Colonial Life Insurance Review

Take your benefits with you if you change jobs

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Colonial Life Insurance Company

Colonial Life Insurance Company

Investopedia’s Rating

Our Take

If your employer offers Colonial Life Insurance products as part of your voluntary benefits package, it’s worth considering. But be aware that you can also buy life insurance directly from other life insurance providers with better financial strength and customer satisfaction ratings. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
  • Customizable coverage

  • Portable term and whole life policies

  • Coverage available without a medical exam

  • Limited policy details available online

  • No direct online quotes

Company Overview

Founded in 1937 and known by its current name since 1939, Columbia, South Carolina-based Colonial Life is a subsidiary of Unum Group. It pioneered the introduction of voluntary benefits to the workplace through payroll deductions. The company offers life insurance as voluntary benefits through employers, along with a wide range of other coverages. As of 2021, Colonial Life had $1.8 billion in insurance in force across more than 4 million employees of more than 87,000 businesses. Colonial Life is authorized to sell insurance in all states except New York.

  • Year Founded 1937
  • Kinds of Policies Term life, whole life
  • Payment Options Payroll deduction, direct billing if you leave job
  • Customer Service Mail. Phone: 1-800-325-4368. Fax: 1-800-880-9325
  • Official Website
Colonial Life Insurance Company

Colonial Life Insurance Company

Investopedia’s Rating

Pros Explained

  • Customizable coverage: You can choose policy riders that provide term coverage for a spouse, living benefits, the ability to pause premiums, and more. 
  • Portable term and whole life policies: You can take your coverage with you when you leave your employer. You’ll just need to change your payment method. 
  • Coverage available without a medical exam: Colonial Life offers the opportunity to buy life insurance without a medical exam with guaranteed issue policies which also have no health questions.

Cons Explained

  • Limited policy details available online: If you want to know about specific plan details or how the riders work, you’ll need to talk to your benefits counselor. 
  • No direct online quotes: You can’t get a pricing estimate online, so you’ll need to go through your employer. 

Complaint Index

Colonial Life had slightly fewer complaints from consumers over the last three years than expected considering the company’s size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Each year, the NAIC reports a complaint index for every life insurance company that indicates how the company fares with regards to consumer complaints. An index of 1.00 means that a company received the expected number of complaints given its size. An index of less than 1.00 is ideal, and the lower the better. For 2021, Colonial Life had a complaint index of 0.64 and in 2020 and 2019, it also had good complaint indexes of 0.53 and 0.60.

Third Party Ratings

Colonial Life fares well with regards to financial stability, according to independent credit ratings agency AM Best. The company received an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best, which indicates that the company has an excellent ability to honor its ongoing insurance obligations.

AM Best evaluates insurance companies based on the likelihood that they can fulfill their ongoing insurance obligations and pay claims to beneficiaries, and assigns each company a financial strength grade. Grades range from D to A++. We typically don’t recommend insurers that score below an A-. 

Policies Available

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance consists of affordable coverage that lasts for a predetermined period. For example, Colonial Life offers 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year term options. Term coverage is designed to protect your family if you die before certain financial obligations are fulfilled, such as paying off your mortgage or sending kids to college. Premiums stay level for the duration of the term.  

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent coverage that provides a guaranteed payout to your beneficiaries no matter when you die, as long as premiums are paid. It also has a cash value component that you can typically borrow against. However, whole life insurance is much more expensive than term life insurance. With Colonial Life, you can elect to pay premiums up to age 70 or up to age 100. Your premiums will stay level until they are paid up, and coverage continues once they are paid. 

Available Riders

Riders increase the benefits of your life insurance policy and may be available for an additional cost or, occasionally, included with coverage. Some of the riders Colonial Life offers are below.

Accelerated Death Benefit: Terminal Illness Rider

This rider is a type of living benefit rider and is included with Colonial Life term policies. Terminal illness riders provide a portion of the death benefit while you are still living if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and expected to die within a certain time frame. 

Accelerated Death Benefit: Chronic Care Rider

This optional rider provides access to the death benefit while you’re still alive should you be diagnosed with a chronic illness.

Accelerated Death Benefit: Critical Illness Rider

This optional rider pays a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a critical illness. The accelerated death benefit can be helpful for covering your medical bills. 

Spouse Term Rider

At Colonial Life, you can add 10 or 20 years of term coverage for your spouse onto your policy. 

Children’s Term Rider

This optional rider provides term coverage for your children.

Waiver of Premium Rider

A waiver of premium rider allows you to pause premium payments in certain instances, such as if you become totally disabled. There is typically a waiting period and requirements to meet. 

These riders may be available with Colonial Life term policies. Colonial Life doesn’t specify which riders, if any, are available with its whole life insurance product, so ask your HR representative. 

Customer Service

If you have questions about Colonial Life’s policies, the best place to start is by contacting your company’s human resources department. If you’re already a policyholder, many transactions can be completed in your online account. If you still need assistance, you can request support within your account or call 1-800-325-4368 on weekdays between 8am and 8pm ET. You can also fax claims information to 1-800-880-9325. 

Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers

We designed a comprehensive ranking 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.

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. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Colonial Life & Accident Ins Co National Complaint Index Report."

  2. Colonial Life. "Financial Overview."