Forethought Life Insurance Review

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Global Atlantic

Global Atlantic

Our Take

Forethought Life Insurance Company is a good fit when you want market-reliant growth, but it lacks the more straightforward basics of term and whole life insurance. Forethought Life also specializes in preneed insurance, a kind of life insurance that puts you in control of your final funeral arrangements.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Wellness for Life program

  • Physical office locations

  • International service

Cons
  • Limited life insurance products

  • Policy limits not disclosed

  • No final expense coverage

Key Takeaways
  • Headquartered in Indiana, Forethought Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of the parent company Global Atlantic.
  • Forethought Life does not offer whole or term insurance products, but there are four plans for universal index life and preneed insurance.
  • Pricing for life insurance plans depends on a strict underwriting schedule.
Company Overview

Established in 1980, Forethought Life Insurance Company is a relatively new life insurance provider. It is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, as a subsidiary of the larger parent company Global Atlantic Financial Group, although it assumes sole responsibility for its own deadlines and financial obligations. Policies may also be issued via the Commonwealth Annuity and Life Insurance Company, Accordia Life and Annuity Company, or Global Atlantic Financial Group Limited. 

Geographical Restrictions

Forethought Life Insurance Company offers physical office locations in several U.S. states:

  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

Forethought is not authorized to do business in New York. Additionally, availability for some products and policies may be limited in some areas.

  • Year Founded 1980
  • Kinds of Plans Universal, preneed
  • Number of Plans 4
  • Payment Plan Options One-time, annual, monthly
  • Customer Service Phone: (877) 462-8992; fax: (800) 262-6976; email: ask.us@gafg.com
  • Official Website www.globalatlantic.com

Forethought 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

  • Wellness for Life program: Forethought Life offers Wellness for Life Program Rewards to help qualifying members save on regular premiums. 
  • Physical office locations: If you prefer face-to-face support, Forethought Life has several office locations across the globe for you to visit for personal help with your life insurance policy. 
  • International service: Parent company Global Atlantic has offices in Bermuda and Ireland in case life’s adventures take you beyond the U.S.

Cons Explained

  • Limited life insurance products: Forethought Life only offers universal and preneed insurance, so if you are looking for whole life or term insurance, you will need to look elsewhere.
  • Policy limits not disclosed: The policy limits for each of its plans are not publicly disclosed, so you will need to contact an insurance agent directly for more specifics.
  • No final expense coverage: Although preneed insurance is available, some customers may miss the greater flexibility that final expense insurance can provide.

Available Plans

Forethought Life Insurance Company focuses on providing a few specific products to its policyholders. There are three indexed universal life insurance plans, plus an option for preneed insurance.

Forethought Life Insurance Company does not offer whole or term life insurance.

Indexed Universal Life

Indexed universal life with Forethought Life includes a permanent life insurance policy that can gain value from a major financial index with an income tax-free death benefit. There are three plans available, depending on where you live:

  • Lifetime Foundation ELITE offers a guaranteed death benefit period that depends on your underwriting class. It is first supported by minimum premiums, but after the mandatory premium period expires, the value of your policy changes. You then can access a non-guaranteed death benefit that is supported by the cash value that your policy accumulates.
  • Lifetime Builder ELITE includes a level death benefit that can build additional cash value. There is an additional return of premium feature with five indexed interest crediting strategies to help you build additional value. You also have the option for withdrawals and policy loans when eligible.
  • Global Accumulator brings six crediting interest strategies using major market indexes, including a Buy-Up add-on that offers more flexible premiums with cash value you can access before you die.

Preneed Insurance

Where most companies offer final expense insurance, Forethought instead offers preneed insurance. This is a kind of whole life insurance that is created with the idea of providing benefits before you die, so you can get the help you need while you're still alive. It puts you in the driver’s seat, allowing you to handle your own end-of-life plans, including funeral and memorial arrangements while you are still alive and can be involved. It helps alleviate some of the pressure on your loved ones during an already difficult time. Forethought will work directly with funeral partners, assigning your death benefit to reduce the burdens placed on your surviving family members. 

Available Riders

Forethought’s universal life insurance policy may not be exactly what you need, so you can purchase additional protection through life insurance riders, a kind of a la carte coverage that you can use to add to your policy. Forethought offers several riders. However, you will need to contact an agent for pricing details, and availability may be limited based on where you live. 

Accelerated Access Rider

If you are diagnosed with a chronic or critical illness, the accelerated access rider allows you to access a portion of your death benefit early to help with healthcare costs. Charges for this rider do not kick in until it is used. 

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

This rider offers an additional death benefit with coverage if a policyholder dies from an accident.

Additional Insured Rider

This rider allows you to protect up to three family members on your existing policy so you do not have to buy four separate policies. 

Children's Insurance Rider

If you have a child between the ages of 15 days and 17 years, you can use this rider to add them to your existing policy. They will be covered under your policy until the age of 25, and then the rider can be converted into a permanent policy with up to five times this rider’s benefit.

Overloan Protection Rider

This rider can help prevent your policy from lapsing when you take multiple loans on your policy. It is free unless used and then only a one-time fee applies.

Primary Insured Rider

If you are looking for extra protection, this rider offers additional level death benefits for policyholders.

Return of Premium Rider

In addition to the regular death benefit that your policy provides, you can use this rider to receive the value of eligible paid premiums, paid with an additional fixed interest growth rate that can vary anywhere from 0 to 4%.  

