Here’s the brutal truth about SelectQuote Life Insurance:
While this massive agency has helped millions of people buy life insurance, it has some problems you should know about before buying a policy.
(A good friend of mine sells life insurance policies for SelectQuote here in San Diego, so I know!)
We’ll discuss these problems in this SelectQuote review. And, we’ll cover the agency’s advantages, too.
Everything you wanted: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s get started.
Advantages of SelectQuote
Here is your greatest advantage when you work with SelectQuote: It’s an independent agency, meaning SelectQuote offers coverage from a variety of different life insurance companies and not just one or two companies.
This is important for someone with a health impairment such as diabetes.
Why is this so important? Because some life insurance companies look more favorably on applicants with certain medical conditions than other companies do.
When you apply through an independent agency, you have a better chance of finding quality insurance coverage you can afford.
Your SelectQuote agent can help match you with a company well suited for your needs, saving you a ton of time and hassle compared to applying with 10 or 12 different insurance companies separately.
I know Select Quote’s medical questionnaire is thorough which makes the application process more nuanced and less standardized. This is a big plus.
Other SelectQuote advantages include:
I know for a fact SelectQuote’s sales agents get good training before they start working with clients. SelectQuote Insurance Services tries to make sure you’re dealing with a knowledgeable agent and not someone who’s learning the ropes along with you.
SelectQuote is licensed to sell life insurance in 49 states (everywhere but South Dakota). This agency has also streamlined its underwriting process as much as possible, though it still skews toward over-the-phone access and not true online access like PolicyGenius or Haven Life.
From the beginning of your application process to your policy’s delivery, you can conduct 100 percent of your business with Select Quote by telephone.
This saves time and it’s super convenient compared to visiting an insurance agent’s office. So it’s easy to understand why SelectQuote is still one of the top sellers of term life insurance online.
Select Quote Pricing Comparison
Let’s be clear about this upfront: SelectQuote can’t offer a lower premium than any other agency or agent. This means you won’t necessarily save money just because you’re working with SelectQuote.
For example, let’s say you’re buying a 30-year term policy through Banner Life with a face value of $500,000.
The premium you’ll pay after buying this policy through SelectQuote will be exactly the same as if you’d bought the same policy from an independent agent in your neighborhood.
Life insurance premiums are what they are. They’re based on the carrier’s underwriting process which considers your health, age, gender, occupation, and hobbies. These factors won’t change; they’re part of who you are. So there’s no cost benefit in working with SelectQuote from this perspective.
But if you dig deeper into the process, you can save money through SelectQuote because… this agency works with so many carriers you have a much better chance of finding quotes that align well with your personal information.
This means you have a better chance of accessing the carrier that has the best rates for someone in your health condition. I do wish SelectQuote worked with more carriers. We’ll get into that below.
I highly recommend independent agencies — especially if you have special risk factors such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
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 no matter how much they cost you.
My agency can’t beat SelectQuote on prices for specific policies. The difference you’ll get with us is service. We’ll work a lot harder to make sure you’re getting the best rates you can get based on your unique personal information. Call us to compare instant quotes at 888-603-2876.
3 Undeniable Problems Working With SelectQuote
I admire SelectQuote which has been selling life insurance policies since 1985. This online insurance agency predates the Internet. Talk about vision!
But this is an honest life insurance review and I have to point out a few issues I have with SelectQuote.
1. The Agents Have Little Time for You
SelectQuote agents work for a company with seemingly unlimited leads. They can make phone calls all day long and sell, sell, sell. Covid-19 pandemic closes the call centers? No problem. They’re calling leads and making sales from home. It’s almost always a great time to be a sales agent.
Except — SelectQuote pays its sales agents only about a quarter of the commission a traditional insurance agent would make.
So this creates a problem. SelectQuote agents have to sell dozens of policies per month to make a good living. They need to sell you a policy and get off the phone to start on another sale. They don’t have time to dedicate to each client during the initial call.
My agent friend says he has been trained to always give an instant quote the first time he speaks to a new prospect. SQ agents just don’t have time to wait for you to make up your mind. They need you to buy a policy today.
Why You Should Care
Life insurance is a serious matter. If you’re going to be paying into a policy for 20 to 30 years, don’t you want an agent who can spend 30 minutes (or even an hour) with you? Especially if you’re new to life insurance and have some questions.
Just read a few SelectQuote reviews on ComplaintsBoard.com or TrustPilot or the Better Business Bureau.
See what I mean?
We can stay on the phone with you a couple hours if needed, and if you don’t buy a policy today, that’s fine. It pays off for us to build and maintain relationships with you, our client.
2. “Up-Selling” (They Try to Sell You More Than Just Life Insurance)
SelectQuote has grown. It’s publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (SLQT). This agency still has its roots in Kansas but it has offices throughout the country — San Diego, Jacksonville, Fla., Denver, Iowa, San Francisco, and so on.
Former employees say SQ is so intent on making money for its investors that the focus has shifted more to the bottom line and less on the customer.
