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SBLI life insurance review 2023

Updated Mar 09, 2023
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SBLI stands out for offering a wide range of life insurance policies in nearly every state. SBLI offers an impressive range of riders that can help personalize a policy to your life insurance needs and financial goals. The company doesn’t have local agents or a mobile app, though.

  • Wide range of coverage options offered

  • Innovative digital platform

  • Numerous riders available

  • No universal life insurance options

  • No local agents

  • No mobile app

SBLI life insurance

Savings Bank Life Insurance Company, better known as SBLI, was founded in 1907 by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. SBLI life insurance has offerings that remain competitive in the life insurance marketplace. The company offers term life, whole life and final expense insurance, plus a wide range of riders to help policyholders personalize their coverage. SBLI also offers accelerated underwriting for shoppers between ages 18 and 60 for up to $750,000 of no-exam life insurance coverage.

SBLI offers a few different types of life insurance policies:

  • Term: Shoppers who want coverage for a specific amount of time may want to consider SBLI term life insurance. Term coverage may be a good choice for families with young children or those who want coverage while debt is being paid off. SBLI offers five term lengths: 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years. A one-year non-renewable term policy is also available for those with very short-term needs. SBLI notes that policies with a death benefit of $750,000 or lower with insureds between the ages of 18 and 60 do not require a medical exam. SBLI also offers a decreasing term option called SmartTerm 360.
  • Permanent: Permanent life insurance, unlike term coverage, is designed to stay in place for your entire life, assuming premiums are paid. Permanent insurance may be a better option for shoppers over the age of 50 who want coverage for the rest of their lives. In regards to permanent policies, SBLI only offers whole life insurance.
    • Whole: SBLI offers a whole life insurance option but doesn’t list much specific information about it on its website. To learn more about SBLI whole life, contact the company. SBLI also offers a final expense life insurance option called Cherish Life. This is a type of whole life policy with a limited death benefit, which is designed to cover end-of-life expenses and funeral costs. Unlike many final expense policies, SBLI final expense is not guaranteed acceptance, which means that you could be denied coverage based on your answers to the application questions.

If you’re unsure which of these policies might be best for you, it may be wise to contact SBLI directly. If you’re in the process of figuring out how much life insurance you need, you may want to talk to a licensed life insurance agent or use an online life insurance calculator to offer guidance for your unique situation.

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SBLI life insurance endorsements

The best life insurance companies offer endorsements, also called riders, to help you personalize your coverage to your unique needs. While riders can be helpful, keep in mind that the extra coverage will likely increase the cost of your life insurance. Those looking for the cheapest life insurance may not appreciate the added premium, but riders can add valuable coverage to your policy.

SBLI lists ten riders, but the options available to you will depend on what policy type you choose and your eligibility. SBLI’s riders include:

  • Accelerated death benefit: This option is included on all SBLI life insurance products at no added cost and allows you to access up to $250,000 of your death benefit if you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness (defined as likely to cause death within 12 months). This option may help you pay for unexpected medical bills as a result of your diagnosis, but it will lower the death benefit amount that your beneficiary receives.
  • Cash-out term: Available only on SBLI whole life insurance, this option tacks on a 30-year term policy to your coverage. If you choose, you can surrender the term rider portion of your policy for a partial or full refund of your rider premium, depending on the timing of the surrender.
  • Single-pay paid-up additions: Those with SBLI whole life might opt for this endorsement, which allows you to bolster your cash value or death benefit with a single lump sum payment.
  • Waiver of premium: This option is available on whole and term life products from SBLI and allows you to forgo your premium payment if you become totally disabled and can’t work.

SBLI life tools and benefits

SBLI offers a unique digital platform called LegacyShield Life’s Mission Control, which allows policyholders to consolidate financial accounts onto one dashboard, store documents, share final wishes and compile family photos all in one place. If you’re looking for an organization system for these items, Life’s Mission Control may be worth your consideration. LegacyShield might be helpful for policyholders who want to manage end-of-life concerns such as final wishes, important documents, family photos and videos.

SBLI insurance customer satisfaction

Our SBLI life insurance review found that the company received financial strength ratings of A (Excellent) from AM Best and A- (Stable) from Standard & Poors (S&P). The company is unrated in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, but received fewer complaints than average, with a Complaint Index of 0.78 for individual life insurance, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The baseline number of complaints is a score of 1.00, so the rating of 0.78 suggests an overall positive customer experience.

How to file a claim with SBLI

Filing a life insurance claim can be an emotional process for your beneficiary. The process might be easier if you make sure that your beneficiary knows where to find your policy information and how to contact the company to report your passing. To file a life insurance claim with SBLI, your beneficiary can:

  • File in the online claim portal
  • Call 1-800-694-7254

Your beneficiary will need your policy number, your personal identifying information (name, date of birth and Social Security number), the date of your death and your death certificate. They’ll also need to provide their own contact information to ensure that SBLI can contact them while the claim is settled.

SBLI availability

SBLI is licensed to sell life insurance in every state — with the sole exception of New York — and Washington D.C.

Other SBLI perks worth considering

If you’re thinking about buying SBLI life insurance, you may want to consider the company’s additional perks:

  • Accelerated underwriting: SBLI offers fast underwriting to everyone age 60 and under with no medical exam. Customers only have to complete a phone interview and answer basic health questions.
  • No-exam policies: The company offers some term life policies without medical exams.
  • Multiple policy riders: SBLI offers 10 policy riders available to help policyholders personalize their coverage.

SBLI corporate sustainability

Our SBLI life insurance review also took a look at the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. SBLI operates the SBLI Charitable Foundation, which donates money to organizations, including The Jimmy Fund, American Diabetes Association, National Brain Tumor Society, American Heart Association, National Breast Cancer Foundation and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

If an SBLI life insurance policy isn’t the right choice for you, it may be wise to compare life insurance quotes from one or more of the following providers:

SBLI vs. State Farm

State Farm won the Bankrate Award for best term life insurance company in both 2022 and 2023, based on its exceptional customer satisfaction score and top AM Best score. If you’re looking for term insurance, you may want to check out State Farm as well as SBLI, so you can compare the options and find the right fit for you.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

SBLI vs. MassMutual

MassMutual won the Bankrate Award for best whole life insurance in 2022 and 2023, thanks to its use of local agents, “Superior” AM Best score and high coverage capacity. MassMutual may be beneficial for those looking for life insurance over the age of 50, as it offers resources for those planning for elder care and retirement.

Learn more: MassMutual Life Insurance review

SBLI vs. Nationwide

SBLI does not offer universal life insurance, so you’ll have to look elsewhere if you want a UL policy. If you’re interested in universal life, Nationwide may be a good option to consider. Nationwide offers two types of indexed universal life insurance: the Accumulator II 2020 and the Protector II 2020, although its offerings in New York are slightly different.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

Is SBLI a good insurance company?

Our insurance editorial team understands that choosing a life insurance policy is a big decision, and one that affects not only you but also your loved ones. To that end, our SBLI life insurance review analyzed the company’s offerings and third-party reviews to help you decide if the carrier is right for you. SBLI could be a good company for those looking for a policy with plentiful rider options, and the LegacyShield tool offers a helpful way to plan for end-of-life needs. However, SBLI doesn’t offer universal life, doesn’t have local agents and doesn’t offer a mobile app, so it likely won’t meet the needs of every shopper.

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