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About Colonial Life
Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company was founded in 1937 as Mutual Accident Company in Columbia, South Carolina. They sold accidental death policies through a team of mostly female sales representatives. Two years after the company’s founding, the name was changed to Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company.
Moving into the employee benefits market, the company began offering payroll deduction services for voluntary insurance products. They continued to grow over the following decades and are a large employee benefits insurer today.
Colonial Life operates as a subsidiary of Unum Group and serves more than 3.7 policyholders at more than 90,000 companies and organizations. Policies are sold across the country through brokers and consultants.
Colonial Life Products
All of the company’s products are voluntary employer benefits, which means they are available only through an employer that has selected them as part of an optional package to offer to employees. Products are not available on an individual basis.
Employers looking to put together a voluntary benefits package can choose from life, supplemental health including disability, dental, and vision.
Although there are no details listed about the company’s policies, they do offer an overview of all three types of life insurance that are available.
Colonial Life writes term life insurance, universal life insurance, and whole life insurance policies. Employers can choose to offer one or more of these options as a group policy to their employees, making it more affordable than if they purchased it individually.
Colonial’s life insurance policies, although offered through employers, are portable, so the policy can be continued if the employee changes jobs.
Colonial Life offers short-term disability insurance which pays out monthly for up to two years in the event of an accident or illness. These plans are also portable, so they can be continued after a job change.
Colonial Life does not currently offer long-term disability insurance.
Supplemental Health Policies
There are several options for supplemental health insurance policies that provide a payout in the event of the specific medical need they are designed to cover.
Accident insurance is a lump-sum benefit that pays out a set amount based on the type of injury. This plan covers both at-work and off-the-job coverage and is also available for spouses and dependents.
Hospital Indemnity insurance is available at a variety of benefit levels that can be selected by the policyholder. This plan will pay out in the event of a covered hospitalization and can be used to pay bills that are not covered by major medical insurance.
Critical Illness policies are also a lump-sum benefit coverage that pays out directly to the policyholder in the event of a covered illness. The list of covered conditions includes things like heart attack, stroke, and end-stage renal disease. The benefit can be used for any need, including medical bills, child care, rehabilitation, and more.
Cancer Insurance is designed specifically to assist with a cancer diagnosis. The benefits can be used to pay medical bills, travel costs, childcare, and more. Also included are benefits like cancer screenings.
Dental and Vision
Both dental and vision plans are offered that include coverage for the employee as well as spouse and dependents.
These plans cover in-network providers for routine care as well as providing a range of additional benefits including eyewear.
Because Colonial Life only offers its policies through employers, rates are not offered online. One of the benefits of group coverage is that the rates are generally lower than if you purchased the coverage individually.
The cost will, of course, depend on what options an employer chooses to offer, and from there what options the employee elects.
Claims can be filed online, or the forms can be downloaded, printed, and returned by mail. The site does not offer any sort of claims phone number. There is a customer service number where questions can be directed, and in most cases, a phone number is provided with policy information for this type of coverage.
Company HR departments can also assist with the claims process. In the case of dental and vision policies, claims are usually handled directly with providers.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Colonial Life is not rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for their home office location; the file states complaints are handled by another BBB. As usual, the BBB does not offer a link or any information to what that location might be. It is possible that they are handled through the parent company, Unum Group.
We did find 104 ratings on Consumer Affairs, most of which are negative. Most of the complaints are in regards to claims problems, although some also cite poor customer service. Given the size of this company the number of complaints is not high and the content similar to what we see for other life and accident insurance companies.
The Bottom Line
Colonial Life is a big company, and there are no red flags to be found in their reputation. Employers may want to consider them for their employee benefits packages, and employees are likely to find good value in the products if they choose to enroll.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.