Pekin Life Insurance Review

Offers multiple life insurance options and unique riders to customize coverage

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Pekin Life

Pekin Life

Our Take

Pekin Insurance sells individual whole, term, and universal life policies in 24 states. With its policies, customers can get life insurance with high coverage maximums and provide their families with significant protection. The company also offers a range of optional riders—including uncommon benefits like long-term care and identity fraud protection—that can enhance your policy and provide you with more coverage. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • High coverage amounts

  • Multiple optional riders

  • Simplified issue options available

Cons
  • Insurance must be purchased through agents

  • Online quotes not available

  • Not available in all states

Key Takeaways
  • Pekin Insurance was founded in 1921 and is based in Pekin, Illinois.
  • It sells group insurance and individual life, auto, homeowners, and health insurance.
  • The company is only licensed in 24 states.
  • Policies are sold through insurance agents.
Company Overview

Pekin Insurance was founded in 1921 in Illinois. Today, it’s based in Pekin, Illinois, and has $1.6 billion in assets. 

Licensed to sell insurance in 24 states, the company offers individual auto, homeowners, health, and life insurance policies. It also is a provider of group life, dental, and short-term disability coverage. 

All of its policies are sold through insurance agents rather than online, and it also partners with some funeral homes to offer funeral pre-planning coverage. 

  • Year Founded 1912
  • Kinds of Plans Term, whole, universal life insurance
  • Number of Plans 8
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly, quarterly, annually
  • Customer Service Insurance agent
  • Phone 800-322-0160
  • Official Website www.pekininsurance.com

Pekin Insurance 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

  • High coverage amounts: While some companies limit life insurance coverage to $1 million or less, Pekin Insurance offers much higher maximums on some policies. Depending on the policy you choose, you could get $5 million or more of coverage. 
  • Multiple optional riders: Pekin has a long list of optional riders you can use to adjust your coverage, including accelerated death benefits, long-term care, children’s term, and waiver of premium riders. Identity fraud protection is also included with all policies. 
  • Simplified issue options: Although most of Pekin’s plans are fully underwritten with medical exams, there are some simplified issue options for customers who want coverage more quickly.

Cons Explained

  • Insurance must be purchased through agents: Some companies allow you to apply for life insurance online, but Pekin doesn’t have that option. The only way to get coverage is to apply through an agent. 
  • Online quotes not available: Pekin Insurance doesn’t have an online quote tool, nor does it provide information about its rates on its website. You must work with an agent to get a quote for your premiums. 
  • Not available in all states: Pekin’s individual life insurance policies are not available in all states. Pekin is only licensed to sell individual life insurance in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Residents of all other states are ineligible for coverage. 

Available Plans

Pekin Insurance sells individual term, whole, universal, and funeral pre-planning policies. Most of its policies are fully underwritten and require medical exams with bloodwork, but they have some simplified issue options. All of its policies are sold through agents. 

Pekin Insurance has seven life insurance plans: 

Term

With term life insurance, you get coverage for a predetermined period. While most companies have terms ranging from 10 to 30 years, Pekin’s policies work differently. 

It has two options: 

  • Transitional Life: Transitional life gives you term life coverage for a specific length of time. Then, the plan transitions into a whole life policy with a lower face amount. You can select a high term death benefit with a whole life death benefit as low as $10,000. 
  • Term to 95: With this option, you get a level premium for 10, 15, 20, or 30 years, or you can opt for level premiums until age 65. After that, you can decide to renew your policy until the age of 95 or convert it into permanent insurance. 

Funeral Pre-Planning

Pekin’s Pathway program is a form of pre-need insurance designed to cover your burial expenses and other final arrangements. You work with a partnering funeral home to decide on the details of your service and its cost, and then you prepay for all of the plans you made. 

Whole

While term life insurance is usually less expensive than whole life coverage, it’s temporary. Some people prefer whole life insurance because it’s permanent and lasts for your lifetime. Whole life policies can also accumulate cash value over time, and you can tap into it to pay for major expenses or to supplement your retirement savings. 

Pekin Insurance has four whole life options: 

  • Graded Whole Life: With graded whole life, no medical exam is required. Your eligibility is based on your answers to three health questions. The maximum death benefit is $24,000, and the benefit is reduced if the policyholder dies within the two years of the policy’s issue date. 
  • Preferred Whole Life: This policy is for people in good to excellent health and has the best rates possible. Premiums are guaranteed and don’t increase with age, and there is no cap on how much coverage you can get. 
  • Simplified Issue Whole Life: Simplified issue coverage is based on your answers to three questions, and it’s available to anyone 85 or younger. The maximum issue amount is $50,000. 
  • Single Premium Whole Life: With the single premium plan, you make just one lump sum payment and get permanent life insurance for your entire lifetime. 

Universal

Universal life insurance is a type of permanent insurance. It provides a death benefit and an investment component that you can use to accumulate and grow cash value. Universal policies can be more flexible than other forms of life insurance since you can adjust your premiums and death benefits if your needs change. 

Pekin’s universal life option has a minimum face value of $25,000. It can be issued to applicants up to the age of 85, and it has five different rate classes based on your age and health. 

Available Riders

When you buy a life insurance policy, many companies allow you to add optional insurance riders to your policy to adjust your coverage. Pekin Insurance has several optional riders to choose from: 

Accelerated Death Benefit

If the policyholder is diagnosed with a terminal illness and has 24 months left to live, the accelerated death benefit rider allows the individual to use 50% of the death benefit, up to a maximum of $1250,000, while they’re still living to cover their expenses. 

Accidental Death Benefit

You can add the accidental death benefit to the policies of those between the ages of 15 and 60. If the policyholder dies in a covered accident, Pekin will pay an additional death benefit to the beneficiaries. The maximum additional payout is $150,000. 

Children’s Term

Available to children between 15 days and 18 years old, this rider provides level term coverage until the child turns 25. At that point, you can convert coverage to permanent coverage with a face amount up to five times the original rider amount. 

Identity Fraud Protection Services

Identity fraud protection services are included with all Pekin Insurance policies. With this rider, you’re connected to an identity fraud specialist with CyberScout, an identity protection provider. Services include fraud alerts, resolution services, and document replacement assistance. 

Long-Term Care

With the long-term care rider, policyholders can designate a portion of the policy death benefit to be available for long-term care expenses, including nursing home, assisted living, or home health care costs. 

Waiver of Premium

The waiver of premium rider is available to customers between the ages of 15 and 55. With this rider, Pekin will waive future premiums as they become due if the policyholder becomes disabled after the policy goes into effect.

Customer Service

Unlike other insurance companies, Pekin Insurance doesn’t have many educational resources on its site. However, it has a life insurance calculator to estimate how much coverage you need. It also has a policyholder portal where customers can make payments and file claims.

For general inquiries, you can contact customer support by sending a secure message or by calling 800-322-0160. Customer service is available Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. CST. There is no weekend availability. 

Complaint Index

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners issues complaint ratios every year. The ratios are unique to each insurance company and are calculated based on the number of complaints submitted relative to the insurer’s market size. 

Pekin Insurance’s complaint ratio for 2020 was 0.00; no complaints were submitted about the company. In fact, only three complaints have been submitted since 2018. 

Third-Party Ratings

Pekin Insurance is a well-respected insurer. AM Best, a credit rating agency that evaluates insurance companies, AM Best affirmed Pekin’s A- (Excellent) rating in 2020. According to AM Best, companies with that rating are financially stable and have an excellent ability to meet their future policy and contractual obligations. 

As a smaller insurer only available in some states, Pekin was not included in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Individual Life Insurance study. 

Cancellation Policy

Like all insurance policies, AMFI’s policies have free-look periods. They usually last for 10 days, but you may have a longer period in some states. During this time, you can decide to cancel your policy and get a full refund. 

After the free-look period expires, the way in which cancellations are handled is dependent on the type of policy you have. To cancel your coverage, you must submit a written request of cancellation that includes your policy number, Social Security number, address, and name. Review the “Right to Examine” section of your policy to see what fees may apply, or talk to your insurance agent. 

Price

Pekin Insurance doesn’t have an online quote tool on its website, and it doesn’t list any premium information either. The only way to get details on its premiums is to work with an insurance agent. 

When you apply for insurance with most life insurers, you’ll be asked to select either male or female on the application. 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. 

Competition

While Pekin Insurance has several life insurance plans and high coverage amounts, it is only available to residents of select states, and policies are sold only through agents. Given these drawbacks, we compared Pekin to a company that offers simplified issue policies sold entirely online: Bestow. 

Unlike Pekin, Bestow is available in all states except New York. While it only sells term life insurance, it allows customers to get up to $1.5 million in coverage without a medical exam. 

Where Bestow stands out from Pekin is its speed. There’s no need to meet with an agent. Customers can apply online and, if approved, can get approved in minutes, making it an excellent option for those who want to buy coverage quickly. 

  Pekin Insurance Bestow 
Market Share Not applicable Not applicable
Number of Plans  7 1
Dividends for 2020  Not applicable  Not applicable 
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives  Not applicable  Not applicable 
Service Method  Insurance agent Web 
AM Best Rating  A- (Excellent) A+ (Superior) 
Complaints Trend  0.00 0.68 (policies underwritten by North American Life)
Final Verdict

If you live in one of the states that Pekin Insurance is licensed to sell life insurance and are willing to undergo a medical exam, it could be a good option for you. It has a wide range of coverage options and riders, and you can select a policy with a high coverage amount to give your loved ones substantial protection. But for those who’d prefer simpler policies that don’t require medical exams or meeting with an agent, you’ll likely need to look for another company that sells directly to consumers online.

How We Review Life Insurance Companies

Our reviews of life insurance companies are based on a quantitative methodology that analyzes each insurer on its 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. NAIC. "Pekin Life Insurance Company - Complaint Index." Accessed September 24, 2021. 

  2. AM Best. "Pekin Insurance Company." Accessed September 24, 2021.