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We're looking at buying a house in the next year, and
between that and having a baby last year, we really need
better life insurance than what we have through work. I'm
not quite sure where to begin looking. Does anyone have
Larry Davidman (http://www.termworks.com/) has a BPN
connection as a father of Berkeley Public School kids and
husband of beloved music teacher Kristen Brooks-Davidman (my
daughter is one of her students). When I was laid off,
Larry explained life insurance to me in a very non-oily way
(I used to think of insurance sales people and used-car
sales people as cut from the same cloth, apologies to all
sales people but this reflects my prejudices more than it
represents reality), then shopped my application (which he
gave me guidance on filling out)around. He received a quote
for me that he thought was too high and KEPT ON LOOKING and
found a better deal! Termworks is his own independent
company. No pressure, no slick presentation--hooray for Larry.
I highly recommend Tammy Plotkin-Oren at TPO Financial and Insurance
Services. She specializes in helping new families understand and select the right
insurance plans and is great to work with. Tammy makes the whole experience
easy and stress free. You can reach her at email@example.com or (510)
we just went through that process. insurance.com had better
rates than others we contacted and they were pretty easy to
work with. good luck!
I highly recommend Greg Guardiano in Lafayette. He won't try
to sell you just whatever, he'll educate you so you know what
you're getting. His number is 925-254-7100.
With the recent arrival of our first baby, we've decided to get
life insurance. The most recent archive recommendations are
from 2002. Does anyone have any more recent recommendations for
where to buy life insurance. Any other sage advice on this topic
much appreciated. Thanks!
Signed: how much is my life worth?
We work with Harold Jamison, who works on his own. We really like and trust him. It's so
easy - he'll drop off/mail information to you, and the medical exam takes place at your
Gregg Brown of G.F. Brown Insurance, 510-524-8812, is where I go for all of my insurance
needs. He is an independent broker. So, he can shop around to find you the policy that best
meets your needs at the best price. Every time I go to him I end up saving money!
Also, if you own your home, and/or have a good amount of assets, you might want to think
about a trust. It is an investment, but it would save your beneficiaries quite a bit
avoiding probate. I went to Richard Lee, 510-272-0200.
I know I feel much better having life insurance and a trust. Your passing is not a pleasant
thing to think about, but there is comfort in knowing the ones you love will be taken care
I recently found Cathy Gran with State Farm Insurance on Solano in Albany (1639 Solano just
a bit down from Tangerine) to be very knowlegeable and just an incredible sweet person
overall. Her phone number is (510) 527-6011. I feel really good about the type of life
insurance I bought with her after she explained the options. Good luck to you!
Definitely talk with Phuoc Khong of State Farm Insurance. He is so knowlegeable about all
aspects of insurance and has become a very good friend as well. His phone
is 527-2000, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just had a baby, and neither my husband or I have life insurance
provided by work. Does anyone know of an honest/reputable
insurance broker for term life insurance? Also, how much life
insurance should one generally get? Anything else i should
consider? (I noticed that the existing postings on life
insurance are old and some of the referred agents are no longer
I highly recommend Eric Tyson's advice about life
insurance. He makes his case in ''Personal Finance for
Dummies'' (ignore the name!) but also has a more
extensive book, ''Life Insurance for Dummies.''
We went with Select Quote Insurance Services and were
very satisfied. www.selectquote.com
MyersStevens 415-543-4040. They provide a myriad of insurance
services and should eb able to help you.
Of course, as the daughter of a State Farm agent I should put
in a plug for them. My husband and I have our life insurance
You may also want to check your work or your husbands as many
companies offer a life insurance program.
We love our life insurance agent. He is VERY knowledgeable
about insurance AND financial decisions (helped us with our
daughter's college savings plan too). He also loves CAL
grads :-) (Either he or his children went to CAL... can't
remember now.) He never pushes us, but calls once a year or so
just to say hello and see if we have questions. Rex Takahashi
with Prudential - 925-355-3060 x6213.
After reading some of the postings about life insurance, I thought I
should look into it again. We have tried in the past to get life
insurance, but my husband got rejected by one company because of a
pre-existing condition. I was hoping to find an insurance broker or agent
that is trusted and can provide some good advice for our situation.
Someone near the Walnut Creek area would be preferred - or someone who is
willing to meet at our house is even better.
