Foresters Financial life insurance review: Great living benefits

Foresters Financial’s living benefits rider, which includes coverage for chronic and critical illnesses in addition to terminal diagnoses, sets it apart from most life insurance companies.

Headshot of Logan Sachon

By

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.

Edited by

Adam MorganAdam MorganEditorial DirectorAdam Morgan is an editorial director at Policygenius who leads the life insurance team. Previously, he led editorial teams matrixed across multiple financial publications at Red Ventures — including Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Million Mile Secrets, and others.

Updated|2 min read

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Foresters Financial

Foresters Financial logo

Policygenius rating

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.
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4.4

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).

A

Cost

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 ($$$$$).

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The bottom line

Foresters Financial stands apart by offering more riders (policy add-ons) than most other insurers — including a living benefits rider that pays out if you're diagnosed with a critical, chronic, or terminal illness (whereas most living benefits riders only cover terminal illnesses).

Pros

  • Accelerated death benefit rider includes coverage for critical, chronic, and terminal illnesses

  • Includes several no-cost riders that aren’t available through other insurers, including Family Health Benefit Rider and Charity Benefit Provision

  • No-medical-exam option available for people up to age 55

Cons

  • Not available in New York or Maine

  • People with complicated health histories will likely find their best rates elsewhere

Basic coverages offered

  • Term life insurance: Your Term is Foresters Financial’s term life insurance policy. Terms are available between 10 years and 30 years. Minimum coverage is $100,000.

  • No-medical-exam term life insurance: For qualifying applicants up to age 55, Your Term is also available as a no-med-exam option, though coverage limits are capped at $1 million. Foresters Financial also has a second no-med-exam product called Strong Foundation, which offers coverage from $50,000 to $500,000. (Note: Strong Foundation is not available through the Policygenius marketplace.)

  • Whole life insurance: Foresters Financial’s whole life insurance products include the PlanRight Whole Life (a simplified issue policy available to people 50 to 85 for amounts from $5,000 to $35,000) and Advantage Plus II Whole Life (available for people 0 to 85 for amounts from $25,000 and up). (Note: These products are not available through the Policygenius marketplace.)

  • Universal life insurance: The universal life insurance policy available from Foresters Financial is called SMART Universal Life Insurance. It is available for people 0 to 85, for amounts starting at $10,000 for people under 18 and $25,000 for people over 18. The cash accumulation portion of the policy grows at a minimum interest rate of 2%. (Note: This product is not available through the Policygenius marketplace.)

Additional coverages offered

  • Accelerated death benefit rider: For no additional cost, the accelerated death benefit rider pays out a portion of the death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a qualifying critical, chronic, or terminal illness.

  • Common carrier accidental death rider: For no additional cost, this rider pays out an additional death benefit in case of death by riding as a fare-paying passenger on a plane, bus, or train. 

  • Family health benefit rider: For no additional cost, pays a benefit for family health expenses that are the result of a natural disaster, like a hurricane or earthquake. 

  • Charity benefit provision: For no additional cost, when your benefit is paid to your beneficiaries, Foresters Financial will pay an additional 1% (up to $100,000) of your death benefit amount to a charity of your choice.

Ratings methodology

Price

4.1/5

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 risk classification, the rating an insurance company gives you that determines your rates (if a company doesn't have a Standard Plus rating, we use its Standard rates). The quote we got from Foresters puts it in the second least expensive category for our rating system.

Customer experience

4.7/5

Our customer experience scale uses data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index. Foresters Financial has a score of 1.14, meaning it receives slightly more complaints than expected for a company of its size. (The expected score would be 1.0.)

Transparency

4.1/5

Our transparency rating scale measures how easily shoppers and policyholders can find information about Foresters Financial on its website. While the company makes it easy to find contact information online and has a robust help center, we’d love to see a chat bot or live chat on the site. And while Foresters Financial has a clearer layout of its life insurance offerings than many other companies, we’d love to see average prices on the website outside of the calculator or sales funnel.

Financial strength

3.9/5

Our financial strength rating is a weighted combination of three industry-leading metrics to measure a company’s financial health: A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s. Foresters Financial has an A rating from A.M. Best, but has not yet been rated by Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s. 

A closer look at Foresters Financial

Who is Foresters Financial best for?

Foresters Financial is a good life insurance option for people up to age 55 who want to avoid the medical exam. And because its term product comes with living benefits riders for no extra cost, it’s a good option for anyone worried about how a chronic or critical illness would affect their finances. Its underwriting guidelines are also good for people with diabetes; if you do have diabetes and choose to become a member of the Independent Order of Foresters when you buy your policy, you'll get access to discounts on diabetes management products.

