Banner Life Insurance Review for 2019

Continuing our search for the best life insurance company for you, today, I want to take a closer look at Banner Life.

I’ll get right to it: whether you’re after term, universal, or final expense insurance, Banner Life is an excellent choice. Not only do they offer competitive rates for the healthy and young, but you’ll also see some really attractive options for those whose health isn’t at its best.

For example, if you have sleep apnoea, mild asthma, or smoke.

Competitive rates for substandard health profiles is not something many life insurers offer – so if this is you, Banner Life is seriously worth considering.

So, let’s take a closer look at Banner Life insurance, the pros and cons, and whether it could be the right company for your life coverage needs.

Banner Life Insurance Overview

banner life insurance logoBanner Life is a subsidiary of Legal and General America – an A+ rated life insurance company – and has been around since 1949.

The company offers competitive rates and underwriting options for a range of health conditions, which is why it may appeal to those who don’t have perfect health.

The company’s life insurance offers some excellent features, like level premiums, great value for your money, ability to convert term life policies into permanent life insurance, life insurance riders and more.

Compare Rates with Banner

What Life Insurance Options Does Banner Offer?

You can purchase two main types of life insurance from Banner Life – term life insurance and universal life insurance.

While the company doesn’t offer as many life insurance choices as its competitors, Banner Life does these two insurance types very well, with a variety of coverage options and very affordable premiums.

Additionally, if you don’t want full life insurance but want to make sure your family doesn’t have to pay for final expenses (funeral costs, medical bills or other debts up to $15,000), then Banner Life’s final expense insurance provides a good option.

Main features of Banner Life insurance Policies:

  • Waiver of Premium: If you become seriously ill, suffer a severe injury, or become disabled, your family would remain protected. All your premiums that are due will be waived upon proving total disability.
  • Flexible Payment Schedule: You choose how you want to pay your premiums – monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. However, since premiums are normally calculated on an annual basis – choosing to pay premiums more frequently will result in a higher cost.
  • Policy Conversion: If you choose term life insurance, you can request to convert your policy into universal life insurance – as long as it’s within the duration of the guaranteed level premium period, or up to attained age 70.
  • Accelerated Death Benefit Rider: This rider allows you to access your death benefit in the event of a terminal illness. The maximum death benefit amount that qualifies for accelerated access is $500,000 or 75% of the policy’s primary death benefit. 
  • Children’s Rider: Banner Life also allows you to cover all eligible children up to the child’s 25th birthday or insured’s 65th birthday – whichever comes first.
  • Disability Income Rider: This rider waives premiums if you become totally disabled as a result of a qualifying event.

Here’s more about each insurance type Banner Life offers.

Term Life Insurance

banner life insurance reviewsBanner Life’s term life insurance provides flexible and affordable coverage with premiums that are much lower than many competitors’.

Their death benefits range from $100,000 to $10 million, and you can get a policy for 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years.

The available policy length will depend on your age, with longer-term life policies available to younger customers.

With Banner Life, you can also “ladder” your term insurance by using a rider.

This means you can increase your coverage for a short period of time when your needs are higher (for example, if you want extra coverage for your child’s education) – and lower them when you no longer need them.

According to the insurer, Banner Life’s term life insurance is ideal for:

  • Young adults who want to send their kids to college
  • People with a mortgage or other debt
  • People who want to replace their income for a surviving spouse
  • People who wish to the most affordable life insurance option – and more value for their money

Summary of Banner Life’s Term Life Insurance:

  • Affordable, level premiums (start from $7 a month)
  • Coverage for a specific period of time
  • Flexible policy – choose the term and death benefit to suit your family’s needs
  • Access to terminal illness benefit
  • Simple and easy to understand
  • You can easily access your policy online

Universal Life Insurance

Banner Life’s universal life insurance (Life Step UL) is a flexible permanent life insurance that provides lifetime coverage with a cash value. You get to choose the amount of your premium and could opt for a lower premium for a lesser duration of coverage.

Banner Life’s universal life insurance product is called Life Step UL, and, according to the company, it is best suited for adults with grown children, business owners, people who have a bit more money – and want to build cash value.

