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“Simplified issue” life insurance doesn’t require a medical exam, although you must answer health questions and can be turned down.
If you’re interested in buying simplified issue life insurance, you may be comparing policies from and . Your decision on which to choose may depend on whether you smoke, what kind of policy you want, and the companies’ track records.
Here’s a closer look at the two life insurers.
[Term life insurance quotes are available through NerdWallet’s.]
Both Globe Life and New York Life offer simplified issue term and whole life insurance policies. This coverage is issued quickly after you answer a few health questions, although you can be turned down based on the answers to these questions.
Both Globe and New York Life sell simplified issue term life policies in five-year increments, with prices going up as you reach the next age band. This is different from traditional term life policies, for which you typically decide how long coverage will last (such as 10 or 20 years) and lock in your rate for the entire period of the policy.
If you need only a small amount of life insurance, these simplified issue policies can fit the bill:
Globe provides coverage up to age 90, while New York Life stops at 80 (and the coverage limit is $100,000 if you buy it after age 65).
Both Globe Life and New York Life price their simplified issue term life insurance in five-year increments, with prices rising as you reach the next age band. Globe’s bands start at ages ending in 1 and 6; New York Life’s bands start at ages ending 0 and 5.
New York Life’s simplified issue term life insurance policies are cheaper than Globe’s for nonsmokers and, at some ages, smokers too. Globe charges the same to smokers and nonsmokers, which is unusual.
When it comes to simplified issue whole life insurance, Globe charges much less for similar coverage.
J.D. Power rates New York Life “better than most” for every life insurance category it scores: overall satisfaction, billing and payment, price, policy offerings and interaction. J.D. Power didn’t evaluate Globe Life.
When it comes to complaints to state regulators in recent years, Globe is significantly worse compared with other companies, while New York Life is better.
Most buyers of simplified issue term life policies will be better off with New York Life because of its lower prices for nonsmokers, and smokers at some ages, and because it garners many fewer complaints than Globe, compared with its market share. Smokers at certain ages and people who want simplified issue whole life insurance would probably save money with Globe Life, although the high number of complaints is a good reason to be wary, despite the savings.
If you’re healthy, or even have a minor medical problem, you can generally get lower rates by buying an underwritten life insurance policy, which will require more health questions and possibly a life insurance medical exam. If you’re shopping for life insurance, it’s always best to .
Aubrey Cohen is a former staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website.