Stonebridge Life Insurance Review

Multi-faceted life insurance with protection for foreign nationals

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Transamerica

Transamerica

Our Take

Stonebridge Life Insurance is issued by Transamerica Life Insurance Company in the United States. With a strong European network, it is a great choice for foreign nationals and others with international ties.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Licensed in New York

  • International power

  • Easy application process

Cons
  • High customer complaints

  • Limited online tools

  • Mobile app is lacking

Key Takeaways
  • Stonebridge Life Insurance Company sells life insurance companies in the U.S. under Transamerica Life Insurance Company.
  • Established in 1904, Transamerica is today based in Baltimore, Maryland and services the entire U.S.
  • Transamerica offers whole, term, index universal, and final expense life insurance policies, as well as life insurance for foreign nationals.
Company Overview

Stonebridge Life Insurance offers life insurance to European customers. In the U.S., Stonebridge issues its North American policies via Transamerica, an Aegon company. Transamerica was formed in 1904 and is today based in Baltimore, Maryland.

Stonebridge life insurance products are issued via three different companies: Transamerica Life Insurance Company and Transamerica Casualty Insurance Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company in Harrison, New York.

Geographical Restrictions

Stonebridge life insurance policies, issued by Transamerica, are available in all 50 states.

  • Year Founded 1904
  • Kinds of Plans Whole, term, index universal, final expense
  • Number of Plans 5
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually
  • Customer Service 888-345-0234
  • Official Website www.insuranceservicenow.transamerica.com

Stonebridge 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

  • Licensed in New York: Unlike many other life insurance providers, Transamerica is licensed to sell life insurance products in New York.
  • International power: Transamerica also has the additional backing of its UK sister company, Stonebridge Life Insurance Company, for greater international power.
  • Easy application process: Transamerica speeds up the application process with its Express Protect Underwriting program and the new iGO e-APP.

Cons Explained

  • High customer complaints: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners logs some of the highest customer complaints about Transamerica when compared to other providers with lower average scores.
  • Limited online tools: Unlike other providers, Transamerica has limited online resources for customers, so policyholders are often best served by contacting an agent or customer support directly.
  • Mobile app is lacking: While Transamerica does offer a mobile app, it is more retirement-focused and does not allow you to manage your life insurance policy.

Available Plans

Stonebridge Life Insurance Company offers five plans for whole, term, index universal, and final expense life insurance via Transamerica Life Insurance Company in the U.S.

Transamerica Lifetime

This plan places a focus on Transamerica’s 3 Guarantees, which guarantees a death benefit, accumulated cash value, and level premiums that never increase as long as your policy remains paid. 

There are short-pay scenarios that offer level options of 10, 20, and 30 years lasting through the age of 100. Policyholders can supplement whole life insurance coverage with the Chronic Illness Rider, Critical Illness Rider, and Terminal Illness Accelerated Death Benefit Rider. 

Foreign nationals may also qualify for whole life insurance with minimum coverage of $250,000.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance coverage from Transamerica ranges from 10 to 30 years, available in five-year increments for greater flexibility. Policies range from $25,000 up to $10 million and more in coverage, depending on eligibility requirements. 

There is no medical exam required for two types of customers:

  • Policies up to $2 million for policyholders between the ages of 18 and 45 
  • Policies up to $1 million for policyholders between the ages of 46 and 55 

There are two policies for term life insurance. 

Trendsetter Super

The Trendsetter Super policy holds a high death benefit of up to $10 million or more, based on qualifications. It is a convertible term life policy, which means that you can convert your policy to permanent coverage without the requirement of additional underwriting. 

Trendsetter LB

For smaller amounts of coverage, the Trendsetter LB gives up to $2 million in death benefits. You also have the option to purchase additional riders for living benefits in case of chronic, critical, or terminal illness.

Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL (FFIUL)

The Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL (FFIUL) policy carries a guaranteed death benefit and has the potential to build cash value. You can choose from either a basic interest account or an index account that has a floor, which means that it carries a guaranteed minimum interest rate to provide you with extra peace of mind. The FFIUL policy uses three major stock indexes: the S&P 500 Index, EURO STOXX 50 INDEX, and the Hang Seng Index.

