TruStage Life Insurance Review

Quick and Easy Online Experience, But Term Policies Are Expensive

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TruStage

 TruStage

Investopedia’s Rating
3.1

Our Take

TruStage, which sells life insurance policies underwritten by CMFG, offers quick and easy term, whole, and guaranteed-issue life insurance, and is one of the few companies to offer online quotes for whole life coverage. However, pricing for term policies is extremely expensive, and for all policies, coverage limits are low and there are no customization options. Therefore, TruStage is best for people seeking a simple, permanent policy with a low face amount and an easy application process.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No medical exam required for any policy

  • Fully online application for all policies

  • Instant decision and same-day coverage are possible

Cons
  • Expensive term coverage

  • No available riders

  • Low coverage limits

Company Overview

TruStage Insurance Agency is part of the CUNA Mutual Group, whose policies are underwritten by CMFG Life Insurance Company. CMFG has been around for more than 80 years and is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. Through its partnerships with 3,500 credit unions nationwide, the company provides life insurance coverage to 20 million people. CMFG is licensed to provide life insurance in all states.

  • Year Founded 1935
  • Kinds of Policies Term life, whole life, guaranteed acceptance
  • Payment Options ACH, credit/debit card
  • Customer Service Mail. Online Form. Fax: 1-608-236-8030. Phone: 1-888-451-0003
  • Official Website www.trustage.com

Pros Explained

  • No medical exam required for any policy: There’s no need for a physical exam or invasive medical tests with any TruStage policy. You may be asked some simple health questions, but you won’t have the hassle of medical tests or exams. 
  • Fully online application for all policies: TruStage is one of the few insurance providers to offer online quotes for whole life coverage. What’s more, you can complete your application for any policy online. 
  • Instant decision and same-day coverage possible: You can get a decision right away about whether your application has been accepted, and coverage can begin as soon as you make your first payment. This ease is the reason TruStage made our list of best burial insurance companies.

Cons Explained

  • Expensive term coverage: Term coverage from TruStage Life increases in price as you enter hit five-year age milestones (for example, when you turn age 25, 30, 35, and so on), and premiums can be up to four times more expensive than other similar providers. 
  • No available riders: While many insurance providers offer endorsements to customize your policy, TruStage doesn’t offer accelerated death benefits, waiver of premium option, or any other riders. 
  • Low coverage limits: Term coverage face amounts only go up to $300,000, and you can only get up to $100,000 in whole life coverage and $20,000 from a guaranteed-issue policy. Many families will need more coverage than that, and can find it at numerous competitors.

Complaint Index

TruStage had fewer complaints than average for a company its size, according to data from National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). That bodes well for customer satisfaction with the company. Each year, the NAIC scores insurance companies based on the number of consumer complaints each receives, and creates a complaint index that takes into account each company’s size. You’d expect a larger company to get more complaints, and the index gives a way to compare companies of different sizes.

An index of 1.00 means the company received the expected number of complaints relative to its size. If a company gets more complaints than expected for its size, its complaint index will be higher than 1.00 and if it gets fewer complaints than expected, its index will be below 1.00. The lower the index, the better. Most of the carriers we named as the best life insurance companies don’t score above 1.00 in any given year. 

Over a three-year period, CMFG, the company that underwrites TruStage insurance, had an average complaint index of 0.862. While this is a definite positive, keep in mind that some other insurers score closer to zero. 

Third-Party Ratings

You can also feel good about the ability of CMFG to pay the claim on your TruStage policy. CMFG is well-rated for its financial stability, though some other companies fare better. The insurer received an “A” rating for financial strength from AM Best, an independent rating agency that evaluates insurance companies. An A means AM Best thinks the company has an “excellent” ability to meet its ongoing financial obligations. 

AM Best ratings are important because they indicate a company’s financial capability to pay claims. That’s why we typically don’t recommend any insurance company that scores below an A-. While CMFG has a strong rating, keep in mind that many of the top life insurance companies we review have an A+ grade or above. 

Competition

  TruStage SBLI  Allstate 
Types of Coverage Term, whole, guaranteed issue Term, whole, final expense Term, whole, universal, variable universal
Online Application  Yes  Yes  No 
AM Best Rating  A+ 
Price for Term Policies  Poor  Excellent  Information not available
NAIC Complaint Index (averaged over 3 years)  0.862  0.597  1.128 

Our ratings take into account NAIC complaint index scores and AM Best ratings. The NAIC complaint index indicates how many complaints a company receives relative to its size. AM Best assesses a company's ability to pay its claims on a graded scale, with A++ being the highest, and D the lowest. All of our picks for best life insurance companies have at least an A+ rating.