I highly recommend our insurance agent, Henry Lutzky 510-652-5200. He
will meet at your home. He's based in Oakland--you'll have to ask him
whether he'll go to the Walnut Creek area. He has been our agent for
both life insurance and health insurance for over 20 years, under
differing circumstances. He sells a wide variety of products from a
wide variety of companies and has the software to search the best rate
for your needs.
We LOVE our agent, Scott Santos. He is with Nourse Insurance Brokers in
Walnut Creek. He has saved us and many friends/family members a lot on
all kinds of insurance. Best thing is that he is a real stand-up guy.
Please give him a try. 925-935-0545. Tell him I sent you!
I made this recommendation last week, but in case you missed it, I
highly recommend Arnie Sarkar at Northwestern Mutual in Walnut Creek.
His number is (925) 296-5152 or email@example.com. He is very
experienced and highly trustworthy.
We used Sarah Tolson in Danville. She came to our house and was really
easy to work with. We highly recommend her.
CA Insurance License #0F43069
Blomberg & Tolson Financial Planning
and Insurance Services
4155 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Suite 220
Danville, CA 94506
Work: (925) 736-3024 / Fax: (925) 736-3026
Cell: (925) 519-4460
I highly recommend Sue Breedlove of Breedlove Insurance. She is located
in Orinda and will also come to your house. She is a broker so has
access to many different insurance companies and can come up with a plan
that will meet your needs and will be cost effective. You can contact
her at 925.254.6262 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org Her web
address is www.breedloveinsurance.com.
Yes, Life Insurance is good to have and I know a great broker, Michael
Baron (415.391.4920 or email@example.com). He is wonderful, thorough and
smart. He works in San Francisco, but will make house or work visits,
so it's very convenient. Michael helped us get Life, Auto, and Home
Insurance at much better rates then we were paying for the same or
better coverage. . . and there is no broker fee, so even better! Do
call or email him, he will guide you through the entire process. Good
I'm interested in getting recommendations for a life insurance agent in
the Oakland/Berkeley area and who is working for a single insurance
company (if there is such an agent...) Preferably, someone who has
worked/is working with single parents.
Try Carmen. She is great and was a great help to me in getting a
policy. She is also a CFP and helped me a great deal in sorting out
college plans etc...
If I understood you correctly, I recommend you NOT look for someone
representing a single insurance company (i.e., a ''captive'').
Your best bet is to look for someone who brokers many different
insurance companies rather than someone who represents a single
insurance company - there's just no way to know which insurance company
will have the best product for the best rates for YOUR situation (i.e.,
your age, amount and type of coverage needed, goals, etc.).
Larry Davidman at firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-848-6444,
http://termworks.com/ is the person I recommend. His wife Kristin is
the flute/recorder teacher for a few of the Berkeley public school
after-school programs which is how we know the family. When I was laid
off and lost my employer-provided life insurance Larry found me my
current life insurance. I know he was good at getting me the best rate
because the first insurance company gave me an offer that Larry felt was
too high so he put in even more time to find one that was cheaper, which
My partner and I are looking for a Life Insurance Broker. Someone
who does not work for a specific insurance company (i.e.
Allstate, State Farm), but a broker who can offer us clear advice
about the type of life insurance that would be best for us and
then be able to ''shop'' different policies and companies to find
us the best price.
I'd highly recommend our insurance broker, Jo Ann Givin. My
husband and I had very different requirements and health issues
when we purchased life insurance, and she found the best
policies for each of us. She is located in Marin but will
travel to your home at no charge (we live in the east bay). Her
phone# is: 415-897-2808.
I work for the state department of insurance so I cannot
recommend a specific broker but I do want to tell you to be sure
that you ask that the broker disclose their commission. Brokers
will advertise that they work for you however they will often
place with the company that pays the highest commission to them.
Given that you are paying the broker to find you the best deal,
be sure to have the broker show you the other estimates
Can anyone recommend a life insurance broker?
I'd like to have a number of offers from different companies
compared to chose the most appropriate for me.
I saw the question about a life insurance broker in today's
Berkeley Parents newsletter and have a recommendation:
Tom McManus, insurance broker Tel: (925) 830 - 0630
My husband and I have two children (3 1/2 and four months) and
recently decided it was time to get serious about life
insurance. After some asking around, and attempted avoidance
of sharks, we called an insurance broker who had been
recommended to us. Tom met with us at our house and we were
favorably impressed. He asked questions that helped us
determine the kind of life insurance plan, payments, etc. that
is a good fit for us.
