Dearborn Life Insurance Review

Flexible employer-managed group plans with convertible term coverage

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Dearborn Group

Dearborn Group

Our Take

Dearborn Group brings the power of Blue Cross and Blue Shield with employer-managed group plans for convertible term life, disability, and accidental death and dismemberment coverage.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Convenience of employer-managed plans

  • Salary-based premiums

  • Additional disability coverage

Cons
  • No individual products

  • Limited details online

  • No online quotes

Key Takeaways
  • As an ancillary subsidiary of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), Dearborn Group does business as independent licensee, Dearborn Life Insurance Company, under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield network.
  • Dearborn Life Insurance Company sells group term life insurance in six states.
  • There are also employer-managed and voluntary enrollment plans for spousal and child term life insurance, short-term disability, and long-term disability.
  • Premiums are based on and deducted from your salary.
  • You can contact your group’s benefits administrator or Dearborn Group directly for help with your policy.
Company Overview

Dearborn Group is an ancillary subsidiary of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the largest non-investor-owned health insurance company in the U.S. It was recently rebranded in name under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield network, but life insurance policies remain issued and managed by Dearborn Life Insurance Company, making it an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Dearborn National Life Insurance Company, named for Michigan’s Fort Dearborn, was founded in 1969. Instead of selling traditional life insurance for individuals, it sells group insurance plans through producers and employers. Employees then have the choice of either employer-sponsored group plans or voluntary group plans for employees, based on their employer’s choosing.

Geographical Restrictions

The correct ancillary company for Dearborn Group depends on your state:

If you live in another state, you can contact Blue Cross Blue Shield directly.

  • Year Founded 1969
  • Kinds of Plans Group term life
  • Number of Plans 4
  • Payment Plan Options Premiums deducted from salary
  • Customer Service 800-721-7987; AncillaryQuestions@mydearborngroup.com
  • Official Website www.mydearborngroup.com

Dearborn 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

  • Convenience of employer-managed plans: Because you purchase insurance directly through your employer, you no longer have to worry about managing or even making payments for your policy, with premiums automatically deducted from your pay.
  • Salary-based premiums: The cost of your life insurance is based on the amount you make, with Dearborn using a specific salary-based formula to calculate your monthly premiums.
  • Additional disability coverage: In addition to standard life insurance, Dearborn Group also offers both short-term and long-term disability coverage with an accidental death and dismemberment benefit.

Cons Explained

  • No individual quotes: Dearborn Group only sells group life insurance, so you cannot buy an individual policy unless you are on an employer-sponsored group plan or voluntary group plan for employees.
  • Limited details online: There are not many details available on the Dearborn Group website, instead leaving policyholders to contact their employer directly for more information.
  • No online quotes: If you are interested in pricing, you must go through your employer’s benefits administrator because Dearborn Group does not provide individual online quotes.

Available Plans

Dearborn Group offers employer-sponsored and voluntary employee group life insurance plans for companies and large groups. Employees and members can benefit from competitive group coverage with affordable pricing and convenient management. 

Basic coverage includes group term life, with the option to add supplemental coverage that includes term life coverage for spouses and children, short-term disability, long-term disability, and accidental death benefits. 

Dearborn life insurance also includes the added benefit of portability if you are terminated from employment, allowing you to continue supplemental life insurance coverage through the age of 65 without proof of insurability.

You must purchase Dearborn life insurance coverage through your employer.

Group Term Life

Dearborn Group’s signature product is its group term life insurance policy. This provides term life insurance for employees and other groups. The death benefit covers the death of any insured party from any cause and at any time. Policies are guaranteed issue with voluntary supplemental coverage available. Benefits do not reduce with age, although they may be affected by group size. 

Dependent Term Life

Eligible employees and group members also have the option to add supplementary term life insurance for their spouses and domestic partners. Children may also be covered, but there are some limitations regarding age and marital status. There are no age restrictions for handicapped children.

Dependent term life insurance carries an additional cost that is priced based on salary but includes a death benefit that covers a dependent’s death from any causes and that occurs at any time.

