Where to buy life insurance?
February 10, 2018 10:16 AM   Subscribe

I'm a healthy 34 year old male Ph.D. student who wants to buy life insurance.

I'll graduate and hopefully get a job in 2-3 years, so I only need life insurance for that time. Where should I look for this stuff? Most of the websites online have longer term insurance or are catered to old people. Help!
posted by MisantropicPainforest to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The primary purpose of life insurance is to replace your income in the event of your death. Most life insurance policies are geared toward midlife people for just this reason. With that in mind, life insurance is actually more important when you are employed and earning an income, so I'm not sure why you think you wouldn't need it any more once you are done with your degree and have a job. Some employers do provide group life insurance as a benefit, so if you purchase a policy now and wind up being able to get cheaper coverage through your employer you can just drop the plan by ceasing to pay the premium. A lot of employer-sponsored plans aren't nearly robust enough, btw. Your life insurance should ideally be 5-10x your annual salary to ensure that your death would not entail any financial hardship for your spouse/dependents.
posted by drlith at 10:47 AM on February 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

Just to be that guy: You've checked with your university, especially if you're classed as an employee there, with APSA, and with any union you might be in?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:51 AM on February 10, 2018

Term4Sale will show you quick and super straightforward pricing without any tricks or obligation and can, if you choose, get you connected with independent brokers so you can purchase the insurance.

That said, I agreed with drlith and you definitely get more information here or elsewhere about what you're looking to accomplish. If you have no dependents, you may not need insurance, and if you have them, you will likely want insurance for many many years longer. I'm hard pressed to think of a reason for only needing life insurance for a few years while in school (are you worried about relatives getting stuck paying off loans?), but perhaps you could talk through your needs with a broker and they can help you out.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:53 AM on February 10, 2018

(Also, in regards to the length of the term, you can always cancel a normal term life insurance plan whenever you desire. You won't be stuck with payments if you sign up for a 10 year plan and then don't need it in 3.)
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:57 AM on February 10, 2018

My credit union is always sending me "Do you want this free life insurance? Fill out this form! Pay if you want more coverage!" - so maybe talk to your credit union.
posted by aniola at 11:14 AM on February 10, 2018

If you are a member of a professional organization (ACS, IEEE, etc) look there first - if not, think about joining the professional org related to your PhD. The fees to join (especially as a student) are typically small compared to the group insurance benefits.

Most people I know supplement the plans they get from there employers w/ prof. organization plans...
posted by NoDef at 1:14 PM on February 10, 2018

I don't follow why you want life insurance now but not when you are working, as the first comment says. That aside, my bit of advice is to make sure you only look at "term" life insurance. This is the most basic form of life insurance - you pay a fee every year (a premium) and if you die during the "term," then your survivors get a pile of money. There are much more complicated financial products sold as "life insurance" - such as "whole life" or "variable annuities" - that often charge high fees without much benefit as compared to other investments. If you deal with any kind of salesperson, they will usually try to push the more complicated products because they are higher fee/higher commission.
posted by Mid at 2:01 PM on February 10, 2018

If you have an income and that income is essential to other people (e.g. you earn a salary as an RA while in grad school, and you have children), this might make sense. If both those things are true, it does make sense to buy term life insurance sooner rather than later, so this may be a good move. That's because term life gets more expensive the older you get. Don't buy anything except term, by the way.

It almost certainly doesn't make sense, however, to have life insurance that you intend to cancel once you get a job, unless you're planning to take a job that offers excellent, portable life insurance — this is rare — or for some reason you will no longer have dependents in 3 years.

Basically, I think you're confused about what life insurance is good for.
posted by caek at 2:11 PM on February 10, 2018 [4 favorites]

I think OP should clarify the problem he's trying to solve.
posted by uberchet at 2:15 PM on February 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

is it possible you want health insurance, not life insurance?
posted by katieanne at 5:06 PM on February 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

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