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I want to confess right up front that the title to this post is plagiarized from a New York Life article where they do their best to make the case that bells and whistles and an agent in your home are worth the higher cost for their product.

I’ve only been to New York once and I know from that experience that there is a little different mindset going on that what you will find here in the Rockies. New York Life has simply taken the “we’re better than everyone else so we cost more, get over it” stance and frankly I believe the truth is they cost more because they want to have the appearance of being better.

At the end of the article it has 5 “Quality vs Price” points that I thought were worthy of discussion.

#1 – Understand that life insurance is about value, not just bottom–line price. As NYLIC´s Graziano emphasizes, “It´s not all about price. One of the most dangerous trends recently is the “commoditization” of life insurance, about offering life insurance for the lowest price, assuming that the only thing that matters is the premium. When you buy life insurance, price is a factor. However, other factors include the features contained in the policy and the availability of quality service from a reliable company.” Determine your needs and then buy the policy that meets those needs. WELL, MR GRAZIANO, IF WHAT I WANT FROM MY LIFE INSURANCE IS A DEATH BENEFIT FOR MY FAMILY, HOW COME YOUR DEATH BENEFIT POLICY IS TWICE AS MUCH AS THE COMPETITION? IS YOUR MILLION DOLLARS BIGGER OR WHAT?

#2 – Understand your needs.Your need for life insurance may be subtly different from your neighbor´s. One size doesn´t necessarily fit all. Before you can purchase the policy that is best suited for you and your family, take the time to understand your needs … and theirs. AREN’T YOU REALLY TRYING TO SAY, LET ME IN YOUR DOOR SO I CAN EXPLAIN TO YOU, FACE TO FACE WHERE YOU CAN’T HANG UP ON ME, JUST EXACTLY WHAT YOUR NEEDS ARE?

#3 – Understand the value of working with a reputable agent. That is someone you can trust and who takes the time to ask lot of questions about you and answers your questions to your satisfaction.A quality agent — such as a NYLIC agent — is a licensed professional who adheres to a strict code of conduct. Your agent’s role is to educate and inform, as well as to serve as a guide to help you sort through your needs and the best way to address them. Take the time to consult with your NYLIC agent. Don’t have an agent? To have a New York Life agent in your area contact you at your convenience, fill out the form below. ALL RIGHT THEN! SHOULD WE REALLY JUST BUY THAT NEW YORK LIFE AGENTS ARE ALL “QUALITY” AND THEY ALL ADHERE TO SOME “STRICT CODE OF CONDUCT”? I AGREE THAT YOU SHOULD WORK WITH A REPUTABLE AGENT WHICH I’M PRETTY SURE WEEDS OUT A GOOD BIG BUNCH OF THE NYLIC GROUP.

#4 – Understand the importance of working with a reputable life insurance company. The company, one in which provies quality service, behind the policy is of vital importance. Doing business since 1845, New York Life is one of the top–rated, most financially solid life insurance companies in the world. Four major rating companies – Fitch, Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s, and A.M. Best – consistently award New York Life high ratings. OK! NEW YORK LIFE HAS SOME KILLER RATINGS. IT’S BECAUSE THEY ARE A DANG CASH COW. WHY ARE THEY A CASH COW? BECAUSE THEY SELL TOO MUCH WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE, CHARGE TOO MUCH FOR TERM INSURANCE, AND RIP OFF THE ELDERLY OF OUR GREAT COUNTRY THROUGH THEIR SHADY PRODUCTS OFFERED THROUGH AARP!

#5 – Understand what gives a policy genuine value. Some term policies can be pretty basic, providing death benefit for a specific term, and not much more. NYLIC´s Family Protection Insurance, on the other hand, is a term life insurance policy, but with a number of “unique, value–added features,” explains Graziano. Family protection is a joint life term policy with a number of exceptional features. These include face amount increases without proof of insurability, dependent children coverage, and an Additional Death Benefit feature that pays $200,000 in additional death benefit if both insureds die within the first 10 years. FAMILY PROTECTION INSURANCE IS THE ULTIMATE UPSELL. YOU TAKE A PERFECTLY GOOD, ALBEIT OVERPRICED TERM INSURANCE POLICY, AND YOU OPEN UP THE BELLS AND WHISTLES PACKAGE AND KEEP UPPING THE PRICE AND THE COMMISSION UNTIL THE AGENT WALKS AWAY WELL FED.

Bottom line. No one is ever well served by paying more than they need to or should for life insurance. Find a reputable INDEPENDENT life insurance agent and you drive the conversation. Let them know that a good company is important but your budget and the absolute most bang for your buck are too. Don’t buy bells and whistles you don’t need.