Banner Life Insurance Company Life Insurance Review

Cheap term life insurance with 40-year term lengths available

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Legal & General

 Legal & General

Investopedia’s Rating
4.2

Our Take

Banner finds a place near the top of our best term life insurance companies list thanks to its affordability, excellent third party rankings, and generous term conversion options. Out of the 91 insurance providers we reviewed, Banner tied with Protective for cheapest term life insurance and is one of a handful of companies that offer 40-year term life insurance policies. Plus, it lets you convert term coverage to permanent until the end of the policy's term.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Company Overview
  • specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Cheap term coverage

  • Generous term conversion period

  • No-medical-exam life insurance up to $1 million

  • Can stack coverage

  • Terms available for up to 40 years

Cons
  • Few types of life insurance offered

  • Limited rider options

Company Overview

Banner Life along with William Penn provide life insurance policies under parent company Legal & General. The company insures more than 1.5 million policyholders nationwide.

Banner Life Insurance Company has been providing life insurance for more than 70 years, while Legal & General has been in business since 1836. Banner Life offers life insurance policies in 49 states and Washington D.C., while William Penn covers New York.

  • Year Founded 1949
  • Kinds of Policies Term life, universal life
  • Payment Options Annual, semi-annual, monthly, or quarterly by debit, or electronic fund transfer (EFT)
  • Customer Service 888-984-3393
  • Official Website https://www.lgamerica.com/life-insurance
specifications
AM Best Rating
A+
NAIC Score (avg.)
N/A
Years In Business
73 Years
Policy Types
Term, Universal (UL)
Accepts Credit Cards
No
Why Trust Us
91
Companies reviewed
55
Features considered
5,005
Data points analyzed
We collected over 5,000 data points from 91 life insurance companies to measure financial stability, customer satisfaction, product and feature variety, and the overall buying experience. We then evaluated each company based on 55 metrics to develop unbiased, comprehensive reviews.

Pros Explained 

  • Cheap term coverage: Banner Life Insurance Company is our top pick for cheapest term life insurance. It and Protective tied for cheapest term insurance rates compared to the other 90 insurance companies we reviewed. 
  • Generous term conversion period: Banner let’s you convert your term policy to permanent life insurance up until the very end of the term you selected or until you turn 70, whichever happens first. This is a very generous benefit as some companies limit the conversion period to the first 10 policy years or fewer.
  • No-medical-exam life insurance up to $1 million: If you’re healthy, you may qualify for up to $1 million of life insurance without a medical exam if you’re 40 or younger.
  • Can stack coverage: You can "stack" coverage with term riders as insurance needs change during the policy's term. In other words, you can have multiple coverage lengths with different death benefit amounts all within one policy—for example, you could have a policy with a $250,000 death benefit that lasts for 40 years and a $1 million death benefit that lasts for 20.
  • Terms available up to 40 years: Term policies are usually only available up to 30 years. Only three companies out of the 91 we reviewed offer term policies that last 40 years.

Cons Explained

  • Few types of life insurance offered: Banner Life Insurance Company only offers term and universal life insurance policies. Variable universal (VUL), indexed universal (IUL), and whole life insurance policies are not available.
  • Limited rider options: Banner offers few options to customize your policy with additional coverage. It offers a child rider, terminal illness accelerated benefit rider, and waiver of premium rider. Some companies, for example, include three accelerated benefit riders on their term policies.

Complaint Index

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks insurance company complaints and calculates a complaint index to help consumers compare the amount of complaints companies receive. The complaint index measures how many complaints a company has received relative to how many it’s expected to receive based on its size. If an insurance company has a complaint index over 1.0, that indicates that it received more complaints than expected. If the company’s complaint index is below 1.0, that company received fewer complaints than expected.

We averaged company complaint indexes over three years; Banner’s three-year average complaint index is 0.247 which means it receives fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size. Other life insurance providers, Nationwide (0.263), New York Life (0.279), and State Farm (0.295) also received fewer customer complaints than expected. 

Third-Party Ratings

Banner Life Insurance Company is known to be financially stable, which is an important consideration when taking out a long-term financial contract. Banner Life received an A+ AM Best ranking, which means it has an excellent ability to honor its ongoing insurance obligations, according to AM Best. Only about a third of the companies we reviewed receive a score of A+. 

