Transamerica Life Insurance Review: Where Almost Anyone Can Find A Life Insurance Policy
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all life insurance policy. The type of life insurance you’ll need will depend on things like how many dependents you have, how old they are, and how long you’d like to cover them.
There are companies, however, that offer a range of options for different kinds of people, making the search for insurance a little easier. Transamerica is one such company, offering an array of life insurance and financial products, from whole life, term, universal, and final expense insurance, to things like annuities, mutual funds, and IRAs. They also offer a guaranteed issue final expense policy covering anyone between the ages of 0 and 85 – a viable option for those who may have trouble finding policies due to age or health issues.
In this Transamerica life insurance review, we evaluate the company’s life insurance offerings, from final expense to universal indexed life insurance. By the end of this article, you should be able to decide whether Transamerica is a good match for you.
How To Choose A Life Insurance Provider
When scouting for life insurers, it's important to evaluate each one based on these five key factors:
Policy And Coverage
Each company has a different selection of policy options, coverage ranges, and age limitations. Common offerings include:
Term life insurance: The cheapest kind of life insurance you'll find, but it'll only cover you for a few years.
Whole life insurance: This type of policy covers you for the rest of your life, as long as you keep up with payments. However, it can also be 10 to 15 times more expensive.
Final expense insurance: This type gets you a relatively small death benefit – just enough to cover funeral costs.
Some life insurance companies allow applicants to get quotes and apply for insurance straight from their website, while others require you to go through an insurance agent. Aside from this, you should also consider whether you're willing to take a medical exam or not. Some companies may issue you a policy without your medical information, but they might charge you more for your premiums.
Premium rates depend on a number of factors, from your age, gender, and lifestyle to your overall health. Life insurance companies are always looking to minimize risks – seniors, men, and people with chronic conditions are statistically at higher risk of dying earlier and, therefore, get higher premiums. Life insurance companies charge more for no-exam policies because they cannot determine your risk level.
In addition to customer reviews, we determine how a life insurance company fares on the customer service front with two ratings – the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' complaint index and the Better Business Bureau's ratings.
Financial Strength Ratings
Financial strength is a measure of how well a company can honor insurance claims. Third-party rating agencies like Moody's, AM Best, and Standard & Poor's – all have their own rating system, so be sure to check them out when choosing an insurance company.
Transamerica Life Insurance Review
Transamerica traces its roots back to 1904 when Amadeo P. Giannini, an entrepreneur, founded the Bank of Italy in San Francisco. According to the company website, Giannini's goal was to make financial services more accessible.
By 1999, Transamerica was acquired by one of the world's foremost life insurance and asset management companies, Aegon Group. As of writing, parent company Aegon supports more than 29 million customers worldwide.
Today, Transamerica offers several different kinds of financial products, including life insurance, mutual funds, retirements, and annuities.
When it comes to life insurance, Transamerica offers term life, whole life, universal life, index universal, and final expense insurance.
Here's what you get with each Transamerica life insurance policy:
Term Life Insurance
Transamerica has two types of term life insurance plans:
The Trendsetter Super series provides between $25,000 to $10 million worth of coverage.
The Trendsetter LB plan allows up to $2 million in term coverage.
With the Trendsetter Super plan, Transamerica guarantees level premiums and the ability to convert to a permanent policy without the need for a medical exam. The Trendsetter LB plan, on the other hand, allows policyholders who have been diagnosed with a qualifying terminal illness to receive an accelerated death benefit while they are alive.
For both life insurance plans, the term periods range from 10 to 30 years.
Whole Life Insurance
If you're looking for a permanent policy, you have two permanent life insurance plans to choose from at Transamerica:
Transamerica Individual Whole Life: Much like other whole life policies out there, this one comes with death benefits and a cash value component. The cash value can be accessed even while you're still alive through a loan. For the death benefit, you can get coverage from $25,000 to $2 million. Premiums remain level until the policyholder's death.
Transamerica Group Whole Life: This is a voluntary benefit policy offered by certain employers. If you don't want to pay exorbitant fees for life insurance and are fine with leaving your beneficiaries with a relatively small death benefit (up to $25,000 max), this could make for a good option. Note that applicants are required to answer a health questionnaire to qualify.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal insurance is similar to whole life in that it provides permanent coverage (as long as premiums are paid), a guaranteed death benefit, and a cash value component that accumulates gains. However, unlike whole life, a universal life insurance policy comes with flexible premiums and, in effect, flexible death benefits.
Essentially, you can modify how much you pay month by month, so long as you meet the minimum premium requirement for your universal life insurance.
Transamerica life insurance offers two kinds of universal insurance:
Index Universal Life Insurance: Also called the Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL. With this life policy, you're given the opportunity to grow your policy's value through excess index interest based on fluctuations in the major stock indexes of the S&P 500 Index, EURO STOXX 50 INDEX, and the Hang Seng Index. Index Universal Life has a guaranteed minimum interest rate or a "floor", which protects your cash value.
