SBLI life insurance review

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Those looking for simple term or whole life insurance plans should put SBLI insurance on their list of contenders. Founded in 1907, this insurer may be an attractive option due to its flexible options and the fact that some applicants may be able to skip the medical exam and accelerate the underwriting process.

For those wondering whether this is the right insurer for them, we’ve taken a closer look at what SBLI life insurance offers and the types of applicants who are the best fit.

SBLI life insurance

SBLI only offers life insurance, including term and whole life—or a blend of the two. Term life insurance, which is generally less expensive, covers the insured for a specific period at a fixed cost. Whole life insurance offers coverage for life and allows the insured to build up cash reserves that can be borrowed against while the insured person is still living. The company also offers some add-on options to increase basic coverages.

Types of life insurance policies offered

Term life insurance

SBLI’s term life insurance provides coverage between $100,000 to $20 million for terms ranging from 10 to 30 years. Policyholders can also convert their policy to a universal or whole life permanent policy as long as it’s done before the term policy expires.

SBLI’s term policies remain in effect as long as the premium is paid, and the premium amount won’t change throughout the term if the coverage is not altered. These policies can be renewed until the applicant reaches 85 years of age, although the rates will increase with each renewal.

One Year Non-renewable Term

Those who need a short-term policy might want to consider SBLI’s one-year-non-renewable term policy. This coverage may be a good option for people who ultimately want long-term coverage but can’t afford it yet, or who are in the middle of resolving issues with their estate. This type of policy can usually be converted to a permanent policy at the end of its term without a medical exam.

SmartTerm 360

Another type of term life insurance offered by SBLI, SmartTerm360, allows the applicant to purchase a group of term life policies upfront which are tailored to different stages of their life, rather than simply purchasing one term life policy after another. According to the insurer, policyholders can save up to 50 percent by bundling policies and locking in rates with SmartTerm 360.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance never expires as long as the premiums are paid, and SBLI offers various payment schedules to suit different needs. These policies tend to be more expensive, but premiums never increase and, in addition to the death benefit, these policies provide a savings vehicle that can be accessed even before the death of the insured.

Final Expense Insurance

SBLI’s Cherish Life final expense insurance is designed for seniors to help cover the cost of funeral expenses or other outstanding bills. Coverage amounts range from $2,000 to $35,000, and applicants can receive an instant decision online.

The rate and coverage for this type of policy never expire as long as the premium is paid. Unlike pre-need burial insurance, final expense insurance payouts can be used for anything. One caveat: if the applicant is in poor health, it’s possible that only a portion of the death benefit will be available during the first three years of coverage unless the insured dies in an accident.

Those making end-of-life plans may also want to check out SBLI’s partnership with LegacyShield’s Life’s Mission Control, a secure digital tool that stores and organizes important estate planning and retirement information so loved ones can access it later.

Insurance Riders

For those who want to boost their life insurance coverage, these riders may also be added to some of SBLI’s life insurance policies:

  • Accelerated death benefit
  • Children’s level term
  • Accidental death benefit
  • Waiver of premium
  • Guaranteed purchase option
  • Single-pay paid-up additions
  • Guaranteed level premium term
  • Guaranteed level premium term rider
  • Cash-out term
  • Child level term
  • Value-added benefit

Reasons why SBLI is a great option

SBLI’s accelerated underwriting process may appeal to people aged 18 to 60 who don’t want to take a medical exam and are purchasing a policy for $750,000 or less. These applicants simply undergo a phone interview and can typically expect a decision within one week.

Even those who are older can apply online for an SBLI term life insurance policy. The insurance carrier’s decision-making process tends to be fairly quick overall.

SBLI makes it easy to convert term life policies to a permanent one or combine policies to get maximum coverage. Plus, beneficiaries can easily file claims online, which is useful when a death benefit is needed.

SBLI ratings, reviews, customer satisfaction and complaints

SBLI is financially sound. AM Best rated SBLI an A rating, which means this insurer has an extremely high chance of fulfilling its obligations to customers. Standard & Poor’s A- rating means the company can meet its financial obligations.

SBLI has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau but has not yet been rated by J.D. Power. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) states SBLI has received fewer than normal complaints compared to the industry average. The NAIC’s complaint index shows how many customers have filed complaints, using one as a baseline average — SBLI has a score of .84.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best life insurance company?

No insurance company is the best fit for everyone — it depends on various factors such as the type of coverage needed. A good place to start is to research the best life insurance companies.

How do I know what kind of life insurance is best for me?

There are lots of options available in the life insurance market designed to suit many different needs. It’s a good idea to do a little research about the different types of life insurance, then speak with a licensed insurance agent to talk through the available options before selecting coverage.

How do I apply for SBLI life insurance?

Applicants can get a quote for term policies online to start the process or for any type of policy by calling 888-630-5000 to speak with an agent. Some applicants and policies will require a medical exam, but it may be a good idea to speak with SBLI to see if you qualify for accelerated underwriting, which allows some applicants to forgo the medical exam and get a decision more quickly.

Written by
Sarah Li Cain
Insurance Contributor
Sarah Li Cain is an experienced content marketing writer specializing in FinTech, credit, loans, personal finance,and banking. Her work has appeared in Fortune 500 companies, publications and startups such as Transferwise, Discover, Bankrate, Quicken Loans and KeyBank.