Competition 

Here’s how Banner stacks up against a few of its competitors:

  Banner Life Insurance Company Haven  USAA
Types of Coverage Term life, universal life Term life Whole life, term life, universal life
Online Application  Available  Available  Available 
AM Best Rating  A+  A++  A++ 
Price for Term Policies Excellent  Better than average  Worse than average 
NAIC Complaint Index (3-year average)  0.247  0.540  0.177 

The NAIC complaint index indicates how many complaints a company receives relative to its size. A score lower than 1.0 indicates fewer customer complaints than expected; a score greater than 1.0 indicates more complaints than expected. The closer the index is to 0, the better.

Policies Available 

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance coverage is temporary and lasts a set period of time such as 10 or 30 years. Term life insurance is generally more affordable than permanent life insurance.   

  • OPTerm: Banner offers 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, 30-, 35-, and 40-year term policies that are convertible to permanent insurance and renewable once the term expires. You can convert term coverage to permanent life insurance until the end of the term you selected or until you turn 70, whichever happens first. Policies are available to applicants up to 75 years old, which is relatively high for term coverage, and come with a terminal illness accelerated benefit rider at no additional cost.

Banner term policies are renewable. But unlike some other company’s term policies, if you renew past the term you selected, your coverage will decrease.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life policies offer lifetime coverage and do not expire after a set term. You may benefit from the cash value savings component if you have a universal life policy, but premiums are higher relative to term coverage. 

  • Life Step UL: Like Banner’s term product, this policy automatically includes an accelerated death benefit rider for terminal illness. Since it’s a universal life policy, it also has flexible payment options, meaning you can make a late payment without causing the policy to lapse. If you have one of Banner’s term policies, this is the permanent coverage you can choose to convert it to. 

Available Riders

Child Rider 

Banner’s children’s rider (not available in NY or MD) is designed for policyholders who want to provide life insurance coverage on their children. This rider covers all eligible children up to their 25th birthday in the event of a child's death.

Waiver of Premium 

For an additional cost, you can add a waiver of premium rider to your OPTerm policy. This rider makes it possible to continue coverage without having to pay premiums in the event you experience a total disability that lasts for at least six months. It expires once you’re 65 years old.

ADB: Terminal Illness Rider

You do not have to pay an additional cost for Banner’s accelerated death benefit rider which helps make it possible to care for loved ones during challenging times by advancing up to 75% (or $500,000, whichever is less) of the death benefit if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Customer Service

You have a few options for how you can receive customer service support with Banner Life Insurance Company. You can call them to speak with the service team, send them a detailed email about the problem you’re having, and can even contact them via fax machine. Customer service phone support is available Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm ET.  

  • Toll Free Phone: 800-638-8428 
  • Direct Phone: 301-279-4800 
  • Fax: 301-294-6960
  • Email: customerservice@bannerlife.com

You can learn more about how to contact Banner Life Insurance here

Price

Banner Life Insurance Company offers term life insurance policies starting at $7 a month. The longer term you choose, the more you’ll pay. For example, a 10 year term policy might cost $10.62 per month whereas a 40 year policy might cost $24.85 per month, depending on a number of factors including your age and how healthy you are. 

We gathered quotes across a range of insurers for healthy males and females aged 25, 40, and 55 years old for 30-year $250,000 term policies in order to gain insight into life insurance pricing. Banner had the cheapest term life insurance coverage, along with Protective, of all the companies we reviewed. 

Is Banner Life Insurance Company Life Insurance Right for Me?

Banner Life Insurance offers extremely affordable term life insurance policies with generous conversion options and an adjustable death benefit (via stacking). It's likely a great choice if you need few-frills term life insurance coverage that's easy to purchase. It also offers a universal life policy that you can convert your term policy into or purchase outright. But if you prefer a policy with a host of benefits, such as multiple accelerated benefit riders, or you’re looking for anything other than term or universal life insurance, you’ll need to consider another carrier.

Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers

We designed a comprehensive rating methodology based on consumer priorities and life insurance company fundamentals to rank more than 90 insurers across five general categories: financial stability, customer satisfaction, product and feature variety, the overall buying experience, and cost.

In order to do this, we collected over 5,000 data points and scored each company based on 55 metrics. We grouped metrics by category to see how insurers performed in each; we then weighted category scores to determine how companies performed overall.

To learn more, read our full Life Insurance Methodology.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. NAIC. “Consumer Insurance Search Results - CIS.”

  2. AM Best. “Guide to Best’s Financial Strength Ratings - FSR.”