Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need life insurance?

If you have a partner, children, or elderly parents who depend on you for support (financial or otherwise), then it’s a wise decision to purchase life insurance to provide them with a financial safety net, should something unexpected happen to you. You might not need life insurance, if you have already built up enough savings to provide that safety net on your own.

What kind of life insurance do I need?

There are two main types of life insurance: 1) term life insurance and 2) permanent life insurance.

Term life insurance is simple and affordable.

It provides coverage for a period of time of your choosing (“term length”) and is designed to protect your dependents in the event of your passing. If you pass during the term period, your beneficiaries receive a cash payment to cover expenses such as: funeral costs, daily living expenses, debt repayment, mortgage payments, and college tuition.

Permanent life insurance is complex and more expensive than term. It is sometimes used as an investment vehicle and therefore, one should be prepared to assume meaningful levels of risk when choosing this policy.

You can borrow money against the account or surrender the policy for the cash but if you don’t repay the borrowings (with interest), you will reduce the amount your beneficiaries will receive upon your passing.

We highly recommend term life insurance in all scenarios, but particularly if:

  • You need life insurance to replace your income over a certain period, such as the years you’re raising children or paying off your mortgage

  • You want the most affordable coverage

  • You want a fast and streamlined process

What kinds of things can life insurance cover?

Life insurance can be used to cover a variety of common expenses.

  • Living expenses for your family

  • Mortgages

  • College expenses for the kids

  • Stay-at-home labor expenses (cooking, cleaning, etc.)

  • Co-signed debt including student loans

  • Burial expenses

  • Loans from family members

  • Estate taxes that your heirs must pay for other assets

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is a person or entity named as the recipient of your policy’s death benefit.

A beneficiary can be a family member, a person unrelated to you, or even a business or other organization. You can also choose more than one beneficiary, and designate how you want the death benefit to be split among them.

Your insurer will automatically disburse the death benefit if you die, but you should nonetheless tell the beneficiary about the policy so it will be prepared to take action should a problem arise. For this same reason it’s also a good idea to provide the beneficiary with access to the contract.

What is a death benefit?

A death benefit is the amount of money that a life insurance policy pays to the beneficiary upon the policyholder's death. It is usually untaxed and paid in a single lump sum.

Is the death benefit taxed?

The death benefit is not taxed under normal circumstances. If you’re doing something less common - distributing the death benefits in installments while investing it or including the benefit in an estate - there may be tax penalties for the beneficiary. Be sure to check with an accountant or financial advisor if you think this may apply to you.

How do I know that your policies are reliable?

Ethos is backed by some of the world’s largest and most trusted insurance companies in the world, including: Munich Reinsurance America, Aon, Assurity, and RGA

Where is Ethos available?

We are available in 49 states.

We currently do not provide coverage in the following New York.

Who qualifies for an Ethos policy?

To qualify for an Ethos policy, you must:

  • Aged 18-75

  • Be a U.S. citizen or a green card holder who has lived in the United States for at least 24 months

  • Reside in one of the states we are available in.

Can I get coverage, even if I’ve had some health problems?

At Ethos, every customer is underwritten individually and receives a price based on many factors, including medical history, current health, age, and gender. Sometimes, our assessment results in an applicant being denied coverage.

That said, health problems should not preclude you from applying. We have customers of all ages, genders, and health conditions.

What happens if I miss a payment?

If you fail to make a payment, we offer a thirty-day grace period. If payment is still not received in the grace period, unfortunately, we have no other choice but to end your coverage.

Will I need a medical exam or lab appointment?

At Ethos, every customer and every situation is given special, individualized care. In most cases, applicants won't need to get a medical exam or lab appointment. However this depends on the individual and his/her specific situation.

How do I sign-up?

Ethos makes it fast and easy to sign-up. Get a quote and start the journey here.

How do I change my payment method?

Please send us an email at

How do I change my beneficiary?

You can change your beneficiary at any time. Please email us at

Why was my application denied?

We consider a number of factors including health, lifestyle, and more. Please feel free to reach out to our support team if you have any questions about the application process.

Can I cancel my policy?

You can cancel your policy at any time. Please email us at to start the process.

Does my beneficiary need to do anything to receive the death benefit?

Usually a beneficiary does not have to do anything to receive your policy’s death benefit, but it's a good idea to make sure he or she is aware that the policy exists in case there are any delays or complications on the insurer’s side.

How do I file a claim?

We are sorry for your loss. Please email us at and a member of our team will guide you through the process.

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