Here’s the brutal truth about Select Quote Life Insurance.
While Select Quote is a massive agency and has helped thousands of people buy life insurance, they have some secrets you must know before buying from them.
(A good friend of mine sells life insurance for Select Quote here in San Diego, so I know!)
… and I’ll reveal them to you in this Select Quote review.
So when it comes to their pricing, service, and the pros & cons of SQ, you’re in the right place!
There are some advantages in using an agency like Select Quote. In this article, we’ll cover some of them, as well as what I see as the negatives.
Everything you wanted — The good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s get started.
Advantages of Select Quote
Probably your greatest advantage of dealing with Select Quote is they are an independent agency, meaning they offer coverage from a variety of different life insurance companies.
This is particularly important for someone with a health impairment such as diabetes.
Why is this important?
That’s because some companies are more lenient than others when it comes to certain medical issues, so it’s highly beneficial to share your health history with an agent, like at Select Quote, who can recommend the company that will offer you the best rating.
I know Select Quote is very thorough in the use of their medical questionnaire, so this is a big plus.
Some other benefits to consider in our Select Quote Review is their agents are very knowledgeable and well trained.
They’re a huge agency, licensed in 49 states, and have streamlined the underwriting process as much as possible.
The best part?
From the beginning of your application process to your policy delivery, you can conduct 100 percent of your business with Select Quote by telephone.
This saves time and is convenient not having to go to an agent’s office. So it’s easy to understand why they’re the number one seller of term life insurance online.
Select Quote Pricing Comparison
Select Quote can’t offer a lower premium than any other agency or agent.
So say you’re purchasing a $500,000, 30-year term policy through Banner Life…
The premium purchasing this through Select Quote will be exactly the same as buying it through an agent who just got his license yesterday.
Life insurance premiums just are what they are, so there’s no benefit in working with Select Quote here.
But there’s a catch…
I highly recommend using an independent agent for the reasons discussed above, especially with any special risk factors.
You certainly don’t want to go to an agent who works for State Farm, or some other “captive” agent who must only sell his own company’s products.
My agency can’t offer lower pricing than Select Quote. The difference you’ll get with us is service, and we’ll work harder to be sure you’ve got lowest rate available to you based on your unique personal and health history. Call us to compare quotes at 888-603-2876.
3 Undeniable Problems Working With Select Quote
I only have a few issues with Select Quote.
1) The Agents Have Little Time for You
Select Quote agents have the luxury of working for a company with seemingly unlimited leads, so they can make calls all day long and sell, sell, sell.
[imagine 100 monkeys on the phone in a call center]
The trade-off for this luxury is, on average, Select Quote only pays them about a quarter of the commission that an agent would make who owns his own agency and gets 100 percent of the commission.
Here’s the problem…
Select Quote agents have to sell dozens of policies per month to make a good living, so their agents aren’t able to dedicate the time necessary to each client during the initial call.
My agent friend says he has been trained to always give a quote the first time he speaks to a new prospect.
Why You Should Care
One of the problems with this is sometimes I’ve heard the agents can be “short” or “rude” so they can get to the next call.
Life insurance is a serious matter…
If you’re going to be paying into a policy for 20-30 years, don’t you want to speak to an agent who can spend 30 minutes (or even an hour) with you, if need be, to make sure all your questions are answered?
Simply read a few Select Quote reviews on ComplaintsBoard.com – http://www.complaintsboard.com/ complaints/ selectquote-insurance-c25614.html
See what I mean?
That’s what you have here at Huntley Wealth.
2) “Up-Selling” (They Try to Sell You More Than Just Life Insurance)
The word amongst the agents there is since then, things have gone downhill at SQ.
They say that because SQ is so focused on making money for their investor now, the focus has shifted more on the bottom line and less on the customer.
Select Quote Call Monitoring – Agents Must Upsell Home & Auto
One agent that recently left SQ told me that he was forced to upsell home & auto to anyone who called in for life insurance.
He said he had mentioned the home & auto upsell 3 times during his call or would be at risk of getting his best leads taken away from him for a week if he didn’t.
… so say you call in for a term quote.
The agent says, “I’m happy to help you with that! Can I also interest you in a home & auto insurance quote?”
You decline, saying you’re “only interested in life insurance today.”
My agent friend said at that point, he would have to ask you two more times about home and auto.
… so he gives you a quote and then says, “Now how about that home and auto quote?” (The one you already refused)
Geez – Talk about pushy!
As a result of agent compensation, rude service, and upselling, here’s a recent comment on my site:
I’m not sure if SQ is still upselling home and auto like this, or threatening to take their agents lead volume away from them if they don’t sell it, but it does show you what can happen when a company is beholden to investors and “the bottom line.”
And if an SQ employee would like to comment below, I’ll be happy to remove that critique from my Select Quote review.
Casualties of Underpaid Agents
Besides the occasional report of rude agents (because they’re hustling to their next call), there’s another casualty of hurried agents.
… lack of service.
The problem here is that many people have medical problems, or a combination of problems that require calling around to different underwriters and checking on the rating before you should quote the prospect.
