Have you been scouring the web for Transamerica life insurance reviews? Well then, this post is for you!
It’s so important to know if the insurer you pick is financially resilient and if their products are right for your needs. Not all companies are created equally.
Underwriting guidelines vary greatly from company to company and you can save you thousands by just picking the one that’s right for you!
History of Transamerica Life Insurance
The origins of Transamerica are rooted in a San Francisco saloon in 1904. An enterprising young man by the name of Amadeo Giannini started the Bank of Italy to provide financial services for customers in need. He continued this endeavor despite the massive earthquake and fire that ravaged the city in 1906.
His bank grew to such an extent it merged with the Bank of America in 1928. Gianni expanded his business into life insurance after acquiring Occidental Life Insurance Company via the Transamerica Corporation. In 1956 the 2 businesses separated and Transamerica Life Insurance was officially born.
The company would adopt the iconic Transamerica pyramid as it’s home in 1972, providing life insurance and financial services as well as other enterprises.
In the 1980’s, the company’s mission was to provide both and insurance and financial services to as many people as possible throughout the US. In July 1999, Transamerica forged a new path when it became one of the world’s leading international financial organizations. – AEGON N.V.
As of December 31, 2015 the company had $1,068 billion dollars of life insurance in force and the head office is now based in Cedar Rapids IA.
From the back a saloon to an international powerhouse, what an amazing story!
The following insurance and financial products are available through Transamerica including:
• Life Insurance
• Medicare Solutions
• Dental Insurance
• Mutual Funds
• Retirement Solutions
Transamerica Financial Ratings
Will you be able to depend on the long term viability of Transamerica to pay potential claims if your beneficiaries need to make them? This is a question you should ask about any life insurance company before you buy a policy.
If you want to know how to find this information, you can check out the financial ratings. Each year life insurers are issued a rating performed by companies that specialize in determining their financial strength.
A little due diligence can go a long way in your search for life insurance.
A company doesn’t need to have the highest possible rating to be a good choice, but stay away from insurers at the bottom of the scale. For example, A.M. Best considers any company rated B and below to be financially vulnerable; Standard & Poor’s asks consumers to be cautious about companies rated BB and below. Alice Holbrook, How to Use Life Insurance Financial Strength Ratings, Nerd Wallet
We took a peek at the Transamerica website and grabbed this quick snapshot to show you where they stand: The conclusion? Transamerica life insurance is financially sound for the foreseeable future. You can be confident that this long established company will pay its claims.
Transamerica Life Insurance Review of Products
Transamerica offers a full range of life insurance products which include:
• Term Life
• Whole Life
• Universal Life
• Variable Universal Life
• Accidental Death
• Final Expense Life
Let’s preview them now!
Transamerica Life Insurance offers 2 types of term products. Both provide 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 year terms. Coverage can range from $25,000 – $1,000,000. Most policies require a medical exam, but if you are under a certain age and coverage amount, you can dodge it.
You also have 3 death benefit options for both types of term policies that include:
• Level term which provides a fixed death benefit
• Decreasing term where the death benefit decreases over time
• Increasing term where the death benefit increases over time
Trendsetter® Super Series1
Provides coverage up to $1,000,000 dollars. Premiums increase annually for Trendsetter Super YRT, and beginning in year 11 for the 10- year policy, in year 16 for the 15-year policy, in year 21 for the 20-year policy, in year 26 for the 25-year policy, and in year 31 for the 30-year policy.
Allows you to convert to a Universal policy at the end of the term without having to undergo a medical exam.
Trendsetter® LB (Living Benefits)
In addition to death benefits this term policy also provides “living benefits.” This will give you an accelerated death benefit for a qualifying chronic, critical or terminal illness while you are still alive. Premiums increase annually beginning in year 11 for the 10-year policy, in year 16 for the 15-year policy, in year 21 for the 20-year policy, in year 26 for the 25-year policy, and in year 31 for the 30-year policy. Click here for client brochure!
Transamerica Whole Life
A whole life policy is a permanent form of life insurance because it provides coverage for life. In addition to death benefits you also get the additional advantage of a cash value accumulation feature which grows over the life of the policy. You can also borrow against these policies.
