Banner Life is one of the many life insurance companies out there vying for your business.
They have several products that can help you plan for your family’s financial future.
However, many people get confused by the variety of different life insurance policies and companies out there.
With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know which is the best choice for you.
Check out our review of Banner Life below to determine if they are the best choice for you.
About Banner Life
Founded in 1949, Banner Life is an insurance company that exclusively focuses on providing customers with life insurance coverage.
They can conduct business in every state except New York.
For New York business, they operate out of their sister brand, William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York.
Banner Life was acquired in 1981 by a larger life insurance provider called Legal & General America.
William Penn was also acquired by Legal & General around this time.
You may come across both of these names if you begin working with Banner Life.
It is important to understand that these entities are one and the same.
Despite all this nuance, Banner Life actually has a relatively small share of the life insurance marketplace.
As of 2017, they only accounted for less than 1% of the premiums paid.
Banner Life Ratings
If you’re curious about where Banner Life stands when it comes to paying out claims and handling customer complaints, a good place to look is their ratings.
Banner Life has generally racked up positive reviews and ratings, which is good news for people interested in purchasing life insurance from them.
Banner Life received an A+ rating from the reputable credit rating agency A.M. Best.
They rate life insurance companies based on their creditworthiness and financial strength.
Banner Life’s rating indicates that A.M. Best believes that they possess strong capabilities to pay customer claims.
Banner Life did not receive a rating from bond credit rating agency Moody’s.
Standard & Poor’s
Credit analysis agency Standard & Poor’s awarded Banner Life the rating of AA- on a scale from AAA to D.
This rating indicates that they believe Banner Life is financially capable of repaying debts.
Better Business Bureau
Moving onto the realm of customer satisfaction, Banner Life received an A+ rating from the non-profit organization Better Business Bureau (BBB).
The BBB reviews and rates companies based on their advertising methods, ability to resolve customer disputes, and other metrics that mark a conscientious business.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Additionally, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which tracks complaints made to state insurance departments, rated Banner Life a 0.13 on their complaint index.
A score of 0 indicates that there were not enough complaints to receive an NAIC rating, and a score of 1 is considered average for most companies.
At a 0.13, Banner Life has a pretty impressive rating that indicates low customer dissatisfaction.
Banner Life Insurance Products Offered
Banner Life has relatively limited product offerings, but they do make it easy for you to understand what each product is.
These are the types of life insurance policies that you can purchase through Banner Life.
Banner Life offers a standard term life insurance policy through their OPTerm Life product.
The OPTerm Life product offers term lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years and guaranteed level premiums throughout the life of the policy.
Policyholders have the option to renew their policy at the end of their term or convert to a universal life policy at any time during their term.
The OPTerm Life product is available to applicants between the ages of 20 and 75.
You can choose from a face value starting at $100,000 up to $1 million.
Banner Life allows you to view a quote estimate online, which is a unique and helpful feature.
This estimate, of course, is subject to change when you got to submit a formal application.
Banner Life’s term policy allows you to ladder your coverage based on your changing needs.
This means that you can adjust the coverage amount at any time during your term for a slight additional cost.
This is a great feature for those that need additional coverage for a specified period of time but not for the entire life of the policy.
Life Step UL (Universal Life)
In addition to their term life policy, Banner Life also offers a universal life insurance product called Life Step UL.
Life Step UL is a permanent life insurance policy, which means that it will continue to cover you for your entire life if you keep paying your premium.
It allows for variable premium payments, which means that the premium is subject to change on an annual basis.
Life Step UL is available to applicants between the ages of 20 and 85.
The face value for this product starts at $50,000 and has no stated upper limit.
Unlike the term policy, this product accumulates tax-deferred cash value.
This cash value can be withdrawn for loans or other reasons, but the available cash value will depend on the customer’s policy.
Banner Life Insurance Riders Offered
If you’re interested in customizing your coverage beyond what Banner Life offers, you have three riders that you can choose from.
This is relatively limited compared to what other carriers offer, but the riders offered are among the most popular.
Here are the life insurance riders you can choose from through Banner Life.
Children’s Term Rider
Banner Life offers children’s term riders on all of their policies except for New York policies.
