Companion Life Insurance Review

Offering group term life policies through qualifying employers

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Companion Life

Companion Life

Our Take

Unlike other insurance companies that sell directly to consumers, Companion Life only offers group term life policies. To qualify for coverage, you must work for a participating employer. Eligible employees can purchase up to $250,000 in coverage without undergoing a medical exam or answering health questions.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Spouse and child insurance riders available

  • Policies may include accidental death riders

  • Employees may qualify for guaranteed issue policies

Cons
  • Coverage only available through employer

  • Only term life policies available

  • Lowest rates only apply to workers in certain industries

Key Takeaways
  • Companion Life was launched in 1971.
  • It’s headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina.
  • It only sells group insurance products, including term life.
  • Companion Life has an A+ rating from AM Best.
  • Policies are not available in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, or New York.
Company Overview

Founded in 1971, Companion Life specializes in group insurance policies for small and large companies. It offers a range of products, including dental, disability, accidental death, vision, and life insurance policies. 

Companion Life has guaranteed issue policies for employees, allowing people to purchase coverage equal to several times their salary. Employees can also opt to purchase additional voluntary coverage.

Policies are not available in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, or New York.

  • Year Founded 1971
  • Kinds of Plans Term
  • Number of Plans 2
  • Payment Plan Options Payroll deduction
  • Customer Service Phone
  • Phone 800-753-0404
  • Official Website www.companionlife.com

Companion Life is not one of our top-rated life insurance companies. You can review our list of the best life insurance companies for what we think are better options.

Pros Explained

  • Spouse and children riders available: With Companion Life, you can add term life coverage for your spouse and children. 
  • Policies may include accidental death riders: Depending on the size of your employer, you may be eligible for accidental death insurance at no additional cost. With an accidental death rider, your beneficiaries will receive a larger benefit if your cause of death is a covered accident. 
  • Employees may qualify for guaranteed issue policies: Typical policies are based on your salary and are guaranteed issue, so you cannot be denied coverage based on your health or medical history. If you want to purchase additional coverage, voluntary life insurance policies are available that require medical exams. 

Cons Explained

  • Coverage only available through employer: Companion Life policies are only available through participating employers. 
  • Only term life policies available: The only type of life insurance available from Companion Life is term life coverage. If you are looking for permanent insurance, such as whole or universal life policies, you’ll have to purchase insurance from another company. 
  • Lowest rates only apply to workers in certain industries: Companion Life offers special rates to employees in certain industries, such as banking and education. If you don’t work in an eligible industry, you’ll pay a higher rate. 
Fast Fact

In addition to life insurance, Companion Life sells other group life insurance products like dental, disability, and vision policies.

Available Plans

Life insurance plans from Companion Life can only be purchased through your employer. The company only sells group term life and voluntary term life policies. 

Term Life

Term life insurance is popular because it is relatively inexpensive compared to other insurance types, such as whole life coverage. Your beneficiaries only receive a death benefit if you pass away during the policy’s covered term. 

With Companion Life, your policy will last for the term of your employment rather than a set duration. However, your death benefit amount will be gradually reduced after you reach 65. 

There are two possible options through Companion Life: 

  • Group life: As a guaranteed issue policy, you can get group life coverage without a medical exam. Group life insurance benefits are based on your salary. 
  • Voluntary term: If you wish to purchase additional insurance, you can get voluntary term life coverage. Through Companion Life, you can get up to $200,000 in coverage. 

Available Riders

Like other insurance companies, Companion Life has several optional riders you can add to your policy. While riders can add to the cost of your premiums, they allow you to get coverage for other family members, access your benefits if you have a health emergency, or provide additional benefits if you die due to an accident. 

Accelerated Death Benefit

If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, you can access up to 75% of your death benefit—up to a maximum of $100,000—while you’re still living. 

Accidental Death Benefit

With the accidental death benefit, your beneficiaries will receive a larger benefit amount if you pass away due to a covered accident. This rider also provides a benefit if you are paralyzed in an accident. 

Children Rider

If you have dependent children, you can get up to $10,000 in coverage for children under the age of 26. 

Spouse Rider

You can purchase up to $150,000 in term life coverage for your spouse. The amount cannot exceed 50% of your own benefit amount. 

Waiver of Premium

If you are under 60 and become permanently disabled, Companion Life will waive your premiums and your policy will remain in force. 

Customer Service

For many customer service issues, such as converting life insurance policies, adding dependents, or adjusting coverage, you can work directly with your employer’s human resources department. 

For other issues, you can call Companion Life at 800-753-0404. Customer support is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. EST. 

Unlike other companies, Companion Life doesn’t have an online portal for individuals; portal access is only available to group policy administrators. To file a claim, your beneficiary has to work through your employer and complete the necessary forms. 

Complaint Index

Reviewing how many complaints a company received from consumers can help you evaluate a company’s customer service. 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) issues complaint ratios to help consumers compare insurers. Using a standard complaint index baseline of 1.0, the complaint ratio reflects how many complaints a company received relative to its market share. 

The lower the ratio, the fewer complaints the company received. The industry standard is 1.0. A number above 1.0 is worse than expected, while a ratio below 1.0 is better than expected.

In 2020, Companion Life’s complaint ratio was 0.63, better than the national average. 

