SBLI life insurance company review 2018 | Rates, fees and coverage

SBLI life insurance review

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This low-cost insurer strives to provide no-nonsense term and whole life coverage online, even if you’re not in perfect health.

With more than 110 years in business, the Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company — better known as SBLI — strives to provide low-cost term and whole life coverage to its customers directly through its site.

Here’s what to expect when it comes to rates, policies and underwriting with this company focused on life insurance.

Issue age18–60 years old
Minimum coverage$100,000
Terms available10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
Payment methodsEFT
Medical exam requiredMaybe
Temporary underwriting coverageN/A

Pros

  • Solid customer support.
  • Competitive underwriting.
  • Mutual life insurance company.

Cons

  • Not available nationwide.
  • No online updates.

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.

Monthly rates of a policy from SBLI life insurance

Based on rates provided by Quotacy for a person in perfect health, as of March 2018, you can expect to pay around $20 a month for a $500,000 policy from SBLI if you’re in your 20s. Monthly premiums increase over time as you age, reaching close to $100 a month in your 50s. See the full SBLI rates table below.

Accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2007, the BBB gives SBLI an overall A+ rating based on its years in business, financial strength and ability to address customer complaints. On Trustpilot, the insurer earns 4 stars out of 5 based on more than 375 customer reviews.

Customer complaints overall are limited, though you’ll find complaints about customer support related to billing and updating information. Other sites include experiences with poor communication and slow turnaround on policies.

SBLI earns the trust of A.M. Best, which gives its financial strength an A (Excellent). It also earns an A- from Standard & Poor’s, providing peace of mind that your claims will be paid without a hitch.

A.M. BestA
S&PA-

What is SBLI known for?

Claiming that it offers some of the lowest term rates in the country, SBLI is an affordable insurer that’s known for lenient underwriting on term and whole policies for those who can find approval difficult — people with hypertension, a complicated family medical history and more. Applying is easy, with faster turnaround if you have a clean bill of health.

All policies are active for as long as you continue paying your premium, and you can cancel at any time without penalty. And because it’s a mutual life insurance company, coverage with SBLI means that you’re both a policy owner and stakeholder.

As with all life insurance providers, SBLI offers benefits like lenient underwriting that you’ll want to weigh against potential drawbacks — among them, limited online account management.

Pros

  • Solid customer support. Many customers say that SBLI’s customer service is top-notch.
  • Competitive underwriting. If you’re denied elsewhere, you might find an affordable policy with SBLI.
  • Mutual life insurance company. You’re not only a policyholder but also a stakeholder with SBLI.

Cons

  • Not available nationwide. If you live in New York or Montana, your options are limited.
  • No online updates. If you’re looking to change your address or otherwise update your policy, you’ll need to call or fill out a form.

What life insurance coverage does SBLI offer?

SBLI limits its options to term and whole life policies, with coverage of up to $500,000, depending on your health and lifestyle. While it doesn’t offer a standalone universal product, some term policies offer conversion to universal at expiration.

All plans offer easy online quotes that can help you narrow down your needs against your budget.

Term life insurance

A newer product offered in all states but New York and Montana, SBLI’s Guaranteed Level Premium Term offers faster approval until age 60. (At that point, traditional underwriting is required.) These policies guarantee that your premiums remain level over 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. And at expiration, most policies allow you to extend your coverage by converting to a universal or whole life policy.You can apply online for coverage from $100,000 to $500,000 up to age 60, though you’re ultimately required to participate in a phone interview for approval.

If you’re not quite ready to commit or are looking to bridge a gap, SBLI also offers one-year nonrenewable term life. This policy can provide a year of affordable coverage with the option to convert to a permanent policy at expiration, if you change your mind.

Whole life insurance

SBLI’s whole life policies provide coverage with no expiration, guaranteeing level premiums and a tax-free payout with the ability to grow a tax-advantaged cash value that you can borrow against, if you need it.When paying up your policy, you can choose from three payment options:

  • Continuous payment. Pay level premiums over your lifetime for coverage that builds in value.
  • Limited payment. Pay your policy over 10, 15 or 20 years or until you’re 65 years old, with higher premiums for shorter periods.
  • Single premium. Pay one lump sum to pay up your full policy.

Participating plans are also eligible for dividends that you can cash out, sock away to collect interest on or use to pay your premiums or any loans you’ve taken out against your policy.

How does term life compare vs. whole life?

How much does SBLI life insurance cost?

Below are the monthly premiums for a $500,000 20-year term life insurance policy from SBLI for an individual in perfect health. Rates are provided by Quotacy and are valid as of March 2018 in all states except New York and Montana.

AgeMaleFemale
20$20.88$18.71
25$20.88$18.71
30$21.32$19.14
35$25.91$21.58
40$36.92$29.67
45$59.93$44.98
50$96.06$65.87
55$157.74$97.23
60$286.85$173.03

How can I get the best rate?

Unlike its competitors, SBLI doesn’t advertise its eligibility for preferred or preferred plus rate classes. But many customers on forums and other review sites say that they were able to find affordable rates even as a smoker or with high blood pressure.

In general, you can increase your chances of getting the lowest rates by maintaining your overall health — including limiting your tobacco use — and avoiding risky lifestyle behaviors and hobbies.

What’s not covered in my policy?

A standard term or whole life policy can provide a level of protection for your loved ones when you’re no longer around to support them. But what if you require more flexibility?

Like most insurance providers, SBLI offers a range of riders and add-ons that you can use to personalize your coverage at pricing that depends on your policy:

  • Accelerated death benefit. Pays up to half of your base death benefit up to $250,000 if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Children’s level term. Extends coverage to your children up to age 23, with the ability to convert to a permanent policy.
  • Waiver of premium. Waives your policy premiums if you become disabled.
  • Accidental death benefit. Pays out your death benefit and an additional face amount if you die as the result of an accident.

How do I file a life insurance claim with SBLI?

You can start the process of filing a claim with SBLI online. Simply click Support in the top toolbar and then File a Claim.

SBLI life insurance support

You’re taken to MySBLI, where you’ll complete a four-step life and annuity death claims form that requires:

  • The policy’s full name, contact information and account details.
  • Names and contact information for all beneficiaries.
  • Information about the death or from the official death certificate.

You’ll need to submit an official copy of the death certificate and any supporting documentation required by SBLI before the company will fully process your claim.

What other services does SBLI offer?

SBLI focuses on providing its customers solid term and whole life plans at affordable rates, which means it doesn’t offer retirement or other products.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for no-nonsense term or whole life plans with competitive underwriting, add SBLI to your quote comparisons. You just might find the coverage you need with the ability to personalize your policy through riders and add-ons at a price you can afford.

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Frequently asked questions

Image: SBLI

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