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Transamerica life insurance review 2024

Updated Feb 02, 2024

At a glance

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Bankrate's take

Transamerica could be a good option if you are looking for numerous life insurance options coupled with other financial products. However, while the company has relatively strong financial strength, its customer satisfaction reviews tend to be below average.

Transamerica life insurance offers multiple plans that do not require a medical exam, which could be appealing to individuals with poor health.

Transamerica life insurance

Unlike other companies that only offer the basics, Transamerica offers five different life insurance policy types. The company is licensed to sell policies in Washington, D.C. and all U.S. states, but some policies are not available in New York. If you’re buying life insurance for the first time and aren’t sure how much life insurance you need, it may be helpful to utilize Bankrate’s life insurance calculator before speaking with a Transamerica agent.

With a dedicated international underwriting team, Transamerica is also one of the few companies offering life insurance coverage to foreign nationals who are regular visitors or have ties to the U.S. Transamerica’s life insurance offerings include:

  • Term: Term policies may be good options if you only need coverage for a short or predetermined period of time. Transamerica offers two term life insurance policies — Trendsetter Super and Trendsetter LB. Both policies offer term periods of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. The Trendsetter Super policy has higher coverage amounts available, while the Trendsetter LB provides living benefits, which may allow you to receive an accelerated death benefit if you are diagnosed with a qualifying critical, chronic or terminal illness.
  • Permanent: A permanent life insurance policy might be a good fit for those who want access to the cash value portion of the policy in addition to the death benefit. Transamerica offers two types of permanent life insurance: whole life and indexed universal life:
    • Whole life insurance: Transamerica’s whole life insurance policies, also called Transamerica Lifetime, give you the option to customize your coverage with nine different riders. These include a children's benefit rider, accidental death benefit rider and chronic illness rider.
    • Indexed universal life insurance: If you’re looking for a more flexible life insurance policy with an investment component, you might consider indexed universal life insurance. Transamerica's two indexed universal policies, the FCIUL and FFIUL, allow you to have more control over your death benefit amount and premium as your life changes. Unlike whole life policies, which also accrue cash value, the cash value of indexed universal life policies is invested.
    • Final expense life insurance: This life insurance policy type could be a good choice for customers looking for a lower death benefit intended to cover specific end-of-life expenses, such as funeral costs. Transamerica's policies have a maximum death benefit of $50,000 and do not require a medical exam.

Pros and cons of Transamerica life insurance

Pros
  • Numerous life insurance products sold

  • Life insurance products available for foreign nationals

  • Excellent AM Best financial strength rating

Cons
  • Ranked third to last among companies reviewed for individual life insurance customer satisfaction per J.D. Power

  • Above-baseline NAIC complaint index

  • Some products are not available in every state

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Transamerica life insurance endorsements

Each Transamerica life insurance policy type has its own set of endorsements and riders. To see the full list of riders for the type of life insurance you want to purchase, you may want to speak with a Transamerica life insurance agent, but be aware that adding endorsements to your policy will likely increase the cost of your life insurance. Bankrate has highlighted a couple of standout endorsements across different Transamerica life insurance policy types:

Term and whole life insurance endorsements

This endorsement can waive your monthly premium if you become temporarily disabled.
With income protection, you can choose how the death benefit is paid out: either in one lump sum, monthly installments or a combination of both.
Children between 15 and 18 can receive fixed-rate term coverage.
This endorsement allocates a certain amount that will be paid out if your death results from an accident.

Index universal life insurance endorsements

This is exclusively for policies of $250,000 or more and gives the insured access to services from Everest Funeral Package, LLC.
This can grant level-term life insurance for up to five family members.
With this endorsement, you can increase your life insurance coverage without additional underwriting, but only at certain intervals.

