Wells Fargo Life Insurance Review

Wells Fargo Advisors works as a third-party broker for life insurance

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Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo

Our Take

Wells Fargo no longer issues its own life insurance policies. Although it may be a great choice for your banking needs, Wells Fargo is not an option for your life insurance needs unless you don’t mind going through a third-party broker.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Large selection of financial products

  • Brokers help with third-party insurance

Cons
  • No longer sells direct life insurance

  • Long history of legal challenges

  • No detailed insurance information online

Key Takeaways
  • Wells Fargo is one of the oldest financial institutions in the U.S.
  • It used to offer life insurance via Prudential but ceased sale of these products after its 2016 fraud scandal.
  • Wells Fargo Advisors is available to act as a third-party broker, but you will pay more for its services.
Company Overview

Wells Fargo is one of the oldest American financial institutions, established in 1852 by founders Henry Wells and William G. Fargo. Over the years, it has offered a number of financial products, including banking, home mortgages, investments, and commercial financial services. Today, it serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of U.S. small businesses with a total of $1.9 trillion in assets.

However, in December 2016, Prudential ceased its partnership with Wells Fargo after Wells Fargo was accused of illegally purchasing financial products on behalf of its clients using client funds. This includes life insurance, in addition to bank accounts and credit cards.

For a time, Wells Fargo sold life insurance as a brokerage firm under Wells Fargo Advisors but stopped selling life insurance policies in 2018. General information is available online, but you will need to contact a financial advisor for more details. This advisor will work as a third-party broker to help you find and secure life insurance coverage.

Geographical Restrictions

Today, Wells Fargo has more than 4,900 retail banking branches and over 12,000 ATMs across the country.

However, Wells Fargo is not available in the following 12 states:

  • Kentucky
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Vermont 
  • West Virginia
  • Year Founded 1853
  • Kinds of Plans None
  • Number of Plans 0
  • Payment Plan Options N/A
  • Customer Service Phone 1-866-281-7436
  • Official Website https://www.wellsfargo.com/

Wells Fargo 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

  • Established in 1852: Wells Fargo is one of the oldest financial institutions in the United States.
  • Large selection of financial products: A number of different financial products are available, allowing you to plan your entire financial future in one place.
  • Brokers help with third-party insurance: Wells Fargo Advisors works as a third-party broker to help you find the right insurance policy from several different carriers.

Cons Explained

  • No longer sells direct life insurance: Since 2018, Wells Fargo has not sold its own life insurance products.  
  • Long history of legal challenges: Wells Fargo faced scandal in 2016 over the illegal purchase of consumer life insurance policies without its customers’ knowledge.
  • No detailed insurance information online: Few details are available online about life insurance, with the company sticking to just brief overviews instead.

Available Plans

Wells Fargo has no insurance policies of its own. Instead, its advisors sell products that are offered through affiliated agencies and underwritten by unaffiliated insurance companies.  

Wells Fargo no longer issues life insurance policies.

Some popular types of life insurance include term, whole, universal, and variable life insurance.

Term

Term life insurance is a temporary type of coverage that is known for its generally affordable premiums. Your policy provides coverage for a specific period of time, typically 10 to 30 years. It includes a death benefit paid to your beneficiaries if the policyholder dies while the policy is still active. 

Popular companies for the best term life insurance include Prudential, State Farm, and Transamerica.

Whole

Unlike term insurance’s temporary coverage, whole life insurance is a permanent policy designed to protect you for the rest of your life. When you die, there is a death benefit paid out to your beneficiaries, similar to term life insurance. As you pay premiums, your policy accumulates cash value at a fixed interest rate.

Some of the best whole life insurance companies include MassMutual, Northwestern Mutual, and New York Life. 

Universal

Universal life insurance is known for its flexibility because you can adjust the amount of your death benefit and even skip your monthly premium, based on which policy you choose. It is also a permanent form of life insurance that grows cash value over time. These funds can then be used for emergency expenses. While these policies typically offer a guaranteed minimum interest rate, this interest rate is not fixed and, therefore, can leave your account subject to losses.

The best universal life insurance companies include State Farm, Prudential, and AAA Life Insurance Company. 

Variable Life

Also a permanent form of life insurance, variable life insurance holds a fixed death benefit, but your cash value is not guaranteed and depends on a select group of market investments that you choose for your accounts. 

It could make for a very lucrative benefit when you pass away, but your account is also subject to market conditions and can decrease at any time.

Available Riders

When you purchase a new life insurance policy, you have the ability to customize your policy with additional coverage. A life insurance rider is a specific type of insurance protection that you can purchase to both expand and personalize your policy.  

