Foresters Life Insurance Review

Comprehensive policies with great riders and potential dividends

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Foresters Financial

Foresters Financial

Our Take

Foresters Life Insurance offers a good mix of life insurance policies, a long list of riders, and the potential to earn annual dividends. Specifically, we like that many policies come with several complimentary riders of your choice, which can help you get customized coverage without overinflating your premium.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Variety of perks for members

  • Life insurance for individuals with diabetes

  • Long list of riders

Cons
  • No online quote tool

  • Can’t buy coverage online

  • Limited customer service options

Key Takeaways
  • Foresters Financial offers whole, term, final expense, universal, and variable universal life insurance.
  • The company offers 12 riders for policy customization. 
  • Foresters is dedicated to community engagement and charitable efforts.
  • To get a quote or purchase any policy, you have to contact an agent.
Company Overview

Foresters Financial was founded in 1874 and currently serves more than three million customers across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The Toronto-based company has a unique focus on community engagement, partnering with a variety of charities and encouraging policyholders to give back through members-only programs.

The company operates as a fraternal benefit society, which means that it’s fully owned by its members. Life insurance policies from Foresters are exclusively sold through a network of independent agents. Coverage is available in all 50 states and Washington D.C. You can find an agent in your area by submitting the online request form, or by calling the company.

  • Year Founded 1874
  • Kinds of Plans Term, whole, universal, variable universal, final expense
  • Number of Plans 8
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly, annually
  • Customer Service Phone: 800-828-1540 Email: service@foresters.com
  • Official Website www.foresters.com

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

Pros Explained

  • Variety of perks for members: Foresters members can take advantage of unique perks, like academic scholarships, financial counseling, legal services, and volunteer opportunities.
  • Life insurance for individuals with diabetes: Foresters advertises life insurance coverage for individuals living with Type 2 Diabetes, and members can get discounted diabetes management products.
  • Long list of riders: The company offers 12 life insurance riders, plus a free Charity Benefit provision, which allows members to leave money to a charity of their choice as part of their death benefit.

Cons Explained

  • No online quote tool: Foresters doesn’t offer online quotes for any of its life insurance policies.
  • Can’t buy coverage online: If you want to purchase life insurance through Foresters, you’ll need to contact one of the company’s independent agents to start the process.
  • Limited customer service options: The only ways to get in touch with Foresters is by calling an agent, calling the company’s main phone number, or by sending an email.

Available Plans

Foresters Financial offers eight life insurance policies, which include term, whole, universal, and final expense insurance. Consider these available policies:

Foresters Level Term Insurance

Foresters term life insurance policy offers coverage for 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years. It’s renewable and convertible, so when your policy expires, you can roll it over into a permanent policy without taking another medical exam. This policy has level premiums and a guaranteed death benefit.

Depending on your state, Foresters’ term life insurance policies include a complimentary common carrier accidental death rider, family health benefit rider, accelerated death benefit rider, and Charity Benefit provision, which will pay an additional 1% of your policy’s face value to a charitable organization of your choice.

Foresters Prepared II Accidental Death Term Insurance

The Prepared II Accidental Death Term life insurance policy provides coverage in the event of an unexpected and accidental death. It provides coverage up to $500,000 and includes several riders for added protection, including a disability income rider, waiver of premium rider, and return of premium rider.

Foresters PlanRight Whole Life Insurance

The PlanRight Whole Life Insurance policy from Foresters is the company’s final expense insurance product. It offers lifelong protection up to age 121, with level premiums and a tax-free death benefit. With the PlanRight policy, Foresters will include three free riders of your choice, including a terminal illness rider, common carrier accidental death benefit rider, and family health benefit rider. You can also get an accidental death benefit rider for an added fee.

Final expense insurance typically has very low coverage limits. It’s only recommended if you want to ensure that your end-of-life expenses, like funeral services, are paid for ahead of time.

Foresters Advantage Plus II Whole Life Insurance

The Foresters Advantage Plus II is a whole life insurance policy that provides lifetime coverage up to age 121, and fixed premiums payable for 20 years or until age 100, a guaranteed death benefit, and cash value. Once your cash value reaches a certain amount, you can borrow the money and use it like a personal loan.

