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Banner LIFE INSURANCE REVIEW: Cost, Pros & Cons, FAQ's

Compare Banner to 30+ top rated companies!

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Overview:  Banner Life Insurance company is part of Legal & General Group, a London-based multinational financial services company founded in 1836.  Banner likes to keep their life insurance offerings simple with just term and universal life insurance.  With great rates and generous underwriting guidelines, Banner Life is one of the top life insurance providers in the country.

Here’s What You Need to Know About Banner Life

 Banner Life provides term and universal life insurance.  Their term life insurance prices are some of the best in the industry.  Their universal life insurance prices are average compared to the competition.   They also offer annuities for retirement income.

  • pros & cons

  • insurance types

  • who is a good fit?

pros & cons of Banner life insurance

Pros

  • Term Life Lengths to 40 years: Most life insurance companies cap their term life coverage at 30 years, but Banner offers coverage up to 40 years for eligible applicants.
  • Generous underwriting: Health concerns like heart attacks, cancer, and high blood pressure can limit life insurance options or make you uninsurable with other companies.  Banner Life Insurance offers affordable rates for people with complicated medical histories.
  • Ultra competitive rates: Banner Life is a leader in life insurance because they work with people who have present and past health concerns.  Their monthly rates are almost unbeatable for this subset, meaning you can get the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
  • Riders available: Banner Life offers attractive riders which can be added to a term or universal life insurance policy at a nominal cost.  It offers accelerated death benefit, children’s term life insurance rider, and waiver of premium riders.
  • Accelerated underwriting at no additional cost: Some applicants qualify for lab-free underwriting, which bypasses the need for a medical exam.  These well-qualified applicants can be approved in as little as 48 hours, and unlike other carriers with no-exam life insurance, the cost is the same as fully underwritten life insurance.

Cons

  • No whole or variable life insurance option: For those who prefer whole or variable life insurance options, Banner Life doesn’t offer it.  They do provide universal life insurance coverage with flexible payment and cash value options.
  • No online application: To apply for life insurance with the Banner Company, you have to speak with a licensed representative or financial professional who offers Banner Life Insurance products.  However, you can get a quote online.
  • No life insurance needs calculator: The Banner Life Insurance website does not offer a life insurance needs calculator, which is important for people who aren’t sure how much coverage they need.
  • Reconsiderations at applicants cost: If your health has improved and you want to be reconsidered for a better rate, you’ll have to foot the bill for the underwriting and medical exam.

  • Banner Life Insurance Company, like the majority of life insurance companies, uses AGE NEAREST BIRTHDAY when you get a quote.  What this means is they make you a year older than you are exactly 6 months prior to your date of birth.  For example, let’s say you were going to be 40 years old on July 25, 2021.  Exactly 6 months before, on January 25, 2020,  Banner made you 40 years old for life insurance even though you were still 39.  On January 25, 2022, you will be 41.  Banner Life considers you a year older than you actually are starting 6 months before your birthday so they can charge you more money based on the older age.

How is Banner Life Different?

Banner Life’s parent company has been in business for almost 200 years.  It has excellent financial stability and pays close to $1 Billion in life insurance claims each year.  With simple life insurance policy options and competitive rates, people insured with Banner Life can rest assured that when the time comes, their beneficiaries will be taken care of.

What types of insurance can you purchase from Banner Life?

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Life Insurance Products Offered through Banner Life:

Banner Life offers a 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, 30-, 35-, and 40-year term life insurance policy and a universal life insurance policy.  Banner also offers annuities to provide a source of retirement income.

For an additional cost, riders can be added to the life insurance policy.  These riders include:

  • Children’s term
  • Waiver of premium for disability
  • Accelerated death benefit
  • Term rider (for the individual to add additional coverage as needed)

Did you know?

In many cases it is much cheaper to buy life insurance on your own rather than through your employer.  Plus, if you leave your job, you don't lose your coverage!

WHAT POLICIES DOES Banner LIFE OFFER?

BANNER TERM LIFE INSURANCE – OPTERM

Available from $100,000 up to $10,000,000

  • OPTerm 10 year term – issue ages 20 to 75.
  • OPTerm 15 year term – issue ages 20-75.
  • OPTerm 20 year term – issue ages 20-70 for non-smokers.  20-65 for smokers.
  • OPTerm 25 year term – issue ages 20-60 for non-smokers.  20-55 for smokers.
  • OPTerm 30 year term – issue ages 20-55 for non smokers.  20-50 for smokers.
  • OPTerm 35 year term – issue ages 20-50 for non smokers.  20-45 for smokers.
  • OPTerm 40 year term – issue ages 20 – 45 for non smoker.  20-40 for smokers.