Fast Fact

Companion Life’s complaint ratios have been consistently better than the national complaint index. Its ratios since 2018 were all under 1.0.

Third-Party Ratings

Within the insurance industry, Companion Life has a good reputation. 

AM Best is a credit rating agency that evaluates and rates insurance companies. A high rating from AM Best indicates that the agency believes the company is financially stable, has a reliable business model, and is able to pay out its contractual and policy obligations. 

In 2020, AM Best affirmed Companion Life’s A+ (Superior) rating. AM Best recognized Companion Life’s operating performance and financial outlook in its rationale for the rating. 

Companion Life was not one of the 24 companies evaluated and ranked in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. The study ranked top companies like State Farm, Globe Life, and Nationwide based on their products, pricing, and communication. 

Cancellation Policy

Companion Life term life policies can be canceled at any time without penalty. However, none of the premiums you paid will be returned to you. 

If you leave your job, you may be able to take your coverage with you. If you are terminated, receive a reduction in coverage due to age, or your employer ends its agreement with Companion Life, you can convert your insurance into an individual basic term life policy.

If you need to cancel or convert your policy, contact your employer’s human resources department. 

Price

With group life insurance policies, your premiums may be lower than you’d get if you purchased an individual policy elsewhere. At Companion Life, policies start as low as $0.70 per month for $10,000 in coverage. However, your premiums will increase as you age into the next five-year age bracket.  

Companion Life offers lower rates to employees in certain industries, such as banking, higher education, healthcare, and real estate. If your employer belongs to a different industry, you’ll pay Companion Life’s standard industry rates. 

Below is the monthly premium chart for voluntary group life insurance for standard industries.

Age Category $10,000 in Coverage $50,000 in Coverage $100,000 in Coverage $200,000 in Coverage
15 to 29 $0.70 $3.50 $7.00 $14.00
30 to 34 $0.80  $4.00  $8.00  $16.00 
35 to 39 $1.00  $5.00  $10.00 $20.00 
40 to 44 $1.40  $7.00  $14.00  $28.00 
45 to 49 $2.30  $11.50  $23.00  $46.00 
50 to 54 $4.20  $21.00  $42.00  $84.00 
55 to 59 $6.30  $31.50  $63.00 $126.00
60 to 64 $12.20  $61.00  $122.00 $244.00 
65 to 69* $19.10  $95.50  $191.00  $382.00 
70 and up* $35.30  $176.50  $353.00  $706.00 

*Once employees reach the age of 65, their benefits are gradually reduced according to the following schedule: 

  • At age 65, the benefit is reduced to 65%
  • At age 70, the benefit is reduced to 50%
  • At age 75, the benefit is reduced to 35%
  • At age 80, the benefit is reduced to 20%

The monthly premiums listed are for the after-reduction benefits.

Like other insurance companies, Companion Life requires you to select either “male” or “female” when getting a quote or applying for a life insurance policy. Being nonbinary doesn’t disqualify you from getting life insurance. However, you should be aware that most insurance companies haven’t updated their underwriting processes to reflect a current awareness of gender issues. 

Competition

While Companion Life’s policies are convenient if you work for an eligible employer, the company doesn’t sell individual policies. And, it only offers term life coverage. 

If you’re looking to buy a life insurance policy on your own and want more options, consider Mutual of Omaha, one of our picks for the best life insurance companies of 2022. Like Companion Life, Mutual of Omaha sells group life insurance policies. However, it also sells individual term, whole, and universal life policies. 

Mutual of Omaha stands apart from Companion Life due to its multiple coverage options. Some of Mutual of Omaha’s policies are available with simplified underwriting, so you don’t have to undergo a medical exam. And, the company has guaranteed issue policies so you can’t be turned down for coverage based on your health.

  Companion Life Mutual of Omaha
Market Share Not applicable 17th-largest in the U.S., 1.4%
Number of Plans 2 11
Dividends for 2020 Not applicable Not offered
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives Not applicable Not applicable
Service Method Employer-based (group) Direct, agents, or employer-based (group)
AM Best Rating A+ (Superior) A+ (Superior)
Price Rank Average Average
Complaints Trend 0.63 0.653
Final Verdict

If your employer offers insurance through Companion Life as part of its benefit package, it can be a cost-effective way to get coverage. Your premiums might be lower than you’d get elsewhere on your own, and you may not have to get a medical exam. However, Companion Life doesn’t sell individual policies. If your employer doesn’t work with Companion Life, you’ll have to purchase insurance from another company.

How We Review Life Insurance Companies

Our reviews of life insurance companies are based on a quantitative methodology that analyzes each insurer on their stability and reliability, customer service, claims experience, diversity of product lines, and cost. We compare the terms of each type of policy offered—including available coverage amounts, optional riders, and premium payment options—with those of other major life insurance companies. Lastly, we look at how the company is rated by third-party organizations to determine its reliability and overall reputation.

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. "Companion Life Insurance Company - Licensing Report." Accessed May 7, 2021. 

  2. NAIC. "Companion Life Insurance Company - Complaint Index." Accessed May 7, 2021. 

  3. AM Best. "Companion Life Insurance Company." Accessed May 7, 2021. 

  4. J.D. Power. "Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed May 7, 2021.