Banner Life Insurance provides a few excellent options when it comes to obtaining affordable life insurance coverage. There are a variety of different types of life insurance options, which include term life insurance, universal life insurance, and a guaranteed issue final expense option. The company even offers annuities to help assist with meeting long term financial goals when it comes to retirement planning.
Along with several coverage options, Banner offers a few features that will be beneficial to anyone who is considering purchasing one of their life insurance plans. Whether you’re super healthy or have medical issues, use tobacco, or are looking for a unique policy feature, such as a 40-year term contract, Banner can offer it. A few applicants may even qualify for Banner’s accelerated non-medical underwriting program, which can lead to a rapid lab free approval for life insurance coverage.
While Banner Life Insurance offers many advantages, their solutions may not cover everyone’s needs. For this reason, we have put together the following Banner Life Insurance review. Our comprehensive review will provide you with information you need about the insurance company and whether or not they can provide you with the life insurance coverage you need.
Banner Life Insurance
- History of Banner Life Insurance Company
- Banner Company Ratings
- Banner Life Insurance Products
- Banner OPTerm Life Insurance
- Life Step UL Universal Life Insurance
- Guaranteed Acceptance Final Expense Insurance
- Banner A-List Term
- Banner Life Insurance Riders
- Banner Life Retirement Annuity
- Banner Life Insurance Underwriting Strengths
- Banner No Medical Exam Underwriting
- Banner Life Insurance Rates
- Pros and Cons of Banner Life Insurance
- Banner Life Vs Other Companies
- Is Banner Life A Good Option?
History of Banner Life Insurance Company
The history of Banner Life Insurance dates back to 1836 in London with the founding of Legal & General Life Assurance Society. The Legal & General Group formed a holding company in the US in 1981 and purchased Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO).
Two years later, GELICO became Banner Life Insurance. In 1989, the group purchased William Penn as a subsidiary of Banner Life. William Penn issues policies in New York specifically for New York residents, while Banner issues life insurance in the remaining US states.
In 2011, the holding company consolidated its marketing into a single brand – Legal & General America. However, Banner Life and William Penn still handle the underwriting and issuance of policies in the US. And although the name change has been in effect since 2011, Banner Life Insurance remains the name most commonly used when referencing the life insurance company.
Banner Life Insurance Company Numbers
- Ranked 8th largest insurance company based on assets under management
- 10 million worldwide customers
- 1.3 million U.S. policy owners
- $58 billion in new coverage issued in 2018
- $844 million in new annuity contracts issued in 2018
- $734 billion of total in-force life insurance coverage
- Over $5 billion in assets reported at the end of 2018
- $1.3 trillion of total assets under management
Banner Company Ratings
The financial strength ratings help you determine if an insurance company has the stability to pay claims to its customers at current times as well as in the future. Banner and William Penn maintain strong scores from the top financial rating agencies.
AM Best has awarded Banner with an A+ rating, ranking the company’s financial strength as superior. It is the second-highest rating that is awarded to companies that have an excellent outlook on being able to meet their ongoing insurance obligations to their clients. From Standard & Poor’s along with Fitch, Banner has received an AA- rating, also indicating a solid financial outlook.
Along with these ratings, the company currently holds a 0.16 National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Ratio. This lets you know that Banner receives a low number of customer complaints compared to the number of policies it issues to clients.
Banner Life Insurance Ratings and Financial Strength
- A.M. Best Rating: A+
- Standard & Poor’s: AA-
- Fitch: AA-
- Moody’s: Not Rated
- Comdex: 94
- BBB: A+ (Not Accredited)
Banner Life Insurance Products
Banner Life keeps its life insurance affordable and straightforward. Instead of offering dozens of life insuran ce products, the company has three base policies with a variety of options for customization. You may choose from various riders, multiple term lengths, and a large range of coverage amounts to meet overall life insurance needs.
The three life insurance policies from Banner Life Insurance include:
- Term life insurance
- Universal life insurance
- Final expense insurance
To find out if one of these options suits your specific needs, take a closer look at each policy.