Some common life insurance riders include:

Accidental Death Rider

With the Accidental Death Rider in place, your beneficiary can receive an extra death benefit if the policyholder dies from an accident. Sometimes called a double indemnity rider, the Accidental Death Rider often means that the beneficiary will receive a benefit equal to the existing policy death benefit. 

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

If the policyholder receives a terminal illness diagnosis, this rider will ensure that a portion of the death benefit can be accessed early to help with medical and final expenses. 

Child Term Rider

Policyholders can also purchase life insurance coverage for their children under their existing policy. If the child should die before a specific age, the Child Term Rider will pay an additional death benefit. Otherwise, the term policy can be converted to a permanent policy when the child reaches a certain age and without the additional requirement of evidence of insurability.

Long-Term Care Rider

Should the policyholder require nursing or at-home care, the long-term care rider will help cover these long-term medical expenses by paying a monthly benefit.

Before you decide on the best policy for you, compare your options and review which riders are available to better customize your life insurance policy. 

Customer Service

To discuss Wells Fargo products, you can schedule a consultation or call 1-866-243-0931.

Wells Fargo offers banking, home mortgage, investment, and commercial financial services.


Wells Fargo has specific contacts for each department. 

Mailing Address
Corporate Offices Wells Fargo
420 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Online Customer Service  Wells Fargo Customer Service
MAC N9160-02H
1801 Park View Drive
Shoreview, MN 55216
Wells Fargo Customer Service
Contact Phone  Business Hours 
Wells Fargo Private Bank 1-888-715-0380 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. EST
401(k) Retirement Plans  1-800-728-3123  Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m. EST 
Wells Fargo Advisors Full Service Brokerage Current Customers 1-866-281-7436  Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m. EST 
WellsTrade Online Brokerage  Existing Accounts 1-800-TRADERS (872-3377)  Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m. EST 
IRAs  Current Customers 1-866-281-7436  Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m. EST 
IRAs New Customers and Rollovers  1-877-493-4727  Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. EST 

Complaint Index

To best determine a company’s customer service standards, we typically look to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for customer satisfaction ratings. Each year, the NAIC gathers the number of consumer complaints for each insurance provider and assigns a score based on an industry-wide rating of 1.00.

However, because Wells Fargo no longer sells life insurance, it is not rated by the NAIC.

Third-Party Ratings

AM Best is another respected ratings provider that evaluates a company based on its financial strength. Wells Fargo is again not rated here due to its lack of internal insurance products.

Cancellation Policy

Wells Fargo formerly offered life insurance policies via Prudential. If you still have one of these policies, you may contact Prudential directly for support at 1-800-944-8786 for policy numbers beginning with the letter "V" or 1-800-778-2255  for all other policy numbers. Customer support is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. 

Price

Because Wells Fargo does not sell its own insurance policies, there is no specific pricing available. However, you have the option to work with a Wells Fargo advisor, who can help you shop for a number of different life insurance providers in order to find the right coverage for you.

The typical life insurance policy is calculated based on a number of factors. Of course, the coverage and writers that you choose will play an important part in determining pricing. Other factors include your age, health, medical history, and lifestyle. Many companies also use gender, incorporating your sex at birth instead of current gender identity to calculate rates.

Competition

To best understand how a life insurance provider stacks up against the rest of the competition, we compare it to our pick for 2021’s best life insurance card company, New York Life.

Because Wells Fargo has no insurance products or related rankings, New York life remains the best choice when you want to work directly with a life insurance provider.

  Wells Fargo New York Life 
Market Share N/A Largest in U.S., 6.75%
Number of Plans  0 10 
Dividends for 2020  N/A  $2.3 billion 
Wellness Program Discounts/ Quit Smoking Incentives  N/A  Not applicable 
Service Method  Third-party brokers Agents 
AM Best Rating  N/A  A++ (Superior) 
Price Rank  N/A  Better than most 
Complaints Trend  N/A  0.15 Excellent 
Final Verdict

With no life insurance products of its own, Wells Fargo is better suited to your banking needs than your life insurance. However, you do have the option to work with Wells Fargo Advisors to shop and purchase a life insurance policy from another company.

Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers

Using our life insurance methodology, Investopedia takes a systemic and analytical approach to each provider. Important factors of consideration include not only plans and pricing, but also critical areas like company history and customer satisfaction. We look to industry experts for ratings like AM Best for financial strength and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for overall customer satisfaction. Based on these factors and more, we present the most current and comprehensive reviews of financial providers for you and your family’s future.

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. Reuters. "Prudential stops distribution of policy sold through Wells Fargo." Accessed October 1, 2021.