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Today, SBLI has an impressive $125 billion of in-force policies, and it offers its coverage in all states except New York. Most products are available in every state, although some offerings do vary from one region to the next so it’s a good idea to check with an agency before purchasing the policy.
Policies are sold through agencies and directly to consumers through the company’s website. A preliminary quote can be obtained by filling out a form online. Depending on the policy desired, additional information may be necessary to secure the appropriate rates.
SBLI sells term and whole life insurance products for adults. It also sells whole life for children, which can act as an investment account for when the child comes of age. (In our opinion, children life insurance policies are almost never a good investment.)
Term life insurance is the more affordable option. SBLI sells policies in terms ranging from 10 to 30 years. The premiums remain constant over that period, and the insured’s beneficiaries will receive the same amount of pay-out.
Whole life insurance is not bound by specified terms. Instead, the policy lasts as long as premiums are paid. The policy has cash value, with the insured being able to borrow against it, and a portion of each premium payment is invested. This allows the value of the policy to grow over time, frequently with minimal taxation. (Read our opinion on Why Term is Better Than Whole Life.)
Aside from life insurance, SBLI also offers annuities.
An annuity is a special type of investment account that’s typically used to build funds for retirement. A customer pays into the annuity during his working life and in return receives a guaranteed level of income after retirement.
To date, SBLI is the least expensive term life insurance we have come across during our rate tests. During our rate tests, SBLI came in nearly 27% below the average.
Claims service is available through the SBLI website by clicking the “Learn” and scrolling down to “Filing a Claim”
To file a life insurance claim, you can fill out the online form or call the customer service line at 1-800-694-7254. In either case, the insurance company will need to gather some basic information about the policy before proceeding. You will also need to provide a death certificate or other paperwork before the settlement can be issued.
Assuming that there are no issues with the policy and no further investigation is required, benefits will be disbursed among all beneficiaries listed on the policy after the claim has been processed.
SBLI has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2007 and has an “A+” rating on the BBB website. The website lists only two complaints in the past three years, one of which was closed in the last 12 months.
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When looking for rock-bottom term life insurance, SBLI is going to be one of the best choices for many people. They consistently rank as the least expensive option during our rate tests, and their approval process is fairly simple by life insurance standards.
SBLI scored a fairly low grade from S&P in terms of financial ranking, which can be problematic when talking about life insurance. While an A- may seem like a good grade, because of the fuzzy ranking system used by rating firms, there are actually six levels ahead of an A- rating.
If you’re looking for cheap, SBLI is a good bet.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.