Long-Term Disability (LTD) 

If you experience a long-term disability, the financial losses can be enormous when you are unable to work. Dearborn Group offers long-term disability (LTD) insurance to provide a benefit if you experience an accidental injury that prevents you from working for an extended period of time or death. 

Available in both employer-sponsored or voluntary group plans, long-term disability insurance allows coverage for total and partial disabilities with Social Security assistance for eligible employees. There are also return-to-work incentives for those who are able to return to work part-time and rehabilitation incentive income to help you transfer to a new industry if you cannot return to your previous job.

Short-Term Disability (STD) 

A short-term disability (STD) plan offers financial support when you experience a disability that prevents you from work in the short term. This can include accidents, illnesses, and even pregnancies that can cause a short-term disability, with benefits available for both total and partial disabilities. If you need to transition to long-term disability coverage, Dearborn Group offers a simple claims process to convert coverage.

Plans are available as both employer-sponsored and voluntary group plans with customizable and affordable coverage. Many plans do not require proof of insurability. 

Available Riders

A life insurance rider is a type of additional coverage that you can purchase for supplemental coverage. It gives you the chance to better customize your policy to your needs with several forms of specialized coverage.

Dearborn Group offers five riders for its life insurance policies.

Accelerated Death Benefit

With the accelerated death benefit, policyholders have the option of accessing up to 75% of the group term and supplemental life benefit when they are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment Coverage

With this rider in place, there is an additional benefit paid out if an employee dies or is dismembered as the result of an accident.

It specifically covers several benefits:

  • Plegia benefit: This includes any injuries causing quadriplegia, paraplegia, hemiplegia, and uniplegia.
  • Seat belt benefit: This rider pays an additional benefit if a death occurs while using a seat belt in a vehicle.
  • Airbag benefit: There is also an extra benefit if accidental death occurs while in a vehicle with working airbags. 
  • Repatriation benefit: This rider will pay the transportation expenses of the insured person’s body to a mortuary.
  • Education benefit: If the insured dies from accidental death, this benefit will reimburse educational expenses for higher education after high school.

Critical Illness 

Critical Illness coverage can protect your family financially if you are diagnosed with a critical illness. With coverage also available for spouses and children, this is a type of insurance that offers a cash payment when the insured experiences a critical illness. It can help with medical expenses, as well as everyday expenses to keep the family going even when you are sick.

Coverage is guaranteed issue and Health Savings Account (HSA)-Compliant with an additional wellness benefit you can add.

Enhanced Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefit

This benefit is made available by employers and includes several additional benefits that offer optional employee enrollment.

  • Coma benefit: If the insured experiences a coma within 31 days of an accident, a benefit will apply if the comatose state lasts a minimum of 31 days.
  • Day Care benefit: In the event that the insured dies from an accidental death, this benefit includes eligible day care expenses for the insured’s children under the age of 13. 
  • Spouse Training benefit: Should the insured die from an accident, this benefit reimburses further education expenses for the insured’s spouse. 

Waiver of Premium

This rider will waive premiums when the insured is unable to work due to injury or sickness for a minimum of nine months. However, this is only valid for employees under the age of 60, and coverage continues until the disability ends or the insured reaches the age of 65.  

Customer Service

Your company’s benefits administrator can answer most questions regarding life insurance. However, you can still contact Dearborn Group directly if preferred.

Dearborn Group Contact Information
Type of support Contact
Mailing address 701 E. 22nd Street
Lombard, IL 60148
Payment address  36788 Eagle Way
Chicago, IL 60678-1367 
General customer support  Phone 800-721-7987
AncillaryQuestions@mydearborngroup.com
Membership Processing  Phone 800-721-7987
AncillaryQuestions@mydearborngroup.com
Life, Disability, Accident & Critical Illness Claims  Phone 800-721-7987
LifeClaims@mydearborngroup.com
Evidence of Insurability  Phone 800-721-7987
Fax 855-691-7157

Contact your employer or group benefits manager for details on your policy.