What makes Foresters Financial unique?

Foresters Financial’s term life insurance is unique in that its accelerated benefit rider pays out for chronic and critical illnesses in addition to terminal illnesses. It also includes two additional riders free of charge that other companies usually don’t: the Common Carrier Accidental Death Rider and the Family Health Benefit Rider. Foresters Financial is also unique in that policyholders may become members of the Independent Order of Foresters, the fraternal benefits organization behind Foresters Financial.

Who should consider a different life insurance company?

People over age 55 will likely find their best rates elsewhere. Additionally, people with some pre-existing health conditions will also generally find better rates with another life insurance company. 

Expert opinions on Foresters Financial

"With an included chronic and critical illness rider, plus the option to skip the medical exam for people up to age 55, Foresters Financial is a good option for Americans in their 50s." —Mike Hogan, licensed life insurance specialist at Policygenius

Foresters Financial 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

Foresters Financial average

Industry average

25-year-old female

$21.88

$21.08

25-year-old male

$28.87

$26.90

35-year-old female

$27.13

$25.58

35-year-old male

$32.38

$30.34

45-year-old female

$54.25

$47.86

45-year-old male

$68.69

$60.76

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Forester Financial’s history, reputation, and social responsibility

Foresters Financial is a Canada-based financial services provider that operates in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Its U.S. headquarters is in Buffalo, New York. It was founded in 1874 as the Independent Order of Foresters, a non-denominational fraternal benefit society, in order to provide life insurance for working families. The company continues to devote itself to helping families achieve long-term financial stability. Profits are reinvested back into the organization, and for qualifying policies, paid back in member dividends. [1]

Policyholders may become members of the Independent Order of Foresters and access benefits including scholarships, financial counseling, and discounted services. Foresters Financial also has a special benefit for members with diabetes, including discounts on diabetes management products. [2]

Community service is also an important value of Foresters Financial, and members can apply for $200 Community Volunteer grants to support their communities. Foresters Financial supports the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, focusing especially on good health and wellbeing, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action. To support its sustainability goals, as of June 2022, $287 million of Foresters Financial’s assets were held in green and sustainable bonds. [3]

Foresters Financial in the news

  • In January 2023, Foresters Financial introduced Foresters Renew grants, a new member benefit that will provide scholarships to members seeking extended education. (Foresters Financial)

  • In May 2022, Foresters Financial announced it would be paying $24 million in dividends to participating members. (Foresters Financial)

  • In January 2022, Foresters Financial expanded its Foresters Go app, giving members opportunities to earn rewards by volunteering in addition to tracking their wellness. (Coverager)

Foresters Financial vs. other life insurance companies

Compare Foresters Financial to similar life insurance companies using the table below.

Company

Policygenius rating

AM Best rating

Cost

Foresters Financial

4.4/5

A

$$

Fidelity Life

4.3/5

A-

NA

TruStage

4.5/5

A

NA

Gerber Life

4.0/5

A

$$$

Prudential

4.1/5

A+

$$

Pacific Life

4.8/5

A+

$

AAA Life

4.2/5

A

$$$

Brighthouse Financial

5.0/5

A

$

Banner Life

5.0/5

A+

$

Transamerica

4.6/5

A

$

Globe Life

4.1/5

A

NA

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Frequently asked questions

What is Foresters Financial?

Foresters Financial is a financial services provider based in Buffalo, N.Y. It is the operating name of the Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society founded in 1874. It has 3 million policyholders in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

Is Foresters Financial a good company?

Yes, Foresters Financial is a highly rated company for customer service and financial stability, with an A financial strength rating from A.M. Best.

Who owns Foresters Financial?

Foresters Financial is a privately-owned company that pays dividends to qualifying members. In recent years, it has sold parts of its financial management businesses to focus solely on life insurance.

How do I contact Foresters?

To contact Foresters Financial, including the claims support team, call 800-828-1540 or visit the Foresters Financial website.

References

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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 our

editorial standards.
  1. Foresters Financial

    . "

    Our Story

    ." Accessed January 06, 2023.

  2. Foresters Financial

    . "

    Member Benefits

    ." Accessed January 06, 2023.

  3. Foresters Financial

    . "

    Our sustainability approach and the future

    ." Accessed January 06, 2023.

Author

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.

Editor

Adam Morgan is an editorial director at Policygenius who leads the life insurance team. Previously, he led editorial teams matrixed across multiple financial publications at Red Ventures — including Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Million Mile Secrets, and others.

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