Banner Life Insurance Reviews
Choosing a life insurance policy is a significant decision that can impact your financial security and peace of mind. One company that many people consider is Banner Life Insurance. This article will delve into an in-depth review of Banner Life Insurance, a company known for its competitive rates and diverse policy offerings.
We’ll explore the company’s history, financial stability, and the types of policies it offers. We’ll also examine customer satisfaction ratings, the claims process, and how Banner Life compares to other insurers. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or considering switching providers, this review aims to provide you with the comprehensive information you need to make an informed decision.
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Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with Banner Life; we are Independent Insurance agents that offer top-rate final expense insurance Products. This article is our review of their Life insurance Products and our opinions. If you are looking to contact Banner Life directly with this Number 1-800-638-8428 Banner Life Insurance Reviews
Banner Life Insurance Company, headquartered in Frederick, Maryland, is a subsidiary of Legal & General America. The company offers life insurance policies in 49 states and Washington, D.C., with its sister company, William Penn, covering New York. Together, they insure more than 1.5 million policyholders nationwide.
Banner Life was founded as GELICO in 1949 and became part of Legal & General Group Plc in 1981. William Penn joined the group in 1989. While Banner Life and William Penn remain the companies that underwrite and issue the policies, they go to market under a single name, Legal & General America.
The company is known for its affordability, excellent third-party rankings, and generous term conversion options. It is one of the few companies offering 40-year term life insurance policies. However, it’s worth noting that Banner Life’s offerings are somewhat limited, focusing primarily on term and universal life insurance policies.
Financial Strength Ratings
Banner Life Insurance Company has strong financial strength ratings, a key indicator of its ability to meet its policy obligations. It has been rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, indicating a superior ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations.
Legal & General America, the parent company of Banner Life, has over $780 billion in life insurance in force and over $8 billion in invested assets. The company’s investment portfolio is conservatively positioned and prudently managed, with approximately 98% investment-grade corporate bonds and highly rated structured securities.
In terms of market presence, Banner Life had a market share of 0.54% in 2022, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This and the company’s strong financial ratings demonstrate its solid position in the life insurance industry.
Banner Life Insurance offers two main life insurance policies: term life insurance and universal life insurance.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific period, typically ranging from 10 to 40 years. Banner Life is one of the few insurance carriers that offer up to 40 years of term coverage. This type of insurance is often bought to cover temporary needs such as funeral expenses, mortgage or debt payoff, college education costs, and income replacement.
Banner Life’s term life insurance policies are customizable to various riders. These riders are add-ons that offer additional coverage on top of the base policy. For instance, policyholders can stack one or more Term Riders on top of a base term policy for 10, 15, or 20 years. Other riders available from Banner Life include the waiver of premium, which waives the premium if the insured becomes disabled, and the Children’s Life Insurance Rider.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that provides lifetime coverage as long as premiums are paid. Banner Life offers what’s called guaranteed universal life insurance, which guarantees protection up to age 121 and provides flexibility with premium payments.
A universal life policy has two main components: the face amount and the account value. The face amount determines the life insurance death benefit, which the insurance provider will pay the beneficiary upon the policyholder’s death.
What makes universal life insurance special is its premium flexibility and affordability. Policyholders have adjustable premiums, meaning they have the flexibility to increase or decrease their premium payments over time.
It’s worth noting that Banner Life’s universal life product is an exclusive offering designed for converting existing term policies. This means that an insurance seeker cannot purchase a universal life policy from Banner without first having a term policy.
Pricing and Affordability
Banner Life Insurance is known for its affordability and competitive rates in the life insurance market. The company offers term life insurance policies for as little as $8 a month, and its rates for term life insurance products can start as low as $7 a month.
Factors Influencing Pricing
Several factors influence the pricing of Banner Life’s policies:
**Type of Policy**: The type of policy chosen significantly impacts the cost. Term life insurance is generally more affordable than universal life insurance. For instance, Banner Life’s term life insurance policies can be 2-3 times more affordable than a guaranteed universal life insurance policy.
