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TIAA life insurance review 2020

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Shop for life insurance policies lasting between one year and your entire life.'s rating: 4.5 / 5


  • Get a quote if … You want an annual renewable term life policy, or a survivorship policy that covers two people.
  • Pick something else if… You need whole life insurance.

18 to 80

Issue Age

$100,000 to $5,000,000


Depends on policy

Medical Exam Required


Free quote Online, Phone
Policy options Term, Permanent
Term lengths Level premiums for 10, 15, 20 or 30 years
Monthly cost Not listed
Claim methods Online form, Phone: 888-380-6428
Available states All states
Customer support Online, Phone: 800-842-2252, Chat
Riders Accelerated death benefit rider, Cost-of-living rider, Estate protection rider, Waiver-of-premium rider

Expert review

Amy Stoltenberg

Review by

Amy Stoltenberg writes about lifestyle and money for Finder, researching the best options for shopping, banking, insurance and authentic travel experiences. After studying writing and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked designing apparel at a corporate behemoth before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop’s closed, she can be found wandering the streets looking for happy hour and hole-in-the-wall eateries.

Expert review

TIAA’s fortitude and comprehensive financial services can make it a one-stop shop for money management.

But if you’re hoping for something more succinct or just want to see what else is out there, be sure to shop around for the best deal.

What type of life insurance does TIAA offer?

TIAA’s lineup includes term and permanent policies:

  • Annual renewable term (ART) life insurance. Ideal for covering short-term needs, this is a one-year policy that the insurer guarantees to renew for a set number of years — though the premiums will go up.
  • Term life insurance. This policy offers predictable premiums for a specified amount of time, and pays out a guaranteed death benefit if you die before the end of the term.
  • Universal life insurance. A permanent policy that builds cash value over time, and offers flexible premiums and death benefits.
  • Variable universal life. With this hybrid policy, your cash value is invested into multiple subaccounts — and you can also adjust the premiums and death benefit as you see fit.
  • Survivorship life insurance. Also known as second-to-die insurance, this policy covers two people at once and is only paid out after the second spouse passes away. It’s typically bought by wealthy sp0uses to help their heirs to pay estate taxes.

What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?

You may be able to dress up your policy with these riders:

  • Terminal illness rider. Collect all or part of your benefit early if you become terminally ill.
  • Charitable giving benefit. Pays 1% of your policy’s face amount above and beyond your death benefit to a charity of your choice.
  • Waiver of premium rider. Pauses your premiums if you become disabled and can’t work for a specified time.
  • Cost of living adjustment (COLA) rider. Boosts the benefit amount each year to keep up with inflation.
  • Estate transfer protection. Offset any estate taxes due when the benefit pays out. But this is only available with survivorship policies.

How much does TIAA life insurance cost?

The average cost of a $250,000 term policy for a healthy 30-year-old could be as low as $160 annually, according to the insurer. But your actual cost depends on which policy you choose, the amount and length of coverage, as well as your health, lifestyle and other personal factors.

Pros and cons of TIAA life insurance


  • User-friendly website. It’s simple to use and TIAA clearly explains each policy so details are easy to find.
  • Money-back guarantee. If you change your mind within the first 30 days, get fully refunded for any premiums you’ve paid.
  • Charitable giving benefit option. At no additional cost, TIAA will pay 1% of your benefit on top of the regular payout to your favorite charity.
  • Financially strong. TIAA has an A++ (Superior) rating with AM Best, which means it has the cash reserves to pay out claims.


  • No online quotes. To buy life insurance, you’ve got to talk with an agent on the phone.
  • No whole life insurance. While TIAA offers complicated permanent policies like universal life, it skips over whole life.

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TIAA life insurance reviews and complaints

TIAA isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it has an A- rating for its customer interaction. The BBB has recorded 41 complaints over the last three years, which is relatively low for an insurance company. Many complaints revolved around account management issues, and all were promptly resolved by TIAA.

Customers award the insurer 1 out of 5 stars.

How do I apply for TIAA life insurance?

If you’re interested in purchasing life insurance with TIAA, here’s how to get the process rolling:

  1. Go to TIAA’s website, hover over Insure and select See all life insurance products.
  2. Hit Learn more.
  3. On the next page, click Start now. This brings you its Life Wizard page.
  4. Now, you’ll answer some questions to help TIAA assess the details of your insurance needs. When calculating your rate, it’ll ask for personal info like gender, state of residency and whether or not you use tobacco. Then, you’ll get a quote.

I’ve signed up. What happens next?

After you see your quote, TIAA gives you the option to request a callback. If you want to move forward, they’ll give you a call to talk about next steps.

Life insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

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