WoodmenLife Insurance Review & Complaints: Life Insurance & Annuities

WoodmenLife offers life insurance, annuities, group benefits, and financial planning services, although Woodmen life insurance policies are the only products underwritten by the company. Our WoodmenLife review finds that WoodmenLife quotes are not offered online, but the Better Business Bureau has an A+ WoodmenLife rating listed.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: May 19, 2021

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WoodmenLife

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With a history of more than 125 years, WoodmenLife is a homegrown insurance society out of Omaha, Nebraska. They write life insurance as well as offering annuities and other retirement and financial planning products.

What is WoodmenLife?

This life insurance company was founded as a fraternal organization on Farnam Street in Omaha, Nebraska on June 6, 1890. Within a decade, they had grown to serve chapters across the country. By the 1960s the company had more than $1 billion of life insurance in force — that number would reach more than $35 billion by 2010.

Over time, they added a number of financial products such as annuities, children‘s college savings, and other financial planning options to the company’s offerings, helping their clients do more to protect their financial future. Over the years they also merged with several other fraternal societies, and are still operating under the name Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society. The company is better known simply as WoodmenLife.

There are local chapters across the United States, and its policies are sold to those communities by representatives. As a fraternal society, Woodmen is a membership organization, but the only eligibility requirements to become a member is to purchase a policy. There are no additional membership requirements, but extra benefits include discounts at many retailers, scholarships, and benefits for natural disasters, newborns, and orphans. The company also gives back profits to members in the form of refunds.

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What products are offered?

While the company offers a wide range of insurance products on their website, only their life insurance products are underwritten directly. Other insurance policies are offered through a partnership with Alliance, a separate company. The website offers only basic overviews of the offerings without any additional details.

Life Insurance

It writes both permanent and term life insurance, including a variety of whole life insurance and universal life insurance options.

The Whole Life programs offer permanent life insurance coverage and are available with four different options for paying your premiums. The Paid at 100 plan has the cheapest premiums, but payments continue up until the age of 100. There is also a Paid at 65 option, which has a higher premium but is paid up in time for retirement age. Also offered are a 10 or 20 pay, and a single premium option. A number of riders can be added to these policies, including an accidental death benefit, which allow you to customize the permanent life insurance coverage you receive so you don’t have to worry about your family’s financial security when you’re gone.

Term insurance policies are available ranging from 10 up to 30 years, with a variety of riders as well. These policies are renewable up to age 95 and convertible at the end of the term period as well. The provider also appears to offer a youth term policy as well as a family term insurance product that covers multiple family members on one policy.

There are two Universal Life policies available. Accumulation Universal Life is a policy designed to focus on building cash value while still offering a steady death benefit. The other policy, No Lapse Guaranteed Universal Life, is a policy that is designed to ensure coverage stays in force as long as basic policy terms are met. You are also able to add riders to your universal life policy, for an additional premium.

Annuities

The company offers several types of annuities to provide steady retirement income on a tax-deferred basis. Deferred fixed annuities provide the opportunity to plan for the future, while immediate annuities start paying out more quickly. It also offers variable annuities, which have a higher risk but can also provide a higher return.

Group Benefits

The company writes voluntary group benefits packages to small businesses across the country. Life insurance and annuities are among the options employers can offer to their employees and a pre-tax rate. These types of plans are purchased by a business and then offered as benefits packages to employees of that business. If you have any questions about the benefits you’re eligible for, you may want to talk to your employer.

Financial Planning

The financial services side of the business offers a range of retirement plans, including IRAs and non-qualified annuities. They also offer other financial planning services, such as college savings and mutual funds, to help customers reach their goals.

Are the rates affordable?

The website does not offer an online quoting option nor do they provide rate information. Visitors to the site are directed to request a quote from a local representative, who will also provide more information on plan options. This is likely to lead to solicitation efforts, which may put some consumers off.

As a fraternal society instead of a traditional insurance business, applicants must take into consideration not just the premium for an insurance policy, but also the other benefits. Return of revenue and access to other membership perks may increase the perceived value of a policy versus a for-profit insurance company whose rates are lower.

How are claims handled?

The insurer does not have a dedicated claims line, and the FAQ section directs customers to contact the regular customer service line for assistance. Claims forms will be provided on request and are not readily available for download.

While this isn’t unusual for this type of business, it may frustrate beneficiaries looking for assistance in what is already a difficult time. There is a member access area, but again this would not be helpful to a beneficiary who is not the policy owner and likely does not have username and password information.

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Does the company have positive financial strength ratings and consumer reviews?

The company has an A+ objective reporting rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), an independent rating company that focusing on many businesses, including the rating of insurers, with only four customer complaints on file against the business in the past three years, two of which were closed in the past 12 months.

Customer reviews on Facebook are mixed, some superior and glowing, and some very negative. A few of the reviews are from employees or agents who sell the policies, but the majority appear to be customers. Most of the comments aren’t particularly detailed, but one outlines what appears to be a bait and switch experience with rates.

A review posted on Complaints Board is followed up with multiple comments that again seem to show a mixed opinion of the company. Much of the issue appears to be related to the customer’s lack of understanding regarding how some policies work.

Overall, there are not a lot of complaints or additional rating details about this company given its size. The complaints that are available are common to most insurance companies, and there are no red flags.

What’s the bottom line?

WoodmenLife may be a good choice for those who prefer to work with an agent and like the idea of a membership with perks with a business that advertises its commitment to family. Without further information on the company’s policies and rates, however, it’s difficult to form a clear opinion. Certainly, they have longevity and a solid foundation, but some insurance shoppers may prefer to find a low rate at a well-known company.

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