Imagine you went to the grocery store and you went to the cereal aisle. You’ll see HUNDREDS of options. Everything from healthy granola to sugary marshmallows.
Now, buying life insurance is NOTHING like buying cereal, except you have even more choices. If you buy life insurance, you can easily find a thousand different plans.
That makes the cereal aisle look like a walk in the park. Not only are there more choices, but it’s much more complex.
How do you know which insurance carriers are the crunch granola and which ones are the sugary messes? You’ll need to look at a lot of factors, like price, options, financial standing, and much more.
To help you are your shopping journey, we’ve reviewed a lot of carriers and we’ve detailed some of the factors you should investigate. For this article, we’ve put Banner Life under the microscope.
The History of Banner Life Insurance Company
Through its parent company Legal and General America, Banner Life Insurance underwrites life insurance coverage in 49 of the U.S. states (all except for New York), as well as in the District of Columbia. Independent insurance agents offer the insurance products of Banner Life. (William Penn Life Insurance Company – another Legal and General subsidiary – offers life insurance products in the state of New York).
Initially founded back in 1836 in London, Legal and General Group Plc has operations in North America, Asia, and Europe. This company is the 7th largest insurance company in the world, as measured by its assets under management – which was $1.1 trillion as of year-end 2016. The company had over 10 million customers around the world.
In 1949, the Government Employees Life Insurance Company, or GELICO, was formed. This is the entity that would eventually become Banner Life Insurance Company. GELICO was acquired by Legal and General Group Plc in 1981, as a wholly owned subsidiary, and in 1983, the GELICO name was changed to Banner Life. As of 2011, the marketing identities were simplified and Legal and General America became part of the overall brand strategy.
Banner Life Insurance Review
Legal and General is one of the world’s largest insurance and investment management groups. The company offers a wide array of products, including life insurance, investments, pensions, and general insurance plans.
One area where Banner Life Insurance Company seems to shine is in its no medical exam and table rated coverage for people who have various health conditions. For example, someone who has diabetes or other health issues may still be able to secure life insurance coverage through Banner Life – and depending on their age and health at the time of application, they could even purchase coverage of up to $1 million.
As of year-end 2016, Legal and General has nearly $4 billion in total assets and approximately $678 billion of life insurance in force. The company has also been recognized as being the 2016 Life Insurance Provider of the Year at the Financial Advisor Life and Pensions Awards.
Insurer Grade and Better Business Bureau Grade
The capitalization level of an insurance company is particularly meaningful, as it will measure the company’s solvency. This assesses the degree of the insurer’s assets that are available to pay certain future liabilities, such as current and future policyholder proceeds. On this basis, Legal and General is quite high. Likewise, the pure capital ratio measures the “cushion” a company has against a decline in the value of its assets. The total capital ratio of Legal and General was 27% in 2016, more than double the industry average.
Legal and General is incredibly robust and stable financially:
- AA- (Very Strong) from S&P
- A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best Company
- AA- (Very Strong) from Fitch Ratings
The company has also achieved a COMDEX score of 94.
From the BBB, they have an A+ grade, but no accreditation.
Banner Life Insurance Company has closed eight customer complaints – of which three were closed out over the previous year. Of these eight total complaints, six were related to issues with the company’s products and services. The other two customer complaints were regarding billing and collection issues.
Life Insurance Products Offered By Banner Life
Legal and General America is ranked as a top ten provider of term life insurance in the United States, issuing more than $48 billion of new coverage in 2016 alone. There is death benefit only protection – and no cash value or savings component in the policy.
Term life insurance can be an affordable way to secure a significant amount of necessary coverage – and, the term life insurance policies that are offered by Legal and General / Banner Life Insurance Company can be converted over into permanent insurance protection by the insured.
The term plans provided via Banner Life/Legal and General offer a variety of different policy lengths including ten years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, and even 30 years. This can be beneficial in helping clients to secure the right coverage for their needs.
Term life insurance through Banner Life can be a viable option for those who have a mortgage or other types of debt balances. It is also ideal for young adults with kids to send to college in the future, and for seniors who want to ensure that their spouse has enough retirement income to last them for the remainder of their lifetime.
Banner Life/Legal and General also offers permanent life insurance protection. This is the company’s Life Step UL universal life insurance option. The Life Step UL is a flexible premium policy that provides lifetime guaranteed coverage with necessities for guaranteed cash values.
This flexibility in premium allows the policyholder to choose a lesser amount of premium that can guarantee coverage for a reduced duration such as coverage to the insured’s age 100. These policies also allow the policyholder to accumulate cash value on a tax-deferred basis over time.
These funds can be either withdrawn or borrowed by the policyholder for any reason, including the payoff of higher interest debt, the supplementing of retirement income, or even to take an excellent, long-awaited vacation.
For those who are seeking long-term life insurance coverage, the Life Step UL plan from Banner Life may fit well. Here a policyholder can get the option to pay a level premium to guarantee the coverage for his or her entire life. Paying this premium keeps the policy active, notwithstanding what occurs in the market, or even in the economy overall.
This policy also offers an alternative short pay guarantee. This flexible premium allows the policyholder to plan a premium payment over the number of years that he or she chooses. For instance, they may wish to only pay enough premium over a ten or a fifteen-year period to guarantee lifetime coverage or to complete the premium payments before they retire.
The short pay option allows an individual to do this by merging the premium payments that are required for a lifetime guarantee over a reduced period. The premium payments will stop after the payment period has ended – even though the insured will continue to keep coverage for the rest of his or her lifetime.
Products Geared for Seniors and No Medical Exam
Legal and General, through Banner Life Insurance Company, offers no medical exam life insurance coverage. With these policies, as the name implies, it is not required that the life insurance policy applicant undergo a medical examination to qualify for coverage. This can help someone who may have certain health issues to get the life insurance protection still that they need.
Using the company’s APPcelerate, an applicant for life insurance coverage may be able to qualify for a policy that has coverage of between $100,000 and $500,000 with no attending physician statement or medical exam. These plans are open to applicants who are 20 and 50, and in some cases, a telephone interview may be the only underwriting factor to go through.
The cost of these – and any of the – life insurance policies that are offered through Banner Life Insurance Company will vary, based on many key factors, such as:
- Type of policy (term or permanent)
- Amount of policy proceeds
- Applicant / insured age / birth date
- Applicant / insured height, weight, and other health factors
Other Products and Services Offered By Banner Life Insurance
A lot of seniors are worried about running out of money during retirement. One way to combat this is to purchase a retirement annuity.
These products can be a good option for those who are seniors, as – with the lifetime income option – income can be relied upon, regardless of the annuity holder’s age, health, and longevity.
The funds that accumulate inside of an annuity are not taxed until the time of withdrawal. Therefore, the tax-deferred nature of these products allows the money to grow and compound exponentially.
Legal and General also offers deferred pension advice for those who are preparing to retire. This can help with matching anticipated retirement expenses to income and then constructing a plan that can best fit each person’s specific needs and goals.
Should You Buy With Banner?
After reading all of this, you should have a good idea what Banner life insurance. Hopefully, you know if they would be a good fit for you. If not, you should keep looking.
Instead of going from company to company to ask for quotes, you can make one request. That phone call should be to us.
Not only would we like to help get you affordable coverage, but we would also like to answer any questions and help you pick a type of plan. We have assisted every kind of client.