Life insurance is an essential part of any financial plan, but with so many options, it can be difficult to find the right policy.
Ethos was created in 2016 as a way to avoid the traditional, time-consuming life insurance process by providing easy online access to help customers find the best life insurance policy.
In this review:
How Does Ethos Life Insurance Work?
Ethos is a third-party administrator that sells life insurance policies from providers such as Legal & General America, Ameritas Life Insurance Corp, AAA Life, TruStage, and Principal.
Its primary focus is to provide easier access to highly rated life insurance companies through a streamlined online application process.
Ethos gives you access to policies underwritten by these larger companies without having to meet with an agent.
All life insurance companies that offer policies through Ethos have high ratings and include some of the industry’s largest businesses.
According to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the companies offered through Ethos Life Insurance have drawn few complaints.
Life Insurance Products
Ethos Life Insurance provides you a simple choice between two types of life insurance: term and whole.
Ethos Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is available to customers between the ages of 20 and 65 in every state except New York.
Ethos issues these policies through Ameritas Life Insurance and Banner Life Insurance for terms of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years.
Its flexible coverage can offer between $50,000 to $1.5 million in protection as a cash payment to your beneficiaries.
This type of life insurance is more affordable than whole life insurance and convenient if you only need coverage over a certain period.
For example, you may want to safeguard against lost income until you pay off your mortgage or your children finish college.
The application process is also faster and more straightforward than applying for whole life insurance.
When applying for term life insurance, you can choose between a simplified issue or a fully underwritten policy.
The simplified issue option uses third-party data and your application information to make an underwriting decision instantly.
Ethos Life Insurance suggests this option if you are unsure if you would qualify for an underwritten policy or if you want to avoid medical exams.
A fully underwritten term policy with Legal & General America requires a full application and a medical exam from some applicants if Ethos needs more information about their health.
This choice is better if you have good health to qualify for a higher death benefit and time to wait for the longer application process.
Ethos Whole Life Insurance
Ethos Life Insurance sells guaranteed issue whole life insurance from AAA Life to customers between the ages of 65 and 85.
Anyone in this age range will be automatically approved for this policy regardless of their medical history.
Coverage begins immediately after purchasing the policy. There’s no need for medical tests, and it can provide $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, or $25,000 in coverage for the rest of your life.
Whole life insurance is a better choice if you have a more complex financial situation. Or if you want the security of lifelong coverage without worrying about terms ending.
This option can cost five to 15 times more than term policies with the same coverage. But you can use it as a vehicle for investment.
Your more expensive premiums will never go up in rate and will build cash value over time.
You can access this cash by taking a policy loan against the cash value to use it for emergencies or supplement your retirement income.
However, it should be noted that any outstanding cash value loans are taken out of the guaranteed death benefit that goes to your beneficiaries.
Additionally, you will have benefits such as graded death benefit and double death benefit.
The graded death benefit clause instantly gives your beneficiaries the full amount of coverage if you suffer an accidental death while covered.
For non-accidental deaths, you receive an amount equal to your premiums paid plus an extra 30% in the first two policy years.
Your double death benefit ensures that you will receive the full benefit amount starting in the third policy year.
Ethos will subtract any outstanding loans, premiums, or debt. The beneficiaries also receive a death benefit equal to 200% of the policy if you die in a covered travel-related accident.
Ethos Life Insurance Riders
The only life insurance rider that Ethos Life Insurance offers is an accelerated death benefit, but it is included with every policy.
If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, this lets you access part of the policy’s proceeds to help pay medical bills or for any other reason.
However, your guaranteed policy proceeds will be reduced at the time of your death.
Eligibility and Application Process
Ethos determines your eligibility with predictive modeling technology that analyzes personal and medical information.
Most of its applicants qualify for coverage without the need for a medical exam.
The application process itself is fast and easy. You will complete it entirely online by choosing a policy you are interested in and answering several questions.
The questions will be regarding your beneficiary, physical condition, employment, and other details about your health and lifestyle that life insurance providers typically require.
Then, you provide payment information and wait between seven to 10 days for the underwriting process before deciding if you want to accept your new policy.
You can purchase your life insurance without talking to any agents, but Ethos does offer live customer support if you have any questions or problems.
Pros & Cons of Ethos Life Insurance
Like any other life insurance company, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of using Ethos.
Here’s a list of pros and cons to help you determine if Ethos Life Insurance is right for you.
A quick, convenient, and completely online application process is the biggest reason to purchase life insurance through Ethos.
You can complete your life insurance application from the comfort of your own home within 10 minutes. All you have to do is answer questions about your personal and health details.
The company makes this process even easier by forgoing the usual medical exam required by other life insurance providers.
It is not guaranteed that you will be able to apply without any tests. Still, most applicants provide sufficient medical data to qualify by answering health and lifestyle questions. And by allowing access to their family medical history.
Ethos speeds up your application’s underwriting process by using custom analytics to make case-by-case decisions.
Its agents determine the best policy for you by automatically analyzing information about your finances, vehicle records, and more to compare it against a wide range of products.
The policies themselves are reliable because financially stable and highly-rated life insurance companies underwrite them.
Ethos Life Insurance works with these companies to provide easy access to their proven life insurance products.
The most apparent downside to Ethos Life Insurance is that it does not offer coverage in New York.
As with any other life insurance company, you may also be denied term coverage. Even when Ethos boasts about most of its applicants not needing a medical exam to apply.
The policies themselves might also be too basic for those who want more value from their coverage.
The only rider offered for term policies is an accelerated death benefit. Despite this, Ethos’ starting rates for term life insurance appear to be slightly higher than competing life insurance providers. Especially for older applicants.
The online application is fast and easy, but some customers may be displeased about requiring credit card information upfront.
Giving an approved payment method speeds up the underwriting process. But applicants who are not ready to commit to purchasing Ethos Life Insurance as their final decision might be wary.