Spectrum Insurance Group

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Family with life insuranceWhether your life insurance need is short term or long term, temporary or permanent, meant as an investment, or a retirement vehicle. We will give you the right information and the most appropriate quotes instantly.

We will explain, compare features, compare rates on your term life insurance, and also help you determine the right type of insurance that matches your situation. We’ll obtain the best possible life insurance rates for your circumstances.

Types of Life Insurance Policies We Sell

Frequently Asked Life Insurance Questions 

Before we get into some of the finer details of life insurance such as:

  • Types of life insurance
  • Life insurance rates
  • Tips for finding the best life insurance
  • Frequently asked life insurance questions

Let’s take some time to answer some of the basic questions about life insurance.

What is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is financial protection for your loved ones in the event of your untimely or unexpected death. Premiums are paid by policy owners, in exchange for protection in the form of a death benefit.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost? 

Life insurance costs vary per person on a multitude of different factors:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Lifestyle
  • Occupation
  • Family history
  • Policy type
  • Company

People with health problems or who are smokers often experience higher life insurance rates than those who are healthy. Women also receive an average of 10-20% lower life insurance rates because they have a longer life expectancy than men.

Who Needs Life Insurance?

We recommend life insurance for anyone who has financial dependents. This can include but is not limited to parents, spouses, grandparents, homeowners, business owners and more.

Types of Life Insurance Policies

A search for types of life insurance products will make your head spin at the spectrum of options. Here’s a small sample of what you might find: term life, whole life, universal, key man, buy-sell, second to die, high risk, burial, end-of-life, cancer, diabetes, smoker, variable, etc.


In reality, all life products can be reduced into two types of life insurance policies: term life and permanent life insurance.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is a type of policy where you choose a specific time frame to be covered. For example, let’s say you are 30 years old and decide to buy a 20-year term policy for $500,000. If you die between the ages of 30 & 50, your beneficiaries will receive $500,000.  

Term is pure life insurance. Each company may add special options and riders. Some will decrease coverage over time (mortgage life insurance), others may keep premiums equal through the term (level term), and others will even return the premium at the end of the term (ROP term)

Term life is life insurance with an end date. When you buy, you must decide on the amount of the death benefit and how long the coverage will last.

How Long Does Term Life Insurance Last?

Common term life insurance policies last between 10-30 years in 5-year increments.

For example:

You are a 30-year-old man, and you decide to shop for a 30-year term policy for $1,000,000. If die at any point between age 30 to age 60, the policy would pay your beneficiaries $1,000,000.

When you purchase term insurance, the longer the time period you choose the higher the premiums will be.

Is Term Life Insurance Right For Me?

For most people, term life is the superior product. If a person stashes away a large retirement fund, they have little need for life insurance as their dependents leave and their nest egg grows.

An empty-nester with no mortgage and substantial savings and investments need less insurance. Coverage needs are smaller. Savings will provide whatever insurance would have covered.

To summarize… term insurance is life insurance with a guaranteed premium for a specific amount of time. Life insurance with an expiration date.

What Are The Benefits Of Term Life Insurance?

  • Delivers a death benefit only (no cash value)
  • Pays out if you die during the policy term
  • Is the most inexpensive life insurance product
  • Available in “terms” of time such as 10, 20, or 30 years

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance, unlike term, covers your entire life with no expiration date. You’ve probably heard of whole life, burial insurance, universal life, and variable universal life. All those policies are types of permanent life insurance.

Term vs. Permanent Life Insurance

When it comes to term vs. whole life insurance, there are a few factors to consider.

Permanent Insurance is life insurance that comes with additional benefits over the term. All permanent products have an investment component. This portion of the policy is the policies cash value. Each type of permanent policies has slightly different investment components.

Whole life policies accrue value more conservatively. Variable Life policies will be more aggressive with growth but come with higher risk.

The cash value gives you multiple options. You can surrender the policy, and pocket the cash. You can borrow the cash out of the policy. You can even use the cash to eventually pay your premium. If the policy remains in effect at your death, your beneficiary will not only get the insurance portion but the cash accumulation.

