Phoenix Life Insurance (Nassau Re) is a mid-size life insurance and annuities provider. The insurance company has recently undergone a significant restructuring process in the last couple of years.
In 2016 Phoenix life insurance company was acquired by Nassau Re. At the present time both the life insurance, as well as a few annuity products, continue to be sold under the Phoenix brand name but are issued through Nassau Life and Annuity Company.
With the change from Phoenix Life to Nassau Re, the company assures both current and potential customers that they can still expect to receive the same excellent customer service and products that were once offered by Phoenix Life Insurance Company.
Have you seen some stellar quotes from Phoenix Life? Interested in learning more about the coverage options and the company in general? Read our full review for answers to all your questions.
- History of Phoenix Life Insurance Company
- Who is Nassau Re
- Company Ratings
- Phoenix Life Insurance Coverage Options
- Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life
- Phoenix Remembrance Life
- Application and Approval Process
- Do I Need a Medical Examination?
- Pros of Working with Phoenix
- Cons of Working with Phoenix
- The Bottom Line on Phoenix Life Insurance (Nassau Re)
History of Phoenix Life Insurance Company
Prior to the Nassau Re acquiring Phoenix Life Insurance Company, their is a significant amount of company history that dates as far back as 1851.
Originally founded by a group of business, religious and civic leaders based out of Hartford, Connecticut, the company first operated under the name of American Temperance Life Insurance Company.
At that time insurance was only provided to those who refrained from drinking alcohol. This would eventually change several years later along with many other historical company events that would take place over a century and a half later.
Here is a look at some of the more historical company events to take place:
- 1860: Recognized as the first life insurer in the state of New York
- 1861: Company changes name to Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company
- 1865: Phoenix issues life insurance to President Abraham Lincoln, as well as President Andrew Johnson
- 1871: Phoenix contributes $5,000 to help survivors of the Great Chicago Fire
- 1874: Company survives economic downturn while hundreds of other life insurance companies shut down
- 1912: First life insurance company to advertise utilizing direct mail marketing
- 1955: First company to reduce life insurance rates for women
- 1957: Phoenix begins offering group life and health insurance to small businesses
- 1967: First company to offer discounted rates to non-smokers
- 1992: Phoenix merges with insurer Home Life to create Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Company
- 2001: Phoenix changes from a mutual company to a stock company trading under the symbol PNX
- 2010: Phoenix launches a line of fixed indexed annuity products
- 2015: Nassau Re is founded
- 2016: Nassau Re acquires Phoenix Life Insurance Company
Who is Nassau Re
Nassau Re is a fairly new company that was founded in 2015. The company got its start through capital provided by Golden Gate Capital, a private investment firm with over $15 billion in capital.
From the start of Nassau Re until present time, the insurance company has made a name for themselves within the insurance industry. For starters, they have acquired the companies Phoenix Life, Constitution Life and Pyramid Life.
The insurance company also manages policies that are issued from twelve other companies including:
- American Exchange Life Insurance Company
- American Pioneer Life Insurance Company
- American Progressive Life & Health Insurance Company of New York
- Guarantee Reserve Life Insurance Company
- Marquette National Life Insurance Company
- Nassau Life Insurance Company (formerly Phoenix)
- North American Insurance Company of New York
- North American Company of Life and Health
- Pennsylvania Life Insurance Company
- PHL Variable Insurance Company
- Union Bankers Insurance Company
- UnioNational Life Insurance Company
At the present time, Nassau Re continues to operate out of Hartford, Connecticut which is their main headquarters. The company employs roughly 600 people who help manage a team of over 10,000 licensed life and annuity agents.
Customers own nearly 495,000 policies and contracts from Nassau Re, and the company manages over $20 billion in combined assets.
Phoenix Life Insurance Company (Nassau Re) offers customers some real benefits through its annuities and life insurance products, but its most recent scores are sub-par compared to several other well known life insurance companies.
Current Company Ratings for Phoenix Life (Nassau Re)
- A.M. Best Company: B
- Fitch: N/A
- Moody’s: N/A
- Standard & Poor’s: BB
- BBB: A+ (Not Accredited)
Insurance companies who have received a score of B have “a fair ability” to meet their obligations, i.e., pay out benefits. In other words, the company may be subject to economic and underwriting conditions.
In comparison, an “A++” or “A” company is more likely to remain solvent and meet all its policy obligations even if the economy takes a turn.
Should you steer clear of a “B” company? Not necessarily, as a B rating does represent a stable outlook according to A.M. Best’s guidelines for company. It is also the 7th letter rating out of 14 total ratings. However, you should keep the rating in mind if you are on the fence about its products and services.
It is also worth noting that in the company’s last A.M. Best review that was on March 29, 2018, A.M. Best made mention that they expect a general improvement in the operating performance over the medium-term.
