Online life insurance company Bestow offers competitive pricing, for 2 to 20 years at a time. Here's how it works and what to expect.

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  • Bestow is an online life insurance company that provides term life insurance plans covering people for two, 10, or 20 years.
  • Bestow's two-year policy stands out as one of the brand's unique offerings. Usually life insurance policies last for a decade or more, but the two-year policies (starting at $3 a month for coverage up to $500,000) aren't available elsewhere.
  • These two-year plans are a good fit for people who are in transitional phases, like a student, a stay-at-home parent who plans to return to work, someone switching jobs, or just someone who isn't sure of their life insurance needs for the long term but doesn't want to go without coverage while they decide.
  • Because Bestow is an online company, it's a simple sign-up process for extremely affordable life insurance.
  • However, Bestow does not offer more than $1 million in life insurance coverage, and not everyone will qualify for coverage. Bestow only insures people ages 21 to 55.
  • Learn more about Bestow to get life insurance in minutes »

If you have dependents - others who rely on your income, whether that's children, a spouse, or aging parents - you probably need life insurance. The good news is that with the rise of online life insurance companies, it's not nearly as hard as it sounds to get hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars in life insurance to protect your family should you die unexpectedly.

Bestow is one of those companies.

What is Bestow?

Bestow is an online life insurance company whose mission is "helping people protect their people." Technically, it's an insurance agent, meaning it's the link between customers and the insurance carrier North American Company for Life and Health Insurance.

Bestow offers term life insurance plans that are valid for a specific period of time. Term life insurance, as opposed to whole or permanent life insurance, is the type generally recommended by experts for people in most financial situations. Term life covers the policyholder for only the pre-determined period of time, and then expires after, say, 30 years, when the policyholder might no longer have dependents. Because the value expires, term life insurance is much cheaper than whole life insurance, and the rate and payout are fixed: You'll pay the same amount every month throughout the entire policy, and your death benefit won't change over time.

It's standard when getting life insurance to undergo a medical check-up, but with Bestow (like with some other online life insurance companies), there are no medical visits required. Instead, the company asks you about your health and lifestyle and uses predictive models to get information about your health and wellness. It also provides customer support, advice from licensed life insurance agents, and the ability to cancel your plan at any time.

Who needs life insurance?

Let's face it: Life insurance isn't exactly something people love to talk about, but it's an important part of a comprehensive financial plan. Life insurance provides a lump sum of money to your chosen beneficiaries (in most cases, your spouse or children) upon your death. This money can cover the cost of the funeral, help cover loss of your income, or pay any of your outstanding debts.

Anyone who has dependents - others relying on their income, whether that's children, a non-working spouse, or aging parents - probably needs life insurance.

How much does Bestow life insurance cost?

Bestow offers two types of life insurance plans: 10 and 20-year plans, and more unusual two-year plans (more on those below). The cost of these plans will vary by person based not only on how long they last, but also factors like your age, smoking status, and weight. Note that Bestow offers 20-year terms to people ages 21 to 45, and 10-year or two-year terms to people ages 21 to 55.

Both plans allow you to cancel any time, without paying any fees. You can apply for a plan in a matter of minutes and get approved quickly.

10 and 20-year plans start at $8 per month

Its 10 and 20-year term life insurance plans start at $8 per month for up to $1 million in coverage.

Under the 10 and 20-year terms, you can get affordable coverage for your family and protect your financial life for the long term. You'll pay the least amount per month if you're young and healthy. The price can go up with an increase in age and any medical issues.

This is a good plan if:

  • You have a family and are the breadwinner
  • You have dependents - other people relying on your income to live
  • You have large debt where a loss of income would be catastrophic
  • You're young and healthy, and want to lock in a low rate for the long term
  • You want up to $1 million in coverage

2 years of coverage starts at $3 per month

The two-year life insurance plan starts at $3 per month for coverage up to $500,000. According to Bestow, this plan is the easiest to get approved for and has the fastest application. It is designed for people in transition or people who'd like to be covered for a longer period of time but are not sure they qualify.

This is a good plan if:

  • You're in school or navigating a job transition
  • You're a freelancer or stay-at-home parent who might be in a different situation relatively soon
  • You're unsure about making a long-term financial commitment to life insurance
  • You want to buy yourself more time while you think about what you really need before you commit to longer-term coverage
  • You need no more than $500,000 in coverage

Why use Bestow?

Life insurance is a serious decision, and there plenty of companies that can help you get it. Here are the primary pros and cons for using Bestow for your life insurance needs:

Pros:

  • Bestow's main standout feature is the two-year term offering, an option you don't see with other insurance agents
  • Since Bestow only offers term life insurance, the monthly premium is low, making life insurance very affordable (although rates will vary by person)
  • There are no medical visits required, so this may be a good option for those who are doctor-averse
  • It's easy to apply online without a phone call or meetings
Cons:
  • Not everyone will qualify for life insurance - although this isn't unique to Bestow. If you can't qualify for coverage through Bestow, it recommends comparing more coverage options through insurance comparison site Policygenius.
  • Compared to other online life insurance companies, Bestow has a lower maximum coverage amount of $1 million. For example, with Haven Life, you can get coverage for up to $3 million. With Fabric, you can get coverage up to $5 million.

How to apply for life insurance with Bestow

If you think Bestow is the right life insurance for you, you can apply online quickly. Here's how it works:

1. Start with some basic information to get a quote

You'll input your gender, birth date, height, weight, and state you live in, as well as whether you currently use any nicotine products.

bestow 1Bestow

2. Get a quote for your monthly premium

I input my information as an example. I'm mid-30s and height and weight proportional. I don't smoke, and my prospective rate is $22.50 a month for a $500,000 policy with a 20-year term.

bestow 2Bestow

3. Create an account with an email and password

This is exactly as easy as you'd expect.

4. Answer 7 questions about your health

After that, you'll answer a quick seven-question survey about your health. The questions are about rapid weight loss, HIV status, disability payments, and depression, to determine whether there are any health conditions that affect you now and could affect you in the long term.

5. Answer 10 questions about your lifestyle

Then you'll answer a 10-question lifestyle survey. You'll be asked if you're a US citizen, where you were born, if you're traveling more than 30 days to another country, your employment type and income, and info about your driver's license.

6. Provide your Social Security number and sign

After that, you'll be asked to provide your Social Security Number and digital signature. You'll be able to review your application before submitting. After, you'll verify your ID. Then, there's the underwriting process for approval. Here's what my final offer looked like:

bestow 3Bestow

The final number was about $17 a month more than my initial quote, once I filled out the in-depth survey. Your physical and mental health history may affect your final rate.

Overall, Bestow can be a good option for those who want to navigate a life transition with a short-term two-year plan or for those who prioritize convenience and no doctor visits. Just make sure that the maximum coverage works for your needs, and consider getting quotes from other insurers to find the most affordable coverage for you.

Learn more about Bestow »

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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