Among the top life insurance companies in the marketplace, Thrivent is definitely among the best. So, what makes this company so good? We will discuss the various strengths and weaknesses of the company in this Thrivent Life review.
About Thrivent Life
As a fraternal benefit society that limits its membership to followers of the Christian faith, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is somewhat unique among large life insurance carriers.
Thrivent Financial, as currently structured, came into being following a 2002 merger between Minnesota’s Lutheran Brotherhood and a 100-year-old Wisconsin organization formerly known as the Aid Association for Lutherans.
With its headquarters in Minneapolis and operations center in Appleton, Wisconsin, Thrivent remains a Midwestern entity, though it markets financial products and maintains smaller offices throughout the country (except New York).
Thrivent’s structure as a fraternal benefit society is more similar to a mutual company than a standard corporation.
Policyholders are called “members,” and Thrivent’s around 2.3 million members (and not shareholders) technically own the company. Members can be either “benefit members” or “associate members.”
The latter category requires a $20 annual fee and comes with additional perks, such as discounts, access to Thrivent’s credit union, and opportunities to participate in charitable work organized by Thrivent.
Most notably, Thrivent has a longstanding relationship with Habitat for Humanity, and Thrivent members frequently assist with that charity’s building projects.
Although Thrivent’s management philosophy and community involvement remain rooted in its Lutheran origins, Thrivent financial products are now available to Christians of any denomination.
The company’s primary focus is life insurance and annuities, along with banking services for associate members through Thrivent Credit Union. Thrivent financial products are marketed by a nationwide network of agents and in-house representatives.
Policy purchases require membership in Thrivent. Most prospective insureds apply for membership at the same time they apply 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.
And Thrivents lack of a no exam life insurance option makes getting coverage with them more difficult than some of the other companies in the marketplace that offer similar products.
Thrivent Life Financial Ratings
Thrivent Life is a top rated life insurance company. With a 99 Comdex ranking, there are very few companies out there that rank higher.
A.M. Best: A++
S&P Global: NR
Comdex Ranking: 99
Thrivent’s A.M. Best rating of A++ puts it in the top category of insurers. Only around five percent of life insurance carriers enjoy A.M. Best’s top rating, so Thrivent is among the industry’s most financially sturdy companies.
Thrivent is also securely situated within the Fortune 500, having made the list for over 20 consecutive years.
In 2019, Thrivent reported about $8.8 billion in annual revenue, a little more than half of which was composed of revenue from premiums.
The company also reports around 90 billion in total assets, primarily held in investment-grade bonds.
Taken together, Thrivent’s impressive financial ratings and ample holding and revenue stream make Thrivent a reliable choice for potential policyholders.
The Better Business Bureau accredited Thrivent’s predecessor starting in 1999, and the company sports an A+ rating from BBB. Though online consumer reviews of Thrivent are few and far between, what’s out there is mostly positive.
And, for what it’s worth, Thrivent’s website humbly acknowledges that “Ethisphere” has included Thrivent on its “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 that 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 comes with 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 ten 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 and can be used to purchase additional coverage, pay down policy loans, cover currently owed premiums—or dividends can be taken 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 guardian. 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:
Like most other universal life policies, Thrivent’s version offers flexible premiums and coverage levels.
Premiums are split between the cost of insurance and cash value, so that the policyholder can adjust the policy value by making higher or lower payments.
Cash value accrues tax-deferred interest, with a guaranteed minimum rate of at least 3.00%. As long as the minimum premium amounts are paid, coverage stays in place for the insured’s entire life.
Newly issued policies insuring new insureds under 18 are available with an optional guaranteed increase feature, which lets the policyholder purchase additional coverage without any additional underwriting.
Thrivent Variable Universal Life:
Thrivent’s variable universal life policy is issued by an affiliated company, Thrivent Investment Management, Inc.
VUL policies link cash value growth to the performance of investments selected by the policyholder from among 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 totally disabled, premium obligations are waived during the period of the disability.
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, with no further underwriting.