Available through Washington National Life Insurance Company, Pioneer Life offers whole life, term, and universal life insurance with available group coverage.
- Pros and Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
Group coverage available
Strong financial reliability
Limited information online
Abysmal customer satisfaction
Restricted customer support
- Pioneer Life sells life insurance as Washington National Insurance Company, a provider that was founded in 1911.
- Whole life, term, and universal life insurance are available with optional group life coverage.
- While customer satisfaction ratings could use some work, Washington National receives strong scores for financial strength.
Pioneer Life Insurance Company is headquartered in Carmel, Texas. After a 2003 merger, Pioneer became a subsidiary of Conseco Life Insurance Company and now sells life insurance under the name Washington National Insurance Company.
Washington National is a longstanding insurance provider, originally founded in 1911 by brothers George and Harry Kendall. Today, Washington National has over one million policyholders with more than 25,000 employer group policies in force.
Pioneer Life policies are available in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Life insurance is not available in New York.
- Year Founded 1911 (Washington National)
- Kinds of Plans Whole life, term, universal life
- Number of Plans 3
- Payment Plan Options Annual, semi-annual, quarterly, or monthly bank draft
- Customer Service (800) 525-7662, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. EST
- Official Website www.washingtonnational.com
Pioneer Life Insurance Company 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.
- Well-established partner: Pioneer Life works with Washington National, a life insurance provider founded in 1911.
- Group coverage available: Through Washington National, there is group life insurance coverage available for additional savings.
- Strong financial reliability: Washington National receives excellent ratings for financial strength from leading ratings provider, AM Best.
- Limited information online: As Washington National, Pioneer Life does not have much information online to inform customers.
- Abysmal customer satisfaction: Washington National receives extremely poor ratings from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for customer satisfaction.
- Restricted customer support: Washington National offers restricted customer service hours, with phone representatives only available Monday through Friday during limited business hours.
As Washington National Insurance Company, Pioneer Life sells three types of life insurance coverage: term, whole life, and universal life insurance policies for individuals and business owners.
Pioneer Life Insurance Company sells life insurance as Washington National Life Insurance Company.
Term life insurance is a type of temporary life insurance coverage that has a specific end date. Most policies last anywhere from 10 to 30 years, although the exact specifics of each plan depend on your specific provider and state of residence.
Washington National made headlines in early 2021 for a new program designed for members of group term life insurance called Monthly Income Protection. With this in place, policyholders receive their dividends in monthly payments rather than the standard lump sum payment. You can choose a monthly income replacement benefit for beneficiaries lasting two, three, or five years. During retirement, there is also the option of a lump-sum death benefit of $10,000 to $25,000 with no ongoing payments after the monthly income benefit expires. If you leave your job, there is added portability so you can keep your coverage.
Whole life insurance is a type of permanent coverage designed to last the rest of your life while building cash value over time. Washington National offers coverage for individuals between the ages of 50 and 85 years. Policy benefits begin at $5,000, but the maximum benefit depends on the age at enrollment.
|Washington National Whole Life Policy Maximum|
|Age of Enrollment||Maximum benefit|
|Ages 50 to 69||$30,000|
|Ages 70 to 85||$15,000|
Washington National offers the option of either a level or graded benefit, based on your eligibility. A level benefit matches the value of the policy, less any loans or fees, while a graded benefit has more specific terms. It offers a reduced benefit when the insured dies due to certain causes within the policy’s first two years. After the initial two-year period, beneficiaries receive the face amount plus rider benefits after policy loans and interest.
Washington National also offers universal life insurance, which is similar to whole life insurance but adds greater flexibility. Policyholders can adjust their coverage levels and change premiums while also earning cash value over time for a tax-free death benefit.
Policyholders at Washington National also have the option to grow cash value by investing in the S&P 500 index option. The exact products available from Washington National depend on where you live and other eligibility requirements. For the most current details, contact your agent.
Life insurance riders are a type of additional coverage that you can purchase to provide extra coverage for your life insurance policy. These riders often come at an additional cost but offer extra protection to enhance your existing coverage.
Washington National offers two popular types of life insurance riders.
Accelerated Benefit Rider
If the policyholder experiences a terminal illness, the Accelerated Benefit Rider allows early access to the death benefit.
The Accelerated Benefit Rider may be included with some Washington National policies at no extra cost.
Accidental Death Benefit Rider
The Accidental Death Benefit Rider pays an additional benefit if the insured party dies from a covered accident or cause. This rider is available at an additional cost and must be purchased at policy purchase.
