I got a letter (bulk rate) from Garden State Life today. I had inquired some time back just to find out how bad their “no exam” life insurance offer was. I like to keep abreast of the hardly ever changing difference between what life insurance will cost if you take an exam and if you don’t.

They sent a sample check that could go to my beneficiary. They told me all the reasons I needed the insurance. The check was for the maximum amount available, $125,000, and they explained, “it’s a check that will have to last your family a long time, and cover a multitude of expenses…like the mortgage or rent, car payments, the monthly household bills, food, clothing, school…and everything else you now provide for them”. Since I estimate my current life insurance need at a million plus $, I was a little disappointed in the size of the check,

And if I buy it at “pre-birthday rates”, that $125,000 will only cost me $82.75 a month……AND that’s a guaranteed rate for 7 years, excuse me, “7 full years”. Well, what the heck am I thinking passing up an opportunity like that? OK, I know I’m just busting their chops because they make it real easy to buy overpriced life insurance, but really, if I don’t do it, who will?

REALITY CHECK!! For the convenience of not taking an exam here is all you get. 1. The convenience of not taking an exam.

That’s it. They still have the right to check the Medical Information Bureau and get medical records. They can still reject you if you answer yes to any of the health questions. So, what’s the deal with this exam they are getting you out of? Well, for that small amount most companies would have someone come to your home or business and get blood and urine specimens, check your height, weight and blood pressure and ask you all the same medical questions that Garden State does. Takes about 15 minutes and for most people it’s the only real good workup they get unless they’ve got insurance that will pay for annual physicals. AND IT’S FREE!!!!

So, what’s the deal if you do the exam? Most people get approved somewhere between preferred and standard rates. For the sake of comparison with Garden State we’ll use standard rates. Just to put standard in context, you can get standard if you are 5’10, 250#. You can get standard if your cholesterol is 300. You can get standard if you have well controlled type 2 diabetes. You can get standard with well controlled bipolar disorder. Standard is not that hard to get.

So, because on Garden State has a 7 year term insurance policy, I’ll compare it to a 10 year guaranteed level premium. Garden State is $82.75. Savings Bank Life is $45 a month and the guarantee is 3 years longer. For a 15 year guarantee it would be $60 a month and a 20 year guarantee would be just slightly more than the Garden State 7 year guarantee at $88 a month. And all of that is assuming you are only able to qualify for a standard rate.

Bottom line. Take the exam. Quick, painless, free and you probably need it anyway and…..you can save a ton on your life insurance. Don’t bite for the sake of convenience.