One of the main features of the Life Step UL is that it offers a lifetime guarantee – meaning that you won’t need to worry about purchasing life insurance again in the future. As long as you pay your premium, your insurance will remain in force.

Another feature of Life Step UL is the Short Pay Guarantee. This allows you to pay for your death benefit over a set number of years by consolidating your premium payments. For example, you may choose to pay all your premiums over the next 15 years to guarantee lifetime coverage – and with Banner Life, you can do that.

Short Pay Guarantee is particularly useful if you know you’ll be earning the highest income over the next 10 or 15 years, and want to get life insurance out of the way then before you enjoy your early retirement.

Summary of Banner Life Step UL:

  • Lifelong Protection: insurance won’t expire
  • Versatile product
  • Offers guaranteed cash value
  • Adjustable death benefit
  • Flexible premium through Short Pay Guarantee – change your premium amounts when you need more coverage

Final Expense Insurance

Maybe you don’t have any big outstanding debts right now – and want to make sure that if anything were to happen to you suddenly, your family wouldn’t have to cover final expenses out of their pockets.

By that, I mean expenses like funeral costs, medical bills, or even small outstanding debts up to $15,000.

Banner Life’s final expense insurance is an excellent way to make sure these expenses will be covered if anything happens to you.

You can apply for it easily on the company’s website – and approval is guaranteed. You’re fully covered immediately for accidental death – with full cover kicking in after two years.

Summary of Banner Life’s Final Expense Insurance:

  • Guaranteed acceptance if you’re aged 50 to 80 – regardless of your health conditions
  • Permanent coverage (but you won’t pay after you turn 95)
  • No medical exam – only a short questionnaire
  • Tobacco users offered competitive rates
  • Level premiums – even if your health status changes
  • Quick claims payment (within one business day once approved)
  • Build cash value which can be used for loans

Banner Life Financial Strength

Whichever life insurance provider you choose, you should be certain that they are financially strong and stable.

You need to know they have the financial stability and capacity to handle unexpected expenses, withstand market changes, and payout claims – whether it’s in a few years or 50 years from now.

If you’re considering Banner Life, I have good news for you – it is financially strong and stable. Having been given an A+ rating by rating services like A.M. Best (that’s “Superior”) and BBB, and with Legal & General America at its side, Banner Life is a very strong candidate.

Its portfolio is highly liquid and diversified – and, as of year-end 2018, it has over $5 billion in assets.

Pros and Cons of Banner Life Insurance

Here’s what’s great about Banner Life – and what needs a little improvement:

Pros of Banner Life:

  • Excellent, affordable rates
  • Competitive underwriting for specific health conditions
  • Competitive prices for smokers
  • Electronic application
  • Your policy is delivered by email

Cons of Banner Life:

  • Only two types of insurance offered

Is Banner Life Insurance For You?

So, now that you know more about Banner Life and the life insurance they offer, could it be right for you?

If you’re after a flexible and affordable life insurance policy provided by a financially strong and stable company, then yes.

Even if your health isn’t great – Banner Life offers some very competitive underwriting options for people with certain health conditions, which gives it a competitive edge.

Banner Life is also a great option if you want to be able to use your life insurance policy as an investment – their universal life insurance provides permanent coverage and cash value. You can use that cash value to borrow against – or even withdraw it after some time (even though that’s often penalized and may not be the best idea).

However, if you feel that whole life insurance is more suitable for you, you will need to look elsewhere. Banner Life doesn’t offer whole life insurance. That said, universal life insurance is quite an attractive alternative to whole life insurance – because it provides permanent life cover plus more flexibility.

Ultimately, the decision is in your hands, but Banner Life is definitely a leader in providing affordable, quality life insurance.

Grant Sabatier

Creator of Millennial Money and Author of Financial Freedom (Penguin Random House). Dubbed "The Millennial Millionaire" by CNBC, Grant went from $2.26 to over $1 million in 5 years, reaching financial independence at age 30. Grant has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, NPR, Money Magazine and many others. He uses Personal Capital to manage his money in 10 minutes a month.

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