Banner Life Insurance Company is a top life insurance company in the US, providing over a million people in the states with coverage. In the following Banner Life review, we will address the different pros and cons of the company, as well as some background on what makes Banner Life such a great option for so many.
About Banner Life
Banner Life is a part of the company, Legal and General America. Banner Life was formed about 70 years ago, but Legal and General has been in the life insurance industry for more than 175 years.
Banner Life Insurance Company
3275 Bennett Creek Avenue
Frederick, Maryland 21704
Banner Life is available in 49 states plus the District of Columbia (D.C.). However, in New York, the company sells life insurance under William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York.
The company boasts over $5 billion in assets and has over 1.3 million U.S. customers, with Legal and General serving over 10 million customers worldwide. Source.
Over the past 10 years, Banner Life has consistently offered some of the best term life insurance rates in the country, and is known as a low priced leader in the term life space.
Products Offered by Banner Life:
- Term Life Insurance
- Universal Life Insurance
- Retirement Planning
Pros of Banner Life Insurance
There are some things about Banner Life that have helped the company earn its way on our top ten list. One of the first things worth mentioning is that Banner Life has great underwriting that helps everyday people to get great rates on a life insurance policy.
A lot of life insurance companies underwriting can be harsh on anyone who may have a common health problem like sleep apnea or diabetes. However, that’s not the case with Banner Life.
Banner Life is a lot more “health problem” friendly – and they can still give you an affordable rate on a life insurance policy even with a minor health problem.
Some of the health conditions that Banner Life excels at underwriting include:
Asthma• Atrial fibrillation• Bladder cancer• Breast cancer• Cerebrovascular disease• Coronary artery disease• Diabetes mellitus (adult onset)• Elevated liver function tests• Hepatitis C• Mood disorders• Prostate cancer• Thyroid cancers
Banner Life’s Financial Ratings
Banner Life has been rated by three of the top life insurance rating agencies: A. M. Best, Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s. The following Banner Life Insurance ratings are current as of September 2020.
- A.M. Best rating: A+
- S&P rating: AA-
- Moody’s rating: N/A
- Fitch rating: AA-
- Comdex ranking: 94
These are very strong ratings, and make Banner one of the highest rated life insurance companies in the U.S.
Banner Life’s solid scores for financial strength and stability suggest that policyholders face little risk of the company failing to meet policy obligations in the foreseeable future. This is doubly true considering that L&G America, which boasts over $5 billion in assets, stands behind Banner policies. According to L&G, the company employs a conservative investment philosophy, emphasizing investment grade bonds and high liquidity.
Banner Life is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau but scores an of A+ rating from BBB. In general, the A+ BBB rating indicates that Banner is usually prompt and attentive to policyholder complaints—at least, complaints lodged with BBB.
Banner also draws, on average, much fewer consumer complaints than most life insurers its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, with a NAIC complaint index of 0.05% on a scale where 1.00 is considered average. Source.
APPCelerate by Banner Life
Banner life offers innovative accelerated underwriting, i.e. no exam life insurance for qualifying applicants.
APPcelerate is available for qualifying applicants ages 20-50 for face amounts up to $2,000,000 in coverage, and up to $500,000 for ages 51-60.
Another benefit of Banner Life is that the company is one of a handful of companies currently offering 35 and 40 year term life insurance.
Banner Life Underwriting Strengths
Some of Banner Life’s Underwriting Strengths Include:
Potential Preferred Plus for:
- cigarette smokers 3 years out
- treated high cholesterol
- treated high blood pressure
- total cholesterol under 300
- family history of cancer
- scuba up to 100 feet
Potential Preferred for:
- Well controlled Asthma
- Well controlled Depression/Anxiety
- Mild Sleep Apnea
Potential Standard Plus for:
- Controlled Type II Diabetes
- Severe Sleep Apnea with Documented Compliance
- Personal History of Cancer (based on date of onset and last treatment)
Where Banner Life Does Not Make the Grade
- Marijuana Users – Getting life insurance with marijuana is easier today than it has ever been. However, Banner Life will only offer standard tobacco rates. There are better options available for marijuana users.