You can see this change play out in SQ’s tendency to up-sell its life insurance leads into home insurance or car insurance.
And now the agency is building a remote work force to follow up on final expense life insurance quotes.
Select Quote Call Monitoring – Agents Must Upsell Home & Auto
One agent who left SQ a few years ago told me he was forced to upsell auto and home insurance to anyone who called in for life insurance.
He said he had to mention the home and auto upsell at least three times during his phone call or he would risk getting his best leads taken away from him for a week.
So let’s say you call in for a term life insurance quote. The agent says, “I’m happy to help you with that! Can I also interest you in a home and auto insurance instant quote?”
You decline, saying you’re happy with your current auto and home coverage. “I’m only interested in life insurance today.”
My agent friend said at that point, he would still have to ask you two more times about home and auto.
He’d give you a life insurance quote and then say, “Now how about that home and auto quote?” (The one you already refused.)
Geez – Talk about pushy!
My info is a few years old. If a current SQ employee would like to comment below, I’ll be happy to remove that critique from my SelectQuote 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 make buying life insurance more complicated. This is the main reason independent agencies have so much to offer. They have time to help their clients find the best coverage at the best rates.
This process requires an agent to make a lot of calls and emails sometimes… (aka – good service).
Here’s the deal:
Since SelectQuote agents have to sell as many policies as they can as quickly as possible, the unfortunate truth is that sometimes the client suffers.
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.
All these things being equal, that’s extra work for the SelectQuote agent. And keep in mind they have a sales quota of 5 policies sold per week.
So that’s why I’ve heard their sales representatives try to push no exam policies.
No-exam policies get approved more quickly, and with less trouble, which is good for the agent. But these policies frequently costs 20% to 40% more in premiums — which is bad for the client.
This isn’t putting the client first.
3. SelectQuote Uses Fewer Life Insurance Companies
For an independent agency, SelectQuote works with a small stable of life insurance providers.
This agency has access to only 11 life insurance companies including:
- American General (AIG)
- Banner Life (William Penn in New York State) sold by Legal & General
- Lincoln National
- Pacific Life
- United of Omaha (a Mutual of Omaha product)
Now, all of these companies have stellar reputations in the life insurance profession. Some of them are even rated in my top 10 best.
But this is just a small sampling of the several hundred companies available, and it doesn’t include industry leaders such as Northwestern Mutual, New York Life, and MassMutual.
If you are healthy, you should find very competitive rates with SelectQuote. However, if you have a health issue, having only 11 carriers may not be enough to help you find the best life insurance rates for your situation.
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. Often, we can find you a few companies with great rates to choose from.
Complaints About Select Quote Service
The other issue I have with SQ is its poor service. When you buy an insurance policy — whether its life insurance, auto insurance, or supplemental Medicare coverage — you normally make a connection with your agent.
When you have questions about your policy or would like to change your coverage, it’s normal to reach out to your agent.
But when you buy insurance through SelectQuote, you may never again speak with the agent who sold you the policy. These agents just don’t have time to check up on you. They have to keep selling term life insurance policies and other insurance products to meet their quotas.
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 lets say you’ve had another child and need to add her as a beneficiary.
Who would you call?
We build relationships with our clients. As your life insurance needs change over time, we encourage our clients to let us know. When your family grows and you need more coverage we can help you decide how to supplement your current term life insurance policy without adding costs unnecessarily.
Or when your kids earn financial independence and you need less coverage, we want to help you decide whether to go without coverage or find a universal life policy that might take care of your needs for the rest of your life.
It’s nice when you can simply call your agent and have a conversation about your needs as your life changes. Unfortunately, with SelectQuote, you’d start back at square one with a series of free quotes. You’d need to go through the buying process all over again with a different person.
Now, if you know exactly what you need, this will be fine. In that case I’d use SelectQuote myself if I didn’t run an independent agency of my own.
But if you want to have a conversation about your needs, you won’t have that luxury with SQ which is basically a call center.
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.
What Is SelectQuote’s Rating?
Many insurance companies are rated by financial rating companies such as Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, Moody’s, or A.M. Best.
However, Select Quote is not an insurance carrier. It is an independent agency, like us.
In other words, if you get a policy through SQ, the actual insurer will be some other company such as AIG or Banner 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 SelectQuote a Scam?
Absolutely not. I’m not sure why people ask this question, but they do. SelectQuote is legit and it helps a lot of people find the right life insurance policy.
Some of the complaints I’ve seen about SQ being a scam are just plain ridiculous. Part of it seems to derive from SQ agents asking for your Social Security number.
Shoppers are smart to be wary of giving out sensitive information, but any life insurance agent will need your Social Security number. Your SSN identifies you as being who you say you are, and it helps insurance carriers collect medical records on you.
Should You Get Life Insurance with SelectQuote?
I really do like what they do over at SelectQuote for the most part. In no way do I think SelectQuote 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. Intelliquote has some of the same issues as SQ.
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.
You’ll get all the benefits of working with an agent who can take your case to any carrier, and 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.