Types Of Permanent Life Insurance Products

As we stated earlier, the main types of permanent life insurance are:

  • Whole Life
  • Universal Life
  • Variable Life

Whole life insurance functions like insurance plus a savings account. This allows you to borrow against the cash value of your policy throughout your life.  This comes on a tax-free basis.

Universal life is insurance plus a money-market account. This type of life insurance offers opportunities to invest in market indices like the S&P or DOW.  These policies accumulate cash value based on the performance of these indices, with minimum guaranteed gains to protect policy owners.

Variable life is insurance plus a mutual fund component. Variable life allows you to invest in mutual funds that are managed by the insurance company, which are called mutual life insurance companies. These funds also guarantee minimum gains in order to protect policyholders against losses.

Is Term Life Or Permanent Life Insurance Better?

Celebrity financial advisors such as Dave Ramsey and Suzie Ormond preach against permanent life insurance. Here’s the argument: An individual should buy term only. Then take the difference in money they would have spent on permanent insurance and invest it themselves.

Theoretically, this makes sense, but in practice, it rarely happens.

Most of us are not disciplined savers. Permanent life delivers a death benefit but also forces you into a disciplined investment product.

Permanent Insurance is perfect for those who have maxed out other retirement investment. It also provides a tax shelter, because earnings are tax-deferred.

A great insurance broker can help analyze which types of insurance are the best for you and your investment temperament.

How Are Life Insurance Rates Determined?

As we said earlier, life insurance rates are determined by the applicant’s health, age, gender, and the type of coverage they are looking for. People who are older or are in poor health will pay higher rates than individuals.

Can I Get Life Insurance With A Medical Condition?

Yes. Getting life insurance with a medical condition is possible. There are many types of no medical exam life insurance policies for people with medical conditions.

High Risk (No Medical Exam) Life Insurance

Sometimes you will see a third category in life insurance discussions — High Risk Life Insurance. It’s more of a niche than a separate category because any high-risk policy will either be term or permanent.

By high risk, insurance companies refer to customers who have medical issues, such as diabetes or transplants. It could refer to customers who are smokers or even former substance abusers. It might refer to people with high risk hobbies or careers. Sometimes it even refers to older adults.

Types of high risk policies are usually no-medical exam policies and guaranteed issue policies regardless of health or behavior.  

Who Is No Medical Exam Life Insurance Best For?

Spectrum recommends no medical exam life insurance for people with any of the following medical conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Heart conditions
  • COPD
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Other dangerous diseases

Who Is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Best For?

Spectrum recommends guaranteed issue life insurance for people with any of the following medical conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Dimensia
  • Fibrosis
  • Heart failure
  • Terminal illnesses

If you fall into any of these categories, this is where consulting with an agent is incredibly beneficial. Every company has different guidelines and products and prices for high risk policies. It is a lot for an individual to navigate. Our agents are experts on finding the best coverage and value if you fall in this niche.

How Can Speaking With A Life Insurance Agent Help?

Here’s a good example. Let’s say you are a 60-year-old man, searching for a $100,000 life policy. You are not in perfect health, but just average. An insurance company might put you in its lowest regular tier. You search online and find an AARP term life site (they use New York Life).

You plug in your info and for a 20-year term policy for $100,000 you would pay $159/month. And premiums increase in 5-year bands, so at age 65 your premium jumps to $212/month.

If you quote the same scenario in our system here are the results:

Regular class 60-year-old male, $100,000 for 20 years:

Big difference, isn’t it?

Life Insurance Rates

We briefly touched on how much life insurance costs. There is a multitude of factors that go into determining life insurance rates, the main ones being:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Blood Pressure
  • Smoking
  • Current Health
  • Health History
  • Occupation
  • Marital Status
  • Alcohol Use
  • Lifestyle & Hobbies
  • Driving Record
  • Foreign Travel
  • Criminal Record
  • Medications

These factors can seemingly complicate the buying process. Each company views these factors differently and makes different decisions based on the data.

This is to your advantage and why it is beneficial to use a broker rather than one single company to find the best fit for your situation. 

Let’s look at a handful of these factors and how they affect pricing.