Could this lead to an improvement in the company’s A.M. Best rating in the future? It appears that is very possible but only time will tell.
Phoenix Life Insurance Coverage Options
At the moment, Phoenix Life (Nassau Re) offers just two primary types of life insurance options.
- Phoenix Safe Harbor Term – Term Life Insurance
- Phoenix Remembrance Life – Final Expense Whole Life Insurance
Although there are only two options to choose from, both options are very capable of providing a life insurance solution that works best for both families as well as seniors.
Phoenix Life (Nassau Re) no longer offers a universal life insurance option as of late 2017. There are currently several other online Phoenix Life Insurance Reviews still showing the coverage listed as being an option.
This is because their website owners have not updated their information. At the moment the only two life insurance options are term and non-participating whole life insurance.
Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life
Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life is your traditional level premium term life insurance. The coverage is available in two different plans which consist of a non-express as well as an express version.
Both options require no medical exam at all to apply.
The biggest difference between the two plans is that the express plan does not require medical records which can result in a quicker approval time. However, the downside to choosing the express plan is that the best possible health classification will be at the standard rates.
The non-express plan can result in a much better health classification if you are able meet the underwriting guidelines for the health classification. Although a medical exam will not be required, underwriting can take longer if the underwriter needs to order medical records.
It is important to know that just because a medical exam is not needed, approval is not guaranteed and certain risk or health factors can decline you for coverage.
Another benefit to Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life, in addition to not having to take a medical exam, are the living benefit riders that come with the coverage at no additional costs. These riders include a chronic illness, critical illness, terminal illness and even an unemployment rider.
The living benefit riders can advance up to 95% of the death benefit if you have a qualifying critical, chronic, or terminal illness.
The company determines the overall amount of how much you receive according to your current health and life expectancy. It is also optional as whether or not you choose to take the benefits or leave them as death benefit funds.
You don’t have to use these riders. You can reject the insurance offer and maintain the death benefit you originally signed up to receive.
Overall Issue Ages: 18-80
10 Year: 18-80
15 Year: 18-70
20 Year: 18-65
30 Year: 18-55 (Tobacco Users 18-50)
18-50: $25,000 – $400,000
51-60: $25,000 – $300,000
61-70: $25,000 – $200,000
71-80: $25,000 – $100,000
18-50: $50,000 – $500,000
51-60: $50,000 – $400,000
61-70: $50,000 – $300,000
71-80: $50,000 – $150,000
Conversion Option: Yes, Coverage can be converted into permanent life insurance without having to provide evidence of insurability. Conversion to permanent life insurance must be done within the first 5 policy years on the 10 year term, first 7 policy years on the 15 year term, first 10 policy years on the 20 and 30 year term.
Included Policy Riders: Accelerated Benefit Riders and Unemployment Rider
Optional Policy Riders: Accidental Death Benefit Rider
Accelerated Benefit Riders: An included rider that allows for up to 95% of death benefit to be accessed if diagnosed with a chronic, critical or terminal illness (Not available in CA)
Accidental Death Benefit Rider: Can pay out a extra death benefit up to a maximum of $250,000 if death was a result of a covered accident. (Extra Cost) (Not available in CA, KS, MD, MA, NH, NJ and VA)
Unemployment Rider: Will waive 6 months worth of premium payments if you become unemployed for at least 4 weeks and are receiving unemployment benefits.
Phoenix Remembrance Life
The Phoenix Remembrance Life is simplified issue level death benefit whole life insurance with living benefits.
There is no medical exam required to apply and the application can be completed either electronically or by paper.
Although the issue ages range from 30 up to age 80, this coverage is really ideal for seniors who are looking for just enough coverage to cover any final expenses.
Since this is a non-participating whole life insurance policy there are no dividends, but there is a guaranteed cash value account that will build up every year.
Keep in mind that this is a level death benefit coverage so if approved, you do not have to worry about a 2-year wait or longer on the death benefit. Full death benefit protection starts from day one.
However, applicants with health conditions that are considered a higher health risk may not qualify for this coverage.
Similar to the term insurance, Phoenix Remembrance Life also offers an included living benefit rider that can pay out up to 95% of the death benefit due to a qualifying critical or terminal illness.
The chronic illness is not available with this coverage.
An additional free benefit that is included with the coverage is the accidental death benefit rider. This rider is considered an optional policy rider with the term insurance and costs extra whereas it is free with Phoenix Remembrance Life.
