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