We used Cal Grad Matt Davies at 510-452-0458 He works for an
independent insurance brokerage: Sitzmann Morris & Lavis
(located in downtown Oakland). He ran a screen of the entire
Life Insurance market, all alternatives, even pointing out a
USAA option available to us (where I don't think he would have
been paid) -- he found us something more affordable than USAA
that fit our budget and our need for coverage. He
and his firm made the process very easy and provided great
service (house call when needed!). Matt is a great guy and there
was no 'hard sell'. I think the website is www.smlinsurance.com
MATTHEW J. DAVIES
SITZMANN MORRIS & LAVIS, INC.
ONE KAISER PLAZA, SUITE 1101
OAKLAND, CA 94612
510.452.0458 x 1230
-Kristine & Brian
I am looking to sign up for life insurance. I checked the website
but the recommendations are a couple of years old. if you have a
good insurance person I would very much appreciate your
I did a fairly thorough comparison of cost for life insurance
policies. AAA came out way ahead. Here are some tricks to keep
* a single policy for a husband and wife couple is cheaper. One
person is added as a rider.
* other riders in case you cant pay etc add unreasonable costs.
* Pay a lump sum each year and costs are further dramatically
* try to get super preferred / preferred rates.
My insurance agent was Conrado Bongco. He is absolutely
meticulous. Extremely timely. Very polite. Great at getting
back to you on time. Just never missed a beat and did
everything he could to get us the lowest possible rate:
3060 Hilltop Mall Road
Richmond, CA 94806-1920
(925) 671-2708 x 308
cell: (925) 550-2340
Let him know I sent you!
I have had excellent service from www.selectquote.com.
Recommend Carlon Cagle, (also CPA and investment/financial
advisor) for insurance. PH: 510/428-0442, Piedmont area.
Regarding your life insurance needs, I feel we take your entire
survivor needs into account. I work for Waddell & Reed, and
what we do is first take your needs into account (what you
would like to see happen if something happened to you today).
We then analyze the assets you can use for these goals and then
come up with an insurance need (if any). You and I then figure
out what is the best and most cost effective solution for you
(term vs. permanent vs. a mix of both). Since we work with
over 15 top-rated insurance companies, we find the carrier that
is right for you, your situation and your family. If you would
like to talk further, please let us know.
Vincent Galindo pvgdad AT yahoo DOT com
I think I know the answer to this but I just want to check. We
are currently applying for life insurance. We've been asked more
questions up the wazoo, they're checking all our medical records,
and being really picky about little details. It makes me
uncomfortable both for privacy reasons (someone could quit and
make an awful good living selling identities!) and just because
it's personal stuff. I'm sure this is the underwriting business,
but I just wanted to check if others had this experience. Also, I
am currently a stay at home mom but I plan to go back to work
soon. We asked for $600,000 for each of us, based on our age, our
earning potential, and our mortgage. They want to give me only
$400k because I'm not working. Have others had this experience?
trying to be responsible
Sounds like my experience too! Wait until they make you pee in a cup. They will also take blood for an HIV test. Never thought to worry about identity theft; seems unlikely.
Our agent (actually a financial planner) recommended I carry a much smaller policy than my husband, since he makes three times the income. That seemed reasonable to us. Sometimes you hear that SAHMs need no life insurance at all, which is incorrect. If you want more coverage, go for it, but you might prefer to save the premiums.
I spoke with my father who works in insurance and he said that, while the personal questions sound normal, it surprised him that you weren't able to get the amount you wanted. He said that there are usually ways to make a case for an amount that is higher than what people might otherwise qualify for. He would be happy to chat with you about your situation - even if you decide to buy insurance from the agent you're currently working with. His name is Neil Weinstein and his number is 510- 567-9770 x115
Best of luck to you.
My husband and I have been without life insurance for the past
two years and after a scare with a friend decided we needed to
get some again. We used to have it thru my husband's work but
don't know where to start looking now. I did check out the
website but most recommendations were over two years old. It
seems most folks recommend term life insurance. I would be
interested in any recommendations for types of policies,
agents, or companies. Thanks!
