Banner Life Insurance review 2021

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Banner Life Insurance insures customers nationwide, including Washington, D.C., with some policy limitations for policyholders in New York. The company has been writing policies since the 1980s alongside its sister company, William Penn, which also operates under the parent company, Legal & General.

If you’re looking for a company with top-notch financial strength and fewer than average customer complaints, Banner Life could be for you. Below, Bankrate’s insurance editorial team analyzes the pros and cons of buying insurance with Banner Life.

Banner Life insurance

Currently, Banner Life offers most of its coverage in 49 states and Washington, D.C. They offer just two policy options, with only a few options for personalization. Because of that, Banner Life may be a better option for individuals looking for basic coverage without all the extras.

Types of life insurance policies offered

Banner Life sells term life and universal life insurance policies. On the website, you’ll find some information about what each policy covers and who it’s likely best for. Here’s a more in-depth look at the life insurance policies that are available from Banner Life:

  • Term life insurance: Banner Life’s term life insurance policies offer coverage from 10-40 years. Term life insurance is ideal for people on a budget and you can even get an instant quote online.
  • Universal life insurance: Banner Life also offers universal life insurance, which is a permanent policy that includes coverage for your lifetime. It has an adjustable death benefit, flexible premiums and a guaranteed cash value component. To get a quote for universal life insurance, you’ll need to contact an agent.

Policy features

Banner Life offers the following optional policy features:

  • Waiver of premium: If a policyholder should develop a total disability during their policy term that lasts at least six months, Banner Life could waive all policy premiums for the duration of their disability with this option. Additionally, the policyholder’s family would remain financially protected.
  • Policy conversion: This feature allows a term life insurance holder to convert their policy to universal life insurance when their term ends. You may request conversion any time during your guaranteed level premium period up until age 70.
  • Flexible payments: Banner offers the option to choose your premium payment schedule, whether you want to pay annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly. You can also choose how you pay — whether by check, manual payments or automatic bank draft.

Where does Banner Life operate?

Banner Life operates in every state, although its New York term life policies are restricted from 35- and 40-year period options. The company also offers policies to residents in Washington, D.C.

If you’re a New York resident, you could also get coverage from Banner Life’s sister company, William Penn Life Insurance, which operates exclusively in New York.

Banner Life ratings, reviews, customer satisfaction and complaints

Banner Life ranks highly across several third-party rankings. The brand’s parent company, Legal & General, has excellent financial strength, with an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best and an AA- rating from Standard & Poor’s (S&P). Its strong financial performance indicates that Banner Life likely has enough cash flow to compensate policyholders when a claim is filed.

Banner Life also boasts fewer than average customer complaints as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Index, indicating that policyholders are highly likely to have satisfactory customer service.

Reasons why Banner Life is a good option

Banner Life may be a good choice for life insurance if you’re looking for basic, affordable coverage. When the term is up, you could convert your policy into a universal life policy, which provides coverage for the rest of your lifetime and builds cash value over time.

Banner Life stands out for its approach to claims handling. If your policy proceeds total $10,000 or less, you could take advantage of the Fast Track claims process, which could lead to a quicker payout. Banner Life Insurance’s website also states that claims are paid within one business day following approval. With some life insurance companies, you’re left waiting for weeks or even months to receive your payout after filing a claim.

However, Banner Life may present some downsides for individuals in New York, as its term life options are not available at the 35- and 40-year term periods. Banner’s sister company, William Penn, exclusively offers policies in New York.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best life insurance company?

The best life insurance company is different for every individual. It depends on the type of coverage you want, the amount of coverage you want, what you can afford to pay, your current health condition and much more.

For instance, Banner Life might be the best company for someone looking for basic term life insurance. When you’re selecting a life insurance provider, take some time to research companies individually, figure out your needs and compare rates to see which company can offer you the best deal.

Does Banner Life require a medical exam?

Young and healthy people who are applying for term life insurance from Banner Life may not have to take a medical exam. If you are older or have some health issues, you can generally expect to take a medical exam or complete a detailed health questionnaire as part of the application process. People who are applying for universal life insurance will most likely have to take a medical exam in order to get approved for coverage.

Legal & General, Banner Life’s parent company, does offer an accelerated underwriting process, in which medical exams could be waived. You can speak with one of the company’s licensed agents to know whether you qualify for this option.

Is Banner Life insurance a good option for me?

Banner Life insurance may or may not be a good choice, depending on your needs. If you’re looking for a wide range of coverage options and riders, Banner Life Insurance likely isn’t for you. However, Banner may be a great choice if you’re looking for reliable term and universal life insurance policies with fast claims handling. You may want to talk with an independent insurance agent to make this determination.

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth has two years of experience writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others. In addition to auto insurance, Elizabeth regularly writes about home insurance, renters insurance and life insurance. She also covers industry trends and general insurance education.
Edited by
Insurance Editor