Overall Issue Ages: 30-80
30-59: $10,000 – $100,000
60-69: $10,000 – $75,000
70-80: $10,000 – $50,000
71-80: $25,000 – $100,000
Included Policy Riders: Critical Illness and Terminal Illness, Accidental Death Benefit Rider
Optional Policy Riders: None
Critical & Terminal Illness Rider: An included rider that allows for up to 95% of death benefit to be accessed if diagnosed with a critical or terminal illness (Not available in CA)
Accidental Death Benefit Rider: Pays out an additional lump-sum amount that is equal to 100% of the death benefit if death was a result of a covered accident. (Not available in CA, KS, MD, MA, NH, NJ and VA)
Application and Approval Process
Phoenix Life (Nassau Re) has made the entire process for applying for life insurance coverage as easy as possible for the customer.
The entire application along with signatures can all be completed electronically and submitted to the insurance company online. The entire process can be completed in as fast as 20 minutes. However, this does greatly depend on the individual applying, as some questions may require additional details if they are health related.
Most customers will agree that they love how simple the process is when compared with the older paper applications. Having an agent walk you through the process the first time ensures you apply for the right program and get the best rate because it mitigates the potential for mistakes.
The electronic online submission also results in much faster processing times which can lead to quicker approval times.
A paper application is an option, however it is only available on the Remembrance Whole Life coverage.
Do I Need a Medical Examination?
One of the biggest benefits to applying for life insurance coverage with Phoenix Life (Nassau Re) is that you will not be required to take a medical exam. This goes for both the term life insurance option, as well as the whole life insurance option.
Approval is based on the responses to the questions on the application. These questions will pertain to both personal information, as well as health related information.
The underwriters review the application and make a decision based on your answers. To help them validate the responses to the application questions, certain underwriting tools will be used.
Some of these tools will include a check on past and current prescribed medications, use of electronic search records, motor vehicle reports and a Medical Information Bureau check which provides the history of any past insurance activity.
In some cases, the underwriter will be required to order medical records to help assist in making a final determination on approval for coverage.
Pros of Working with Phoenix
The most significant advantage by far of working with Phoenix Life (Nassau Re) is the customer service offered by the company.
From your initial application to maintaining your plan, the ability to speak to a real person on the phone makes the whole process much more manageable. If you have questions about anything, you can pick up the phone and ask.
Customer reviews are a testament to the company’s commitment to providing professional answers to complicated questions. This reflects in the total amount of positive reviews that have been left by customers regarding the level of high customer service they have received from Phoenix Life (Nassau Re).
Another pro is that all of their life insurance options do not require a medical exam. Along with being able to skip the medical exam, you get some pretty nice free policy riders whether you purchase a term policy or a whole life insurance policy.
The whole life insurance coverage is priced very competitively when compared to other carriers in that market. They are also one of the few to offer up to $50,000 at ages 70-80 where most companies will cap the amount at $25,000.
Cons of Working with Phoenix
The first downside, and probably the biggest, is the company’s current A.M. Best rating of a B. Although it can be viewed that the company has been rated with a stable future outlook, it can be a real concern to potential customers and rightfully so.
After all, you purchase life insurance to provide a death benefit to your loved ones should you pass away. Life insurance should provide piece and a company with a rating of A or better can give you that rather than a B rated company.
The second biggest drawback would be the lack of coverage options. Although Phoenix Life (Nassau Re) does offer two coverage options that can provide coverage to most people, they don’t have a guaranteed universal life option or a true whole life insurance option outside of final expense coverage.
When it comes to comparing rates for term life insurance, especially when compared to other no medical exam companies such a ANICO, SBLI, and Sagicor, Phoenix Life (Nassau Re) tends to be way at the bottom of the list.
The conversion option on the term life insurance coverage is not the greatest, as many companies will allow you to convert up to age 70. Phoenix limits it based on the length of the policy you purchase. This is a big downside especially if you suffer from a medical issue later in life that can prevent you from re-qualifying for new coverage.
Lastly, some customers have complained that the underwriting period takes too long. Although and electronic online process can cut down the overall time-frame to get a life insurance policy, there is no definitive timeline for processing.
Additionally, the wait times can be up to two months when the underwriter needs further information. This generally only happens when medical records are needed. If underwriting is held up due to medical records it is often due to the medical facility and their processing time copying records
In reality, a two-month underwriting process isn’t unheard of in the life insurance industry. However, it won’t suit people who want coverage immediately.
The Bottom Line on Phoenix Life Insurance (Nassau Re)
Should you purchase a Phoenix Life Insurance policy?
Phoenix Life Insurance (Nassau Re) offers two simple life insurance plans and stellar customer service. There are definitely some features to like if their product line suits your financial needs, but not everyone finds these policies work for them.
The insurance industry is complicated, so let us be your guide. Phoenix Life Insurance (Nassau Life Insurance) is just one of many insurance companies out there – many of whom have better industry ratings, more coverage options and even better rates.
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