Farm Bureau Life Insurance Review

A regional life insurance provider with excellent financial ratings

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Farm Bureau Financial Services

 Farm Bureau Financial Services

Investopedia’s Rating
3.0

Our Take

Farm Bureau Life Insurance is a time-tested insurer with excellent financial strength and a low complaint index for a company its size. However, compared to many of the best life insurance companies we reviewed, its policy offerings are limited and available to only residents in 14 states in the Midwest. Customer service options are limited to phone only, with no virtual assistance available for members outside normal business hours.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Excellent financial strength

  • Few complaints

Cons
  • No online applications or claims

  • Limited customer service support

  • Available in only select states

Company Overview

Farm Bureau Life Insurance (Farm Bureau) began serving its members in 1945, but its roots date back to 1939 when an entity was created to provide farmers with liability insurance. Headquartered in West Des Moines, Farm Bureau offers a variety of term, whole, and universal life insurance, as well as fixed and variable annuity insurance. The fixed life insurance products are only available to the residents of 14 states, namely Arizona, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Farm Bureau and its property and casualty affiliates operate under the marketing name, Farm Bureau Financial Services (FBFS).

  • Year Founded 1939
  • Kinds of Policies Term, whole life, indexed universal life
  • Payment Options ACH transfer, debit card, credit card
  • Customer Service Phone (800-247-4170)
  • Official Website https://www.fbfs.com/
Farm Bureau Financial Services

 Farm Bureau Financial Services

Investopedia’s Rating
3.0

Pros Explained 

Cons Explained 

  • No online applications or claims: Customers can’t apply online or start the claim process online which can be inconvenient.  
  • Limited customer service support: Direct customer support is limited to just a phone line. 
  • Not available in all states: A regional insurer, Farm Bureau’s life insurance offerings are only available in 14 states, so potential customers outside this region will need to look elsewhere. 

Complaint Index 

Farm Bureau has far fewer customer complaints than expected for a company of its size, according to the NAIC complaint index data. 

An NAIC index of 1.0 means a company’s complaints are in line with what’s expected based on its market share. If the index is higher than 1.0, a company has more complaints than expected, and vice versa if it’s under 1.0. 

Farm Bureau had an average index of 0.337 over a three-year period, which is very impressive.

Third-Party Ratings

Farm Bureau also received high marks from AM Best for its stability and financial strength. AM Best is the world’s first credit rating agency with roots dating back to 1899. Today, it assesses the creditworthiness of over 16,000 insurance companies, rating each insurer’s ability to pay debts, claims, and other obligations on time. 

In its most recent review, AM Best assigned Farm Bureau a financial strength rating of A, which is given to insurance companies that are deemed to have an excellent ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations. Most of the life insurance companies we reviewed earned an A- or higher on this scale. 

Policies Available 

Farm Bureau offers term, whole life and indexed universal life insurance policies. Here’s a closer look at each option. 

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is one of the most affordable life insurance policies on the market. It provides coverage for a set amount of time, often between 10 and 30 years. If you pass away during the term period, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit. If you don’t, you’ll lose coverage when the term ends (if you don’t renew or convert it to permanent coverage). Farm Bureau offers several term policy options, including one with a feature that allows you to increase coverage up to double the face value over the first five years without having to go through the underwriting process.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance provides you with coverage for the rest of your life, as long as you make fixed premium payments. When you pass away, your beneficiary receives a predetermined death benefit. The policy also builds cash value that you can borrow against or withdraw throughout your life. Farm Bureau offers several premium payment options for whole life applicants, including the option to have premium payments remain the same to age 100, after which no additional payments are required. 

If you borrow against the cash value component on a life insurance policy and pass away before you pay it back, the outstanding amount will be deducted from your death benefit.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Indexed universal life (IUL) insurance policies also offer permanent coverage and a cash value component. However, what’s different is that you can allocate your cash value to an equity indexed account. What this means is that your cash value tracks the performance of a market index, like the S&P 500. If the index increases, you earn interest. As a result, IUL policies have the potential to grow more quickly than a traditional universal life policy. 

Available Riders

Riders give you the option to extend or increase coverage, often for an extra premium. Here are the riders available with Farm Bureau Financial Services.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider 

A guaranteed insurability rider enables you to purchase additional life insurance without undergoing a medical exam. Policies will typically outline how much insurance you can add and how often you can add it (e.g., every three or five years or upon the birth or adoption of a child). 

Child Rider

A child rider lets you add your children to your life insurance policy. Coverage typically comes in the form of term life insurance that stays in effect until your child reaches a certain age. Farm Bureau offers this add-on coverage to children ages 7 days to 23 years.

Waiver of Premium 

If you become totally disabled, the waiver of premium rider pauses your policy premiums while you’re disabled. To qualify, insurers often require that you have a disability for a minimum amount of time and are under a certain age. 

Disability Income Rider 

The disability income rider will replace a portion of your income for a set period if you become totally disabled. While it typically won’t be as much money as you can get with disability insurance, it can provide some help. 

ADB: Terminal Illness Rider

The terminal illness rider is an accelerated death benefit (ADB) that pays you a portion of your policy’s death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a qualifying terminal illness.  

ADB: Chronic Illness Rider

Similarly, the chronic illness rider is another ADB that pays you a portion of your policy’s death benefit during your life. However, in this case, you must have a qualifying chronic illness rather than a terminal illness. 

Customer Service

Farm Bureau offers a dedicated customer service phone line for life insurance and annuity customers at 800-247-4170. You can reach a representative Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. You won’t find an online contact form or email support address like many other insurers provide. There’s also no live chat option, but that’s pretty standard in the companies we’ve reviewed. If you’re interested in coverage, you’ll be referred to an agent in your local area who you can call, email, or visit in person.

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.

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. “Consumer Insurance Search.”

  2. AM Best. “Guide to Best’s Financial Strength Ratings - (FSR).”