Today, we have a full review of Baltimore Life Insurance Company including the history of the business, products, official ratings, and more. The company is one of our best final expense and burial insurance companies. Find out what makes Baltimore Life such a great company.
2017 Review of Baltimore Life Insurance
Over the past few decades, the amount of people with a life insurance policy has reduced dramatically. Sadly, this means that millions of families are left unprotected each and every year for no apparent reason other than a lack of knowledge. With no insurance in place, your family will have to deal with your loss alone with no financial support to cover final expenses and burial costs. If you currently have a family relying on you or your income, you should have life insurance so that they receive a death benefit should you pass away.
About Baltimore Life Insurance Company
If you have seen any of our reviews to this point, you will know that we have covered large, small, old, and new companies. With life insurance, it is all about the products on offer and how well the insurer fulfills their end of the bargain as opposed to anything else.
Baltimore Life Insurance Company does have a long history after being formed in 1882. At the time, five businessmen led by Frank Strobridge founded the company and named it the Baltimore Mutual Aid of Baltimore City. After 18 years of business, they decided to change their name to The Baltimore Life Insurance Company of Baltimore City before then reducing it to the current name.
Now, they boast 13 offices in five states but use thousands of independent agents in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Currently, they have over 300,000 people on-board including families, individuals, and even businesses. In monetary terms, they have over $1 billion in assets with a tenth of this amount in reserves. Unfortunately, they don’t see full trust from consumers due to their credit rating but this will be discussed in more detail in a moment.
Baltimore Life Official Ratings
When hearing about a life insurance company for the very first time, it can be useful to assess the ratings from various agencies because they have spent time reviewing the insurer. Below, we will assess the company’s A.M. Best rating for financial security as well as their rating from Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see how well they deal with consumers.
A.M. Best – For many years, A.M. Best has been assessing companies and their financial strength according to numerous different factors. Then, they are given a grading which allows us to compare with other life insurance companies. Although the system works very well, it does mean that the companies who do not achieve an ‘A’ rating often get overlooked.
Currently, Baltimore Life Insurance Company has a rating of ‘B++’ which is actually very good. Out of a possible 16 ratings, this is the fifth highest but there is still a need from consumers for life insurers to reach the magical ‘A’ rating. With this in mind, the company suffers from this and cannot push forward to join the largest companies within the market. Despite this, they are financially secure and will have no problems paying claims both now and long into the future. If you’re happy enough to trust the B++ rating (which is only one away from the A grade anyway), you will be in good hands with Baltimore Life Insurance Company.
BBB – Moving away from the finances, we also need to know how well the company deals with complaints from the customers. Like so many other life insurance companies, Baltimore Life Insurance Company are not accredited but they have still been given an ‘A+’ rating which is good news. Essentially, this means that they are approachable and interact with their customers very well. If this is a factor that is high on your list of priorities, you can be confident with Baltimore Life Insurance Company as they scored over 97 out of 100.
Baltimore Life Insurance Policies
Ultimately, this insurer is very much focused on the family aspect and personal life insurance so this makes up a large proportion of their products. Below, we have a breakdown of the main products for all customers so you can see whether any meet your needs.
Simplified Issue Level Term Life Insurance – With a tax-free death benefit, this money will go to the beneficiary and can be used for your mortgage as well as various other debts. Furthermore, you can choose from living benefits to receive money if you suffer an injury, become disabled, or are diagnosed with a serious illness. With the Return of Premium rider, you can also receive all of your premiums back if you outlive the policy.
- Simplified issue term life insurance
- Death Benefit:
- $50,000 – $300,000 for ages 18-50
- $25,000 – $100,000 for ages 51-65
- Level premium 15, 20 and 30 years
Level Term Life Insurance – Once again, this is a temporary policy and needs a medical examination where this wasn’t necessary in the last option. In terms of time, you can choose from 10, 15, 20, and 30 years depending on your needs and you can also renew every year. As the name suggests, the premiums and death benefits will remain level until the age of 100 years.
