After my oldest was born, her dad and I proudly made sure we ticked every prescribed financial item on the universal to-do list, including life insurance:
- Open a 529 college savings account — CHECK!
- Have six-months cash savings so I could scale back my business to part-time and stay home with her (since he made most of the money at his corporate job, which supplied all of our benefits — CHECK!
- Buy 10x our annual income in a 30-year term life insurance — CHECK x2 (one policy for my husband, one for me)!!!!!
My personal experience with needing life insurance
Eerily, just a few months after buying life insurance, my ex suffered a near-death accident that upturned all of our lives permanently.
I’m here to tell you first-hand: BUY THE EFFING LIFE INSURANCE.
It’s not expensive. A 20-year, $500,000 policy can cost a healthy 35-year-old woman only $21 per month. Even if you get tons of child support or your parents are rich, you need life insurance – just maybe not as much.
We all know we’re supposed to buy life insurance when we have kids, so just making that purchase relieves so much guilt and negative energy. Just buy the life insurance, OK?
This single mom needs life insurance
Even though I rested easy at night knowing my kids would be covered by a cool mil in the event that something happened to me, I recently re-evaluated my insurance at Haven Life, an online life insurance agency which made headlines as being the first of its kind to allow you to buy life insurance entirely online without a medical exam (for qualified, healthy applicants.)
Thanks to their very easy-to-use online calculator, I realized that my earlier, blind assumption that I needed 30 years of coverage because it was the most I could get was simply wrong. I really only need a 15-year term length now. Why?
At the time my kids were 6 and 8. In 15 years they will be on track to have completed college. Plus, by then I expect to have paid off an apartment that should be worth more than $1 million, and a sizable investment portfolio, also worth about 7-figures — both of which I plan to leave to my kids.
Why the heck do my then-adult kids need MORE money? Gifting people tons of un-earned cash is not in my value system — as a parent or human. I believe in hard work, hard knocks, figuring it out yourself and the pride that comes with that. Even covering my kids after age 18 is a stretch to my maternal values, and I plan to make them pay for a large portion of their college educations.
So, I reevaluated my life insurance, and a 15-year Haven Term term policy costs me $35 per month. My old 30-year policy with my previous carrier was $635 per year, or $52.92 per month.
I canceled my old policy, and applied with Haven Life.
By knocking off 15 years from my life insurance coverage to only have what I really need, and reducing my monthly premiums, I will save $7,670 in premiums. The whole process took about 20 minutes. Plus, my insurance is now in-line with my values.
Is Haven Life a good insurer? My Haven Life Review
Haven Life may not (yet) be a household name in the life insurance sector, but its parent company MassMutual certainly is, as it is one of the largest and oldest insurers in the country.
A.M. Best, a global agency that rates financial services, gives Haven Life an A++ / superior rating.
Haven Life is designed for younger buyers who want fast, easy service. Unlike other insurers that rely on traditional processes of call centers, medical exams and interviews that take 6-8 weeks, Haven Life allows you to apply online and find out immediately if you're approved for coverage — and in many cases to start life insurance coverage immediately.
With Haven Life, you can apply online and find out immediately if you're approved for coverage.
Does Haven Life require a medical exam?
Haven Life has two application options:
1: For qualified, healthy applicants up to age 45 and up to $1,000,000 in coverage, you are not required to take a medical exam — and full coverage can begin immediately. However, issuance of the policy or payment of benefits depends on the answers given in the application and the truthfulness of those answers.
In other words, if you say you are a healthy weight and don't smoke, you can get coverage immediately, online. However, if Haven Life later finds you that you are an overweight chimney, they will require a medical exam and adjust your coverage accordingly.
2: Based on how you fill out the application, Haven Life may ask you to take a medical exam before finalizing their offer. The exam typically takes less than 20 minutes and can be conducted at your home or office (I have taken this same exam to qualify for a completely unrelated disability insurance policy, and it really is easy and quick). About 7-10 days after the exam, Haven Life will extend an offer.
How long does it take to get coverage with Haven Life?
In some cases, for healthy applicants under age 45, you can get coverage within minutes online. Otherwise, it takes a couple of weeks for the medical exam and paperwork to be complete. The company will answer your questions via chat and phone.
How much does Haven Life cost?
I ran some numbers on this calculator, for a 20-year, $500,000 policy for a woman who is:
Age 45, in excellent health, non-smoker: $39.33 per month
Age 45, in average health, non-smoker: $72.71 per month
Age 35, in excellent health, non-smoker: $18.70 per month
Age 35, average health, non-smoker: $39.08 per month
Age 25, excellent health, non-smoker: $16.95 per month
Age 25, average health, non-smoker: $30.77 per month
How much life insurance do you need with Haven Life?
Ah, the universal question! Depending on what your goals are — for example, do you want to be able to pay for all of your kids' college expenses? An expensive funeral? Support your aging parents? — as well as your personal finance situation, your life insurance needs are. Thankfully, Haven Life does have a very good and easy-to-use life insurance calculator to help you quickly figure out this huge question!
Is Haven Life any better than other insurers?
In a lot of ways, all life insurers are more or less the same — and picking one over the other is often just a matter of finding the best price. Haven Life does have a lot going for it: The backing of one of the best-rated and oldest life insurers in the country (MassMutual), a uniquely quick and easy online application, which cuts out on really the biggest hurdle to getting life insurance: the long and annoying application process.
The company is also offering some perks that some users may like, like their blog and insurance information center, which offer info on personal finance topics (which isn't so unusual — that information is found for free all over the web).
Haven Life does offer some cool perks through its Plus program, which is available in most states: Free service to create a trust and will (you probably know you should have both, but if you're like most Americans, do not), as well as 15% off CVS Minute Clinic (I use one in my neighborhood for flu shots and other medical services), as well as free access to the emergency call service LifeLink.
Takeaway: Compare Haven Life rates with other insurers. If you are under age 45 and healthy, you will have many options, and Haven Life's application and onboarding process is as easy as it could be.
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.