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The Delta Life Insurance Company specializes in basic whole life policies with relatively low coverage amounts. While it does offer some useful benefits, the company has received substantially more customer complaints than is typical for a company of its size. It also requested that AM Best no longer include it in the evaluation process, so its financial stability has not been evaluated. With those drawbacks in mind, you should consider the many other companies that offer similar policies that have better reputations for service and financial strength.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
Multiple riders available
Coverage for special circumstances included with some plans
Extremely high number of complaints
Not rated by AM Best
Limited policy information available
- The Delta Life Insurance Company was founded in 1958 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
- It sells basic whole life policies that are geared toward households with modest incomes.
- Coverage amounts are $25,000 or less.
- The company is only licensed in Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
- It’s not rated by AM Best and it has received far more complaints than the industry standard.
The Delta Life Insurance Company was founded in 1958. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the company is a relatively small insurer. It has just 250 employees and it generates about $75 million in sales.
Today, the company sells basic whole life insurance policies that are geared to people with modest incomes. Its plans are sold through independent agents who work on commission.
The Delta Life Insurance Company primarily markets its life insurance products to residents of Georgia, but it is licensed to sell life insurance in three states: Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
In addition to life insurance, Delta also sells property and casualty insurance through its subsidiary, Delta Fire and Casualty.
The Delta Life Insurance Company 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.
- Multiple riders available: When you purchase a policy from Delta Life Insurance Company, you can add optional riders to your plan. Delta does have multiple riders to choose from, including child term, accidental death, and waiver of premium riders.
- Coverage for special circumstances included with some plans: With some of Delta’s plans, coverage is included for special circumstances. For example, some plans include added benefits if you experience loss of eyesight or limbs, are killed in an accident while on a common carrier, or die in an accident.
- Extremely high number of complaints: The Delta Life Insurance Company has received an extremely high number of consumer complaints. Its complaint ratio was 14 times as high as the industry standard.
- Not rated by AM Best: Most life insurance companies are evaluated and rated by AM Best, a credit rating agency. The agency issues its opinions on the financial stability of insurers. In 2008, AM Best downgraded Delta’s rating. That same year, the company requested that it be removed from AM Best’s evaluation process and it hasn’t been rated since.
- Limited policy information available: Delta publishes very little information about its policies online. Besides basic brochures that explain the plan options, it doesn’t offer any information about its rates or cancellation policies. For details, you must contact a Delta insurance agent.
In 2021, the Delta Life Insurance Company collected $15 million in annual premiums. To put that in perspective, consider that Northwestern Mutual—the largest writer of individual life insurance based on direct premiums written—had annual premiums totaling $17.7 billion for its individual life insurance segment.
The Delta Life Insurance Company caters its products to households with modest incomes. It only sells whole life policies, and its coverage amounts are relatively low. With whole life policies, you get coverage for your entire lifetime, so you don’t have to worry about your plan expiring as long as you pay all of your premiums on time. Whole life policies can also build cash value over time, and Delta offers four policy options:
Classic Preferred Series
The Classic Preferred Series is a whole life policy for non-smokers in good health. Its rates are lower than you’d get with other policies and it includes accidental death and waiver of premium benefits. This plan is available to people 74 or younger. The maximum policy amount is $25,000.
If you are not in the best health, you may be able to qualify for life insurance by purchasing the Delta Graded Policy option. With this policy, the benefits are graded for the first few years, meaning it will pay out a smaller benefit if you pass away.
One Parent Family Policy
The One Parent Family Policy is specifically designed for single parents. It includes accidental death coverage, as well as benefits if you lose your eyesight or limbs. It also pays an added benefit if you die in an accident while you’re a fare-paying passenger on a common carrier.
10 Pay/20 Pay Whole Life
With the 10 Pay/20 Pay plan, you can make payments for either 10 or 20 years. After that, you no longer have to pay premiums, but your policy remains in effect.
The 10 Pay plan is only available to people ages 25 or younger, making it a good option if you’re a parent buying a policy on behalf of a child. The 20 Pay plan is available to anyone 65 or younger. The maximum coverage amount is $20,000.
As with other insurance companies, the Delta Life Insurance Company offers some endorsements, also known as riders, that you can use to adjust your coverage. Insurance riders allow you to access your benefits while living, purchase insurance for a family member, or get an added benefit under special circumstances.
Delta offers the following riders:
Accidental Death Benefit
Included in the One Parent Family and Classic Preferred Series policies, the accidental death benefit provides your beneficiaries with a larger death benefit if you die as a result of an accident.
An optional rider, you can add the children’s insurance rider to your policy to get life insurance for your children. You can purchase term life coverage for your child and when they turn 22, they can convert the policy to whole life coverage and get up to five times the face amount.
Common Carrier Accidental Death
The common carrier accidental death rider is included in the One Parent Family policy. If you die while on a common carrier as a fare-paying passenger, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit that is three times the face amount. This rider expires once you turn 70.
