Allstate life insurance review 2018 | finder.com

Allstate life insurance review

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Life has its ups and downs, and this company caters to families’ ever-changing needs with its flexible policies.

Life insurance isn’t an afterthought; it’s an investment — and one that pays off by protecting your family when you’re gone. With so many companies, policies and riders on offer, choosing a provider can be overwhelming. Allstate understands that life is unpredictable, so many of its policies can be customized to fit your lifestyle now and later on down the road.

The Allstate Corporation is the largest publicly-owned personal lines insurer in America, and has excellent brand recognition thanks to its ad slogan, “You’re in good hands.” It has a strong financial foothold in the industry, and a history of keeping its promises to policyholders, making it a secure choice for life insurance.

Minimum coverage$50,000
Terms available10-30 depending on policy
Payment methodsEFT, check, credit card, debit card
Medical exam requiredNo
Temporary underwriting coverageN/A

Pros

  • Nationwide network of agents.
  • Optimized website.
  • Option for no medical exam.
  • Healthy Credits.
  • Financially strong.
  • Bundling available.

Cons

  • Claims process.
  • No app for managing your policy.
  • Higher premiums.
  • Conservative underwriting.
Allstate isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it has given it an A rating for its operations and customer satisfaction. However, as of this writing, there are over 1,500 customer complaints regarding Allstate as a whole, not just its life insurance products.

Many customers were upset with the provider’s auto insurance coverage, though some did mention issues getting information on a life insurance policy for a deceased family member, problems getting accident claims approved and low cash values after years of paying into the policy. But like anything else, there were a handful of positive reviews scattered in, citing the company’s great customer service and affordable policies that were easy to get approved for.

The company is also highly rated by top rating agencies, meaning it has the financial stability to pay out its claims:

A.M. BestA+
Moody’sA1
S&PA+

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What is Allstate known for?

Headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, The Allstate Corporation was founded in 1931 as part of Sears, and has grown steadily since. It became a publicly traded company in 1993, and now has brick-and-mortar agencies and financial representatives in every US state.

It’s backed by strong financial ratings and holds almost $125 billion in assets. While it is best known for its auto insurance (comprising more than 9% of the market share), it has a strong presence in the life insurance market, with a long list of subsidiaries.

Thanks to its memorable slogan and sponsorship of college sports through the NCAA, Allstate’s brand awareness has a massive reach. Its market share matches its image: Allstate sells a slew of personal line policies as well as commercial and financial planning products. It’s a convenient choice for customers who want a one-stop-shop and the discount that comes with bundling.

The Allstate Foundation is committed to giving back to the community. It focuses its attention on four pillars: disaster relief and preparedness, youth empowerment, domestic violence and safe teen driving.

Pros

  • Nationwide network of agents.There are local agents in every US state, and Allstate points to its personalized service by including staff photos on its website.
  • Optimized website.Make payments, update your personal information, and connect with your agent online. The website has financial planning tools to help customers with annuities, budgeting and retirement savings.
  • Option for no medical exam. Allstate’s Basic Term policy does not require a medical exam.
  • Healthy Credits.The insurer allocates points (based on physical and mental health) to help clients reach a better rate class.
  • Financially strong. Allstate is highly rated by A.M. Best, Moody’s, Comdex and Standard & Poor, meaning it has the funds to pay out claims.
  • Bundling available.The company offers multi-policy discounts when bundling life and auto insurance.

Cons

  • Claims process. Though the website is sophisticated, you can only file a life insurance claim over the phone.
  • No app for managing your policy.Allstate’s app only focuses on auto insurance.
  • Higher premiums.Compared to other private insurers, Allstate’s premiums tend to be more expensive for healthy applicants.
  • Conservative underwriting.Allstate is not liberal when it comes to preexisting medical conditions, high cholesterol and diabetes.

What life insurance coverage does Allstate offer?

Allstate offers a full roster of term and permanent life insurance policies, many of which are flexible to cater to differing family needs.

Term life insurance

Term lifeThe simplest and most cost-effective policy, term life offers coverage from10 to 30 years. The premium stays the same for the duration of the policy. If you pass away while your policy is active, your beneficiaries will receive a guaranteed death benefit.

The firm offers two types of term life insurance.

Basic Term Life. Provides coverage for 15 years. It’s a no-exam policy (though you’ll have to fill out a health questionnaire), and coverage is limited to $50,000, $100,000 or $150,000. The premium is determined by your responses to the questionnaire.

TrueFit Term Life. The more flexible option that offers customized coverage for 10 to 30 years, and unlike many other term policies, you’re allowed to choose coverage in one-year increments. So you can get coverage for 23 years if that’s what you need. It requires a medical exam, and Allstate encourages customers to “layer” policies (within the same contract) to protect their ever-changing needs.

At the end of the term, you can choose to renew your policy or convert to a permanent policy.

Permanent life insurance

Whole lifeA whole life policy is the most basic form of lifelong protection, and it never expires — as long as you make your payments. Your premium won’t change, and a portion of each premium is invested to give your policy a cash value. The cash value increases regardless of market conditions, making whole life a secure permanent policy for the risk averse.

Once you build up enough cash value, you can access that money and take out loans against your own policy (for example, if you want to put a down payment on a house). When you die, your beneficiaries receive a death benefit as well as an added cash value benefit.

