Did you happen to hear a comical yet memorable radio advertisement about a man named Big Lou who can help you get affordable life insurance coverage?
The ads for Big Lou life insurance are funny. They claim to help people find affordable term life and permanent life insurance policies, especially those with pre-existing health conditions.
So, is Big Lou life insurance a good choice? The following article breaks down the advantages, disadvantages, and features of Big Lou and the life insurance broker behind the catchy advertisements.
What Is Big Lou Life Insurance?
Big Lou Life Insurance is an insurance agency that helps people with health concerns navigate the life insurance marketplace to get quotes and apply for life insurance from some of the top insurance companies in the United States, such as AIG and Prudential.
Big Lou was developed by its parent company TermProvider, a life insurance brokerage agency based in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The company has over 25 years of experience helping ten’s of thousands of people save time and money on their life insurance.
Using Big Lou allows you to work with a licensed agent to shop the life insurance marketplace and receive multiple quotes based on your life insurance needs and specific conditions, such as medical history, intended coverage amount, and type of life insurance.
The quotes are accurate, making it easier to compare options before selecting a policy. After comparing policies, you can submit your application through TermProvider, starting the underwriting process.
Is Big Lou a Real Person?
Big Lou is not a real person. Instead, he is a fictional character created by TermProvider as part of an advertising campaign. It is now a large segment of the company’s main brand. The character is heavily featured in the company’s television and radio commercials, website, and online marketing.
TermProvider launched the Big Lou marketing campaign in 2011. The fictional character is portrayed as an older male with relatable health glitches that most Americans have, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and being a little overweight.
The advertising campaign aimed to attract clients who have difficulty finding insurance as Big Lou also has health concerns. Individuals with pre-existing health conditions often struggle to find affordable insurance policies. Big Lou offers access to quotes from life insurance companies with plans that are more likely to offer lenient terms to those with health issues.
TermProvider and Big Lou Insurance
TermProvider Inc. is the company behind the Big Lou brand. The company is a national life insurance brokerage firm founded in the early 1980s and located in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
As one of the largest brokerage agencies in the country, TermProvider has also become a leading choice in the “impaired risk” insurance market. The company caters to those with existing health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, sleep apnea, and heart disease, among many other health risks.
TermProvider works with over 40 life insurance companies, ensuring access to various life insurance products from trusted insurance issuers.
TermProvider has helped hundreds of thousands of Americans find the right life insurance, both in excellent health and those with some health issues. In addition, they generate over $5 million in revenue each year.
The life insurance quotes that you receive come from some of the top insurance companies. Yet, the policy that you choose does not come from TermProvider.
The insurance company you decide to apply for coverage with is the one that completes the underwriting process, manages your policy, and handles claims. TermProvider is the broker that facilitates the initial purchase of the insurance policy.
Big Lou Insurance Reviews and Ratings
Looking at financial ratings and customer reviews can help you select the right insurance company to purchase your coverage from. However, TermProvider is not a life insurance company. Therefore, you need to look at the ratings of the companies that TermProvider works with.
Luckily, TermProvider only partners with the top-rated companies. The insurance companies with life insurance products available through Big Lou have at least an “A” rating from the top financial rating agencies, such as S&P, AM Best, and Fitch.
Although TermProvider doesn’t have a financial strength rating, its customer reviews and testimonials are excellent. With over 2000 five-star verified reviews on Shopper Approved, the company is known for offering swift, reliable customer service.
Must customers also stated that they found Big Lou Insurance through the company’s radio advertisements.
Types of Life Insurance Available Through Big Lou Insurance
Big Lou offers access to several types of life insurance options, annuities, and long-term care products. Available types of life insurance include:
- Level term life insurance
- Whole life insurance
- Universal life insurance
The minimum and maximum coverage amounts, issue ages, and available policy riders vary depending on the type of insurance and the insurance company. Here is a closer look at some of the options available through Big Lou.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is one of the most popular options when shopping for insurance with Big Lou. Compared to permanent life insurance policies, term life often costs less and offers access to more flexibility in contract durations.