Banner OPTerm Life Insurance
OPTerm is the term life insurance product from Banner. It offers the lowest initial premiums and temporary coverage for a set period of time. The available term lengths include 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, or 40 years.
35 & 40-Year Term Length!
In late 2018 Banner Life changed the term insurance industry, making them the first to offer both a 35 & 40-year contract length. This is outside of the industry standards, which is typically a maximum contract length of 30 years.
Other main features of the OPTerm insurance include:
- Available for those between the ages of 20 and 75
- Coverage amounts between $100,000 and $10 million
- Renewable up to age 95
- Convertible up to the age of 70
- Term Ladder Rider
With OPTerm, you receive protection along with a fixed premium for a specific period. If you pass away during the term, the insurance company pays out the death benefit to your beneficiaries.
If you outlive the life of the policy, you may have the option to convert it to whole life, renew it, or allow it to expire. Renewing the policy allows you to maintain the same coverage, but with increasing premiums. After the level term period ends, premiums increase annually until the age of 95.
Instead of renewing the policy, you may convert it to a whole life insurance policy. Policy conversion is underwritten using the same underwriting class as your existing policy. This means that if you develop a new health condition, you do not need to face higher premiums when converting the policy.
Policy conversion is available up to the age of 70 or the end of the term period – whichever comes first.
OPTerm also offers a few different policy riders that can be added to the coverage at an additional cost. These riders include a Children’s Rider, Waiver of Premium, and a unique laddering Term Rider.
The laddering Term Rider creates a structured death benefit that automatically decreases at specific policy years to meet changing life insurance needs. And as the death benefit decreases, premium payments are reduced.
Overall, this is one of the most affordable solutions for obtaining temporary life insurance. Thanks to the favorable underwriting conditions, smokers and those with specific health issues can also enjoy considerably lower premiums compared to other options.
|ISSUE AGES:||10 Year: 20-75 (20-75 Smokers)|
15 Year: 20-75 (20-75 Smokers)
20 Year: 20-70 (20-65 Smokers)
25 Year: 20-60 (20-55 Smokers)
30 Year: 20-55 (20-50 Smokers)
35 Year: 20-50 (20-45 Smokers)
40 Year: 20-45 (20-40 Smokers)
|DEATH BENEFIT AMOUNTS:||$100,000 – $10,000,000|
|HEALTH CLASSES:||Preferred, Standard & Tobacco|
|RIDERS:||Accelerated Death Benefit (Included)|
Children’s Rider (Optional)
Term Rider 10, 15 and 20 (Optional)
Waiver of Premium (Optional)
|CONVERTIBLE:||Yes up to age 70 or before the end of the level premium period, whichever comes first.|
|RENEWABLE:||To age 95|
|ADDITIONAL FEATURES:||*35 & 40 Contract Lengths |
*Laddering Term Riders
*APPcelerate Accelerated Underwriting
Life Step UL Universal Life Insurance
Life Step UL is a guaranteed universal life insurance plan that offers cash value growth potential. The premiums with this plan are also guaranteed to remain fixed throughout the entire life of the contract.
Universal life tends to appeal to older adults with grown children or those wanting to build a nest egg using the policy’s cash value. Some of the highlights of this policy include the following:
- Available for those between the ages of 20 and 85
- Coverage amounts between $50,000 and $10 million
- Guaranteed cash value
- Short pay guarantee
- Guaranteed interest rate
- No-Lapse Guarantee
With Life Step UL, you receive coverage up until the age of 121, guaranteeing a death benefit for your beneficiaries. However, you also have the option to limit the coverage period to enjoy a lower premium.
For example, you may choose to receive coverage up to the age of 100 instead of 121.
Another unique feature of this policy is the short pay guarantee. This flexible payment option allows you to design a premium payment for a specific period. You could use this option to pay the premiums required for a lifetime guarantee in just 10 or 15 years.
With the short pay guarantee, you have the flexibility to pay off the premiums before retiring, locking in your coverage and guaranteed benefit without additional monthly payments.