Premiums are guaranteed not to increase during the term period.  Once the term expires, the premiums increase yearly as you get older.  All OPTerm Life Insurance Policies expire at age 95.

TERM LIFE CONVERSION OPTIONS:

You can covert any Banner OPTerm Life Insurance Policy for the duration of the guaranteed level premium period or up to age 70 which ever comes first.  Policies issued at age 66 or over are convertible during the first 5 policy years.

Banner Term Life Insurance Sample Quote

Banner Life's prices for term life insurance are very competitive!

See for yourself.  Check out...

How Much Does Life Insurance By Banner Cost?

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BANNER UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE – LIFE STEP UL

  • Issue ages 20 to 85 – age nearest birthday
  • Minimum coverage amount – $50,000
  • Life Step UL is a flexible premium universal life insurance plan.  This product offers a permanent coverage guarantee to age 121.
  • Guaranteed coverage for life.  Remains in force for as long as you continue to pay sufficient premiums.
  • Provides flexibility in premium payments and adjustable death benefits to meet your changing needs.  You can often choose to pay a lower premium for a shorter coverage guarantee, or a higher premium for lifetime coverage.

Banner Universal Life Insurance Benefits & Features

  • Guaranteed Cash Value – The lifetime premium not only guarantees coverage but also cash value to the universal life policy.
  • Lifetime Guarantee – Provides an option to pay a level premium to guarantee the coverage for your entire lifetime.  Paying this level premium will ensure that your policy will remain in force, regardless of future economic conditions.
  • Short Pay Guarantee – The flexible premium and coverage guarantees allow you to design a premium payment over the number of years that you choose for your universal life policy.  For example, you may want to pay enough premiums in 10 or 15 years to guarantee lifetime coverage, or complete the payments of your lifetime premiums before you retire.  A short pay allows you to do this by consolidating the premium payments required for a lifetime guarantee over a limited period of time.  Your premium payments stop after the payment period has ended, but you will remain covered for life.

Banner Universal Life Sample Quote

Banner Life's prices for Universal Life are average compared to other leading carriers.

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How Much Does Life Insurance By Banner Cost?


Life Insurance Riders:

Banner Wavier of Premium

Banner will waive all premiums that are due during total disability if proof of disability is provided and you have to be continuously disabled for at least 6 months.

  • Available through Table 4 health class.
  • Available up to $6,000,000 face amount.
  • Available for ages 20-55 for non-tobacco and ages 20-50 for tobacco users.

Banner Accelerated Death Benefit

The accelerated dearth benefit is payable in the event of a qualifying terminal illness.

  • Maximum amount of accelerated death benefit is the lesser of $500,000 or 75% of the death benefit.
  • Accelerated Death Benefit is treated as a lien which accrues interest.  Upon death, the death benefit is reduced by the total accelerated benefit amount.

Banner Child Insurance Rider

  • Covers eligible children to the earlier of the child’s 25th birthday, the insured’s 65th birthday or policy termination.  Eligible children may include any unmarried child, stepchild, or legally adopted child who is not beyond their 18th birthday at the time of application.

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BANNER UNDERWRITING HEALTH CLASSES

Banner Life Insurance Company has the following health classifications:

  • Preferred Plus – Preferred Plus consideration for: cigarette smokers 3 years out | if you are treated for Hypercholesterolemia | Hypertension | a combination of treated hypertension & cholesterol | treated or untreated cholesterol under 300 | recreational scuba diving up to 100 feet | family history of cancer.
  • Preferred – Preferred consideration for: Asthma on two medications or less (well controlled) | Anxiety / Depression on one prescription medication (well controlled) | Sleep Apnea with good compliance for one year and no residual symptoms.
  • Standard Plus –  Standard Plus consideration for: Controlled Type II Diabetes | Severe Sleep Apnea with documented good CPAP compliance for one year and no residual symptoms | Personal history of cancer, subject to type, date of onset and last treatment.
  • Standard Substandard – Table 2 to Table 12 – Substandard premiums are based off Standard Plus rates than add the table rating.  Each table rating is a 25% increase in premium.