As such, all permanent life insurance policies tend to cost much more than what you would pay for a term policy.
Transamerica offers 2 types of whole life policies that include:
• Individual whole life insurance (Guaranteed Whole Life Insurance and Final Expense Life Insurance – see below).
• Group whole life insurance
Transamerica Final Expense Life Insurance
Statistically, the cost associated with burial and final expenses will likely exceed $8,000. Final expense life insurance can help alleviate the financial stress when the insured passes away.
Transamerica has 3 different types of policies for final expenses including:
• Immediate Solution
• 10 Pay Solution
• Easy Solution
Transamerica Universal Life Policies
Universal life insurance is another form or permanent life insurance. Like whole, these policies provide lifetime coverage, death benefits and a cash value accumulation feature.
However, Universal policies are more flexible. You can modify both the frequency and the amount of the premium you pay. Transamerica offers 3 types of Universal life insurance policies including:
• Index universal life insurance: The index universal life insurance policy provides flexible insurance premiums in combination with an index account. The index account provides potential earnings for the insured.
• Group universal life insurance: This form of universal life insurance is available through employers.
• Variable universal life insurance: This type of policy allows for the cash-value portion of your policy to be invested in stock or bond markets which Transamerica will manage for you. Both the premium and death benefit amounts can be adjusted. Additional fees and charges may apply.
Transamerica Accidental Death Insurance
Accidental life insurance provides a death benefit which is guaranteed should you be killed in an accident covered by your policy. This can be payable separately or in addition to your life insurance coverage. It also covers you should you lose your vision or a limb as a result of an accident.
No medical exam is required for this coverage. Coverage is doubled should you be killed by a common carrier such as bus or a train. There are 2 plans available through this company including:
• Plan A: Pays a benefit equal to $250,000 for a covered accidental death. This benefit will double to $500,000 for common carrier accidents.
• Plan B pays a benefit equal to $125,000 for a covered accidental death. This benefit will double to $250,000 for common carrier accidents.
You can also include the family option which will pay an additional $125,000 for your spouse and $5,000 for a child named in the policy. Click here for more information!
Transamerica Life Insurance Review of Underwriting Strength
Every life insurance company has their own unique underwriting guidelines.
The usual procedure includes an assessment of age, gender, current health issues, cholesterol/blood pressure levels, and family history – just to name a few considerations.
Each company likes to focus its strengths on one or more underwriting niches where they excel.
Insurance underwriting is the process of classification, rating, and selection of risks. In simpler terms, it’s a risk selection process. This selection process consists of evaluating information and resources to determine how an individual will be classified (whether a standard or substandard risk). The Basics of Underwriting Insurance, FinWeb
there are hundreds on life insurers who are in fierce competition for your business, so it’s important to know which ones will best serve your individual situation.
That’s why you should always use an independent agent, such the ones here at Huntley Wealth. We have helped people save as much as 70% on their life insurance premiums, because we know all the underwriting quirks of each company.
Let’s see how Transamerica compares with Prudential Life Insurance and American General (AIG) Life Insurance when it comes to underwriting guidlines.
The example I am using is for someone who qualifies for a “Preferred Plus” Term life insurance policy using the following 5 factors to compare these venerable companies:
• Blood Pressure
• Cholesterol Levels
• Family History
Transamerica Life Insurance
Height Weight Ratio: 5”11” up to age 70 you can weight up to 200 pounds. After age 70 up to 206 pounds.
Tobacco Use: No nicotine use for the past 5 years. Not available for incidental cigar smoking.
Blood Pressure: The insurance cannot be undergoing current treatment for hypertension. Prior treatment is OK if it has been discontinued for more than 2 years; up to and including age 70 130/85; Age 71+: 145/85
Cholesterol: With or without treatment up to and including age 70 – 5.0 or less, age 71+ 5.5 or less. Maximum cholesterol level is 230 but disregard if HDL ratio is 4.0 or less.
Family History: No family deaths (parent or siblings) of heart/vascular disease or cancer before the age of 65. Disregard if PI is age 71 or older.
