Frequently Asked Questions
Can Ethos solicit my clients?
Your client is your client. It’s not necessary for you to share any of your client information or client lists with Ethos. Client data that you own will always remain yours and at no point will we ever require it. We will not sell your client information to other companies.
Any application that we receive through your unique agent URL will be attributed to you. We provide you with a custom link so that you can market directly to your clients. As long as your customers use that link to complete and submit the application, you will receive attribution.
Ethos will help you by continuing to provide support to your client, such as following up on an incomplete app. But we don’t intentionally solicit your clients or attempt to sell them third-party products that may compete with your product offerings, either before or after activating a policy.
In the scenario any of your clients or their referrals purchases a policy from Ethos, you will be attributed and credited with the sale. If your client refers another client from their member portal or another Ethos tool, we automatically send your unique agent link to the referral. Once the referral signs up with that link, they will be automatically attributed to you.
There are two ways in which your client could share their data with Ethos directly:
- We market our products broadly to consumers via a range of online and offline channels. As a result, it’s possible your client will see and respond to direct Ethos advertising, but we never target individuals based on their relationship with you.
- Occasionally, a client starts an application using your unique agent URL, leaves before completing it, and then returns directly to the Ethos website at a later time to complete it and activate the policy. In these instances, Ethos will recognize your client’s email address and redirect them to their prior, incomplete application so that you still receive proper attribution.
If I sign up with Ethos, do I become a captive Ethos agent?
No. Your business remains independent of Ethos.
The exclusivity requirement in our agreement applies only to other instant-issue life insurance platforms which primarily do business online. You can continue to offer non-Ethos products and use other insurance platforms freely. Signing up with Ethos will not impact your current carrier relationships, and you are free to continue selling products on behalf of traditional carriers.
Who is Ethos?
Ethos is a next-generation insurtech company offering life insurance products that can be found online. The 100% online application takes just minutes, many policies are issued same-day, and there are no medical exams required—just a few health questions.
Is Ethos an insurance company?
Ethos is a licensed agency that provides producer, underwriting, and third-party administrator (TPA) services. We're not a carrier, but we contract directly with top-tier carriers to provide policies on the carrier’s paper through our site, ethoslife.com.
What makes Ethos different?
We’ve built an industry-leading product that is transforming the industry with our 100% online sales platform. Ethos’ proprietary underwriting engine algorithmically assigns each customer to the appropriate product so applicants can get the coverage that best fits their unique needs as fast as possible. We also make it easy for insurance agents to build their business with Ethos life insurance through a 100% online sales platform.
Why should I work with Ethos?
We make it fast and easy to sell even more life insurance, with instant underwriting, zero case management for you, and a 90% approval rate. Ethos offers a low barrier to entry for P&C agents looking to cross-sell and a great way for agents specializing in life insurance to accelerate their business.
How is Ethos structured?
Ethos is a producer and third party administrator who underwrites policies on behalf of our carrier partners. You and your client will interact primarily with us, while our carriers issue the actual policies.
Where is Ethos based?
Ethos employs more than 300 employees in offices in San Francisco, Austin, and Singapore. And we’re continuing to grow.
How do I get in contact with Ethos?
Click “Contact Us” anytime on the agent portal. If we’re not available to talk right then, please leave your message and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.
Are non-citizens eligible for life insurance through Ethos?
U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents residing in the U.S. for the past 6 months are eligible to apply. Legal permanent residents should respond to the 'Place of birth' question with the name of the state in which they've been residing for the past 6+ months.
What products does Ethos offer?
Ethos for Agents currently offers Level Term Life, SITL (Simplified Issue Term Life), SIWL (Simplified Issue Whole Life), Whole Life, and GAWL (Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life) options.
Which carriers does Ethos work with?
Ethos provides life insurance issued by A-rated carriers, including Legal & General America, Ameritas Life Insurance Group, TruStage, and multiple reinsurers.
Who do I contact for TruStage application or product questions?
