Transamerica life insurance review 2020
A diverse product lineup, flexible policy options and competitive pricing make this a popular insurer.
finder.com's rating: 3 / 5
- Get a quote if… You’re a high-risk applicant, or looking for a generous final expense policy.
- Pick something else if… You’re in the market for a variable life insurance policy.
18 to 80
$25,000 to $10,000,000
Depends on policy
Medical Exam Required
|Free quote||Online, Phone|
|Policy options||Term, Whole, Universal, Index universal, Final expense|
|Term lengths||10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years|
|Monthly cost||Not listed|
|Claim methods||Phone, Online|
|Available states||Certain policies not available in New York|
|Customer support||Phone, Online|
|Riders||Accelerated death benefit rider, Child rider, Decreasing term rider, Estate protection rider, Guaranteed insurability rider, Return-of-premium rider, Spouse rider, Waiver-of-premium rider|
Julia Cameron is a writer and editor who has experience in finance, mergers and acquisitions, content marketing and immigration law. She has a passion for interior design and an affinity for Old Florida, where she lives with her family.
Transamerica has a solid life insurance lineup, including various universal policies and a final expense policy that covers end-of-life expenses. Thanks to its lenient underwriting, it opens up coverage to riskier applicants, like seniors and smokers.
While its rates are competitive, it’s worth comparing life insurance companies to get the best possible premium.
What types of life insurance coverage does Transamerica offer?
Transamerica offers a full suite of life insurance policies, including:
- Term life insurance. Available in coverage amounts ranging from $25,000 to $10 million, these policies last 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. All policies are convertible to permanent life insurance later on, and you can choose between level, decreasing or increasing death benefits.
- Whole life insurance. This permanent policy features fixed premiums, a guaranteed death benefit and cash value accumulation. Coverage starts at a minimum of $2,000 and goes up to a $3 million for individual and $25,000 for group policies.
- Universal life insurance. Along with lifelong coverage, this policy offers flexible premiums and death benefits, and earns cash value over time. Transamerica offers indexed universal policies, which are tied to an index like the S&P, as well as variable universal coverage — which has the highest possible returns.
- Index universal life insurance. This policy offers a flexible death benefit and a cash value that grows based on the stock market.
- Final expense life insurance. Designed to cover end-of-list expenses, like funeral and burial costs, this policy is issued as soon as it’s approved and the premiums never change.
What riders can I add to my policy?
Depending on your policy, you may be able to add these riders to your coverage:
- Accelerated death benefit rider. Pays out a portion of your death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
- Decreasing coverage rider. Allows policyholders to decrease their coverage as they pay off debts or certain expenses.
- Child and spouse rider. Offer additional coverage for a spouse and child, without having to take out a separate life insurance policy.
- Estate protection rider. Offers extra coverage for estate taxes if they’re applied to your death benefit.
- Final expense rider. Offers an additional payout to cover funeral expenses.
- Guaranteed insurability rider. You can convert to a whole life policy without medical exams or proof of insurability. It’s only available at major milestones such as the birth of a child or marriage.
- Return-of-premium rider. Returns the premiums you’ve paid in if you outlive your policy term. But it’s only available for 20- and 30-year terms.
- Waiver-of-premium rider. Your premiums for your life insurance policy are waived if you become totally disabled for over six months.
How much does Transamerica cost?
We pulled sample quotes from the Transamerica website for a 20-year term, $150,000 policy for a healthy man and woman.
What affects my rate with Transamerica?
Along with your age and gender, your health and lifestyle will be factored into your rate. To qualify for Transamerica’s “preferred plus” rate class, you’ll need to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Minimal or no history of tobacco use.
- No history of alcohol or substance abuse.
- A personal and family health history free of specified disease or impairments.
- Clean driving record free of DWIs, DUIs, suspensions and other convictions.
- Healthy blood pressure and BMI.
- Have a low-risk occupation and hobbies.
Pros and cons of Transamerica
- High policy limits. Transamerica offers maximum life insurance benefits up to 10 million, a number you won’t find with every insurer. This means high-income earners cam find full coverage.
- No-exam policy options. If you’re under a certain age and only purchasing a minimum amount of life insurance, there are no-exam term life options. Although, other insurers may offer no-exam policies for a wider range of age and coverage.
- Lenient underwriting. The company caters to high-risk applicants with its relaxed underwriting standards.
- Financial strength. Transamerica has an A (Excellent) rating with AM Best, which means it has the cash reserves to pay out claims.
- No online claims form. Your beneficiaries will need to call the company to file a claim.
- High amount of customer complaints. Transamerica sees a higher than normal amount of customer complaints online, and lower customer satisfaction ratings compared to many of its competitors.
Compare life insurance companies like Transamerica
Transamerica life insurance reviews and complaints
Transamerica isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it has an A- rating for its customer interaction. The BBB has recorded 347 complaints over the last three years, which is relatively high for an insurance company. Customers award the company 1.5 out of 5 stars — but keep in mind that these reviews reflect the company as a whole, and not just its life insurance department.
In J.D. Powers latest life insurance study, Transamerica ranked number 22 out 25 life insurance companies surveyed, and earned only 2 of 5 circles for customer satisfaction. These results signal a lower than average view from customers about important factors, such as applications, company communications and product offerings.
Case study: Sarah’s experience
I had never heard of Transamerica until I signed up for term life insurance through my financial advisor. I had a policy with State Farm before that because it was my car insurance company.
My advisor helped me realize that the State Farm policy was expensive for the amount of coverage I got, which was only $100,000. With Transamerica, I now get 4X that coverage for less than my previous life insurance.
I also like the accelerated death benefit. My plan is to have enough in retirement so as not to need life insurance in the future. So knowing I could use my policy early if needed is a benefit, especially if a qualifying illness has expensive medical bills. Lastly, while others might have a hard time contacting Transamerica, I just use my financial advisor to make account updates.
How do I apply for Transamerica life insurance?
You’ll need to speak to a local agent. Follow these steps to find one:
- From Transamerica’s homepage, click on What We Offer > Insurance.
- Select the type of life insurance you are interested in.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page, enter your zip and click Locate An Agent.
- You’ll be taken to a page where you can enter your location and contact information. Click Search to be presented with a list of insurance agents.
Frequently asked questions about Transamerica
Life insurance ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
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.