CNO Financial Group Insurance Review & Complaints: Life Insurance

CNO Financial Group Life Insurance products are available through Colonial Penn, Banker's Life, and Washington National Insurance. Read our CNO Financial Group review to learn about the claims process and find CNO Financial Group locations. If you're looking for car coverage, use our free tool below to get quotes from insurers.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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CNO Financial Group Insurance

Financial Strength

Offering life insurance policies through its exclusive agents along with other related products through several subsidiary companies, CNO Financial is a large holding company that is relatively new to the market. In spite of their short history, this company has seen a lot of growth and managed to make a fairly large footprint in the industry.

What is CNO Financial Group?

Incorporated in 1970 under the name Conseco, Inc., the company began selling policies in 1982. They went public in 1985 and spent the next several years acquiring coverage and financial services companies. These included Lincoln Income Life Insurance Company, Bankers National Life Insurance Company, Greentree Financial, and Colonial Penn.

In 2001, Conseco filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the third-largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. After reorganization, the company emerged focused entirely on the casualty coverage industry, having sold off Greentree Financial.

In 2010, once again on solid financial ground, the company renamed itself and is now operating under CNO Financial Group. They remain the parent company of Colonial Penn, Banker’s Life and Casualty, Washington National Insurance Company, and 40/86 Advisors.

CNO Financial is the holding company and does not write any policies directly. Each of the underlying insurers handles the underwriting and claims for all of their policy types. Depending on the company, policies may be sold either through agents or directly.

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What are the subsidiaries & products?

CNO has three main subsidiary insurance companies offering a variety of policy types. They are also the parent company to 40/86 Advisors, a fixed income investment advisor company.

Banker’s Life

Banker’s Life sells its products through agents across their service area. In addition to the life insurance coverage in their name, they also sell a few other products and annuities as well.

Their life insurance products include term, whole, and universal policies offering a variety of benefits and premium choices based on the coverage amount, type of policy, and in the case of term life, the length of the coverage term.

Banker’s Life also offers Medicare Supplement, Long-Term Care Insurance, and annuities to provide retirement income.

See our full Banker’s Life insurance review for more information.

Colonial Penn

This company is widely known for it’s guaranteed issue policies aimed at the middle-aged crowd and above who are seeking a quick solution to providing final expenses coverage. They also offer a few other life choices.

Colonial Penn‘s Guaranteed Acceptance Life is a whole life policy that can be obtained without any health questions, and is available for customers aged 50-85. The amount of coverage available varies.

Their regular whole life policy is available with a slightly different age range, from 40-75. Maximum death benefit is $50,000.

The company’s term life is available from ages 18-75 and can be renewed up to age 90. It also has a limit of $50,000 in death benefits.

See our full Colonial Penn review for more information.

Washington National Insurance

This company offers a larger range of products than the other CNO companies. Products available include:

  • Supplemental health including disability income, cancer and critical illness, and hospital and ICU coverage.
  • Life insurance choices including indexed universal life, whole life, and term life products
    Workplace benefits providing group coverage through employers

40/86 Advisors

This company is an investment advisor firm that does not offer any insurance products of its own.

What are CNO Financial Group rates?

The prices offered by CNO’s subsidiaries vary depending on the company itself and the type of coverage required.

All of the companies in the CNO family aim at providing low cost insurance that is easy to obtain, and as a result they generally offer lower death benefit amounts than other insurance companies. We are unable to provide a quote comparison at our usual coverage amount of $1,000,000 for a 20-year term policy at this moment.

Colonial Penn is the only company that offers online quoting of the three, and their maximum for term life is $50,000. For a 30-year-old male in California, such a policy can be obtained for $23.96 a month. Our average quote for a $1,000,000 policy is $50, and we have seen $100,000 policies for under $10. That makes this policy a poor value by comparison. It does have to be noted however that these other rates are for those who qualify for the best rates, which is not Colonial Penn’s target market.

What is the claims process like?

Each of the CNO Financial companies process their own claims and has their own claims phone number.

  •  1-800-523-9100 – Colonial Penn
  •  1-800-773-4670 – Banker’s Life

Washington National sales agents can be contacted by two numbers, depending on the policy:

  • 1-800-525-7662 – life and annuity
  • 1-888-754-3406 – health insurance

The site does also lists 1-800-525-7662 for policyholders, and lists an email –  [email protected], which seems to be directed at health claims only.

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How are consumer research and complaints?

Each of the CNO companies has their own BBB rating. We were unable to locate a rating for CNO overall.

  • Banker’s Life has an A+ rating with the BBB and there are 112 complaints against the company in the past three years. 40 of those were closed in the past 12 months
  • Colonial Penn an has an A-  rating with the BBB with only five complaints on record in the past three years, two of which were closed in the last 12 months.
  • Washington National has an A+ rating from the BBB with 52 complaints on file in the last three years, 20 of which were closed in the past 12 months.

The Better Business Bureau states that Colonial Penn‘s rating was downgraded from an A+ due to five complaints filed against the business.

What’s the bottom line?

CNO Financial Group owns several insurers offering basic, simple issue life coveage and a few other products. While their products are simple and easy to obtain, it seems as though they do not fall anywhere near the competitive arena when it comes to pricing.

Their products may be an option for those who have health problems and need a no-questions-asked life policy with a low death benefit, but even this market is likely to get a better rate elsewhere. Those in good health should definitely look at other companies for a good value in coverage.

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Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

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