Delaware Life Insurance Company Review

No-nonsense life insurance for the retirement-focused investor

Our editors independently research and recommend the best products and services. You can learn more about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Delaware Life

Delaware Life

Our Take

There are just two forms of life insurance and several annuities available with Delaware Life. With an eye toward retirement services, this is a company that looks to your long-term financial future.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Available in most areas

  • Low customer complaints

  • Easy policy management

Cons
  • Only one plan

  • Separate policies for New York

  • Medical exam required

Key Takeaways
  • Delaware Life only offers variable life insurance with two separate plans.
  • Policy premiums are flexible after the first three months.
  • Delaware Life offers several annuities with additional rider protection.
Company Overview

Founded in 1970, Delaware Life is based in Waltham, Massachusetts. Formed as a separate subsidiary, Delaware Life Insurance Company came later in 2013 and is held as a member of Group One Thousand One, LLC. 

By 2020’s year-end, it was worth $41.8 billion in assets with $40.1 billion in liabilities. It also held 360,000 active annuity and life insurance policies. These figures exclude those policies separately held by the Delaware Life Insurance Company of New York, making the group much stronger than these numbers convey.

Geographical Restrictions

Though available in most places, Delaware Life is not available everywhere. If you live in New York, you will need to purchase your policy through the Delaware Life Insurance Company of New York based in New York, New York. It is authorized to conduct business in both New York and Rhode Island and operates as a separate company with its own separate financial obligations and liabilities. 

Otherwise, Delaware Life serves the rest of the U.S., in addition to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

  • Year Founded 2013
  • Kinds of Plans Annuities
  • Number of Plans 2
  • Payment Plan Options Mail
  • Customer Service Email: customer.relations@delawarelife.com; Phone: 1-877-253-2323 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.
  • Official Website www.delawarelife.com

Delaware 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 

  • Available in most areas: Unlike other smaller or regional providers, Delaware Life services the entire U.S.
  • Low customer complaints: Delaware Life receives far below the average number of customer complaints, scoring 0.26 compared to the benchmark score of 1.00 as listed by the NAIC. 
  • Easy policy management: In addition to online management, there are dedicated phone numbers and mailing addresses so you can quickly contact the department you need.

Cons Explained 

  • Only one plan: While Delaware Life’s plans are a great choice for investments, there are no term or whole life insurance products.
  • Separate policies for New York: If you live in New York, your policy will be provided by Delaware Life Insurance Company of New York.
  • Medical exam required: Unlike some other providers, a medical exam is required in order to obtain life insurance from Delaware Life.

Available Plans

With a focus primarily on annuities, Delaware Life offers just one life insurance plan.

Delaware Life does not offer term or whole life insurance products.

Variable Universal Life insurance

With this plan, you have the choice of either the Executive or Prime plan. A medical exam is required for each. They both accumulate cash value and offer the choice of several death benefit options that you can change later without any additional underwriting. There is also flexibility with payments. Although you must pay the minimum payment for the first three months, you can then enjoy full flexibility in what you pay. Delaware Life allows you to choose the amount and date of future premium payments.

There are two main differences between the plans. The Executive plan is available to applicants under the age of 71 and uses a mutual fund variable account, while the Prime policy uses a fixed account. Either way, these plans could be an ideal fit for potential investors, given the many annuities available.

A medical exam is required before you can purchase a Delaware Life policy.

Available Riders

Not every life policy has the coverage that you need, which is where a rider can add an extra level of protection to make your policy just right for your needs.

Delaware Life offers five life insurance riders for your policy.

Waiver of Monthly Deductions 

The waiver of monthly deductions is a rider that kicks in if you experience a total disability. Delaware Life will waive your monthly deductions and riders when the policyholder suffers a total disability for six months. There is an additional cost for this coverage, which varies by state.

Payment of Stipulated Amount 

When you experience a total disability, Delaware Life will provide payment for you. The total disability must be for a minimum of six months. Like the waiver of monthly deductions, pricing is additional and varies based upon state.

Loan Lapse Protection 

With loan lapse protection, Delaware Life will keep your policy from lapsing when debt nearly totals the account value. Pricing is additional and depends on where you live.

Charitable Giving Benefit 

Delaware Life makes it easy for you to support charity with your policy. It will provide 1% of the specified face amount of your policy as a charitable gift to the named nonprofit beneficiary. There is no extra charge for this coverage.

