Getting Started: How to Get Life Insurance


When you’re ready to get started, take these steps to find the right coverage for you and your family!

Step 1: Get life insurance when you’re young and healthy.

Life insurance costs less when you’re young and healthy. However, this might be the time of your life when you’re not making as much money because you’re in your early earning years. 

Consider buying it anyway. According to Business Insider, you’ll pay way less at age 25 than you would at age 45. As a female, you may pay on average $18.59 per month at age 25 but the price jumps to $41.75 per month at age 45.

Step 2: Decide whether term or whole life makes more sense for you.

If you need life insurance for a specific amount of time, such as the duration of time you will pay on a mortgage or saving for college, you may want to choose term insurance. Decide whether you want it as an income replacement strategy. 

On the other hand, if you want coverage for your full life, you may want to tap into whole life insurance.

Step 3: Add up how much you need.

Put together how much it’ll cost you to replace your income, how much your mortgage costs you, kids’ college expenses and other monthly expenses.

From that, subtract the money you already have in savings or in other investments. Leave out your retirement funds if you think your family will need that for later on. Factor in income replacement over the course of many years. 

Does it seem like a lot of money? That’s normal. It’s not unheard of for individuals or families to adopt million-dollar-plus policies.

Step 4: Get a quote and apply.

First, get a quote by answering basic questions about your age, health, tobacco use, family health history, driving record and any risky hobbies you perform. 

Next, start a formal application. You’ll apply for a policy type, amount of coverage and policy length for term insurance.

As soon as you submit the application, a life insurance company may ask you to undergo a medical exam. 

Step 5: Choose your beneficiary or beneficiaries.

A life insurance beneficiary is the person or people who will receive the death benefit when you die. You can add multiple beneficiaries or contingent beneficiaries on your life insurance policy. Review your beneficiaries every few years or so to make sure that life events, such as the death of a spouse or a divorce, reflect your beneficiary choices.

Step 6: Pay your premiums. 

Your life insurance policy stays in force as long as you make your payments. Payment methods may vary depending on the provider. However, the most commonly accepted forms of payment for life insurance include a personal check, cashier’s check or an electronic funds transfer (EFT). 

Step 4: Your beneficiaries make a claim after your death. 

Life insurance companies won’t automatically know when a loved one has passed away, so your beneficiaries need to make a claim using a death certificate. The insurance company will need a death certificate as proof of a death.

Your loved ones may want to request a few certified copies if they need the death certificate for other companies that may need to know about the death. Your loved ones will need to contact the life insurance company right away and verify that they’ve met all claim requirements.

Life Insurance Can Help in a Crisis

Life insurance can help your loved ones in the wake of your death, but only if you tell them that you have a life insurance policy! Tell your beneficiaries the name of the insurer so they can contact the life insurance company as soon as the unthinkable occurs. They don’t need your login and password for the insurance company — they only need the name of the company so they can contact them.

Again, it’s not pleasant to think about dying and leaving your family to manage on their own. However, buying life insurance could be the best financial gift you can give them.


College Savings Calculator is a hypothetical tool that demonstrates how monthly contributions, age-based asset rebalancing, and tax savings may impact the long-term value of your account, and do not take into account a portfolio’s underlying investment management fees. Calculations assume the private institution cost inflation is 2.8%, public out of state cost inflation is 3.9%, public in state cost inflation is 2.7%. Portfolio is assumed to have only stocks and bonds. Monthly equity returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the stock market (SPY). Monthly fixed income returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the bond market index (AGG). The current college expenses are provided by the Actual account performance may differ due to market fluctuations, changes in recurring investments, and asset allocation. The information provided here is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent actual or future performance of any investment option and is not intended to predict or project the investment performance of any security or index.

Ksenia Yudina, CFA, MBA

Founder and CEO

Ksenia is the Founder and CEO of U-Nest, the first mobile app that makes it easy for families to save for college. As an entrepreneur and finance professional, Ksenia has focused on alleviating the impact of student debt on families across the economic spectrum. Previously, Ksenia was a Vice President atCapital Group/American Funds, the largest 529 provider in the U.S. In this role, she played a leadership role in helping parents plan and manage their finances, with a focus on the future well-being of their children. Prior to Capital Group/American Funds, she was founder of a residential real estate company. Ksenia earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from CaliforniaState University Northridge, and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Mike Van Kempen

Chief Operating Officer

Mike joined U-Nest in September 2019 as COO. He was previously at Acorns, a financial wellness platform, where he spearheaded the analytics and growth initiatives. Mike successfully expandedAcorns’ paid acquisition strategy, adding over 4.5 million investment accounts. Mike began his career in strategy & analytics at Belly, a Chicago-based loyalty startup in 2012. At Belly, Mike led projects that fueled growth across all aspects of the business, growing the customer base from1,000 to over 11,000 merchants, and accumulating a membership of over 2 million customers.Mike holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago.

Steve Buchanan

Chief Technology Officer

Steve has over 20 years of experience in delivering digital innovations in the financial sector. Steve previously orchestrated product architecture and innovation as a Solutions Architect/ Fintech consultant at Union Bank. Prior to Union Bank, he was Chief Architect and Director of Engineering at Calypso, a Silicon Valley startup, where he architected and built multiple financial solutions. He was also Head of Global Integrations at Globe One in Vietnam where he integrated its Peer-to-Peer lending products into core banking solutions. Steve also built the first ever electronic Equities &Equity Options trading systems for Scottish stock brokers Wood Mackenzie (acquired by CountyNatWest). He is a graduate of Edinburgh University.

Peter Mansfield

Chief Marketing Officer

Peter has built an impressive track record in multiple financial industry segments including payments, credit/prepaid cards and lending. He has played an instrumental role at a succession of financial industry leaders, co-founding companies such as Brand3 (acquired by American Express) and PropertyBridge (acquired by Moneygram), and, as the early stage marketing lead at Marqeta (where he was team member number two), BillFloat and WallabyFinancial (acquired by Bankrate).He has helped fast-growth companies reach an aggregate market value of close to $8 billion. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Angila, UK.

Sonya Kidman

Client Relationship Manager

Sonya Kidman is a Customer Success professional with a decade of experience in advocating for consumer through user research and genuine empathy. Sonya specializes in user behavior and regularly attends national and global training sessions in wellness and people analytics tools. Sonya is a true global citizen was born in Russia, grew up in Israel, lived and worked in Canada and NewZealand. That global expertise along with an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Tel AvivUniversity have helped to shape a bullet-prof Sonya's framework to develop a winning customer strategy.

Frank Mastrangelo

Board Member

One part banker and one part technologist, Frank spent his early days with the Annenberg Foundation and PNC Bank. His career path led him to Jefferson Bank, where he led the build-out of its electronic banking platforms, and where he would forge a powerful alliance with The Bancorp co-founder Betsy Z. Cohen. As President and COO of The Bancorp from its inception in 1999 Frank played a critical role in helping the organization become an industry bellwether for branchless financial services and a global leader in payments. For this, he has become a widely respected fintech expert, and thought-leader. Frank was recognized in 2013 by Banking Innovation, a leading industry journal, as an “Innovator to Watch.” and as one of the innovators shaping the future of banking. Frank is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania.