Monumental Life Insurance Review

Multiple policies available plus excellent riders

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Transamerica

 Transamerica

Our Take

Monumental Life Insurance Company, which rebranded under the Transamerica umbrella several years ago, offers eight life insurance policies, including guaranteed final expense coverage, and a long list of riders. The company has excellent financial strength, but it also has a high number of complaints.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • No-exam policies

  • Online policy finder

  • Variety of riders

Cons
  • Online quotes are only available for term policies

  • High number of complaints

  • Agents aren’t available everywhere

Key Takeaways
  • Monumental Life Insurance was rolled into Transamerica in 2014.
  • Transamerica sells term, whole, universal, indexed universal, and final expense insurance.
  • The company has a variety of different riders for policy customization.
  • Transamerica is the eighth-largest life insurance provider in the country.
Company Overview

In 2014, Monumental Life Insurance, part of the Transamerica Corporation, changed its name to Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company. From that year on, Transamerica took over existing Monumental Life Insurance policies. Iowa-based Transamerica, which was founded in 1904, is one of the largest life insurance companies on the market. The company's parent organization, Aegon, is the eighth-largest life insurance provider based on market share.

Transamerica offers instant online quotes for term life insurance only. To apply for any policy and start the purchase process, you’ll need to call or email a representative. Transamerica also employs agents that you can visit in person, and you can use the agent locator tool to find an office near you. Coverage is available nationwide, although some policies and riders may not be available in every state.

Geographical Restrictions

Transamerica life insurance policies are sold in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., but the underwriting company depends on where you live. Transamerica Life Insurance Company underwrites policies in every state except New York. Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company is licensed to do business in every state, including New York.

  • Year Founded 1904
  • Kinds of Plans Term, whole, universal, indexed universal, and final expense
  • Number of Plans 8
  • Payment Plan Options One-time, monthly, and quarterly
  • Customer Service Agent, in-person, email, phone / Customer service: (800) 797-2643
  • Official Website www.transamerica.com

Monumental 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

  • No-exam policies: Transamerica offers final expense insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam or health questionnaire. Regardless of your current health or family history of disease, you can get approved.
  • Online policy finder: If you aren’t sure what type of life insurance is right for you, use Transamerica’s Plan Explorer tool to compare policies based on your family’s needs.
  • Variety of riders: Transamerica offers a long list of life insurance riders that make it easy to build a policy that meets your specific requirements.

Cons Explained

  • Online quotes are only available for term policies: Transamerica only provides instant quotes online for term life insurance policies. 
  • High number of complaints: The company has a higher-than-average number of complaints as reported in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Company Complaint Index, which suggests Transamerica has some issues with customer service.
  • Agents aren’t available everywhere: Transamerica says it has offices from coast to coast, but this doesn't seem to be the case. For example, when we searched for offices in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the closest location was in New Jersey.

Available Plans

Transamerica sells a number of different life insurance products that will meet a wide variety of needs. Specifically, the company offers eight policies. 

Term Life Insurance

Transamerica sells two separate term life insurance policies: Trendsetter Super Series and Trendsetter LB. Both policies are available in term lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years. Most applicants are required to complete a traditional medical exam. Here’s a look at the differences between these two term life policies:

  • Trendsetter Super Series: This policy provides coverage from $25,000 to $10 million, and potentially even higher. After the term is up, you can convert the term policy into a permanent policy without taking another medical exam. However, you will need to submit a health questionnaire.
  • Trendsetter LB: This policy only provides coverage up to $2 million, but it comes with living benefits in the event that you get diagnosed with a qualifying chronic, critical, or terminal illness.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance from Transamerica has level premiums and a guaranteed death benefit between $25,000 and $2 million. It also includes a cash value component. Once your cash value account reaches a certain balance, you can pull the money out and use it like a personal loan to pay for things like college tuition or a down payment on a house. If you no longer need your whole life insurance policy, you can always cash out, and the insurance company will write you a check for the cash value amount.

You can use the proceeds from your cash value to pay for anything you want, but withdrawing the money will ultimately decrease your policy’s death benefit.

Universal Life Insurance

With a universal life insurance policy from Transamerica, you can get permanent coverage that lasts a lifetime, with a guaranteed death benefit and tax-deferred cash value. Once you have enough cash value, you have the option to borrow the money like a loan, or use it to reduce the amount and frequency of your premium payments.

Index Universal Life Insurance

Transamerica’s indexed universal life insurance policy is called the Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL. It offers permanent coverage with the option to adjust your premium and death benefit, within certain limitations. This policy builds cash value based on stock market performance, and to reduce risk, it comes with a guaranteed minimum interest rate. 

Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance is Transamerica’s only guaranteed issue policy, which means anyone can get approved for coverage without a medical exam, and it has the potential for same-day approval. It provides coverage for end-of-life expenses, like final medical bills and funeral costs. Plus, this policy builds cash value overtime.

Transamerica offers three different final expense plans:

  • Immediate Solution: This plan is available for people between the ages of 0 and 85. Coverage is paid in full up to age 121.
  • 10-Pay Solution: This plan is available for people between the ages of 0 and 85. The premium is payable for 10 years following the policyholder's death.
  • Easy Solution: This plan is available for people between the ages of 18 and 80, or 50 and 75 in New York, and has a graded death benefit. It has a maximum death benefit payout of $25,000.

All of Transamerica’s final expense insurance policies have a minimum death benefit of $1,000. However, the payouts vary by age, with the exception of the Easy Solution. Here are the maximum death benefit payouts available for the Immediate Solution and 10-Pay Solution plans: 

  • 0 to 55 years old: $50,000
  • 56 to 65 years old: $40,000
  • 66 to 75 years old: $30,000
  • 76 to 85 years old: $25,000

Available Riders

Life insurance riders are optional policies that will provide coverage for specific situations you may encounter in life. Here are the riders available from Transamerica:

  • Accelerated death benefit rider: The accelerated death benefit rider allows you to use money from your death benefit while you’re still living if you get diagnosed with a qualifying chronic or terminal illness. 
  • Accidental death rider: The accidental death rider will pay your beneficiaries an additional amount if your death is deemed accidental based on certain criteria.
  • Children’s benefit rider: The children’s benefit rider provides compensation for your children if you pass away before they reach adulthood.
  • Disability waiver of premium rider: The disability waiver of premium rider allows you to stop paying your premium if you become totally disabled and are unable to work.

Purchasing riders can be a great way to customize your coverage. However, riders aren’t free unless specified, so adding riders to your life insurance policy will increase your premium. 

Customer Service

Transamerica customer service is somewhat lacking. The only ways to get in touch with an agent are by calling the company or submitting the online help request form. However, the company doesn’t offer 24/7 support, so be prepared to make a call during business hours, which are Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. The general phone number is (800) 797-2643.

Complaint Index

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) publishes an annual complaint index that rates insurance companies on how many complaints they receive relative to their market share. The average complaint index is 1.0 with numbers above this showing that the company has more complaints than average.

As of 2020, Transamerica had a high number of company complaints (264 to be exact) for individual life insurance as reported in the NAIC Company Complaint Index. Transamerica has a score of 1.3, which is higher than the industry average of 1. That’s higher than some of its competitors, including Guardian (0.70) and State Farm (0.19). Transamerica’s complaint score has remained about the same over the last several years.

Third-Party Ratings

In terms of financial strength, Transamerica’s parent company Aegon has an A rating from AM Best, which is considered excellent. It indicates that the company is able to fully pay its policyholders’ claims without any issues.

However, the company is rated below average by J.D. Power for overall customer satisfaction. Transamerica has a score of 734/1,000 in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, which is below the industry average benchmark of 763/1,000.

Cancellation Policy

Transamerica allows policyholders to cancel at any time, without paying a fee. However, you won’t be able to cancel your policy online. You’ll need to call an agent directly to start the cancellation process.

Additionally, Transamerica has a free 10-day look period. If you purchase a policy, you can cancel within the first 10 days and get a full refund within seven days. 

When you cancel a permanent life insurance policy, Transamerica will write you a check for the policy’s cash value balance less any surrender charges. Because term life insurance doesn’t have cash value, you won’t receive any funds if you cancel.

Price

The price of life insurance is different for everyone. To give you a sense of what you might pay, we got a term life insurance quote from Transamerica for a 30-year-old female, who doesn’t smoke and is in good health, with $300,000 in coverage over 10 years. Our quote came out to $11.87 per month or $138 per year.

Keep in mind that term life insurance is the cheapest policy, so a whole life or universal life insurance policy will be more expensive. Also, adding riders to your policy will increase your premium. 

Additionally, we should note that life insurance carriers calculate policy premiums based on birth biology. If you identify as non-binary or transgender, you can qualify for coverage, but many life insurance companies (including Transamerica) haven’t updated their underwriting processes and application to reflect that. 

Competition

If you’re considering Transamerica life insurance, we also recommend checking out State Farm. State Farm has a slightly larger market share than Transamerica, and it has much better third-party ratings. 

State Farm is rated the best life insurance provider for overall customer satisfaction by J.D. Power. It also has fewer than average company complaints, with a score of 0.19 from the NAIC. Plus, State Farm has an A++ rating from AM Best, which is the highest score possible.

In terms of coverage options, State Farm offers more policies than Transamerica, including some unique options, like survivorship universal life insurance and limited pay whole life insurance. The table below includes a side-by-side comparison of Transamerica and State Farm life insurance offerings:

  Transamerica State Farm
Market Share Eighth-largest in the U.S., 2.8% Seventh-largest in the U.S., 2.87%
Number of Plans 10
Dividends for 2020  Not applicable Not applicable 
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives  Not applicable  Not applicable 
Service Method Agents Agents
AM Best Rating A (Excellent) A++ (Superior)
Price Rank About Average About Average
Complaints Trend 1.3 (above average) 0.19 (below average)
Final Verdict

Transamerica is a good life insurance provider if you want the ability to choose between a variety of different policies and customize your coverage with riders. But if you want great customer service, consider another company. Transamerica has a high number of complaints and below-average satisfaction scores.

Methodology

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.

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. "Life and Fraternal Insurance Industry 2020 Top 25 Groups and Companies by Countrywide Premium." Accessed April 9, 2021.

  2. NAIC. "Transamerica Life Ins Co National Complaint Index Report." Accessed April 9, 2021.

  3. NAIC. "Guardian Life Ins Co Of Amer National Complaint Index Report." Accessed April 9, 2021.

  4. NAIC. "Consumer Insurance Search Results-State Farm Life." Accessed April 9, 2021.

  5. J.D. Power. "Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed April 9, 2021.

  6. SEC. "Securities and Exchange Commission. Washington, D.C. 20549. Form N-6. Registration Statement." Accessed April 9, 2021.

  7. J.D. Power. "Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed April 9, 2021.

  8. NAIC. "State Farm Life Ins Co National Complaint Index Report." Accessed April 9, 2021.