Looking for some security
I just wanted to put in another plug for my insurance agent, Kai
Langenberg. I wrote a recommendation that is archived on the
He is great. I am not financially savvy at all and he was very
patient with me, helping me to understand my options (term vs.
whole, for example) and what would work better for our family. I
still highly recommend him:
Kai Langenberg, M.B.A.
Insurance & Financial Services Specialist
FARMERS INSURANCE GROUP
Langenberg Insurance & Financial Services
1401 Derby Street
Berkeley CA 94702
Bus: (510) 649-1322
Fax: (510) 217-6640
kai at langenberginsurance.com
License # 0D96872
If you want the highest amount of life insurance for the least
amount of premiums, then I would go with term. Because you want
the greatest protection in case of the death of a spouse. In
our case, I work, while my wife is a stay-at-home mom, so most
of our life insurance is on me. All other forms of life
insurance are of the ''investment'' type. Compared to other safe
investments (CDs, bond funds, etc), life insurance as an
investment is more expensive and provides lousy returns. Shop
around for the best rates.
The reason so many people mention term life insurance is that
it's cheap - but not necessarily the best out there. You can
get a quick overview of the types of insurance from the
Insurance Information Institute (www.iii.org - click on
the ''life'' button on the left and then scroll down to
the ''Types of Policies'' section); they're a nonprofit
organization that isn't affiliated with any particular insurer,
so they offer objective and impartial information. That will
allow you to choose the type of insurance that will work best
for your family.
Once you're ready to buy, though, you couldn't do any better
than to contact Daun Pullem (email@example.com). She's
thoughtful, intelligent, understanding, and absolutely
thorough. You can call her, too (559-994-6101), but don't be
put off by the area code! She drives up here regularly, so
there's no problem with wherever you're actually located.
I am a financial planner and life insurance agent with New York
Life. As with most financial issues, each person's situation
is unique and so the right type of insurance plan must be
crafted for each person. Since life is so expensive in the Bay
Area, most of my clients purchase term life insurance (20 year
term) or a combination of term and permanent insurance. It
depends on the goal of the insurance plan (to protect family
while children are still in the house v. a long term retirement
plan). I'd be happy to talk to you about your situation and
provide you with recommendations.
Jay Fischer is a brilliant, patient and excellent Life
Insurance/Long Term Care Agent. He has an amazing ability to
match his clients with the policy best suited for their needs.
Jay has an extensive background in finance as well which really
helps when planning for long term care or for purchasing a life
insurance policy. He is extremely trustworthy, and easy to
talk with. I am sure you will really like working with Jay.
His phone number is 925-487-3253.
I have recently acquired a term life insurance policy. I went
onto this website first to get some comparison quotes:
www.insweb.com. You plug in some basic information, and they give
you quotes. I went to it several times, and a few times after
answering the questions, I got a message saying to contact an
agent. I did not, but instead just logged off and tried it again
later, and I would often get the quotes again.
I decided to go with a 30 year term policy because it is cheaper,
and I figured in 30 years I won't need it anymore, as it is
mostly for my children and they will be grown by then.
My husband and I recently purchased life insurance from a New
York Life agent, Tammy Plotkin-Oren. Tammy was extremely helpful
in explaining the differences between whole and term life
insurance, and in suggesting appropriate policies for us. She is
very knowledgeable about many aspects of life insurance and
financial planning, and she spent a lot of time patiently
answering all of our questions. She is also a personal friend, so
I can vouch for her integrity and her professionalism. I highly
recommend calling Tammy for a consultation, at 510-601-3362.
For the person looking for life insurance. My husband and I are both self-
employed and have had to rely on outside life, disability and health insurance
policies. Tom and Tom Fleming (father and son team) have been doing this work
for many years and we have used them for 20 + years, as needed. They really know
the business and have been very easy to work with. They are personable and non-
intrusive. They initially looked for the best match(es) for our needs and then call
us periodically when something else is available that would be better and less
expensive. They were helpful with the sometimes overwhelming amount of
paperwork that it takes to get these things going. We met with them once (they
came to our office) at the beginning and maybe another once or twice and we have
been able to take care of any other needs (not often) by phone. They are
professional, experienced, respectful and not at all pushy. Their phone number is
(925)891-3000. We use them for our life insurance, disability policies and
individual health insurance policies.