All Advantage Plus II policies come with the Foresters Charity Benefit provision and three complimentary riders, including an accelerated death benefit rider, common carrier accidental death rider, and family health benefit rider. You can also add a paid-up additions rider, term rider, child’s term rider, waiver of premium rider, or accidental death rider, for an extra cost.

Another perk of the Advantage Plus II whole life policy is that it has the potential for dividends. For reference, in 2019, Foresters approved $24.7 million in dividends for policyholders in the United States, which was a 1.2% increase from the year before.

BrightFuture Children’s Whole Life Insurance

Foresters’ BrightFuture Children’s whole life policy provides protection for children under 18. It has a guaranteed death benefit between $5,000 and $75,000, level premiums, and cash value, as well as a built-in guaranteed insurability rider.

In addition, Foresters will include three free riders with the BrightFuture Children’s policy, which include an accelerated death benefit rider, common carrier accidental death rider, and family health benefit rider. As the policyholder, you can transfer ownership of the certificate to the child at any point.

What You Need to Know

Children’s life insurance covers a child for their entire life, and it’s often purchased by a parent or grandparent. When the child reaches adulthood, they can either continue their coverage, purchase more coverage, or cancel the policy.

Foresters SMART Universal Life Insurance

The SMART Universal Life Insurance policy from Foresters has lifetime protection, flexible premiums, an adjustable death benefit, and a cash value component that grows at a minimum interest rate of 2% annually. The SMART universal life insurance policy comes with three riders, which include an accelerated death benefit rider, common carrier accidental death rider, family health benefit rider, and a charity benefit provision. You add several other riders for an additional fee, such as a child’s term rider, accidental death rider, guaranteed purchase option rider (GPO), or waiver of monthly deductions rider.

ISP10 EXPRESS Variable Universal Life Insurance

The ISP10 EXPRESS policy is a variable universal life insurance option that has a guaranteed death benefit up to age 121. It also has level premiums with a maximum payment period of 10 years. This policy builds cash value based on a portfolio of investment subaccounts. 

ISP Choice Variable Universal Life Insurance

The ISP Choice variable universal life insurance policy from Foresters has a guaranteed death benefit up to age 121 and level premiums with four payment periods available: 10 years, 20 years, premium payments until age 65, or premium payments until age 100. The ISP Choice policy builds cash value based on the money’s performance in subaccounts. 

Available Riders

Foresters Financial offers a wide variety of riders for customizable coverage. Some riders are automatically included in base policies, and others can be added for an extra cost. Here are the riders available from Foresters: 

  • Common carrier accidental death rider: This rider provides an additional death benefit of up to two times the face value of your policy if you die of accidental injuries while riding as a fare-paying passenger on a plane, bus, or train.
  • Family health benefit rider: A family health benefit rider provides an additional death benefit for family health expenses following a natural disaster, like a hurricane or earthquake. 
  • Accelerated death benefit rider: An accelerated death benefit rider allows you to use a portion of your death benefit while you’re still living if you get diagnosed with a qualifying critical, chronic, or terminal illness.
  • Disability income rider: This rider will provide some additional income if you become totally disabled and are unable to work. 
  • Waiver of premium rider: If you become disabled, this rider will temporarily waive your life insurance premiums so you don’t lose coverage while you’re out of work. 
  • Return of premium rider: If you live through your designated life insurance term, this rider will return some of the premiums you paid towards your policy. 
  • Paid-up additions rider: With a paid-up additions rider, you’re able to increase your death benefit and living benefit by increasing your policy’s cash value through dividends.
  • Term rider: A term rider will increase the death benefit on your policy for a certain number of years.
  • Child’s term rider: A child’s term rider will pay out a small death benefit if one of your children dies during the term period.
  • Accidental death rider: This rider will give your beneficiaries more money on top of your policy’s death benefit if your death is accidental.
  • Guaranteed purchase option rider: This rider allows you to increase your policy’s death benefit at any time without taking another medical exam. 
  • Waiver of monthly deductions rider: A waiver of monthly deductions rider will waive your monthly deductions if you are totally disabled and can’t work for at least six months.

