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I’m working on a case right now, a tricky case because it involves life insurance for someone age 69, who was diagnosed with heart disease and diabetes 10 years ago. He had a one vessel angioplasty with a stent and was on medication for both issues, until he lost 40 pounds and developed a regular exercise routine. He was able to discontinue all heart and diabetes related medication and both issues have been well controlled for 9 years now. A great story. There should be more of these kind of outcomes and less medication dispensed, but that’s not the subject for today. I shopped the case and got over 20 trial quotes back.

The subject is rate classes and are they created at least ballpark equal from company to company. In other words if I have two companies quoting a standard rate or a table rating, are the going to be a little competitive? This is a good case to chase this query with because the results actually shocked me, which means it’s either something shocking or I got older over the weekend, woke up in a new world today and decided this thing I’ve known all along is shocking. So, quick review. Most life insurance companies have what they call 4 standard rates, preferred plus (best), preferred (next best), standard plus (3rd) and standard (4th best). Before anyone cries foul, this is true of most companies. Some only have three and lot of them like to call their life insurance rate classes other things, like preferred elite instead of preferred plus, or select instead of standard plus.

After that comes table rating which traditionally has meant for each table the life insurance rate is 25% more than a standard rate. So, if the standard rate on a life insurance policy is $1000, a table 3 rate would be $1750.And of course if there is one thing consistent in the life insurance business, it is inconsistency. Just for the sake of being hard to figure out, some companies use a factor other than 25% per table. Some don’t even use the same factor in all cases. Some don’t table rate life insurance from their standard rate. In order to have a competitive advantage they table rate off of their standard plus rate. And then there are the dark and mysterious companies who add life insurance table rates to a “Special” rate, one that can’t be figured without their software. One company uses both a “Special” rate and an inconsistent percentage for their life insurance tables.

So, back to my client. The best rate we found for the insurance he wanted was a table 3 from a company that rates life insurance from their standard plus rate class, about $2688 a year. I always have a file full of quotes and try to go through them 2 or 3 times just so I don’t get caught not quoting the best life insurance rate available. When I was doing this for this particular client I came across another table 3 quote, but this one said they might be able to reduce to standard with “healthy credits”. These are sometimes call life style credits. So, not to name names, but I ran the standard rate for this client’s life insurance with Met Life and it came out to $4500 a year. No tables at all and almost twice the price? So I thought what does standard mean to different companies. We know they all view life insurance mortality risk a little differently, but honestly the underwriting for most standard rates seems pretty consistent, so what about price?

Bottom line. If this leaves any questions about why I shop every case and review the results multiple times you need help. Suffice it to say that there is something in each company’s life insurance underwriting or life insurance products that leads them to believe standard is what it is to them. Maybe. If you have any questions or have run afoul of the wrong standard rate or table rating, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.

