Mutual of Omaha life insurance review 2018 | finder.com

Mutual of Omaha life insurance review

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A top insurer offering guaranteed coverage on select policies and competitive underwriting.

Insurance is like many other financial products — whether it’s a policy through Mutual of Omaha or another carrier, they feature basic coverage with the ability to personalize policies through riders and other add-ons.

Rather than rely on geckos or Peanuts characters, Mutual of Omaha chose a more innovative marketing route decades ago. It endeared itself to generations of youngsters in the 20th century — and their parents — with its Wild Kingdom TV series, which taught innumerable kids a thing or two about nature and the world’s untamed inhabitants. The approach built up bonds of familiarity and trust which have served the carrier well over many years.

Here’s what to expect with this Fortune 500 company offering when you’re looking for the best way to secure your loved ones’ future well-being in an uncertain world.

Issue age18–68 years old
Minimum coverage$2,000
Terms available10, 15, 20 and 30 years
Payment methodsEFT
Medical exam requiredDepends
Temporary underwriting coverageN/A

Pros

  • Guaranteed acceptance available.
  • Lenient preferred rates.
  • Strong and stable.

Cons

  • Top options require a call.
  • Limited online account.

What affects the cost of my policy?

In underwriting, insurers determine your monthly premium by considering the amount of your policy’s coverage and any riders along with your age, your gender, your family history and your risk of dying within your policy’s term.

While the company insures more than 4 million people, the Better Business Bureau reports just over 110 complaints over the past three years. Accredited with the BBB since 1940, it earns an A+ based on such criteria as its size, history and how it resolves open complaints.

But JD Power scored it merely average among US life insurers last year in terms of prices, policy offerings and billing. It scored above average when it came to customer interactions, however.

Mutual of Omaha earns a superior A+ financial strength rating from AM Best, the top industry rating agency, and an AA- rating from Standard & Poor’s, one notch under the top grade.

A.M. BestA+

What is Mutual of Omaha known for?

After operating as a mutual insurer for almost 110 years, Mutual of Omaha has built a reputation as a reliable carrier, but one whose rates are higher than some others.

Mutual of Omaha is a standout for guaranteed-issue whole life policies that can provide coverage and piece of mind for those with pre-existing medical or health issues. These policies guarantee acceptance, no questions asked, with up to $25,000 in benefits and a graded death benefit depending on how soon after signup your policy requires a payout.

It has a good reputation for competitive pricing on a range of medical conditions. For instance, those with asthma, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and hypertension aren’t necessarily excluded from preferred rates, depending on treatment. And while the best rates go to nonsmokers in top health, Mutual of Omaha often extends standard nonsmoker rates to those who occasionally use marijuana.

Pros and cons

Guaranteed acceptance may sound ideal, but it’s not a given for every plan offered by this provider. You’re also required to speak with an agent for policy updates, even if you’re only looking to change your address.

Pros

  • Guaranteed acceptance available. Get the coverage you need on select term policies with no medical exam required.
  • Lenient preferred rates. Health issues won’t necessarily exclude you from low rates. Even pilots, scuba divers and other thrill seekers are eligible.
  • Strong and stable. With some $38 billion in assets and a surplus of almost $491 million, you can rest easy that your claim will be paid out.

Cons

  • Top options require a call. Generally, the best options and coverage require speaking with an agent.
  • Limited online account. You can monitor your policy online, but to change your address, update payments or cancel your policy, you must speak with an agent.

What life insurance coverage does Mutual of Omaha offer?

You can get quotes and apply online for three types of Mutual of Omaha life insurance: term, whole and universal coverage.

As with most types of life insurance, the older you are when you buy it, typically the higher your premiums will be. Health and lifestyle risks will also affect the rate you’re ultimately extended.

Term life insurance

Mutual of Omaha offers online term life coverage of $25,000 to $100,000 to those ages 30 to 74. Terms are limited to 10 years, though you can generally extend term policies annually up to age 94.

Policies through an agent are available for terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. And rates are locked in for the term of the policy, with most policies offering conversion to whole life after the term expires.

To sign up, you’re required to permit the insurer to research your Medical Information Bureau and prescription drug records, which are used to determine your approval and ultimately your rate.

If you need a higher coverage amount on a term policy or you’re younger than 29, you’ll have to apply for coverage through a Mutual of Omaha insurance agent by phone or in person.

For an idea of what you might pay, here’s what we found online for 10-year term policy quotes:

  • A 30-year-old nonsmoker in California can get a 10-year term policy with a $100,000 benefit through an agent for as little as $8.88 a month – or under $1,100 a year.
  • A 50-year-old nonsmoking woman in New York can obtain a $100,000 30-year term policy for $43.67 a month. For a man, that rate rises to $62.75 a month.
  • A 50-year-old New York woman who smokes would pay almost three times as much – $47.38 a month – for that $100,000 10-year term policy outlined above, with a rate that triples fo $62.78 monthly for a male smoker.

Whole life insurance

You can apply for whole life coverage of $2,000 to $25,000 from Mutual of Omaha online without answering health-related questions or providing access to your medical and prescription data. But you must be at least 45 years old to for guaranteed coverage.

