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Even if group term coverage from Companion Life is the cheapest available option, you should consider other insurance companies. Between the lack of transparency regarding policy details and the many violations uncovered by state regulators, we can’t recommend Companion Life to anyone. If you plan to get a quote from Companion Life, make sure to get more information about the policy and compare the coverage offered to other providers.
- Pros and Cons
- Company Overview
Superior financial strength rating from AM Best
50 years of experience in the industry
Found to violate insurance laws in several states
Policy details aren’t available online
Only offers group term life coverage
Founded in 1971 and based in Columbia, South Carolina, Companion Life sells voluntary group term life insurance through employers. The company does not provide life insurance to individuals. Companion Life is a relatively small company that accounted for just 0.01% of the group term life market share in 2021. The provider is licensed to sell life insurance in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
- Superior financial strength rating from AM Best: This indicates the company is financially stable and is very likely to be able to pay claims in the future.
- 50 years of experience in the industry: Companion Life brings more years of life insurance experience than some other providers.
- Found to violate insurance laws in several states: Companion Life is currently being monitored due to violations of insurance regulations in multiple states, including Pennsylvania, Colorado, Delaware, and Vermont.
- Policy details aren’t available online: Companion Life doesn’t disclose the features or customization options available for their term policy.
- Only offers group term life coverage: Companion Life doesn’t sell individual policies or offer any permanent policies to convert to.
Many lawsuits have been brought against Companion Life and the company has entered into multiple settlement agreements as a result of its alleged unfair practices. Several states have investigated Companion Life and uncovered violations of state insurance laws, so the company is currently being monitored for one year. Additionally, Vermont reached a $1.8 million settlement with Companion Life at the end of 2019 after the company sold health insurance to students that did not comply with the Affordable Care Act.
Companion Life Insurance received more complaints than expected (when filtering for only Group Life) with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) over the last three years given the company’s size. Each year, the NAIC calculates a complaint index for every insurance company that indicates whether the provider received more or less complaints than the amount expected, based on that company’s market share. An index of less than 1.00 means the company received fewer complaints than expected, while an index above 1.00 means it received more complaints than expected.
Over the last three years, the average complaint index for Companion Life’s group life insurance policies has been 3.08. While this indicates the company received more complaints than expected, it’s important to note that only one complaint was received each year for group life coverage in 2020 and 2019; no complaints were received in 2021. Since Companion Life is such a small insurer, even one complaint has a large impact on its complaint index.
Most of our best life insurance companies have complaint indexes well below 1.00, meaning they receive fewer complaints than expected based on their size.
Companion Life is well-rated for financial stability by AM Best, an independent credit ratings agency that evaluates insurance companies on their financial outlook. AM Best grades are important because they indicate the likelihood that a company will be able to pay claims to policyholders. Companion Life has an A+ (Superior) financial strength grade with AM Best, the second-highest available rating.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is not permanent coverage but is designed to protect your family while they still rely on your income. Unlike permanent coverage, it does not build a cash value. It will also expire if not renewed after a certain period of time (dependent on the specific policy) or converted to permanent coverage. Companion offers group term coverage that is available through participating employers.
Riders are endorsements that add coverage to a life insurance policy. For example, a rider might let you access the death benefit ahead of time if you experience certain illnesses. A rider might also let you pause premium payments if you become disabled or add coverage for another person. Companion Life doesn’t disclose online whether the company offers any riders. We reached out to the company for comment but were refused an answer.
Companion Life offers an online form you can use to request information at any time, or you can call 803-735-1251. There’s also an online benefit portal you can use to manage your policy and make payments. Companion Life doesn’t offer live chat or an extended call center hours like some other insurance companies.
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.
To learn more, read our full Life Insurance Methodology.
Pennsylvania Pressroom. “Insurance Department Examination Reveals Short-Term Limited Duration Violations; Restitution for Pennsylvania Consumers.”
AP News. “Vermont Announces $1.8m Student Health Insurance Settlement.”
NAIC. "NAIC Companion Life Rating."
AM Best. "Companion Life Insurance Company."