With this policy, you have the option to control your money how you see fit and without the usual tax penalties for transactions like tax-free loans, withdrawals, earnings, and transfers between accounts. There is a No-Lapse Guarantee that guarantees that your policy will never be canceled as long as you pay your monthly premiums, and there is the additional opinion of adding the Concierge Planning Rider (CPR).

Final Expense Solution Portfolio

Transamerica’s Final Expense Solution Portfolio is a type of whole life insurance policy that carries level premiums. Policies range from $1,000 to $50,000 and include a guaranteed death benefit.

Foreign National Life Insurance

Transamerica also specializes in life insurance for foreign nationals who regularly visit or do business in the United States. Coverage is available to eligible residents of 47 countries and features its own dedicated team of professionals for support. With both whole and term life insurance available, Transamerica has over 20 years of serving foreign nationals in the insurance market. 

The following Transamerica products are available for foreign nationals:

  • Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL (FFIUL)
  • Trendsetter Super (excludes Trendsetter LB)
  • Transamerica Lifetime Whole Life

Limits for your policy depend on country of origin with auto-bind limits that range from $7 million to $35 million. For more details about policy options, talk to an insurance agent about life insurance for your country of residence.

Available Riders

Transamerica offers some of the most robust coverage for riders compared to other life insurance carriers. Riders are special add-ons that provide extra coverage and allow policyholders to better customize protection to suit their individual needs.  

There are 14 riders available for your Transamerica life insurance policy. 

Chronic Illness Accelerated Death Benefit Rider 

If you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, you may be able to receive a portion of your death benefit early to help with your medical care. This coverage must be purchased at the time of policy purchase and is subject to certain eligibility requirements.

Critical Illness Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

With the critical illness rider, you receive access to a portion of your death benefit early should you receive a diagnosis for a critical illness. This protection must be purchased at the time you buy your policy, and certain restrictions may apply. 

Terminal Illness Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

All whole life insurance policies include the terminal illness accelerated death benefit rider. This enables you to access your death benefit while you are still alive if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

If you become temporarily disabled, this rider will waive your policy premiums during the entirety of your disability period.

Income Protection Option

With the Income Protection Option (IPO) rider, you can choose how your beneficiaries earn the policy’s death benefit. There are four choices: an initial lump sum, guaranteed monthly income for up to 25 years, a final lump sum, or a hybrid of all three options.

Guaranteed Insurability Benefit Rider

If you think that you may want additional coverage in the future, the guaranteed insurability benefit rider will help you bypass any medical exams or other requirements that would otherwise be necessary to purchase a policy.

Term Insurance Rider

With this rider, you can purchase additional level term insurance that is charged at term insurance rates.

Children's Benefit Rider

You can add on coverage for your children with fixed-rate term insurance. Coverage must be for children between the ages of 15 days and 18 years to be eligible.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

If you die from an accidental bodily injury, Transamerica will pay the face amount of this rider. 

Concierge Planning Rider (CPR)

The Concierge Planning Rider applies to policies with a face amount of $250,000 or more and includes access to services from the Everest Funeral Package, LLC to help with will preparation, document storage, and funeral planning. 

Overloan Protection Rider (OPR)

The Overloan Protection Rider will protect your policy against a lapse when you have outstanding loans and will also protect your loans from being taxed when the rider is exercised. With the rider, policyholders will still receive a small death benefit.   

Base Insured Rider

The Base Insured Rider offers the policyholders the option to add additional level term coverage at the price of term insurance.

Additional Insured Rider

If you would like to also add protection for family members, the additional insured rider will provide term life insurance coverage for up to five family members.

Disability Waiver of Monthly Deductions Rider

If you experience a disability, the Disability Waiver of Monthly Deductions Rider will waive your policy’s monthly deductions. This rider is not available in Puerto Rico.

Customer Service

Transamerica offers a full range of support and services online when you make a free account. You can also reach Transamerica by mail or by calling 888-345-0234, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST. To email customer support, there is an online contact form.

