Warning: Other Policy Genius Review articles are bloggers that make money off referring you to Policy Genius. Policy Genius pays these websites "affiliate commissions" to send traffic to their website.
Why trust our review? We aren't paid by Policy Genius.
In this article we'll cover:
- How is Policy Genius different from other insurance sites? (or are they?)
- Pros of Using Policy Genius
- Cons of Using Policy Genius
- How To Get Life Insurance Online and In Force TODAY (Policy Genius Doesn't Offer This)
Why are we writing a review article of Policy Genius?
Reason 1: Consumers are missing out on some very important information.
Policy Genius has $21M in VC funding which is more funding than any "start up" direct to consumer agency has ever raised in the life insurance industry.
This funding gives them the ability to be more visible than the majority of life insurance agencies around, but that doesn't mean they're the best for each situation, everyone should know to shop around and find what is best for them individually through some of the top rated life insurance companies around. Policy Genius simply has the means to advertise more and that's probably why you found them initially.
Most independent life insurance agencies can't compete with their advertising dollars, but we can compete with them on our expertise of life insurance products. Both of the co-founders are new to the life insurance industry (within 3 years) according to the New York department of insurance agent look-up feature. Prior to Policy Genius, they came from a digital marketing consulting agency, McKinney & Company which in our opinion explains why they're getting so much press - they have the connections and experience.
But before you make your final life insurance purchase decision though, we recommend looking into some other company reviews as well, such as our reviews on Zander Insurance, Primerica Life Insurance and United Home.
Reason 2: They’re paying unlicensed financial bloggers "affiliate payments" to refer them leads to their website.
Policy Genius attended, gave a presentation and sponsored FinCon - a conference for financial bloggers. This is where they picked up a lot of bloggers to promote them in exchange for an affiliate deal. Smart for Policy Genius to do this, but it created a lot of biased articles in favor of Policy Genius because these bloggers want to get paid.
This isn’t illegal or anything, but these unlicensed financial bloggers are writing reviews knowing that if someone goes to Policy Genius, they'll get paid for the lead they sent them. Our opinion is that these bloggers are highly influenced to give a rave review so they can get paid.
Please note that Policy Genius has contacted us and wanted to make it clear that the "fees from the Policy Genius affiliate program are not linked to a review, nor are they linked to a sale; affiliates are paid for leads and nothing more"
And when you have all of these BIG media source mentions and financial bloggers talking about you, Google pushes you right to the top of the search engines. That’s probably how you found Policy Genius in the first place.
So it’s important for us to to let consumer know everything about Policy Genius and not what Policy Genius and their affiliates want you to see.
If you don't want to read this entire article, just know that you can do better than getting your life insurance through Policy Genius.
They've built out a great platform (it really is beautiful), but there's nothing special besides a centralized platform for consumers to get quotes and apply online. At it's core, that's what their platform does...which has been done for the last decade.
They are a marketing and tech company first and life insurance agency second. The expertise needed to navigate a lot of risks and selection of life insurance companies just doesn’t compare to other independent life insurance agencies who have dedicated their entire careers to helping people secure life insurance.
Policy Genius has hired experienced agents to help their clients, but remember that you're a client of Policy Genius and not that agent - which means you don't have that direct relationship for the life of your policy. Our clients always tell us how valuable it is that 5+ years later they get the same person to answer their questions and service their policy.
Policy Genius definitely has it's place in the market. If you're the "Do it Yourself" type person, with no health issues, then we recommend the Policy Genius platform.
However if you have any health issues (even minor ones) or need some assistance in navigating some of the complexities of life insurance, we recommend getting in contact with an experienced independent life insurance agent to discuss your options such as guaranteed acceptance life insurance. We live and breathe life insurance every single day of our career and will be the same person to respond to any changes in your policy over the years.
Policy Genius does have underwriting experts on staff and we believe their intentions are good and they care about their clients, but underwriting life insurance is art. It takes an experienced agent that has a connection with you and will paint your risk in the most favorable light to an underwriter. That's how you get the best possible rates for your unique situation. Referencing your case to an underwriting expert is a great process for them, but it's not the ideal process.
Any veteran life insurance agent will tell you that your application, medical exam and medical records are rigid. They are words on a paper and they need context to get the best possible rating in any impaired risk case.
How is Policy Genius different from other insurance sites?
On their website they list 2 reasons.
Reason #1: They say that a lot of websites are lead generators where your name and information are being sold to other insurance agencies and Policy Genius is different because they work with you personally.
While this is true, this has been around for over a decade before Policy Genius came around. Ourselves and a lot of other agencies work directly with consumers and provide them instant quotes online as well.
