UPDATED: Feb 25, 2019
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About Royal Neighbors of America
Royal Neighbors of America was founded in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1895 by a group of women looking to create a fraternal benefit society focused on women and children. They were among the first to offer life insurance policies to that market, previously considered uninsurable. The name was chosen to represent the nobility of helping neighbors.
The company was a strong supporter of the Women’s Suffrage movement, and in 1927 built a new home office in Rock Island, Illinois. In the following decades, their membership grew, and the established multiple charitable programs and a scholarship program for their members, one of the membership benefits still offered today.
Membership is available by two methods: purchasing a Royal Neighbors product, or paying a $20 per year annual fee. Member benefits include a variety of discounted services and access to a member relief fund and scholarships. There are no requirements for application.
Royal Neighbor operates 300 chapters across the United States and continues to operate from its home office in Rock Island, Illinois.
Royal Neighbors Products
There are four types of permanent whole life available from Royal Neighbors.
The Essential Whole Life policy is available with face amounts starting t $25,000. A number of riders can be added to this product, including accelerated death benefits, accidental death, guaranteed insurability, and waivers for cancer and disability.
They also have a youth whole life plan that is issued for minors and can include a guaranteed insurability rider as well as an accelerated death benefit.
The Royal Legacy Single Premium product can be issued between the ages of 45 and 80. A lump sum payment of at least $10,000 is required, with a guaranteed death benefit that is higher than the premium paid.
Simplified Issue Whole Life can be issued between the ages of 50 and 85, with death benefits between $5,000 and $25,000. This product requires no medical exam and is designed for those seeking to plan for final expenses later in life.
SecureLife Universal Life is the Royal Neighbors universal life insurance product, offering flexibility in premiums and death benefits as well as cash accumulation. The same riders offered on the standard whole life policy are also available with this universal product.
The website does not list issue ages or death benefit amounts for this policy.
Royal Neighbor offers their JETerm term life insurance coverage with a variety of term lengths, but the website offers very little detail on the policies. Again, multiple riders can be added and term life policies can be renewed or converted.
Royal Neighbors has three types of annuities available to help provide retirement income:
- Single Premium Deferred
- Flexible Premium Deferred
- Single Premium Immediate
Royal Neighbor, like many similar organizations, does not offer online quoting. They do have an estimate on their page of $25 per month for a $25,000 whole life policy, based on a 30-year-old female non-smoker. That estimate doesn’t say which state the estimate is for, and no other details are offered.
Like most membership organizations, the personal touch is emphasized here; so potential members are urged to contact a representative for rates and more information on policies. While it is common, many insurance shoppers prefer the option to receive a quote online and avoid potential solicitation.
While there is no dedicated claims information on the page the member forms page does have a link to report the death of a member. That link takes the visitor to a simple form that allows the claim to be filed quickly. The quick links at the bottom of the site also list this page, but there is no link, which forces the visitor to seek the form out with some effort. This may simply be a website mistake that needs addressing.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Royal Neighbors of America has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with only four complaints on file in the past three years. One of those four was closed in the past 12 months.
There are five Google reviews for an overall 4.2-star rating, however, the one-star review that brings the overall down appears to be an unsubstantiated fear of having been scammed because the agent “had a strange name”. This review does not add anything of substance to the overall picture. That said, the positive reviews also contain very little information.
We were unable to find much else in terms of reviews. This is a fairly common scenario for membership societies like Royal Neighbors. What we did find appears to favor a positive impression of this organization.
The Bottom Line
Royal Neighbors of America is likely to appeal to those who like the idea of being part of a membership society and value the benefits of membership higher than getting the best price on life insurance. They do appear to have a good reputation, as well as a long history, and there are many membership perks. Without more information on the products and pricing, however, we are unable to give a true recommendation.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.