If you or your clients have questions about a TruStage application or product, please contact our Ethos TruStage Concierge at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please allow 24–48 hours for the team to respond. Please do not reach out to TruStage directly as they will not be able to assist you with inquiries for policies issued through Ethos.
How much coverage is available and at what term lengths?
We currently cover up to $2 million in face value and have term lengths of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years, plus whole life options. More information is available in the Ethos Playbook for Agents, by emailing email@example.com, or via Chat on the agent portal.
Are Ethos products only for people in good health?
Ethos products can provide coverage for more than 90% of U.S. adults ages 18-85. However, there are some applicants whom we cannot cover at this time. For more information, download the Ethos Playbook for Agents PDF or Ethos Product and Knockout Conditions PDF. Both are available in the Resources section of the agent portal.
Is there a money-back guarantee?
Yes, Ethos customers can get a full refund up to 30 days after policy activation, after which they can cancel at any time with no penalty or fee.
What health class do I choose for my client if they're a smoker?
In the Quoter, you can select Standard, Substandard (Table 2), or Substandard (Table 4+) for clients that are smokers. Standard is the best health class estimate that you can choose. Preferred and Preferred Plus will not apply.
Can an unlicensed agent sell insurance?
Ethos requires that any agent who sells, solicits, or negotiates insurance must have a valid insurance license.
There are two requirements:
- The agent must have a license for the type of business being sold (for example, a life license for life insurance, health license for accidental death, etc.).
- That license must be active at the time of sale in the state where the applicant resides.
Each time a policy is activated, Ethos will confirm the agent’s status.
Who can Ethos pay commissions to?
Ethos pays commissions, or any compensation related to activation of a policy, only to agents with a valid license in the state where the applicant resides at the time of sale.
What if an unlicensed downline agent is involved in the sale of a policy?
An unlicensed agent should never sell, solicit, or negotiate an insurance policy. Where there are multiple levels of agents affiliated with a sale and one or more downline agents aren’t licensed, commissions will only be paid to the validly licensed parent agent or agency.
What is the difference between referral fees and commissions?
The terms are similar, but Ethos uses the term “Referral Fees” in our producer agreements to describe compensation paid to life licensed agents who successfully refer Ethos products to potential customers. Carriers pay Ethos commissions directly, and Ethos then passes along a portion of the commissions as referral fees to agents who refer business to us. Ethos does not pay any commissions or referral fees to unlicensed agents.
Policy activations tied to the agent result in referral fees based on agreements in place between the agent and Ethos if they’re independent, or between their agency and Ethos. Individual agent referral fees are paid promptly on a weekly basis.
Where can I get information about Advanced Pay?
Advanced payment of referral fees is available to certain qualified producers as determined by Ethos in its sole discretion. Additionally, Ethos reserves the right to set and modify the requirements, terms, and tiers applicable to advanced pay in its sole discretion.
What is the Amendment to the Producer Agreement?
The Amendment replaces Exhibit B at the bottom of your Terms and Conditions, which has been intentionally left blank. The Amendment contains compensation terms, including your customized referral fee rates and terms of payment. As such, they can only be added to the Ethos Producer Agreement as an Amendment.
What are the new compensation rates?
Agents and agencies starting January 2nd, 2023 will be moved to new compensation rates based on your 2022 annual premium and compensation. Please see the following compensation rates based on your current tier here. Note: if you are an agency parent, downline compensation will also be automatically adjusted based on your historical override by product.
Can I request an increase in compensation?
Compensation cannot be negotiated but can be increased. In order to increase to another compensation tier, you must pace towards achieving that tier’s annualized in-force annual premium for 2 consecutive months in order to qualify for the compensation tier change. You do not need to request an increase. If you meet this requirement, your compensation will automatically be increased to the appropriate tier.
What is the new Advance Pay structure?
All agents or agencies starting January 2nd, 2023 will be moved to our new Advance Pay structure.
Where can I find more information on my current commission and advance pay tiers?
You can find more information regarding your commission in the Earnings tab under “Your Commission Rates.” Note: You will only see information here if Ethos is paying you directly.
How can I find details about my compensation if Ethos isn't paying me directly?
