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What is Simplified Issue Life Insurance?

Don't know what simplified issue life insurance is? Get your questions answered with this complete guide.

Taking out an affordable life insurance policy is one of the best ways to help ensure that your loved ones are protected even in a worst-case scenario. However, some people put off applying for life insurance because they’re concerned that the process might take up too much time — or because they’re worried about the in-person medical examination that is associated with most medically underwritten life insurance policies.

What if we told you that there was a way to make the life insurance application process a little more… well, simple?

That’s where simplified issue life insurance can help. When you apply for a simplified issue life insurance policy, you get to skip the medical exam in favor of a short online application. Most people who apply for simplified issue life insurance find out right away if their application is approved, and coverage starts as soon as they make their first payment. (Just remember, that you need to be truthful on your application, because the payment of benefits, or the issuance of the policy, depend on the honesty of your answers.)

What is simplified issue life insurance? If you’re trying to choose a life insurance policy, you might be wondering how simplified issue life insurance differs from other types of life insurance, including guaranteed issue life insurance and group life insurance policies offered by an employer.

That’s where this article can help — because we’re going to give you a quick, easy overview of what simplified life insurance is, how it works and the benefits of going with this type of insurance product.

In this article:

What is simplified issue life insurance?

“Simplified issue life insurance is a fast, easy way to get life insurance,” says Kristen Wilson, Underwriter Innovation SME at Haven Life. Simplified issue life insurance uses accelerated underwriting to help people to quickly access life insurance coverage without a lengthy application or an in-person medical exam.

“It’s an automatic insurance option,” Wilson explains. “You know right away if you qualify.”

A simplified term life insurance policy covers a specific period of time and gives you the option to apply for a new term life insurance policy after the initial coverage term ends. When you apply for Haven Simple, for example, you can choose a 5-, 10-, 15- or 20-year term. If you don’t know what term length is right for you, ask yourself what major expenses your loved ones might anticipate over the next five, ten, fifteen or twenty years — and choose a term length that helps them manage those expenses if they no longer have your income or support.

How does simplified issue life insurance work?

Simplified issue life insurance is one of the easiest types of life insurance to purchase. In most cases, you can complete a short online application; in other cases, you can take out a simplified issue life insurance policy over the phone or by visiting a life insurance agent in person.

When you apply for a simplified issue life insurance policy with Haven Life, you can complete the entire process in under 30 minutes — and in some cases, under five minutes. The Haven Simple application is designed to be as easy to complete as possible (after all, it says it right there in the name). Once you fill in some basic demographic information, answer a few health questions (including questions about tobacco use) and select your term length and coverage amount, you’ll know instantly whether your application has been approved. Make your first premium payment, and your coverage will start immediately.

Haven Simple is designed to make life insurance accessible to people who might not want to go through the process of completing a life insurance medical exam — but it’s important to note that not everyone who applies for a Haven Simple policy will be accepted. “Haven Simple is for people in good health,” says Wilson. “If you have a more complex medical history or a specific health condition, we recommend applying for Haven Term, a more traditional life insurance policy.”

What are the benefits of choosing simplified issue life insurance?

There are two major benefits associated with simplified issue life insurance. The first is the simplicity of the application. All you have to do is fill out a short online form, decide how much coverage you need, provide some basic demographic information and answer a few easy health questions, and you’re done. In most cases, you’ll learn your approval status as soon as you complete the application — and if your life insurance application is approved, coverage can begin immediately.

This makes simplified issue life insurance a good choice for people who might have trouble fitting a more complicated life insurance application into their busy lives — we’re looking at you, new parents. Many parents understand the importance of providing for their family no matter what happens — but when you’re in the throes of new parenthood, you might not have time to think about comparing life insurance options or setting up an in-person medical examination.

“Simplified issue life insurance is a great option for people who have just experienced a major life change, such as a new baby,” says Wilson. “If you want something quick, simplified issue life insurance is a way to get your life insurance coverage taken care of.”

The other major benefit of simplified issue life insurance is the ability to get a life insurance policy without having to take a medical exam. Since simplified underwriting is not based on an in-person health evaluation, many people can use simplified life insurance plans to access same-day life insurance coverage.

“We’re meeting people where they are,” explains Wilson, “and giving them this option.”

It’s not just easier life insurance, it’s an easier life.

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How does simplified issue life insurance compare to other types of life insurance policies?

How does simplified issue life insurance differ from a traditional life insurance policy? In many cases, you won’t be able to get quite as much life insurance coverage from a simplified issue policy. Haven Simple offers simplified issue life insurance policies with coverage amounts ranging from $25,000 to $500,000 — but if you were applying for a Haven Term life insurance policy, you could request as much as $3 million in life insurance coverage.

For some families, $500,000 may be all the life insurance coverage you need — especially if you’re planning on using life insurance to cover final expenses or pay off a mortgage. Other families may want more life insurance coverage, especially if they need their life insurance policy to cover an income gap that could last for several years.

Simplified issue life insurance can also be more expensive than term life insurance — especially when you compare the two monthly premiums side by side. That said, the cost differential may not be huge depending on factors like your age and health. A 35-year-old man in excellent health who wants a 15-year, $250,000 life insurance policy can expect to pay $15.75 per month for a Haven Simple plan and $13.45 per month for a Haven Term plan — both of which are very affordable options.

How is simplified issue life insurance different from a permanent life insurance policy? In most cases, permanent life insurance is more expensive than term life insurance — and that includes simplified issue term life insurance plans. Permanent life insurance policies come with a few advantages that term life insurance policies do not, including coverage for life and the ability to tap into the cash value of your life insurance prior to your death — but for many people, permanent life insurance isn’t worth the extra cost.

What about guaranteed issue life insurance? As the name suggests, guaranteed life insurance is exactly that — a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy that you can take out regardless of any underlying health conditions. A guaranteed issue policy is a good way to cover final expenses or provide a small death benefit to your loved ones, but coverage amounts from your insurer are typically low — and guaranteed issue policies often include graded death benefits that require you to live a certain number of years before your loved ones will be able to access any of the coverage you’re paying monthly premiums for. And, yes, a guaranteed issue policy is going to be way more expensive than a medically underwritten term policy.

Lastly, let’s compare simplified issue life insurance to the group life insurance policies you might receive from your employer. If your employer offers group life insurance as a workplace benefit, you should be able to access group life insurance coverage regardless of any underlying health conditions — and you shouldn’t have to take a medical exam to qualify. This makes a group policy a good option for people who might have trouble accessing medically underwritten life insurance.

However, a group policy only offers a minimal amount of coverage — not to mention that the coverage from your insurer may go away if you stop working for your current employer — which is why many people choose to augment their group life insurance benefits with an additional life insurance policy.

That’s where Haven Life can help. If you are looking for ways to access life insurance coverage without having to go through a medical exam, consider applying for Haven Simple — it’s one of the easiest and affordable ways to protect the people you love, especially once you understand how simplified life insurance works and how it can benefit the people who need it most.

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About Nicole Dieker

Nicole Dieker has been a full-time freelance writer since 2012, with a focus on personal finance and habit formation. In addition to Haven Life, her work regularly appears at Lifehacker, Bankrate, CreditCards.com, and Vox. Dieker spent five years as a writer and editor for The Billfold, a personal finance blog where people had honest conversations about money, and is the author of Frugal and the Beast: And Other Financial Fairy Tales.

Read more by Nicole Dieker

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: https://havenlife.com/plus.html

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