Thrivent is undoubtedly one of the top life insurance companies in the marketplace. But what exactly makes this company stand out? In this Thrivent Life review, we will examine the company’s various strengths and weaknesses so that you can determine if it’s the right fit for you.
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About Thrivent Life
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a unique life insurance carrier that operates as a fraternal benefit society, limiting its membership to followers of the Christian faith.
Following a merger in 2002 between Minnesota’s Lutheran Brotherhood and a 100-year-old Wisconsin organization known as the Aid Association for Lutherans, Thrivent Financial was created. The company’s headquarters are in Minneapolis, with an operations center in Appleton, Wisconsin. It markets financial products and maintains smaller offices throughout the country, except in New York.
As a fraternal benefit society, Thrivent’s structure is more similar to a mutual company than a standard corporation. Its policyholders are called “members,” the company’s approximately 2.3 million members (not shareholders) technically own the company. Members can be “benefit members” or “associate members,” with the latter requiring a $20 annual fee and providing additional perks, such as discounts, access to Thrivent’s credit union, and opportunities to participate in charitable work organized by Thrivent.
Thrivent has a longstanding relationship with Habitat for Humanity, and its members frequently participate in that charity’s building projects. Although Thrivent’s management philosophy and community involvement are rooted in its Lutheran origins, its financial products are available to Christians of any denomination.
Through Thrivent Credit Union, the company primarily offers life insurance, annuities, and banking services for associate members. Its financial products are marketed through a nationwide network of agents and in-house representatives.
Membership in Thrivent is required to purchase policies, and most prospective insureds apply for membership at the same time they use for coverage.
Two primary drawbacks of Thrivent life would be higher term life rates and limited no-exam options.
If you compare Thrivent Life with other term life insurance rates from its competitors, you will see that Thrivent is not always competitive.
Thrivent’s lack of a no-exam life insurance option makes getting coverage with them more difficult than other companies in the marketplace offering similar products.
Thrivent Life Financial Ratings
Thrivent Life is a top-rated life insurance company. With a 99 Comdex ranking, very few companies rank higher.
A.M. Best: A++
S&P Global: NR
Comdex Ranking: 99
Thrivent is one of the industry’s most financially stable life insurance carriers, as evidenced by its A++ rating from A.M. Best, which places it in the top category of insurers. Only around 5% of life insurance carriers hold A.M. Best’s maximum rating, making Thrivent among the most financially sturdy companies.
Thrivent has also secured its position in the Fortune 500, making the list over 20 consecutive years. In 2019, Thrivent reported approximately $8.8 billion in annual revenue, with more than half of it coming from premiums. The company reports holding around $90 billion in total assets, primarily investment-grade bonds.
These impressive financial ratings, ample holdings, and substantial revenue stream make Thrivent a reliable choice for potential policyholders. Thrivent’s predecessor was accredited by the Better Business Bureau in 1999, and the company currently holds an A+ rating from the BBB. Although online consumer reviews of Thrivent are scarce, the few available are mostly positive.
Thrivent’s website humbly acknowledges that it has been included on Ethisphere’s “World’s Most Ethical Companies” list.
Products Offered by Thrivent Life:
- Term Life Insurance
- Whole Life Insurance
- Universal Life Insurance
- Disability Insurance
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Medicare Supplement Insurance
- Mutual Funds and Retirement Planning
Life Insurance Policies Offered by Thrivent Life
Thrivent Term Life Insurance:
Thrivent’s level term life policy comes with initial terms of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years.
New insureds can be anywhere from 18 to 75, though longer terms are limited for older applicants, so a new policy’s initial term cannot stretch beyond the insured’s 85th birthday.
Thrivent’s term policies offer death benefits from $100,000 to $2 million, and policy proceeds (if paid out) are income tax-free to the beneficiary (like most other life insurance).
Thrivent-term policies are “level term,” which means the premium and death benefit stays the same throughout a policy’s initial term.
When the initial term ends, the policyholder can opt to renew the coverage for an increased premium.