We were happy with www.insweb.com. Fast, easy, and competitive
My husband and I each have life insurance through our jobs but we
are trying to get supplemental life insurance as well. I have a
pre-existing condition (Type I diabetes that is in excellent
control) and have looked into term as well as the group plans
that our universities offer the alumni. The problem is the term
is extremely expensive because of the diabetes (and when you are
in your 30s, paying that much seems crazy!) and the group plans
are giving me a hard time for the coverage without even seeing my
records or my condition. Does anyone know how to get coverage or
what I can do with this chronic illness? It is so wrong that the
insurance companies judge me without talking to me and it is
really just to benefit our child. Any advice would be appreciated.
looking for life insurance
Medical underwriting criteria for all life insurance carriers is
different. Empire General seems to have the most liberal
guidelines for folks with diabetes (both Type I & II) that is
under good control, i.e., A1C 6.6. If you are not familiar with
what your glycohemoglobin number is, then call your doctor before
checking on a quote. Call Selectquote. They are an independent
broker based in San Francisco. You can either call them directly
or submit a request via the internet for an accurate quote.
Banner Life is also good in this area.
I also have type I diabetes that is well controlled (with a pump), but was
denied for my partner's life insurance through her job. I don't ha! ve any
answers for you, but I share your frustration. Good luck.
I also have well-managed Type I diabetes and am in my 30s. My
husband and I decided to get life insurance when we had our
twins last year. I had previously been turned down from
supplemental plans offered by my employer, so we knew my
diabetes would be an issue. (They really don't care how healthy
you are or how well you manage it!)
We worked with a SelectQuote insurance broker who could guide us
to a plan that would accept me. They would offer my husband a 30
year term, but I could only get a 10. If I am still healthy when
it comes time for renewal, I should have an easy time of it.
This was really the only way to go. If you want the specific
name of the person at SelectQuote we dealt with, feel free to
I have several clients with Diabetes who have qualified for term
as well as permanent insurance. Depending on your use of
insulin, height, weight and general health will depend on what
insurance companies to approch.
We would like to purchase term life insurance (archives are
quite dated) and are considering Amica.
1. Is Amica a good choice? We have them for auto insurance.
2. Do you have other suggestions?
3. We have a 2.5 yr old and three-month-old. We're considering
$500K per parent for 20 yrs. (Our employment coverage is really
small, whatever the default is with UC). We don't have a house -
yet! Does this sound realistic?
Thanks so much.
Are you aware that UC also offers supplemental life insurance?
That's probably cheaper than anything separate. I (34 year old
female) am currently paying a bit more than 11$ a month for a
coverage corresponding to 4 times my annual salary (annual salary
I just went through the search for term insurance and it was a
tough decision for my family. 500k amount sounds reasonable and
unless you cannot purchase it through the school at the
subsidized rate. Term life insurance can get expensive
depending on how much you want, what your age is, what health
you're in, whether you smoke, whether your parents died young,
etc. The rate that companies initially quote you is based on
what they think your health category is, and just be forewarned
that it can easily be double the initial rate (usually they
quote the best category to get you the cheapest quote).
Also, what do you want the life insurance money to do for you?
Do you just want to cover expenses if your spouse should pass
away, do you want to pay for your child's college tuition, or
pay off the mortgage on the house and then some? There are lots
of questions to ask in regards to how much insurance to get. I
met some very smarmy life insurance sales guys who want to sell
you as much insurance as you can afford, and this may not be the
right approach so becareful who you go with in terms of sales
If you are a part of a society, you may be able to get cheaper
Just make sure that which ever insurance company you choose to
go with has high ratings by standard and poor's, and the other
major insurance rater (I can't remember the name).
My husband and I recently did some financial planning, at the end
of which, we each applied for additional life insurance. My
husband had previously been denied insurance because of some
unusually high readings on his blood test related to liver
function. We thought not too much of it because he had not fasted
the day of the tests and when he went to the doctor, they seemed
unconcerned. Additionally, he doesn't smoke, drink much, and he is
rather slim. He doesn't fit the profile of someone with these kind
of test results and the doctors seemed rather puzzled how this
could have happened. They suggested he not drink for awhile and
see if they got better, which they seemed to do.
We figured the next insurance tests would be fine. Well, they were
better, but the insurance company again said he was uninsurable
because of his blood tests. Our insurance agent suggested that we
apply for any insurance available without medical testing
(guaranteed life), even though it's expensive and we won't get as
much coverage as we need. The only suggestion the gastro-
enterologist has is to get a biopsy and see if there is a problem.
