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Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (Thrivent) is a long-standing organization that provides a standard lineup of life insurance products at affordable pricing. It stands out for its financial strength, low number of complaints, and dividend distributions. However, it’s not the most tech-savvy company and requires its members to be Christians, which excludes many applicants.
- Pros & Cons
- Company Overview
Very few complaints
Superior financial strength ratings
No online application available
Faith-based membership requirement
Thrivent is a not-for-profit, faith-based financial services organization that is member-owned. It was originally founded in 1902 by 500 people who chipped in to start an insurance fund and has continued to expand over the past century. Today, Thrivent, which is headquartered in Minneapolis, provides banking, investments, insurance, financial advice, and generosity programs. It has grown into a Fortune 500 company, with a network of 3,630 financial professionals across the United States and $189 billion in assets under advisement (as of December 31, 2021).
- Year Founded 1902
- Kinds of Policies Term, whole, universal, variable universal
- Payment Options ACH transfer, check, transfer from another Thrivent product
- Customer Service 800-847-4836. Claims: 920-628-6713. Online form
- Official Website https://www.thrivent.com/
- Very few complaints: Thrivent receives far fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size.
- Affordable pricing: When we compared the average cost of life insurance from companies nationwide, Thrivent’s quotes were among the most affordable.
- Superior financial strength ratings: The company earned an A++ rating from AM Best for its financial strength. This is the agency’s highest rating and indicative of a superior ability to pay insurance claims.
- Pays dividends on eligible life insurance products: Thrivent distributes dividends to clients who own eligible insurance products. While it is not guaranteed, the company has paid dividends every year since 1913.
- No online application available: You can’t apply for Thrivent’s life insurance policies online. Instead, you’ll need to fill out a form and wait for a call, which can slow down the process.
- Faith-based membership requirement: To become a member of Thrivent, the company requires you to be a “Christian seeking to live out your faith” or the spouse of one.
Thrivent tends to receive far fewer complaints than are expected for an insurance company of its size, according to the complaint index created by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
The NAIC complaint index shows how companies fare relative to other companies when it comes to life insurance complaints. An index of 1.00 means that the insurer is on par with the number of complaints that are expected for a company of its size. A score below 1.00 means that the insurer has fewer complaints than expected, while a score above this number means it has more complaints than expected.
Based on complaint index data over a three-year period, Thrivent’s average index was 0.127, which means it has far fewer complaints than is typical for a company of its size. When comparing Thrivent to other insurance companies, it has one of the lowest complaint indexes in the industry.
If you’re a Christian looking for one of the best life insurance companies that receives few customer complaints, Thrivent is one to consider.
Thrivent Financial also fares well when it comes to ratings provided by AM Best. The rating agency gave Thrivent an A++, its highest possible rating, for financial strength. AM Best grades companies on a scale of D to A++, based on their balance sheet strength and operational performance. Thrivent’s A++ rating indicates it has a superior ability to pay claims and other financial obligations. Almost all of the 91 companies we reviewed received an A- (Excellent) or better rating, but Thrivent is one of only nine insurers we reviewed that earned the highest rating possible.
These ratings are important because they tell potential policyholders how stable an insurer is and how likely it is to meet its ongoing insurance obligations.
Thrivent offers the following life insurance policy options.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance requires policyholders to pay a fixed monthly premium amount over a set term, such as 20 years. In return, if the insured person dies during that period, their beneficiary will receive a death benefit payment. Unlike permanent policies, these plans do not have a cash value component.
Policyholders can choose from several term lengths ranging from 10 to 30 years, depending on their age and coverage needs. Coverage amounts range from $100,000 to $2 million. Basic term conversion is included on all term contracts, which are also renewable at the end of the term period.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is a permanent life insurance product that guarantees to pay a specific death benefit to an insured person’s beneficiary no matter when the insured person dies. Unlike term life insurance policies that only cover a limited number of years, whole life insurance covers you as long as you make the fixed monthly premium payments. These policies also accumulate a cash value that policyholders can access while they are alive.