All health classes are available for both non-smokers AND smokers.

***Wondering how COVID-19 effects buying a Banner life insurance policy?***

Get these answers and other sample underwriting guidelines.  Click Banner Life Sample Underwriting Guidelines for the details.

Limitation of Benefits

  • Two-year contestability for fraud, material misrepresentation and suicide.

a brief history of Banner Life

Banner Life Insurance Company is a part of Legal & General Group Plc., a London-based multinational financial services company.  In business since 1839, L & G manages over $1.5 trillion in assets.  The company jumped the pond in 1981, acquiring GELICO which became Banner Life Insurance Company in 1983.


a father and mother are looking into the lake with their two young children between them a title across the bottom says banner life insurance reviews

In 1989, Banner Life purchased William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York, which allowed the company to offer life insurance and retirement products in all 50 United States and the District of Columbia.  Though policies are still issued under the Banner Life and William Penn names, the companies consolidated into one U.S. brand, Legal & General America, in 2011.

As of 2020, Legal & General America is one of the top five life insurers in the country, with more offerings in their term life insurance product than any other carrier.  L & G has over 1.3 million policyholders with  over $5 billion in assets and $759 billion of coverage in force.

Americans are terrible at this one thing...

recent study found that more than half of Americans overestimate the cost of term life insurance by three times.  If you've never gotten a personalized quote or only seen quotes from one company, you likely have no idea how inexpensive life insurance really is!

Banner Life Insurance Products

Banner Life offers two types of life insurance: term and permanent.  The term life insurance policy is its most popular policy type, and for good reason.  With the option for additional riders, competitive rates, and loose underwriting guidelines, many applicants find the coverage with Banner Life fits their needs at the best price.  Term life insurance is offered in five year increments, starting with 10 and going up to 40 years of coverage.

For many, term insurance covers their life insurance needs.  However, if you have a more permanent need, like for funeral costs or to leave a legacy for future generations, its universal life insurance policy might be a better fit, though rates aren’t as competitive as the term policy.  With flexible payment options and cash value built in, Banner’s universal life insurance policy can stand alone or be combined with a more affordable term life insurance policy.

Banner Life coverage details and guidelines

Read on to find out who issues Banner Life's policies, how to get an online quote, and how to get a low rate.

Who Issues Their Policies?

According to the Banner Life website, "Legal & General America life insurance and retirement products are underwritten and issued by Banner Life Insurance Company, Urbana, MD and William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York, Valley Stream, NY. Banner products are distributed in 49 states and in DC. William Penn products are available exclusively in New York; Banner does not solicit business there. The Legal & General America companies are part of the worldwide Legal & General Group." 

How Do I Get An Online Quote Through Banner Life?

Banner Life Insurance Company offers quotes on their website for term life insurance.  You have to enter the following information:

  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Nicotine Use
  • Zip code
  • State
  • Coverage amount
  • Years of coverage

Depending on the information provided, you’ll get a monthly rate for coverage or told to enter your contact information for a call back.  If you’d like to proceed, you will also enter contact information for someone to get back to you to complete the application.

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How do I get a low rate?

The way you get the lowest rate from Banner Life is to qualify medically for the best underwriting class - Preferred Plus.  You have to be extremely healthy with no family history of heart disease in your parents or siblings before age 60 + other underwriting criteria.  Even if you do not qualify for the best underwriting class when you apply, you can still get one of the lowest rates from Banner Life in each underwriting class you may qualify for.  For example, they also have one of the lowest rates for Preferred, Standard Plus, Standard, etc. underwriting classes.

Find Your Perfect Life Insurance Plan!

Click below to search for life insurance by company, coverage amount, and policy type.

Shortcut:  Our #1 choice for life insurance with health issues is AIG Direct.  If you have any history of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, or obesity, click here for a free quote.

WHO is Banner Life for?

Banner Life Insurance is for people who need term or universal life insurance coverage.  It has coverage starting at $100,000 up to $10 million to fit a wide range of applications.

Who is the ideal Banner life applicant?

The ideal life insurance applicant is someone in great health who hasn’t yet reached retirement age. The healthiest applicants can qualify for accelerated underwriting, which means you can bypass the medical exam and get approved for coverage even faster.

what if i'm not perfectly healthy?

