UPDATED: Jul 3, 2020
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The history of Banner Life Insurance Company is nearly 70 years strong. Chartered in 1949 as Government Employees Life Insurance Company GELICO, we were acquired by Legal General Group Plc as a wholly owned subsidiary in 1981. In 1983, our name was changed to Banner Life, signifying our flagship position with Legal General America in the United States.
At Banner Life, we take our financial promises seriously. We also promise to treat our customers fairly and to apply ethical standards to every business transaction. We believe in offering low-cost, innovative products and responsive service. Our goal is to build lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships.
1701 Research Boulevard
Banner Life Website
Included Term Life Features
- Accelerated Death Benefit: Included at no extra cost. The Accelerated Death Benefit (ADB) payment is payable in the event of a qualifying terminal illness. The ADB is based on a portion of the policy’s death benefit, subject to a maximum benefit amount, which is the lesser of $500,000 or 75% of the death benefit. The ADB is treated as a lien, which accrues interest. Upon the death of the Insured, the death benefits payable are reduced by the total ADB lien. Available in all states except CT.
- Conversion Option: Included at no extra cost. The policy is convertible to a qualified permanent policy for the duration of the guaranteed level premium period or up to the Insured’s attained age 70, whichever comes first. Policies issued at age 66 or over are convertible during the first five policy years.
- MediGuide Medical Second Opinion: Included at no extra cost. The MediGuide Medical Second Opinion Program provides services should the Insured be diagnosed with a qualifying life threatening condition or disease. MediGuide America will collect and assemble all medical records and obtain a medical second opinion and recommend three facilities, at no cost to the Insured. Available in all states except KS, NY, WA.
Optional Term Life Features
- Additional Term Insurance Rider: Available with extra premium. Additional Term Insurance Riders (AIR) can provide additional temporary life insurance coverage for 10, 15 or 20 years, after which coverage ceases.
- Children’s Life Insurance Rider: The Children’s Life Insurance Rider (ICC14-CLIR) provides death benefit protection for families with one or multiple children. A single rider covers all eligible children to the earlier of the child’s 25th birthday, the insured’s 65th birthday or policy termination. Eligible children of the policy insured (not owner) include any unmarried child, stepchild or legally adopted child, who is not beyond his or her 18th birthday and at least 15 days old at the time of application. Available only at policy issue when the primary insured person is between the ages of 20 and 55, age nearest birthday. Coverage amounts are $5,000 ($27.50 annually) or $10,000 ($55.00 annually).
- Waiver of Premium Rider: Available with extra premium. Banner Life Insurance Company will waive all premiums that are due during total disability if given due proof of total disability and such total disability has then existed continuously for at least six months. Waiver of Premium coverage ceases at the Insured’s attained age 65.
A two-year contestable and suicide provision applies. Policy Form Number ICC12OPTN and state variations.
OPTerm policies are renewable and convertible term life insurance which provides a level death benefit.
OPTerm 10: Term life insurance with level premiums during the initial 10-year period. Premiums increase annually in years 11 and later.
OPTerm 15: Term life insurance with level premiums during the initial 15-year period. Premiums increase annually in years 16 and later.
OPTerm 20: Term life insurance with level premiums during the initial 20-year period. Premiums increase annually in years 21 and later.
OPTerm 25: Term life insurance with level premiums during the initial 25-year period. Premiums increase annually in years 26 and later.
OPTerm 30: Term life insurance with level premiums during the initial 30-year period. Premiums increase annually in years 31 and later.
Online life insurance broker are not limited to working with Banner Life Insurance Company or any one specific life insurance company. By definition, a broker typically works with several companies but represents you, not the company.
Every life insurance company we make available to you has been carefully chosen to provide competitive prices, fast application processing and underwriting, and excellent customer service. Today, we’ll take a closer look at one such company: Banner Life Insurance Company.
