Settlers Life Insurance Review

Whole life insurance policies with extended benefits

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Settlers Life Insurance

Settlers Life Insurance

Our Take

Settlers Life Insurance Group is not actively accepting new life insurance policies. Still, for existing policyholders, the extra benefits for whole life insurance policies can be a huge win when you need permanent coverage.  

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Riders included with some plans

  • Backing of a larger corporation

  • Immediate death benefits

Cons
  • Not currently selling policies

  • Not available in New York

  • High customer complaint score

Key Takeaways
  • Settlers Life Insurance is not currently accepting new business.
  • Settlers is a part of the bigger company, National Guardian Life, which is actively selling life insurance policies.
  • Settlers Life offers four plans for whole life insurance, plus a selection of riders.
Company Overview

Settlers was founded in 1933, but it is a part of the greater National Guardian Life (NGL), which was established in 1909. In addition to Settlers Life, NGL also sells policies via Madison National Life, Standard Security, Monitor Life, Trustmark, Central American Life Insurance Company, Ashley Life Insurance Company, and Citizens Security Life. 

Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Settlers Life is a partner-focused carrier that offers preneed, individual life, and annuities, as well as service for group markets. It is no longer accepting new business but still manages over $43 million in annual premiums, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Geographical Restrictions

Settlers Life policies are available in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Policies are not available in New York.

  • Year Founded 1933
  • Kinds of Plans Whole life
  • Number of Plans 4
  • Payment Plan Options Lifetime Pay, 10-Pay, 20-Pay, and Single Pay
  • Customer Service 800-542-8711: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST
  • Official Website www.settlerslife.com

Settlers 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

  • Riders included with some plans: Settlers offers free rider protection included with both the Gold and Silver policies. 
  • Backing of a larger corporation: Settlers Life has the backing of National Guardian Life, which is home to several insurance subsidiaries.
  • Immediate death benefits: Some Settlers plans include an immediate death benefit with your coverage.

Cons Explained

  • Not currently selling policies: Settlers Life is not currently accepting new life insurance clients, although you can still purchase from National Guardian Life.
  • Not available in New York: Settlers Life does not offer life insurance policies in New York. 
  • High customer complaint score: Based on scores from the NAIC, Settlers scores above average for customer complaints.

Available Plans

With Settlers Life Insurance, there are four types of whole life insurance policies. 

What You Need to Know

Settlers Life is a part of the larger insurance company, National Guardian Life.

Gold Plan 

Settler’s Gold Plan is an immediate benefit whole life insurance policy, which means that your death benefit is valid from day one. This policy serves policyholders between the ages of 15 days and 85 years. Policies range in value from $2,500 to $50,000 and carry level premiums. 

Maximum amounts do apply, according to the following schedule.

Settlers Gold Plan Maximum Coverage
Age Maximum Benefit 
15 days to 80 years $50,000
81 years to 85 years  $20,000 

Silver Plan 

The Silver Plan also features an immediate benefit with permanent whole life insurance coverage. There is also a level premium despite age, with policies formerly available to policyholders between the ages of six months and 85 years. 

Policy amounts vary from $1,000 to $25,000, with the maximum amount of coverage determined by age.

Settlers Silver Plan Maximum Coverage
Age Maximum Benefit 
6 months to 65 years $25,000
66 years to 75 years  $20,000 
76 years to 85 years  $15,000 

Bronze Plan

The Settlers Life Bronze Plan is a type of modified whole life insurance. It carries a reduced death benefit for the first two years of the policy if the policyholder dies from natural causes. Upon the third year, the full death benefit is available. Eligible policyholders range in age from 40 to 80 years, with policies ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 in coverage. However, this policy is not available in North Carolina.

Bronze II Plan

The Bronze II Plan is also a modified whole life policy with a reduced death benefit during the first two years. Although there is a reduced death benefit for deaths from natural causes, policyholders of the Bronze II Plan will receive the full death benefit if your death is ruled an accident. Benefits range from $1,000 to $10,000 with eligible policyholders between the ages of 40 and 75 years. There are also level premiums throughout the life of the policy.

Available Riders

Not all life insurance policies may suit your exact needs, but that is where the addition of a life insurance rider could help. A rider is a type of extra protection that can better customize your life insurance policy to match your and your family’s needs.

