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Banner Life Insurance Review

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UPDATED: Mar 18, 2020

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Operating under the name of its parent company, Legal & General, Banner Life writes a variety of life insurance products. They are licensed in all states with the exception of New York, where another Legal & General subsidiary operates.

About Banner Life

Banner Life was founded in 1949 as Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO). The company was acquired by Legal & General in 1981, and the name change to Banner took place two years later.

While Banner still underwrites under its own name, all of the marketing and the online presence are under the Legal & General America name. The company does not operate its own website. They are the main underwriter of life insurance for Legal & General, with the exception, noted above, of New York.

Banner writes several types of life insurance including term life insurance, universal life insurance, and final expense. Products are sold through independent agents across the country.

Banner Life Products

Banner’s life insurance products fall into three categories: term, universal, and final expense.

Term Life

Banner offers term life policies with terms ranging from one to 40 years. The site does not offer much more detail than the basics, not listing the term options specifically nor the range of death benefits.

In the quoting system, death benefits listed for quotes range from $100,000 up to $10 million. The policy terms in the quoting system range from 10 to 40 years, going up by fives.

Universal Life

Life Step UL is the universal product from Banner Life. The policy features flexible premium options and a cash accumulation account that can grow as an additional death benefit or be used to pay premiums later in life or in a time of difficult financial conditions.

There is not a list of the death benefit range here, and this policy cannot be quoted online so we were unable to investigate the coverage options further.

Final Expense

Banner’s Final Expense life product is available to those between the ages of 50 and 80 and offers death benefits of up to $15,000. This is meant to provide for funeral and other final expenses.

This product is simplified issue, which means it does not require a medical exam; the site states that acceptance is guaranteed regardless of health. It is worth noting, however, that guaranteed acceptance does not mean they cannot charge a higher premium based on health information.

Rates

Both the term and final expense policies can be quoted online.

For term life insurance, we quoted a 30-year-old male, 6’ tall and weighing 180lbs, non-tobacco and in average health. We used our usual sample zip code in Southern California. We first quoted a $100,000 policy, at 10 and then at 30 years. The 10-year term policy came back at $10.19 a month. The 30-year came back at $14.62 a month.

We then quoted a $1 million policy with the same term lengths. The 10-year policy returned a rate of $39.99 and the 30-year policy a rate of $74.91.

For final expense insurance, we were unable to quote in our usual zip code as the product is not currently available there. We used the suggested zip code in Maryland (the company’s headquarters location) and pre-set sample of a 50-year-old female non-smoker for our quotes. A $2,000 policy was quoted at $8.80 a month, and a $15,000 at $61.49.

We found the term rates here to be very reasonable, but we have seen better rates on final expense insurance elsewhere. Rates, of course, are not the whole picture, and many companies make up for a higher premium with service.

Claims

The website offers a clear and detailed explanation of the claims process, including what is needed to file a claim and how to submit it.

Claims can be filed online, and there is also a toll-free number to assist with life insurance claims.

The Fast Track claims process is available for policies with a death benefit of $10,000 or less. A call to the claims department will confirm eligibility. Claims with higher death benefit amounts will require a somewhat longer process. The company will send out a packet following the initial notice and the claim will proceed from there.

Ratings and Consumer Reviews

Banner Life has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and there are only three complaints on file in the past three years. There is only one negative review on the page, citing a problem with clerical errors on a policy at issue that were not easily fixed.

We were unable to locate any other customer complaints or reviews, which is generally a good thing for an insurance company. We also searched under the Legal & General name and again found very little.

The Bottom Line

Banner Life has a long history and a good reputation. Their rates, particularly for term life, are very reasonable, with a good selection of term options and death benefit amounts. This is a company well worth considering for your life insurance needs.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

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Banner Life Insurance
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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

10 Comments

  1. Eric,
    I applied for a 10 year term policy with Banner Life through SelectQuote.

    I am reviewing the policy before finalizing with DocuSign.

    Two questions:

    1. There are many mistakes in the application.

    There are several medical conditions that I have or had that are not mentioned even though I told the SelectQuote agent about them.

    The app does not mention all the medications that I told him about.

    Does not mention medical tests that I told him about.

    Got my mother’s cause of death wrong.

    I am worried that all this could cause them not to pay if I die during the term of the policy.

    What do you think about this?

    2. The policy has a “change of premium” section.

    They can change my premium at their sole discretion for almost any reason.