Does anyone have any suggestions for how to approach this? The
situation is becoming rather stressful because we need the
insurance. The doctors say that you can have these high readings
and still be healthy and a biopsy might confirm that. But this
seems rather extreme and not that helpful on the insurance
situation. We're not averse to non-western approaches. Some of
suggested herbal and acupuncture. Any ideas on the health or
My husband and I faced a similar issue when we tried to get
life insurance following the birth of our first child. We found
the cost for him to be very high due to health reasons (none
of which should result in an early death). What we decided
to do was to put the premium amount away in a college fund
(or some savings plan) each month. That way, even though
there was a costly expenditure each month, we'd get to keep
the money versus the insurance company getting all of it
over the next 20 years. This plan seemed to make the most
sense since life insurance is typically set up to cover the
cost of either schooling for children or the mortgage on the
house. Good Luck
My husband experienced the same thing when applying for life
insurance. I freaked out, because I thought the high liver
enzymes were a sign of liver cancer (which they can be, but not
at the relatively low levels my husband had. He also is not a
smoker or a big drinker.) His MD referred him to a specialist,
who ran some tests and re-discovered Gilberts Syndrome,
previously diagnosed when my husband was a child but forgotten
about. From what I remember and in layman's terms, it simply
reveals a healthy person with higher liver enzymes than
average...no big deal. The specialist then wrote a letter to
our insurance agent explaining the Gilberts Syndrome and my
husband was subsequently approved.
Don't get me started on my intense dislike of insurance
companies because of this experience (not to mention our highly
inflated private health insurance, due to a plantar wart on my
husband's foot). I hope this helps, and good luck. If you want
the name of the insurance agent who dealt with our liver enzyme
issue (who is a great guy, despite my negative attitude towards
insurance companies), let the moderator know and she can send me
your e-mail address.
I've requested advice on a life insurance situation on the advice
digest, but also would like a recommendation. Can anyone suggest
where to get guaranteed or simplified life insurance for someone
who has been told they are uninsurable? An agent or company
you've worked with? I've done a google search, but it's both
overwhelming and hard to tell who's reputable. Thanks.
Try Myers Stevens at 415-543-4040. They are a very good
insurance broker who have been around for 25 years.I use them
for health, life, vision and dental. They also do continuing
We need a bunch of insurance. Our building is insured for
hazards, but we need homeowner's insurance for the contents.
(We've recently inherited a bunch of stuff worth insuring.)
Since we just had a child, we need two term life insurance
policies (we're healthy and in our mid-30's, is it better to get
10 year policies and renew them? or a 20 or 30 year policy?).
And since I'm now working freelance, I need some disability
I've heard that if you group your policies through a carrier,
the rates can be lower, so I'd like to do that as much as
possible (as well as for administrative ease). I have car
insurance, but would be willing to move the policy if the
pricing worked out.
Sadly, we don't qualify for USAA. Should I try Reliaquote or
Selectquote? They don't seem to handle all of our needs, would
it be worth it to do each policy separately through them? No one
seems to offer disability...?
I've checked the website, but didn't see anything about grouping
policies and how to arrange it all through one place. Any advice
and/or recommendations would be appreciated! Thanks!!
It is not possible to bundle all types of insurance. Usually
you get the best break for bundling home and auto and an
umbrella policy. Life is usually separate.
We have used RWM (Bob Moody) for life and liked him quite a
bit. That said, our friends have had a rether negative
experience with him, so it is hard to know what to say about
that. He's in Orinda. I found him over the web.
We like Christ, Elliott, and Machette for property insurance.
Bill Linville is our agent. He's great. Good luck to you!
I don't know anything about insurance, but a former graduate
student of mine, who is an excellent problem solver, and whose
integrity I have no doubts about, recently went into insurance
brokering. I'm sure she'd be happy to advise you. Her name is
Paria Mahani, and you can reach her by e-mailing pmahani AT mills.edu.
My husband and I bought term life insurance through Select Quote
Insurance Services. They only use A++ (superior) to A
(excellent) rated companies (you can do your own homework after
they come back with a quote). We worked with Brian Van Valin
out of the San Francisco office at 1-800-436-7000,
Select Quote came back with a list of 3-4 term life insurance
quotes that were significantly lower than what we were quoted
from our insurance agent at State Farm (we were trying to keep
things simple too). They say to take out enough term insurance
to take care of your debt at the time of your death, unless you
want to leave extra to your family. (So if your house will be
paid off in 15 years, do you really need a policy past 15 years?)