1.   $2,129.00 per year with Ohio National Life Assurance Corporation     (Save this Quote)
           FlexTerm Series IX – 10 Year Plus    Non-Smoker
Annual: $2,129.00   Semi-Annual: $1,107.08   Quarterly: $574.83   Monthly: $184.16
2.   $2,129.00 per year with Ohio National Life Assurance Corporation     (Save this Quote)
           FlexTerm Series IX – 10 Year    Non-Smoker
Annual: $2,129.00   Semi-Annual: $1,107.08   Quarterly: $574.83   Monthly: $184.16
3.   $2,322.00 per year with Cincinnati Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           LifeHorizons Termsetter 10    Ultra Standard Non-Smoker
Annual: $2,322.00   Semi-Annual: $1,195.83   Quarterly: $615.33   Monthly: $204.34
4.   $2,481.00 per year with American National Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           ANICO Signature Term Express 10    Standard Non-tobacco
Annual: $2,481.00   Semi-Annual: $1,277.72   Quarterly: $657.47   Monthly: $214.36
5.   $2,559.00 per year with Savings Bank Life Insurance Co of MA     (Save this Quote)
           T-10/10 – 10 Year Term    Standard Non-Nicotine
Annual: $2,559.00   Semi-Annual: $1,305.09   Quarterly: $665.34   Monthly: $222.63
6.   $2,586.50 per year with Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Co     (Save this Quote)
           Colony Term 10    Standard No Nicotine Use
Annual: $2,586.50   Semi-Annual: $1,319.12   Quarterly: $672.49   Monthly: $226.32
7.   $2,607.00 per year with Banner Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           OPTerm 10 – 10 Year Term    Non-Smoker
Annual: $2,607.00   Semi-Annual: $1,329.57   Quarterly: $676.43   Monthly: $226.77
8.   $2,636.00 per year with Midland National Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Premier CS6 – 10 Year Term    Non-tobacco
Annual: $2,636.00   Semi-Annual: $1,341.35   Quarterly: $677.82   Monthly: $228.11
9.   $2,636.00 per year with North American Co for Life and Health     (Save this Quote)
           ADDvantage 10    Non-tobacco
Annual: $2,636.00   Semi-Annual: $1,346.40   Quarterly: $686.40   Monthly: $231.00
10.   $2,637.45 per year with Protective Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Custom Choice UL – 10 Year No Lapse    Standard Non-Tobacco
Annual: $2,637.45   Semi-Annual: $1,375.99   Quarterly: $722.26   Monthly: $231.97
11.   $2,640.00 per year with Transamerica Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Trendsetter Super 10    Non-Smoker
Annual: $2,640.00   Semi-Annual: $1,375.99   Quarterly: $722.26   Monthly: $231.97
12.   $2,802.50 per year with Symetra Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           10 Year Level Term    Standard Non-Nicotine
Annual: $2,802.50   Semi-Annual: $1,443.29   Quarterly: $742.66   Monthly: $244.54
13.   $2,925.50 per year with Columbus Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Nautical Term – 10 Year    Standard Non-tobacco
Annual: $2,925.50   Semi-Annual: $1,492.01   Quarterly: $760.63   Monthly: $245.22
14.   $2,934.50 per year with Pacific Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Pacific PRIME Term 10    Standard NonTobacco
Annual: $2,934.50   Semi-Annual: $1,525.94   Quarterly: $792.32   Monthly: $248.67
15.   $3,121.50 per year with Transamerica Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           SI – Trendsetter Express 10 (Choice/Std)    Standard Non-Smoker
Annual: $3,121.50   Semi-Annual: $1,591.97   Quarterly: $811.59   Monthly: $273.13
16.   $3,142.00 per year with United of Omaha Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Term Life Answers 10    Standard Non-Tobacco
Annual: $3,142.00   Semi-Annual: $1,633.84   Quarterly: $854.49   Monthly: $274.93
17.   $3,224.50 per year with Pruco Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Term Essential 10 (<250K PruXpress ONLY)    Non-smoker
Annual: $3,224.50   Semi-Annual: $1,676.74   Quarterly: $856.05   Monthly: $287.35
18.   $3,270.70 per year with Sagicor Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Sage Term 10    Standard Non-Tobacco
Annual: $3,270.70   Semi-Annual: $1,679.18   Quarterly: $864.05   Monthly: $287.44
19.   $3,284.00 per year with American General Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Select-a-Term – 10 Year    Standard Non-Tobacco
Annual: $3,284.00   Semi-Annual: $1,700.76   Quarterly: $866.74   Monthly: $288.09
20.   $3,285.00 per year with ReliaStar Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           TermSmart 10 – 10 Year Term    Standard Non-Tobacco
Annual: $3,285.00   Semi-Annual: $1,707.68   Quarterly: $870.26   Monthly: $290.21
21.   $3,292.50 per year with Transamerica Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Trendsetter LB 10    Standard Non-Smoker
Annual: $3,292.50   Semi-Annual: $1,708.20   Quarterly: $870.53   Monthly: $294.36
22.   $3,628.50 per year with Midland National Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Executive CS3 – 10 Year Term    Non-tobacco
Annual: $3,628.50   Semi-Annual: $1,898.76   Quarterly: $970.79   Monthly: $318.24
23.   $3,812.50 per year with Pruco Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Term Elite 10 (<250K PruXpress ONLY)    Non-Smoker
Annual: $3,812.50   Semi-Annual: $1,982.50   Quarterly: $1,010.31   Monthly: $343.13
24.   $3,927.00 per year with MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Guaranteed Level Term 10    Standard Nonsmoker
Annual: $3,927.00   Semi-Annual: $2,081.31   Quarterly: $1,060.29   Monthly: $353.43
25.   $4,060.50 per year with Primerica Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           Custom Advantage – 10 Year    Non-Smoker
Annual: $4,060.50   Semi-Annual: $2,111.46   Quarterly: $1,076.03   Monthly: $385.75
26.   $5,388.00 per year with Transamerica Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           SI – Trendsetter Express 10 (Std Exp)    Standard Express Non-Smoker
Annual: $5,388.00   Semi-Annual: $2,747.88   Quarterly: $1,400.88   Monthly: $471.45
27.   $5,698.50 per year with Transamerica Life Insurance Company     (Save this Quote)
           SI – Trendsetter LB 10 (Std Express)    Standard Express Non-Smoker
Annual: $5,698.50   Semi-Annual: $2,906.24   Quarterly: $1,481.61   Monthly: $498.62

Guess not!!