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Life insurance is one of those essentials that many of us just don’t make time to shop for. And when you do take the time to shop for it, the whole process can feel a little like buying a used car. Just kind of gross.
That’s because many insurance companies focus primarily on selling the most money-making policies to the wealthiest people who can afford them. And the rest of us just get stuck being upsold in that marketplace.
Enter Ethos. This new life insurance brokerage is seeking to disrupt that cycle and get you the life insurance you need at a price you can actually afford.
What is Ethos?
Ethos was founded to modernize the life insurance buying process and to make it more ethical. Their About Us page features a short letter from their CEO which points out that their staff team is salaried. Why is that important? Because they won’t make a commission from selling you a more expensive product. This leaves the Ethos team free to find you the life insurance coverage you need at the lowest possible price.
Ethos sells only term life insurance products, which are really the best option for many families and individuals. The company states multiple times on its website that it looks at customers and applications on a case-by-case basis. This means that even if you’ve had health problems or have a lot of student loan debt, they may still be able to work with you to get a policy.
Related: The Complete Guide to Life Insurance
With that said, the company relies heavily on some big data tech to route its applications to reduce bureaucracy so that your application can get through more efficiently. This means you pay less money in the long run.
To start an application, you just have to be a U.S. citizen or green card holder, have lived in the U.S. for 24 months, be 20 to 85 years old, and live in any U.S. state except for New York, where Ethos is not yet operating.
Ethos partners with larger insurance companies in the industry, including Assurity and MunichRE, to back its policies so that you know the money will be there should your family need it.
As with all term life insurance products, your price can vary dramatically depending on your individual circumstances. When I put in my basic personal information, I was quoted anywhere from $29 per month for a $400,000 20-year policy to $64 per month for a $1 million 20-year policy. But that’s before going through the full application process, which can change those prices depending on many individual factors.
Your pricing can vary dramatically, but you can answer five questions on Ethos’s website without giving away any contact information. Then you can see what range your life insurance pricing could fall into if you apply with Ethos.
Applying for Life Insurance
As I noted above, you can answer five quick questions with Ethos to get a ballpark idea of what you might pay for a life insurance policy. But then you’ll have to actually apply. To do this, you’ll need to create an account with Ethos. This is how they gather the rest of your information and let you check up on your application during the process.
As with all life insurance applications, this one will ask for a lot of personal information, including information on your health history and financial situation. And you may or may not need to go to a medical appointment to verify your health information. Ethos says that this all happens on a case-by-case basis, so it’s hard to know exactly what you’ll need to do for the application process until you apply. However, they note that most applicants don’t need to get a medical exam or go to a lab, and if they do, this doesn’t cost them any money.
Ethos uses the latest SSL technology for transmitting your information. And it won’t send your information to an insurance company until you authorize the company to do so. In other words, your personal information is as secure with Ethos as it can get online.
Ethos has a slick mobile website where you can get your questions answered, apply, and check your pricing from your phone.
Ethos Customer Support
You can contact customer support via email if you need your question answered directly. Or you can check out their FAQs for more general answers. Once you open an application, a customer support person will get in touch with you to keep your application moving forward and find the life insurance plan that works best for you.
Ethos Pros & Cons
Flexible terms available: You can get terms of 10, 15, 20, and 30 years through Ethos, and you can get all sorts of coverage amounts.
Apply up to age 85: You can apply for coverage all the way up to age 75, which is higher than many life insurance companies.
Personalized service: With Ethos, you get treated like a person, and you can work with an agent who truly has your best interests at heart.
Salaried agents: Because agents aren’t making a living by upselling you, you can trust their advice is focused what you actually need.
Medical exam not likely needed: Unless you’re applying for more than $1 million in coverage, you likely won’t need a medical exam.
Unavailable in New York: If you live in New York, you’ll have to look for another company.
More and more companies similar to Ethos are springing up these days. A few that we like include Haven, which also is known for very low prices. Haven is owned by MassMutual, so if you’re particularly interested in a company with a longer history but new methods of applying and getting coverage, check it out.
Bestow is another company that is making waves in the life insurance industry. For as little as $5 per month, you can get a life insurance policy and not have to worry about going to the doctor for a physical or completing messy paperwork. They make it really easy to apply for a policy online or on your phone, and it only takes about 10 minutes. Make sure to see our full review of Bestow for more details, as well.
Another alternative to Ethos is LeapLife. LeapLife was designed “with a deep belief that regardless of age, health status or credit standing, all people deserve access to good insurance, at an affordable price, through a seamless online process.” Meaning, that you can get a life insurance policy even if you’re older or not incredibly healthy. LeapLife also crushes it with their business ratings – they have a 9.4 out of 10 rating on Trustpilot and an A+ rating from the BBB. To learn more about LeapLife, check out our full review.
Who is Ethos For?
If you’re looking for affordable term life insurance with a personal focus, check out Ethos. While many people can apply, they are clearly targeting the market of individuals with young families, which is who life insurance is generally most important for. But anyone who is looking for an affordable term policy can apply.
Also Read: The Pros and Cons of Whole Life Insurance
The life insurance market has been changing dramatically in the past few years. People know they still need this product, but they’re tired of being upsold and feeling like they’re buying a used car when they’re really buying an essential financial product. Companies like Ethos are seeking to change that vibe by focusing on the customer first and treating people as individuals.