Term life insurance is available with contract lengths ranging from 10 to 30 years. Regardless of the term length you choose, your premium payments remain at a fixed price throughout the entire contract length. This is referred to as the “level premium period.”
If a policyholder dies before the end of the contract, the life insurance company will pay the beneficiary the policy’s full death benefit value.
People often obtain a term insurance policy to cover financial responsibilities for a specific period. For example, if you have 20 years left on a mortgage and want to ensure that your spouse can continue with mortgage payments if you die, a 20-year term life policy may give you greater peace of mind.
Your age is an important consideration when deciding whether term life is right for you. Thirty-year term life policies are often available for individuals between the ages of 18 and 50. At the age of 65, you may be eligible for 10-year and 15-year terms. The age limit for most term life policies is 80 years.
Accelerated Underwriting - Term
Accelerated underwriting is a non-medical underwriting process that may offer approval in a few minutes to several days. However, instant-decision policies typically come with stricter eligibility requirements.
Depending on your age, an instant decision term life product may only offer a maximum death benefit of $500,000 to $1,000,000. Severe health conditions will require you to undergo the fully underwritten process requiring a medical exam and potentially pay a higher premium for coverage.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance. Instead of expiring after a set term period, the policy remains in force until you pass away or stop paying the premiums. All whole life policies also accumulate guaranteed cash value.
A portion of your premium payments is set aside and earns interest. The amount that you earn is fixed. The life insurance premiums are also set for life.
Whole life insurance plans are often available to applicants up to the age of 85. However, older individuals typically receive higher premiums and lower death benefit limits.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance is another type of permanent life insurance policy offered at Big Lou Insurance. A universal life insurance policy can grow a cash value based on an interest rate set by the insurance company.
However, the cash value growth is not guaranteed and is typically not as strong as whole life insurance. On the other hand, the cost for the coverage will be much less than whole life insurance.
In addition to cash accumulation, universal life insurance plans offer a lot of flexibility with the coverage. For example, cash value earnings, premiums, and death benefits can all be adjusted based on changing needs.
Big Lou also offers guaranteed universal life insurance, which focuses on low-cost permanent life insurance protection without the cash value growth potential.
What Life Insurance Companies Does Big Lou Offer?
Big Lou partners with over 40 life insurance companies. Here are a few of the most recognizable companies available through TermProvider:
- American General Life Companies
- Lincoln Financial Group
- Pacific Life
- United of Omaha Life Insurance Company
- John Hancock
- Legal & General America
These companies have high financial strength ratings and decades of experience in the life insurance industry. Many of the insurance companies listed are over 100 years old.
Is Big Lou Insurance Available in Every State?
Big Lou is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. However, the availability of individual plans varies depending on the insurance company’s service area.
For example, policies from Lincoln Financial and SBLI are not available in the state of New York. SBLI’s policies are also not available in Montana.
Although not all companies operate in every state, Big Lou still has options for residents throughout the country.
Who Handles Claims for Big Lou Life Insurance?
Claims are handled by the insurance company that issues the policy. For example, if you purchased a Protective term life insurance policy, Protective would handle the claims process and payout.
TermProvider can help assist with notifying the insurance company of a claim but does not process the claim. The company acts as a broker by helping you find the insurance company that best fits your specific needs.
After you accept a contract and pay your premium, the insurance company issues your policy and remains responsible for administering the terms of the contract, including paying out the death benefit.
How to Apply for Life Insurance with Big Lou
Big Lou offers two options for applying for life insurance. You can fill out an online form to start the process or contact Big Lou on the phone. Unfortunately, both options require you to speak to an agent as they do not provide instant quotes.
If you choose to fill out the form, you can arrange a phone call quickly or schedule it up to a month out. The phone call should only last 15 to 30 minutes. The agent collects some basic information, including:
- Your name
- Health conditions
You also provide details related to the type of insurance you want, including the amount of the death benefit and any available riders that you want to be included in your policy.
Rider options often include terminal illness riders, accidental death benefit riders, living benefits, and waiver of premium life insurance riders. Some riders are added at no additional cost, whereas others increase your premium payments.