Otherwise, coverage can begin at 18 with health questions, with policies of up to $50,000 available if you apply with an agent.

Whole life benefits with Mutual of Omaha are limited during the first two years, which means that if you die from natural causes within two years of obtaining coverage, your beneficiaries may receive only the premiums you’ve paid plus 10% interest. However, if your death is due to an accident, your full benefit is paid from the first day of coverage on.

For reference, here’s what you might find for a $25,000 whole life policy, according to online quotes:

  • A nonsmoking 50-year-old woman in Massachusetts could pay $73.50 a month, while for a man it could be $88.50 a month, depending on medical history.
  • Nonsmoking 65-year-olds in California could pay as little as $126 a month for a woman and $163.50 for a man, depending on health data.
  • At 75, a nonsmoking man in California could obtain coverage for $301 a month, while it could cost a woman $243.50.

Term vs. whole: Should I buy a whole life policy for the cash accumulation?

Some personal finance experts say that particularly at today’s interest rates, which remain near historically low levels, you may be better off buying a term policy. You can then invest the difference in premium costs through an individual retirement account, either a tax-deferred IRA or a Roth IRA, if you’re eligible. But a lot depends on your age when you buy coverage: Generally, the younger you are, the lower your rate will be for either term or whole life.

Compare term vs. whole life insurance

Universal life insurance

Mutual of Omaha also offers four types of universal life insurance that build cash value while providing coverage throughout your lifetime. Approval can be difficult, requiring an underwriting process that considers details about your health, occupation, lifestyle and hobbies. And if you travel frequently, you may be asked for more information to determine the level of risk you may be exposed to as a result.

All four types of universal life provide accelerated benefits that give you access to part of the policy’s benefits if you’re diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness. And you can adjust your benefit and change the frequency and size of your premium payments as needed.

The four options vary in terms of the size of the accumulated a cash value they’re expected to produce:

  • Life Protection Advantage. Offers guaranteed coverage through age 85 and potentially longer, provided you pay your premiums. It also can be set to return a guaranteed refund with an optional rider.
  • Income Advantage. Ties cash accumulation to the performance of a particular market index. And it’s guaranteed not to lose value, even if your chosen index declines.
  • Guaranteed Universal Life. Focuses on providing a guaranteed death benefit as long as premiums are paid. You can also obtain a rider to provide a guaranteed refund on this type of policy.
  • AccumUL. Accumulates cash value based on a set interest rate guaranteed at least 2% annually. This option allows you to grow cash value faster than a standard universal life policy.

What’s not covered in my policy?

Standard policies won’t cover all that life throws at you. Like other providers, Mutual of Omaha offers a range of riders that depend on whether you’ve signed up for term, whole or universal coverage.

Typical optional riders include:

  • Accelerated death benefit. Provides early payout of up to 80% or $1 million if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Accidental death benefit. Pays an additional benefit if you die as the result of an accident.
  • Other insured extension. Extends your policy to cover one other person, with premiums based on your age.
  • Waiver of premium. Waives your monthly premium if you’re unexpectedly unemployed.
  • Children’s riders. Extends the benefits of your policy to dependent children, with the ability to convert at the age of maturity.
  • Disability and unemployment premium waivers. Waives your monthly premium if you face the unexpected.

Talk with your Mutual of Omaha agent to learn the riders you can apply to your specific coverage.

How can I get the best rate?

Like with most insurance providers, Mutual of Omaha extends its lowest rates to those in the best health who take on low lifestyle risk. Tiered rate classes fall into preferred plus, preferred, standard plus and standard.

Underwriting considers your health and lifestyle within a handful of categories:

  • Tobacco use. The best rates are reserved to those who pass a urinalysis test.
  • Family medical history. If you’re not yet 60, this provider considers your family’s history of death due to cancer, diabetes and more to determine your rates.
  • Blood pressure. Top rates go to treated or untreated pressure of at least 130/80.
  • Cholesterol. The maximum level allowed for high-tier rate classes is 300.
  • Occupations and hobbies. With an aviation exclusion rider, even pilots can qualify for high-tier rates.

How do I file a life insurance claim with Mutual of Omaha?

Unfortunately, you can’t start the claims process online. Instead, you must call your Mutual of Omaha representative or agent.

You’ll need to complete Mutual of Omaha’s Life Insurance Claim Statement for Beneficiaries form with information that includes:

  • A certified death certificate for the insured.
  • The insured’s full name and contact information.
  • Full name and contact information for each beneficiary.
  • How you’d like your payout — as a lump sum or other settlement options.

Mail the form and supporting documents to:

United of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha Plaza
Omaha, NE 68175-0001

What other services does Mutual of Omaha offer?

Around for more than 100 years, Mutual of Omaha has branched out into banking in recent years and is also a mortgage loan provider. It also offers supplemental Medicare policies, popularly known as Medigap insurance, as well as long-term disability and long-term care policies.

Bottom line

With its strong financial ratings, a track record that stretches back over a century and substantial assets behind it, Mutual of Omaha is a top consideration for a range of life insurance products.

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Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom intro

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