This isn't anything different.
Reason #2: They designed the user experience to be the best in class and we'll have to agree on that. It's pretty, it's engaging and it's innovative. We're big fans over here.
At the core of it all, Policy Genius delivers instant quotes and an online application process. You can get a similar process (although not as pretty) as using our quoter on this page or any other independent agency quoter.
One of the main reasons consumers choose Policy Genius is because they can complete the process 100% online without any sales pressure.
The same can be done with any independent life insurance agency and we do this daily. All you need to do is request “e-mail” only communication and you won’t ever have to speak with an agent.
Sure it’s not as pretty as Policy Genius, but we also are a family-run business without $20M in VC funding.
Pros of Using Policy Genius
Very User Friendly
Applying for a fully underwritten life insurance online is easy and intuitive. You can start the process on your own time without the assistance of a licensed agent.
It’s a gorgeous process and easy to use.
No Sales People To Speak With
You can apply online without speaking with any "sales person", but if you do need assistance you can talk to someone.
This can also be a bad thing too because their system doesn’t give accurate quotes for those with health conditions. Even though Policy Genius asks you health questions, they don’t drill down deep enough to get the data needed to provide an accurate quote if you have any combination of health concerns.
The website also doesn’t search the entire market for the best rates based on the health conditions listed. Their agents may have access when you call in, but if you're looking to buy without speaking with someone, this should be a concern.
Without the help of a licensed agent experienced in field underwriting, the rates you apply for are likely to be different than what the life insurance company offers you.
And look, people love to talk about “sales pressure” from insurance agents. We’re in 2016 and people see right passed the sales gimmicks. Most independent life insurance agencies will answer any questions and provide you with quotes you need to make the purchase. A simple “no thanks” e-mail and you’ll never hear from an agent again.
Cons of Using Policy Genius
They don't offer the smaller "niche" carriers
To their credit, they offer some of the most competitive and well known companies around, but there's a lot more they're missing.
Policy Genius isn't working with the many of the "smaller" carriers that offer some of the best rates for specific demographics of people. Many of these carriers have been around for decades and are very financially stable and would beat out all the big carriers on pricing for various risks.
Every life insurance company looks at your health and lifestyle differently and if you're going for the best term life insurance rates, you need all those options.
While they are technically an "independent" life insurance agency and can choose to sell any life insurance company, they're not offering many
Underserve those with impaired risks
We decided to write this review because we had a consumer (now a client) call us who contacted PolicyGenius and they weren't able to help him. This client needed coverage to secure an SBA Loan and needed it fast and had some pretty major health issues that prevented him from securing coverage with any traditional life insurance company.
We ended up using a specialty life insurer who wrote a renewable 1 year term policy made specifically for high risk SBA loans that satisfied his loan requirement. An option apparently Policy Genius didn't know about it.
It takes an experienced agent to help anyone with impaired risk and it just can’t be automated with technology in the current environment.
With impaired risk, we need to gather a lot more detailed information and then submit a cover letter to the life insurance company that paints your risk in the most favorable light possible.
Think about it...all life insurance underwriters see are what’s on your application, medical exam and medical records. Don’t you want the opportunity to explain a few things to them?
Writing cover letters also “humanizes” your application to an underwriter who can now draw a connection to you.
Policy Genius doesn’t go the extra mile to do this because they’re a “volume” based life insurance agency. And it’s so important for your life insurance agent to do this even with mild cholesterol or blood pressure issues.
Pro tip if you're already in the process: If you're applying for a policy with Policy Genius and have any health issues, ask your agent to draft a cover letter and for you to approve it. Make sure they're going the extra mile to get you the best possible rating.
Securing life insurance is an art. You need to balance budget, field underwriting, your specific needs and time line. A veteran life insurance agent has the experience to manage all of these proactively - something that technology and "reactive" case processing can't do.
How To Get Life Insurance Online and InForce TODAY
There are several no medical exam carriers that allow you to purchase coverage online and over the phone. In fact, with some carriers, you can have coverage In Force within 24 hours.
Traditional life insurance is a long process and a lot of people who have the intention of protecting their family with life insurance get frustrated with having to take a medical exam, wait for medical records to be released to underwriting and then have the underwriter review and potentially ask more questions. Because of this process, around 50% of people who start the application process drop out and don't end up getting coverage for their family.
By simply giving the option of a no medical exam policy, many of our clients take it to forgo the long arduous underwrting process.
If you’re in great health and don’t want to interact with an agent, then we recommend Policy Genius. Best platform around, hands down.
In any other situation, you’re better off using an independent life insurance agency like ours or dozens of others online.