Ethos Life Insurance Review | 2020 Guide + FAQs

Ethos, a technology startup company, provides an online purchasing experience for life insurance policies.

For many, the medical exam is avoided.

Is Ethos a good fit for you?

It depends.

Before applying for a policy, you will want a clear understanding of the products, application process and potential pitfalls associated with an Ethos policy.

Consider this article your go-to guide to Ethos no exam life insurance.

Table Of Contents

  1. Ethos Overview
  2. Term
  3. Riders
  4. Application Process
  5. FAQs
  6. Competitors
  7. Next Steps

Ethos Overview

Founded in 2016 by Lingke Wang and Peter Colis, Ethos is an insurance technology startup company based out of San Francisco, California.

Ethos is not an insurance company.

Instead, Ethos Technologies was created to offer a digital platform to buy policies from two life insurance carriers:

Ethos only sells term life insurance.

So, when you buy a term life insurance policy through Ethos, you are actually purchasing either a Banner or an Assurity term policy.

Ethos does not have a financial rating. However, Banner is rated A+ (Superior) and Assurity is rated A- (Excellent) through A.M. Best.

However, Ethos does have a Better Business Bureau rating of A+. They received accreditation on April 22, 2019. There are zero BBB reviews and zero BBB complaints.

Ethos No Exam Term Life Insurance

Before you apply for coverage, there are five important components to no exam term life insurance you need to know about.

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It’s best to be an informed consumer – especially when the product you are buying is important, like finding coverage to protect those you care most about.

You will want to assess:

  1. Wait time – the turnaround time for your policy’s issuance.
  2. Issue ages – the age range the carrier is willing to insure.
  3. Policy amount – the amount of much coverage offered.
  4. Policy length – how many years the policy can last.
  5. No medical exam – the specific underwriting process.

How does Ethos measure up?

Wait Time

The turnaround time can be only minutes – for those who qualify.

Keep in mind, however, it’s possible your wait time will be much longer (weeks) if you are required to undergo full medical underwriting.

To compare, some of our top-rated carriers also issue policies within minutes, like Foresters.

Our comprehensive no physical life insurance guide will provide you an analysis of turnaround times from top-rated carriers.

Issue Ages

You must be between ages 18 – 75 to buy an Ethos life insurance policy.

Keep in mind, there are further age restrictions based on your selected term length:

  • 30-year term: 18 – 55 years old
  • 20-year term: 18 – 65 years old
  • 10-year term: 18 – 75 years old

Policy Amount

Referred to as face amount, Ethos offers no exam term life insurance policies ranging from $25,000 – $1,000,000.

Most carriers that skip the medical exam offer similar ranges in the amount of coverage available for purchase.

Note – Ethos does offer up to $10,000,000 in coverage if you are willing to undergo a physical examination.

Your policy amount should reflect your financial responsibilities.

  • Debts
  • Monetary needs of loved ones
  • Annual income
  • Living expenses
  • Years until retirement
  • Charitable giving

Policy Length

Ethos only sells term life insurance, like a 20-year no exam policy.

Specifically, they offer four standard term lengths: 10-year, 15-year, 20-year and 30-year.

Interestingly, Bestow, another agency with an electronic purchasing platform, provides a 2-year term option.

No Medical Exam

You will want to have a clear understanding of the specific underwriting process a company uses because the phrase, no exam life insurance, can mean different things.

Ethos uses a process called, accelerated underwriting.

What does that mean? Accelerated underwriting indicates that you are evaluated to determine whether or not you qualify to skip the medical exam.

Put simply, if you are healthy, you have better odds of avoiding the physical.

Important – if skipping the exam is a must for you, consider other options. Review our best no physical life insurance companies for options that always skip needles, nurses and liquid samples.

Riders

It’s worth noting that Ethos offers the option to add on riders.

What are they? Riders are contract provisions that provide further policy features, in addition to the death benefit.

Most digital life insurance purchasing platforms do not offer riders.

Included with your policy purchase:

  • Waiver of Premium – the option to maintain your policy without paying premiums should you experience a qualifying disability before age 65.

For an additional cost:

  • Critical Illness – the ability to accelerate a portion of your death benefit if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Child Term – your child’s life can be covered under your policy until they turn 18 years.
  • Endowment Benefit – also called, Return of Premium, the option to have premium payments returned to you, should you outlive the life of your policy.

Application Process

Familiarize yourself with the application process. That way, you know what to expect and there won’t be surprises.

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Step 1: Pick Your Policy

Plan to be asked:

  1. What is your gender?
  2. Do you currently use nicotine products?
  3. How is your health?
    1. Average
    2. Great
    3. Excellent
  4. What is your home zip code?
  5. What is your birthdate?

Next, you will be offered a couple of potential plans to meet your needs, like a 15-year term no exam policy for $500,000.

Or, you have the option to select your own exact coverage amount.