Life Step UL includes a guaranteed minimum interest rate of no less than 2% for the life of the contract. It is also the coverage that is used for all OPTerm conversion.
The last and most important feature to Banner Life Step UL is the no-lapse guarantee protection that offers. This feature guarantees that regardless of economic changes, as long as the level premium is paid, the life insurance will remain in-force.
Banner Life Step UL
|DEATH BENEFIT AMOUNTS:||$50,000-$10,000,000|
|HEALTH CLASSES:||Preferred, Standard & Tobacco|
|GUARANTEED MINIMUM INTEREST RATES:||2%|
|NO-LAPSE GUARANTEE PERIOD:||Age 121|
|RIDERS:||Accelerated Death Benefit (INCLUDED)|
Partial Surrender Benefit (INCLUDED)
|ADDITIONAL FEATURES:||*Guaranteed death benefit|
*Coverage last to age 121
*Available to applicants up to age 85
*Low $50,000 death benefit option
Final Expense Insurance
Life Step UL and OPTerm are fully underwritten policies. With the final expense insurance from Banner Life, you receive guaranteed acceptance without having to go through full underwriting. This coverage requires no labs or health questions at all. You cannot be turned down due to existing health issues.
Additional features include:
- Guaranteed fixed rates
- Available for those between the ages of 50 and 80
- Guaranteed coverage for life
- Coverage up to $15,000
- 24-hour claim approval
- Accumulates cash value
Final expense provides an alternative way to help pay for funeral costs or outstanding debts. The coverage continues for your entire life, but you stop paying premiums at the age of 95.
The policy also continues to accumulate cash value. You may borrow against the value for medical bills or other financial burdens. However, you need to pay back the loan with interest. It is generally not ideal to
Seniors mostly use the guaranteed acceptance insurance with high-risk health conditions seeking coverage for their final expenses. It can provide an easy solution for getting covered quickly, no matter your health.
Banner Life’s Final Expense Guaranteed Acceptance life insurance would not pay out if death occurs within the first two policy years. The only exception to this is if death was caused by accident. Health-related death is not payable until policy year three. This is what is known as a graded death benefit.
Banner Life Guaranteed Acceptance Final Expense Life Insurance
|COVERAGE AMOUNTS:||Up to $15,000|
|ADDITIONAL FEATURES:||*Cannot be turned down for coverage|
*Lifetime of protection
*Rates will never increase
*Guaranteed cash value growth
*Paid-up at age 95
*Benefits do not decrease if health changes overtime
*Simple application process with no medical exam
Banner A-List Term
Banner Life offers a second form of term life insurance specifically tailored for businesses with 10 or more employees that have an annual salary of $75,000 or more. The coverage is called A-List Term and is what is known as a group carve-out plan.
A group carve-out plan can often provide a better alternative to an ordinary group life insurance policy. This is especially true when it involves highly compensated employees or owners that require higher coverage amounts than what a group insurance plan can offer.
A-List Term is available with coverage amounts high as $3,000,000. Applications are underwritten using simplified non-medical guidelines. If the group has over 25 employees wanting to apply for coverage, the application process will consist of just one medical question and no labs.
What Types of Occupations Are Eligible for A-List Term?
The guidelines for this coverage are very specific in that there must be a minimum of at least 10 employees applying. The minimum annual salary requirement is $100,000, but $75,000 will be considered in most cases. There is not necessarily a limitation on which occupations can apply for A-List Term coverage. However, it has proven to be ideal for the following professions:
- Financial (Banking, Insurance, Investment)
- Health Care (Hospitals, Physician Practice)
Consider upgrading your group insurance plan with the A-List term. Contact us for us with any questions or group quote requests.
