WoodmenLife Insurance Review

Membership-based life insurance from a long-standing Omaha nonprofit

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Woodmen Life

Woodmen Life

Our Take

Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society (collectively “WoodmenLife”) is an Omaha landmark, offering its members term, whole, and universal life insurance at an affordable price.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Additional member benefits

  • Multi-faceted support

Cons
  • Membership required for life insurance

  • Not available in New York

  • No online quotes

Key Takeaways
  • Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society (collectively “WoodmenLife”) is a nonprofit based in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1890. 
  • You must be a member to purchase life insurance, but membership comes with additional perks for the entire family.
  • Term, whole, and universal life insurance are available in ten life insurance policies.
  • There are an additional seven riders that may be included or added to your policy for an additional cost.
  • WoodmenLife rates high for both customer satisfaction and financial stability.
Company Overview

In 1890, Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society was established by Joseph Cullen Root in a small Omaha, Nebraska hotel room. By 1966, WoodmenLife had over $1 billion in insurance and a towering headquarters in Omaha. Woodman Financial Services came in 2002, followed by Woodmen Insurance Agency two years later. 

Today, WoodmenLife remains the parent company of Woodmen Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary that sells securities. Through its subsidiary Woodmen Insurance Agency, WoodmenLife partners with other companies to offer supplemental insurance products, such as personal and business disability insurance, critical illness insurance, and Medicare insurance products. WoodmenLife still remains in Omaha, where it devotes equal focus to financial services and charitable endeavors.

WoodmenLife is a membership-based institution. In addition to life insurance, its membership comes with many benefits, such as WoodmenLife Family Activities, volunteer work, and community service opportunities. WoodmenLife regularly presents flags to schools and emergency responders and has partnered with leading nonprofits and foundations like Feeding America, Toys for Tots, and the Gary Sinise Foundation. 

You must be a member of WoodmenLife to purchase a policy.

To become a WoodmenLife member, you can contact Customer Service by calling 1-800-225-3108.

Geographical Restrictions

WoodmenLife insurance products are not available in New York. Other products may also have limited availability, depending on the state in which you live.

  • Year Founded 1890
  • Kinds of Plans Whole, term, universal life
  • Number of Plans 10
  • Payment Plan Options Annually, biannually, monthly, lump sum
  • Customer Service 1-800-225-3108 - Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. CT
  • Official Website https://www.woodmenlife.org/

WoodmenLife 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

  • Additional member benefits: As a WoodmenLife member, you can access special perks, like special family activities and volunteering opportunities within your local community.
  • Multi-faceted support: WoodmenLife offers customer support by phone in three languages: English, Spanish, and Korean. 

Cons Explained

  • Membership required for life insurance: You must be a member of WoodmenLife to purchase a life insurance policy.
  • Not available in New York: Residents of New York cannot purchase life insurance from WoodmenLife.
  • No online quotes: WoodmenLife does not offer online quotes. Instead, you will need to contact an agent directly for exact coverage and pricing information. 

Available Plans

WoodmenLife offers three types of life insurance to its members: term, whole, and universal. A helpful online calculator can help you determine exactly how much coverage you need.

Term

Term life insurance is a more affordable option because it is a temporary form of coverage with a specific end date. After your policy expires, there is typically the option to convert coverage to a permanent policy. If the policyholder dies before the policy’s end, a specific death benefit is available to the beneficiary. 

There are four types of term life insurance available to policyholders between the ages of 0 and 80. 

10-Year Term

WoodmenLife’s 10 Year Term policies provide life insurance coverage lasting ten years or until the policyholder’s death. 

15-Year Term

 A 15 Year Term policy offers a death benefit and coverage for a total of 15 years. 

20-Year Term

The 20 Year Term provides coverage for 20 years with a death benefit.

30-Year Term

The 30 Year Term offers protection for 30 years with a death benefit. 

Regardless of the policy you choose, premiums are guaranteed to remain the same during the initial policy term without any increases. After the end of the policy term, premiums may increase annually until the age of 95, or you can convert the policy to a permanent policy before the age of 72 without the need for a medical exam.

