Symetra Life Insurance Review

Financially stable insurer with few customer complaints

We recommend the best products through an independent review process, and advertisers do not influence our picks. We may receive compensation if you visit partners we recommend. Read our advertiser disclosure for more info.

Symetra

Symetra

Investopedia’s Rating
3.7

Our Take

Symetra Life Insurance Company sells various types of life insurance, with the notable exception of whole life, and a standard mix of riders. It has a low complaint index, which generally means that it offers a good customer experience. However, the company’s high minimum coverage amount may not be suitable for some buyers.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Company Overview
  • specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Same-day decision available

  • Charitable giving rider included at no cost

  • Affordable term coverage

Cons
  • High minimum coverage amount

  • No whole life insurance

Company Overview

Symetra Life Insurance Company, headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, was founded in 1957. It’s a subsidiary of Symetra Financial Corporation, which is wholly owned by Sumitomo Life, a large life insurance company in Japan. Symetra Life is licensed to sell insurance in all states except New York, where its products are sold through a subsidiary, First Symetra National Life Insurance Company of New York.

specifications
AM Best Rating
A
NAIC Score (avg.)
N/A
Years In Business
65 Years
Policy Types
Indexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL)
Accepts Credit Cards
No
Symetra

Symetra

Investopedia’s Rating
3.7

Pros Explained

  • Same-day decision available: Of the 91 life insurance companies we reviewed, fewer than half are able to provide same-day decisions after you submit an application. In many instances, Symetra provides an answer in about 25 minutes. Many other applicants receive a response within 24 to 72 hours. The length of time it takes to process your application depends on the answers in your application. 
  • Charitable giving rider included at no cost: If you plan to donate to charity when you pass away, Symetra makes it simple. Its charitable giving rider allows you to donate 1% of your death benefit to the charity of your choice. 
  • Affordable term coverage: When compared to 31 other term life insurers that we collected quotes for, Symetra’s policies were among the most affordable, particularly for applicants in their mid-40s.

While it has many excellent offerings and capabilities, Symetra did not make our list of top-rated life insurance companies.

Cons Explained

  • High minimum coverage amount: If you want to buy a small policy to cover final expenses, Symetra won’t be a good fit. Its minimum coverage amount is $100,000, which is much higher than many companies we researched that offer $1,000 or $10,000 minimums. 
  • No whole life insurance: Whole life insurance is a popular type of policy. If you want to purchase this kind of permanent coverage, Symetra isn’t for you.

Complaint Index

Compared to companies of a similar size, Symetra Life Insurance Company receives notably fewer complaints.

This assessment is based on National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index data. The NAIC complaint index is a score given each insurer based on the number of complaints it received relative to its market share. The baseline index is 1.00. Companies with an index of 1.00 have an expected number of complaints based on their size, while those with fewer complaints have an index less than 1.00. Conversely, companies with more complaints generate an index over 1.00.

Since a single year of complaints data doesn’t paint the most complete picture, we studied three years of data to help get a better understanding of how each company performs. Over three years, Symetra Life Insurance Company garnered a score of only 0.327—which indicates it received far fewer than expected. 

Third-Party Rating

Symetra is a financially stable company, with a strong balance sheet. This is based on the assessment of AM Best, an independent ratings agency that reviews over 16,000 insurance companies worldwide. AM Best, which analyzes insurers’ financial stability and strength, gave Symetra a score of A (Excellent), which suggests the company is in an excellent position to meet its financial obligations, such as paying claims. 

AM Best uses a rating scale from A++ to D.

Policies Available 

Symetra offers a mix of term and permanent life insurance products. 

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance provides a death benefit to your beneficiaries if you pass away during a specific coverage period, usually between 10 and 30 years. Unlike permanent life insurance, term life doesn’t have a cash value that can accumulate over time. Instead, you pay steady premiums for the set term period. Symetra’s term policies can be converted to permanent coverage and are renewable once the term expires.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance. As long as you pay sufficient premiums, coverage can last your entire life. In addition to the death benefit, this type of insurance has a savings component that allows you to earn interest and take out loans or make withdrawals. 

Universal life insurance is more flexible than whole life insurance since you can adjust your premiums and death benefit over time. However, with this flexibility, you lose some guarantees. If the cash value doesn’t perform as expected or if you make insufficient premium payments, you may need to increase premiums during later years to keep the policy active.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Indexed policies are a type of universal life insurance. However, instead of investing your cash value directly into the stock market, your funds are linked to an index fund. As the index fund goes up, so does your account. Should the index fund decline, you’re protected from losses; your money isn’t directly invested, so you won’t lose funds. This means it’s less risky compared to universal life insurance policies. However, like losses, gains are also limited.

Available Riders 

Once you select the type of life insurance policy that works best for you, you can customize it. Riders are features you can add to your policy to meet additional needs. Symetra has a range of riders available. 

Child Rider

Adding a child rider to your life insurance policy provides death benefits for your dependent children in the event your child passes away. This type of rider is often convertible to permanent coverage once your child becomes an adult.

Waiver of Premium 

If you are injured and can no longer work, you may not be able to pay your insurance premium. In most situations, not paying the bill means your coverage gets terminated. However, with a waiver of premium rider, your premium payments could be waived if you meet certain conditions.   

Accidental Death Benefit 

An accidental death benefit rider pays your beneficiaries an additional death benefit if an accident causes your death. For instance, if you die in a car crash, your loved ones would receive your policy’s death benefit plus the amount of this rider. 

Accelerated Death Benefit: Terminal Illness Rider

A terminal illness rider is a type of accelerated death benefit. It allows you to access your life insurance policy’s death benefit while you’re still alive if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness. Symetra offers this rider for no additional charge for some policies. 

Accelerated Death Benefit: Chronic Illness Rider

This rider is another type of accelerated death benefit, which gives you access to a portion of your life insurance funds if you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness, such as mental incapacitation. Typically, you’ll qualify if you can no longer perform at least two of six activities of daily living. Some of the policies Symetra offers include this rider for no additional charge. 

Charitable Giving Rider

Symetra also offers a charitable giving rider on some policies. This allows you to designate a charity to donate an additional 1% of your death benefit to when you pass away.  

Customer Service

You can contact Symetra’s customer service by calling 800-786-3872. Its offices are open Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST. You can also fill out an online form to contact the company by email.  

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.

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. “Consumer Insurance Search.”

  2. AM Best. “Guide to Best’s Financial Strength Ratings - (FSR).”