Type of Contact Contact Info 
Mailing address PO Box 869092
Plano, TX 75068-9092
Administrative office  2700 West Plano Parkway
Plano, TX 75075 
Transamerica Corporation  Transamerica Corporation 
6400 C Street SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52499 
Customer Service  888-345-0234
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST 
Fax Number  972-881-4527 

Complaint Index 

A key indicator of a company’s customer service is its overall NAIC customer complaint index satisfaction. Using a baseline score of 1.00, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks and rates a company based on the number of customer complaints it receives each year. 

Transamerica scores badly on the Complaint Index, with an average 1.30 score in 2020 that is above the industry average. It is a pattern that has continued from recent years when it received a 1.26 rating in 2019 and 1.43 in 2018.

Transamerica receives poor scores for customer satisfaction based on customer complaints tracked by the NAIC.

Third-Party Ratings

Another key indicator of a company's strength is its AM Best score. This shows a company’s financial strength and can be very telling when it comes to claims processing and payments. Transamerica receives an A (Excellent) score, meaning that it is one of the more financially sound life insurance companies in the U.S.  

Cancellation Policy 

Policyholders have the option to cancel their life insurance coverage at any time, though there may be penalties associated with certain cash value accounts. Policies may also be canceled by the company at any time due to non-payment. For more details about how to cancel your policy, you can log into your account or contact your insurance agent.

Price

Transamerica life insurance policies feature several options to make purchasing a new policy easy. As a company that prioritizes health, Transamerica offers Express Protect Underwriting, which includes automated decisions for the best two preferred classes, in addition to juveniles and non-medical classes. Preferred rates are given to those policies of $100,000 or more under the following preferred classes:

  • Preferred Elite - Non-Tobacco
  • Preferred Plus - Non-Tobacco
  • Preferred - Non-Tobacco

There is also "fluidless acceleration" that waives the typical blood and urine seen with most required medical exams. Some customers may also qualify for teleinterview exams, which are available 24/7 and can be used in lieu of traditional paramedical exams.

The cost of a Transamerica life insurance policy depends on several factors, such as the coverage you choose, how old you are, and your medical history. Gender is another factor that can impact price, although most companies tend to use a person’s sex at birth to determine pricing rather than current gender identity.

Once you purchase your life insurance, Transamerica offers flexible payment options that include federal allotment and salary deduction payment options, in addition to the traditional payment methods.

Competition

To see how Transamerica fares against industry competitors, we measured it against New York Life, one of the best life insurance companies. While both are large insurance companies, New York Life holds a much larger market share in the U.S. compared to Transamerica. New York Life also offers twice as many options for coverage with higher scores for financial strength from AM Best and customer satisfaction from NAIC making it our clear winner. 

  Transamerica Life Insurance Company New York Life 
Market Share Eighth-largest in the U.S., 2.8% Third-largest in U.S., 5.7%
Number of Plans  10 
Dividends for 2020  $4.86 billion  $1.9 billion 
Wellness Program Discounts/ Quit Smoking Incentives  Yes  Not applicable 
Service Method  Agents  Agents 
AM Best Rating  A (Excellent)  A++ (Superior) 
Price Rank  Varies  Better than most 
Complaints Trend  1.30 (Poor)  0.15 (Excellent) 
Final Verdict

Stonebridge Life Insurance Company offers several options for life insurance under Transamerica Insurance Company in the U.S., with plans for whole, term, index universal life, and final expense life insurance for both U.S. residents and foreign nationals. Although customer satisfaction scores are not the greatest, Transamerica brings the international power of Aegon companies to help secure its life insurance policies.

Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers

Investopedia’s exclusive life insurance review methodology ensures that you receive the most current and accurate information for your financial decisions. To determine the best life insurance providers, we consider a number of different factors, including available coverage, options for riders, pricing, and ratings for things like financial strength and customer satisfaction. Based on these elements and more, we are able to evaluate and discern the industry’s best companies for your life insurance needs.

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 July 30, 2021. 

  2. AM Best. "Transamerica Life Insurance Company." Accessed July 30, 2021.