Big Lou Life Insurance Review

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Written by D. Gilson, PhD
Professor & Published Author D. Gilson, PhD

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Mar 11, 2022

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The Highlights

  • Big Lou Life Insurance specializes in life insurance policies for clients with pre-existing conditions
  • They offer a Ratings Ladder that helps determine the rate you’ll pay based on your health, lifestyle, occupation
  • Big Lou Life Insurance has an overall rating of 4.9/5

“Big Lou is like you — he’s on meds, too.”

Sound familiar? You’ve probably seen or heard one of Big Lou Life Insurance’s tongue-in-cheek commercials. But if that’s been your only run-in with Big Lou, you might have questions about their life insurance policies.

In this comprehensive review, we’ll be examining Big Lou’s coverage options, claim process, reputation, and more. 

About Big Lou Life Insurance

Big Lou Life Insurance was founded in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, in the early 1980s, and they remain there today. Officially known as TermProvider in the United States, the affordable life insurance brokerage took on the Big Lou moniker in 2011 as an advertising name.

The “Big Lou” character represents the average person with a health “glitch” or two — the same market that the company caters to. As a brokerage specializing in “Impaired Risk” life insurance, Big Lou helps find life insurance policies for clients with pre-existing health issues.

Big Lou could be the life insurance solution for you, even if you suffer from:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Cardiac problems
  • Sleep apnea
  • Arthritis

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Big Lou Life Insurance Coverage Offered

As an affordable life insurance broker, Big Lou partners with dozens of national life insurance companies. With that in mind, there are countless plans and combinations available to you at Big Lou insurance.

However, in general, Big Lou Life Insurance provides these three types of long term care coverage:

  • Whole life insurance. A whole life insurance policy offers lifelong protection. No matter how long you live, you’ll have your coverage as long as you continue to pay your premiums. These premiums will be set at a fixed rate every period.

With whole life insurance, a portion of your premium is held in a savings or investment account. Should you need some extra cash, you can borrow against your policy or surrender it to receive the cash value.

  • Universal life insurance. Like whole life insurance, this type of policy is also permanent, covering you for your entire life. There’s also an investment component to universal life insurance policies, with your contributions collecting interest.

The primary feature that separates universal life insurance from whole life is flexibility. You can adjust your premiums or your death benefit at any time. This flexibility allows you to adapt to changing life circumstances.

  • Term life insurance. Term life insurance is different from the above options in that it has an expiration date. For example, if you choose a policy term of 20 years, your beneficiaries will only receive the death benefit if you pass on within that window.

A term life insurance policy is generally more affordable than the other two options, as there is no guarantee you’ll ever need to use the term policy.. However, you can often extend a term life insurance policy or find one that returns your investment after it expires.

Big Lou offers two types of term life insurance: instant term and fully underwritten. Instant term insurance allows you to secure coverage immediately — without a medical exam. Underwritten policies require a health exam, but they can score you lower premiums.

Within each of these policy types, there are several variations. An insurance broker can help you find the right policy.

Bundling Options

Big Lou Life Insurance doesn’t offer product bundles. However, the brokerage does advocate for term layering, a form of bundling that can often result in cheaper premiums.

Term layering is a common strategy in the life insurance industry. In short, you can take out two or more term life insurance policies to minimize costs or maximize coverage.

Instead of taking out a single 30-year term policy, it might be cheaper for you to combine 10, 20, and 30-year terms to meet your needs. Big Lou’s experience in term layering could save you thousands over the years.

Big Lou Life Insurance’s Potential Discounts

With life insurance, promotions and discounts are rare. Instead, your premium amounts depend almost entirely on factors beyond your control. You will pay more or less for your policy depending on:

  • Your health
  • Your age
  • Your sex
  • Your family health history

Additionally, your rates will change based on factors you can influence. These include:

  • The policy type and coverage amount you choose
  • Your lifestyle
  • Your occupation
  • Whether or not you smoke or use a vape
  • Your driving record

Each insurance company that Big Lou works with takes all of these factors into account. They then use a Ratings Ladder to determine the rates you’ll pay. If you’re healthy, you’ll land on a lower, more affordable rung. If you’re on several medications, you’ll find yourself on a higher rung.