Life Insurance Rates For Smokers

Outside of age, tobacco usage impacts life insurance more than any other factor. If you’ve spent any time looking for quotes, smoking is always one of the critical questions asked.

Life insurance for smokers will often be 2 to 5 times more expensive than for non-smokers.

Below are the rates for smokers for various ages and policy types. Don’t let rates scare you aware from investing in life insurance. You can quit and have the policy rewritten or re-rated after you have been tobacco-free for various lengths of time.

Age Policy Type Face Value Male Rate Female Rate
35 10 Year Term $500,000 $56/mo. $46/mo.
20 Year Term $500,000 $88/mo. $73/mo.
30 Year Term $500,000 $145/mo. $104/mo.
Whole Life $500,000 $704/mo. $584/mo.
45 10 Year Term $500,000 $132/mo. $99/mo.
20 Year Term $500,000 $209/mo. $163/mo.
30 Year Term $500,000 $347/mo. $249/mo.
Whole Life $500,000 $1672/mo. $1304/mo.
55 10 Year Term $500,000 $309/mo. $212/mo.
20 Year Term $500,000 $212/mo. $363/mo.
30 Year Term $500,000 Not available Not available
Whole Life $500,000 $4213/mo. $3223/mo.

Make sure to discuss with your agents these options. Also if you are an occasional cigar/pipe smoker many companies will offer a non-smoking rate.

Who Is Considered A Smoker For Life Insurance?

People who use any of the following products are considered smokers:

  • Pipes
  • Cigarettes
  • Cigars
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Nicotine patches
  • Nicotine gum
  • Marijuana
  • Vaporizers

What If I Only Smoke Occasionally?

The answer to this question depends on the company you choose. Some are more lenient than others, placing casual smokers in their preferred health class, while others have a lower tolerance.

What If I Quit Smoking?

Depending on the company you choose, former smokers can usually obtain fairly reasonable life insurance rates if they have not smoked in over 12 months. Smokers who have can usually elect to retake their medical exam to re-classify their risk classification and obtain lower rates.

The Best Life Insurance Companies For Smokers

Level Benefit A.M. Best Rating
Prudential A+
Banner Life A+
Mutual of Omaha A+
Pacific Life A+
Transamerica A+

While these life insurance companies may not always be the best for smokers in very specific situations or with very specific coverage needs.

However, they are usually the best life insurance companies for smokers on average based on financial strength, rates, coverage, and customer service.

Life Insurance Rates For Diabetics

Diabetes is a pre-existing condition that will affect the health category or tier you get placed. You won’t get the top tier of pricing; however, it is better than the smoking rate. Life insurance for diabetics is usually affordable.

Each company will have slightly different underwriting on how they categorize diabetics. Pre-diabetics who are able to control their condition with diet will rate much better than those on insulin. Also weight and blood-pressure matter.

Age Policy Type Face Value Male Rate Female Rate
35 10 Year Term $500,000 $51/mo. $43/mo.
20 Year Term $500,000 $79/mo. $68/mo.
30 Year Term $500,000 $135/mo. $110/mo.
Whole Life $500,000 $632/mo. $544/mo.
45 10 Year Term $500,000 $71/mo. $57/mo.
20 Year Term $500,000 $105/mo. $81/mo.
30 Year Term $500,000 $188/mo. $133/mo.
Whole Life $500,000 $840/mo. $648/mo.
55 10 Year Term $500,000 $148/mo. $105/mo.
20 Year Term $500,000 $263/mo. $180/mo.
30 Year Term $500,000 $614/mo. $515/mo.
Whole Life $500,000 $2189/mo. $1507/mo.

The Best Life Insurance Companies For Diabetics

Generally speaking, these are the best life insurance companies for people with diabetes:

Level Benefit A.M. Best Rating
Prudential A+
Banner Life A+
Protective Life A+
Mutual of Omaha A+
Pacific Life A+
Transamerica A+

Much like life insurance for smokers, the best life insurance companies for diabetics will vary based on factors that affect rates.  But these, companies are usually in the top 10, and always bring good customer service and policy options.