Group Universal Insurance: Like Transamerica's group whole life policy, this life insurance policy can be purchased through certain employers.
Final Expense Insurance
Final insurance can help soften the financial blow of the death of a loved one. When you purchase this type of insurance for yourself, you can reassure your family that expenses associated with your funeral service are all covered, including your casket and cremation.
Transamerica offers three types of final expense life insurance policies. All three are guaranteed issue – no medical exam, lab result, or health questionnaire requirement. In fact, you don't need to wait long to get full coverage from these:
0 to 85
0 to 85
18 to 80
$1,000 to up to $50,000*
$1,000 to up to $50,000*
$1,000 to $25,000
Full amount from day one
Full amount from day one
Graded benefits. If you die within the first two years of the policy, your benefits will be based on 110 percent of the total premium amount paid for death from natural causes, and the face amount for death from an accident. If you die after two years, the death benefit will be based on the face amount regardless of the cause of death.
Level premiums. Life paid-up at age 121
Payable for 10 years
No information available on website
*$1,000 to $50,000 only for those aged 0 to 55. There’s a maximum coverage limit of $40,000 for those aged 66 to 75 and $25,000 for those aged 76 to 85 years old.
Keep in mind that there's no way for you to get online quotes or start on your application online if you're hoping to get a permanent life insurance policy, a universal insurance policy, or a final expense life insurance policy. For these, you'll have to contact an insurance agent.
The only policy that allows you to request a quote online is the Trendsetter Super term life insurance policy. On the website, you'll be asked to input the following information:
Your desired coverage amount
Date of birth
Note: This is split into four categories. Your health is determined by your blood pressure, history of family deaths below 60, cholesterol, substance abuse history, and presence of chronic illnesses.
Transamerica life insurance requires a medical exam for most of its policies. This means that if you're not in the pink of health, you could face higher premiums.
Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of ready information online regarding Transamerica life insurance premium costs. However, based on the online quote calculator for their Trendsetter policy, we can assume that the insurance provider takes the following factors into account:
Your overall health
Your marital status
Your household income
The number of dependents you have
Your mortgage or other debts
Your retirement plans
Your desired level of investment risk
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners keeps a record of every life insurance company's complaint ratio, or the number of times a company has received a customer complaint.
The national median is 1.0. The Transamerica life insurance company, on the other hand, has an NAIC complaint index of 1.31. This means that it has received 1.31 times more complaints than your average insurance company.
On the other hand, Transamerica's Better Business Bureau rating is A-. This rating is the BBB's opinion of how well a company manages their business and is based on things like complaint history, transparent business practices, and the company's ability to honor commitments to the BBB.
However, despite having a good BBB rating, the company's latest consumer reviews on their BBB page leave much to be desired. The average customer satisfaction ratings are just 1.1 stars, with customers complaining of sudden policy cancellations and difficulty getting in touch with customer service agents.
Financial Strength Ratings
AM Best rating: A
Better Business Bureau rating: A-
Standard & Poor's rating: A+
Moody’s rating: A1
Variety of policy options: Transamerica offers a range of life insurance policies – perfect for applicants who have yet to make up their minds on a policy.
If you want short-term life insurance coverage, you can opt for the Trendsetter Super series or the Trendsetter LB. If you want something permanent with a cash value component, you can choose between the company's whole and universal life policies. And if you want final expense coverage, you have three options as well.
Guaranteed issue final insurance with up to $50,000 in coverage: A final expense policy can be great for those who don’t want to pay massive fees for permanent coverage or you simply have no need for a large death benefit.
You can still get up to $50,000 in final expense coverage guaranteed – no need to take a medical or answer any health questions. And in most cases, you can get coverage in no time at all.
Other financial products available: Planning for your financial future shouldn't stop at life insurance products. IRAs, mutual funds, annuities, and ETFs are also available through Transamerica, making it a one-stop-shop for personal finance.
No online life insurance quotes or applications for most policies: Transamerica doesn't provide a lot of information on their rates online. This makes it difficult to assess whether one can actually afford the company's life insurance policies.
Limited information on riders and add-ons: Unlike other insurance companies, Transamerica doesn't make it easy to find answers for rider-related questions. If you want to know about potentially adding a death benefit rider, accelerated death benefit rider, waiver of premium rider, or an accidental death rider to their insurance plans, you may need to talk to an agent directly.
Middling customer service: Unfortunately, with a higher-than-average complaint ratio and unsavory reviews from previous users, Transamerica leaves room for doubt when it comes to their service.
The Bottom Line
Transamerica may be a great place to get final expense or term life insurance plans, but its lack of pricing information and poor customer satisfaction ratings prevent it from being a no-brainer recommendation.
Not happy with your experience with Transamerica? We at Wesley LLC are dedicated to helping Americans achieve financial security and stability. We've got all the tools and information you'll need to find the policy best suited to your needs. Contact us to find out more!