The Company: Legal & General Group Plc
Banner Life Insurance Company is a Banner is a subsidiary of Legal & General Group Plc, which is headquartered in London. L&G calls its U.S. operations Legal & General America, Inc. and Banner is part of that corporate entity. Their history began in 1949 and sixty-five plus years later they are still a growing company. At year-end 2013, Banner had more than $587 billion of life insurance in force. According to a year-end LIMRA study, they ranked 3rd among all U.S. companies for new coverage issued.
Banner Life has an A+ rating from AM Best rating service, and an AA- rating from Standard & Poor’s rating service. These company ratings represent a measure of a company’s claims paying ability and overall performance.
Features Included with Every Banner Term Life Insurance Policy
These features are often called “riders” in life insurance lingo. This simply means they “attach to” or “ride along” with your policy. These two are included for free with your policy.
1. Accelerated Death Benefit Rider
Banner includes an Accelerated Death Benefit (ADB) rider at no extra cost to you (in approved states). This benefit allows you to receive a portion of the death benefit if you become terminally ill, with a life expectancy of 12 months or less. The policy owner can request payment of up to 75 percent of the eligible death benefit, not to exceed $500,000.
2. Conversion Option
A Conversion Option (CO) is included with no extra premium. You may convert the policy to select permanent life policies issued by Banner. You do not need to show evidence of insurability to convert your policy, as long as you do it during the guarantee period of the policy, not to exceed age 70. Policies issued at age 65 or over are convertible during the first five policy years.
Optional Features You can Add to Your Policy
You can buy these optional riders and they will also become a part of your policy.
1. Waiver of Premium Rider
A Waiver of Premium (WOP) rider is available with extra premium. If you have a total disability before you reach age 60, and after a waiting period of six months, your premiums will be waived retroactively from the beginning of the disability. The premiums will continue to be waived for the duration of your total disability. The maximum face amount for a policy with this rider is $6,000,000. You can buy this rider if you are between the ages of 20-55. It will expire on your 65th birthday.
2. Accidental Death Benefit Rider
An Accidental Death Benefit (ADB) rider is available with extra premium. This rider pays in addition to the base policy death benefit if you were to die in an accident. The benefit amount is up to the face amount of the base policy or a maximum of $300,000 on any one life (includes any such benefit already in force). For example, let’s say you have a $250,000 term life policy with the ADB rider attached. If you die in a covered accident, Banner will pay your beneficiary an additional $250,000 death benefit, for a total payout of $500,000.
You can buy this rider if you are between the ages of 18-60. It will expire on the policy anniversary nearest your 65th birthday.
3. Term Rider
The Term rider is an additional insurance rider that provides temporary life insurance coverage for a specified number of years after which coverage provided by this rider will cease. The term period of the rider must be for a shorter time period than the level term period of the base policy. For example, if you need $500,000 of coverage for 10 years and only $250,000 for the next 10 years, you can purchase a 20-year policy for $250,000 and add a 10-year term rider for $250,000. The rider will fall off in 10 years and you’ll be left with the base policy of $250,000 for another 10 years.
4. Children’s Life Insurance Rider
The Children’s Life Insurance (CLI) rider is also available with extra premium. It provides level term insurance on each insured child, up to age 25. One rider covers all children in the family and any new children born or adopted after the policy is issued, with no increase in cost.
You can buy this Rider if you are between the ages of 18-55. It expires on the policy anniversary nearest your age 65 , or when your youngest child reaches age 25, whichever happens first.
Banner term life policies include term lengths of 10, 15, 20, and 30 years, during which your rates are guaranteed to remain the same. The minimum coverage amount is $100,000. A paramedical exam is required to apply for all policies.
Remember, working with an online life insurance broker has its advantages. Buying online allows you to complete the process at your own pace while avoiding pressure to buy. It also gives you a variety of life insurance companies to choose from.
Get started with a free online quote and let us know if you’d like one of our licensed Insurance Professionals to help you choose the best life insurance company for you and your unique circumstances.
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Which Life Insurance is Best for You?
Quick Guide: Types of Life Insurance
It’s a life insurance jungle out there. This way to safety.
Life Insurance Basics
One simple definition of life insurance states it is coverage placed on the life of an individual whereas an insurance company issues a policy and pays a stated death benefit in the event of the insured’s death. Life insurance is intended to provide financial stability and support to the dependents and beneficiaries of the insured.
While the general concept of life insurance seems simple enough, there is nothing simple about the overwhelming number of policy options available in the marketplace today. Our discussion will focus on the two basic types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. We will also briefly describe the most common variations of each type of life insurance.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance provides pure life insurance in its most inexpensive form. Term life insurance provides coverage for a set period of time (the policy term) and pays a death benefit only if the insured dies during the policy term. The policy term typically ranges from 1 to 30 years, with 20 years being the most common term.
One of the biggest advantages of term life insurance is its lower initial cost in comparison to permanent life insurance. Term life insurance policies have no cash value accounts, policy loan provisions or other features typically found in permanent life insurance policies. With term life policies, you’re just paying for the death benefit, which is the lump sum payment your beneficiaries will receive if you die during the term of the policy. With most permanent life policies, your premiums help fund the death benefit and can accumulate cash value.
Term life insurance is often a good choice for people in their family-formation years, especially if they’re on a tight budget. It allows an individual to buy high levels of coverage when the need for protection is often greatest. Term life insurance is also a good option for covering needs that will disappear in time. For instance, if paying for a child’s education is an applicant’s major financial goal, it would be wise for the applicant to purchase a term life insurance policy that will cover the period necessary to reach that goal.
Level Premium Term Life Insurance
Level premium term life insurance offers fully-guaranteed premium rates, which means the premiums on the policy are guaranteed to remain the same for the entire term period. Level premium term life insurance is a fully-underwritten product and is available in amounts as low as $50,000 up to $20 million or more, depending on the insurance company. It is the most common form of term life insurance.
Return of Premium (ROP) Term Life Insurance
Return of Premium (ROP) term life insurance is a relatively new product that combines the advantages of traditional term life insurance such as affordable, guaranteed level premium periods (10, 20 or 30 years), with a return of premium feature. At the end of the level premium period, the company will return 100% of the premiums paid to the policy owner (excluding substandard fees and any extra charges).
Of course, there is a price to be paid for this added benefit. The premiums for ROP policies are higher than premiums for standard term life policies. The insurance company will invest these additional premium dollars during the term of the policy, which allows them to return your premiums to you at the end of the term period.
One factor to consider is that term life insurance rates have dropped considerably over the past decade, mostly because people are living longer. If you own a standard term life policy, there’s no harm done in dropping that policy for a newer and cheaper term life policy. But if you own an ROP policy, dropping the policy before the full term has expired means that you will have paid a high price for your life insurance coverage and the premiums you’ve paid may only be partially refunded.
No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance
No medical exam term life combines the advantages of traditional term life insurance such as affordable, guaranteed level premium periods, with simplified underwriting. Policies can be approved and in force in as little as 24-48 hours, with no medical exams and no lengthy underwriting.
Qualified applicants can currently select coverage amounts from $50,000 to $400,000 and coverage periods of 10, 15, or 20 years. Applications are completed by telephone, and you can sign the forms electronically. There are no forms to fill out or mail.
Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance provides lifelong protection. As long as the premiums are paid, the policy will stay in force until a death benefit is paid. These policies are designed and priced to keep over an extended period. They are recommended for people who believe they will have a lifelong need for life insurance coverage or for coverage that extends beyond the maximum allowed by term life insurance (currently 30 years).
Another characteristic of permanent life insurance is a feature known as cash value or cash-surrender value. In fact, permanent life insurance is often referred to as cash value life insurance because these types of policies can build cash value over time, as well as provide a death benefit to the beneficiaries.