To learn more about your compensation, please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I know if Ethos is paying me directly?
If Ethos is paying you directly, you will receive commission payments through Routable.
Where can I track my payments?
View your processed commissions in the Earnings tab under “Statements.” Note: You will only see statements here if Ethos is paying you directly.
Where can I inquire about missing or inaccurate payments?
Please use our Payments Inquiry Form for questions about missing or inaccurate payments.
For more questions regarding compensation, visit our payments page.
How do I track the client application process?
In the agent portal, the Customers tab shows the status of all your customers, so you’ll know when they’ve started, submitted, approved or activated their policy. You can sort status by All Customers, Active Policies, Applications, Quotes Sent and Leads. You’ll also receive notifications via email each step of the way, as a client moves through the application process. For a walk-through of the client experience, watch the “Submit a Client Application” video in the Resources section of the agent portal.
Will my client need a medical exam?
No. All Ethos policies are underwritten without a medical exam—just a few health, lifestyle and financial questions.
Are there any automatic disqualifications?
Applicants may be automatically denied due to the following conditions:
- Not U.S. citizens or permanent residents
- Severe diabetes, diagnosed before age 40
- Missionaries or those going on mission trips to certain at-risk countries
- Temporarily disabled and have not returned to work
- BMI under 18 or over 44
- Criminals or those with pending charges
- Special Forces in U.S. military
- Certain psychiatric conditions, even if the applicant is no longer taking medication
- Non-discharged bankruptcy
- Chronic depression, liver disease, kidney disease, lung conditions/disorder
- Applicants who are taking certain prescription drugs may also be ineligible for coverage.
For a full list of knockout conditions, please see the Ethos Product and Knockout Conditions PDF in the Resources section of the agent portal.
What if I change my mind during or after my application?
You may start an application and withdraw from the application process at any time without penalty. Before issuing any coverage to you, we will tell you the amount of coverage and premium we will offer you. If you like our offer, you can add your electronic signature at the end of the application to confirm the information provided is correct, and you will be issued coverage. You always have a 30 day period to cancel coverage and get your money back if you change your mind.
Does it cost money to apply?
No. Applying with Ethos is free, and an applicant is not charged the initial premium until they activate coverage.
Why does the application process work?
You’ll provide your client with a link to the Ethos website, where they can start the online application. We’ll ask the client a few basic questions about themselves and their health. The client must provide all application responses. If approved, the policy is issued right away.
What are the requirements to join Ethos for Agents?
To work with Ethos, you must have a current National Producer Number (NPN), and a W-9 on file with Ethos. If you do not know your NPN, you can look it up at https://nipr.com/help/look-up-your-npn.
How do I get paid?
We’ll send you an email invite to join Routable, which allows us to pay you via ACH based on the policies you sold. We release commissions every weekday for activated policies and monthly for bonuses and referrals.
How do I get credit for policies activated with Ethos?
You will receive credit for any policy a client activates within 180 days of starting an application with you. The application needs to have been started from your Ethos agent landing page, unique application link, personal quoter widget, or agent portal.
How will I know how much life insurance I’ve sold?
In the agent portal, click on the Earnings tab to see your total earnings and earnings per customer. You also can search for a specific date range, view your upcoming scheduled payments, and track past earnings from Activated policies in the Earning section. You can also request a previous month’s statement at email@example.com.
What training does Ethos provide agents?
You’ll find our comprehensive Ethos Playbook for Agents, along with onboarding and sales support materials in the Resources section of our agent portal. Our Partnerships team provides live chat support on the agent portal, and helpful webinars & continuing education.
How can I market Ethos products?
You are welcome to promote Ethos life insurance in any way you want: by phone, on your website, via emails or social media, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Visit the Resources section of your agent portal for more information, including a video walk-through, email scripts, a digital advertising toolkit and compliance guidelines.
What tools are available to my customers?
To help potential customers learn more about life insurance, the application process, policies, and Ethos, you can send them to our Help Center, or visit the Resources section of the agent portal for client PDFs on a wide range of topics. To help customers examine their coverage needs themselves, we also offer a consumer-facing needs analysis tool. For additional assistance, please use the Chat feature in the agent portal, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours.