Life Insurance Rates for Seniors

As we age, life insurance becomes more expensive and sometimes harder to find. Lifespan is shorter, so insurance companies will reduce the length of time for term policies. The other issue is health. Many of us develop health issues as we age, and often have pre-existing conditions that affect acceptability.

As the rates below demonstrate, life insurance is not out of reach as we get older. One of the major types of insurance seniors purchase is burial insurance. The coverage is much smaller and the policies are guaranteed issue in spite of health conditions.

Age Policy Type Face Value Male Rate Female Rate
55 10 Year Term $500,000 $76/mo. $55/mo.
20 Year Term $500,000 $133/mo. $97/mo.
Burial – GUI* $25,000 $85/mo. $67/mo.
65 10 Year Term $500,000 $220/mo. $136/mo.
20 Year Term $500,000 $457/mo. $298/mo.
Burial – GUI $25,000 $133/mo. $100/mo.
75 10 Year Term $500,000 $675/mo. $460/mo.
20 Year Term $500,000 $1254/mo. $871/mo.
Burial – GUI $25,000 $244/mo. $176/mo.
80 10 Year Term $500,000 $1514/mo. $1221/mo.
20 Year Term $500,000 Not applicable Not applicable
Burial – GUI $25,000 $340/mo. $255/mo.

Here’s a good example of life insurance rates for seniors:

Let’s say you are a 60-year-old man, searching for a $100,000 life policy. You are not in perfect health, but just average. An insurance company might put you in its lowest regular tier. You search online and find an AARP term life site (they use New York Life).

You plug in your info and for a 20-year term policy for $100,000 you would pay $159/month. And premiums increase in 5-year bands, so at age 65 your premium jumps to $212/month.

Life insurance rates for a Regular class 60-year-old male, $100,000 for 20 years:

Company Monthly Premium
Banner Life $92
Foresters $94
Protective $93
North American $96

Best Life Insurance Policies For Seniors

For seniors, these are generally the best types of life insurance policies:

  • Term life insurance
  • Burial insurance
  • Long-term care life insurance

Term life insurance for seniors is best for those who need coverage for only a specific period of time.  It is important to note that term policies are usually only available for seniors through age 85.  Some policies extend to 95 years of age.

Burial insurance is best for seniors who only need limited coverage.  These policies provide simplified and guaranteed issue life insurance for seniors up to $25,000.  Some policies extend as high as $100,000 in coverage.

Long term care insurance is best for seniors who plan on, or already have a need for long-term care. It can be purchased for parents and is often times offered as a rider on term and whole life insurance for seniors.

Permanent life insurance for seniors is not often recommended due to the high premiums associated with it. Often times, it makes more financial sense for seniors to purchase term or burial coverage.

No Medical Exam Life Insurance Rates

A “no medical exam” policy is an easy way to secure coverage without being declined because of health issues. This is a guaranteed way to find coverage.

It can also be used as a temporary policy, while you try to secure a more traditional policy with full medical questions and exams.

If you are concerned insurance companies will decline you due to health, use this type of policy to obtain coverage easily and quickly.

Here are some no medical exam life insurance rates:

Age Coverage/Policy Male Rate Female Rate
45 $25,000 Whole Life $24/mo. $22/mo.
$100,000 Whole Life $73/mo. $73/mo.
$50,000 30yr Term $30/mo. $23/mo.
55 $25,000 Whole Life $37/mo. $31/mo.
$100,000 Whole Life $121/mo. $100/mo.
$50,000 30yr Term $61/mo. $50/mo.
65 $25,000 Whole Life $61/mo. $51/mo.
$100,000 Whole Life $206/mo. $167/mo.
$50,000 30yr Term Not available Not available
75 $25,000 Whole Life $230/mo. $197/mo.
$100,000 Whole Life $461/mo. $939/mo.
$50,000 30yr Term Not available Not available
85 $25,000 Whole Life $xx/mo. $xx/mo.
$100,000 Whole Life Not available Not available
$50,000 30yr Term Not available Not available

No medical exam life insurance is actually quite affordable for people who otherwise would receive very high rates for other types of coverage.

Best Life Insurance Companies

As a life insurance broker, we have contracted with multiple carriers to provide you with the most competitive product unique to your needs. We are able to shop between carriers and pick the company with the most favorable guidelines and pricing.

While prices may vary based on many factors, these life insurance companies offer the best combination of affordable coverage, financial stability, policy options, and customer satisfaction.

Here is our list of Top 10 Best Life Insurance Companies.

Read our full reviews of the top 10 companies here.

Company A.M. Best Rating Our Company Review
Protective A+ Protective Life Insurance Review
Banner Life A+ Banner Life Insurance Review
Prudential Life A+ Prudential Life Insurance Review
AIG A+ AIG Life Insurance Review
Mutual of Omaha A+
Lincoln Financial A+ Lincoln Financial Life Insurance Review
North American A+ North American Life Insurance Review
Ameritas A+ Ameritas Life Insurance Review
American National A+
Cincinnati Life A Cincinnati Life Insurance Review

Tips for Finding the Best Life Insurance Policy

The best way to find the most affordable life insurance policy is usually to speak with an expert, but here are a few tips if you’re not ready yet.

Determine How Much Coverage You Need

The best way to determine coverage is to ask what are you protecting. Are you protecting dependents or assets or both?  How much do your dependents need? Think about your house payments and tuition.

These are your biggest financial commitments. What kind of gap would be left in families finances without you? An easy way to calculate this is to 10x your salary.

Most agents have financial calculators to help you work through your life insurance needs.

As we’ve seen, life insurance needs change over time and as we age. Near the end of life, the only protection you may need is for burial costs or an estate tax shelter.

Determine What Policy Length Is Right For You

How long do you really need life protection? Your whole life or just a period of years? This is will determine your pricing and policy selection.

Think through why you are buying insurance. You will always need insurance. You need to decide when you should buy insurance for protection or have the funds to self-insure.

Understand Policy Riders & Options

Both term and permanent policies come with a wide variety of options. Each company will have their own list. With permanent policies, you can choose various investment vehicles such as money market funds, index funds, or mutual funds.

Term policies come with the ability to convert the policy into a permanent policy. Some policies allow you to receive the death benefit during your life if you experience a terminal illness.

Each option will change the pricing. Make sure you understand and look at all your options.

Understand Which Companies Are Best For Your Needs

One reason we provided a list of companies is that not all companies are equal. Insurance companies are rated by various agencies. The most popular is the AM Best rating. They score from A++ to S.  

The companies above are all highly rated carriers. The ratings indicate financial stability. Financial strength is important when it comes to the death benefit.

Will the company have the ability to pay claims? It’s really important not to choose a carrier based on TV marketing.

Also, don’t quote one or two carriers and make a decision. You might not only lose out on better pricing. You might buy a product that doesn’t completely fit your needs.  

Ask The Right Questions 

Not all agents are equal. Just like insurance companies, here is what you look for when choosing an agent. More important than even company selection is agent selection. A great agent will know and understand that information.

He can guide you to a superior company that fits your needs and budget.

Does The Agent Represent Multiple Life Insurance Companies?

If an agent only represents one company, he may not have your best interest in mind. He can only sell what he has and will make you fit his policy rather than finding a policy that fits you.

Does The Agent Have Certifications?

Insurance certifications are important. This indicates a professional and someone who is committed to becoming an expert in her field. Most designations have a binding code of conduct or ethics statement.

This provides you with a sense of security about the advice they give. A couple certifications to look for are are CFP (Certified Financial Planner), CLU (Certified Life Underwriter), ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant), and LUTCF (Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow).

Our agents are professionals representing a wide variety of carriers. We work hard to tailor a policy to fit your needsSpectrum Insurance Group advisors will work on your behalf to find the company that will offer you the lowest return of premium rates.

Find the Best Life Insurance Policy Today

Finding the best life insurance policy takes a lot of understanding, time, and effort.

While you can compare life insurance rates and policy options online easily, the best way to know you are analyzing the best coverage options for you is to speak with a life insurance agent.

Give us a call today, or get started using our online life insurance quote tool.

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