Rates are supposedly the lowest they have been in years, so take
advantage of this if you think that you will continue to need
life insurance in 20-30 years.
Self-employed people can apply for and purchase elective
coverage disability insurance through the state of CA and the
EED. For more info see, http://www.edd.ca.gov/difaq9.htm
I don't know the answers to your specific questions, but can
highly recommend an agent who would be happy to answer your
questions. His name is Harpreet ''Harry'' Chadha and he's a rep
for New York Life. What I especially like about Harry is that
he listens to your desires and makes recommendations based on
what you want, not what will get him a higher commission. His
phone number is 510-624-4140.
My wife brought this post to my attention. I don't want this to
sound self-serving, but I may be able to at least act as a
sounding board for what you are looking for, specifically for
Life and Disability insurance.
It really is hard to say what kind or how
much life insurance you would need without knowing more about
your situation. Lastly, it very important to check the credit ratings
of the insurance company that you finally select to make sure
they are sound financially.
I've done a quick look into term life insurance. As a university
employee, the employee-paid life insurance is cheaper than what I can
get outside, but only until I reach 40 (only 3 years away for me).
After age 40, the rates for UC employee-paid life insurance increase
substantially, and continue to do so after each 5 years.
Seems like I'm better off dropping my university coverage
(employee-paid), and going for a 20-year term policy (20 years since
I have a newborn), where the rates won't increase. Plus, with rates
possibly going up this year (Regulation "Triple-X"), seems like I
should do this now, rather than wait until I'm 40. Has anybody else
looked into this? Is there a flaw in my logic?
Yes, you are right. Term life insurance is a much better deal than any
other type of life insurance (we bought "whole life" and are keeping it just
because we paid so much already, but it is really a rip-off - you get so
little coverage for so much money!). So, we bought a term policy for 20
years. Now that the new law is going into effect at the end of the
year, we are upping the policy (rates actually went DOWN), and adding
10 years, for a 30 year policy. The rates are very reasonable. We went
through an agent, who shopped the rates of all carriers. My rate was
lower with a different company than my husband's because he is a man
and is older. We used Cave and Cheney (800) 774-1084 and they have
been helpful and polite (they're in the South somewhere). The medical tech
to test our blood and do a mini exam came to our home at 8:00 am at our
request. Good luck.
I believe your decision is correct. You can get much less expensive life
insurance to replace the university employee-paid policy, where the cost
jumps as you get older. It looks like it's a good idea to act before the
new year, though I've read that some companies may attempt their way around
the new Triple X regulations to keep rates low. I am also making the switch
from the university policy.
I haven't looked into the UC insurance but am currently trying to
purchase term insurance outside UC. I've been told and have read in a couple
of places that term rates are the lowest that they've ever been and that
they are expected to increase January 1 by as much as 50%! If you apply
now and get the application process started, I believe you can lock in the
current rate. I searched a few places on the net and came up with a site
called ReliaQuote (www.reliaquote.com). You can plug in some info and get
instant quotes from a variety of companies and then decide whether to
proceed. If you proceed, you can start the application process over the phone
with ReliaQuote, who also helps schedule the home visit for the blood and
urine tests. Process takes about 6+ weeks. They will also "shop" your
policy around and help you get the best deal.
You are on the right track. I think that coverage for 20 years is
quite realistic with a new baby. And, with the price hikes due in January,
now is the time. Researching and comparing and testing takes time, so start
now. An agent that was referred to me by my wonderful new mom's group
leader, Sherry Reinhardt, worked out very well. The agent's name is Anjeli
Singh. She is a Northwestern Mutual agent who also represents other
companies. She came to our house, discussed everything, and suggested
Northwestern just because they are a very well respected company. The big
plus, however, is that the term policies are convertible to whole - which
isn't necessary for us as any money we'd like to invest, we would certainly
do elsewhere and not through a whole life policy that pays closer to a
savings account than any other investment. So, we had her policies
through her less expensive agencies. It was helpful to have her
working for us though, as my husband's family has a history of
cancer, and she was great in pushing our case and getting him
coverage. For me, I have no problems and had her just get me a
policy through a less expensive company - she still did all the
legwork, etc. Her number is 925-296-5159. Regardless of who you call, or
if you go on the web to the myriad of sites for life insurance, it is a
very good idea, in my humble opinion, to have the 20 year policy and
get it now to save $ in the long run.
