Online Term Life Insurance Quotes

    Any quote you receive online for term life insurance is merely an estimate.  It may not even be a particularly good estimate, depending on how many questions you answered.  And no online quote sites vet the potential applicant as well as the actual life insurance application process.
    Remember, when you buy term life insurance the insurance company is essentially placing a bet that you will not die within the length of the term.  So when you complete an actual application, that insurance company goes to great lengths to understand exactly what kind of risk they're taking.  In most cases you will need to get a medical exam.  Issues may pop up during this step that can change your rate.
    Even if nothing pops up during the medical exam, any potential health issues will be delved into in much greater detail than they were with your online quote estimate.  For any chronic health issues you will go into detail on what medications you're taking, how much medication, how bad the issue is, did you miss any work because of that issue, and so on.


    Risky activities such as scuba diving will be looked at more detail. What kind of training do you have, how deep do you dive, details like this will be relevant.  Use tobacco?  How much and in what form matters to various insurance carriers.  Plan to travel outside the US?  The insurance company is going to need to know where and in some cases for what reason.  Again, the answers to those questions can have a major impact in your final rate.
    Sites that offer online quotes do not go into nearly this level of detail in their quote forms. So, what are they basing their quote upon?  Basically, they will take the information you've given, and fill in the missing information that is important to insurance carriers with defaults.
    The problem with this is that you may differ from their chosen defaults in a way that matters a lot to the insurance carrier that will issue you the policy.  If this is the case you will find that your final rates are going to be much different than the initial estimate.
    For these reasons, you must take any dollar figure you're given before you speak with a licensed insurance agent with an enormous grain of salt.  A licensed insurance agent (which I am not) is trained to ask the follow-up questions that are important to the insurance carriers, and to give you a much better idea of what your final rate will be. 
    When you try to comparison shop without speaking to an agent, in many cases you are just testing how each company fills in the blanks on their online quote forms.  You aren't actually learning much about what your final rates will be.