If you’re looking for term life insurance, Banner Life can still be competitive even if you’re not perfectly healthy. With better underwriting guidelines than other life insurance carriers, having certain health concerns like high blood pressure, cholesterol, or a family history of cancer doesn’t automatically rule you out from the best health classes.

Our Favorite Life Insurance Companies

We've worked with and reviewed dozens of companies.  Here are our faves.

Ladder Life Insurance Logo

Ladder Life Insurance

Best for:  No-Exam Plans Up to Age 60

Ladder is known for a quick and easy online application with no medical exam required in many cases.  They have 10, 20, and 30 year plans.  They offer the most coverage without an exam in the industry. Coverage amounts start at $100,000 and go as high as $8 million.

AIG Direct Life Insurance Logo

AIG Direct

Best for:  Lowest Rates or Health Conditions

AIG Direct offers a range of custom term plans up to 35-year term as well as return of premium, and permanent plans that build guaranteed cash value.  Their rates will beat just about anyone if you take an exam.  They're also terrific if you take medication or have health issues.

Bestow Life Insurance

Best for:  Convenient and Simple Plans

Bestow is known for their simple, straight-forward 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 year term plans up to $1.5 million.  They never require a medical exam (ever) and have great rates.  Rates start as low as $8 per month.

how to apply for life insurance with Banner Life?

signing up for Banner life

To sign up with Banner Life, you can request a call from a licensed representative or call them directly at 888-984-3393.  There are also over 1,500 financial professionals with access to Banner Life products who can help you get signed up.

how does the application process with Banner life work?

To apply with Banner, you’ll speak to a representative and answer application questions.  They will fill in the application as you respond.  Once completed, they will send you the application electronically to sign and you will either be approved without a medical exam or one will be scheduled for you to complete.

Banner life financial strength and bbb ratings

With so many years in the industry, Banner Life has a long history of financial strength.  Each individual rating company scores Banner Life at either Very Strong or Superior in overall financial strength:

  • Standard and Poor’s: AA-
  • A.M. Best: A+
  • Fitch Ratings: AA-
  • Comdex: 94 out of 100

Banner Life has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has four complaints filed within the past three years.  Each complaint was answered by a company representative, with two being issues with billing and the other two with advertising/sales.

LIFE INSURANCE MADE EASY

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Banner Life reviews and complaints


Banner Life/Legal & General America has 1,314 reviews with Trustpilot and 4.3 out of 5 stars, 67% of reviewers rate the company as Excellent. 

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners complaint index, Banner Life has one of the lowest in the industry.  It comes in at just 0.07 with the average being 1.00, meaning very few complaints have been submitted for the company.

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Compare Banner Life VS New York Life Insurance

New York Life has more product offerings than Banner Life, with whole, universal, variable, and term life insurance products.  While you can get a term life insurance quote with Banner Life online, you have to reach out to a New York Life representative to get a quote with it. 

Banner Life and New York Life both have excellent financial strength, though Banner’s term life rates are better than New York Life.  You also won’t get the option of a no-exam life insurance policy with New York Life like you can with Banner Life Insurance.

How to Compare Companies:

Insurance companies are NOT all the same.  Some are more lenient on certain health issues, some focus on a no-hassle application without an exam, some are financially stronger than others, and their pricing varies a LOT!  The smartest move is to get quotes from two or three companies and compare the pros & cons of each.

Banner LIFE Insurance ALTERNATIVES

Some of the following companies have better products and cheaper prices versus Banner Life Insurance.  Some even offer non-medical options.

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AAA Life Insurance Review

Term, whole & universal life insurance are three types of life insurance products offered through AAA Life.

Bestow Life Insurance Review

Bestow Insurance offers term life insurance for people between the ages of 18 and 60, and in generally good health.  You can get coverage online in about 10 minutes starting at $10 a month.

Couple on couch inside their house. They are sitting really close and sharing a laptop while looking at each other and smiling.

CMFG Life Insurance Review

CMFG, through CUNA Mutual Group, uses its TruStage brand to sell life insurance to the public and credit union members. 

Fabric Logo

Fabric Life Insurance Review

Fabric Life offers affordable life insurance with easy, online quotes and application available 24/7.  The company uses algorithms to speed up the underwriting process, with well-qualified applicants getting approved without a medical exam.

life insurance geico, geico life insurance review

Geico Life Insurance Review

GEICO offers life insurance products through its partner, LifeQuotes.com.  LifeQuotes.com provides access to dozens of life insurance carriers which makes it easy to get a quote for term, universal or whole life insurance. 