Additional riders may be available based on the coverage you choose and the state in which you live.
Because Washington National Insurance Company underwrites policies, you should contact them directly for any questions or support.
You can reach Washington National Insurance Company several ways.
|Washington National Insurance Company Customer Support|
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. EST
|Mailing address||Washington National Insurance
11825 N. Pennsylvania Street
Carmel, IN 46032
|Payment address||Washington National Insurance Company
P.O. Box 1939
Carmel, IN 46082-1939
|Online form gallery||https://my.washingtonnational.com/forms|
If you have questions about your policy, you can contact your agent directly for further clarification. Customer support can also help you get in touch with your agent.
Consider contacting your agent first because Washington National customer service is poorly rated.
To judge customer satisfaction, we look at scoring from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Each year, the NAIC compiles customer complaints for life insurance companies and assigns an average score using a baseline 1.0 rating.
There are no NAIC ratings for Pioneer Life, but that is not surprising, given that its license is no longer active. Instead, we look to Washington National Insurance Company, whose complaint index is extremely high compared to other life insurance companies. Washington National receives a 3.48 rating in 2020. It is even worse than its 2019 and 2018 ratings, which were 2.56 and 1.47, respectively. It shows that Washington National has an increasing trend of poor customer service, with the number of customer complaints nearly doubling each year.
Neither Pioneer Life nor Washington National makes an appearance on J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study or 2021 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study.
In addition to customer satisfaction, another important factor to consider is a company’s financial strength. When a company receives high ratings from AM Best, it often means that the provider can be relied upon for reliable claims processing and payments.
Washington National receives a score of A- (Excellent), showing strong financial strength and reliability.
When you purchase a new life insurance policy, there is a free look period that allows you to review your policy in detail after you buy. If you have a change of heart and decide to cancel your policy during this period, there are no penalties, and eligible paid premiums are refunded. If you cancel your policy after that, you may incur additional penalties and fees should you cancel your policy before the end of its term.
While Pioneer Life does not specify the exact details of its cancellation policy, your agent can help provide further information regarding options and penalties.
For life insurance coverage, Washington National offers sample pricing based on both male and female nonsmokers.
|Washington National Sample Pricing: Whole Life Insurance for Male, Non-tobacco|
|Ages||$5,000 coverage||$10,000 coverage|
|Washington National Sample Pricing: Whole Life Insurance for Female, Non-tobacco|
|Ages||$5,000 coverage||$10,000 coverage|
While this helps to get you a general idea of what to expect, it is important to note that this pricing is for demonstrative purposes only based on a sample profile.
The cost of your life insurance policy is based on a series of individual factors that insurance providers use to calculate risk. As seen above, gender is one major factor that can influence pricing, although insurance providers tend to use the sex at birth in lieu of current gender identity. Other factors that can impact the cost of your life insurance include your age, medical history, and where you live. Certain states may limit availability or affect the pricing of certain products.
Based on your qualifications, you may be eligible for simplified underwriting, which skips the required medical exam and uses a simple health questionnaire instead.
To best understand how Pioneer Life performs in the industry, we compare it to one of the best life insurance companies, New York Life.
Washington National is significantly smaller in size and holds a smaller market share than New York Life, one of the biggest insurance companies in the country. Its dividends are much smaller than New York Life, as well. As Washington National, Pioneer Life trails in financial strength and is not even rated in J.D. Power customer satisfaction rankings. Its NAIC ratings are extremely poor and troublesome, especially given New York Life’s excellent ratings.
Even as Washington National, we found that Pioneer cannot compete with New York Life, the third-largest insurance provider in today’s market.
|Pioneer Life Insurance (as Washington National Life Insurance)||New York Life|
|Market Share||0.045%||Third-largest in U.S., 5.7%|
|Number of Plans||3||10|
|Dividends for 2020||$766.7 million||$1.9 billion|
|Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives||Yes||Not applicable|
|AM Best Rating||A- (Excellent)||A++ (Superior)|
|Price Rank||Varies||Better than most|
|Complaints Trend||3.48 Very poor||0.15 Excellent|
Pioneer Life Insurance Company does not sell life insurance under the Pioneer name, instead selling life insurance policies under Washington National Life Insurance Company. Several types of coverage are available, including group life coverage with flexible monthly payments.
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J.D. Power. “2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study.” Accessed September 16, 2021.
AM Best. “Washington National Insurance Company.” Accessed September 16, 2021.
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