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The company is currently headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, employs around 6,000 people and sells product in more than 25 countries. Its primary sales force is a network of independent agents and agencies.
One of the primary products of Genworth is life insurance. They sell both term life insurance, which is effective for a predetermined number of years before expiring, and permanent policies, which last as long as payments are made.
There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of life insurance policy. Term policies tend to be more affordable, but permanent life insurance has cash value and an investment component that some people may find fits into their overall estate planning.
Annuities – An individual pays money into the annuity fund over a certain amount of time. After retirement (or another predetermined date), the annuity pays out a stable income to the retiree, similar to a pension.
Long-term Care Insurance – Helps to pay for a nursing home, in-home nurse or similar medical assistance when the insured ages or succumbs to a serious accident or illness.
Mortgage Insurance – Protects a lender in the event a homeowner defaults on a loan. The cost of the insurance is sometimes rolled into the mortgage payment itself, and it can enable home-buyers to purchase homes that they might otherwise not have access to, even with a low down payment.
Separate claims forms exist for long-term care, life and annuity claims. You can obtain information about the claims process on the company’s website under the “claims & forms” tab, but the claims themselves should be filed by phone, mail or fax.
The claims number is 800-876-4582. This number is available from 8:30am to 8pm Eastern time Monday through Thursday and on Fridays from 9am to 8pm.
You will need access to policy information when filing a claim. After providing the basic information to the representative, you’ll be given further instructions on how to complete the claims process and what to expect next.
Consumer Research and Complaints
Genworth Financial is listed on the Better Business Bureau with an A- rating, but it is not BBB accredited. Just three complaints are listed on the site, with two having been closed within the last 12 months. The only complaint with details listed is from someone who had been approached about a quote they did not request.
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Genworth Financial is a fairly large supplier of retirement services, long-term care and life insurance in the United States. They have very few complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau, despite only having an A- rating. Their financial strength ratings are slightly above average according to the major reporting bureaus.
Genworth’s website displays tendencies toward driving consumers into expensive permanent life insurance products, based on the marketing pitches they use. When talking about term insurance, they discuss the negatives of an expiring life insurance policy, while only focusing on the positives of the more expensive policies like whole and universal life.
The fact is that permanent life insurance products can cost 10-20x the price of term, and with a properly structured financial plan, term insurance will often suffice for many individuals and families. However, since the commissions are much higher on permanent policies, sales agents often push them on clients. Anyone considering life insurance should read our write up about why term life is better than whole life.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.