Phoenix Life Insurance Company Review

There is any number of reasons why someone should consider purchasing life insurance. This is true, regardless of one’s age, income, or stage of life. For example, while many people feel that those who have a spouse and/or child depending on them financially are the only ones who need this type of coverage, the reality is that anyone could leave their loved ones with financial hardship in case of the unexpected.

Most families don’t have the coverage they need. Some don’t have protection at all.

Getting life insurance is vital, but you shouldn’t rush out and buy a random policy. You need to do some insurance homework beforehand. This will help you buy a policy for a price you can afford.

We get a lot of questions about Phoenix Life. Instead of answering those questions over and over, we have written an article about Phoenix Life. 

The History of Phoenix Life Insurance Company

phoenix life insurance reviewPhoenix Life has a long history of serving its customers and policyholders. This company was originally founded in 1851 by a group of prominent business, religious, and civic leaders in Hartford, Connecticut. Initially, the company was referred to as the American Temperance Life Insurance Company – and it held to its mission of insuring “only those who abstain from alcohol.”

Throughout the years, the company grew and expanded, due to the addition of new product offerings, as well as through mergers and acquisitions. For instance, Home Life Insurance Company – which eventually merged with Phoenix – was founded in Brooklyn, New York, and is the first life insurer approved by the then-newly established New York Insurance Department to do business in that state.

Phoenix also has numerous accolades to its name – such as tendering premiums for life insurance coverage to President Abraham Lincoln, as well as Vice President Hamlin and Speaker Colfax. After Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, the company issued a policy to the new U.S. President, Andrew Johnson, free for one year.

Following the famed Chicago fire in the early 1870s, Phoenix Life contributed $5,000 to a fund that was set up for the survivors. This was the company’s first of many significant acts of corporate giving. Today, Phoenix Life is focused on helping people to meet their basic needs for food, housing, and education. The company also supports numerous programs that enrich people’s lives overall. Phoenix Life Insurance Company is still headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut.

Phoenix Life Insurance Company Review

Phoenix Life today has two primary subsidiaries. These are Phoenix Life Insurance Company (PLIC) and PHL Variable Insurance Company (PHLVIC). In 2016, Phoenix became a wholly owned subsidiary of Nassau Re. This holding company has contributed a substantial amount of new equity capital, in turn, improving Phoenix Life’s financial stability.

As of December 2016, the combined results of all affiliated insurance entities included the following:

  • $86.9 billion of gross life insurance coverage in force (this includes 380,000 policies and contracts)
  • $5.4 billion of annuity funds under management
  • $19 billion in total statutory assets
  • $18.4 billion of statutory reserves and other liabilities
  • $754.6 million of statutory surplus and asset valuation reserve

Phoenix Life offers its products and services via more than 18,000 independent insurance and financial advisors.

Insurer Ratings and Better Business Bureau Grade

Because of financial stability and its positive reputation for claims paying, Phoenix Life has received a B rating (Stable) from A.M. Best Company, and a rating of BB (Stable) from Standard & Poor’s. (These ratings are as of February 2017).

In addition, even though Phoenix Life hasn’t gotten accredited by the BBB, they have been given an A+. This is the best possible grade from BBB.

No Exam Life Insurance Coverage Offered Through Phoenix

Phoenix Life Insurance Company offers whole life and temporary solutions. Many of the company’s life insurance policies have short applications for coverage and do not require a medical exam as a part of the underwriting process.

With term life insurance, there is death benefit coverage, and no cash or investment build up. Because of its simple chassis, term life insurance can be very affordable – even for a large amount of insurance coverage. This is especially the case for those who are younger at the time of application.

The Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life and the Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life Express plans are policies that are designed to specifically help families get the most out of life. These policies offer a choice of either 10, 15, 20, or 30-year coverage lengths.

Each of these policies also offers four living benefit riders that can provide policyholders added flexibility and coverage for some unexpected health-related events. These riders are available at no additional premium cost, and they can include protection for the following situations:

  • Critical Illness
  • Chronic Illness
  • Terminal Illness
  • Unemployment

Let’s look at their whole life choices. They have universal life insurance plans, indexed universal plans, and standard whole life policies.

In addition to death benefit protection, permanent life insurance policies offer a cash value or investment build up. Depending on the plan, the cash value can be used to borrow against or make investments.

One option for permanent life insurance coverage through Phoenix Life is the Phoenix Simplicity Index Life policy. This policy does not require a medical exam or lab tests. It’s quick and it’s simple.

In addition to knowing that they are covered with a death benefit, policyholders of this policy can also have increased financial flexibility in case of a major illness, and they can also use the plan to help with supplementing savings and generating retirement income through loans and/or withdrawals.

With Phoenix Simplicity Index Life, policyholders can choose to allocate their cash value in a fixed account and/or two indexed accounts. Given all of its many benefits, this policy could be a viable option for those who:

  • Want permanent protection
  • Want to accumulate cash for future goals
  • Want the potential to earn higher cash value than current assumption universal life insurance
  • Want to have protection from market downturns

Phoenix Life also offers the Phoenix Remembrance Life policy. Because the cost of a funeral and other related final expenses can be quite expensive, having proceeds from an insurance policy can be helpful in eliminating added stress on family and other loved ones.

Remembrance Life is permanent coverage. This means that it has a guaranteed payout and cash value build up. Your premiums are never going to increase.

In addition to all of these traditional choices, they also sell a survivorship life insurance policy (these policies are usually known as second-to-die plans). Unlike a standard policy which has one policyholder named, these plans have two people cover, but they don’t pay out until the second person passes away.

Other Products and Services Available

Phoenix LIfe also sells a variety of annuities. These annuities are often bought by people who are worried about outliving their savings accounts in retirement.

These annuities can be an excellent addition to just about any portfolio, and Pheonix gives you several choices.

Phoenix Life offers a variety of annuity products, including the:

  • Phoenix Personal Income Annuity – The Phoenix Personal Income Annuity is a single premium deferred product that allows its owner to receive income now, or in the future. Because it is an indexed product, the funds in the account can grow based on the performance of an index (up to a set cap). The money in the account is, however, safe from market loss. The underlying index options that are available here include the S&P 500 and the CS Tactical Multi-Asset Index.
  • Phoenix Personal Protection Choice – The Personal Protection Choice is also a single premium annuity that allows you to opt for a guaranteed income stream, as well as protection from unplanned health care costs. With this product, an individual or a couple may choose to receive guaranteed withdrawals for life, as well as an enhanced death benefit should the owner or annuitant die.
  • Phoenix Personal Retirement Choice – Another single premium annuity, the Phoenix Personal Retirement Choice, can help individuals to address savings shortfalls, as well as to manage future inflation, guard against market losses, and also to generate an income for the remainder of their lives.

Should You Buy Phoenix Life Insurance?

This is the question we get often. Sadly, we can’t tell you the answer without knowing your specific situation.

Maybe Phoenix is best for you; maybe it’s not.

To find out, you should give us a call. We’re not tied to Phoenix or any other carrier out there. We can sell you plans from over 60 carriers without you having to call them all.


Susan Wright, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, ADPA, CITRMS, CIPA has been in the insurance and financial field for over 27 years. Even with years of experience, she continues to create new resources for others. Everything from books to training material.

Susan received her MBA from St. Louis University and her BA from Michigan State University.

She has worked in several areas but excels in writing material for both finances and insurance. Her goal is to give professionals credibility and assist in streamlining the sales process.

She has written countless articles for a variety of websites.

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