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Transamerica life insurance review
Transamerica makes up for old school policy management with affordable life insurance options and a short application process.
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Competitive rates for a basic term life insurance policy
No medical exam required for people under a certain age or policies under a specific coverage amount
Smokers and cancer patients may be eligible for preferred rates
Application process can be slower than the industry average
Limited changes can be made online; most changes to the policy need to be mailed
THE BOTTOM LINE
Transamerica has been providing life insurance since 1904. It’s a trusted life insurance partner that offers reasonable rates for people with health conditions.
Transamerica is number 8 on Policygenius' list of the best life insurance companies, based on cost, financial confidence, third-party customer ratings, life insurance policy options, and ease of application.
TRANSAMERICA COMPANY SPOTLIGHT
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Competitive rates for a basic term life insurance policy. Across the board, the Trendsetter Super policy has lower life insurance rates than the industry average. While rates do increase with age, they remain lower than other term life insurance policies.
No medical exam required for people under a certain age or policies under a specific coverage amount. If you’re under 70 and buying a life insurance policy that is less than $100,000 in coverage, the underwriter will ask you medical questions during your phone interview, but you won’t actually require a medical exam for the Trendsetter Super policy. The Trendsetter LB doesn’t require a medical exam for coverage under $250,000, though the age cut-off varies.
Smokers and cancer patients may be eligible for preferred rates. While smokers and applicants with health issues still won’t receive optimal rates, there is a preferred classification that can make life insurance a little bit cheaper than it would be with other carriers.
Application decision is made slower than the industry average. You’ll have to wait a bit longer than usual to find out what life insurance premiums you’ll have to pay — or whether you can get life insurance at all. Transamerica has a relatively short application process but an exceptionally long decision wait time.
Limited changes can be made online; most changes to the policy need to be mailed. To make any adjustments to your life insurance policy, you’ll need to print and mail the proper forms to Transamerica. Transamerica’s minimal online functionality adds additional wait times and can create a poor customer experience.
Compare Transamerica to other top-rated companies
Transamerica is a good company -- but it may not be the right fit for you. Compare top insurers in one place and find your best rate with Policygenius.
The cost of a life insurance policy with Transamerica is going to vary based on what type of coverage you’re looking for and if you want to add any riders to your policy. The quotes below are monthly premiums for a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy for a healthy, non-smoking male, in California.
|AGE||TRANSAMERICA AVERAGE||INDUSTRY AVERAGE|
Transamerica also offers an additional policy that provides accelerated benefits, known as living benefits, in cases of chronic, critical, and terminal illness. This policy is significantly more expensive than a standard term life policy.
Here’s how Transamerica classifies common health conditions:
|Recent Weight Loss||Good|
|Former Tobacco Use||Fair|
|High Blood Pressure||Good|
You’re likely purchasing a life insurance policy to provide some protection and security to your family in the event of your death. The average policy is meant to last a good chunk of your life — usually 20 to 30 years, and you want to make sure you’re working with a provider you can rely on to be there. Here’s how Transamerica ranks:
At over a century old, Transamerica’s superior ratings from financial rating companies S&P, Moody’s, and A.M. Best mean you can expect a provider that you can count on for life.
Highest ratings from each firm are:
How do Transamerica’s customers feel? The Transamerica consumer experience is above average, but there’s room for improvement. Here’s how customers rate Transamerica:
What do these ratings mean, exactly?
J.D. Power rates insurance companies based on their product offerings, price, clarity of statements, interaction, communication, and application process. The overall satisfaction score is “based on how individual life insurance clients rate their overall experience with the provider" and determines the final score that we show here.
The Better Business Bureau ranking is based on tangential metrics that account for the customer experience.
Consumer Affairs is a platform for consumers to rate products and services, with ratings based on stability, reputation, and policy coverage.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners tracks complaints submitted to state insurance departments with their national complain index. A score of 1 is the baseline average, and a score of 0 means there weren't enough complaints to receive a rating. Transamerica’s score of 1.3 means that they receive about the average amount of customer complaints — their customer experience isn’t exceptional, but it isn’t terrible either.
Term life insurance plans expire after a pre-determined number of years and have fixed premium rates for the duration of the term. The (comparatively) low cost and simplicity make term life insurance a better option than permanent life insurance for most individuals.
Transamerica offers two comprehensive term life offerings that range from 10-30 years in coverage.
|Annual payment discount||3%|
|Payment methods available||Check for premiums above $100, auto bank draft, credit card for first premium payment only|
|Temporary coverage||Yes, up to $100,000 without any stipulations. Applicants of certain age or classification can receive more.|
Transamerica Trendsetter Super is the simpler of its term life insurance options but offers a higher coverage amount — up to $10 million.
Transamerica’s costlier term life insurance option, Trendsetter LB offers up to $2,000,000 in death benefit protection but can be complemented with living benefits riders to create more comprehensive coverage.
Both term policies are convertible to a whole life policy until the end of the term or until the policy holder’s 70th birthday, whichever is sooner. Individuals who have a Preferred Plus classification have until the end of the term or their 75th birthday.
Transamerica offers conditional temporary coverage. With a standard or better rating, applicants between ages 16-65 can receive up to $1,000,000 for applications if they have a standard or better rating, while someone between ages 66-75 can receive up to $400,000 in coverage. Someone who doesn’t have a minimum standard rating or is 76 or older can receive up to $100,000 in temporary coverage.
Adding riders to your policy provides more coverage, especially for unexpected circumstances.
The Trendsetter LB policy allows for Living Benefit coverage, allowing the policyholder to access certain benefits if diagnosed with certain chronic, critical, or terminal medical conditions, at no extra cost.
Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance. It lasts your entire life, but its premium payments are five to 15 times costlier than term life insurance. Whole life insurance is usually only for people with specific circumstances or needs.
Transamerica’s whole life insurance policy is called final expense life insurance. It offers up to $50,000 in coverage and can pay for your funeral or any other expenses pertaining to your death. The premium costs remain the same throughout your entire life, and unlike Transamerica’s term life insurance plans, there is no waiting period before your coverage begins.
|Annual payment discount||2%|
|Payment methods available||Check and auto bank draft|
Note: The information above represents potential policy options and may not be available for every applicant. Speak to a licensed expert for a personalized look at your coverage options.
Transamerica’s trendsetter super term policy is offered in every state, while the trendsetter LB policy is not offered in New York.
Individuals who purchase Transamerica’s whole life insurance policy will have $5,000 minimums in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
The application process for Transamerica can be shorter and simpler than many other life insurance applications. Applying for a life insurance policy with Transamerica requires:
Policies under $100,000 usually don’t require a paramedical exam at all. If you’re applying for a policy under $100,000, you will be asked all medical questions during your phone interview.
The turn around time to receive a decision on a life insurance application takes longer than typical with most life insurance companies on the market.
Change method Do you need to make any changes to your policy? For most changes to your policy, you’ll have to mail in a paper authorization.
All premium payments for a Transamerica term life insurance policy are paid by bank draft.
Transamerica delivers all policy details by mail.
If you pass away, your beneficiaries will need to submit the following information to receive the death benefit:
To receive the claims statement packet, your beneficiaries will need to call Transamerica and speak with a claims representative. They will then receive a claims statement packet that they will need to fill out and return to Transamerica (at no cost to them).
Policygenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.
Nupur Gambhir is an insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. Previously, she has worked in marketing and business development for travel and tech. She has a B.A. in Economics from Ohio State University.
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.