**Term Length**: The length of the term also affects the cost of the policy. The longer the term, the higher the monthly premiums.
**Coverage Amount**: The amount of coverage desired also influences the cost. The more coverage you want your beneficiaries to receive upon your death, the more you can expect to pay in monthly premiums.
**Age and Health**: Premiums and other policy characteristics can vary based on factors such as the policyholder’s age and health.
**Payment Frequency**: Banner Life offers options on how often during a year you will pay your life insurance premium. You have the option to pay the premium over shorter durations such as monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, etc. This is what dictates the modal factor, a percentage factored into your premium.
**Underwriting Class**: Premiums for table-rated policies, which are available for applicants with more serious medical conditions, are based on Banner Life’s Standard Plus underwriting class.
Banner Life’s competitive rates offer some of the most affordable life insurance policies available. For example, a 10-year term policy can cost as low as $10.20 per month or $124.40 per year, while a 40-year term policy can cost $37.63 per month or $451.56 per year.
Banner Life Insurance Company, part of Legal & General America, has a philosophy of underwriting individuals rather than focusing solely on their impairments. This approach is reflected in their underwriting practices, designed to accommodate applicants with various medical conditions.
Approach to Medical Conditions
Banner Life acknowledges that many people live with pre-existing conditions and emphasizes the importance of effective treatment and regular check-ups. The company considers the management of health conditions when calculating policy rates. For example, if an applicant has a heart condition that has been well-controlled with medication for years, this will be considered during the underwriting process.
Banner Life offers accelerated underwriting, which can waive the medical exam requirement for eligible customers. This lab-free underwriting process is fast because it bypasses traditional medical exams and relies on the digital collection of underwriting evidence during the application process. Eligibility for accelerated underwriting depends on several factors, including the applicant’s age, health history, the type of insurance applied for, and the amount of coverage requested.
Instant Decision Underwriting
Banner Life also provides an instant decision underwriting process for certain conditions. For instance, applicants with mental health conditions like anxiety and depression or metabolic conditions like diabetes may still be eligible for coverage without the need for additional medical information. However, an instant decision is not guaranteed, and some applicants may be required to submit further information, such as a paramedical exam or additional medical records.
COVID-19 Underwriting Adjustments
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Banner Life implemented temporary underwriting guidelines. For example, COVID-19 cases are postponed for at least 30 days after full recovery, and reconsideration depends on the severity of the disease and current health status. Additionally, applicants in certain age ranges with specific risk profiles and chronic conditions may be postponed for at least 6 months.
General Underwriting Philosophy
Banner Life’s underwriting philosophy is to consider the total individual, considering all aspects to determine the best possible rate classification. This holistic approach means the company collaborates with medical directors to align the mortality risk with the premium charged. The company underwrites the entire individual, not just the impairment.
Banner Life vs Other Top Life Insurance Companies
Banner Life Insurance Company, part of Legal & General America, offers term and universal insurance policies. The company is known for its competitive pricing, particularly for term life insurance, and its customer satisfaction ratings are generally positive.
Banner Life offers term life insurance policies with terms up to 40 years, longer than many competitors. This makes it a potentially good choice for those whose insurance needs extend well into the future. Banner Life also offers universal life insurance, which provides lifelong coverage as long as premiums are paid. However, Banner Life has fewer options for policy customization through riders or add-ons compared to some competitors.
Banner Life’s term life insurance policies are competitively priced, often offering lower rates than competitors. For example, one review found that Banner Life’s prices were about 9% lower than the median of other insurers. However, while Banner Life is competitive, it may not always offer the cheapest rate. The cost of coverage depends on several factors, including the amount of coverage, the term length, and the applicant’s age and health history.