- Level premium 10, 15, 20 and 30 year
- $50,000 minimum face amount
- Life insurance riders
- Disability Income
- Disability Waiver of Premium
- Accidental Death
- Conversion Option
Whole Life Insurance – If you need a more permanent type of insurance, the whole life policy also sees the premiums stay the same throughout as well as a cash value component that cannot be found on the two term life options. Baltimore Life’s whole life insurance offers guaranteed death benefit, policy loans, and possible dividends that can be used as cash, paid up additions, accumulate, or lower premiums.
Whole life insurance riders:
- Guaranteed Insurability
- Single Premium Additional Insurance
- Accidental Death Benefit
- Waiver of Premium Disability
- 10 or 20 Level Term
- Children’s Term
- Accelerated Death Benefit
Universal Life Insurance – If you prefer a little flexibility but still need a permanent policy, universal life could be the option for you. For families and businesses, this is one of the most popular policies as it is still affordable and comes with lifetime insurance protection guarantee.
- Choice of Premium Payment Period
- Cash Value Accumulation
Silver Guard I, II, and III
Finally, Baltimore Life also offers three different grades of whole life insurance for those aged between 50 and 80 years. As a final expense insurance, the premiums will remain level for the duration of the policy, the cash value will accumulate over time, and the policy will remain in place until needed as long as the premiums are paid.
Silver Guard I is whole life insurance where the policy is in force from day one.
- Level Premiums
- Cash Value
Silver Guard II and III are graded death benefit whole life insurance policies where the full death benefit is available in year three.
- Level Premiums
- Cash Value
As you can see, there are numerous products available from Baltimore Life Insurance Company which means that you should find something to cover your needs.
Additionally, they have a critical illness policy for when health insurance doesn’t cut it for strokes, heart attacks, cancer, kidney failure, and any other major type of surgery. In total, the policy covers a wide range of health conditions and helps with the financial losses that come as a result such as child care expenses, lost wages, home health care costs, etc. Of course, the payouts will differ depending on the health issue but this can be very useful to have.
Baltimore Life Insurance Pros
Now you have the basic knowledge for what’s on offer and the official ratings for the company, we have some benefits to choosing Baltimore Life Insurance Company. If these match your needs, you could find that they are a good choice for you.
Choice – As we have said before, some people see the amount of choice in the industry as a bad thing but this is completely wrong. Not only do you have many companies to choose from, you then have numerous policies but this only allows you to get closer to your needs which is a huge benefit.
So far, you have already seen the amount of products on show from Baltimore Life Insurance Company but we note that they do not offer guaranteed as well as simplified issue, since there are some health questions. With a particular focus on their final expense insurance, Silver Guard, they offer simplified issue with all three products which means that you don’t need to worry about a medical examination.
With just a few questions to answer before getting started, the first level of coverage sees guaranteed level death benefit, level premiums, a cash value, and a ten-year payment plan – the policy can be paid up after just ten years. In the second and third levels, there is a graded death benefit with 100% being available from year three. Again, the cash value will build and the premiums will remain the same.
Smaller Company – Furthermore, some customers like the fact that they have their policy with a smaller company. Considering we have already seen that they are financially secure, some prefer to avoid the huge corporations for the customer service aspect. Although it isn’t true in every single case, research suggests that small companies have more time to resolve issues and keep you happy because you are more valuable.
So there are the benefits, what about the drawbacks? Is there anything that could put you off choosing Baltimore Life Insurance Company?
Older Customer Base – As we have seen, the company focuses a lot of its attention on the Silver Guard program which targets burial insurance for seniors. Although they do offer a wide range of standard life insurance options – both term life and permanent policies – this isn’t necessarily their focus as such.
Credit Rating – With A.M. Best, they are currently on a B++ rating which puts a considerable amount of people off. Since this is just one step away from an ‘A’ classification, this shouldn’t be the case but the prejudice sadly exists.
With this in mind, they don’t yet have the financial backing of the largest companies in the market. While most of the top insurers can survive near enough anything, smaller companies like Baltimore Life Insurance Company might have to answer a few questions should there be another recession or when times get tough. When consumers see a decrease in disposable income, they tend to treat life insurance as an unnecessary expense so smaller insurers are hit the hardest.
Baltimore Life Insurance Review Conclusion
Over time, we have supported all types of insurance companies because it shouldn’t matter what size they are or how long they have been in business. As long as they are financially secure and offer some great products, an insurance company should be considered and this can be said for Baltimore Life Insurance Company.