Prudential Life Insurance
Height Weight Ratio: From 18 – 59 years of age, the maximum weight for a 5’ 11 “man or woman is 122 pounds.
For ages 60+ the maximum weight for a 5’ 11 man or woman is 129 pounds.
Tobacco Use: No tobacco or nicotine use for the past 5 years.
Maximum Blood Pressure: Up to 130/80 up to age 49 or 135/85 for ages 50 and over. Must be unmedicated.
Maximum Cholesterol Treated: HDL ratio 5 or less (with or without medication).
Family History: No death of a parent or sibling before age 60 due to, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease or cancer.
American General Life Insurance
Height / Weight Ratio: A male who is 5’ 10 “tall can weigh between 130 – 205 pounds.
Tobacco Use: No tobacco use for 5 years.
Blood Pressure: From ages 0-60 blood pressure not greater than 135/85. From ages 61+ blood pressure not greater than 140/85.
Cholesterol HDL Ratio: If ratio less than 5, 215 cholesterol level. If ratio less than 4.5, 290 cholesterol level.
Family History: There must be no coronary artery disease or cancer prior to age 60 (parents only).
SUMMARY OF Transamerica Underwriting
Transamerica life insurance reviews aren’t worth anything without an overview of the findings. I’ve uncovered the underwriting niche specialties of this company and want to share them with you.
Transamerica is particularly lenient when it comes to the following:
• Cholesterol Levels: Most companies will not give a preferred rating for an HDL ratio in excess of 4.5. Transamerica bumps that up to 5.0! In fact, clients who are older than 71 can have up to a 5.5 cholesterol ratio.
• Seniors: Transamerica is very lenient for people who are 71 years and older.
• Hepatitis C and Schizophrenia
Transamerica is not as lenient for:
• Younger clients in general
To sum it up…
I would say that in some underwriting areas, Transamerica is one of our preferred companies. Seniors especially benefit from their underwriting policies – while younger clients may not. In a nutshell, it’s best to consult an independent agent like Huntley Wealth to get the best possible rates for your unique situation.
How Transamerica Compares Price-wise With Competitors
Ok, now I am sure you want to get down to business. How does Transamerica Life Insurance compare to companies like Prudential and AIG in terms of the cost of their premiums?
To give you an idea, I ran some quick quotes for “preferred plus” rated non-smoking males and females, age 35.
These quotes were provided by the Term4Sale.com quote engine as of 9/7/16.
30 Year Term Policy for $500,000 for Non Smoking Male Age 35
30 Year Term Policy for $500,000 for Non Smoking Female Age 35
Transamerica: $36.55 monthly, $425.00 annual
Prudential: $35.55 monthly, $395.00 annual
American General: $34.95 monthly, $404.00 annual
Transamerica Life Insurance has a broad range of products which makes it very easy to find a policy that suits your particular needs.
Unfortunately it may not be the best company for younger clients, but on the other hand, it’s ideal for those who are over the age of 70.
They have some choice underwriting niches where they stand out, but can be a bit restrictive in other areas. Prices are competitive but not the least expensive on the market.
Generally speaking, Transamerica can be found in the top 20 companies offering the lowest possible premiums. So if you are considering them, be sure to speak to an independent agent like Huntley Wealth because we may be able to get you a better deal.
Who I think qualifies for the top 10 life insurance companies this year? Check out this post for all the details: “The Top 10 Life Insurance Companies 2016.”
Why Huntley Wealth?
Huntley Wealth and Insurance Services will help you find the policy that suits the needs of you and your family.
We can provide small policies for final expenses, affordable term and permanent products for income replacement or estate taxes, along with low cost no-exam life insurance for those who truly need it.
As independent agents we have access to dozens of the best life insurers.
Have questions or need some advice? No problem! We are here to serve you and not the life insurance companies. We build long term relationships with all our clients and specialize in high risk life insurance for pre-existing medical conditions. So if you have special needs we are well equipped to give you sound advice.
Call Huntley Wealth and Insurance Services today at 877 – 443 – 9467 for low cost life insurance. We can help!
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