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SBLI sells life insurance coverage in every state except for New York. The company’s term life and SmartTerm 360 products have become popular choices for millennials.
Let’s take a closer look at SBLI in this review to see whether the company could meet your life insurance needs.
About SBLI Life Insurance
SBLI is among several of the best life insurance companies simplifying the process of getting coverage. This transparent approach has helped attract more customers who happen to be millennials.
This mix of stability and clarity is a nice combination. SBLI spells out its coverage options succinctly, and the site has educational tools and useful case studies to help you understand what kind of insurance you need.
You can chat online with a life insurance expert, which can help as you compare coverage options.
What Does SBLI Stand For?
SBLI stands for Savings Bank Life Insurance, and the company has its headquarters in Massachusetts.
SBLI has been around more than 100 years but it has recently upgraded its online presence, creating an easy-to-understand approach for potential customers.
SBLI’s Life Insurance Policies
SBLI has a nice variety of products for life insurance shoppers in many stages of life, including millennials who often need a simple term life plan:
SBLI Term Life
Term life is usually the simplest kind of life insurance. Your premiums provide protection for your family, if needed, for the duration of your term, assuming you keep paying the premiums.
When the term expires, you’ll have to make other arrangements for coverage if you still need it. SBLI has competitive rates on terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years.
SBLI Whole Life
Whole life insurance coverage is more complex, and it can last the rest of your life. Along with your permanent coverage, the premiums you pay to fund a separate cash value which makes your policy work more like an investment. Later in life, you can use the policy’s cash value in a variety of ways.
SBLI SmartTerm 360
This product helps SBLI stand out in the industry. You can use it to ladder a series of term policies, locking in low rates on coverage which decreases over time as your needs decrease.
This program makes it easy to “ladder” a series of term life policies to make your coverage decrease — and become more affordable as a result — as time passes.
To better understand this concept of laddering multiple term life policies, it’ll help to review the way a single life insurance policy works.
- Level Coverage: With a single term life policy you lock in a coverage amount that does not change throughout the policy’s term.
- Level Premiums: Buying a term life policy now means you’re locking in premiums which will not change throughout the term of your policy even as you age and even if you face health problems.
These are very good — I’d even say essential — qualities of term life insurance. But as time passes, you could find yourself overinsured, depending on how your life plays out.
A SmartTerm 360 Case Study
Imagine that in 20 years you have the house paid off, the kids’ college tuition saved, and some healthy and growing investments set to bloom as retirement approaches. If that’s the case — and it certainly can be if you start planning now — you may no longer need the $1 million in life insurance you need now.
Sure, if this happens, you could just cancel your $1 million term life policy and get a smaller one. But if you did that, you’d be paying premiums based on your age and health 20 years from now. Even with a smaller coverage amount, your premiums may be higher because of your age.
SBLI’s SmartTerm 360 solves this dilemma by letting you lock in lower premiums now without committing to the same level coverage amount for decades. Instead, you can get coverage that decreases every 10 years. So in 20 years, you could have only $250,000 in coverage while still paying premiums based on your age and health right now.
SBLI and the Life Insurance Medical Exam
Traditionally, getting life insurance meant getting a medical exam which included blood and urine tests, weight checks, and blood pressure checks.
This exam represents an invasion of your privacy, and it has prevented some people from pursuing life insurance coverage even if they know they need it.
Now, more and more insurers let you skip the exam, but you will pay more for this convenience — both in higher premiums and in lower coverage amounts.
SBLI stands out because a customer could secure up to $500,000 in coverage without taking a medical exam — this is about $150,000 more in coverage than most insurers allow with no exam.
SBLI Accelerated Underwriting
SBLI offers more coverage with no exam through its Accelerated Underwriting program. To qualify you’ll need to meet a few requirements:
- Age: You must be between 18 and 60 years old.
- Policy Size: Any policy higher than $500,000 will not qualify.
- Interview: You’ll need to schedule a 30-minute or so phone interview with an underwriter to discuss your application.
You should have a decision on your application within a week. This isn’t the fastest turnaround time in the industry, but it’s a lot faster than most traditional medically underwritten policies which can take 4 to 6 weeks.
What SBLI Underwriters Want to Know
Skipping the medical exam does not mean SBLI will not learn about your health and life. Underwriters will still investigate your health history, your family health history, your driving record, your credit score, and your prescription medications.
If you’re healthy (and a relatively safe driver with a good credit score) these database checks will work in your favor: You’ll be more likely to pay lower premiums.
If you need more than $500,000 in coverage, SBLI will require the actual in-home medical exam. Again, if you’re healthy, this exam will help you unlock the most affordable premiums.
SBLI’s Life Insurance Riders
Life insurance riders let you customize your policy for an extra cost. SBLI’s riders include:
- Accelerated Death Benefit: This rider comes free of charge with SBLI. If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, you could access up to $250,000 in your coverage while alive to help pay medical bills.
- Children’s Level Term Rider: This rider lets you extend part of your coverage to insure your children who are younger than 23 and financially dependent on you.
- Accidental Death Benefit: Boosts your coverage if you die because of an accident.
- Waiver of Premium: If your term policy expires and you didn’t need the coverage, you could reclaim all the premiums you’d paid for the coverage with this rider.
- Term Rider: Available only for whole life policies, this rider lets you add extra coverage for a specific time — essentially a term policy — to your whole life policy. With this rider, you can achieve a result similar to SBLI’s SmartTerm 360 program while also accruing cash value through the whole life policy.
Almost all riders will add significantly to your premiums, so don’t overdo it.
Is SBLI a Good Life Insurance Company?
SBLI has become a favorite among financial planners, bloggers, and life insurance customers alike. The company has earned these accolades because it combines age-old stability — you can check the company’s A.M. Best rating if you need more proof — with a modern approach to connecting with customers.
But, this connectivity goes only so far. Yes, you can apply for life insurance quickly online, but your decision and policy documents will arrive in the mail which slows down the process.
Then, once you’re covered, you can’t manage your account online. Changing your beneficiary (the person who could claim the life insurance money if you died), for example, requires actual paperwork. I hope SBLI continues moving toward providing a more thorough online experience for customers.
But if you can handle these minor shortcomings, SBLI can be a solid, stable, and simple partner as you seek to protect your family with life insurance coverage.
Is SBLI For You?
We all need life insurance, and life insurance tends to cost less the younger you are. So why do millennials seem so slow to get coverage?
It’s partly because life insurance seems so complicated and time-consuming, and because a lot of us think coverage costs too much.
In reality, life insurance can be a really good deal: In exchange for $30 or $40 a month — about what you’d spend on a streaming service — a healthy millennial could leverage enough money to replace his or her income for several years.
Why does this matter? Because if tragedy struck and you died unexpectedly, your family could use this money to keep paying the bills and stay on track while they rebuilt a new life. And, coverage costs less when you’re young and healthy. It’s a win-win to lock in a lower rate while you’re young.