A terminal illness rider and conversion option come standard with all Thrivent term policies. The conversion option gives the policyholder the contractual right to convert the term coverage to whole life or universal life—provided the option is exercised within five years after issuance.
An optional extended conversion option can be purchased for an increased premium; it allows for conversion to permanent coverage until the initial term concludes or the insured reaches age 70, whichever happens first.
Thrivent Whole Life Insurance:
Thrivent offers a classic whole-life insurance policy covering adults and a policy for minor children.
Like most whole-life policies, Thrivent’s version has fixed premiums, guaranteed-for-life coverage, and cash value that gradually accumulates with each premium payment and earns tax-deferred interest at a guaranteed minimum rate.
New applicants for Thrivent’s standard whole-life policy can be up to 90 years old. The policyholder can choose whether premiums are fully paid when the insured turns 70 years old, 95 years old, or after 10 or twenty years.
Thrivent also offers a single-premium version under which a policy is fully paid-up after one lump-sum payment made at the time of issuance.
Thrivent’s whole-life policies are eligible for dividend payments from the company. Though not guaranteed, dividends are paid in most years. They can be used to purchase additional coverage, pay down policy loans, cover currently owed premiums, or take dividends in cash.
Whole Life Insurance for Children:
The idea behind Whole Life for Kids is that once a policy is issued, the child has whole-life coverage locked in for life, with very low premiums.
Thrivent’s whole life policy covering minor children is available for infants and children up to age 15, with coverage levels running from $15,000 to $100,000.
Policies are purchased by the insured child’s parents, grandparents, or legal guardians. Premiums for the children’s policies are set up so that a policy reaches “paid-up” status at age 65.
Newly issued whole life policies insuring minor children are available with a guaranteed purchase option that affords the policyholder the right to increase the coverage amount in the future without any further underwriting requirements.
Thrivent Universal Life:
Thrivent’s version offers flexible premiums and coverage levels like most universal life policies.
Premiums are split between the insurance cost and cash value so the policyholder can adjust the value by making higher or lower payments.
Cash value accrues tax-deferred interest, with a guaranteed minimum rate of at least 3.00%. Coverage stays in place for the insured’s entire life as long as the minimum premium amounts are paid.
Newly issued policies insuring new insureds under 18 are available with an optional guaranteed increase feature, which lets the policyholder purchase additional coverage without further underwriting.
Thrivent Variable Universal Life:
An affiliated company, Thrivent Investment Management, Inc., issues Thrivent’s variable universal life policy.
VUL policies link cash value growth to the performance of investments the policyholder selects from options made available by Thrivent.
This growth structure allows for substantially increased upside potential, but there’s a risk of loss if investments perform poorly.
Thrivent offers multiple investment options with varying levels of risk, allowing the policyholder to tailor risk exposure to personal circumstances.
Available Life Insurance Riders
Terminal Illness Rider: If the insured is diagnosed with less than 24 months to live, a portion of the policy’s death benefit can be accelerated at the policyholder’s option.
Disability Waiver of Premium Rider: If the insured becomes disabled, premium obligations are waived during the disability period.
Paid-Up Additions Rider: Available with whole-life policies, the Paid-Up Additions rider gives the policyholder the option to purchase additional coverage that is paid up upon issuance, has interest-earning cash value, and is itself eligible for dividends.
Guaranteed Purchase Option: Available with whole-life policies, this rider gives the policyholder a contractual option to purchase additional coverage at specified dates or life events without further underwriting.
While Thrivent may be an excellent life insurance company, it’s essential to shop around and compare policies before making a final decision. Each person’s financial situation and life insurance needs are unique, and what works best for one individual may not be the right fit for another.
Shopping around and obtaining quotes from multiple life insurance carriers can help you compare policy options and ensure you get coverage that meets your needs and budget. It’s also important to read policy details carefully, understand any restrictions, and consider factors such as the company’s financial stability and reputation before making a final decision.
So, while Thrivent may be your best life insurance company, it’s worth exploring your options thoroughly. With a bit of research and effort, you can find the right life insurance policy that provides the protection and peace of mind you need.