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AXA Equitable life insurance review

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What everyone needs to know about AXA Equitable Life Insurance

Purchasing life insurance can be daunting, given what’s at stake. You’ll encounter an endless array of providers, each offering an overwhelming selection of options.

AXA is among the most established and reliable life insurance providers in the US. And it’s no wonder why: It offers a wide range of plans and terms suited to the needs of customers nationwide.

It’s earned outstanding customer ratings and, as of 2017, celebrated its ninth year as Interbrand’s No. 1 insurance brand in the world.

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    What is AXA Equitable Life Insurance known for?

    AXA is one of the oldest insurance providers in the world, founded way back in 1817. Its established reputation and security can provide peace of mind that your contributions are kept safe until payout. It also has a reputation for competitively priced rates.

    And unlike other insurers that reported significant losses after 2008’s financial crisis, AXA reported minimal exposure to financial turmoil.

    What life insurance coverage does AXA offer?

    Like many providers, AXA offers a range of insurance that includes term life, whole life, universal life and variable life.

    Term insurance typically offers the most protection for your premium dollar, making it generally the most affordable type of insurance available. Unlike whole life insurance, it does not accumulate a cash value.With AXA’s BrightLife Term Life Insurance, you’re provided a death benefit at a fixed price for 1, 10, 15 or 20 years. After your term, premiums increase annually as detailed in your policy agreement.

    Whole or permanent life insurance guarantees a minimum death benefit — your “face amount” — for as long as you continue paying your premium. And premium payments are fixed for as long as you own the policy.AXA’s Interest-Sensitive Whole Life Insurance invests your life insurance payments, guaranteeing a minimum of your policy’s cash value or death benefit. And you can take out tax-free life insurance loans with this option, using your cash value as the collateral.

    This flexible, permanent life insurance combines the low-cost protection of term life insurance with an investment component like you’d find in whole life insurance, providing a growing cash value.AXA’s two universal life insurance products — BrightLife Protect and BrightLife Grow — are tied to a market index, giving you the potential to build more wealth.

    This option is designed to help you enhance your life through professionally managed investment portfolios while paying flexible premiums.Use IncentiveLife Optimizer III and IncentiveLife Legacy III to build your wealth through an array of stocks, bonds, international and money market investment options.

    What’s not covered in my policy?

    Your standard policy won’t cover your family from all the unexpected things life can throw your way.

    Available riders depend on your needs, your age and the specific type of life insurance you pick up with AXA. Among riders available for a fee are:

    • Children’s Term Rider. Allows you to insure your children from $1,000 to $25,000.
    • Disability Premium Rider. If you’re 18 to 59 years old, you can eliminate or pay off your life insurance if you suffer a serious disability or illness.
    • Disability Premium Waiver Rider. If you’re rendered fully disabled, waives premiums due for your policy.
    • Living Benefits Rider. If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness outlined in your policy, you can receive a portion of your benefit to cover medical costs, health care and other needs.
    • Automatic Premium Loan Feature. Helps you avoid any lapse in coverage by deducting your outstanding premium from your policy’s value when your premium is due.
    • Cash Value Plus Rider. Provides a charge reduction if you fully cancel your policy in the first eight of your policy years and a premium charge refund if you cancel your policy in your first three policy years.
    • Long-Term Care Services. If you’re chronically ill and receiving qualified long-term care services according to a plan of care, you might receive an accelerated death benefit to use toward qualified expenses.
    • Option to Purchase Additional Insurance. This rider allows you to increase the policy face amount or purchase a new policy on specific dates, without evidence of insurability.
    • Return of Premium Death Benefit Rider. Qualifies your beneficiaries for an additional death benefit generally equal to the sum of the specified percentage of each premium paid.
    • Charitable Legacy Rider. Provides an additional death benefit of up to 1% of the current base policy face amount to qualified nonprofits.
    • 2% Interest Guarantee Endorsement Rider. Provides a minimum accumulation value used in addition to your policy’s typical account value for added protection in specific scenarios.

    How can I get the best rates with AXA?

    AXA considers your age and gender, height and weight, state of residence, smoking history, coverage amount and term when underwriting your policy, which can result in a range of potential policy quotes.

    To qualify for the lowest rates — what AXA calls “preferred elite” status — you’ll need to meet criteria within a range of categories that include:

    • History of tobacco or substance use. The best rates go to applicants who haven’t smoked in the past five years and have no history of substance abuse.
    • Your driving record. Your history should be free of DWIs, DUIs, suspensions and other convictions in the past five years and no more than three moving violations in the past year.
    • Your blood pressure. If you’re 59 or younger, your blood pressure must not top 140/85; for older applicants, your blood pressure should be under 150/90.
    • Occupation or hobbies. Pilots and other high-risk careers may be excluded from the best rates, depending on other factors.

    Pros and cons

    Here are some of the upsides and downsides to AXA’s life insurance policies.

    Pros

    • Financially sound company. The well-established AXA offers policies that are generally safe from market fluctuations and institutional risk.
    • Looks beyond numbers. Against your height and weight, tobacco use and health measurements, AXA also considers your commitment to improved health.
    • Competitive, comprehensive rates. AXA is known for low rates on policies that offer flexible options and investment opportunities.

    Cons

    • Lacks online support. You can’t apply or file a claim online. Though you can monitor your claims process online after filing.
    • No direct policies. You can’t apply for life insurance directly through AXA. Instead, you’ll need to contact a broker to get started.

    How do I file a life insurance claim with AXA?

    Unlike many other providers, AXA does not allow customers to file a claim online.

    Still, filing a life insurance claim is straightforward:

    1. Go to AXA’s site and click File a Claim in the top menu.
    2. Go through the steps of filing a claim with the deceased’s name, Social Security number, date of death and any beneficiary details.
    3. After you’ve completed the claims process online, AXA mails you specific claims forms. Complete and return these forms to:
      AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company
      Retirement Service Solutions
      PO Box 1547
      Secaucus, NJ 07096-1547

    What other services does AXA offer?

    AXA offers a variety of products beyond life insurance that include:

    • Annuities
    • IRA, 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) retirement plans
    • Brokerage and advisory accounts
    • Mutual funds
    • Vision, dental and other health insurance
    • Survivorship plans
    • Corporate life insurance plans

    What do customers say say about this brand?

    AXA Equitable Life Insurance isn’t BBB accredited, but it does get an A+ rating based on BBB’s internal criteria. Its parent company, AXA Financial, is BBB accredited since 1937, boasting the same A+ rating.

    Customers online tend to report positive interactions, in line with AXA’s reputation for dependability. In 2017, AXA continued its winning streak after it was named No. 1 insurance company in the world by Interbrand for the ninth consecutive year.

    Bottom line

    Choosing a life insurance provider can be overwhelming, especially if you’re interested in a comprehensive, flexible plan. The highly rated and respected AXA can make the process less intimidating through a straightforward website and solid customer support when choosing a plan that suits your needs. And it’s backed by one of the oldest insurance institutions in the country, resulting in competitive rates you might not find elsewhere.

    But underwriting depends on many factors that aren’t always in your control. Take a look at other providers to make sure you’re finding the most affordable plans you’re eligible for.

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