As part of our series of articles covering the best final expense and burial insurance companies, we now bring you our Transamerica life insurance review. In the following review we will discuss the pros and cons of Transamerica and look at its different product offering and features. Is Transamerica the right company for you?
2017 Transamerica Life Insurance Review
You want life insurance but have no idea how to filter through all the different companies and their products? Perhaps you realize just how important life insurance is but haven’t got the time to work out which products are the best for you? Luckily, we are currently doing a series of reviews for the big and small life insurers in the market. Every time, we go through the history of the company, official ratings, products, and more. Today, we have Transamerica and perhaps the right option for you!
In what used to be a San Francisco saloon back in 1904, Amadeo Giannini founded the Bank of Italy. Initially, he wanted to reach out to everyone with financial services as opposed to targeting the wealthy few which many others were doing at the time. Sadly, the 1906 earthquake and following fire meant that he needed to create a makeshift office on the docks. However, he provided residents with loans so they could rebuild – in terms of security, all that was required was a simple handshake.
In the twenties and thirties, the company merged with Bank of America and even acquired Occidental Life Insurance Company. However, it was the mid-1950s that the life insurance and banking sections split and Transamerica was formed. At the beginning of the 1970s, the company moved into their now famous home – the Transamerica pyramid.
Over the years, they have built a solid reputation with consumers and now sit as one of the biggest companies in the world. With a significant amount of life insurance in force, the company is set to remain at the top of their game for some time to come. With this in mind, we need to know the official ratings.
Transamerica Official Ratings
Within every review, we take a look at the ratings from various different agencies including A.M. Best, BBB, and sometimes the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Not only do we see a company’s financial position, it also allows us to see more about the customers, how many complaints they receive, and whether the insurer is successful with communication with clients.
A.M. Best – To start, we need to find out whether Transamerica is in a position to pay all claims and remain in business for the time being. With a ‘Superior’ rating (A+), it’s fair to say that Transamerica is in a great position and perhaps this is what you would expect from a company with well over 100 years of history. Furthermore, they have also been given a ‘Stable’ outlook which means that nothing should tamper with their financial strength in the near future. With this, you should have no concerns regarding their financial situation.
BBB – In truth, the majority of life insurance companies these days tend to get the highest rating here because they need to communicate and interact with consumers. This being said, we have seen examples where the company aren’t quite up to scratch so what about Transamerica? Although they are not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), they have still been given a rating – A+. All things considered, there are sixteen different ratings and Transamerica sits right at the top. Essentially, this means that they interact with consumers and you should be able to have all problems resolved within a quick time.
NAIC – Finally, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) measure the amount of complaints received compared to the rest of the industry. Since it is adjusted for market share, it allows for a direct comparison where ‘1’ is the median score. Recently, Transamerica scored ‘0.57’ which means that they are well under the average amount of complaints in the life insurance industry. Of course, this is good news because it means you are less likely to have issues with customer service, products, claims, etc.
All in all, these ratings are very good and show the level of professionalism within Transamerica. Not only are they financially secure, you will receive a very good service as a customer and all problems should be fixed quickly.
Transamerica Life Insurance Policies
In addition to a long list of annuities, Transamerica also boasts an extensive list of life insurance policy options. For example, you will find long-term care, term life, universal life, variable universal life, dental insurance, medicare solutions, and accidental death.
However, there are two policies that are more popular than the rest and perhaps even more beneficial than the rest (depending on your needs) – guaranteed issue and simplified issue final expense insurance. Therefore, these are the two that we will provide more information on to see if they suit your requirements.
Immediate Solution Whole Life and 10 Pay Solution Whole Life
First, this is a whole life insurance policy where the death benefit remains level for the duration. As long as you are between the ages of 0 and 80, you can sign up for this policy and the premiums will also remain the same as long as you continue to pay them over time.
For the Immediate Solutions policy, the contract will endow at age 121. For the 10 Pay Solution policy all that is required is 10 year level premiums.
