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UCT was originally founded to provide financial assistance to traveling salesmen back in 1888, hence the name United Commercial Travelers. The organization began publication of a quarterly magazine known as The Sample Case. While the traveling salesman and his sample case are a thing of the past, the magazine is still being published. UCT expanded into Canada in 1899.
UCT membership today is open to anyone over the age of 18 and distributes all profits to community-based charities that are selected by the members. In addition to assisting their communities, members enjoy perks that include widow, orphan, death benefits, discounts, and a variety of other services like funeral planning assistance.
UCT offers membership in 47 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in all 10 Canadian provinces. Products include life insurance, supplemental health, dental, and vision coverage.
UCT focuses mainly on life insurance and supplemental health insurance, and we have reviewed their Medicare Supplement options separately here. This review will focus on their other offerings.
There are four life insurance options to choose from.
Life Guard 1 is a decreasing term life insurance policy that provides a higher payout during the years when it is most likely to be needed and reduces that amount over time. This type of policy is generally intended to be an affordable choice for getting more coverage earlier in life. It starts at $30,000 up to age 35 and then goes down until there is no death benefit remaining at age 70.
Single Premium whole life insurance allows a one-time premium payment and is issued to those between 45 and 85 years old. The minimum payment is $5,000 and the maximum is $250,000 for those ages 45-65 and $150,000 for those over 65.
Term Life is offered with coverage up to $250,000 (more in some cases), and a variety of term lengths from 15 to 30 years. The 30-year term is only offered up to age 50 for males and 55 for females.
The last life insurance option is a Final Expense plan, with coverage ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. This is a simplified issue policy that is available from age 18 through 80.
There are two accident insurance policies to choose from, both of which cover a range of medical costs and benefits. These plans cover accidents only.
The New Generation Accident Medical Expense policy covers charges such as hospital stays, ambulance, emergency care, urgent care, and doctor’s fees.
The Membership and Accident Coverage Protection plan offers a variety of benefit amounts for various accidents, including death and dismemberment along with medical costs such as those listed above.
UCT has several supplemental health insurance policies to choose from.
The Critical Illness Plan offers a lump sum payment of $25,000, $50,000, or $100,000 that can be used as you see fit in the event of a qualifying illness.
Emergicare Plus is a plan designed to cover the excess costs associated with emergency medical treatment and follow-up care. It includes ambulance, hospital, and prescription costs, and has benefits for death and dismemberment as well.
The Accidental Death and Hospital Indemnity Plan provides a daily $50 hospital benefit along with a flat rate death benefit that depends on the cause of death and whether it is the member, spouse, or child that is deceased.
Short-Term Care Insurance is offered to cover gaps in major medical insurance coverage.
Finally, UCT also offers dental and visions plans to cover preventative care and needed services.
UCT’s other products are fixed annuities to provide for retirement income and emergency travel insurance that can cover medical evacuation and medical bills while traveling.
UCT does not offer online quoting for their policies, which is a common practice for fraternal benefit societies. Most people seeking coverage along with membership in such an association are interested in talking to someone and learning more about the benefits, rather than simply getting a number for comparison.
Claims information we were able to find on the company’s website is a telephone extension for the main phone line and an email address. These are located on the contact page of the site. Aside from this, we did not see a section dedicated to claims or any information on the claims process.
The customer service line with a claims extension is available during business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives UCT an A+ rating. There is one complaint on file in the past three years, none of which have been closed in the past 12 months.
Aside from the BBB, we were unable to find much information on this group, nor much in the way of customer reviews. This is common for fraternal benefit societies, which are frequently treated differently from traditional insurance companies when it comes to how complaints are handled.
The Bottom Line
UCT is likely to appeal to those who like the idea of obtaining some basic coverage while doing good for their communities. Although we do not have rates to compare, they are unlikely to be competitive with the larger insurance companies. The included benefits of membership may well make up the difference for some insurance customers.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.