Banner A-List Term
|ISSUE AGES:||20 – 75|
|DEATH BENEFIT AMOUNTS:||$50,000 – $3,000,000 or more depending on the group size|
|HEALTH CLASSES:||No distinction for tobacco use|
|RIDERS:||Accelerated Death Benefit (Included)|
Increasing Death Benefit Rider (Optional)
|CONVERTIBLE:||Yes, up to the first 10 years from the date of issue or attained age 70, whichever comes first.|
|RENEWABLE:||To age 95|
|ADDITIONAL FEATURES:||*High death benefits|
*Simplified underwriting groups of 10-24
*One medical question underwriting groups of 25+
*Convertible to Life Step UL
*Low beneficial rate structure
Banner Life Insurance Riders
Banner Life Policy Riders
Life Step Up
|ACCELERATED DEATH BENEFIT|
|INCREASING DEATH BENEFIT RIDER|
|TERM RIDER 10, 15 & 20|
|WAIVER OF PREMIUM|
Accelerated Death Benefit Rider advances up to 75% (up to $500,000) of the death benefit if diagnosed with a qualifying terminal illness. Included at no additional cost.
Children’s Rider provides life insurance coverage to all eligible children of the insured up to age 25. Available at an additional cost.
Increasing Death Benefit Rider provides an increase in the death benefit based on future salary increases. Available at an additional cost.
Term Rider 10, 15 & 20 allows the death benefit to structured or laddered by adding additional term insurance lengths to the base coverage. Available at an additional cost.
Waiver of Premium waives all premium payments up to age 65 if the insured experiences total disability. Available at an additional cost.
Banner Life Retirement Annuity
Besides life insurance policies, Banner Life offers a retirement annuity. An annuity is a type of insurance product that provides a steady income during retirement.
As with other insurance policies, you make periodic payments. You then receive income from the annuity according to a payment schedule that you select.
While annuities are often used for retirement planning, they can come with high expenses compared to other retirement investment vehicles. Before deciding to purchase an annuity, explore all retirement options.
Banner Life Insurance Underwriting Strengths
None Past 3 Years
None Past 2 Years
None Past 1 Year
None Past 1 Year
4.5 or less
5.5 or less
6.5 or less
8.0 or less
Underwriting certain risks are crucial when it comes to choosing a life insurance company. Selecting a company that views a health condition or personal hobby riskier than another company will almost always lead to paying higher premiums or, worse, possible decline.
This is one of the main reasons why it always best to work with an independent life insurance agency that can offer multiple life insurance providers. This allows for the life insurance agency or agent to shop your unique risk to find a company that will provide the most favorable underwriting results, ultimately leading to the best price for coverage.
Luckily, Banner Life is one of those companies that offer favorable underwriting to many health risks that would usually be viewed negatively with other insurers. Here are just a few underwriting areas in which Banner Life Insurance can often outperform their competition.
Preferred Plus Potential For
- Cigarette free for 3 years or longer
- Commercial Pilots Flying in the U.S. & Canada
- Treatment for Hypercholesterolemia
- Treatment for Hypertension
- Treatment for HTN/Cholesterol
- Cholesterol under 300 treated or untreated
- Recreational scuba diving up to 100 feet
- Family history of cancer
Preferred Potential For
- Well-controlled Asthma on two medications or less
- Well-controlled Anxiety/Depression on one prescribed medication
- Mild Sleep Apnea
Standard Plus Potential For
- Controlled Diabetes Type II
- Severe Sleep Apnea with documented good CPAP compliance for one year
- History of personal cancer subject to type, onset, and last treatment
Banner & High-Risk Applicants
Applicants with health conditions that are usually classified as “high risk” tend to pay a higher premium for their life insurance coverage. The main reason behind this is to offset some of the risks the insurance company is taking on by insuring the health condition that is considered as high risk.
Often, high-risk life insurance is underwritten using a table rating or substandard rating. Each table rating has 8-10 letter grades that increase the premium by an extra 25% of the base standard per each letter grade.
Standard Rates + Extra % of Standard Rates Per Letter Grade
- Table A = 25%
- Table B = 50%
- Table C = 75%
- Table D = 100%
- Table E = 125%
- Table F = 150%
- Table G = 175%
- Table H = 200%
- Table I = 225%
- Table J = 250%
Banner has helped lessen the high costs associated with table rated life insurance coverage by offering a health class of standard plus non-tobacco as the base health classification on their table rated life insurance. The standard plus health class makes Banner Life a top contender for high-risk life insurance.