Loss of Eyesight or Limbs
If you lose your eyesight or limbs, additional benefits will be paid directly to you. Your premiums will also be waived and your policy will remain in force. This rider expires when you turn 70.
Waiver of Premium
The waiver of premium rider can be beneficial if you become disabled and are unable to work. The rider will waive the premiums but keep your policy active. This benefit expires when you turn 60.
To get any details about Delta’s policies, cancellation terms, or pricing, you must contact an insurance agent. Delta’s agents work on commission and they have a financial incentive to sell policies to you. Make sure you do your homework to ensure you only buy the life insurance plan that is right for you.
The Delta Life Insurance Company’s website is very barebones, and it doesn’t allow policyholders to make payments, start a claim, or download forms online. If you need to make any changes to your policy or want to make a payment, you must contact your agent.
If you have general questions, you can contact Delta by calling 404-231-2111. If you have questions related to claims, you can call the general customer service line or email email@example.com.
When you’re shopping for an insurance policy, checking out what existing customers have to say about insurers is a good idea. An excellent resource is the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
The NAIC collects all complaints that consumers submit and uses them to determine companies’ complaint ratios—a measure of how many complaints each company received relative to their share of the insurance market. The industry standard is 1.0, so a company with a ratio above that number received more complaints than expected.
With that guideline in mind, Delta’s complaint ratio is extraordinarily high. In 2020, the Delta Life Insurance Company’s complaint ratio was 14.72 for its individual life insurance segment—substantially worse than the industry standard. In fact, its ratio was 14 times as high as expected for a company of its size.
For the past three years, Delta’s complaint ratio was much higher than the industry standard.
Most major insurance companies are evaluated and rated by AM Best, a credit rating agency that issues its opinions on insurers’ financial stability.
However, Delta Life Insurance has not been rated by AM Best in years. In 2008, AM Best downgraded Delta’s Financial Strength Rating to B- (Fair). That same year, the company requested that it be removed from AM Best’s interactive rating process, so the company has been given an NR-4 (Not Rated—Company Request) distinction ever since.
As a small regional insurer, Delta was not included in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. The study evaluated and ranked the largest life insurers in the country based on available plans, prices, and customer service.
While Delta doesn’t publicly post details about its cancellation policies, all insurance companies must honor "free look" periods. Generally lasting 10 days, free look periods give you time to review your policy and cancel it if you change your mind. If you cancel your policy within the free look period, you’ll get a full refund of all the premiums and fees you paid.
Once the free look period expires, you can cancel your policy but you may have to pay fees. Contact your Delta agent for information about policy surrender charges and cancellation processes.
The Delta Life Insurance Company doesn’t list typical policy rates, nor does it have an online quote tool. To get information about its premiums, you have to work with an insurance agent.
As with other insurance companies, Delta 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, but you should be aware that most insurance companies haven’t updated their underwriting processes to reflect a current awareness of gender issues.
Delta Life Insurance Company offers few plan options and has low coverage amounts. Also, it has received a high number of complaints over the past few years and it hasn’t been evaluated by AM Best recently.
If you’re looking for a company that has a better reputation for its customer service, financial stability, and policies, consider Northwestern Mutual. It’s the largest individual life insurance company based on direct premiums written and it’s our choice for the best whole life insurance insurer.
Northwestern Mutual has 12 different policy options, including whole, term, universal, and variable universal life plans. It has multiple riders you can add to your policy to customize your plan, and the company has a much stronger reputation within the insurance industry than Delta.
In 2021, Northwestern Mutual’s complaint ratio for the individual life insurance segment was just 0.03, better than the industry standard. And in 2021, AM Best affirmed the company’s A++ (Superior) Financial Strength Rating, the highest rating possible.
|Delta Life Insurance Company||Northwestern Mutual|
|Market Share||Not applicable||Largest in the U.S., 9.5%|
|Number of Plans||4||12|
|Dividends for 2021||Not applicable||$6.5 billion|
|Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|Service Method||Insurance agent||Agents and advisors|
|AM Best Rating||Not Rated||A++ (Superior)|
While the Delta Life Insurance Company markets itself to modest-income households, it may not be the best choice for you if you’re looking for affordable coverage. It has an extremely high complaint ratio and hasn’t been evaluated by the credit rating agencies in years. There are many other companies that offer basic policies with affordable face amounts with better reputations for service and financial transparency.
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.
AM Best. "AM Best Downgrades and Withdraws Ratings of Delta Life; Affirms and Withdraws Ratings of Delta Fire & Casualty."
Insurance Information Institute. "Facts + Statistics: Life Insurance."
AM Best. "AM Best Downgrades and Withdraws Ratings of Delta Life; Affirms and Withdraws Ratings of Delta Fire & Casualty."
J.D. Power. "Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds."
AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiary."