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Knights of Columbus review 2019

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A strong life insurance company with many product options and benefits — but it’s only available to Catholic members.

Get a quote if…

  • You’re a male member of the Knights of Columbus Catholic order.

Choose a different provider if…

  • You’re not a member or you have pre-existing medical conditions.

What types of life insurance coverage does Knights of Columbus offer?

Knights of Columbus offers multiple life insurance products that can be broken down into two categories: term life and permanent life. Term life policies are cheaper and are guaranteed to pay your death benefit if you die during your specified term.

Permanent life policies are guaranteed to remain in force at the same premium for your entire life, while also building cash value that you can take out at any time.

  • Term life.
  • Knights of Columbus term policy options are the same as other standard life insurance companies. You can select a term of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years and will be guaranteed level premiums for the duration of the term. You can also convert your term policy into a whole life policy at any time without having to take a new medical exam.

  • Annual renewable term.
  • This is a term policy that’s renewed annually for as long as you pay the premiums, though your premiums will be adjusted each year to reflect your increased age. Premiums on annual renewable terms typically start low, but increase substantially over time.

  • Whole life.
  • Knights of Columbus offers a standard whole life policy with a host of payment options. These policies are guaranteed to remain in force for your entire life as long as you continue to pay premiums. Also, your cash value grows on a tax-deferred basis and can be taken out at anytime for things such as paying for college tuition or a retirement supplement.

    Payment options for its whole life policies include single pay, paid-up at 65, paid-up at 100 and a limited pay option that lets you choose how many years you want to pay — with a minimum of five years.

  • Final expense whole life.
  • This option is called a graded death benefit whole life policy and is essentially a final expense policy. It requires no medical exam and will remain in force for the rest of your life, although the benefit amounts are designed to solely cover final expenses.

  • Survivorship universal life.
  • These policies are also known as second-to-die life insurance or joint whole life insurance. It covers two people and only pays the benefit after both have passed away and is commonly used for estate planning. The universal aspect of it allows for building cash value with flexible premiums.

What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?

Knights of Columbus offers a variety of riders that you can add to your term or whole life policy, but not all riders are offered on every life insurance product.

  • Disability waiver of premium. This rider allows you to keep your policy in force without having to pay premiums if you become temporarily disabled. This only applies if you’re under the age of 60.
  • Guaranteed purchase option. Allows you to purchase higher benefit amounts at predetermined times. It’s designed to reflect your changing life circumstances if you buy a whole life policy at a young age.
  • Income protection. Provides an additional monthly income to your beneficiary after you pass. This monthly stipend is an extra amount that is separate from the death benefit.
  • Children’s term insurance. This rider gives your children their own term policy until they reach the age of 26. It can then be converted into their own policy without medical underwriting.
  • Accelerated death benefit. If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and given less than 12 months to live, you can take out most of your death benefit before you die.
  • Accidental death benefit. Provides an extra benefit on top of your death benefit in the event you die due to an accident, such as a car crash.

How much does Knights of Columbus cost?

The exact amount that you’ll pay for a life insurance policy with Knights of Columbus will depend on a few different factors, such as:

  • Current health condition, including height and weight
  • Personal and family health history
  • Tobacco use
  • Policy type selected
  • Age
  • Gender

Rates with Knights of Columbus aren’t published or advertised to the public. However, you can expect to have rates that are about the same as most other insurance companies.

How do I get a low rate?

Life insurance is cheapest for people who are young and healthy. However, you can potentially lower your rate if you maintain the following factors:

  • A clean driving record for the past five years
  • No use of tobacco for five years
  • No history of alcohol or substance abuse, or at least five years free
  • At least one year of maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure
  • Avoid high-risk hobbies

Speak with a Knights of Columbus agent to learn more about its health classifications and how to get the lowest rate on products.

Pros and cons of Knights of Columbus

Pros

  • Special young adult term policy. This insurer offers a special term policy for young adults aged 18-29. It’s designed to be more affordable for newly-established young adults.
  • Personalized service. Knights of Columbus agents are also members of the fraternal order and have local agents throughout the US, which helps them deliver personal and immediate service.
  • Fraternal benefits. Memberships include various benefits, such as guaranteed life insurance for uninsurable children, death benefits for stillborn or miscarried children and spousal accidental death benefits.
  • Free needs analysis. This provider gives complimentary insurance and financial needs analysis to its members. This includes retirement planning and end of life planning.

Cons

  • Limited to male members. Life insurance is only available to members of the Knights of Columbus fraternal order. To be considered for membership, you must be a Catholic male over the age of 18. Females are only eligible for life insurance through their male spouses.
  • No pre-existing medical condition. It will deny you life insurance coverage if you have a pre-existing medical condition, though the fraternal benefits might apply to spouses to provide some type of coverage.
  • No return of premium option. Knights of Columbus doesn’t offer a return of premium term policy, which pays back all of your premium at the end of the term. Return of Premium is a common rider offered by most life insurance companies.
  • Unknown rates. It’s difficult to know what you can expect to pay for life insurance with Knights of Columbus because it keeps its rates private. You need to be a member and apply for coverage before discovering the premium.

Compare other life insurance companies

If you’re looking for more options to compare, take a look at these other providers.

Name Product Issue Ages Coverage Range Medical Exam Required State Availability
18 - 85 years old
$10,000 to $10,000,000+
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states
Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.
21 - 54 years old
$50,000 to $1,000,000
No
Not available in Alaska or New York
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
20 to 60 years old
$100,000 to $8,000,000
No
Not available in New York
Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
18 - 64 years old
$100,000 to $3,000,000
No
All 50 states
Customized term life insurance policies up to $3 million, no medical exam for certain applicants.
25 - 60 years old
$100,000 to $5,000,000
No
Available in all states except for Montana
Offers term life insurance with accelerated underwriting. No-exam coverage up to $1,000,000 for those who qualify.

Compare up to 4 providers

Knights of Columbus reviews and complaints.

Knights of Columbus had a stellar reputation in the life insurance industry for many years, but is now being investigated for insurance fraud.

A lawsuit was brought against Knights of Columbus in late 2019 for falsely inflating its membership numbers to maintain high ratings for life insurance products. The lawsuit claims that inactive or deceased members were kept on the books, with current members paying to cover their dues.

Also, Knights of Columbus breached a contract with a technology firm and was ordered in September 2019 to pay $500,000 to the company.

Other than these lawsuits, most people report satisfaction with Knights of Columbus and its life insurance products. However, some members claim they received unwanted internal pressure to buy a life insurance policy.

How do I sign up?

There is no online quoting tool or application. You have to first become a Knights of Columbus member through an online form, then apply for coverage through a local agent. The membership requirements are:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Male
  • Catholic

More about Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 and is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. It currently has nearly 2 million members around the world.

In addition to life insurance products, it also offers long-term care insurance, disability insurance and annuities.

Before settling on a single provider, make sure to compare life insurance providers and ensure you’re getting the best rates.

Frequently asked questions

Expert review

Andrew Flueckiger

Review by


Andrew Flueckiger is a writer in the insurance and finance fields. A licensed insurance agent with a degree from Indiana University and a certified insurance counselor designation, Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his articles. When Andrew isn’t writing, reading or practicing insurance, he can be found spending time with his family and playing the guitar.

Expert review

A life insurance policy from the Knights of Columbus could be cheaper than other life companies, but membership is required before you can apply. While women can be covered by a life policy, it is only as a dependent of a male member. You might find the right policy with a variety of options from this insurer, however you may want to compare a full list of providers before making your final decision.

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