In the age of the internet, there have been a number of new life insurance companies entering the online life insurance market. Companies like Policygenius and its competitors, like Ethos Life, are attempting to disrupt the way insurance is transacted, but are they making an impact?
Our Policygenius review will cover the important questions that we frequently receive about Policygenius such as:
Policygenius was co-founded by Jennifer Fitzgerald and Francois de Lame. Fitzgerald and Francois de Lame originally worked as consultants in the insurance industry. As consultants, they realized that the insurance industry had a huge problem.
All of the insurance companies struggled with engaging online consumers. Thus Policygenuius opened for business in July of 2014 as a solution to an increasingly growing problem.
Policygenius raised first-round venture capital funding of $5.3 million, followed by $15 million Series B funding and $30 million in Series C funding. Policygenius put that capital in building a state-of-the-art website focused on customer experience.
The original thought was to create a direct-to-consumer experience that eliminated the “middle man” from the transaction of life insurance. However, Policygenius’s business model has evolved over time.
Today you can purchase life, long-term disability, homeowners/renters, auto, health and even pet insurance from policy genius.
How does Policygenius work?
Policygenius has come a long way since its inception. When Policygenius launched, it was going to disrupt the life insurance industry with a unique customer experience. However, in our opinion, we do not feel any company has a true revolutionary the life insurance customer service experience.
If you visit Policygenius’s website to compare insurance quotes, you will need to first provide some necessary information about yourself relevant to that insurance line. Regardless of what line of insurance you want, you will need to provide your contact information.
One of the risks of shopping for insurance without an agent is suitability. For example, we often see people underinsured in auto insurance. People may purchase the state required minimums only, which could leave them exposed financially if they get into an accident.
Insurance benefits for health insurance and disability insurance can vary considerably from contract to contract, which can make it difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison based on price alone. Therefore, we suggest speaking with an insurance professional before you make your insurance purchase.
Purchasing Life Insurance through Policygenius
One line of insurance that we have seen some success in automating the process is life insurance. Some of Policygenius’s competitors, like Haven Life, offer an application path without ever having to talk to an agent. Policygenius may have such a path at one point as well.
We suspect that Policygenius discovered what we have known for years. Life insurance can be complicated, and the consumer has a better customer experience when they are guided by a human agent.
We are constantly fielding calls from people who applied direct and quickly regretted that decision when their policy was either declined or increased in cost. Therefore, we applaud Policygenius for putting adding human quality control to the application process.
For a life insurance quote, Policygenius is going to ask things like:
Next, you will need to provide some information about your health, such as your build, if you use tobacco, and if you have specific medical or lifestyle impairments. If you do not have any impairments, this section will go quickly. If you do, you’ll need to give more details.
Once you complete the first two steps, Policygenius will recommend a death benefit amount and policy term length. In our experience, most people tend to know what they want before they request a quote so you can adjust the quote if needed.
Once you have settled on a death benefit and term length, now it is time to pick the life insurance company. Policygenius will display quotes of some of the best life insurance companies in the United States.
If you want to purchase your life insurance without the hassle of a medical exam, Policygenius might not be the best option for you since they don’t work with a lot of the best no-exam life insurance companies.
Once you have finalized the life insurance company that you want to work with, you need to apply. However, Policygenius will not let you apply without first consulting with an agent. They will ask for your name and contact information to confirm your details.
So how is Policygenius different from other insurance sites?
In our opinion, Policy genius is not much different than every other true insurance website out there. For example, our agency brokers the same companies that Policygenius brokers, plus companies like Sagicor Life that they don’t.
The truth is that in order to transact life insurance or most insurance policies for that matter, you need an agent to review the suitability. This can happen during the application process or behind the scenes, but I can assure you that it is happening.
That said, we can attest that Policygenius is an actual insurance brokerage like us. There are a lot of “insurance sites” out there that resell your information to multiple agents.
Getting bombarded with dozens of phone calls is not a great customer experience. However, if you give your information to Policygenius, you will be contacted by a Policygenius representative.
Finally, Policygenius does have a good looking site. It is easy to navigate and visually pleasing, which stays true to their mission of providing a top customer experience. That said, we feel that their price comparison service can be incomplete at times.
For example, I went to compare my auto insurance rates through Policygenius, and I received a message that due to high demand, Policygenius has a waitlist. I was then invited to get quotes from Coverage Hound (a broker) and 4 other auto insurance companies directly.