The agent will then obtain quotes for several life insurance products that best meet your needs and health. In addition, life insurance quotes from Big Lou Insurance are often more accurate than the instant online quotes offered through other online brokerage companies. This is because they don’t provide the option to view rates instantly on their website.
To see term life insurance rates or rates from any other life insurance option, you must fill out a form on the Big Lou website and speak with a representative.
TermProvider and Big Lou feel there is a misconception about online brokerage agencies that show the rates. The online rates often displayed are based on healthy individuals, which means that the rates you see are usually lower than what you receive if you have a health issue or two.
Big Lou avoids the misconception of online rates altogether by conversing with the individual interested in coverage. The representative on the call can learn about the individual’s life insurance needs and any health conditions, resulting in more accurate quotes.
After choosing a life insurance policy, the agent walks you through the rest of the application process. You may need to submit additional information, such as arranging a medical exam.
TermProvider then forwards your information to the insurance company issuing the life insurance coverage. The insurance company then reviews your application and starts the underwriting process.
Do I Need a Medical Exam with Big Lou Life Insurance?
Most life insurance policies require a medical exam, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions. However, Big Lou does offer access to some no-medical exam options.
Several of TermProvider’s partners offer accelerated underwriting and an instant decision option. If you are under the age of 50, you can get up to $1,000,000 in coverage. If you are older than 50, you may choose up to $500,000 in coverage.
Applying without completing a medical exam is not available to everyone. You typically need to be under 65 and without any serious health issues, such as cancer or recent heart surgery. If you take diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure medications, you may still qualify for a no-medical exam option.
A fully underwritten policy takes longer to process. You may need to wait up to eight weeks instead of receiving an instant decision. The traditional underwriting process is more time-consuming and requires a medical exam.
If you have a few health glitches, it is likely that you will need to go through the traditional underwriting process that would require a medical exam. However, TermProvider and its experienced agents will be able to determine if you qualify for accelerated underwriting after a quick phone call with you.
How Long Is the Application Process?
The entire application process, including underwriting, may take a single day to two months. However, filling out the online application and talking with an agent typically takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
The longest part is the underwriting process, which involves reviewing your application and contacting third-party sources. Underwriting may take a day to eight weeks, depending on whether you qualify for accelerated or traditional underwriting.
Insurance companies typically contact the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) to verify your medical history. They also run a background check to look for DUIs and other criminal charges.
Suppose you are someone with a history of medical issues. In that case, it will be likely that the insurance company requests a copy of your medical records to view the severity of the medical condition and see how treatment along with follow-ups are going.
Can I Get an Instant Decision with Big Lou?
TermProvider provides access to instant-approval life insurance products and accelerated underwriting options. The life insurance coverage is offered through SBLI term life insurance.
To apply for an instant decision policy, you must go through the TermProvider website, as the option is not available through Big Lou.
If you qualify for an instant-approval life insurance policy, the agent can submit your application and get back to you with a response from the insurance company. The process may be completed in a single day.
What Is the Cancellation Policy?
The cancellation policy depends on the insurance company that issues your policy. Depending on the company, you may have 10 to 30 days to cancel. You do not receive a refund if you cancel after the cancellation period.
Insurance companies are required to offer a 10-day free look period. You can cancel your policy within the free look period and request a full refund of any premiums you have already paid. However, most companies offer up to 30 day free-look period to cancel and receive a full refund of premiums paid.
How Do I Contact Big Lou Insurance?
If you want to speak to an agent, you can contact Big Lou at 1-888-893-2105 or BigLou@TermProvider.com.
The TermProvider customer service department is intended for inquiries related to the company’s services. If you want to discuss the details of your policy, you need to contact the company that issued the policy.
Is Big Lou Life Insurance Good for People with Pre-Existing Conditions?
Big Lou specializes in helping people with pre-existing conditions find the right life insurance policy. The character “Big Lou” is an older male who is overweight and has diabetes.
TermProvider is often a good fit for those receiving treatment for diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease, kidney disease, and many other pre-existing conditions.
Are Big Lou Life Insurance Rates Affordable?
