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What is direct term life insurance?

Direct term life insurance allows you to get the coverage you want, whenever you want.

A pregnant couple use their phone to get a quote on life insurance

Perhaps the easiest way to understand direct term life insurance is to use its other name – DTC, or direct-to-consumer. As that phrase suggests, we’re talking about term life insurance that you purchase directly from a life insurance agency or company – usually online – without going through an agent or another kind of intermediary.

Before we go further, here’s a quick explanation of term life insurance, direct or not: “Term” is a kind of life insurance which gives you a certain amount of coverage for a fixed period of time, typically 10, 15, 20 or 30 year. It’s a simple, affordable type of life insurance that helps you protect your loved ones during the years they need it most. (For a detailed breakdown of how term life insurance works, click here.)

The fact that term life insurance is so simple is one reason why buying it directly makes sense. While there are types of life insurance that might be more difficult to navigate without professional help (such as whole life), term isn’t one of them.

Buying term life insurance directly online from an agency or insurer is simple, convenient and affordable. The following are some other advantages:

Speed – if you want it

For many people, the biggest appeal of direct term life insurance is that you can usually check it off your to-do list rather quickly. Simply answer a few questions and generate a personalized quote online from an agency like Haven Life, which offers term life insurance issued by MassMutual. If you like what you see, you can apply online and, if approved, start coverage that day.

Direct term life insurance also allows you to buy coverage on your own time. If you want to get quotes for different levels of coverage, then talk the options over with your spouse, or just sleep on it for a while, you can. No one will call and hassle you; there’s no pressure to buy a policy. You can go at your own pace, and do it when it’s convenient. Is Sunday night the best time for you? Well, the internet never sleeps.

No guesswork

When you apply for term life insurance from Haven Life, you can get your real rate – the actual price you’ll pay for the coverage instead of a ballpark estimate. With a direct term life insurance buying experience, the insurer or agency is taking your application information and reviewing it in real-time to provide a personalized-to-you rate. Now, there could be some changes to your life insurance rate once a medical exam is taken (if you need one), but overall, the rate from a digital purchasing experience is usually much more accurate than a quote based on a few data points. 

You’re not on your own, unless you want to be

If you know exactly what coverage you want – a 20-year, $500,000 policy, for example – then you can apply for it in minutes. If, on the other hand, you’re not certain what level of coverage would best suit your needs, Haven Life has an online life insurance calculator that can help you determine the right amount and length of coverage, based on your circumstances (including, but not limited to your salary, your dependents, and what you want to your policy to cover.)

No obligations or awkwardness

With direct term life insurance, while the algorithms are pretty sophisticated, they don’t have feelings. So you can get as many quotes as you want for coverage before making a choice. While there are humans behind Haven Life who hope you choose the Haven Term policy, ultimately, they just want you to have some kind of coverage to help financially protect your loved ones. There are no obligations, only choices.

And choice, ultimately, is what direct term life insurance is about. You can choose the coverage you want, when it’s convenient for you, and you can go direct to the source to get it. Think of “direct” as a way for you to get term life insurance on your own terms.

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Michael Davis is a freelance writer and editor who has covered everything from fashion and music to parenting, work, and finance. He has been a chef, restaurateur and record label owner.

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Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit:

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