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While Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance earns high marks for its financial strength and lack of complaints, it has a very limited selection of life insurance offerings available in just 11 states. Further, customer service is limited primarily to phone and snail mail. Plus, there’s limited policy information available on the website—you’ll need to talk to an agent for policy specifics.
- Pros and Cons
- Company Overview
Far fewer complaints than expected
Superior financial strength
Permanent life policies are eligible for dividends
Limited life insurance policy options
Only available in 11 states
Southern Farm Bureau (SFB) Life Insurance Company was chartered in 1946 and began operations in 1947. Today, the company is headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, and serves 11 states including Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Its offerings include life insurance, fixed annuities, and business insurance.
- Far fewer complaints than expected: According to the National Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), SFB had far fewer complaints than are expected for an insurer of its size.
- Superior financial strength: AM Best determined that SFB has a superior ability to meet its ongoing policy and contractual obligations.
- Permanent life policies are eligible for dividends: SFB may pay you dividends each year if you’re a permanent policyholder beginning on the policy anniversary after your first year.
- Limited life insurance policy options: The company only offers term and whole life policies. This is far fewer than many of the best-rated life insurance companies.
- Only available in 11 states: SFB is only licensed to sell life insurance in 11 states, which excludes customers in much of the U.S.
Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance fares very well when it comes to complaints. It has far fewer than expected for an insurer of its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The NAIC calculates a complaint index annually that shines a light on how many complaints insurers get relative to the rest of the market.
An index of 1.00 means an insurer’s complaints are in line with what’s expected. Anything over 1.00 means the insurer has more complaints than are expected, and anything under 1.00 means it received fewer complaints than expected. Southern Farm Bureau received an impressive 0.15 average complaint index over a three-year period, earning it 11th place among the 89 insurance companies we reviewed with NAIC complaint index data.
Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance also earns high marks for its financial strength, according to the renowned credit rating agency AM Best. AM Best analyzes insurance companies worldwide to determine how well they can meet their ongoing insurance policy and contractual obligations.
The company’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) scale ranges from D to A++, and SFB earned an A+ (Superior), meaning the company has a superior ability to meet its contractual obligations, such as paying claims. The majority of life insurers we reviewed (about 54%) earned an AM Best FSR of A+ or better. Only about 12% earned the highest rating of an A++.
Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance has a limited policy selection, only offering term and whole life policies.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is a life insurance policy that covers you for a set amount of time—often 10, 20, or 30 years. If you pass away during the covered period, your beneficiary receives a death benefit. Unlike a whole life insurance policy, term coverage does not have a cash value component.
Term life is an affordable way to cover a temporary need for life insurance in the event of an untimely death. For example, it can help to pay off a mortgage, cover college costs, or replace the breadwinner’s income while children are at home.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is a permanent type of life insurance that will cover you for the rest of your life, as long you pay your fixed monthly premiums. When you pass away, your beneficiary receives a death benefit. These policies have a cash value component that builds over time. And SFB whole life policyholders are eligible to earn annual dividends.
You can withdraw or borrow against the cash value during your life. However, any amount borrowed and not paid back will be deducted from the death benefit your beneficiary receives.
Southern Farm Bureau offers a handful of riders that can enhance your life insurance coverage. They include the following:
Guaranteed Insurability Rider
A guaranteed insurability rider guarantees that you can purchase additional life insurance coverage on specific dates, or after certain events, without providing evidence of insurability. There is often an age limit restricting how old you can be when you add this rider to your policy and how old you can be when you use it.
Child Term Rider
A child term rider (CTR) enables you to add life insurance coverage for your child or children. The rider covers children up to a certain age, such as 25. When that term ends, the previously covered child can usually convert the plan to a permanent policy without undergoing a health exam or underwriting. If the child dies during the covered period, you will receive a death benefit.
Waiver of Premium
A waiver of premium rider is a coverage type that waives your premiums if you become disabled. With this benefit, you can keep coverage throughout your disability without worrying about premium payments.
ADB: Terminal Illness Rider
An accelerated death benefit (ADB) enables you to receive a portion of your death benefit while you are alive if certain conditions are met. In the case of a terminal illness rider, you can receive the ADB if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
You can reach Southern Farm Bureau’s general customer service team by phone at 601-981-7422. The company’s business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. Additionally, there are dedicated phone lines for claims and policy assistance. If you prefer to communicate via writing, there is no live chat option or online form. However, you can send a letter through the mail to 1401 Livingston Lane, Jackson, MS 39213.
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.