Banner No Medical Exam Underwriting
Banner Life offers an accelerated underwriting program called APPcelrate. This is a no medical exam program that can lead to a lightning-fast lab-free approval. The no exam option is only available on the OPTerm life insurance coverage and is ideal for applicants in good health.
How Does It Work?
The application process is straightforward. When ready to apply for coverage, an application ticket is submitted to Banner Life by your life insurance agent. Once the ticket is received, Banner will contact the applicant to complete a telephone application.
The telephone application consists of the same questions found in the paper application. It will consist of both personal and health-related questions. The entire telephone interview typically takes about 45 minutes to complete as is signed using a voice signature.
After the telephone application has been completed, it is submitted to underwriting to be reviewed by an underwriter for possible approval. Qualifying applicants can often expect to receive an approval for coverage within 2-4 business days from applying.
Who Can Apply for Banner No Exam Underwriting?
When provided the opportunity to pass on a life insurance medical exam, most people will take that opportunity. This is especially true when the rates are the same or better than those of a fully underwritten policy that requires a medical exam.
However, Banner does have some parameters that need to be met in order to qualify for the Accelerated Underwriting Program.
OPTerm 10 Year:
- Ages 20-50, Amounts $100,000 – $500,000
OPTerm 15-40 Year:
- Ages 20-40, Amounts $100,000 – $1,000,000
- Ages 41-45, Amounts $100,000 – $750,000
- Ages 46-50, Amounts $100,000 – $500,000
Banner Life Insurance Rates
The below is an actual life insurance quote showing rates for both males and females with a health class of preferred non-tobacco. The coverage amount used in the below table is for a death benefit amount of $250,000.
|Companies||Product||Male Age: 30||Male Age: 35||Male Age: 40||Male Age: 45||Male Age: 50||Male Age: 55||Male Age: 60||Male Age: 65||Male Age: 70||Male Age: 75||Male Age: 80|
|John Hancock||Vitality Term||$14.09||$14.24||$16.96||$22.14||$28.41||$43.04||$68.14||$117.04||$245.79||$455.46||$849.79|
|Lincoln National||Term Accel||$12.34||$12.63||$15.22||$21.84||$30.96||$46.75||$71.95||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Minnesota Life||Advantage Elite||$13.46||$13.99||$17.95||$25.87||$36.56||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Mutual of Omaha||Term Life Answers||$13.33||$14.19||$19.35||$23.22||$33.33||$50.31||$80.84||$148.35||$274.13||$525.68||$908.38|
|Pacific Life||Promise Term||$12.32||$12.32||$15.59||$21.85||$30.09||$45.46||$69.89||$123.04||$211.07||$399.24||$874.22|
|Protective||Custom Choice UL||$11.87||$12.08||$15.10||$21.77||$31.46||$47.82||$73.23||$131.78||NA||NA||NA|
|Companies||Product||Female Age: 30||Female Age: 35||Female Age: 40||Female Age: 45||Female Age: 50||Female Age: 55||Female Age: 60||Female Age: 65||Female Age: 70||Female Age: 75||Female Age: 80|
|John Hancock||Vitality Term||$12.39||$12.61||$14.86||$20.09||$23.86||$37.73||$50.94||$83.61||$176.04||$369.26||$843.44|
|Lincoln National||Term Accel||$10.51||$11.05||$13.70||$18.93||$25.86||$35.44||$51.35||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Minnesota Life||Advantage Elite||$12.67||$12.67||$16.10||$23.23||$30.89||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Mutual of Omaha||Term Life Answers||$11.61||$12.90||$16.56||$20.21||$27.31||$38.27||$57.19||$98.47||$169.42||$365.50||$704.13|
|Pacific Life||Promise Term||$10.82||$11.47||$14.24||$19.10||$25.16||$34.42||$49.88||$80.43||$131.35||$270.85||$637.03|
|Protective||Custom Choice UL||$10.79||$11.01||$13.59||$19.62||$26.29||$35.77||$52.26||$82.27||$134.16||$284.43||NA|
Pros and Cons of Banner Life Insurance
Most Banner Life Insurance reviews point to at least one of the following advantages:
- Underwriting strengths
- Accelerated underwriting program
- Helpful claims process
- Unique laddering Term Rider
Alongside with companies such as Prudential and AIG, Banner Life will also be able to provide coverage to many health conditions. If you have a medical condition such as type II diabetes, sleep apnea, or have a history of cancer, you may qualify for a non-table rated policy.
