When shopping for California life insurance, it’s important to understand the type of life insurance that suits your needs, the amount needed, and have some idea of what health rating you’ll qualify for.
With these three components, you can search for quotes on the right and have an accurate estimate of how much your life insurance policy will cost.
Types of Insurance
The main types of life insurance available in California are whole life and term life insurance. While many people have heard of whole life, it has become less popular over the past 20 years, since the premiums are considerably higher than term.
The basic difference is this. Whole life insurance covers you for your entire life, and also builds cash value within the policy. So if you cancel your policy 10, 20, or 30 years down the line, you’ll most likely get some money back.
Term life insurance, which has been heavily recommended by financial professionals such as Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman, is designed to provide a large amount of coverage for a fraction of the cost of whole life.
Another difference is term life will often provide coverage with level premiums for a shorter period of time, such as 10, 15, or 30 year time frame. After the initial period of level premiums, most people let their term policies lapse, because they no longer need the coverage, or the renewal premiums cost too much.
Return of Premium, No Exam Life Insurance, and Guaranteed Issue in California
Other types of California life insurance are return of premium policies, no exam policies, and guaranteed issue policies. Life insurance with return of premium riders will refund 100% of the premiums you paid into the policy if you live to the end of the term.
While many individuals opt for the traditional life insurance application process, which includes a medical exam, you can also buy policies in California that do not require a medical exam. Historically, these were much more expensive than policies with the exam, but companies like Fidelity Life Association have really streamlined the process and made it quite affordable.
For the individual with considerable health concerns, California does offer some guaranteed issue policies, such as Presidential’s guaranteed issue option. These must be sold face to face. Since we are in California, we are able to meet you to take the application in most cases.
We are in San Diego, but have flown to Sacramento and San Francisco for applications before. We also routinely travel to Anaheim and Los Angeles, CA, so we can easily meet you if you live in these areas. We are committed to providing the lowest cost California life insurance in the state!
Guaranteed issue literally contains zero questions about your health on the application. Everyone qualifies health-wise. So you could have HIV or terminal cancer, and still get a guaranteed issue policy.
How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?
One of the nice tools we have on our website is a life insurance calculator which will help you determine how much life insurance to purchase. It can help you if you know how much income your family would need to replace your income and long they will need it.
For example, if your dependents would require $50,000 of income for a 10 year period of time, the calculator recommends $440,897 of life insurance, factoring in inflation and interest.
Let’s say you are a high earning 40 year old husband. You have a $600,000 mortgage. You want your wife to have at least 20 years of income replacement if something should happen to you. You figure she would need $75,000 per year to continue to pay the mortgage and other bills. This scenario would not be uncommon in California.
In this case, you need about $1.1 Million. This will provide $75,000 per year, with cost of living increases, for a 20 year period. Of course, the other option would be for your wife to pay off the $600,000 mortgage and use the remaining $500,000 as income replacement.
Assessing Your Health Rating
All California life insurance companies assess a rating class to each of their clients based on health and tobacco use. For example, a man in excellent health, taking no medications and good build may qualify for Preferred Plus, the best rating available.
But let’s say you’re 30 pounds overweight. In this case, you might qualify for Regular Plus or Preferred, rather than the best rating.
Some health conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, history of heart disease or cancer, etc, will probably lead to a Regular (Standard) rating or lower.
Other factors that may affect your rating class are your occupation, hazardous hobbies or travels, your driving record, and family history. Just use common sense. If you drive like a maniac and have had your license suspended twice, or if both of your parents died of cancer at age 50, the insurance company must weigh these types of risk into the class assessed to you.
If you’re not sure what rating you would qualify for, it’s best to just quote yourself at Standard or Regular. This is supposedly the rating that someone with an “average life expectancy” should qualify for.
Or if you want a more accurate California life insurance quote, call us at 877-996-9383.