Compare Transamerica with other insurers

The best life insurance company for you may vary based on your priorities. Whether you're seeking great customer service or the cheapest life insurance company, comparing different carriers may help you narrow down your choices. If you aren’t sure if Transamerica is the right fit, you could consider comparing life insurance quotes from these other providers:

Transamerica vs. MassMutual

MassMutual is the 2024 Bankrate Awards winner for Best Whole Life Insurer. This company offers a variety of riders, so it may be a good choice for those looking to customize their policy. It also earned a strong financial strength rating from AM Best and a high customer satisfaction score in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study.

Learn more: MassMutual Insurance Insurance review

Transamerica vs. Northwestern Mutual

If you’re more interested in term life insurance and you value digital tools, Northwestern Mutual could be a solid choice. Its term life insurance is flexible in allowing customers to select coverage for a specific amount of time or until a specific age, and term policies may also be converted into whole life insurance policies.

Learn more: Northwestern Mutual Insurance review

Transamerica vs. Guardian

For those looking for a company with a wide variety of policy types and good customer service, Guardian could be a worthwhile option. Although this carrier scored slightly below average in J.D. Power's 2023 life insurance study, it ranked far better than Transamerica and has a strong financial strength rating from AM Best.

Learn more: Guardian Insurance Insurance review

Is Transamerica a good insurance company?

Bankrate’s insurance editorial team's Transamerica review concluded that the company could be a good option for individuals looking for a wide variety of policy types and customization options. Transamerica also offers a host of other financial products, so it could be efficient for customers who prefer to conduct business with a single financial company. However, Transamerica has lower-than-average customer satisfaction per J.D. Power, so you may want to speak with existing policyholders to get their take before committing.

Transamerica customer satisfaction

To round out our Transamerica life insurance review, Bankrate looked at a variety of metrics, including third-party ratings from AM Best for financial strength and J.D. Power for customer satisfaction. Transamerica received one of the highest ratings available for financial strength.

In contrast, Transamerica scored poorly in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction. In fact, Transamerica was third from the bottom of the list, though the company has slightly improved its score since 2022.

Study or rating agency Transamerica Industry average
2023 J.D. Power Individual Life Insurance Study 757/1,000 790/1,000
2022 J.D. Power Group Life Insurance Study Not scored 797/1,000
AM Best rating A (Excellent) N/A

Transamerica life complaints

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index is another helpful third-party metric to consider when shopping for a new insurance policy. Among other duties, the NAIC tracks complaints filed by a company’s policyholders for different product types, and converts the number of complaints into a score. This way, potential customers can get an idea of how many complaints an insurance provider typically receives, and which insurance lines are the most complained about. 

The NAIC complaint index has a baseline score of 1.00. Any score higher than this indicates that a provider receives more complaints than expected, and a lower score means that it receives fewer. From 2020 to 2022, Transamerica’s NAIC complaint index more than doubled. Transamerica, on average, receives more than twice the number of life insurance complaints expected for a company of its size.

Other Transamerica tools and benefits

In addition to life insurance, Transamerica offers a slew of financial products, including:

  • Employer-sponsored retirement plans: Employers looking to provide workplace benefits like 401(k)s or other retirement benefits may want to consider Transamerica.
  • IRA rollover solutions: Transamerica’s IRA rollover program can help you transfer your retirement account from your former employer to your own account.
  • Annuities: Transamerica offers both variable and structured annuities.
  • Mutual funds: For a lower-risk investment option, Transamerica offers a variety of mutual funds.
  • Transamerica insights: Transamerica offers resources for customers seeking to learn more about life insurance and other financial products. Features articles touch on topics like the financial needs of caregivers and retirement planning.

Product availability may vary by state, however. Speaking with a Transamerica representative may be the best way to find out what products are available to you.

Frequently asked questions about Transamerica

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Written by
Natalie Todoroff
Writer, Insurance

Natalie Todoroff is an insurance writer for Bankrate, prior to which she wrote for a popular insurance comparison shopping app. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and has written over 800 articles about insurance throughout her career.

Edited by Editor, Insurance