AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company is a large-scale insurer that offers policies throughout the U.S. and has been in business since 1859.
The company was founded by Henry Hyde, formerly of Mutual Life Insurance Company, and was previously known simply as Equitable Life Insurance. The Global AXA Group purchased Equitable in 1992 with a $1 billion investment, converting from a mutual to a stock company.
With strong financial stability ratings and many years atop the Interbrand annual insurance report, AXA is one of the biggest players in today’s life insurance space.
The company offers multiple types of life insurance policies, with advice available from its agents by phone, web chat, or email.
AXA Life Insurance Quotes and Application Process
AXA offers some elements of its insurance quote process through its website, but not all. Potential policyholders can use an automated quiz tool to determine how much coverage is appropriate for their needs, given their age and current situation.
When it comes to making decisions about purchasing a policy, however, AXA recommends that customers speak with a financial professional and form a strategy. It is possible to request such an analysis through the website.
AXA Life Insurance Policies
AXA offers multiple types of life insurance policies to reflect the differing needs of its customers. These range from short-term policies with the lowest premiums to long-term offerings without such time limits.
The company notes that these policies can be used to alleviate mortgages and debt, to help loved ones through their education, or to make charitable donations, among other purposes.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance, such as AXA’s BrightLife Term policy, offers lower premiums than life insurance that lasts as long as a policyholder lives. Time periods can range from 1 to 20 years, and premiums increase each year.
If the policyholder dies during that term, the policy can pay final expenses, pay off a mortgage, cover education for children, or deal with other immediate costs.
Whole Life Insurance
AXA’s Interest Sensitive Whole Life plan has a fixed premium, and its value increases each year up to age 100. The policy is based around stability, with premiums that never rise and a guaranteed minimum cash value that goes up year upon year.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life policies are another option that can stay with insureds for as long as they live. They give policyholders the ability to raise, lower, and defer their premiums or withdraw cash.
These policies, such as IUL Protect and BrightLife Grow from AXA, differ in availability between states and may tie their value to market indexes, though not as much as variable policies.
Survivorship Life Insurance
Survivorship plans, such as BrightLife Grow and BrightLife Protect, are designed for couples. The former plan is designed to help surviving partners have access to retirement funds, and the latter is meant to set aside money for a couple’s children.
Variable Life Insurance
Variable life insurance is based on investments. The policies, such as IncentiveLife Optimizer III and Legacy III, allow insureds to use their premiums to play the market and potentially accumulate value.
AXA Life Insurance Riders
Riders are extra features that can be added to a life insurance policy, modifying its initial terms.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, it’s always valuable to check with an insurer about potential life insurance riders before securing a life insurance policy, especially if that company does not include a waiver of premium if the policyholder becomes disabled or “guaranteed insurability” – the ability to add to a death benefit without providing evidence of acceptable health.
Riders you can add to AXS policies are numerous, and include the following:
Disability Premium Waiver Rider
This rider waives the premium of a policy in the case of permanent disability. It costs extra compared to the base price of a policy and is one of the types recommended by the III.
Disability Waiver of Monthly Deductions Rider
Only available on policies issued to people under the age of 59 who meet risk standards, this rider waives monthly deductions from the policy due to a disability lasting at least six months.
If this rider takes effect after the age-60 policy anniversary, only deductions up to the age-65 policy anniversary are waived.
Cash Value Plus Rider
This rider reduces the charges associated with surrendering a life insurance policy during its first eight years and a premium charge refund if the policy is three years old or fewer.
Children’s Term Insurance Rider
This rider provides coverage for an insured’s children and can be turned into a permanent policy as those children come of age, whether or not they can show evidence of their insurability.
Estate Protector Rider
This rider takes effect and provides extra coverage in the case that both people insured by the plan die within four years of the policy being issued.
Long-Term Care Services Rider
People suffering from chronic illnesses and receiving treatment as part of a Plan of Care may receive a long-term death benefit toward their care expenses with this rider. This is a more complex rider with exceptions and eligibility requirements.
Option to Purchase Additional Insurance
This ride enables insureds to either add to their policies or take out new ones, without insurability evidence. It is a cost-added feature of a policy and is one of the features recommended by the III.
Return of Premium Death Benefit Rider
This rider creates an additional death benefit from a percentage of each premium the insured pays on the policy. ROP policies are popular for those who want a lower premium but the security of getting their money back.
Charitable Legacy Rider
This rider, available at no upfront cost, enables insureds to give an additional death benefit – at up to 1% of the face amount – to a charitable organization.
Living Benefits Rider
A policyholder diagnosed with a terminal illness, usually with 12 or fewer months to live, may be able to use some of his or her death benefit while still living. This rider is automatically added to policies.
AXA Life Insurance Discounts
The AXA website does not contain notes on specific discounts for its policies. The company does, however, note the potential tax benefits of certain life insurance options, as well as the potential to modify the plans via riders.
AXA Life Insurance Financial Strength
- Underwriter: AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company
- Market Share:73%
- Premiums Written: $2,242,064,071
- Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: A+ “Strong”
- Moody’s Financial Rating: A2 “Good”
- AM Best Financial Rating: A “Excellent”
The independent agencies that create financial strength ratings for insurance firms each have different rating systems, which means an “A” with one organization doesn’t mean the same thing as an “A” from the others.
For instance, the highest AM Best rating is an A++, while the top grade from Moody’s is an Aa1 and S&P Best goes up to AAA+.
AXA is on a firm financial footing with these major rating agencies. Its AM Best rating is the No. 3 out of 15 levels, its Moody’s score is No. 6 out of 21, and its S&P grade is the fifth best of 21 levels. As the III explains, it pays to note multiple ratings and the difference between them.
Even top rated insurance companies that only cite one rating may be doing so to divert attention away from a lower score from another provider. Fortunately, with no position lower than sixth-highest from a given agency, AXA is reliable across the board.
AXA Life Insurance Reviews and Customer Service
AXA is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau responsible for its headquarters location in New York City. While many companies have only possessed active BBB accreditation for a few years, AXA’s dates back to 1937.
The company has a rating of A+ from the BBB. This highest possible rating indicates that the company is prompt and comprehensive in issuing answers to customer complaints, and has not been affected by local or national enforcement actions in recent months.
The customer reviews and complaints lodged with the BBB are less positive, with an aggregate review score of just over 1 of 5 stars.
Many of the 15 reviews collected by the BBB are for financial services other than life insurance, but some do contain complaints about the company’s life insurance practices. There are 39 complaints filed with the BBB, with all either resolved or at least answered.
AXA’s National Association of Insurance Commissioners index is 0.27 for 2018, based on 13 total upheld complaints for the year. With the industry average set at 1.00, a ratio of under 1 indicates that AXA has dealt with significantly fewer complaints per capita than an average life insurance firm in the market.
AXA Phone Number & Contact Information
- Homepage URL: https://us.axa.com/home.html
- Company Phone: (888) 292-4636
- Headquarters Address: 1290 Avenue of the Americas, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10104-1300