Additional Services

For groups of 51 employees or more, Dearborn Group offers programs to help families in times of crisis. Dearborn’s Beneficiary Resource Services offers a host of counseling services, including phone and in-person grief, legal, and financial counseling. There is also the Travel Resource Services program, which offers planning and logistical support, in addition to reimbursement for emergency expenses.

Complaint Index

To measure a company’s customer satisfaction, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks the number of complaints that an insurance company receives and assigns a score based on a 1.00 industry-wide baseline. Anything below 1.00 is better than the industry average. 

Dearborn Group is rated under the Dearborn Life Insurance Company, receiving an excellent score of 0.26. Dearborn has consistently rated below industry-wide averages with a 0.64 score in 2019 and 0.56 in 2018, and its decreasing scores show that customer satisfaction is only improving with each passing year.

Third-Party Ratings

Dearborn Group is not rated by J.D. Power, another leading ratings provider for customer satisfaction. Dearborn Life Insurance Company is missing from both J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study and 2021 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study

However, Dearborn Life Insurance Company is rated by AM Best, receiving an A (Excellent) score. AM Best judges a company based on its financial strength, so Dearborn’s high score shows that the company is financially sound for reliable claims processing. 

Cancellation Policy

To cancel your policy, you will need to contact your benefits administrator for further details about exact penalties and procedures for your plan. 

Policies match your dates of employment, with coverage matching both the beginning and end of your employment. However, most Dearborn Group policies include portability, which means your coverage does not have to end when you leave your job. Policyholders may convert their coverage to an individual whole life policy, but exact terms depend on your employer’s current policy. 

Price

The cost of Dearborn Group life insurance depends on a number of factors, the biggest of which being your employer’s involvement. Some employers may contribute to employee policies, lowering costs significantly for policyholders, while other companies may not pay anything at all. Other factors that impact the cost of your insurance include your age, health, and the amount of coverage that you choose. Your gender can also impact the cost of your insurance, although rates typically depend on your sex at birth and not current gender identity. 

The cost and eligibility requirements for additional benefits depend on your employer’s policy. Employees may be required to show proof of insurability, but this is made easy with the use of a convenient online portal for document submission.

Competition

To understand how Dearborn Group measures up against other life insurance providers, we compared it to New York Life, one of the best life insurance companies in 2021. Dearborn Group is limited in its offerings, not providing any of the whole or universal life insurance products that New York Life offers. New York Life also scores slightly higher in financial strength and customer satisfaction. Finally, New York Life sells individually managed life insurance plans, while Dearborn Group offers just insurance for employers and groups, making New York Life the much better choice for the everyday customer. 

  Dearborn Group New York Life 
Market Share 0.34% Third-largest in U.S., 5.7%
Number of Plans  4 10 
Dividends for 2020  $1.64 billion $1.9 billion
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives  Yes Not applicable
Service Method  Employer/Group Agents
AM Best Rating  A (Excellent) A++ (Superior)
Price Rank  Salary-based Better than most
Complaints Trend  0.26 Great 0.15 Excellent
Final Verdict

Dearborn Group is only available if you live in an eligible state and work for an employer or group that uses its group plans. However, if available, it can be a great choice for convenient and affordable group term life insurance for you and your family.

Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers

Investopedia uses an exclusive life insurance review methodology that takes an analytical approach to today’s insurance industry. To evaluate leading insurance providers, we examine several critical factors, including coverage options, available life insurance riders, and claims processing. We also consider pricing and eligibility requirements, while looking to industry ratings providers like AM Best for financial strength and J.D. Power for customer satisfaction. These factors and more allow us to provide a well-rounded and accurate portrait of today’s best life insurance companies for you and your family.

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. Annuity Advantage. "Dearborn National Life Insurance Company." Accessed September 10, 2021. 

  2. NAIC. “CIS Refined Results.” Accessed September 10, 2021. 

  3. AM Best. "Dearborn Life Insurance Company." Accessed September 10, 2021.