Customer Service

Foresters’ customer service is limited. To reach an agent, you can submit a request online and a member of the sales team will connect you with a representative in your area. You can also call the company at 800-828-1540 between business hours, which are Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. The main email is service@foresters.com. However, if you have one of the variable universal life insurance policies, the number to call is 800-832-7783 (same business hours) and the email is FLIACInforceSvces@foresters.com.

Complaint Index

When comparing life insurance companies, checking a provider’s NAIC Company Complaint Index is a good place to start. It scores licensed insurance companies based on a number of factors, like policy premiums, claim settlement satisfaction, claim delays, and claim adjuster handling. It’s a good indicator of customer experience and customer satisfaction, based on reviews from real policyholders.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Company Complaint Index, Foresters Life Insurance has higher than average complaints. In 2020, the company received a score of 1.45 for individual life insurance, which is higher than the industry average of 1. The score was lower than it was in 2019 (1.88) but higher than it was in 2018 (1.07).

Third-Party Ratings

Foresters Financial has an A rating from AM Best, which indicates excellent financial strength. It means that the company is able to pay out claims without any issues, in a timely manner. The highest rating available from AM Best is A++.

Because Foresters Financial is a smaller life insurance company, it’s not rated by many credible third-party research firms, like J.D. Power. 

Cancellation Policy

To cancel your policy with Foresters, you’ll need to contact your agent or call the company directly. The specific cancellation process and potential fees will depend on the type of policy you have.

With a term life insurance policy, you can either formally terminate your policy by creating an agent, or you can simply stop paying the monthly premium. Your coverage will end and you won’t receive any compensation from the insurance company.

On the other hand, if you cancel a permanent life insurance policy, you will be entitled to the money from your cash-value account. When the coverage ends, your insurance company will write you a check for the balance, which you will likely pay taxes on.

Price

Life insurance premiums are personalized based on a number of factors, like your age, overall health, the amount of coverage you buy, and your gender assigned at birth. 

Because Foresters Financial doesn’t provide an online quote tool, it’s difficult to gauge the average price of its life insurance policies. However, keep in mind that term life insurance is typically the cheapest option. Permanent life insurance is more expensive because it offers lifetime coverage. Also keep in mind that adding riders to your policy will increase your premium, unless they are complimentary. 

Individuals who identify as nonbinary can get for coverage from Foresters, but on the application, you’ll have to choose male or female as your gender.

Competition

Guardian Life is one of the most popular mutual life insurance companies that competes with Foresters Financial. Both companies have historically paid dividends to their policyholders, but because Guardian is a much larger company than Foresters, the dividend payouts are significantly higher. 

In addition, Guardian Life has better third-party reviews across the board. It has an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, and below-average complaints per the NAIC Company Complaint Index. 

In terms of policy options, Foresters Financial and Guardian Life both offer term, whole, and universal life insurance. But Foresters offers a few more plans than Guardian Life, and the company also offers a more diverse portfolio of life insurance products. For example, Guardian Life doesn’t offer children’s life insurance or accidental death insurance. 

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Foresters and Guardian Life:

  Foresters Life Insurance Guardian Life Insurance
Market Share N/A 11th largest in the U.S., 2.47%
Number of Plans 8 6
Dividends for 2019 $24.7 million $978 million
Wellness Program Discounts/ Quit Smoking Incentives Not applicable Not applicable
Service Method Agents Agents
AM Best Rating A A++
Price Rank About average About average
Complaints Trend 1.45 (above average) 0.06 (below average)
Final Verdict

Overall, Foresters Financial is a good choice for individuals who want to customize their life insurance policy with riders for added protection. You won’t find many other life insurance companies that offer multiple free riders with a standard policy. We also like that Foresters Financial offers a wide variety of policy options and pays dividends on an annual basis.

Methodology

Our reviews of life insurance companies are based on a quantitative approach 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 that 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. PR Newswire. "Foresters Financial Approves 2020 Dividend for U.S. Participating Certificate Holders." Accessed April 12, 2021.

  2. NAIC. "Independent Order Of Foresters Us Br National Complaint Index Report." Accessed April 12, 2021.