Columbus Life Insurance Review

Columbus has cheap term life insurance and a variety of riders

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Columbus Life Insurance Company

Columbus Life Insurance 

Investopedia’s Rating

Our Take

Columbus Life Insurance is a great provider to consider if you want affordable term life insurance. The company also offers a good selection of riders for additional coverage, including two free accelerated benefits riders. However, most policies require a medical exam to get approved.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Company Overview
  • specifications
Pros & Cons
  • Wide selection of riders

  • Affordable term life premiums

  • Term conversion until the end of the term period

  • Very few customer complaints

  • Most policies require a medical exam

  • No quotes available on the website

  • No online application

Company Overview

Columbus Life Insurance was founded in 1906 and is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company has been selling insurance for more than 100 years and is a subsidiary of Western & Southern Financial Group. The company is licensed to sell life insurance products in every state except New York, and in Washington, D.C.

AM Best Rating
NAIC Score (avg.)
Years In Business
116 Years
Policy Types
Indexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL)
Accepts Credit Cards
Why Trust Us
Companies reviewed
Features considered
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.
Columbus Life Insurance Company

Columbus Life Insurance 

overall rating

Pros Explained

  • Wide selection of riders: Columbus Life offers a broad selection of riders for extra coverage, including two accelerated benefits riders that can be added at no upfront cost.
  • Affordable term life premiums: Based on our review of 32 term life insurance companies, Columbus’s term life premiums are better than average.
  • Term conversion until the end of the term period: Some companies only let you convert your term policy to a permanent one within a certain window, such as 10 years after the policy was issued. But with Columbus Life’s term policies, you can convert up to age 70 or when the term ends.
  • Very few customer complaints: Columbus Life received very few complaints over the last three years across all its products and for its life insurance policies in particular.

Cons Explained

  • Most policies require a medical exam: Most life insurance policies from Columbus Life are medically underwritten, which means you have to undergo a medical exam to get approved.
  • No quotes available on the website: If you want to get a quote for a life insurance policy, you’ll need to contact a financial representative in your area. Columbus Life doesn't provide online quotes. 
  • No online application: Columbus Life only sells life insurance policies through its network of independent agents, so you won’t be able to apply or purchase coverage online. 

Complaint Index

Columbus Life has few customer complaints according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The NAIC calculates a complaint index annually that measures the number of complaints an insurer receives in relation to its size. Some examples of complaints include unsatisfactory claim payouts, denied claims, and failure to insure.

Insurers with a number of complaints expected for their size have a complaint index of 1.00. Companies with more complaints than expected have an index above 1.00, and companies with fewer complaints than expected have an index below 1.00. The fewer complaints an insurer receives, the lower its index is.

To better understand Columbus Life Insurance’s complaints, we looked at its complaint index for 2021, which was very low at 0.20. Columbus’s index is far below the industry average of 1.00, which means it has far fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size.

Most of the best life insurance companies we reviewed also have a complaint index below 1.00. Having fewer complaints than expected suggests the insurer has good customer service and claims handling, and that policyholders are generally satisfied with the provider. 

Third-Party Ratings

Columbus Life Insurance has excellent financial strength, with an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best, a credit ratings agency that scores companies based on financial stability. Columbus Life Insurance’s score indicates it has a superior ability to meet contractual obligations and pay life insurance claims.

AM Best rates companies on a scale of A++ to D, based on factors like balance sheet strength, operating performance, and total debt. Of the 91 life insurance companies in our database, most have a minimum AM Best grade of A (Excellent), and almost all our “best” life insurance picks have grades of A+ (Superior) or A++ (Superior). 

Policies Available 

Columbus offers a good selection of life insurance policies. Its Indexed Explorer Plus policy, which is a universal life insurance policy, is the only one that qualifies for accelerated underwriting (application without a medical exam). 

Term Life Insurance

A term life insurance policy is not permanent coverage but protects you for a specific amount of time, usually up to 30 years. It has fixed premiums that remain level for the duration of the term, as well as a guaranteed death benefit. If you pass away during the term, your beneficiary receives the death benefit, which is paid out in a tax-free lump sum. Columbus’s term life insurance policy can be converted into a permanent policy up to age 70 or when the term ends.

The maximum face value of Columbus’s term life insurance policy depends on the term length you select. You can get up to $100,000 for a 15-, 20-, or 30-year term, or up to $150,000 for a 10-year term.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life (UL) insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that provides lifetime protection and builds cash value. Your cash value grows based on current interest rates, and you have the option to adjust your premiums, withdraw money from the cash value, or take out a loan against it. Columbus offers two UL policies, which both have a maximum face value of $100,000.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Indexed universal life (IUL) insurance is similar to UL insurance, but the difference is that the cash value grows based on the performance of a stock market index, such as the S&P 500. The cash value is not invested directly in the stock market, and if the index loses value, your cash value will not. The company also offers a survivorship IUL policy which covers two people and pays out a death benefit when the second insured passes away. 

Available Riders

Columbus Life Insurance offers a wide variety of riders you can add to a policy for additional protection. Life insurance riders change the terms of your life insurance contract and can fill gaps in your coverage. Some riders can be added at no upfront cost, while others will raise your premium.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider 

A guaranteed insurability rider allows you to purchase additional life insurance coverage at certain points (called option dates), without taking a medical exam. Option dates often correlate with major life events, like marriage or the birth of a child, or may be scheduled to occur every few years.

Child Rider

A child rider enables you to purchase a small amount of life insurance for your eligible children. The rider expires when the child becomes an adult. Upon expiration, the child typically has the option to convert the rider into a permanent life insurance policy that provides coverage for the rest of their life. 

Waiver of Premium Rider

A waiver of premium rider will temporarily waive your life insurance premiums if you become totally disabled (based on the insurer’s definition) and are unable to work. While the waiver of premium rider is in effect, your life insurance policy remains in force. If you pass away during this time, your beneficiary can still receive the death benefit 

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

If you pass away and your death is caused by a qualifying accident, an accidental death benefit rider will provide a second death benefit to your beneficiary, in addition to your base policy’s death benefit. 

ABR: Terminal Illness Rider

A terminal illness rider is a type of accelerated benefit rider (ABR). If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness that is expected to significantly shorten your lifespan, this rider allows you to withdraw money from your life insurance policy’s death benefit while you are still living. This rider is available on all Columbus Life Insurance policies at no upfront cost.

ABR: Chronic Illness Rider

A chronic illness rider is another ABR, which allows you to access money from your death benefit if you get diagnosed with a chronic illness. To use this rider, a doctor must certify that you cannot perform two of the six activities of daily living (ADLs). This rider is available on all Columbus Life Insurance policies at no upfront cost.

Using an ABR will reduce your death benefit by an amount of money comparable to the amount you withdraw. As a result, your beneficiary will receive a smaller payout when you pass away. 

Customer Service

To reach Columbus Life Insurance, you can call (800) 677-9595 or submit the online contact form to send an email. If you want to get a quote or purchase a life insurance policy, you can use the online search tool to find a financial representative in your area. All Columbus Life Insurance policies are sold through independent agents. 

Columbus policyholders can access basic policy management features by logging into the online customer portal. If you need help getting into your account, you can contact a representative during business hours. 

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.
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  2.  National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). “Results by Complaint Code.”

  3. Columbus Life Insurance Company. "Discover Our Products."

  4. Columbus Life Insurance Company. "Indexed Explorer Plus® Flexible Premium Universal Life Insurance."

  5. Columbus Life Insurance Company. "Life Insurance."

  6. Western & Southern Financial Group. "What Are Life Insurance Riders?"

  7. Columbus Life Insurance Company. "Contact Us."