This rider allows you to add an additional term life policy for all of your children without having to purchase an additional policy.
This rider will cover your children until they reach the age of 25.
Waiver of Premium Rider
You can also choose to add a waiver of premium rider to your Banner Life policy.
This rider allows you to waive premium payments if you’ve developed “a serious long-term illness or injury, and [become] totally disabled” for at least six months.
Stacking Term Rider
Finally, Banner Life offers a stacking term rider on all of their policies.
This rider gives you additional coverage for a specified period of time.
For example, you can choose to purchase a term policy and add a 10-year term rider on top of that, which will get you to a higher death benefit.
Eligibility and Application Process
Banner Life’s application process is relatively straightforward and similar to other life insurance agencies.
To apply for a life insurance policy through Banner Life, you will need to contact one of their insurance agents.
However, you can receive a quote estimate through their website by providing your birth date, gender, height, weight, and other personal information.
You can find Banner Life in your area through their website. You can also choose to contact an agent directly if you know who you’d like to work with.
If you need assistance determining your coverage needs, Banner Life has a downloadable worksheet that can help.
This will ask about your age and financial dependents to help home in on which policy is best for you.
A Banner Life agent will also walk you through your policy options, but they will typically push you towards a permanent life policy for a larger commission.
After you submit a formal application, Banner Life will review your information and make a decision.
It usually takes about weeks for them to return with a decision and quote, which is about half the time that it typically takes for insurance carriers to review and approve applications.
If you choose to accept the quote, Banner Life will bind the policy and deliver it to you electronically.
Pros and Cons of Banner Life
Here are some of the pros and cons of purchasing your life insurance through Banner Life.
- Covers many health conditions: Banner Life covers many health conditions that most carriers shy away from, such as high blood pressure or a history of smoking. You can still qualify for affordable rates even if you have a family history of things like cancer or heart disease.
- Easy application process: Applying for life insurance through Banner Life is relatively simple. You will simply need to contact a Banner Life agent in your area, and they will walk you through the application and submit it to the underwriting company for consideration.
- Competitive rates: Banner Life boast some of the most competitive monthly rates in the industry, especially for insureds that may be facing complicated family medical histories.
- Few options for customization: With only three riders available for purchase, Banner Life has relatively few options for those that are interested in customizing and personalizing their life insurance coverage. Additionally, they only have two life insurance products to choose from, which is limiting.
- No dividends: Unfortunately, Banner Life does not offer dividends on any of their life insurance products. This can be bad news for people that would like to use their life insurance policy to earn investment income.
- Strict temporary coverage: If you’re interested in applying for temporary life insurance, you can do so through Banner Life. However, they have extraordinarily strict guidelines to qualify. First, you must apply for at least $1 million in coverage. Also, they will not approve any applicants that are above the age of 70 or have a history of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or drug abuse within the last five years.
Is Banner Life a good company?
Banner Life is generally considered a good company when it comes to the financial strength and customer relations. They have outstanding ratings with third-party agencies like A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s for creditworthiness and ability to pay claims. The Better Business Bureau and National Association of Insurance Commissioners have also provided excellent scores when it comes to dealing with customer complaints.
Who owns Banner Life?
Banner Life and William Penn, its sister brand for New York, were acquired by Legal & General America in 1981. William Penn has been considered the New York branch of Banner Life since 1989. Any insurance that is purchased under either company is issued by the Legal & General America brand.
What life insurance products with Banner Life are available in my state?
Product offerings by Banner Life will differ by state, but you can purchase life insurance policies from Banner Life in all 49 states except for New York. If you would like to purchase coverage in New York, you will need to work with William Penn, which acts as the branch for New York. William Penn offers all of the same policies except for 35- and 40-year term durations, which are not available in New York.
Is Banner Life the Best Choice for You?
Life insurance is a purchase that can protect you and your family should the worst happen.
However, life insurance is only beneficial to you if you are purchasing the right policy for your needs.
We understand that not everyone understands the nuances of life insurance. This is why we’ve created this blog to help you learn more about the policies and major players in the industry.
We are here to help you learn as much as you can so that you can purchase the best policy for you.