Banner Life life insurance review: Great rates and a no-med-exam option
Banner Life is one of our highest-rated life insurance companies for its competitive prices, high levels of financial stability and customer satisfaction, and its no-medical-exam option.
Logan SachonLogan SachonSenior Managing Editor, Life Insurance & ResearchLogan Sachon is the senior managing editor of life insurance and research at Policygenius, where she edits life insurance content and leads life insurance surveys and data studies. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The Guardian, Business Insider, CNN Money, BuzzFeed, Money Under 30, VICE, New York Magazine, and elsewhere.&Brian ActonBrian ActonContributing WriterBrian Acton is a contributing writer at Policygenius, where he covers insurance and finance. His work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, TIME, USA Today, MarketWatch, Inc. Magazine, and HuffPost.
Our proprietary ratings methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the “Ratings methodology” section for more details.
AM Best rating
A.M. Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).
Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).
Best overall life insurance 2023
Best term life insurance 2023
The bottom line
Banner Life, which is owned by Legal & General America and operates as William Penn in New York, is an excellent choice for term life insurance, with competitive prices across ages and health classifications. It also offers a fast-approval, no-medical-exam policy for qualifying applicants for up to $2 million coverage.
Competitive rates for a variety of health conditions
Fast instant-decision option for qualifying applicants
Variety of term lengths up to 40 years
Application underwriting can take longer than average
Does not have the most competitive rates for older applicants
Basic coverages offered
Term life insurance: Banner Life OPTerm is a traditional term life policy available to people age 20 to 75 years old. Coverage amounts start at $100,000, with no maximum with financial justification. Coverage is available in 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40-year terms.
No-medical-exam term life insurance: Banner Horizon is Banner Life's accelerated underwriting, no-medical-exam policy. It is available for people age 20 to 60 for coverage up to $2 million. Coverage is available in 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40-year terms. (William Penn does not offer a no-medical-exam policy.)
Universal life insurance: Banner Life’s universal life insurance product, Life Step UL, is a flexible premium policy available to people 20 to 85. Coverage options start at $50,000. (Note: This product is not currently available through the Policygenius marketplace.)
Additional coverages offered
Acceleration of death benefit rider: For no extra cost, the ADB rider is included in all term policies and lets you access a portion of the death benefit early if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Waiver of premium rider: For an extra cost, the waiver of premium rider waives all premiums during the period that you have a certified total disability.
Term rider: For an extra cost, this rider essentially stacks an additional period of lesser coverage on top of your term life insurance policy.
Children's rider: For an extra cost, the child rider provides life insurance coverage for the insured’s children up to their 25th birthday or the insured’s 65th birthday.
Our price rating scale looks at life insurance rates for a sample 20-year term policy with a $1 million coverage for a 35-year-old female non-smoker with a Standard Plus (or Standard if no Standard Plus is available) risk classification, the rating an insurance company gives you that determines your rates. The quote we got from Banner Life puts it in the least expensive category for our rating system.
Banner Life scored extremely well on our customer experience scale. The latest data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index shows that Banner Life received an index rating of 0.35, well below the industry average of 1.00. This means that Banner Life receives 65% fewer complaints than the average life insurance company, which is a good indicator of quality service.
Our financial strength rating combines three weighted industry metrics to evaluate a company’s financial strength: A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s. These ratings assess a company’s ability to repay debt, pay out claims, and meet other financial obligations.
Banner Life fares well with A.M. Best and S&P, receiving an A+ and AA-, respectively (Moody’s does not rate Banner Life).
A closer look at Banner Life
Who is Banner Life best for?
Banner Life offers competitive rates for term life insurance across multiple health classifications, and even provides no-medical-exam options. Young, healthy adults are a great fit, but so are smokers and individuals with diabetes, bipolar disorder, and high blood pressure. In short: people with a variety of health conditions across a variety of ages can find their best rates with Banner Life.
What makes Banner Life unique?
Banner Life has very competitive rates for people in good health and people who smoke or have certain health conditions. It’s also one of the few insurance companies that offers competitive no-medical-exam policies.
Who should consider a different life insurance company?
Adults over 40 or a marijuana users may want to look elsewhere for life insurance. You can likely find lower rates for comparable coverage through another insurer.
Expert opinions on Banner Life
“Banner Life and William Penn in New York are solid options for people with a variety of health conditions. Banner Life offers a great fast-approval no-medical-exam option up to $2 million that is especially good for people 40 and under with uncomplicated medical histories.” — Mike Hogan, licensed life insurance specialist at Policygenius
Banner Life life insurance rates
The chart below shows average monthly premium prices for a 20-year term life insurance policy with $500,000 in coverage for non-smokers in a Preferred health classification; quotes are based on the Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index methodology.
Age / Sex
Banner Life average
Banner Life’s history, reputation, and social responsibility
Banner Life began in 1949 as Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO). In 1981, Legal & General Group, a publicly-traded multinational financial services company, acquired GELICO and renamed it Banner Life in 1983. They also acquired William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York. 
Today, Legal & General America, the parent company both Banner Life and William Penn, is the second largest provider of term life insurance in the U.S, with 1.5 million life insurance customers and 615 employees in their insurance division. President and CEO Mark Holweger has led the company since 2018, leading its digital transformation. 
Legal & General America commits to social responsibility by giving to local and national charitable groups, and environmental sustainability through recycling and energy-efficient facilities. 
Banner Life in the news
In May 2022, Legal & General America was named one of the fastest growing life insurance companies. (Life Annuity Specialist)
In July 2022, Legal & General America received a Great Place to Work certification for the sixth year in a row. (Legal & General)
Banner Life vs. other life insurance companies
Compare Banner Life to similar life insurance companies using the table below.
Banner Life is owned by Legal & General America, the U.S. arm of multinational financial services provider Legal & General Group.
Is Banner Life a good company?
Banner Life is one of the top picks for term life insurance. It is one of the largest providers of life insurance in the U.S. Its competitive rates, low complaint volume and high transparency ratings make it a solid option for many customers.
What’s the difference between Banner Life and William Penn?
Banner Life is known as William Penn in New York state. Both companies are owned by Legal & General America.
Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of oureditorial standards.
Logan Sachon is the senior managing editor of life insurance and research at Policygenius, where she edits life insurance content and leads life insurance surveys and data studies. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The Guardian, Business Insider, CNN Money, BuzzFeed, Money Under 30, VICE, New York Magazine, and elsewhere.
Brian Acton is a contributing writer at Policygenius, where he covers insurance and finance. His work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, TIME, USA Today, MarketWatch, Inc. Magazine, and HuffPost.