Travel Assistance Endorsement 

The travel assistance endorsement offers help even when you are away from home. It provides several travel-oriented, third-party services for policyholders who are more than 100 miles away from home. Pricing for this coverage varies based on where you live.

Customer Service

With Delaware Life’s online contact page, it is very easy to find the right contact that you need. Delaware Life offers customer support in several forms with dedicated contacts to ensure that your inquiry is addressed as soon as possible. Online policy management is available for contract and policyholders, as well as licensed and authorized agents or advisors. You can also contact email customer support at customer.relations@delawarelife.com or call 1-877-253-2323 Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST.

There is also dedicated support based on your plan.

Plan Type Hours  Phone Mailing Address
Life insurance and select annuity accounts Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST 877-253-2323 Delaware Life Service Center, P.O. Box 758581, Topeka, KS 66675-8581
Sales support Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST 844-335-7253 N/A

Complaint Index 

A critical way to assess a company’s customer service reputation is to check its ratings by industry experts, such as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index. 

NAIC uses a scale of 1.00 as its median score. This is the benchmark against which companies are measured to convey the average number of complaints that they receive based on their market share. The lower the number, the better the customer service is likely to be with that company. Delaware Life receives a total score of 3.74, which is well above the average score. This means the company gets a high ratio of complaints for the policies it writes.

Third-Party Ratings

Delaware Life receives a rating of A- (Excellent) from AM Best. It is not the highest score available, but it is still an above-average score that denotes financial reliability. 

Delaware Life is missing from J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study for both individual life insurance and annuities. However, this is not an immediate cause for concern, given that many regional or niche providers are often missing from J.D. Power’s annual rankings.

Cancellation Policy 

With Delaware Life, you have the chance to review your policy to ensure that you are really comfortable with your choice. Even after you purchase your policy and pay your premium, there is still the option to return your policy within 10 days for a full refund. A cancellation form must be submitted in order to cancel your policy, and you must submit a request in writing to the Delaware Life Service Center. Policies cancelled after the 10-day free look period may be subject to surrender charges that will erode any cash value saved.

What You Need to Know

Delaware Life offers a 10-day return policy for your plan and eligible paid premiums.

Price

Delaware Life uses its own proprietary pricing table to determine the cost of its life insurance policies. It uses several factors, including things like age and medical history, to determine the price of each individual policy. It also uses this internal table when calculating the premiums for different riders, although there is no cost for the charitable giving benefit. 

Gender can be another factor that determines price. Delaware Life does not publicly share its policies regarding birth biology, although many companies today typically use a person’s sex at birth over gender identity.

Delaware Life does offer the opportunity to save extra money on your policy when you take advantage of available discounts for non-smoking, safe hobbies, and young policyholders.  

Competition

Like Delaware Life, Pacific Life is another insurer that services a smaller, select market within the U.S. Although Pacific Life holds a larger market share than Delaware, the two companies earned nearly the same number of dividends in 2020. They also share high rankings in both financial stability and customer satisfaction, although Pacific Life scores slightly higher. 

NAIC does not show the total market share for Delaware Life within its national rankings of the top 25 companies, but the NAIC individual report for Delaware Life shows it has approximately 0.171% market share in the U.S.

Pacific Life is the bigger company with more plans and a much larger client base. It also scores slightly better in financial stability and customer complaints, thanks to its larger size and greater resources.

  Delaware Life Insurance Pacific Life Insurance
Market Share Unranked, 0.171% 12th-largest in U.S., 2.3%
Number of Plans
Dividends for 2020 $2.9 billion  $3 billion 
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives Yes  On select policies 
Service Method Financial Advisors, Agents, Phone  Phone, Agents 
AM Best Rating A- (Excellent)  A+ (Superior) 
Price Rank Better than most  Better than most 
Complaint Index 0.26 Great  0.11 Excellent 
Final Verdict

Delaware Life is great for the budding or experienced investor who is looking to grow their portfolio with a selection of annuities. With a retirement-friendly approach, policyholders can benefit from straightforward life insurance coverage with optional riders for added protection. Just beware of the required medical exam before you can purchase your policy.

Methodology

Finding the best life insurance company to care for your family is not always an easy process, but at Investopedia, we strive to lighten that burden with the latest data and research that you can trust. Our proven methodology uses stringent criteria to carefully assess each company based on several factors, such as available policies, rider protection, pricing, financial strength, and customer satisfaction.

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. "CIS Refined Results." Accessed May 11, 2021.