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  • Writer's pictureTenaya Insurance Services

Life Insurance and COVID-19

COVID-19 has been an un-welcomed reminder of our own mortality. It has shown us that illness and death can come at any time, and that we're either prepared for it or we're not. This has people thinking seriously about life insurance.

You might be wondering if you have enough life insurance, or maybe you don't have any at all and you're wondering if you can still get it post-COVID-19. With physical distancing requirements, are insurance companies still open? Can you still look into getting something in place during the worst global pandemic to hit the U.S. in at least a century? We've got all the answers you're looking for and more below.

Q: With physical offices closed, can I still get life insurance?

A: Yes, absolutely. At Tenaya Insurance, we're an online based life insurance agency, so this is nothing new! You can stay in the comfort of your own home while we do all the work! Just give us a call and we'll walk you through the process.

Q: So insurance companies are still functioning. Can I still get life insurance with everything that's going on with COVID-19?

A: Yes, you can still get coverage. Being an online insurance agency we're used to doing things virtually. Your application can be started over the phone and completed online or through email.

Q: Can't I just do everything online?

A: The process can definitely be started online, but we always recommend that you actually speak with an agent. Working with the right agent can be the difference between being approved for the best policy at the best price, or being declined. There are so many different types of policies out there, each one having their strengths and weaknesses. For example, not all term policies are created the same. Company "A" might have really strong term products, while Company "B" doesn't offer as many benefits with theirs. Do you have a pre-existing condition? Then it is even more important that you let an agent guide you through the process. One company might be lenient with your condition while another would deny you flat out. They'll know the step by step process to follow to give you the best chance of success.

Having a conversation up front allows the agent to learn more about your priorities, concerns, budget, and the coverage that you're looking for so that they can make the best recommendation possible. They can leverage their experience, knowledge and relationships to get you the best solution in place. The alternative is to cut an agent out of the process and you have to try to determine all of these things yourself, and make sense of the industry jargon.

Q: Will I have to get a physical exam, or give a blood/urine sample?

A: In many cases, no. Most insurance companies designate the requirements based on how much life insurance you're purchasing and your age. The less overall coverage you apply for, and the lower your age, the lower the requirements. But, this doesn't guarantee that they won't get into the application process and something comes up that requires closer attention and they would require a medical exam.

The good news? It's not as bad as you might think if you did have to do an exam. They can accommodate you by coming to your home or a testing facility on a day and time that you choose, and safety measures are carefully followed to protect everyone in the COVID-19 environment that we're in.

Q: Even if I'm not sick, can COVID-19 still affect whether or not I can get life insurance?

A: There hasn't been any substantial changes with the application or underwriting process during the pandemic, but some companies have added an additional step, which consists of asking you to sign a statement of health, basically saying you don't have COVID-19.

Q: If I'm limited to how much insurance I can get, or if I can't afford the policy I need, am I just out of luck?

A: It is always better to have something rather than nothing. For example, if all you could afford was a $250,000 policy instead of the $500,000 you ultimately wanted, wouldn't that $250,000 be a whole lot more useful to your family than receiving nothing if something happened to you? This is another reason to work with an agent vs. just doing an application online where there is little to no contact with one. They can give you a plan to get you built up to the coverage amount that you ultimately want, but starting with where you are and what you can do right now.

There are many factors that can affect the cost of a policy. The short answer is that you have options. BUT . . . remember that life insurance rates are based on four things. Two of them are age and health . . and you will never be younger or healthier than you are now. So it's better to get started even with something small and take advantage of the cost savings and lock in lower rates now. (Want to know what the other two factors are that determine your premiums? CLICK HERE.)

The right insurance agent will take all of the guess work out of it, and walk you through the process step by step. They'll answer any questions that you have in plain english, and you can leave all of the heavy work for them. Simple as that.

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There's no better time than now to make sure you and your family are protected.

Call Tenaya Insurance Services at (925) 322-8073 today!

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