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Senior Life Insurance Company offers small life insurance policies designed to cover final expenses. Coverage is available up to $50,000 and policies do not require a medical exam. However, the company does not have a financial strength rating from AM Best and receives a very high number of customer complaints. Both these factors indicate potentially severe issues with the company’s fundamentals.
- Pros & Cons
- Company Overview
Guaranteed issue whole life insurance
Return of premium term available
Low coverage amounts
Limited policy types
Maximum 20-year term
Not rated by AM Best
Many more complaints than expected
Since 1970, Senior Life Insurance Company has focused on final expense coverage, although they offer small term life insurance policies as well. The company is headquartered in Thomasville, Georgia and has thousands of agents across the country. Senior Life Insurance Company provides life insurance in 40 states and Washington, D.C.
- No-medical-exam coverage: Senior Life offers life insurance without a medical exam. At the most, you may need to answer a few health questions when you apply.
- Guaranteed issue whole life insurance: If you can’t qualify for coverage based on your health, Senior Life offers small whole life plans designed for people with moderate to significant health conditions, including a guaranteed issue policy.
- Return of premium term available: Senior Life offers a return of premium term policy, which means that if you outlive the 20-year term, you can have 100% of the premiums you paid returned to you. This type of policy is more expensive than a regular term policy, but is not a common offering among insurers.
- Low coverage amounts: The maximum death benefit you can get with Senior Life is $50,000, via the company’s term policy. Whole life coverage is capped at $30,000. These coverage amounts may be sufficient to cover final expenses, but aren’t generally enough to cover other life insurance needs, such as replacing lost income.
- Limited policy types: Senior Life only offers two types of policies: Whole life and term. Many companies offer other types of coverage, such as universal life insurance and indexed policies.
- Maximum 20-year term: Many insurers that issue term coverage offer terms up to 30 years. But Senior Life’s maximum (and only) available term is 20 years long.
- Not rated by AM Best: Of the 91 life insurance companies we reviewed, Senior Life was one of only two companies not rated by the credit rating agency. This makes it more difficult to tell how likely Senior Life is to be able to honor its insurance obligations, such as paying claims.
- Many more complaints than expected: Senior Life received a very high number of complaints relative to its size. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the company received more than three times the number of expected complaints, averaged over three years.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks the number of customer complaints that life insurance companies receive and calculates a complaint index for each company based on its size or market share. A complaint index of 1.0 indicates that a life insurance company received an expected number of complaints, while an index below 1.00 means the company received fewer complaints than expected. A complaint index above 1.00 indicates the company received more complaints than expected.
Senior Life Insurance Company received a 3.67 complaint index, averaged over three years. This is a surprisingly high number—almost five times the number of expected complaints—and makes a case for choosing a different life insurance company with a lower complaint index, such as State Farm, Nationwide, or New York Life. All of these insurers have a complaint index below 1.00. Only eight other companies out of the 91 life insurance companies we reviewed received a complaint index score of above 5.00.
We use AM Best ratings to get a sense of how financially stable a life insurance company is and therefore how likely it is to be able to pay future insurance claims. AM Best rates over 16,000 insurance companies worldwide, but Senior Life Insurance Company is not one of them. This is not common among the carriers we reviewed. Only one other of the 91 life insurance companies we looked at was not rated.
AM Best assesses a company's ability to pay its claims on a graded scale, with A++ being the highest. All our best life insurance companies have at least an A rating. Since Senior Life isn’t rated, it makes it difficult to know how likely the company is to be able to pay future claims.
Senior Life offers two types of policies: term and whole life. Neither requires a medical exam.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is designed to last for a specific number of years, such as 20. Unlike whole life insurance, it is not permanent coverage and does not build a cash value. Senior Life offers two 20-year term policies with available coverage up to $50,000. If you choose a return-of-premium term, you’ll get 100% of the premiums returned to you if you outlive the 20-year term. This feature increases the policy’s cost and is not a common offering among insurance carriers.
Final Expense Insurance
Final expense coverage, or burial insurance, is a whole life insurance policy with a small death benefit. Beneficiaries can use the death benefit for whatever they need, but it’s often marketed to cover funeral expenses and final bills. Whole life policies build a cash value and last your entire life as long as premiums are paid. Senior Life offers coverage up to $30,000, but only if you qualify for the “ultimate” or “super preferred” plans. They also offer a guaranteed issue policy that anyone up to age 85 can qualify for, regardless of health conditions.
Some of Senior Life’s whole life insurance policies have a graded death benefit period for up to three years. If you die of natural causes during this time, your beneficiaries receive the premiums you paid plus 10% instead of the full death benefit.
Senior Life makes few riders available. Here are a few that may be available to you.
Accidental Death Benefit
An accidental death benefit pays an additional benefit on top of your death benefit if you die as the result of an accident.
A child rider adds term coverage to your base policy for your dependent children. Coverage is usually limited and may be convertible to permanent coverage once your child becomes an adult.
A charitable benefit may provide a small additional benefit (often a fraction of your policy’s value) to the charity of your choice.
Senior Life Insurance Company makes it possible to connect with their customer support team via an online contact form or by phone at (229)-228-6936. The online form can’t be used to change beneficiaries or ownership, modify your policy, or cancel coverage. Policy modifications must be made by connecting with their home office by phone. You can reach them via phone during the following business hours:
- 9AM to 6PM EST Monday through Thursday
- 9AM to 5PM EST on Friday
Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers
We designed a comprehensive ranking methodology based on consumer priorities and life insurance company fundamentals to rank more than 90 insurers across five general categories: financial stability, customer satisfaction, product and feature variety, the overall buying experience, and cost.
In order to do this, we collected over 5,000 data points and scored each company based on 55 metrics. We grouped metrics by category to see how insurers performed in each; we then weighted category scores to determine how companies performed overall.
To learn more, read our full Life Insurance Methodology.