Step 2: Describe Yourself

You can generally expect to answer the following types of questions.

Important – in order to proceed, you will be required to create an Ethos account.

Basic Information

  1. Your full name
  2. Email address
  3. Home address
  4. Phone number
  5. Country you were born in
  6. State you were born in
  7. Verify you are you a US citizen or permanent resident

Financial and Lifestyle Information

  1. How is your credit?
    1. Fair <670
    2. Good (670 – 739)
    3. Great (740 – 799)
    4. Exceptional (>800)
  2. Income
  3. Do you have a driver’s license?
  4. What state is it issued from?
  5. What is your license number?
  6. Do you have moving violations?

Health Information

  1. Height and weight
  2. Date of your last doctor’s visit.
  3. Your medical history, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes or any other serious diagnosis
  4. Any recent health changes, pending diagnoses
  5. Prescription history
  6. The health history of close blood-related relatives (siblings, parents)
  7. History of surgeries
  8. HIV status
  9. Tobacco use
  10. Drug use
  11. Avocations, such as skydiving, scuba diving, rock climbing
  12. Military status
  13. Plans to travel internationally
  14. Existing or pending life insurance policies.

Step 3: Electronic Signature and Review

Once you have completed your online questionnaire, an Ethos representative will review your application.

Unless you have instant approval, expect to wait 7-10 days for a decision.

Step 4: Accept and Finalize

You will be notified of your policy decision electronically.

If you are happy with the term of the contract, you can accept your new term life insurance contract.

It only takes 2 minutes to finalize your policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here, you’ll find the most commonly asked questions about Ethos.

Is Ethos life insurance legitimate?

Yes.

While Ethos is not a life insurance company, they have streamlined the process of securing coverage by creating a digital purchasing platform.

Ethos has partnered with Assurity and Banner life insurance companies to provide you with legitimate term life insurance policies.

Assurity and Banner have a long history – close to 200 years, combined – of successfully providing life insurance.

Is Ethos a good deal?

Sometimes.

Generally speaking, though, Ethos’ charges more for their policies than their competitors do.

For example, a healthy male in his 30s will likely pay significantly less for a Ladder policy than an Ethos policy.

Be sure to compare rates before applying.

Does Ethos have good reviews?

Mostly.

Reviews are still coming in, but at this point, most are positive. In particular, clients appreciate the ease of their website and online purchasing process.

However, some reviewers have expressed frustration over the lack of direct communication. Especially if you have health conditions, the digital-only process can be a shortcoming to finding an appropriate policy.

Does Ethos only sell term life insurance?

Yes.

Term provides coverage for a specific period of time, typically when you need it most, like during your working years.

Keep in mind, a multitude of forms of life insurance exist.

For example, if your need for coverage is indefinite, we recommend you evaluate your no exam whole life insurance options.

Is a physical required?

Not always.

In fact, many applicants qualify to skip the medical exam.

But, if you are applying for more than $1 million in coverage, or you have health complications, Ethos does reserve the right for you to have labs drawn and undergo a simple physical exam.

If you are set on avoiding the physical, two of Ethos’ competitors never require an exam:

  1. Bestow
  2. Lifefy

Competitors

Ethos has some competition.

It’s important to note that a number of life insurance technology startups have been established recently, each with a similar purchasing process.

  1. Fabric
  2. Lifefy
  3. Bestow
  4. Ladder
  5. Haven

Let’s compare and contrast.

Digital Life Insurance Providers

Company NameCarrier RelationshipFace AmountAge RangeTerm LengthMedical ExamOther Products
EthosAssurity and Banner$25,000 - $10 million18 - 75 years10, 15, 20, 30 yearsPossiblyNA
FabricVantis$100,000 - $1 million25 - 60 years10, 15, 20 yearsPossiblyAccidental Death
LifefySBLI$50,000 - $350,00018 - 60 years10, 15, 20 yearsNeverGuaranteed Issue
BestowNorth American$50,000 - $1 million21 - 55 years2, 10, 20 yearsNeverNA
LadderFidelity$100,000 - $8 million20 - 60 years10, 15, 20, 25, 30 yearsPossiblyNA
HavenMassMutual$100,000 - $3 million18 - 64 years10, 15, 20, 30 yearsPossiblyNA

Next Steps

We suggest you do two things before submitting a life insurance application with Ethos, or any company for that matter.

  1. Evaluate multiple quotes. No two applicants or companies are the same. Prices can vary substantially and it’s worth your time to compare.
  2. Analyze your needs. While some life insurance is better than zero life insurance, it’s best to secure coverage that meets your needs.
    1. Annual income and years until retirement
    2. Financial needs of those who depend on you
    3. Your debts (credit card, mortgage, student loan, car loan)
    4. Living expenses
    5. Charitable giving

An independent agent can help you through the steps.

Start by filling out your free instant quote.