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
  • Written by
    Christian Simmons

    Christian Simmons

    Financial Writer

    Christian Simmons is a writer for RetireGuide and a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE®). He covers Medicare and important retirement topics. Christian is a former winner of a Florida Society of News Editors journalism contest and has written professionally since 2016.

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  • Edited By
    Lamia Chowdhury
    Lamia Chowdhury, editor for RetireGuide.com

    Lamia Chowdhury

    Financial Editor

    Lamia Chowdhury is a financial content editor for RetireGuide and has over three years of marketing experience in the finance industry. She has written copy for both digital and print pieces ranging from blogs, radio scripts and search ads to billboards, brochures, mailers and more.

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  • Financially Reviewed By
    Eric Estevez
    Eric Estevez, Independent Licensed Life Insurance Agent

    Eric Estevez

    Licensed Independent Insurance Broker

    Eric Estevez is a duly licensed independent insurance broker and a former financial institution auditor with more than a decade of professional experience. He has specialized in federal, state and local compliance for both large and small businesses.

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  • Published: April 21, 2022
  • Updated: August 10, 2022
  • 3 min read time
  • This page features 3 Cited Research Articles
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A qualified expert reviewed the content on this page to ensure it is factually accurate, meets current industry standards and helps readers achieve a better understanding of retirement topics.

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How to Cite RetireGuide.com's Article

APA Simmons, C. (2022, August 10). Buying Life Insurance Online. RetireGuide.com. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from https://www.retireguide.com/life-insurance/buy/online/

MLA Simmons, Christian. "Buying Life Insurance Online." RetireGuide.com, 10 Aug 2022, https://www.retireguide.com/life-insurance/buy/online/.

Chicago Simmons, Christian. "Buying Life Insurance Online." RetireGuide.com. Last modified August 10, 2022. https://www.retireguide.com/life-insurance/buy/online/.

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
Pros
  • Can be a much quicker process
  • May not have to undergo a medical exam
  • More convenient
Cons
  • 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.

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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: August 10, 2022
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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 https://www.forbes.com/advisor/life-insurance/best-tips-first-time-buyers/
  2. Chatzky, J. (2017, October 9). Everything you need to know about shopping for life insurance online. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/better/business/everything-you-need-know-about-shopping-life-insurance-online-ncna808521
  3. Insurance Information Institute. (n.d.). Facts + Statistics: Life Insurance. Retrieved from https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-life-insurance