Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions

An agency, like Arlington Greene, works side by side with many different life insurance companies. The benefit is that we are able to shop around for you without commitment. So you get the best policy and the best rates. 

See, you can decide to go with one company, for example Prudential. Let’s pretend someone tells you about a great deal they got. You can go to their site, fill out some information and they will quote you a policy. The thing most people don’t know is that you might have qualified for a better policy or cheaper rates because an agency/ broker can take a look at all the rates at once. Plus, we know the ins and outs of the industry and the best companies to shop around. You might even sell yourself short. Some companies are more lenient on different health aspects. For instance, maybe one company offers better rates for someone a little overweight. Another might be strict on weight, but more flexible on family history of cancer. These little things can affect your bottom line in big ways. 

Another example is if you enjoy smoking cigars on occasion. Some companies don’t mind if you smoke cigars occasionally while others do. The benefit of a brokerage/agency is that we know all these little details. Did you know that you don’t pay us a thing for helping you shop or showing you your top options? Our commission comes directly from the company after your policy is placed. That means we strive to get YOU the best policy. We hope you will trust us and be clients for decades. 

Lastly, a brokerage is simply a company that has a relationship with many companies that sell products such as life insurance. Kind of a “one stop shop,” where the clients are the priority.

NO. Our commission comes directly from the insurance company. The insurance company pays us after the placement of your policy. Our agency will often re-write your policy near the end of your term. This means we hope to work with you for decades to protect your family/business.  With this in mind, we will always strive to find you the best policy, best company, best rates.

It helps, but it is often not nearly enough coverage for your needs. Also, if you leave your job, your life insurance is gone too. The nice thing about life insurance through your employer is that it’s often a guaranteed policy. You don’t have to go through any exam or underwriting. For those with medical conditions–this is great.We always recommend signing up for this coverage, but don’t cut yourself short.You likely need additional coverage, but don’t worry we can help!

Not always! In fact, in today’s insurance world a lot of top companies are getting away from exams. Life insurance companies can gauge your risk based on electronic medical records, driving records, medication lists etc. A medical exam may still be requested, but it’s a simple exam and is nothing to worry about. The medical assistant comes to you. You get to pick a convenient time/place and often takes less than an hour.

We understand, we are private people too, however; it is mostly standard information. Plus, it is a requirement to have information collected by these companies. Remember, you are asking for a large amount of money as insurance.There is risk there. Each life insurance company has its own rating system to assess your risk. They need some personal information to pull different records in order to assess this risk. Don’t worry, the life insurance industry is heavily monitored. As a broker for instance, we have a high standard to keep your medical/personal information secure.  That’s why choosing the right company is so important.  Arlington Greene has 35+ years and counting. We always promise privacy and protection and with our protective software, secure email, and communications you’ll be in good hands.

It is like a physical exam, but not as involved. Typically, a medical assistant performs the exam.  They will take your blood pressure and  heart rate. Often you leave a urine sample, as well as blood work, height, and weight. Sometimes an EKG will be needed, nothing intrusive and you don’t have to get undressed. A simple exam often takes less than an hour.

No. The insurance company is looking for a 3rd party to do the exam. They want to make sure this is unbiased medical information. Depending on the insurance company/policy you pick, they have contracts with 3rd party medical examiners. The medical examiners try to be very accommodating to your schedule. They can come to your home or office.

Basically, they’re testing for things like high blood pressure, elevated glucose or cholesterol.  They check to see if you have anemia or elevated liver enzymes, often like a thyroid panel. Urine samples can check for nicotine or drugs in your system. They confirm your height and weight and calculate your BMI.

Of Course! However, there is a caveat. Life insurance companies know that losing weight long term is hard. If you lose a significant amount of weight, they will want to see your weight stable for at least a year. If you suddenly drop 20lbs and then apply, they often add back half the weight lost assuming you may not be able to keep it off. What’s the bottom line? Yes, try to lose weight if you need to, but don’t postpone your application. Your health can change in an instant so get coverage now and we can always go back and shop again for better rates if your health improves. Re-shopping your rates for you is free and we are always happy to help. If we find a better policy, we can easily cancel the current one and move on. You’re never without protection with us!