Policies Available

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is designed to provide coverage during a period when your family will still rely on your income to meet their financial obligations. Terms are typically between 10 and 30 years, and it’s common to buy a term policy that will end when the mortgage is paid and the kids are out of the house. If you die outside of the covered term, your family won’t receive a death benefit. But term life insurance is much more affordable than permanent life insurance, which lasts your whole life (as long as you pay the premiums). 

Typically, premiums for term life insurance policies stay level for the duration of the term, but theTruStage term life insurance plan has premiums that increase as you hit five-year age milestones (e.g., 25, 30, 35, 40, etc.). 

TruStage Individual Term Life Insurance

With TruStage, you can only apply for between $5,000 and $300,000 in coverage. That’s a much lower maximum level of coverage than offered by many competitors. All coverage amounts may not be available for all ages. There are no medical exam requirements, you can get a decision the same day, and coverage begins immediately with your first premium payment. Premiums only stay level until you reach the subsequent five-year age band, when they increase. This term policy is renewable until age 80. You can also convert the policy to a whole life policy. 

Whole Life Insurance

A whole life insurance policy provides permanent protection. As long as you pay your premiums, your beneficiaries will receive a payout no matter when you die. The policy also builds cash value, which you can borrow against. However, whole life insurance costs a lot more than term coverage. 

TruStage Individual Whole Life Insurance

TruStage is one of the few companies to offer an online quote and application for whole life insurance—and the policy doesn’t require a medical exam. However, you can only get between $5,000 and $100,000 in coverage—again, this is a much lower maximum than offered by competitors, most of whom have multi-million-dollar maximums, according to our research. The TruStage whole life policy comes with level premiums and is available for issue ages 18 to 85. 

Guaranteed-Issue Life Insurance

A guaranteed-issue policy (also called guaranteed acceptance insurance) is a small whole life policy designed to cover your funeral costs and other final expenses. Coverage is rarely more than $50,000, but no medical exam is required. As long as you meet the age requirements for the policy, you can’t be turned down. If you’re healthy, you may be better off applying for a traditional whole life policy because the premiums for guaranteed-issue policies are made for people who aren’t in good health, which means they’re more expensive. 

TruStage Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life Insurance

With this guaranteed-issue product, there are no medical exams or health questions to answer. You can apply online and coverage starts with your first premium payment. The policy is available to applicants aged 45 to 80, and you can get between $2,000 and $20,000 in coverage. 

The TruStage Guaranteed Acceptance policy, like most guaranteed-issue policies, has a graded death benefit. If you die of natural causes within the first two years of purchasing the policy, your beneficiaries will only receive a refund of the premiums you’ve paid, plus 10%. 

Available Riders

Life insurance riders help you customize your policy by adding coverage, providing living benefits, allowing you to purchase more coverage without taking a medical exam, or waiving premiums in certain circumstances. Many insurance companies offer a variety of riders, some of which are included at no cost. However, TruStage does not offer any life insurance riders. If you want the option to customize your policy with a child rider, terminal illness rider, waiver of premium, or other endorsement, you’ll need to look elsewhere for life insurance. 

Customer Service

TruStage has an online portal you can use to manage your policy, and beneficiaries can also file a claim online. The TruStage website notes that call center wait times are especially long and recommends using the online form to contact customer service. However, you can also call 1-888-451-0003 on weekdays between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time. Like many other life insurance companies, TruStage does not offer a live chat or a direct email address. 

Price

TruStage term coverage is very expensive, and premiums only stay level for up to five years. We pulled quotes for males and females of different ages seeking a 30-year term policy with a $250,000 face amount for 32 companies. Keep in mind that the TruStage quotes below are for individuals in excellent health, and your individual quote may vary. However, it’s safe to say you can find much more affordable coverage elsewhere. 

  Male Female 
Age 25  $77.50 $47.50
Age 40  $120  $80 
Age 55  $315  $222.50 

For comparison, a 40 year-old male could get the same coverage from SBLI for just $29.10. That’s less than one-quarter of the cost. 

Since most companies do not offer online quotes for whole life insurance, it’s difficult to compare TruStage’s pricing for those policies to other insurance providers. However, pricing for the TruStage Guaranteed Acceptance policy is more comparable to other companies in the industry. 

Is TruStage Life Insurance Right for Me?

If you’re looking for a quick and easy online application for whole life or guaranteed acceptance coverage and you only need a small policy, this company is worth consideration. Just be aware that you won’t be able to customize your policy with riders, so if you’re looking for an accelerated death benefit or other features, you should look elsewhere for coverage. 

Those in the market for affordable term coverage should also avoid getting a policy from TruStage. Not only is pricing exorbitant relative to other companies in the industry, but premiums do not stay level for the duration of the term. 

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

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  1. TrustPilot. "Trustage Insurance Reviews." Accessed April 1, 2021.