Cash values, which accumulate on a tax-deferred basis just like assets in most retirement plans, can be used in the future for any nearly any purpose. Policy owners can borrow cash value for a down payment on a home, to help pay for their children’s education or to provide income for retirement. When money is borrowed from a permanent life insurance policy, the policy’s cash value is used as collateral, and the borrowing rates tend to be relatively low. And unlike loans from most financial institutions, the loan is not dependent on credit checks or other restrictions. The loan must ultimately be paid back with interest, or the beneficiaries will receive a reduced death benefit and cash surrender value.
If the policy owner needs or wants to stop paying premiums, the cash value can be used to continue the current life insurance protection for a specified time or to provide a lesser amount of protection for the remainder of the policy. If the policy owner decides to stop paying premiums and surrenders the policy, the guaranteed policy values will be paid to him/her.
There are several types of permanent life insurance policies available including whole life, universal life, and variable life. Each offers its set of options and features including fixed or variable premiums, fixed or variable death benefits and policy loan provisions among others.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is also referred to as ordinary life. This the most common type of permanent life insurance. It provides the certainty of a guaranteed amount of death benefit and a guaranteed rate of return on cash values. The premium is also level and guaranteed never to increase. Some types of whole life insurance policies allow policy owners to participate in the financial prosperity of the insurance company by receiving dividends. Dividends can by used to grow the death benefit and the cash value of the policy.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance is also referred to as adjustable life insurance. It allows policy owners to pay premiums at any time, in virtually any amount, subject to certain minimums and maximums. Policy owners can also reduce or increase the death benefit of a universal life insurance policy more easily than with other types of permanent life insurance policies. Universal life insurance policies provide the certainty of a guaranteed minimum amount of death benefit, as long as premiums are sufficient to sustain that death benefit. Most universal life insurance policies will also provide a guaranteed rate of return on the policy’s cash value. However, it is possible a policy will not accumulate cash value if the insurance company’s administrative expenses increase, mortality assumptions are changed, investment portfolio does not perform as expected, or the policy premium payments are insufficient.
Variable Universal Life Insurance
Variable Universal life insurance is similar to universal life insurance. It is a flexible premium, permanent life insurance policy that allows policy owners to have premium dollars allocated to a variety of investment options, including a fixed account. The policy allows for changes to the death benefit and policy premium. Variable universal life insurance may be a good option for people who want to combine life insurance with a higher potential for investment return at a higher risk.
Included Features vs. Available Options (Riders)
Many term life insurance policies include specific features with the policy that do not require additional premium. QuickQuote refers to these throughout the Web site as ‘Included Features.’
An example of a typical Included Feature is the Accelerated Death Benefit provision. This provision typically allows for the one-time acceleration or advance of up to 50% of the death benefit proceeds payable under the base insurance policy, not to exceed $250,000. An insured may become eligible for this benefit if diagnosed by a qualified physician as having 12 months or fewer to live. Specific requirements and limits vary by company.
Nearly all term life insurance policies in the marketplace offer optional benefits the policy owner can add to the policy for an additional premium. These benefits are commonly called optional riders. QuickQuote refers to these throughout the Web site as ‘Available Options.’
Examples of common riders are:
Accidental Death Benefit Rider: This benefit is optional with many policies today. It provides an additional death benefit when the insured’s death is caused by accident.
Children’s Term Life Insurance Rider: An optional policy provision that provides a small amount of life insurance coverage on the lives of the primary insured’s children. The amount of coverage varies by company, and one rider typically covers all of the insured’s eligible children.
Waiver of Premium Rider: An optional policy provision that provides for the continuation of life insurance coverage without further premium payments if the insured becomes totally disabled.
Applicants don’t always qualify for Preferred or Standard rating classes. In these cases, the insurance company may offer a Substandard rating class. Substandard rating classes are sometimes called “table rates” and can range from one level below Standard to several levels below. These are the two most common designations used by life insurance companies:
- Table A – Table H
- Table 1 – Table 8
The difference in cost for each table is about 20 percent more than the Standard rate. For example, if a Standard policy cost $1,000, then a Table B (or Table 2) policy would cost about $1,400. As with most other things, this will vary by company.