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Transamerica life insurance review 2019

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A diverse product lineup, flexible policy options and competitive pricing makes this a popular insurer.

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  • You are a high-risk applicant

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  • You want to purchase your policy directly through the provider.

18 to 80

Issue Age

$25,000 to $10,000,000

Coverage Amount

Depends on policy

Medical Exam Required

Details

Free QuoteOnline, Phone
Insurance ProductsTerm, Whole, Universal, Index universal, Final expense
Issue Age18 to 80
Coverage Amount$25,000 to $10,000,000
Term Lengths10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years
Medical Exam RequiredDepends on policy
State AvailabilityCertain policies not available in New York
Customer Service OptionsPhone, Online
Policy Riders OfferedYes

What types of life insurance coverage does Transamerica offer?

Transamerica offers term, whole, universal and variable universal life insurance policies. It also sells situational policies for accidental death or final expenses, which you can obtain only through a financial advisor.

Term life insurance is Transamerica’s most affordable option, designed to provide coverage for a specified period of time. Plans are available in 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year terms, all of which can be converted to permanent policies before the end of the term. You might be able to renew your policy after coverage ends for a shorter term, but premiums will most likely be higher with each renewal. These policies do not grow in cash value, but will instead pay out a fixed amount between $25,000 and $10 million depending which policy option you choose:

  • Trendsetter Super. Provides up to $10 million in coverage, all of which is guaranteed to remain the same throughout the initial term. The plan is available for applicants ages 18 to 80, and you may be eligible to convert to a permanent policy without medical exam at the end of the term. This is Transamerica’s standard term life insurance option.
  • The Trendsetter LB. Provides death benefit protection up to $2 million in addition to living benefits. The benefits allow the option to receive an accelerated death benefit in the event of a qualifying chronic, critical or terminal illness while the insured is alive. Once again, applicants may be eligible to convert to a permanent policy once the term expires.

Transamerica offers flexible death benefit options, allowing you to choose whether your benefits decrease, remains the same or increases over time:

  • Decreasing term. The money left to your beneficiaries will decrease over time, meaning your premiums will decrease as your coverage needs decrease.
  • Level term. The benefit paid to your beneficiaries remains the same over the term of your policy. This is often called a fixed or guaranteed death benefit.
  • Increasing term. The death benefit payout increases over the term of your policy. This policy is ideal for those anticipating larger expenses later in life.
Transamerica offers group and individual life insurance options. Both plans feature fixed premiums, a guaranteed death benefit and cash value accumulation. Coverage starts at a minimum of $2,000 up to a maximum of $3 million for individual and up to $25,000 for group. Policy holders are allowed to borrow from their cash value and the death benefit will remain the same if the loan is repaid on schedule. Death benefits are not subject to federal income tax, and although inheritances are generally subject to estate taxes, these policies may be set up to avoid paying estate tax as well.

Universal life insurance policies at Transamerica offer more flexible permanent life insurance coverage. These policies offer the freedom to adjust the amount and frequency of premium payments, or even the allocation of funds in the case of the variable universal plan. You can borrow from your cash value without any deductions, provided that the loan is repaid on schedule. Transamerica offers three options for Universal life:

  • Index universal life insurance. The plan features flexible insurance premiums with cash value growth tied to an index account. While this plan doesn’t offer a guaranteed death benefit like with whole insurance, the indexed account creates the potential for an increased or decreased death benefit payout.
  • Group universal life insurance. This is the standard universal life insurance policy at Transamerica, offering growth potential and flexibility that’s not tied to an index. This plan is only available through employers and offers lifetime coverage with adjustable premiums and an accumulation of cash value.

What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?

Most policies offer a selection of riders that can be added to provide extra coverage in certain situations. For example, some insurance providers don’t offer coverage for children, but will offer a “child term rider” that will insure a child without having to purchase an entire policy. Here are the riders offered at Transamerica:

  • Decreasing coverage rider. Allows policyholders to decrease their coverage as they pay off debts or certain expenses.
  • Additional insured and child riders. 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.
  • Whole life 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. Provides a payout to you if you outlive your policy term. But it’s only available for 20- and 30-year terms.
  • Waiver of premium rider. This rider provides extended coverage if you become totally disabled for over six months. Your premiums for your life insurance policy are waived.

How can I get a low rate?

When you’re comparing life insurance rates, it’s tough to predict the rates you’ll pay since every provider has a different process to determine your rates. To qualify for Transamerica’s “preferred plus” you’ll need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Have a minimal or no history of tobacco use.
  • Have no history of alcohol or substance abuse.
  • Have a personal and family health history free of specified disease or impairments.
  • Have a clean driving record free of DWIs, DUIs, suspensions and other convictions.
  • Have a healthy blood pressure and BMI.
  • Have a low-risk occupation or hobbies.