Is death due to COVID-19 covered?
Yes, the life insurance policies that Ethos sells cover coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths. Although the coronavirus is not explicitly mentioned in the policy contract, death from a pandemic is not considered an exclusion. This is still true even if customers traveled recently or have been exposed to someone with the virus. Once a policy is in force, life insurance companies are not allowed to change customers' health classification or premium.
Can customers still buy life insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes, Ethos is still offering policies through our online application throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. If a customer's application is approved, the applicant will be considered covered as soon as their first premium payment is made. It’s important applicants are honest on their applications about past and future travel plans as well as their current health status. COVID-19 is not a general knockout condition, although if a customer has had COVID-19 within the last 30 days, they will not be eligible for our LGA Term or Ameritas SI products.
Do applicants need a medical exam to get life insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ethos customers do not need a medical exam as part of their application process. Therefore, our ability to provide the majority of applicants with coverage has not been impacted by any quarantine-related restrictions.
Will life insurance premiums increase due to coronavirus?
Life insurance rates are not being impacted by the coronavirus. We are not treating this any differently than we would any other illness or travel advisory.
As a valued partner of Ethos, TruStage® offers unique term and whole life products to thousands of our customers through agents like you. Many agents have asked us for guidance in managing TruStage policy activations, understanding the customer experience, and setting expectations for their clients.
Who is TruStage?
TruStage Insurance products are issued by CMFG Life Insurance Company and MEMBERS Life Insurance Company. CMFG Life consistently receives excellent ratings from the major credit rating services and is rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best for its financial stability and operating performance as of December 2023. An “A” rating is the third-highest of 16 ratings awarded by A.M. Best. Founded in 1935, CMFG Life has helped protect more than 20 million people, including thousands of Ethos customers via our network of independent and enterprise agents.
What’s great about TruStage?
In addition to their financial and operational strength, their underwriting platform is simple to use and provides quick decisioning, which is aligned with the Ethos value proposition. The majority of TruStage policies are approved with no additional underwriting requirements. TruStage products are designed to be an excellent fit for many middle market Americans. Because of this, TruStage enables agents through Ethos to insure many more Americans every year, with simplified coverage options up to age 85.
Who should I contact for questions about TruStage?
For quick questions and general queries, please reach out to the Ethos TruStage Concierge team at email@example.com.
For assistance with specific issues such as case status or comp on an individual case, please reach out to your strategic account manager.
The TruStage customer experience
How should I help my client if they are routed to TruStage products?
Clients now apply for TruStage coverage using the Ethos application. Help them determine their coverage amount and follow up to ensure they’ve submitted the application, provided beneficiary and payment information, and activated coverage. Get real-time case status in the Customer tab in the agent portal.
When is the TruStage link shared with my client?
This TruStage link is shared with your client in several scenarios:
- Email: When our system finds your client ineligible for other products, they receive an email on your behalf inviting them to apply for TruStage coverage. The link in this email will now take them to the Ethos website to complete the application.
- Agent microsite: When your client begins their search for coverage via your QR code or agent microsite, they may be routed to TruStage products. In this case, your client will simply continue in the Ethos application.
- Quote shared: If you share a quote for TruStage products with your client, they will now complete the application with Ethos.
What do my clients see if they are routed to TruStage?
If your client is routed to a TruStage product:
- They may be asked to select their coverage amount, or they may be offered maximum coverage for a specific product. Ask them to contact you with any questions about their coverage amount.
- They’ll be asked to provide or confirm their email address and phone number.
- They may be asked to provide or confirm their answers to the following nine application questions:
- Height and weight (if previously collected, they will not see these questions)
- Will the coverage applied for replace, discontinue, or change any existing life coverage or annuities in this or any other company?
