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Colonial Penn life insurance review 2020

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Find policies that don't require a medical exam, but policies are capped at low amounts.

finder.com's rating: 2 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get a quote if… You don’t want the hassle of a medical exam.
  • Pick something else if… You want a coverage amount over $50,000.

18 to 85

Issue Age

$10,000 to $50,000

Coverage

No

Medical Exam Required

Details

Free quote Online, Phone
Policy options Renewable Term, Guaranteed Acceptance, Permanent Whole.
Term lengths 5 year banded term – up to age 90
Monthly cost $2.54/month
Claim methods Mail
Available states Term insurance is available in all states except Montana, New York, and the Virgin Islands. Whole life insurance is available in all states except New York and the Virgin Islands.
Customer support Phone, Online
Riders Accelerated death benefit rider, Accidental death benefit rider

Expert review

Rhys Subitch

Review by


Rhys Subitch is a writer and editor at Finder who tackles topics across the site. With half a decade of experience researching, editing and writing for a Fortune 500 company, university and several independent publications, Rhys brings readers the most up-to-date and curated info on all things finance.

Expert review

Colonial Penn offers three basic life insurance options, including term and whole life policies. While none of them require a medical exam, the coverage is less than you might find with other insurers and there aren’t many riders to help customize your policy.

This company also sees a more than the average number of customer complaints. If you decide to try a Colonial Penn policy, you’ll have 30 days to cancel your policy for a full refund.

What types of life insurance coverage does Colonial Penn offer?

Colonial Penn offers both term and a variety of whole life policies to help financially prepare you for the future:

  • Term life insurance. Colonial Penn’s term life policies renew every five years depending on your age and are renewable up to age 90. Your rates for this policy increase as you age.
  • Whole life insurance. This plan offers lifetime coverage that builds cash value over time. And your rates are locked-in at purchase.
  • Guaranteed acceptance life insurance. This type of whole life plan offers permanent coverage and guarantees you won’t be denied because of your health. Your rates are locked-in the day you buy your policy.

Here are the coverage details and price ranges for each of Colonial Penn’s three life insurance plans:

PlanCoverageMedical examAge availabilityProtection untilRate increaseMonthly premiumsDisclaimers
Renewable term life insurance$10,000–$50,000None18 to 75 years old90 years oldYes, based on fixed 5-year age bands$2.54–$800.80Guaranteed ability to exchange for permanent life insurance at age 90
Guaranteed acceptance life insuranceUp to $25,000 depending on age, gender and locationNone50 to 85 years old in most states For lifeNo$9.95–$79.60You can’t be turned down because of your health, but the first two years of coverage are limited
Whole life insurance$10,000–$50,000None40 to 75 years oldFor lifeNo$14.36–$576.44Cash value builds after the first year

Does Colonial Life offer burial insurance?

Yes. Colonial Life’s guaranteed acceptance policy functions as burial insurance. Like most final expense policies, it’s marketed to seniors — in this case, those 50 to 85 years old — and capped at a small amount.

No medical exam is required, and if you die of natural causes within the first two years of taking out the policy, your beneficiaries will receive a lump sum equal to the premiums paid plus interest compounded annually. If you die after the two-year mark, the insurer will pay the full death benefit.

What riders does Colonial Penn offer?

While most insurers offer policy add-ons like child coverage or disability coverage, Colonial Penn only offers two riders, and coverage may be limited by state, age and gender.

  • Accidental death rider. Pays out an additional benefit to your beneficiaries if you die in an accident, such as a car accident.
  • Accelerated death benefit rider. Get up to 50% of your life insurance benefit if you have a heart attack, stroke, cancer or a chronic illness.

Pros and cons of Colonial Penn

Pros

  • No medical exams. If you’re worried about not getting coverage because of a preexisting condition, you won’t have to do anything more than answer a few simple health questions to apply for coverage.
  • Locked-in premiums. You won’t have to worry about your rate going up with Colonial Penn’s guaranteed acceptance and whole life plans.
  • Flexible payment options. All plans offer monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual payment options to fit your pay schedule.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee. If you decide that the life insurance policy you took out isn’t for you, you can cancel the policy before 30 days and get a full refund. That’s longer than most of its competitors offer.

Cons

  • Low coverage amounts. The highest coverage amount available under all of Colonial Penn’s plans is $50,000. Compared to other companies that offer upwards of $5 million, this is quite low.
  • Few rider options. Most insurers offer a variety of policy add-ons to expand coverage to meet your specific needs, but Colonial Penn doesn’t include benefits for families or disabilities.
  • Not all plans are available in all states. The Whole life insurance plan is unavailable to residents of Maine, New York and Vermont; term life insurance is unavailable to residents of those same states and Montana.
  • High number of complaints. Colonial Penn received a complaint ratio of 1.31 in 2019 for life insurance from NAIC, which is higher than the national median of 1.00.

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Colonial Penn reviews and complaints

Though its financial strength is rated high, it doesn’t have strong customer reviews. As of this writing, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which gave Colonial Penn an A+ rating, has 85 complaints closed over the past three years. Most complaints surrounded issues with the life insurance policies, advertising and billing. Colonial Penn received a complaint ratio of 1.31 in 2019 for life insurance from NAIC, which is close to the national median of 1.00. Complaints centered around coverage availability and speed of claim payment.

Other reviews around the web note pushy salespeople encouraging customers to take out more insurance than they need or want, lost policies after years of paying into them, being turned down for the guaranteed acceptance policy and frequent advertising robo calls.

Colonial Penn’s parent company, CNO Financial Group and its subsidiaries, received a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) from AM Best. This rating is reflective of Colonial Penn’s projected ability to pay out benefits.

How do I sign up for a Colonial Penn policy?

  1. To get a quote, from Colonial Penn’s homepage, enter your birthdate and state from the drop-down menu and click Get Quote.
  2. You’ll then be provided quotes for the policies available to you. From here you can click on Learn More to get further details on the policy, or you can continue with the application process by clicking Get quote.
  3. Enter your address, gender, email address and questions then click Get quote.
  4. Select any policy add-ons then click Apply for coverage.
  5. Answer a few basic health questions. From here click Continue, then enter your beneficiary information.
  6. Next, review your documents online, then e-sign to confirm. A licensed agent will contact you shortly to finalize the process.
  7. Once you’re officially approved, register your account online, where you’ll be able to pay your monthly premium, update your contact info and review your policy.

How do I file a life insurance claim with Colonial Penn?

  1. Go to the Colonial Penn website.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and click Claims, under the “Service” header.
  3. Click Download Forms along the top nav.
  4. Click Claim Form for Life Insurance Death Benefits and select the state of the policyholder.
  5. Download, print and fill out the form.
  6. Mail the form, certified death certificate and original insurance contract to:
    • Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company
    • Life Claims Department – 2250
    • 399 Market Street
    • Philadelphia, PA 19181-2250
  7. Wait for an agent from Colonial Penn to contact you regarding next steps.

Common questions about Colonial Penn

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Our experts analyze life insurance companies to help you to find the strongest possible policy and premium for your family’s needs. We assess their financial strength, customer satisfaction, policy features and riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects their offering and reputation in the industry.

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