There's one factor to consider if you purchase the UC insurance: What
will happen if you leave university employment? My understanding
(though I don^Rt know for sure) is that your policy would be cancelled.
Then you're faced with the prospect of purchasing new insurance when
you're older (and theoretically, when the policies are more expensive).
Can anyone recommend a life insurance agent for New York Life or Equitable
in the east bay? I can't seem to find anyone in the archives that represent
We have found the most personable, conscientous and professional agent that is locally based. After a frustrating experience with a small-time broker in San Ramon we decided to go with a larger company that had local representation. Her name is Susan Strahan, an agent for Allstate. She's located on College Ave. (above Barclay's Pub). Her number 510.450.9050
Has anyone had any recent experiences (good or bad) in shopping and/or purchasing term
life insurance through www.selectquote.com? I checked the parents.berkeley.edu website,
but the recommendation for them was made in 1999...I'm interested in hearing more recent
info about them.
Also, is it typical for insurance brokers or companies to provide the medical staff (arranged
through them) to conduct the pre-application medical exam, rather than having one use his or
her own doctor?
Any info would be appreciated.
Yes, I have had good experiences buying life insurance through Select Quote.
I bought insurance through them several years ago and now we are in the
process of increasing our coverage (now that our family has increased). It
is taking longer this time (a couple of months) to get the whole process
finished because we have been slow to respond to follow up questionnaires
and to schedule tests. I am not sure if it is because we are tripling our
coverage or if it is because we are now older, but this time they required
an EKG from my husband and two follow up questionnaires. But they make it
very convenient for you and come to your home or office for the blood tests,
EKG, blood pressure readings, etc. They have also asked my husband's doctor
for records. Good luck and congrats on making this step to protect your
Can anyone recommend an insurance company/broker who offers reasonably
priced life insurance? Thanks.
We've been pretty happy with www.selectquote.com 800-963-8688.
They are a broker of TERM Life policies and will happily provide you with
hundreds of companies. Typically, you call them, give them your zip code,
you smoke or not, and other brief medical details, as well as the kind of
policy you wish:
amount of coverage, years, etc., and they then mail you quotes from say the
policies that fit your situation.
Both my wife and I have policies through them, and when I have compared the
other brokerages, or with organizations I belong to, their rates have
always been the
As you might already know, what is often perceived as more difficult than
finding a low
rate and a reputable company is determining what insurance you need: term
life, convertible, etc. Most personal finance books (Dummies Guide, etc.,
pure and plainly: fixed term life for say 10-30 years. The amount you
would pay for
whole or for convertible is best used separately investing and not being
given to an
insurance agency to invest for you.
We got our insurance through Preferred Quotes in Palo Alto 800.333.3750.
They are independent and carry a number of different lines. But do not get
attatched to any set broker. Brokers and indeed insurers are pretty
fungible these days.
There is an excellent article in Forbes on buying life insurance; it is at
Once you are there, click on the table for a list of web sites for
independent insurance brokers. Then you can shop online.
We bought term life insurance through an independent insurance broker, Henry
Lutzky, 652-5200. He is an agent for many different companies; the companies
he's recommended all are highly rated. The rates he has gotten us have been
better than those through our professional society.
He also sells other types of life insurance and health insurance. I find him
to be an honest and decent broker to work with. He sells the steak, not the
sizzle. (E.g., he tries to sell the product, not himself.)
I am responding to the request for reasonably priced term life
insurance that is convertible. My agent, Charles Payne, works
for Northwest Mutual. My husband and I bought a policy which
we found to be a good deal. You can reach Charles at home
at 547-8127. I don't happen to have his work phone with me
today. Hope this helps
On insurance: you might want to check with any professional organizations
you belong to. The America Physical Society offers both life insurance
and disability insurance for incredible rates. I think I pay about $50
per year for $100,000 of term life insurance (yes, that's per year, not
per month). Don't forget about disability insurance -- a parent who can't
work and even requires home care can be a huge drain on family resources.
this page was last updated: Apr 19, 2010
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