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Best Instant Life Insurance Companies Online

Licensed Life Insurance Agent/Staff Writer
June 01, 2020

If you need to buy life insurance now (as in, right now), you have a lot of options. Several technology-driven companies allow you to apply for, and receive, a life insurance policy entirely online—without ever talking to an agent.

This wasn’t the case five years ago. But, as many traditional life insurance providers were slow to maximize the possibilities of the internet, a handful of startups emerged to meet the demands of insurance customers accustomed to on-demand TV, same-day shipping, and app-ordered dinners.

Instant online life insurance cost
Haven LifeEthosBestowFabricLadder
Cost for $500K in coverage
$22.48
a month
$27.00
a month
$25.00
a month
$27.07
a month
$25.00
a month
Cost for $1M in coverage
$38.96
a month
$47.00
a month
$46.66
a month
$42.78
a month
$44.00
a month
Learn more

Sample rates represent a 20-year term for a healthy 25-year-old male. Actual rates may vary. Effective 5/12/20.

Call Today 888-234-8376

How does online life insurance work?

Buying life insurance used to be a fairly drawn-out process that involved interviews with underwriters and a physical exam with bloodwork to assess your risk. You could buy a “no exam” policy to skip the bloodwork, but you’d pay higher rates to compensate for it.

Not quite so anymore.

Thanks to the availability of information online, insurance companies don’t always need a blood sample to determine your risk. With the aid of artificial intelligence and fancy algorithms, insurance companies have become quite good at analyzing readily available information about you—like your medical records, driving record, etc. Using this data and the information you submit on your life insurance application, the insurance company can get an accurate picture of the risk you represent.

What to expect from online life insurance

When purchasing life insurance online from one of the companies on this list, you’ll find some common traits:

  • Fast application and approval.
  • No exam required.
  • No riders (usually).
  • It’s always term life insurance.
  • They are funded by bigger companies.

The fast approval and no exam features are true for all the companies listed—assuming you are in relatively good health and fit within the company’s age brackets. (We’ll get specific about that below.) Typically, the policies you'll find will be bare-bones (meaning no riders), but not always.

Right now, the only type of life insurance you can get fully online is term life. However, it's possible that once these companies are more established, they might start offering permanent insurance, like whole life.

Finally, you’ll find that all of these companies are backed by larger, more established life insurance companies or investors. That's a good thing because, no matter which company you choose, it will be able to handle any claims down the line.

Companies selling instant life insurance

While a growing number of life insurance companies provide online quotes, the companies on this list fully offer life insurance online—from quote to application to approval to issuance. 

You can’t go wrong with any of the following companies if you need instant life insurance. You might even be able to get a policy issued the same day!

A heads up: Some companies may require a physical exam, depending on how you answer medical questions. Others might deny you a policy based on your medical history. If that happens, we’ve got some recommendations below.

Haven Life

Haven Life offers 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year term life insurance policies for up to a $3 million death benefit.

Data as of 5/12/20

If you want life insurance as fast as possible with Haven Life, you’ll need to meet a few requirements: You’ll need to limit yourself to $1 million in coverage, you’ll need to be under 60, and you’ll need to be relatively healthy. If you don’t fall into all of those categories, that doesn’t mean Haven Life will refuse you coverage; you may just need to take a medical exam first.

Whether or not Haven Life requires a medical exam for your coverage, you’ll still get pretty competitive rates for term life insurance—even if you’re a smoker or have preexisting health conditions.

One final note: Haven Life offers a complementary accelerated death benefit on each term policy. With an accelerated death benefit, you can access part of your death benefit early if you become terminally ill. Not only is this benefit unmatched by other companies on this list, you typically have to pay more to add it as a rider onto your coverage.

Read our review of Haven Life

Ethos

Ethos offers 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year term life insurance policies for up to a $1.5 million death benefit.

Data as of 5/12/20

Anyone age 20–65 can apply for a policy entirely online, but depending on how you answer some questions about your health, Ethos could require a medical exam. If you’re relatively healthy, you’ll likely get a no exam policy issued pretty quickly.

Overall, people may find Ethos’ policies a bit pricier than those of other companies on this list, especially considering its term life policies don’t come with riders or other perks. But if you’re younger and healthy, Ethos could be a good fit.

Read our review of Ethos.

Bestow

Bestow offers 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies for up to a $1 million death benefit.

Data as of 5/12/20

Bestow’s no-frills coverage is more spartan than others on this list, with only two term lengths to choose from and zero riders.

However, you’ll never have to take a medical exam if you buy life insurance from Bestow. You’ll need to answer health questions to qualify for a term policy, but Bestow never asks for blood.

Bestow isn’t for everybody. It sells 10- and 20-year term life insurance to individuals aged 21–45 and only offers the 10-year term policy for anyone up to 55 (if you’re older than that, you may want to check out life insurance rates by age for better options). But if you’re looking for online life insurance that’s both fast and easy, Bestow is one of the best. You might even get coverage on the same day.

Read our review of Bestow.

Fabric

Fabric offers 10-, 15-, and 20-year term life insurance policies for up to a $5 million death benefit.

Data as of 5/12/20

Fabric offers 10-, 15-, and 20-year term life insurance policies for up to a $5 million death benefit.

For those aged 21–60, Fabric sells term life that could require no exam, depending on how you answer health questions and if you opt for a $1 million death benefit or less. 

Where Fabric shines is with its free will-creation tool, which is easy to use and make legally binding. If you're already buying life insurance, why not get the bequeathing business out of the way while you're at it?

Fabric also provides a unique feature: your term policy is guaranteed convertible to a whole life insurance policy without additional health questions or an exam. So, if you’d like, you can get permanent coverage down the line—no questions asked. That’s a pretty big deal for online life insurance providers.

Read our review of Fabric.

Ladder Life

Ladder Life offers 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year term life insurance policies for up to an $8 million death benefit.

Data as of 5/12/20

Anyone age 20–60 can get term life insurance from Ladder Life. And your term policy could require no exam depending on your health history and if you get a maximum of $1 million in coverage.

Where Ladder Life stands apart from the pack is flexibility. You can modify your death benefit and your premiums, making the laddering strategy more accessible if you’re the planning type. Ladder Life also offers the highest death benefits available through an online application of any company on this list—up to $8 million.

Read our review of Ladder Life.

What if I’m denied life insurance online?

One drawback when trying to get instant life insurance through these online companies is that they tend to deny riskier applicants. Or they may require people with health conditions to take a medical exam before qualifying for coverage.

Next steps:

If you’re denied a policy by one of the companies on this list, your search doesn’t have to end there. Since the application process is quick, you should probably try applying with a different company. But if you continue to run into a dead end, you still have options for life insurance with pre-existing conditions.

If you applied for a policy from one of these companies only to discover you need a medical exam first, see our tips for passing the life insurance medical exam.

If you’d rather not take a medical exam, check out our list of the top 10 no medical exam companies that sell term life insurance.

Written by
Alex Enabnit
Alex is a licensed life insurance agent who has appeared on Yahoo Finance, HealthPopuli, and Good Morning Arizona. He writes factual, useful, and occasionally amusing articles about life insurance. Believe it or not, he enjoys researching the intricacies of life insurance and helping people choose the best policies for their specific needs—almost as much as he enjoys kayaking and long hikes.