Whole

Whole life insurance has a tax-free death benefit with guaranteed premiums that do not increase and the opportunity to build cash value.

Whole life insurance is available in four plans to policyholders between the ages of 0 and 85.

Whole Life Paid-up at 100

This whole life insurance policy is more affordable because premiums last through the age of 100. 

Whole Life Paid-up at 65

To finish paying premiums earlier, you can opt for the whole life policy that is paid up by age 65.

10 Pay Whole Life

If you do not mind higher premiums, the 10 Pay Whole Life policy allows you to pay the entirety of your permanent insurance policy more quickly through minimal payments. 

20 Pay Whole Life

The 20 Pay Whole Life is cheaper than 10 Pay Whole Life and lasts twice as long for more affordable premiums. 

Universal

In addition to term and whole life insurance, WoodmenLife offers universal life insurance. This is a form of permanent life insurance that includes a death benefit and accumulated cash value. Premiums are flexible, with the ability to adjust monthly payments. 

WoodmenLife offers two plans for universal life insurance: MyChoice IUL and No-Lapse Guarantee Universal Life Insurance. 

My Choice IUL®

WoodmenLife’s indexed universal life insurance offers a versatile earnings structure with two ways to grow cash value. There is a fixed account with an attached interest rate, plus the ability to earn additional value through the popular S&P 500 Index. Because it is an indexed universal life insurance policy, you still retain the ability to adjust the amount and frequency of your payments.

Policies start at a $25,000 face amount and increase from there. 

No-Lapse Guarantee Universal Life Insurance

WoodmenLife offers another form of life insurance in its No-Lapse Guarantee Universal Life Insurance policy. 

Exact policy details vary by state, but in looking at policy details for Florida, policies provide protection through the age of 121. Policy coverage is guaranteed with fixed premiums and an attached death benefit.  

Available Riders

A life insurance policy may not always provide the exact coverage you need, which is where a life insurance rider can help. 

WoodmenLife offers a total of seven riders for your life insurance policy. 

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

If you are diagnosed with a terminal condition, you may be able to access a portion of your death benefit while you are still living. The maximum benefit is the lesser of $250,000 or 65% of the available death benefit, to be paid in one lump sum. For chronic illnesses, policyholders may access up to $250,000 or 50% of the death benefit. 

This coverage may be included at no cost with some policies but is not available in California or Montana.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider 

Included in some policies at an extra cost, the Accidental Death Benefit Rider will provide an additional death benefit should the policyholder die from an accident.

Applicant Waiver of Premium Rider

The Applicant Waiver of Premium Rider applies to those who have purchased life insurance for children below the age of 16. If you are listed as the owner of your child’s insurance certificate, this rider will waive monthly premiums on your child’s insurance policy if you become disabled, so coverage does not lapse. 

Coverage is included at no cost with some policies, but limitations may apply.

Chronic and Terminal Illness Accelerated Benefit Rider

The Chronic and Terminal Illness Accelerated Benefit Rider will permit you to access a portion of your death benefits should you become diagnosed with certain qualifying illnesses.

It is included at no cost with some policies, but coverage is not available in California or Montana. 

Disability Waiver of Premium

The Disability Waiver of Premium will waive required premiums if you become disabled. This is included at no additional cost with some policies. 

Guaranteed Insurability Rider

The Guaranteed Insurability Rider allows you to purchase additional insurance protection in the future without the requirement of evidence of insurability.

Waiver of Monthly Deduction Rider

The Waiver of Monthly Deduction Rider will waive monthly payments if you experience a total disability before the age of 60.

This coverage is included at no cost with some policies.

Customer Service

You can use WoodmenLife’s online search tool to find a rep for questions about a new or existing policy. 

Existing members can log in to the secure online portal to manage their policies. There is also support available via phone and mail. 

WoodmenLife Mailing Addresses
Payments WoodmenLife
PO Box 2962
Omaha, NE 68103-2962
All other correspondence WoodmenLife/Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society
1700 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68102 

WoodmenLife has customer service specialists available in three languages: English, Spanish, and Korean.

