In general, attorneys pay close attention to details and aren’t easily swayed by marketing hype. Many life insurance sites on the Internet entice visitors with quote forms that can be misleading. Rather than providing an instant quote as expected, entering information only arms several (often 3 or more) insurance agents with contact information so they can call and make their pitch.
Receiving multiple calls from life insurance agents isn’t what most people want or need. Neither is wasting time visiting sites that don’t deliver desired information.
We understand that attorneys have unique needs and one of them is making the very best use of their time. A busy attorney – or any professional – wants quality information quickly.
Our quote engine provides instant quotes from all the leading carriers offering life insurance. We don’t sell your information to anyone. Attorneys appreciate the ability to gather quotes and relevant information – and then make an informed decision. Sometimes, speaking with an expert is the quickest way to get questions answered.
Attorneys, more than most people, appreciate quality advice and can quickly discern if someone is not competent to understand their situation and provide an intelligent solution. Our commitment is to provide a listening ear and expert advice.
Will Attorneys Pay More For Life Insurance?
When it comes to life insurance, attorneys, unlike pilots or police officers, do not represent a higher risk to life insurance companies. In fact, attorneys will usually receive the most favorable underwriting classification when it comes to disability insurance. That translates into lower premiums.
Life insurance underwriters want to know about any hazardous avocations or other activities that could lead to a higher risk of premature death. Hang gliding or traveling to high risk countries on a regular basis can lead to an increase in life insurance premiums irrespective of occupation.
Underwriters are concerned with a proposed insured’s lifestyle and health. They wont ask about long work hours or if one has a stressful life, but if the proposed insured takes any medications, they want to know why. They want details.
One of the leading causes of illness is stress, and it’s well known that attorneys tend to have more stress than the average person due to long hours and heavy workloads. So, it can be a wise move for attorneys (or anyone in a high-stress environment) to purchase life and disability insurance early in their career, rather than later – especially after a diagnosis of hypertension, anxiety or another health issue.
Of course, minimizing stress and/or managing it positive ways is always best approach.
Even with minor health conditions, it’s not difficult to get a very low-cost life insurance policy. For example, it’s still possible to get the very best rate (with a few carriers) while taking medication to control high blood pressure.
The difference between a $1,000,000 30-year term policy at the Preferred Best rate and the next best – Preferred – classification is $310 per year (for a 42 male year-old non-smoker). That is a significant amount over the course of 30 years.
Employer-based Life Insurance
Another common mistake, besides waiting too long to purchase life insurance, is to depend on group life insurance. Some attorneys in private practice or in a very small firm do not have employer-based life insurance. However, for attorneys who work for a large firm, life insurance benefits are available through a group plan and the coverage can be decent.
The problem is that most group term life insurance and disability insurance policies are not portable. So, if an attorney decides at some point to work for a smaller firm or start his or her own practice, the life and disability insurance policies terminate with the employment. Applying for a new life policy can be more expensive based on attained age and health. Also, starting a solo legal practice can be more expensive at first and involve some unanticipated expenses. Paying much more for life insurance should not be one of them.
Life insurance obtained through a law firm’s group plan can be quite expensive and usually doesn’t make sense for healthy people. The rates tend to be higher for group plans, so it is prudent to shop for life insurance independently. For someone who has serious health conditions, purchasing coverage through a group plan is a good move since there is no medical underwriting involved (up to certain face amounts).
Oftentimes, life or disability insurance through an employer does not provide an adequate amount of coverage. Group disability insurance usually has weaker definitions of disability and the benefit amount is typically capped at $5000 per month. Also, the disability insurance benefit is taxable since the premiums are paid on a pre-tax basis.
Life insurance benefits through a group plan can vary, depending on the type of coverage, so it is important to carefully read the contract language. It can make a lot of sense to supplement the coverage.
Younger Attorneys and Student Loans
Younger attorneys often carry a fair amount of student debt. Data shows recent law school graduates carried an average debt load of $140,000 in 2012. This represents a 59% increase in debt since 2004.
If the loan is private, then the cosigner (usually the surviving spouse) is responsible for the debt in the event of the attorney’s death or disability — so owning life insurance is protecting the cosigner.
Oftentimes, younger attorneys saddled with student loans and other debt, decide they will purchase life insurance once they have paid down a large portion of their debt and have more expendable income. However, most people who purchase life insurance later in life, regret the fact that they didn’t lock in much lower premiums when they were younger.
Sometimes, it can make sense to purchase a low-cost term life insurance policy with a shorter term period such as 10 or 15 years. Purchasing a longer term policy (for 20 or 30 years) would be ideal in most situations, but it’s better to have some coverage than none.
It’s Never Too Late
Very few people plan perfectly for the future. Unexpected life events occur and cause us to reevaluate our needs. Many people realize they need more life insurance in their 40s, 50s, 60s. An attorney in their 50s may realize they simply want to provide additional death benefit for their loved ones. Possibly a new business venture or law practice requires life insurance as collateral assignment for a loan. Marriage, children or grandchildren can cause a shift in priorities.
There are many reasons why people decide to purchase additional life insurance later in life. Regardless of the reason, the bottom line is that life insurance is an excellent way to leave a lasting legacy and care for loved ones.