There may or may not be a heaven for a gangsta like myself, but there is life insurance. I searched for a policy after coming across GoFundMe posts from families of youngish men who recently passed away, mostly from accidents and dangerous behaviors that we guys tend to be drawn to. Death, like birth, is expensive and their families needed money for a burial and to care for the youngins left behind.
My goal was to find a low-cost term life insurance policy with no medical exam. Not only had I heard that phrase on commercials starring elderly character actors, but I did my research and found term life insurance made more sense for me than whole life insurance. (The latter has higher premiums and is an investment that builds over time; I’d be better off investing that money elsewhere. Term is a lot cheaper, has no cash value, and only pays out if you die during the term.)
As for the medical exam, it just seemed like a hassle. I had actually applied last year for a life insurance policy weeks before boarding what I thought would be a rickety and turbulent flight to Cuba, but my policy was left pending because I never completed the exam. This despite tens of reminder calls from the agent who required that a doctor verify my claim of being “as fit and svelte as a jaguar” was true.
This time around my search started with Ladder, a startup that allows one to quickly buy insurance online without the dreaded medical exam. But one problem, Ladder only works with California residents, and I’ve left The Golden State for the greener, more financially viable pastures of Ohio.
Google then led me to Haven Life, a subsidiary of Mass Mutual that offers “coverage that’s easy, affordable and online.” I completed the application, which took about 20 minutes because they ask an obscene number of questions like, “In the past three years, have you participated in or planned to participate in helicopter skiing, rock climbing…?” Bruh, I’m black.
After finishing the application I received an email saying a policy decision would be complete in one day. I guess the results of its algorithm results needed human follow-up. My approval email came the next day. A 20-year, $200,000 term life policy was available for $14.77, a fair price for a 37-year-old nonsmoker.
I signed the necessary documents, including an HIV testing consent form, which gave me pause. Like Chris Rock, I had taken the test years ago and “passed with a 65!” I called and emailed Haven Life and had a response within minutes. It turned out the consent form was just part of the general application; I had, in fact, qualified for instant term coverage.
And now I have low-cost term life insurance, and the odd security of being worth more dead than alive.