And that takes a lot of calls and emails sometimes… (aka – good service)
Here’s the deal:
Since Select Quote agents are trained to sell as many policies they can as quickly as they can, the unfortunate truth here is that sometimes the client is disserviced in this process.
It makes me feel like Select Quote agents don’t always have the very best in mind for their client, but just want to sell them any policy that they can talk the client into.
Here’s a life insurance FAQ – “Should you buy a policy that requires a medical exam or not?”
Let’s say you’re 43 years old and you call SQ for a 20-year term policy. If you’re in excellent health, the agent can quote you the absolute lowest rating anywhere, which would be a policy that requires an exam, and may take 4 to 6 weeks to get approved.
The insurance company also pulls medical records. All these things equal, that’s extra work for the Select Quote agent.
… Keep in mind they have a sales quota of 5 policies sold per week.
And that’s why I’ve heard that their agents try to push no exam policies.
They get approved more quickly, and with less trouble, but frequently it costs the client an additional 20%-40% in premium.
3) Select Quote Uses Fewer Life Insurance Companies
Another disadvantage that I see with Select Quote is that they tend to use a much smaller number of insurers than you would find at an independent agency such here at Huntley Wealth.
Overall, this company only has access to 11 life insurance companies including:
- Banner Life
- American General
- Pruco Life
- United of Omaha
- Globe Life
- William Penn
- Voya Financial
Now, all of these companies are highly regarded and have stellar reputations in the life insurance profession. Some of them are even rated in the top 10 best.
The only difficulty is that this is just a small sampling of the several hundred companies available.
If you are healthy, then you are likely going to get very competitive rates. However, if you have a health issue then you are going to be more restricted in what is available and may either be declined or get rated a premium which is perhaps more expensive than you can afford.
Independent agents, on the other hand, generally have access to dozens of life insurers. Here, at Huntley Wealth, we have access to over 70 companies.
Why is this important?
Representing more companies allows us to find those insurers who are more liberal, especially when it comes to certain health issues.
Not only can we help you find a policy, but we are also more likely to find a company which has lower rates.
Complaints About Select Quote Service
The other issue I have with them is related to their sales techniques, and that is poor service. When you buy a policy through Select Quote, the person you will probably know and remember the best was the agent who sold your policy to you.
However, the unfortunate truth is after your policy goes in force, you will almost certainly never speak to that person again.
They simply don’t have time to call to “check up” on you or conduct routine service checks like I do with my annual reviews. Follow up is so important though.
Let’s say you’ve changed addresses, or changed banks and need to switch the account your payment comes from, or you’ve had another child, and need to add him as a beneficiary.
Also, keep in mind that your life insurance needs can change over time. You may have added onto your family, and no longer have sufficient coverage and need to buy more insurance.
You may need additional life insurance when your child goes to college and you have to co-sign for their student loan – realistically, you should have this covered by an appropriate policy in case something were to happen.
Other areas where we can provide assistance include those situations where your family matures or you have paid off your mortgage and don’t need as much life insurance as you previously needed, so you may be over insured.
Many people these days are becoming self-employed and are starting their own companies. Folks like these people will need some form of business life insurance, or you may need a policy quickly to insure a business loan or SNL loan.
You want an agent that is available and can quickly provide all the services you need when you need them. This is not the type of service you are likely to find through a Call Center life Select Quote.
That’s why we like to emphasize the personalized service we provide for all our clients because we like to keep in touch and be there to help you out with all your special needs.
It’s little things like this that don’t get done unless you conduct annual reviews.
*Update as of 5/23/17 – Since I’ve first published this article in 2011, you can see I’ve received multiple comments below, mostly from people who agree with me about their service being a problem.
What Is Their Rating?
Many insurance companies are rated by financial rating companies such as S&P, Fitch, or A.M. Best.
However, Select Quote is not an insurance carrier.
… They are an independent agency, like us.
In other words, if you get a policy through them, the actual insurer will be some other company such as VOYA or Met Life. Since that’s the actual company that will be cutting the check upon the death of the insured, that’s the company you will want to check for their financial rating.
Is Select Quote a Scam?
They are legit and help a lot of people.
Some of the complaints I’ve seen about them being a scam are just plain ridiculous. Here’s one comment from my site:
Note: every life insurance agent has to collect banking info and social security number. This is how you pay your premiums. And the SSN identifies you as being who you say you are, and helps insurance carriers collect medical records on you.
Should You Get Life Insurance with Select Quote?
I really do like what they do over at Select Quote for the most part. In no way do I feel that Select Quote is a scam, as some websites claim.
A lot of the complaints I have about them are issues that a lot of huge online life insurance agencies deal with — for example, I wrote a similar review about Intelliquote complaints recently, who in many cases, are in the same boat as SQ, since they are just so big.
However, I do feel if you use an independent agent like me who has been in business for a while, that’s the absolute best way to go, since you get all the benefits of working with an agent who can take your case to any carrier, but you also will get an agent who can take his time with you up front during the sales portion, and will then be able to offer you service after the sale.*While we make every effort to keep our site updated, please be aware that "timely" information on this page, such as quote estimates, or pertinent details about companies, may only be accurate as of its last edit day. Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.