Big Lou offers reasonable insurance rates, as the company works with some of the leading life insurance companies.
You also work with a licensed agent instead of relying on a computer algorithm to match you with the best policies. The agent you speak with can help you find the most affordable options that fit your criteria.
How Are Rates Determined?
Rates are determined based on your age, gender, and health profile. Insurance companies set rates for different underwriting classes. An underwriter reviews your personal details to determine which class you belong to.
Your health is the biggest factor in determining your underwriting class. Big Lou refers to the underwriting classes as “rungs” on a rating ladder. The first rung is for applicants with no significant health complications and minimal medications. About 2% of clients receive the lowest rung, which comes with the lowest rates.
Applicants who are about 20 to 30 pounds overweight or have diabetes or heart conditions, but no major medical issues, may receive the “standard” underwriting class. About 30% of applicants qualify for the standard.
Close to half of applicants receive rate classes with higher rates than the standard underwriting class. Cancer treatments, drug or alcohol abuse, and major health conditions are likely to result in higher rates but may not disqualify you from obtaining a life insurance policy.
Alternatives to Big Lou Life Insurance
Big Lou (TermProvider) is not the only life insurance broker. Many other companies offer the same service. You can fill out an online form or contact a licensed agent to receive quotes from a selection of the top carriers in the United States. A few of the most popular alternatives to Big Lou include:
Ladder is a broker that offers an entirely digital experience. You can compare quotes and purchase an insurance policy from a top insurance company from your computer or smartphone. However, the company only sells term life insurance.
Bestow provides you with a selection of competitive quotes in just minutes. You can fill out a form online and compare rates. You do not need to speak with an agent. As with Ladder, Bestow only offers access to term life insurance.
PolicyGenius compares prices from some of the top insurers, including Prudential, Lincoln Financial Group, Mutual of Omaha, and Pacific Life. The same companies are also available through Big Lou, along with other companies that offer competitive rates for those with existing conditions.
SelectQuote and TermProvider offer comparable services. SelectQuote allows you to obtain quotes from several insurance companies, but you need to speak with an agent. You fill out a form online and wait for an agent to contact you. Along with life insurance, SelectQuote offers access to many other types of insurance, including home and auto.
If you prefer to handle everything online without speaking to a live person, you may prefer one of the first three alternatives. SelectQuote is a recommended option for those who require additional forms of insurance, such as home, auto, or Medicare.
Advantages of Big Lou Life Insurance
Some of the main reasons to consider using Big Lou include:
- Good for those with pre-existing conditions
- You receive a personalized service
- You may get to skip a medical exam
If you have existing health issues, you can likely get the best coverage through one of TermProvider’s partners. The company works with a variety of insurance companies that offer life coverage for those with a few health glitches. Sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and diabetes should not stop you from getting affordable insurance.
During the first call, a Big Lou agent learns more about your health history and the type of insurance that you are looking for. You receive a personalized service instead of receiving recommendations from a computer algorithm.
Big Lou also offers access to life insurance policies that do not require a medical exam. Depending on your health, you may get to skip the medical exam and receive a faster decision on your application.
Disadvantages of Big Lou Life Insurance
Here are a couple of potential disadvantages of Big Lou:
- You are unlikely to receive instant approval
- You need to speak with a Big Lou financial professional
Dozens of insurance companies and brokers offer instant approval and completely online experiences. However, most of the policies available through Big Lou do not include instant decisions.
You also need to speak with an agent. You cannot complete the application process without talking to a real person. These details may be inconvenient to those who prefer to handle everything online and want swift results.
Yet, speaking with an agent and taking the time to review your options offers many advantages. You increase your chances of finding the best policy based on your preferences.
Conclusion – Should I Purchase My Life Insurance Coverage From Big Lou?
If you have pre-existing health conditions or dislike the idea of shopping around for life insurance, you may want to consider purchasing a policy from Big Lou. You can allow a licensed financial professional to find the best rates for you.
There is no commitment. You can review the quotes and consider your options before contacting an agent and finishing your application. You also have the option to use your medical exam for an application from another insurance company.
Contact Big Lou today to start comparing life insurance quotes.