Disclaimer: We have no affiliation with Zander Insurance or Dave Ramsey. We are an independent life insurance agency.
In case you are not familiar with Zander Insurance, they are the life insurance agency to whom Dave Ramsey refers his listeners and readers. In this article we will look closely at the pros and cons of Zander Insurance.
If you have read our Dave Ramsey Life Insurance Review, then you understand that we are Dave’s fans. We have a tremendous amount of respect for Dave Ramsey. He has helped thousands get out of debt and take control of their finances. Sure, we take issue with Ramsey on a few points and one of them includes his exclusive relationship with Zander Insurance.
However, the purpose of this article is not to malign Dave Ramsey or discredit him in any way. The same holds true for Zander Insurance. We simply want our readers to understand the pros and cons of working with a company like Zander Insurance.
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Dave Ramsey and Zander Insurance: An Exclusive Relationship
Dave Ramsey has had a lot of success using his Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) program. This program allows people to connect with professionals who meet Ramsey’s high standards. ELPs must have a proven practice and have a heart of a teacher. ELPs must pay a fee, but they also must receive good ratings/feedback, or they will get “booted” from the program.
This program seems to work well and helps people find professionals in the area of real estate, taxes, and most areas of insurance. However, when it comes to life and disability insurance, Ramsey steers people in only one direction. According to his website,
“Zander Insurance Group is the only company we recommend nationwide for term life, disability and ID theft protection.“
Ramsey explains that one of the reasons why he only recommends Zander Insurance is because he has used them for his own personal insurance for over 20 years and says,
“…the product and services offered are top notch and the management of the company is committed to my listeners needs.“
Yes, Zander Insurance is a paid advertiser for Dave Ramsey, but that is no reason to question Dave’s motives for working with them exclusively. We’re sure Zander Insurance provides outstanding customer service. They are an independent agency and offer several top life insurance companies for term life insurance.
We would like to see Dave Ramsey give his readers and listeners a choice like he does with the ELP program. It would be very beneficial for people to choose from several agencies. He commends Zander for giving people a choice of many top rated life insurance companies. Why not do the same with the life insurance agencies? Most people want the ability to choose and receive the best deal possible.
Zander Insurance Offers a Limited Number of Carriers for Term Life
Zander is an independent agency and they represent several top rated insurance companies. However, there are many top rated insurance companies they do not offer. So, if you work exclusively with Zander Insurance you won’t see many of the best insurance companies with the lowest rates available for term life.
Some Top Rated Carriers Not Offered Through Zander Insurance
- Principal Life
- Ohio National Life
- John Hancock
- AAA Life
- Security Mutual Life
- Cincinnati Life
- Fidelity Life
- Mass Mutual
- Minnesota Life
- Pacific Life
- Midland National
- Symetra Life
- Columbus Life
- AXA Equitable and many other companies.
We are not sure why Zander Insurance does not offer more carriers, but we can explain why some agencies choose to offer a limited number of insurance companies.
First off, it’s easier to train employees to become familiar with a limited number of companies. It takes more training and effort to learn the product lines and deal with underwriters with numerous companies.
A lot of time and effort goes into maintaining contracts with multiple carriers. It can be easier for management to deal with fewer life insurance companies.
Additionally, life insurance companies pay higher commissions (and overrides) to agencies that sell large volume with them. Again, we have no idea if this reasoning factors into Zander’s decision to work with limited carriers, but it is a reality in our business.
Zander offers a decent selection of carriers. Why do they need more?
The bottom line is your bottom line. Dave Ramsey tells people to mainly shop term insurance based on price. Since term insurance is like a commodity, then why not just select the lowest cost carrier, assuming they have good financial ratings? Well, we agree with Dave, that price is very important when shopping for term insurance.
So, when shopping for term life, you want a good choice of carriers. Some companies have lower rates than others. Rates depend on factors such as age, gender, underwriting class, face amount, and term length. It’s possible that one of Zander’s companies is the lowest or close to it, depending on the scenario. It’s also possible they don’t offer the lowest cost carrier.
Let’s take the example of a male, age 45, preferred non-smoker, shopping for a $750,000 20-year term policy. Using our three quote engines, the top (lowest premium) 7 plans are offered by Ohio National, Lincoln National, Principal Life, John Hancock, Banner Life, and Security Mutual. Ohio National offers two plans in the lowest 7. Out of those 7 plans, only 2 are offered through Zander Insurance.
More Carrier Options Often Results in Lower Premiums
Because carriers have their “underwriting niches” it’s important to have many from which to choose. Some carriers have extremely competitive Preferred and Preferred Best rates, but their Standard and Standard Plus rates are not competitive (or vice versa).
Only having 10 to 12 carriers available isn’t unique to Zander. Other large agencies like SelectQuote and Intelliquote similarly offer a limited number of carriers. One thing we like about Zander is that they don’t sell your contact info to other agencies. They are honest and respectful when dealing with your personal information. Some agencies promise instant quotes, but then just tell you that agents will call you. Zander doesn’t play that game.
An Example of Saving Over $68,000
Let’s take a 40 year-old male applying for $1,500,000 30-year term policy. Let’s say he takes medication for cholesterol and is somewhat overweight. Most likely, he wouldn’t qualify for Preferred rates. Well, if he were to qualify for the Standard Plus Non-tobacco classification, then the carrier with the lowest premium is Columbus Life (an A+ rated company). The premium is $2360 annually.
Zander doesn’t represent Columbus Life, so the lowest-cost carrier they could offer at the Standard Plus Non-tobacco rate would be Savings Bank Life Insurance Co. of MA at $2893.50 annually. That’s $533.50 more per year. Multiply that by 30 years and the savings is huge: $16,005.
Now, if that $533.50 was invested by dollar-cost averaging into mutual funds at a conservative (by Ramsey’s standards) 7% interest, then the difference would be over $52,569 + $16,005 = $68,574.
Having a choice of carriers can really make a big difference. Of course, if the face amount is lower, then the potential savings is lower.
Shopping for the best rate sometimes takes extra work
We always shop for the absolute lowest rate using our three quote engines. However, sometimes when you apply for coverage with the selected carrier, the underwriter makes an unfavorable decision.
Let’s say you find out you have elevated liver enzymes for some reason. Now, the carrier offers Standard or Standard Plus instead of Preferred (as applied for). We don’t settle for the unfavorable offer, but work to get you the best possible offer. Sometimes, this means taking another exam or appealing the decision. Other times, it means shopping your case with other carriers.
We do whatever it takes to get you the best offer. Now, we will assume that the folks at Zander Insurance do the same thing. From what we can tell, they have excellent agents working for them. However, their hands are somewhat tied since they have a limited number of carriers to work with. This would limit their ability to get a more favorable rate.
Dave Ramsey and Zander Insurance – Conclusion
Well, we hope this article was objective and informative. Dave Ramsey does a great job helping people make sound financial decisions. We also think Zander Insurance is a very good agency, but they offer limited carriers.
You deserve the most choice and the ability to save the most money. When it comes to life insurance, if you shop thoroughly, then you can potentially save and invest a lot more money. Convenience is nice…and working with friendly people is great, but the bottom line is getting the best deal.
Finally, if you would like advice or a customized quote for term life or “term for life“, please let us know and we’ll be glad to help.
Complete the quote request form on this page or call us at 678-236-1600 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM EST.