Haven Life Insurance Review

Haven Life Insurance Review

Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MassMutual and offers an easy and fast online quoting and application process for term life insurance. 

Leap Life Insurance Logo

Leap Life Insurance Review

Leap LIfe uses artificial intelligence (Policy Matching AI) technology to compare your health, habits, and hobbies against life insurance company underwriting guidelines in order to match you with the best possible policy from a company that they represent.

MATRIXDIRECT LIFE INSURANCE LOGO

Matrix Direct Life Insurance Review

Matrix Direct Life Insurance, now AIG Direct, is a life insurance company offering coverage through American General Life Insurance and The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York.  Most policies require a medical exam, but certain term and whole life products can be purchased without one.

Nerdwallet Logo

Nerdwallet Life Insurance Review

When you request a quote from Nerdwallet Life Insurance you will be redirected to another website called Quotacy.  Quotacy is backed by Hallett Financial Group, Inc.  Hallett Financial Group, Inc is a full service multi-carrier independent insurance brokerage agency.

Protective Life Insurance Logo

Protective Life Insurance Review

Protective Life's vast number of products which offer some of the most competitive prices in the market is what sets them apart from the competition.  For example, they have a competitively priced 35 and 40 year level term that most companies don't offer.

Prudential Life Insurance Logo

Prudential Life Insurance Review

Prudential Life Insurance is one of the largest life insurance companies in the US.  They offer term life and universal life insurance policies that let you add extra features to customize your coverage.

SelectQuote Logo

 SelectQuote Life Insurance Review

Since 1985, SelectQuote has saturated the advertising market with multiple TV, radio, & print adds per day.  This is the reason they are the #1 direct to consumer insurance agency.  BUT....

TruStage Term and Whole Life Insurance Review

TruStage Life Insurance Review

TruStage is convenient and is a solid company, but is a lot more expensive compared to other online life insurance providers, limits coverage to $100,000, and only offers 5-year terms.

For more company information, please visit our Life Insurance Company Reviews Page.   If you’re searching for life insurance by term length or dollar amount, please visit this page

BANNER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. Does Banner life insurance cover COVID-19 related deaths?  Yes.  Life insurance covers death by all causes that are not explicitly excluded in the policy.  COVID-19 is not explicitly excluded in the policy therefore they would not deny a claim for that reason alone.
  2. Is Banner Life a good / legit company?  Yes.  Backed by Legal and General America, Banner Life is one of the top carriers in the industry.
  3. Does Banner have the best prices for life insurance?  Sometimes for term life.  Especially if you are in the Preferred Plus or Preferred health class.  Banner will always be in the top 5 for term life prices.  Their Life Step UL has above average prices compared to other leading carriers.
  4. How easy is it to get approved for Banner life insurance?  If you are healthy, it is not difficult to get approved.  They are also lenient for certain types of health conditions as well.  If you are in poor health however, it might be difficult.
  5. Will I have to give my social security number when I apply?  Yes.  Banner will use your social security number to verify your identity.  They will also run a credit check and other types of data reporting during the underwriting process.
  6. Does Banner Life have a lot of complaints?  According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Banner’s  Complaint Ratio is GOOD.  The complaint ratio indicates the number of negative reviews a company receives in proportion to its size..  Banner’s complaint ratio was just 0.07 compared to the national median of 1.00.
  7. Did you find anything in your research during your Banner Life Insurance Reviews process?  Banner Life Insurance Company is a extremely well known and has a good reputation with relatively few complaints for it’s size.
  8.  What is life expectancy?  Life expectancy is the statistical expectation of how long someone will live at birth based on a number of factors such as socioeconomics, demographic, geographic, thermographic, stenographic, idiographic, and historiographics.

summary

Banner Life Insurance/Legal & General America is one of the top term life insurance carriers in the United States. With competitive rates, even for the not-so-healthy, rider options, and term coverage up to 40 years, Banner is a viable option for many.  Coverage starts at $100,000 and goes up to $10 million, with stackable term riders available, including children’s term, and the COVID-19-important living death benefit rider.



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Written by:  Chris Lalor

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