Quitting is always the best recommendation. Please know that if your medical records indicate a smoking history that may factor into your rates. Also, if a medical exam is requested remember that nicotine and drugs can stay in your system for weeks or months. If you have quit smoking, this will always mean better rates for you. Also, some companies are ok with occasional cigar smoking, so it’s not always bad news.

One of the most important things to consider is: when you choose a policy with an agency/company that the company is in good standing with. If someone dies, will the company pay out the policy as they promised. For this reason, insurance companies are given a business “rating” that describes how financially sound they are. You want to go with a company with A+ or A rating. We only work with these top rated companies so you don’t have to worry.

Typically, you have a few options. After a death you would call us, and we will walk you through the paperwork needed for your insurance company. The life insurance company will then reach out to the beneficiary directly for payment options. Often you can choose a lump sum or payments monthly/quarterly. You can decide what is best for your needs. One important thing to remember about life insurance is that: if the policy is paid out it’s tax free. Your family or beneficiary will get the whole amount. This is one of the big benefits of term life insurance.

There is an old life insurance joke about calling your life insurance agent before you see any doctor. Why? Because once you have a diagnosis on your medical records such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity or even cancer–you will most certainly pay higher rates on life insurance. So, get that policy set first, but please, make sure to get routine physicals and checkups. We want you to be healthy and happy.

These people are hired from the life insurance company. It is their job to look over your records and determine your risk. After they determine your risk (of dying) they offer you a rate/price for your policy. You then can decide if it’s something you want and can afford. Sometimes we will start with a set term limit only to realize that changing the term limit (years) or value will drastically change the price/rates. It’s easy to find the right coverage you can afford. Underwriting typically takes a bit of time, please be patient. With electronic medical records it’s been much easier in recent years to collect your health information for the underwriters. Typically, this process can take a few weeks or months and it depends on your medical history. One of the benefits of working with us is that we stay on top of getting the information the underwriters need. We work with you.

This is common insurance lingo. You might hear words like; “preferred plus,” “ preferred,” “standard,” “standard plus” or “ tabled.”  These all coincide with the price for the policy and relate to how healthy they consider you. Each life insurance company will use different rating scales based on your health. Ideally you want to be “preferred plus,” but that’s often not the case. You may be in good health but perhaps your family history is great. Often what happens is that based on some of your health questions we can tell which life insurance companies will be able to offer you the best rating or price. For example, if you are a bit overweight Protective Insurance may have ratings that put you in “preferred plus” vs. MassMutual who puts you in the “standard” category. This can sometimes mean savings of hundreds or thousands per year in premium.

Premium just means the cost of the policy you are purchasing. You can pay your premium or bill; monthly/quarterly or yearly. Often yearly premium payments can save you some money. You get to choose what payment option is best for you.

This is very bad and we DO NOT recommend it. This could mean your policy won’t be paid out if you die. You want to ALWAYS be truthful on your application. It is not worth the risk. Oftentimes life insurance companies have a “2 year contestability” period. What this means is that if you die within 2 years of the policy being placed, the life insurance company has the right to look into the cause of death. For example, say someone dies of lung cancer and the insurance company looks into the cause of death and finds out they were a lifelong smoker even though they answered “non-smoker” on the application..they can deny payout. Oftentimes they will reimburse the premium that was paid that 1-2 years. If the policy has been in place for 2 years, the life insurance company cannot contest the cause of death. Just know this rarely happens, but the clause is there to deter people from purchasing a policy and then dying soon after without being truthful.

Not in the first 2 years. There is a 2 year “suicide clause.” After 2 years, a life insurance company cannot contest the cause of death.

Typically, within a few weeks. It doesn’t take long. You can reach out to us, and we can notify the insurance company of the beneficiary contact information or you can go directly to the insurance company’s website and fill out a claim. The insurance company will request the death certificate then send out a package of information.The beneficiary will decide on the settlement.  Most of the time, clients ask for lump sum payouts, however, other payout options may be available.

This can depend. If you have a spouse that is often the most common.If you have young children often the kids will be listed, but with an adult custodian listed also. You must pick a beneficiary before the policy is placed. You can have a backup or contingent beneficiary also.

Life insurance companies often give you a “grace period” of 30 days. This is typical of TERM life policies. If you have a Universal Life policy,it works a bit differently. Please try not to default on your payment, this could mean your policy will “lapse,” and you may have to apply again for a new policy.

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