Banner also offers favorable rates for tobacco use and medicinal marijuana use. However, the company also has a few restrictions. Those with major felonies may not qualify for life insurance. Some forms of foreign travel may also result in the denial of the application or higher premiums.
The OPTerm offers the potential to qualify for a no medical exam term life insurance policy up to $1,000,000 in coverage. However, to streamline the underwriting process is only available to applicants ages 20-50. Through this program, customers may receive an approval within 48 hours.
The unique Term Riders that is available on OPTerm is a great way to customize your death benefit and premium payments over time. For example, if you have a 40-year OPTerm life insurance policy, you can use the term rider to automatically stack term lengths such as 10-year, 15-year, or 20-year period to automatically reduce the death benefit. As the death benefit decreases, the premium reduces as well.
With the flexible payment schedule, you can also select a payment option that fits your needs. Options include annual, semi-annual, quarterly, and monthly payments. If you choose automatic payments through a checking or savings account, you also enjoy a small discount on your premiums.
Banner Life Insurance products do not come with any significant disadvantages or red flags. You do not need to worry about the financial strength of Banner, which should always be the first concern when choosing a life insurance company.
There are a few areas in which Banner Life may not be the first choice, which we will explain.
Lack of policy riders: Banner’s most unique policy rider is the laddering term rider. The other options, such a children’s insurance and waiver of premium, are standard policy riders found with most insurance companies. If you have heard about living benefit riders that can payout for a chronic illness or critical illness or even long-term care, Banner will not be able to offer it.
Lack of policy options: The current life insurance options that Banner offers are excellent. Term insurance and guaranteed universal life insurance are options that we highly recommend. However, Banner does not provide some of the other available options, such as indexed universal life and whole life insurance. These two missing options focus on higher cash value growth potential than what Banner can offer.
No Medical Exam Option: Banner does offer a no medical exam option, as we discussed earlier. However, it is not going to be for everyone, and there is a chance you could be required to take an exam still if you do not meet the underwriting guidelines. Companies like Transamerica or SBLI can offer a no medical option up to age 65 without the potential to have to do any labs.
The potential Banner Life cons are minor but can be a concern if you’re looking for one or more of these options. Overall, Legal & General America, and its subsidiaries focus on providing straightforward and affordable life insurance products which you can’t go wrong with.
Banner Life Vs Other Companies
Banner Life can be an excellent company for your life insurance needs. However, there can be many reasons why they may not be the best choice. A few examples of this can be product selection, underwriting, or even rates.
For this reason, Top Quote Life Insurance offers several life insurance companies to meet our client’s life insurance needs. We have also created several extensive life insurance reviews on many of the top life insurance companies. Check out a few of our most popular life insurance company reviews.
Is Banner Life A Good Option?
Overall, yes, Banner Life Insurance has options to suit almost anyone. With their term life insurance, you have one of the most affordable policies that can offer protection ranging from $100,000 up to $10,000,000.
With the Life Step UL policy, you can enjoy lowcost fixed premium permanent life insurance. Other advantages include potential cash accumulation and flexible premiums. If the minimum $50,000 coverage exceeds your needs, consider going with the final expenses policy, with coverage up to $15,000.
Although we typically don’t recommend guaranteed issue unless it’s needed as a last resort option, Banner is one of just a few companies that can offer it.
Overall, Banner Life stands out for its streamlined, lenient underwriting policies and affordable premiums. Have questions about Banner or need a Banner life insurance quote? Please let us know. We are ready to help you.
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