SelectQuote is one of the oldest players in the sale of insurance direct to consumers. Established in 1985, this company works with a variety of highly ranked insurance carriers and says its goal is to "remove barriers to shopping for insurance."
However, that was not my experience when shopping for insurance with SelectQuote!
As an independent agency, SelectQuote is not a captive of any one company. When you shop with them, you’re getting access to a wide range of quotes from top insurers. But there’s one big problem with the shopping experience that makes the service that SelectQuote offers feel very outdated.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how SelectQuote works, what companies you can get quotes from, how the price quotes stack up and more.
Using SelectQuote starts with entering some basic info about yourself. For the purposes of this SelectQuote review, I’ll show you what you need to shop for both term life and auto/home insurance quotes.
Like many other insurance shopping sites, SelectQuote says it makes shopping for term life insurance easy. But the reality of actually getting a quote is anything but.
That said, here’s what you need to provide to get started:
- Your ZIP code
- Birth date
After entering that basic preliminary info, you’re asked to select a coverage amount (Up to $5 million) and a term (10, 15, 20, 30 years).
Meanwhile, if you're uncertain, you can call the company for free advice at 1-855-653-6700.
The next step is to answer some questions about your personal lifestyle and health:
- Do you use tobacco?
- Any driving violations in the past five years?
- Do you engage in risky activities like piloting aircraft, bungee jumping, hang gliding, mountain and rock climbing, scuba diving, or sky diving?
- What condition(s) do you have? (Alcohol abuse, depression, high cholesterol, etc.)
- Is there a family history of heart disease, cancer, stroke or diabetes?
Once you’ve entered all the info above, you expect to get a quote, right?
But what you're really doing when you click the "FINISH" button is submitting a request for a quote.
I'm not a fan of robocalls — in fact, I've written about how to stop them. So I wasn't happy with this stipulation.
As an alternative, shoppers do have the option to get a life insurance quote over the phone from SelectQuote by calling that 1-855-653-6700 number.
But the bottom line is this: The info you give to SelectQuote is considered a quote request. You’ll receive a call from an agent in order to actually get your quote.
The process of trying to get a quote for home, auto or an insurance bundle is similarly frustrating.
Here’s what you need to provide to get started:
- Highest level of education
- Employment status
- Do you own or rent your home?
- Is it your primary residence?
- Have you filed any home or property claims in the past 5 years?
- How many vehicles do you want to insure today?
- Have you had any car accidents, claims or tickets in the past 5 years?
Finally, you enter your name, phone and email. But beware, you’re again consenting to let SelectQuote and others call you any time they want for marketing purposes.
Once again, you can get a quote for home/auto without giving that consent by calling 1-855-226-1289 to speak with a live agent. I opted for the online process instead, to replicate the way most shoppers would get quotes.
The most disappointing part of all was the seven “quotes” I was given online. Only two were from actual insurance companies — Progressive and Liberty Mutual.
The other five were links to different insurance lead generation engines: QuoteWizard, AgileRates, QuotesMatch, Insurify and Home Insurance Connect.
But the frustration didn’t end there. When clicking through on the links to my real “quotes” from Progressive and Liberty Mutual, I was just redirected to each insurer’s home page to start the quote process over from scratch!
So I entered all that information for nothing. Very disappointing.
Unlike some of its online competitors that really branch out, SelectQuote keeps it simple with just a handful of lines of insurance:
- Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage
We’ve already mentioned life, home and auto in this review. But SelectQuote says it works with Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Mutual of Omaha and UnitedHealthcare on the Medicare lines.
SelectQuote is licensed to offer all insurance products in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. However, SelectQuote does not sell life insurance in South Dakota.
You can find state licensing info here.
SelectQuote works with a variety of companies depending on the kind of insurance you’re getting a quote for.
For term life insurance, SelectQuote can quote you with almost a dozen companies:
- Banner Life
- Globe Life
- Pacific Life
- United of Omaha
- William Penn
When it comes to auto and home insurance, the company has relationships with the following nearly two dozen carriers:
- American Modern
- American Strategic
- Liberty Mutual
- National General
- Plymouth Rock
- Velocity Risk
When it comes to buying life insurance, there are two things you need to pay attention to: Price and a carrier’s financial stability rating.
I shopped with SelectQuote on a couple of different term life insurance options.
First, I got a quote for a 20-year term life policy for myself in the amount of $250,000:
I followed that up with a quote for double the coverage — $500,000 — for 20 years:
As a reminder, to obtain both quotes, I had to speak with an agent on the phone and answer a battery of questions based on my initial responses on the website. That process was very cumbersome.
Now, just a quick word about the financial stability of the insurers I was quoted with. Both Pacific Life and Lincoln National are rated A+ by A.M. Best, the leading credit rating agency for the insurance world. SBLI, meanwhile, is rated A.
Clark Howard recommends that you only buy life insurance from companies that are rated A++ or A+ by A.M. Best.
By looking at an insurer’s balance sheet, financial strength rating, long-term issuer credit rating and other data points, A.M. Best is able to give the best educated guess in the industry about a particular company’s future ability to pay claims when you need them.
That’s what the letter grades reflect, with A++ being the absolute highest and A+ just one notch below.
Having to get on the phone with an agent is time-consuming and an annoyance in an age when we’re all used to digital shopping making our lives easier — not more difficult.
By contrast, those three competitors I mentioned all offer easy online quotes for term life insurance with no medical exam, something that SelectQuote does not offer. They give you instant quotes online, not over the phone.