Pros and cons of Transamerica

Transamerica is a reliable insurance provider that’s served American customers for decades. While its policies and rates are competitive, there are a handful of things to be aware of if you decide to go with this provider:

Pros

  • Wide selection. Transamerica offers a full range of life insurance products including term, whole, universal and indexed universal.
  • Financially sound. The company has very strong/superior credit ratings, meaning that it has a strong ability to repay its debt obligations.
  • Unique underwriting leniences. The company offers unique underwriting leniences, allowing for higher approval rates for higher risk applicants.

Cons

  • No online claims form. The claims process is very unclear, and the website doesn’t offer an option to start a claim online. Instead, you have to call customer service and follow the instructions.
  • Below average customer service. Many users report below average customer service. From trouble reaching a representative to unhelpful agents, this behavior isn’t ideal for a life insurance provider.

Compare life insurance companies like Transamerica

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 quotes from 16 life insurance companies side by side.
18 - 75 years old
$100,000 to $10,000,000
Yes
Get a term life insurance quote from this A+ rated company, founded in 1875. Customize your policy with additional life and disability riders.
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 required.
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.
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.
20 - 80 years old
$25,000 to $10,000,000
No
All 50 states
Quickly get a quote for coverage with this marketplace, which compares term & whole life insurance policies from 45+ carriers.
20 - 85 years old
$100,000 to $1,000,000
Depends on policy
All 50 states
Get a term or whole life insurance quote from Fidelity Life - starting as low as $15/day.
18 - 80 years old
$50,000 to $25,000,000
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states and D.C.
Get a quote within minutes from more than a dozen insurers.
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.
eCoverage
eCoverage
25 - 83 years old
$25,000 to $1,000,000
Depends on policy
Get a term life quote from eCoverage - starting at as low as $15 per month.

Compare up to 4 providers

Transamerica reviews and complaints

Transamerica is not currently accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and it has a C- rating on the official BBB website. This below-average rating goes hand in hand with a long list of negative customer reviews — over 400. The majority of online reviews are overwhelmingly negative, most of which report a lack of customer service or trouble getting claims paid.

Case study: Sarah’s experience

profile pic

Sarah George
Writer

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 does Transamerica protect my data?

Transamerica collects your personal information in order to offer you products and services and to assist you with your account. Your data is not sold to third parties.
Transamerica implements administrative, technical and physical measures in order to safeguard your information against loss, theft and unauthorized use.

How do I sign up?

To sign up for life insurance with Transamerica, you will first have to locate an agent. You can’t purchase a policy directly through the provider.

  1. From Transamerica’s homepage, click on What We Offer in the upper left-hand corner to access the drop-down menu. Then click Insurance.
  2. From there, select the type of life insurance you are interested in — whole, term, universal, index universal or final expense — by clicking Learn More.
  3. After learning more about the policy, scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you can get help locating an agent. Click Locate An Agent.
  4. You’ll be taken to a page where you can enter your location and what type of life insurance you’re looking for. Enter your information and click Search to be presented with a list of insurance agents.

More about Transamerica

Transamerica’s success is a result of expansions and acquirements that’s made it a recognized brand for life insurance at affordable rates. Its logo evokes San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid, the city’s most prominent building.

While Transamerica’s coverage might not be as comprehensive as other insurers, lower pricing could make it a solid option for younger policyholders or those with smaller budgets.

In 1999, Transamerica was acquired by Aegon, among the world’s leading insurers and finance companies dating back to 1844. With such financial security, Transamerica’s positioned to payout death benefits to its many policyholders.

Transamerica offers a few other products alongside its life insurance policies. These products include:

  • Medicare supplement insurance
  • Mutual funds
  • Annuities
  • Retirement plans
  • Employee benefits

Transamerica financial stability and credit ratings

Insurance providers are given a credit rating that analyzes their ability to repay debt obligations. While A.M. Best is the most relevant agency in the insurance sector, we consider the other three — S&P, Moody’s and Fitch. Here are the most recent credit ratings for Transamerica:

  • A.M. Best. A+ (superior)
  • Standard & Poor’s. AA- (very strong)
  • Moody’s. A1 (good)
  • Fitch. AA- (very strong)

How do I file a life insurance claim with Transamerica?

The claims process at Transamerica is fairly unclear. There are no options to file a claim online, only a phone number and email. To file a claim call 800-797-2643 Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time. Otherwise, you can contact them via email at tii.customerservice@transamerica.com.

Bottom line

Transamerica is ideal for customers looking for affordable life insurance, as it offers plans directly to consumers and to employers. Prices are competitive, but coverage and death benefit amounts are lacking for what you pay. The company has a strong reputation and is financially stable, but you may find better options.

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2 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Melinda
    June 5, 2018

    I need to cancel my policy

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarcelo
      June 6, 2018

      Hi Melinda,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Canceling your term life insurance policy is as easy as stopping payments. Do not pay your premium within the agreed grace period — the mandatory period set by your policy during which you can pay your premium without canceling your coverage — and your insurance is canceled. That’s a bad thing, but if you want to cancel your term life insurance policy, it’s that easy: just don’t pay.

      You won’t be refunded, and your family will no longer get a death benefit if you die, but you’ll also no longer owe premiums.

      Cheers,
      Joel

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