The coverage for both policies starts at $1,000 up to $50,000 based on your age. Preferred and standard health rate classes are available.
If you’re looking for a permanent life insurance policy that will remain in place as long as you keep paying the premiums, this could be your answer. In addition to the policy, you will also have the cash value building alongside which can be used in a manner of different ways. While some choose to withdraw it for their retirement, others like to secure a loan against the amount or take the amount as a loan itself. Regardless, it will build over the years tax deferred.
Easy Solution Whole Life – Graded Death Benefit
Final expense whole life insurance available for ages 18 – 80 for face amounts starting at $1,000 up to $25,000. The policy includes a level death benefit and fixed premiums. It also includes a graded benefit for the first two years, after which time the full death benefit will be paid. This is a great policy if you’re looking to cover debts, funeral costs, medical bills, taxes, and similar expenses.
With some burial packages, you will be limited to how the money can be spent once it reaches the beneficiary but this isn’t the case with the final expense option from Transamerica. In terms of underwriting, the policy is simplified issue whole life insurance which means that there is no medical examination. However, there will be some medical questions to judge your premiums and whether coverage will be possible. Once again, there will be a cash value which could prove to be valuable over time.
Transamerica Life Insurance Riders
In addition to these two policies, you will also have an opportunity to add riders if you decide to go with Transamerica. Essentially, these are small benefits that increase the price of your premiums but provide you with additional protection in certain areas. As you will see, they could be important in certain situations and worth the extra on your premiums.
Waiver of Premium – First, this rider will see your premiums waived should you become disabled while the policy is in force. If disabled, you will have to wait for around six months before activating this rider. In most cases, the premiums will remain waived until the end of the disability. Offered to those between the ages of 18 and 55, the rider does not come into effect if the disability was self-inflicted or if it was caused by war or the act of war itself.
Accelerated Death Benefit – If you run into some health issues, get diagnosed with a serious illness, and get told that you have under one year to live, this rider will allow you to receive up to 75% of the death benefit in advance. Within this, there is a minimum payment of $10,000 and a maximum of $250,000 and it will be released after the insurer receives the physician’s statement. As long as the statement comes after the beginning of the policy, you will receive the money early.
Children’s Insurance – Finally, this is the third popular option and it allows children (up to the age of 18) to be included in a life insurance policy. Within this rider, the insurance is added in ‘units’ with each unit representing $1,000 of level term life insurance for the child in question. Over time, this rider will remain in place until the insured reaches 65 or the child reaches 25 years. If the insured passes away before the child, there are a couple of different options including the rider converting into a paid-up term policy.
With these riders in place, you can add protection for both you and your family. For example, a disability often leads to increased medical bills and a lack of income if you need to take time from work. If this is the case, you need to minimize all expenses as much as possible. If you can waive the premiums on your life insurance for the duration of your disability, this prevents your family from having to find the money and potentially going into debt.
Furthermore, the accelerated death benefit allows you to receive a percentage of the coverage in advance so you can sort your finances and do whatever needs to be done before you pass away.
Finally, we often forget about our children when it comes to life insurance but it can prove valuable for something so affordable. With this rider in place, you will have the peace of mind that they are covered until the age of 25 or until you reach 65 (whichever comes first).
Transamerica Review Conclusion
There we have it, a complete review of Transamerica life insurance and the available options. If they suit your needs for what you’re looking for in a policy, the company itself will be a superb choice. With extensive history, they also boast fantastic official ratings and millions of people are trusting them with their policies each and every year. As well as being financially secure, they communicate with their customers and attempt to fix any issues as soon as possible.
In terms of policies, the two main options provide flexibility and a very good amount of coverage. Considering the final expense policy is simplified issue, it also makes the application process easy and you could be insured in a matter of days. Even after the two main options, you also have to remember that they offer term life, universal life, variable universal life, and more. As long as you consider your needs, Transamerica is definitely worth a consideration.