The company’s policies are Whole Life Tribute and Whole Life Advantage, which has an additional “excess credits” feature, similar to dividends. It may help you to add more cash value, or get cash back.

Allstate offers a suite of riders you can use to optimize your whole life policy.

Universal life This policy provides lifetime coverage and death benefits, and becomes a cash asset over time. Universal life payments aren’t set at a dollar amount — they’re flexible, so you can adjust your payments to suit your situation. You can also decrease or increase your level of coverage. This makes it an appealing option for those without a consistent income or those who can’t commit to paying the same amount every month.

Allstate has a few universal life insurance policies to choose from, and you can customize yours with the use of riders.

  • Bridge UL
  • Lifetime UL
  • Future Builder UL
  • Future Growth IUL

With the Indexed policy, the cash value is linked to market performance for greater investment potential.

You can tap into the cash value of your policy throughout your lifetime (with interest).

Variable universal lifeIf you go with the FutureVest VUL policy, your premiums are invested in the market. Like universal life, it offers lifelong protection and a cash value that accumulates over time, but it has a more aggressive investment component.

While the investment is professionally managed to boost your returns, it does come with risk — which is why Allstate only sells this policy by prospectus.

What’s not covered in my policy?

Standard policies don’t always cover the unexpected hurdles life throws at you. To customize your coverage, look to Allstate’s many riders, or policy add-ons.
Depending on your policy and rate class, you may be able to opt into the following:

  • Accelerated death benefit. To reduce the financial burden of being diagnosed with a terminal illness, this allows you to access up to 80% of the death benefit up to $250,000.
  • Accelerated death benefit. If you’re confined to a nursing care facility for a year and are expected to remain there, you can access up to 80% of the death benefit.
  • Accidental death benefit. This pays an additional amount to your beneficiary if you die in an accident.
  • Children term insurance. This rider enables eligible children to be added to a policy, with coverage between $5,000 and $25,000.
  • Waiver of premium. This waives your premium payment if you become completely disabled.
  • Overloan protection. When this rider is activated, you can take out loans and withdrawals (with interest) knowing your policy won’t lapse.
  • Estate liquidity. Following the 10th and 15th anniversary of your policy, you have a 60-day window where an alternative surrender value is available.
  • Additional insured. This rider provides term insurance to your spouse or another immediate family member.
  • Liquidity guarantee. When you opt into this rider, you’ll receive a percentage of paid premium dollars if the policy is surrendered on or after its 7th anniversary.
  • Continuation of payment. If you become disabled, this rider adds a monthly amount to the value of the policy.

How can I get the best rate?

Your premium is determined by factors like your age, health, lifestyle and occupation. Like most providers, Allstate reserves its best rates, such as Preferred Elite, for those with more favorable circumstances.

Its underwriting considers:

  • Tobacco use. To reach the highest rate class, you have to prove you haven’t smoked tobacco in the past five years. Allstate allows two celebratory cigars per month.
  • Age. Young, healthy applicants tend to pay lower premiums.
  • Driving record. The insurer allows a maximum of two moving violations in three years, and requires a five-year record free of DUIs and reckless driving.
  • Occupation. Those with dangerous jobs are subject to higher rates.
  • US residency. The best rates apply to those who have been residing in the US for at least 12 months.
  • Alcohol and drugs. For the preferred rate, you must have never been treated for alcohol or drug use.
  • Aviation. You can still get a top rate if you work for a US-based airline.
  • Hazardous lifestyle. Scuba diving aside, Allstate wants to see you haven’t taken on any hazardous hobbies in the past two years.
  • Health. Allstate is quite conservative when it comes to build charts, cholesterol, blood pressure and family history, especially with cardiovascular disease, stroke or diabetes prior to age 60. Some health conditions, including epilepsy, asthma, major depression and Crohn’s, are usually excluded from preferred rates.
  • Healthy Credits. This program allocates lifestyle credits, which may boost your rating class.
  • Other insurance. If you bundle your life insurance with Allstate’s other policy lines, you may have access to a cheaper policy.

How do I file an insurance claim with Allstate?

To file a claim, call the toll-free customer service line at 877-810-2920 or your local Allstate agency. In an effort to make the claims process as seamless as possible, the company asks you to obtain a certified copy of the death certificate and have the policy handy when you call.

Once the claim is approved, your agent will talk you through the options for receiving the death benefit.

What other services does Allstate offer?

Allstate also sells these products and services:

  • Auto insurance
  • Home, renters and condo insurance
  • Vehicle insurance — boat, motorhome, snowmobile and ATV
  • Business insurance
  • Pet insurance
  • Flood insurance
  • Event insurance
  • Financial planning — annuities, IRAs, mutual funds and 529 college savings
  • Roadside assistance

Bottom line

As the largest personal lines insurer in America, Allstate offers financial stability, and its suite of life insurance policies can be customized to suit your needs. It offers a no-exam policy, as well as a very flexible term life policy, TrueFit, which is rare. And while its premiums are higher than other private insurers, it offers direct access to its agents located every US state.

But since life insurance is an investment in your family’s future, before signing the dotted line, look at all of the options out there. The ideal provider is not only financially solvent (meaning they have the cash reserves to pay out claims), but also offers the type and level of coverage that you need. Compare the different types of policies and add-ons available with our comprehensive guide to life insurance.

Find a life insurance policy today

Use our magical comparison tool to find the best rates in your area.

Your information is secure.

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