    Is this common in life insurance?

    Can you tell me companies that don’t have this?

    (We just had our Long Term Care Policy do this to us.)

    Thanks!!

    Reply
  2. Hi Eric
    I’m 50, have a 250k policy thru Metlife that I got a long time ago, however, looking to get another one…..what’s your take on Banner Life Insurance Company – OPTerm 20 – 20 Year and Pacific Life PacLife/Promise Term 20 Select policies or any other policies that can be converted later on?? Are they good?

    What should I look out for and am I missing the fine print?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Robert,

      If the OPTerm 20 policy is the one I am thinking of, its a pretty decent product. It locks the premium for the first 20 years, but gives you an option to keep the policy at ever-increasing rates after the initial term.

      In modern times, term life insurance has become a bit of a commodity. Many different companies offer practically the same product, which keeps the costs very low. However, some companies have started adding “extras” on their products in an effort to differentiate and charge more. That is why it is important to price shop when looking for term. The added benefit of extending your policy after the initial term is a good feature, but only if the original premium is within reason.

      Best,
      Eric Stauffer

      Reply
  3. between Banner & Prudential, which insurance company would be better for my beneficiary in terms of filing the claim and getting the amount .
    i am looking for a term policy for 30 years.

    Reply
    • Hi Sadaf,

      Most claims procedures are going to be similar when it comes to term life insurance. Its also tough to predict how things could change over a 30 year term policy, as well.

      Both companies have been around for a while, so it may ultimately come down to price. I would recommend getting quotes from both and comparing.

      Best,
      Eric Stauffer

      Reply
  4. I am torned in between american general and american nation for life insurance with living benefits.
    It seem both had a lot of complaints. I like banner but they do not have much living benefits. either way, which company is better? American general has lower rate in my age.

    Reply
  5. Hi Eric,

    I am seeking to get an insurance for me/my family in case some unforeseen events happen. It is very confusing to pick the right one as there are not only many types but many companies as well that you could choose from.

    I started researching but the more I search, the more confused I become.

    I am the sole earner in the family and I am 45 years old. I have 2 children who are 22 and 15 years old and I am worried that if something happens to me, they would be burdened with financial difficulties.

    I was initially looking into getting a term life insurance but then ran accross this permanent life insurance that seems attractive, apart from the high monthly pemium (which everyone says) yet I really have no idea how much of a difference between the two at this point.

    My goal is to cover my children and my spouse in case of sickness or something happens to me and at the same time would like to know what other types of insurance I may be able to invest in so that I have something when I retire?

    Let me know what your inputs are on this please.

    Thank you,

    Mari

    Reply
    • Hi Mari,

      Life insurance can certainly be complicated.

      Personally, I am not a big fan of permanent life insurance solutions for most people. They are overpriced, and do a pretty bad job as an investment in the process. Unfortunately, they are heavily pushed by sales agents because they pay a lot more in commission than term does.

      You can read a more thorough write up about my views on the matter here – https://www.expertinsurancereviews.com/insurance-education/term-life-better-whole-life/

      What I generally recommend is to sit down with a FEE-BASED financial advisor that is NOT a life insurance agent. They can look at your entire financial situation and make a recommendation. Just be sure to steer clear of anyone that is also a sales agent. Their motives may not necessarily align with yours.

      Best,
      Eric Stauffer

      Reply
  6. Hi Eric,

    I was born in India and am a 50 year old US citizen living in NC for last 20 years. I plan to retire in India about 10 years later and am planning to get a 250k, 20 year term life policy for myself. If rates and ratings are same, which would you pick in my case? Banner Life or Transamerica? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Jennifer,

      That is a very good question.

      I personally like both companies when it comes to term life insurance, and the deciding factor would typically be based on price and/or terms of the policy.

      Since you are asking I remove those two decision points from my opinion, then it becomes a little more subjective and based on my own personal experience. In that case I would pick Banner Life, because their primary focus is on life insurance.

      Transamerica has their hands in a lot of financial industries, and I have personally (well, my wife) had an old 401k through them. I was not impressed at all with their fee structure, but that is a story for another day.

      Let me be clear, my decision here is based solely on personal preference given the relationship my wife and I have already had with Transamerica. If the rates were not the same, I would probably go with whoever was cheaper.

      Best,
      Eric Stauffer

      Reply

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