy a policy without ever leaving your home, and the overall process may be much faster. According to NBC News, purchasing a policy in person can be a weeks-long process while buying one online can be virtually immediate.

Pros and Cons of Buying Life Insurance Online
  • Can be a much quicker process
  • May not have to undergo a medical exam
  • More convenient
  • May limit the type of policy you can purchase
  • Not always the best option if you are in good health
  • Less personalized advice and information

If you are not in great health or do not want to have to take a medical exam, buying online may be your best option because that part of the process is excluded in many cases. Life insurance policies bought online can instead assess you by collecting online data.

On the flip side, it may make more sense to go through the process of purchasing a policy in person if you are in good health since you will likely be offered a cheaper option if you undergo an exam and prove you are healthy.

Another potential downside of buying online is a less personalized experience. A broker can offer advice and provide insight and information specifically to your situation and needs. That may not be the case if you opt for the streamlined process of finding and buying a policy online.

How to Buy Life Insurance Online

The first step to buying life insurance online is to research the companies and options available to you. Many of the major companies offer all the information you need on their websites.

You can buy life insurance and receive immediate quotes through many of their sites, with some of them offering portals to do so. It will typically give you an application to fill out.

Since the process can be fairly streamlined, it’s important to have all of your information at hand and be ready to make a decision once you open a portal or request an application to buy life insurance.

The time that it takes to purchase life insurance online can vary by the company and the type of policy you are buying.

Last Modified: April 26, 2022

3 Cited Research Articles

  1. Huddleston, C. (2022, January 7). 10 Best Tips If You’re Buying Life Insurance for the First Time. Retrieved from
  2. Chatzky, J. (2017, October 9). Everything you need to know about shopping for life insurance online. Retrieved from
  3. Insurance Information Institute. (n.d.). Facts + Statistics: Life Insurance. Retrieved from