Banner Life has a solid reputation for customer satisfaction. The company has a strong National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index score, indicating fewer complaints than the average for its market size. However, it’s worth noting that Banner Life has not been reviewed by J.D. Power, possibly because it is grouped under the Legal & General America umbrella with other life insurance companies.
Banner Life is financially stable, with top ratings from agencies like A.M. Best, Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s. This indicates a strong ability to meet financial obligations and pay claims.
Comparison with Other Top Insurers
Unlike other top life insurance companies, Banner Life stands out for its competitive pricing and long-term coverage options. However, companies like Northwestern Mutual, State Farm, and Mutual of Omaha have strong offerings and high customer satisfaction ratings. Northwestern Mutual, for example, is the largest seller of individual life insurance in the United States and offers a variety of policy types. State Farm is recognized for its customer satisfaction, and Mutual of Omaha is noted for its offerings to seniors.
In terms of pricing, a 2024 analysis of term life insurance costs found that the cheapest life insurance companies included Protective, Pacific Life, and Principal, among others. However, the cost of life insurance can vary greatly depending on individual factors, so it’s important to get quotes from multiple companies to find the best rate.
Customer Satisfaction and Reviews
Banner Life Insurance Company, part of Legal & General America, generally receives positive customer reviews. Customers frequently highlight the company’s helpful and friendly staff, easy application process, and affordable pricing. However, some customers have noted difficulties accessing certain services, indicating potential areas for improvement.
Digital Tools and Services
Banner Life offers a range of digital tools and services to enhance the customer experience. The company’s digital application platform, the Horizon Platform, simplifies the life insurance process. It provides a hassle-free digital experience for advisors and clients, reducing cycle time and offering self-service options.
The platform also features built-in accelerated underwriting, which can quickly obtain requirements and make real-time decisions. This speeds up the policy delivery process, meaning commissions can be paid in days rather than weeks. However, it’s worth noting that this digital application is currently available only for Banner Life business and not in New York.
In addition to the digital application platform, Banner Life also offers eDelivery services. This allows policies to be delivered electronically and signed through the DocuSign process. This service is designed to make receiving and signing a policy more convenient and efficient for customers.
However, while these digital tools and services are designed to enhance the customer experience, it’s important to note that some customers have reported difficulties accessing certain services. This suggests that there may be room for improvement in the usability or functionality of these tools.
Filing a claim with Banner Life Insurance involves a few key steps to ensure the process is handled efficiently and effectively. Here’s an overview of the process, including the timeline for payout and any unique features:
**Initial Contact**: To begin the claims process, beneficiaries or representatives should contact the Banner Life Claims Department at 1-800-638-8428. The claims representative will provide information on what is needed to evaluate the claim.
**Documentation**: The required documentation typically includes a completed Proof of Death Claimant’s Statement for each beneficiary, a certified copy of the insured’s death certificate, and the original policy, if available. Each claimant must complete the statement with original signatures.
**Fast Track Process**: For policy proceeds totaling $10,000 or less, beneficiaries may be eligible for Banner Life’s Fast Track claims process, designed to expedite the review and payment of the claim.
**Claims Review**: Once the necessary documents are submitted, Banner Life will review the claim to verify that the coverage is in force and confirm the beneficiaries. The company aims to process claims as quickly as possible while ensuring accuracy.
**Payout Timeline**: Once a claim is approved, Banner Life commits to paying it within one business day. This rapid payout is a unique feature that highlights the company’s efficiency in handling claims.
**Communication**: Beneficiaries must communicate with the claims department throughout the process. This helps ensure a smooth and efficient claims experience.
**Claim Approval and Payment**: The payout process will begin if the claim is approved. Beneficiaries can typically receive the payout as a lump sum or in installments, depending on the policy terms and preferences.
Banner Life’s claims process is designed to be straightforward and swift, with a commitment to processing approved claims within one business day. The Fast Track process for smaller claims and the emphasis on clear communication are notable features that aim to support beneficiaries during a difficult time.