Big Lou Life Insurance shines in its ability to navigate each company’s rating ladder on your behalf. An underwriter from your chosen insurance company will assess your position on the ladder, and Big Lou will help them find ways to place you on a lower rung, saving you money.

Apart from this service, the other way to receive “discounts” on your life insurance costs is by living an active, healthy lifestyle. Taking out a policy at a younger age can also decrease your total costs.

It’s worth noting here that despite Big Lou’s promise to save you money, they’re hardly upfront with their rates. There’s no online quote tool for most policies. Instead, you’ll have to speak directly with an agent to determine your rates and discounts.

Big Lou Life Insurance’s Special Programs

Because Big Lou partners with many of America’s top life insurance companies, you’ll find special programs on offer from each one. While Big Lou doesn’t list the benefits of each company on their website, they do mention some of the riders (policy add-ons) you could take advantage of. These include:

  • Living benefits. The term “living benefit” is a catch-all for any add-on you can access while still alive. For example, if you fall critically or chronically ill, you may be able to access some of your death benefit funds to cover medical costs. Some of these riders are offered at no additional cost, while others will increase your premiums.
  • Waiver of premium. This rider protects those who become unable to work. If you become permanently disabled, your insurance company will allow you to keep your policy without paying your premiums.
  • Accidental death. Big Lou partners with several companies that offer accidental death riders. Should you pass away due to an accident (as opposed to natural causes), your death benefit will increase.

Big Lou’s other distinction is their confidence in their low rates. Unlike other insurance brokers, Big Lou will gladly give you a copy of your medical exam to shop around with other providers.

Big Lou Life Insurance Claim Process

Big Lou Life Insurance is a broker, so you’ll submit your claims directly through whichever insurance provider(s) you sign on with.

Big Lou works with national insurance companies big and small, including:

  • Lincoln Financial Group
  • Prudential
  • American General Life Companies
  • John Hancock Life Insurance
  • Pacific Life
  • Protective Life Insurance Company
  • United of Omaha Life Insurance Company

The claim submission process varies for each company, but you can usually submit a claim online or over the phone. Some insurers also offer a mobile app for ease of use. Should you need assistance, Big Lou provides direct contact information for their agents.

If you have to make a life insurance policy claim, be sure to secure copies of:

  • The policy document
  • The death certificate
  • A claim form (also called a “request for benefits”)

This will make your submission process more seamless.

Big Lou Life Insurance’s Industry Standing

With four decades of experience, Big Lou is well-known and well-regarded in the life insurance industry.

According to the review aggregator Shopper Approved, Big Lou comes highly recommended by customers looking for life insurance. With over 2,200 reviews, they’ve received an outstanding rating of 4.9/5.

Most reviews mention the friendly customer service agents, affordable rates, and simplified process. Here are some typical comments:

“The process was seamless and Big Lou kept me updated throughout the entire process. All in all, a great experience!” – Terry

“Working with Big Lou, and more specifically Randy McLean, was easy. No questions went unanswered, and his communications were timely and informative. Thanks.” – Ted

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Big Lou Life Insurance’s Availability by Location

No matter where you are in the US, Big Lou can assist you. The brokerage is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

As for location-based coverage, life insurance policies typically cover you regardless of where you are when you pass away. With that said, some insurance companies will have stipulations about travel to more “dangerous” countries.

If you plan to travel to countries listed as “Do Not Travel” or “Reconsider Travel” by the US government, you may be subject to higher premiums. You could even be denied coverage altogether. Countries that are regularly on the “Do Not Travel” list include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • North Korea
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemen

Always be honest with your agency about upcoming international travel. Providing false information could jeopardize your death benefit payout.

The Bottom Line on Big Lou Life Insurance

Overall, Big Lou Life Insurance excels as an option for those who may have struggled to find life insurance elsewhere. If you’re battling health glitches or have reached your mid-50s, Big Lou might be for you. However, younger people in good health will likely find cheaper policies at other brokerages.

References:

  1. Big Lou Life Insurance. Who We Are… https://www.bigloulife.com/about-us 
  2. Shopper Approved. biglou.com Reviews. https://www.shopperapproved.com/reviews/biglou.com 
  3. Travel.State.Gov. Travel Advisories. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/ 

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