- Have you, within the past 5 years, been treated for or diagnosed by a medical professional with the following (check all that apply):
- HIV or AIDS
- Heart disease or condition (except high blood pressure)
- Cancer, except basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer)
- Chronic lung condition
- Dementia or alzheimer's disease
- Bipolar disorder or schizophrenia
- None of the above
- Have you, within the past 5 years, been treated for or diagnosed by a medical professional with the following (check all that apply):
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic depression or anxiety
- Head or brain injury or disorder of the brain or spinal nerves
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- ALS (lou gehrig's disease) or muscular dystrophy
- None of the above
- Have you used any form of tobacco, including nicotine substitutes, in the last 12 months?
- Have you within the past 5 years had your license suspended or revoked, or been convicted of driving under the influence?
- Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
At this point, our underwriting engine will deliver one of the following outcomes:
- Approval — Client is approved and can activate coverage immediately. Follow up with the client and ensure they activate their desired coverage amount.
- Pending decision — Client will be asked for payment and beneficiary information. Follow up with the client and ensure they’ve provided payment and beneficiary info. Let them know you’ll be in touch as soon as the application is reviewed.
- Route to TruStage Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life due to health, credit or criminal history. Follow up with the client and ensure they activate their desired coverage amount. Using the Ethos Field Underwriting Guide, answer any questions they may have as to why they did not qualify for more/different coverage.
- Ineligible for all Ethos products due to health, credit or criminal history. Follow up with the client and see if anyone else in their family needs coverage. Using the Ethos Field Underwriting Guide, answer any questions they may have as to why they did not qualify for coverage.
What if my customer needs to call TruStage?
Your customer should only directly call TruStage if they need to make changes to their policy – such as updating beneficiary or changing payment method. Please have your client login to their TruStage account at http://trustage.com/my-account/login or contact TruStage Customer Care at (855) 591-9026. Note: Agents may not call TruStage directly to request changes to a client policy.
The TruStage agent experience
My client submitted an application for TruStage coverage. Where should I look for their application status?
Go to the agent portal under “Customers” and locate your client. All TruStage application statuses are now available on the agent portal. For more information about client status, see our Client Status Cheat Sheet.
How long does it take to receive my payout after a TruStage policy is activated?
An agent can only be paid after the customer's payment has been fully processed. It can take up to 12 days from the policy’s activated date for TruStage to process the customer’s ACH payment. Once payment has been processed, activations will be paid out on the next Thursday as with other activations.
What products does TruStage have?
Ethos offers the following TruStage products:
- TruStage® Term Life Insurance: This term life insurance features an increasing premium every five attained age, and face amounts up to $300k for applicants up to age 69. It can be converted into a whole life policy at any time if the policy is in force up to the policyholder’s 80th birthday.
- TruStage® Advantage Whole Life Insurance: This whole life insurance policy is designed to help with funeral expenses and other small debts, with coverage up to $100K for applicants up to age 85. It offers lifelong coverage and builds a cash value. The premium remains level for the life of the policy.
- TruStage® Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life Insurance: This whole life insurance policy is designed to help with funeral expenses and other small debts. This product offers guaranteed coverage at lower face amounts than TruStage Advantage Whole Life (up to $25K max) for applicants up to age 80.
For comprehensive TruStage product information, please see:
- Our Ethos for Agents Handbook for full product information
- Our Underwriting & Product Guidelines matrix for side-by-side product details and knockout conditions
Where can I find the underwriting guidelines for TruStage?
Please see our Underwriting and Product Guidelines matrix or our Ethos for Agents Playbook to find out which customers will best fit TruStage products. Because TruStage handles all underwriting on their policies, we are unable to provide specific reasons for declines.
How much will my customer’s premium go up on the increasing term?
It depends, but younger policyowners generally see smaller premium increases than older policyowners.
Is there a waiting period for TruStage products?
TruStage® Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life has a two-year graded death benefit. During the first two policy years, the benefit for non-accidental death is limited to return of premium plus 10% interest. For more information, please contact your account manager.
Do TruStage products include Ethos wills & trusts?
No. Unfortunately, because TruStage products are not custom Ethos products, Ethos cannot offer the Ethos Perks rider which provides our no-cost wills & trusts.