Banner Life Insurance Policies
No matter which of the different types of life insurance policies you choose, how much life insurance you can get is typically determined by your age and income. You can look at the following Banner Life Multiple of Income Chart to determine how much coverage you may be eligible for.
OPTerm: Term Life Insurance Policy
Banner Life offers a guaranteed level premium term life policy that also includes a conversion option so you can convert the policy to permanent coverage if needed. The conversion option must be exercised by the end of the term or age 70, whichever comes first.
The term policy is level benefit coverage renewable to age 95, which is one of the longest guaranteed renewable term life policies available.
You can choose from the following terms:
OPTerm 10. OptTerm15. OPTerm 20. OPTerm 25. OPTerm 30. OPTerm 35. OPTerm 40
Banner Life is one of only a few life insurance companies to offer up to 35 or 40 year term life insurance.
Life Step UL: Guaranteed Universal Life Policy
Banner Life offers a Guaranteed Universal Life policy known as Life Step UL.
How a guaranteed universal life insurance policy works is, the carrier determines the premium amount you need to pay in order to keep your policy in force, no matter future economic conditions. That way, as long as you pay your premium, you are guaranteed to have your death benefit until the day you die.
One additional benefit is that Banner Life offers their UL policy with as low as $50,000 in coverage. While the majority of life insurance companies only offer GUL policies that offer coverage of $100,000 or more, you also have to remember that you pay for that extra coverage.
Short Pay Guarantee
Banner Life’s Life Step UL policy also has a short pay guarantee. Similar to limited pay life insurance, you can design your payment over a number of years, rather than pay on the policy for the rest of your life.
So, if you choose to design the policy to be paid by the time you reach retirement, you can tailor the premium to make this happen.
Final Expense Insurance
And if you don’t qualify for a standard life insurance policy, you might want to consider final expense insurance.
Banner Life offers a final expense insurance policy for ages 50-80. It is a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, which means there is no medical exam or health questions.
It is a small whole life policy, that is paid up at age 95. Like all whole life, it accrues cash value and the premium and death benefit is fixed.
Available Life Insurance Riders
Terminal Illness Rider: This rider allows acceleration of up to 75% of a policy’s death benefit (or $500,000, whichever is less) if the insured is diagnosed with less than 12 months to live.
Children’s Rider: Banner’s Children’s Rider provides $5,000 or $10,000 in coverage for an insured’s children until they reach age 25.
Waiver of Premium (Disability): If the insured becomes totally disabled prior to reaching age 65 and the disability lasts for at least six months, premium obligations are waived while the insured remains disabled.
Term Rider: If purchased, this rider provides a supplemental death benefit for a defined period— ten or fifteen years, for example.
Accidental Death Rider: This rider provides supplemental coverage—up to 100% of the policy’s cash value—if the insured’s death results from a qualifying accident.
Cons of Banner Life
As promised, this Banner Life review does include some negative aspects.
Actual age vs. Nearest Age
If you have just had a birthday when applying for life insurance, then you may find a cheaper life insurance policy with a company like Prudential.
Because Banner Life determines the premium price based on nearest age whereas some others like Prudential look at actual age.
Choosing Banner Life means not choosing someone else
One of the biggest drawbacks of Banner Life is simply that saying “yes” to Banner Life means saying “no” to someone else.
While this review of Banner Life has lots of good stuff to say, the main bad thing is just that you will miss out on what another life insurance company has to offer.
In some cases, Banner Life may have the best life insurance policy for you. But in other cases, someone else may. How can you know?
You need to talk to an expert.
A life insurance expert who is not working directly for one life insurance company is the best person to help you find a life insurance policy. We are the experts you need!
We have extensive knowledge of more than sixty of the top life insurance companies in the country. We know their strong points and weaknesses and how they do their underwriting.
Now, in order to advise you about a life insurance policy, we need to know more about you! That way we can make a customized recommendation for you.