Child/Grandchild Death Benefit

The child/grandchild death benefit provides a single death benefit should a policyholder’s child or grandchild die. The benefit is either $5,000 or the face amount of your policy, depending on which is less. This is included with both the Gold and Silver plans at no additional cost.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

The Accidental Death Benefit Rider provides a death benefit should the policyholder die from an accident. The amount of the benefit ranges from $1,000 to $100,000, but you must be 40 years or older with coverage of at least $10,000 to receive a death benefit of $25,000 or more. This rider is eligible for policyholders up to the age of 70 years, with the rider terminating after the policyholder’s 80th birthday.

Accelerated Benefit Rider

With this rider, you can access up to 75% of the policy’s death benefit when you are diagnosed with a terminal illness carrying a life expectancy of six months or less. Some states will allow this benefit for those requiring continuous care in a nursing home. The Accelerated Benefit Rider is available at no extra cost with Settlers Gold and Silver Plans that carry a face amount of $5,000 or more. 

Customer Service

There are several ways that you can contact Settlers Life. Its office hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST with support available via phone, fax, email, and mail.

Settlers Life Contacts
Phone 800-542-8711: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST
Fax  888-275-2644
Service Email  phs@settlerslife.com 
Claims Email  claims@settlerslife.com 
Mailing Address  Settlers Life
P.O. Box 1191
Madison, WI 53701

Complaint Index

To determine customer satisfaction, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers its national complaint index report. Settlers Life receives a 1.14 score, which is higher than the baseline average of 1.0 for the industry. It is lower than 2019’s score of 1.26, but it is a far cry from 2018 when the company received a total score of 0.0. It shows that Settlers Life still has a long way to go when it comes to meeting the customer service offered by other life insurance companies.

Third-Party Ratings

Settlers Life is not rated by AM Best as of March 2021. Instead, we look to National Guardian Life Insurance Company as the ultimate parent company for ratings. National Guardian receives an A (Excellent) score, signaling strong financial reliability when it comes to claims processing. 

Cancellation Policy

Insurance companies offer a "free look" period for new contracts, typically lasting 10-30 days. This gives new policyholders a chance to review their contracts in detail to be sure that this is really the right policy.  Settlers Life is not issuing new policies, therefore a free look period will not apply to existing policies.

You can cancel existing policies by contacting the company. To cancel your policy, you can simply contact Settlers Life at 1-800-542-8711. Surrender fees may apply to permanent life insurance policies. Because Settlers is not offering new policies, you may not be able to buy new coverage if you cancel your old coverage.

Price

The price of your Settlers life insurance policy depends on several individual factors, like your medical history. Your age may determine the type of coverage or riders that you qualify for, including the amount of maximum coverage for your policy. Gender is another factor that can impact the price of your life insurance policy, although most insurance companies price policies based on your sex at birth and not current gender identity

For existing policyholders, Settlers offers several payment options for your policy:

  • Lifetime Pay: This gives you level premiums for the rest of your life
  • 10-Pay: Premiums are paid within 10 years
  • 20-Pay: Premiums last for 20 years
  • Single Pay: There is just a single premium

Competition

To best understand how Settlers Life compares to its competitors, we look to one of the best insurance companies, New York Life. Settlers holds just a small portion of market share compared to New York Life, with the latter holding steady as the third-largest provider in the U.S. New York Life also offers more than double the number of plans that Settlers Life offers, with much higher annual dividends. Given that Settlers is not currently accepting policies, New York Life is the better option for life insurance coverage.

  Settlers Life New York Life 
Market Share 0.0025% Third-largest in U.S., 5.7%
Number of Plans  4 10 
Dividends for 2020  $43.4 million  $1.9 billion 
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives  Not specified Not applicable
Service Method  Agents Agents 
AM Best Rating  Not rated A++ (Superior)
Price Rank  N/A Better than most
Complaints Trend  1.14 Poor 0.15 Excellent
Final Verdict

Settlers Life Insurance Company has excellent benefits and riders, but there is only whole life insurance available for its customers. With Settlers not taking on new business, it is not an option for life insurance.

Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers

At Investopedia, we use our proprietary life insurance review methodology to ensure that we provide the most current and accurate reviews for your family’s financial future. We consider several factors, such as available coverage and riders, eligibility requirements, and customer support. We also look to the industry’s most respected third-party ratings providers like AM Best for financial strength and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for customer satisfaction. Finally, we compare each provider to the best life insurance companies to see how they stack up against the industry’s best. 

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. "CIS Refined Results." Accessed August 9, 2021. 

  2. AM Best. "Settlers Life Insurance Company." Accessed August 9, 2021. 

  3. AM Best. "National Guardian Life Insurance Company." Accessed August 9, 2021.