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Transamerica life insurance review 2024

Updated Jun 27, 2024
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At a glance

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.

  • Offers multiple plans that do not require a medical exam
  • Provides life insurance coverage to foreign nationals who are regular visitors or have ties to the U.S.
  • Received an excellent financial strength rating from AM Best
  • Ranked third to last among companies reviewed for individual life insurance customer satisfaction per J.D. Power
  • Above-baseline NAIC complaint index, indicating higher-than-average customer complaints
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What’s new with Transamerica?

May 22, 2024 - Transamerica has collaborated with First Trust to add the First Trust Equity Edge Index to its Structured Index Advantage Annuity. This index offers exposure to high-quality U.S. equities with a balanced growth and value approach. The addition aims to enhance the annuity’s growth potential and protection features, reinforcing Transamerica’s commitment to helping Americans optimize their retirement savings. This collaboration is expected to accelerate the annuity's growth, which has already achieved over $1 billion in sales within its first two years.

Transamerica life insurance review

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: Term policies may be suitable if you need coverage for a specific period. 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.
    • Trendsetter Super:
      • Issue ages: 18-80
      • Coverage available: $25,000–$10 million and up
      • No medical exam for up to $2 million for qualifying applicants
      • Flexible and convertible to permanent life policy during the conversion period
      • Customizable with different coverage amounts, term periods and optional rider benefits
      • Provides accelerated death benefits for qualifying terminal illnesses
    • Trendsetter LB: 
      • Issue ages: 18-80
      • Coverage available: $25,000–$2 million
      • No medical exam for up to $2 million for qualifying applicants
      • Flexible and convertible to permanent life policy during the conversion period
      • Provides living benefits, offering early access to death benefits for qualifying critical, chronic or terminal illnesses
      • Customizable with various coverage amounts, term periods and optional rider benefits

Both term products offer accelerated death benefits, providing financial support if diagnosed with a qualifying illness.

  • Permanent: A permanent life insurance policy might be a good fit for those who want access to the cash value component 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, branded as Transamerica Lifetime, offers robust customization through various rider options. Key guarantees include a guaranteed death benefit, guaranteed cash accumulation value and guaranteed level premiums. Policyholders can enhance their coverage with riders such as chronic illness, critical illness, terminal illness accelerated death benefit, disability waiver of premium and more. Additionally, the policy offers flexible payment options, including electronic funds transfer and credit card payments, along with simplified underwriting processes for easier qualification.
    • Indexed universal life insurance: Transamerica offers two indexed universal life (IUL) policies: the Transamerica Financial Choice IUL (FCIUL) and the Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL (FFIUL). Both policies provide death benefit protection and the potential for cash value accumulation. The FCIUL is designed for high earners aiming to maximize cash value and enjoy tax-advantaged income distributions, featuring various index accounts and loan options. The FFIUL caters to a broader audience, emphasizing flexible premiums and traditional IUL benefits. Both policies include living benefit riders for additional financial protection in case of critical, chronic or terminal illnesses.
    • Final expense life insurance: Transamerica’s Final Expense Solutions Portfolio is designed to help cover end-of-life expenses with level premium whole life insurance policies. These policies offer face amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 and come with a guaranteed death benefit. This straightforward solution helps protect families from unexpected financial burdens associated with final expenses, helping provide peace of mind for policyholders and their loved ones.

Pros and cons of Transamerica life insurance

When considering Transamerica life insurance, it's beneficial to weigh the advantages and disadvantages to determine if it aligns with your needs. Transamerica offers a variety of life insurance products, which could make it a potential and versatile choice for many. The company's strong financial ratings indicate reliability, but there are areas where it may fall short in customer satisfaction and availability. Here are some key pros and cons to consider:

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  • Numerous life insurance products sold
  • Life insurance products available for foreign nationals
  • Excellent AM Best financial strength rating
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  • 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

Transamerica insurance riders

Each Transamerica life insurance policy type has its own set of 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 riders 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 riders

  • Disability waiver of premium: This endorsement can waive your monthly premium if you become temporarily disabled.
  • Income protection option (IPO): 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’s benefit: Children between 15 and 18 can receive fixed-rate term coverage.
  • Accidental death benefit: This endorsement allocates a certain amount that will be paid out if your death results from an accident.
  • Terminal, chronic and critical illness riders: These riders are included at no cost. They allow you early access to the death benefit in the event of a qualifying chronic, critical, or terminal illness while you’re alive.

Index universal life insurance riders

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

Transamerica customer satisfaction

To round out our Transamerica life insurance review, Bankrate looked at various metrics, including third-party ratings from AM Best for financial strength and J.D. Power for customer satisfaction. Transamerica received an A (Excellent) rating for financial strength.

In contrast, Transamerica scored poorly in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction. The 2023 industry average was 790, and Transamerica was third from the bottom with a score of 757. This is a slight improvement from the company’s 2022 J.D. Power score of 740.

Transamerica insurance customer 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 2021 to 2023, Transamerica consistently had a complaint index that was two times higher than the baseline, indicating that customers have been unsatisfied with their experience.

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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

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Why you can trust Bankrate

Our insurance editorial team includes licensed agents with decades of combined experience, and we used our intimate knowledge of the industry to conduct this in-depth Transamerica insurance review.


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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.

What are real-life customers saying about Transamerica?

To provide more insight into the Transamerica customer experience, we explored reviews on Reddit and Trustpilot. It's important to note that people often leave reviews due to negative experiences, which may not fully represent the overall customer base. Despite the overwhelmingly negative reviews, this doesn't guarantee that you will have a similar experience. If Transamerica's products appeal to you, contacting the company for more information could still be worthwhile.

Most of the feedback aligns with Transamerica's poor NAIC ratings and J.D. Power scores, highlighting issues such as delays in claims processing, unresponsive customer service and difficulties in policy cancellations. For instance, some customers reported extensive delays in receiving life insurance payouts, with cases dragging on for years without resolution. Additionally, customers managing policies for deceased relatives encountered significant challenges in closing accounts, reflecting systemic inefficiencies.

These reviews underscore the importance of considering customer experiences when choosing an insurance provider but also remind us that individual experiences can vary widely.

Transamerica company details

Need to get in touch with Transamerica or inquire about the company’s products? Here are a few ways to do so:

State availability

Transamerica writes life insurance policies nationwide. However, not all of its life insurance products are available in New York state.

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

Written by
Ashlyn Brooks
Ashlyn Brooks is a finance writer with more than half a decade of experience, known for her knowledge in areas such as taxes, insurance, investing, retirement, finance news, and banking products.
Edited by Editor II, Insurance