Thrivent’s whole life policyholders can opt to make premium payments up to age 95, and are eligible to earn dividends. They can also enhance their policies with riders, including an accelerated death benefit for terminal illness rider; paid-up additions rider; disability waiver of premium rider; and guaranteed purchase option.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance is another type of permanent life insurance that accumulates a cash value component. However, unlike your typical term life policy or a whole life policy, it allows you to adjust your premiums and death benefit throughout the policy period.
Variable Universal Life Insurance
Variable life policies are a type of universal life insurance where policyholders can choose to invest their cash value in the stock market. The money can be split into various investment funds—for example, stock, bond, and money market funds. The premium payments can vary based on how you invest and the returns can potentially surpass or be less than those of other insurance policies, depending on investment performance.
Variable life insurance is considered the riskiest type of life insurance because if your investments perform poorly, you may need to increase the premium or the policy could lapse.
Sometimes you need or want your life insurance policy to pay more than just a death benefit to your beneficiaries. Here’s a look at the add-on riders available with Thrivent.
Guaranteed Insurability Rider
A guaranteed insurability rider or guaranteed increase option lets policyholders increase their death benefit amount in the future without undergoing a medical exam. With Thrivent, this option is only available for juvenile contracts, meaning life insurance for children.
Waiver of Premium Rider
A waiver of premium rider waives your monthly insurance payments if you become totally disabled, critically ill, or seriously injured. With Thrivent, this is an option you can add to your policy for an additional cost. You can file for the premium waiver after four or six consecutive months of disability, depending on your contract.
Accidental Death Benefit
An accidental death benefit rider pays an additional death benefit to beneficiaries if the insured person dies due to an accident such as a car crash. Thrivent offers policyholders the ability to add this rider to their life insurance contracts for an additional cost.
Accelerated Death Benefit (ADB): Terminal Illness Rider
If a life insurance policyholder is diagnosed with a terminal illness, the accelerated death benefit (ADB) rider will allow the policyholder to receive the death benefit while still alive. This rider is standard on all Thrivent life insurance contracts. Policyholders receive the accelerated benefit if they have a life expectancy of 24 months or less.
Paid-Up Additions (PUA) Rider (on participating whole life policies)
While a whole life insurance policy doesn’t allow policyholders to increase their death benefit by making extra payments, a paid-up additions rider provides the option by allowing you to purchase small portions of paid-up life insurance. Thrivent charges extra to add this rider to your policy.
Guaranteed Purchase Option (on participating whole life policies)
Available for an additional cost, this rider guarantees the option to purchase Thrivent insurance contracts or riders at a fixed or alternate purchase option date. This option is available on universal life, variable universal life and whole life policies (except single-premium whole life).
Thrivent offers a general customer support phone line at the number 800-847-4836, which is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST. You can also fill out an online form and a Thrivent financial advisor will contact you.
If you prefer one-on-one support, you can search the Thrivent directory for a financial advisor near you. Further, if someone needs to report the death of a loved one, Thrivent offers a dedicated phone line (920-628-6312) and an online form for that specific purpose.
While there is no live chat option, most life insurance providers don’t currently offer that support channel.
As part of our review of dozens of companies, we gathered quotes for males and females in excellent health, aged 25, 40, and 55 years old, looking for 30-year $250,000 term policies. Thrivent’s policies were among the most affordable. In fact, its quotes were cheaper than almost 80% of the companies we collected data for.
Is Thrivent Life Right for Me?
If you are of the Christian faith and looking for an affordable term policy or permanent insurance life insurance, Thrivent is a very suitable option. The company’s strong claims-paying ability and remarkably low complaint score are good indications that it takes its fraternal benefit society role seriously. Of course, the company doesn’t provide final expense policies, which means you’d need to look elsewhere if you want a small amount of coverage with no exam and minimal to no health questions.
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.