Terminal Illness Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

Policies automatically include this rider, which can help you access a portion of your death benefit early when you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Waiver of Monthly Deductions Rider

If you experience a total disability for a minimum of six months, this rider will waive all monthly deductions, including base policy, rider, and policy charges. Disabilities must occur before the age of 65 to be eligible.

Waiver of Premium Rider

Similar to the waiver of monthly deductions rider, this rider waives monthly premiums when the policyholder is completely disabled for a period of at least six months before the age of 65.  

Wellness for Life® Rider

The Wellness for Life Program is a benefit that offers potential wellness rewards to those who qualify. Policyholders must complete a routine physical exam every two years. Additionally, one’s weight must be regulated in order to comply with those standards supplied by Accordia, the issuer of Forethought Life Insurance Company policies, and agreed upon policy issuance. You will be responsible for having your doctor or health care provider complete a form that you then return to Forethought Life for processing and approval. 

Use Forethought Life’s Wellness for Life rider to save extra money on your premiums each year.

Customer Service

Forethought Life Insurance Company makes it easy to get in touch with the right contact that you need, offering customers a comprehensive contact page. Support is limited to certain hours and is available via phone, email, or mail. There is also online support for existing policyholders.

General Contacts
Type of policy Contact
Mailing address Forethought Life Insurance Company
10 West Market Street, Suite 2300
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Email  ask.us@gafg.com 
Annuities  (866) 645-2449
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST 
Traditional Life  (877) 462-8992 
Preneed and Final Expense  (800) 331-8853 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST 
Life Insurance Policy Support
Type of support Phone  Fax  Mailing address 
Customer support (877) 462-8992 (800) 262-6976 Global Atlantic Davis Brown Tower 215 10th Street, 11th Fl.
Des Moines, IA 50309
Life claims  (877) 462-8992  (800) 255-0835  Global Atlantic Davis Brown Tower 215 10th Street, 11th Fl.
Des Moines, IA 50309 
Waiver/Living benefit claims  (877) 366-2592  (866) 255-0835   N/A

Complaint Index 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks the number of customer complaints that a company receives on an annual basis. It then calculates an average score using a benchmark score of 1.0 that serves as the industry average. 

Forethought Life Insurance Company consistently receives among the industry’s most competitive scores with an average 0.09 rating in 2020. While still impressive, it is slightly higher than its 2019 and 2018 average scores of 0.04. 

Third-Party Ratings

J.D. Power is another industry ratings provider that ranks customer satisfaction for the top insurance companies. Forethought is not rated on J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, although this is common among smaller, niche providers. 

Forethought is rated by AM Best, holding a score of A (Excellent). AM Best is a financial ratings agency that assigns companies a grade based on their financial security. A high score means that the company can be relied upon for efficient and stable claims processing. Forethought also holds an A3 rating from Moody’s, another ratings provider that evaluates a company’s financial reliability with the A3 being a medium grade of financial strength. 

Cancellation Policy

  • Forethought Life Insurance Company does not offer public details regarding its free-look or cancellation policies. However, life insurance companies typically offer a free-look period that can last anywhere from 10 to 30 days, depending on where you live. If you cancel within this period, any typical penalties that would apply will be waived and any eligible paid premiums returned. To cancel your policy, you will need to provide Forethought Life Insurance Company with written notice. After the free-look period, fees may apply, depending on the cash value that your policy has accumulated over time. 

Price

Given the big differences between universal life insurance and preneed insurance, there is a significant difference in price with Forethought Life Insurance Company.

Universal life insurance policies carry a fee schedule that includes a 10% premium charge on premium payments, a $6 monthly policy fee, and any additional rider fees. There is also an expense charge that lasts for the first 15 years of your policy.

Premium price for both is determined by several factors, including your age, how much life insurance you buy, and your underwriting class. Gender is another factor that can determine the cost of your insurance, with most companies basing rates on your sex at birth and not your current gender identity.  

Competition 

Forethought Life Insurance Company is significantly smaller in its market share than other providers, such as New York Life, which is the third-largest company in the country. With its smaller size, it has fewer than half the plans that New York Life offers. It also differs in that it scores lower in AM Best ratings for financial strength. There also are several fees that Forethought Life Insurance Company charges, while New York Life offers pricing that is better than most other providers. For these reasons, New York Life is the better pick between the two.

  Forethought Life Insurance New York Life
Market Share 0.035% Third largest in U.S., 5.7%
Number of Plans  10 
Dividends for 2020  $6.9 billion  $1.9 billion 
Wellness Program Discounts/ Quit Smoking Incentives  Yes  Not applicable 
Service Method  Agents  Agents 
AM Best Rating  A (Excellent)  A++ (Superior) 
Price Rank  Average (watch out for fees!)  Better than most 
Complaints Trend  0.09 (Excellent) 0.15 (Excellent) 
Final Verdict

Forethought Life Insurance Company is extremely limited in its scope, so it is not a good fit for everyone. However, with impressive customer service scores and strong financial ratings, it is still a life insurance provider worth considering when you are looking for the extra security of universal index life insurance or preneed insurance.

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  1. NAIC. "Forethought Life Ins Co National Complaint Index Report." Accessed June 9, 2021.

  2. AM Best. "Forethought Life Insurance Company - Company Profile - Best's Credit Rating Center." Accessed June 9, 2021. 

  3. Moody's. "Forethought Life Insurance Company | View by Class | Moody's." Accessed June 9, 2021.