WoodmenLife Customer Support
Type of contact Contact  Hours 
Customer Service 1-800-225-3108  Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. CT 

Complaint Index

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is an insurance ratings provider that tracks the number of complaints an insurance provider receives each year. Using an average score of 1.00, the NAIC assigns each insurance carrier an average score to show overall customer satisfaction.

WoodmenLife scores well below the industry average, with a score of 0.34 in 2020. Although not great scores, the number of complaints has increased a bit since 2019 and 2018, when the average scores were 0.34 and 0.20, respectively.

Third-Party Ratings

WoodmenLife is not rated by J.D. Power, another ratings provider for customer satisfaction. 

However, it is rated by AM Best for financial strength and stability. Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society earns an A+ (Superior) rating, which often means reliable and efficient claims processing. 

Cancellation Policy

All life insurance policies carry a free-look provision. During a specific period, you can cancel your policy at any time and receive a refund of the premiums paid. This period typically lasts just 10 to 30 days, but your agent can provide more specific details. If you cancel your life insurance policy after the free-look period, specific surrender charges may apply.

WoodmenLife offers upfront surrender charges for life insurance.

For example, WoodmenLife provides surrender charges for a sample indexed universal life insurance policy. Rates are based on a 35-year old male in the standard tobacco rating class.

WoodmenLife Surrender Charges
End of Certificate Year Surrender Charge 
(per $1,000 of policy face amount) 
1 21.10
19.69
18.29 
16.88 
15.47 
14.07 
12.66 
11.25 
9.85 
10  8.44 
11  7.03 
12  5.63 
13  4.22 
14  2.81 
15  1.41 

Ultimately, your surrender charges will depend on the number of years you have had the policy, as well as gender, tobacco class, and issue age.

Price

WoodmenLife advertises that $1 million in life insurance coverage can cost as low as $35.85 per month. Rates are based on a 10-year term policy for a 35-year-old nonsmoking female with Preferred status. WoodmenLife’s underwriting process will ultimately determine what you pay. 

Use WoodmenLife’s online calculator to get an estimate and contact an agent.

To calculate your price using WoodmenLife’s online calculator, there are a few factors that WoodmenLife considers, including your age, marital status, the number of children you have, homeownership status, and the state in which you live. Gender is another factor, although most companies calculate based on an individual’s sex at birth in place of current gender identity

For exact pricing, contact a licensed WoodmenLife insurance agent for more details.

Competition

To evaluate WoodmenLife on an industry-wide basis, we compare it to one of the best life insurance companies of 2021, New York Life.  

New York Life is the largest life insurance provider in the country, with more than six times the market share that WoodmenLife holds. Although they both share the same number of plans, New York Life far exceeds the amount of WoodmenLife’s business, with better financial and customer satisfaction ratings. Although WoodmenLife can be a great option for life insurance, New York Life rates higher for most people.

  WoodmenLife New York Life 
Market Share 0.011% Largest in U.S., 6.75%
Number of Plans 10  10 
Dividends for 2020  $583.5 million  $2.3 billion 
Wellness Program Discounts/ Quit Smoking Incentives  Yes  Not applicable 
Service Method  Agents  Agents 
AM Best Rating  A+ (Superior)  A++ (Superior) 
Price Rank  Varies  Better than most 
Complaints Trend  0.34 Great  0.15 Excellent 
Final Verdict

As a membership-based nonprofit, Nebraska’s Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Company (collectively “WoodmenLife”) can be a great option for life insurance with strong financial ratings and overall great customer satisfaction. However, you will have to become a member before you can purchase coverage.

Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers

Investopedia uses our Life Insurance Review Methodology to systematically analyze and review today’s leading life insurance carriers. We evaluate providers based on a number of specific factors, such as available coverage, pricing, eligibility requirements, and availability. We also consider ratings from leading organizations like AM Best for financial stability and J.D. Power for customer satisfaction. Based on these factors and more, these are the most honest and upfront reviews of today’s life insurance companies.  

Article Sources

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  1. NAIC. “CIS Refined Results.” Accessed Oct. 4, 2021. 

  2. AM Best. “Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society.” Accessed Oct. 4, 2021.