I chose the Coverage Hound option. After all, the whole point of Policygenius is to get a streamlined online experience and not have to go to 4 different companies for quotes.
Coverage Hound was OK, but it was lacking some big players in my local market. State Farm (my current provider) was not displayed as an option. There were some other notable auto insurance companies in my state that were omitted as well, such as Farmers Insurance.
Is Policygenius licensed?
You bet they are! Every insurance professional that brokers insurance needs to to be licensed in the state or territory. Policygenius licenses are on their website. They are licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Is it cheaper to buy insurance through Policygenius?
Spoiler alert, nope! It is not cheaper to buy life insurance through Policygenius instead of through another licensed life insurance agent.
Life insurance rates are regulated by state departments of insurance. Whether Policygenius quotes your a preferred rate with AIG life insurance or we do, it will be the same price. It all boils down to who you want to work with.
However, the underwriting skill of your broker or the selection of life insurance companies that they offer can save you big money. Policygenius offers approximately 10 top-rated life insurance companies. In comparison, our brokerage offers over 25 life insurance companies.
Every company that we work with has a specific niche and purpose. This allows us to offer our clients greater options when it comes to final expense insurance, life insurance with living benefits, and no-exam underwriting.
It is not to say that Policygenius’s current lineup is not stacked with excellent life insurance companies. The companies that Policygenius does offer are excellent options, but there may be better options out there in certain unique situations.
How does Policygenius make money?
Simply put, Policygenius receives a commission when you buy an insurance policy an insurance broker. Insurance commissions are built-in to the rates of your insurance policy and paid directly to your broker by the insurance company for the broker’s services.
Some people may be concerned about potential conflicts of interest that arise from a commission compensation structure. However, Policygenius states that they do not give preference to any one insurer over another because of the commission paid.
While we have no inside information on Policygenius’s company recommendations, we would be surprised if they were pushing people towards a specific life insurance company unless it was a top selection.
As a life insurance broker, we work with insurance companies, not for them. Each life insurance company will have slightly different opinions on underwriting and health. That is why we carry so many options, to find you the best deal.
Policygenius only works with insurance companies that are reputable and have sound financial ratings. Many of these companies have been around for decades, some over 100 years!
Once the basics are covered, Policygenius focuses on customer service and ease of doing business with them. Policygenius’s life insurance lineup is online friendly.
Policygenius works with companies that:
Who owns Policygenius?
Policygenius is not affiliated with any one insurance company. This business model is known as an independent agent or independent broker. There are other types of insurance agents known as career agents or “captive agents” since they can only work with one company.
Even though Policygenius is independent of life insurance companies, everyone has a boss. Policygenius has secured funding from investors and venture capital firms. Currently, Policygenius’s Board of Directors consists of representatives from Revolution, Norwest Venture Partners, One South Advisors LLC, and Fika Ventures
Final Thoughts: Is Policygenius Legit?
Thank you for checking out our Policygenius review. Policygenius is a legit online insurance broker who offers multiple insurance products ranging from life insurance to pet insurance.
Policygenius is a good solution for someone familiar with the coverage levels that they need and who wants to purchase their insurance online. If you would consider your self a “do it yourself” type of person, you will likely be satisfied with Policygenius customer experience.
However, if you are new to insurance or have complicated insurance needs, we’d suggest working with an insurance specialist in whatever line of coverage you need. You don’t want to discover you have coverage gaps when you are filing a claim for the first time.
As far as Policygenius disrupting the insurance industry, we don’t see the disruption. Their website is excellent, but being able to compare quotes from multiple carriers is nothing new.
Some may even be disappointed since insurance carrier selection is limited. By not having certain insurance companies on the platform to compare, you may be missing out on low rates elsewhere.
Finally, comparing quotes is worthless if you cannot qualify for them. Until you have an offer from the insurance company, rates can change. Working with a knowledgeable broker who is good at field underwriting is where you save the most money.
FILED UNDER – LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY REVIEWS
Joe is a lifelong learner with a passion for sharing what he has learned with others. Joe has publicly spoken on life insurance in the past to both colleagues at industry conferences and to consumers in educational settings and as a contributor to industry blogs. Additionally, Joe is studying for certifications such as the CFP, CLU, and RICP to further his professional knowledge.