Ethos Review: Term Life Insurance in Under 10 Minutes
When it comes to a list of financial to-dos, many of us tend to overlook life insurance. It’s not uncommon to avoid it. After all, more than 40% of Americans aren’t covered by life insurance.
However, the reality is that life insurance can be a big help to your loved ones in the event that you pass. Unfortunately, life insurance has a reputation for bureaucracy and hassle. With doctor visits and paperwork a part of the process, many consumers are tempted to believe that it just isn’t worth the bother.
Ethos, though, aims to change the life insurance process by streamlining it. Here’s what you need to know about this up-and-coming life insurance product.
What is Ethos?
Ethos prides itself on providing a relatively painless life insurance sign-up process. This includes answering questions about your life and health. The company then uses its own data analysis and models to give you a life insurance quote in under 10 minutes.
Ethos provides you with term life policy options. You pay your premiums for a set period of time, and then the policy expires at the end of the term. The defining feature of Ethos is that for most policies of under $1 million, you don’t need to go through a medical exam. The policies offered by Ethos are underwritten by the company Assurity.
When looking for a life insurance company, Ethos can be a choice that comes with a number of attractive features:
- No-exam life insurance: For policies of under $1 million, most applicants don’t have to go through an exam.
- Various term lengths: You can apply for a policy of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years.
- Wide age range: Applicants can be between the ages of 18 and 75.
- High coverage amount: Choose coverage amounts of between $25,000 and $10 million.
- Non-commissioned agents: Ethos agents are licensed, but they aren’t paid commissions based on the policy you choose.
- Completely online experience: For the majority of applicants, the entire experience can be completed online. There’s no need to see anyone in person, or go elsewhere to get a doctor’s appointment.
As with any life insurance policy, how much you pay depends on a number of factors. Ethos will take into account the following:
- Current state of health
- Habits that could contribute to higher risk of death
- Where you live
- How much coverage you want
- Length of the term of coverage
In general, because Ethos offers only term policies, you’re likely to get a fairly low rate. Term life is often less expensive than whole life or universal life policies because there is predictable end to the policy.
For many people, term life insurance is very affordable. About 44% of millennials overestimate the cost of life insurance. Depending on various factors, you might be able to get up to $1 million in coverage for as little as $1 per day with Ethos.
How to Sign Up for Ethos
Signing up for Ethos is fairly straightforward and takes less than 10 minutes. You won’t be immediately approved for a policy, though. Each policy is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and you have to provide a lot of information. However, the forms are set up so that you can go through them relatively quickly. Gathering some of your information ahead of time can help you finish the questionnaire much faster. Some things you need to know include:
- Basic identifying information, including your address, phone number, driver’s license number, and last four digits of your Social Security number
- Basic stats, including your height, weight, birthdate, gender, and your use of tobacco/nicotine products
- Why you’re getting the insurance
- Other types of life insurance coverage you have
- Lifestyle and health information
- Any travel plans
- Employment information
You will also receive helpful hints and a representative from Ethos will contact you via text to see if you have questions or need help finishing the form.
Once you sign up, you’re required to provide payment information, although you won’t be charged upfront. A decision is usually made within 10 days–which is much shorter than then usual time frame of 10 weeks that you can expect from most insurers.
There’s really not much to synchronize with Ethos. You provide credit card information, and if you accept a policy, you’ll be charged regularly to keep the policy active.
As with most financial products, Ethos uses high-level encryption and security to safeguard your information.
There really isn’t a need for a mobile app with Ethos. You’re going to be applying for a life insurance policy, and there’s not much else you need beyond that. You can access the Ethos website on a mobile device using the browser. The website is mobile-friendly, so you can fill out your application that way if you want.
While there is the ability to text back and forth with someone, there isn’t any live customer service. You have to send questions through an email form submission. There are FAQs on the website, but if you need more involved help, you either need to interact through text or send an email.
Pros & Cons
While Ethos seems like a solid home run, there are some downsides. Here’s what you need to know about the advantages and disadvantages before you make your choice.
- No medical exam: This can be a time-consuming and tedious process, and most applicants don’t need a medical exam.
- Fast decision: The whole underwriting process takes a fraction of the time as that associated with more traditional life insurance.
- Easy to use: Filling out the forms is intuitive and you can easily find the information you’re looking for.
- Low costs for some applicants: Many applicants, especially younger applicants, can find low rates.
- Might find cheaper rates elsewhere: Applicants who are 35 and older might have better luck finding lower premiums with different providers.
- Provide credit card information up front: Many people are wary of giving out payment information before the policy is finalized, but Ethos requires that information when you submit your application.
- You can still be denied coverage: No matter the situation, you might still be denied coverage. This isn’t guaranteed life insurance coverage.
- Unavailable in New York: If you live in New York state, you can’t get coverage.
Alternatives to Ethos
There are a number of places to get life insurance policies. If you have car insurance and homeowners (or renters) insurance already with one company, you might want to see if you can get a discounted rate for bundling in life insurance as well. That’s the biggest alternative to Ethos.
Additionally, there are plenty of traditional life insurance providers, including MassMutual, AIG, Prudential, New York Life, and MetLife.
Also Read: Haven Life Insurance Review
Finally, one of the biggest alternatives to Ethos is to use PolicyGenius to compare rates. This life insurance comparison website can provide you with a variety of options, some of them much cheaper than the plans you see with Ethos, particularly if you’re getting close to the age of 40.
Who Is It For?
For the most part, Ethos is ideal for younger millennials and older members of Gen Z who want a painless solution to life insurance. It’s a great product for someone who is tech savvy and busy and doesn’t have time to mess with bureaucracy. The convenience of Ethos can outweigh the fact that sometimes it doesn’t offer the lowest premiums.
Ethos is an innovator in the life insurance space, finding a way to underwrite policies quickly without the need for a medical exam in most cases. It’s easy and quick to fill out the application completely online and you can be approved for a policy in as little as 10 days. This is a huge improvement over the way life insurance is traditionally handled. However, you might be able to find lower prices elsewhere. You need to balance cost with convenience as you make your decision.