Banner Life Insurance Company Review: The Inside Report [2020]

The Legal and General Life Insurance Companies Of America

Are you are doing your due diligence on a life insurance company that was suggested to you?  Checking into Banner Life Insurance reviews is a good way to get the scoop on this company.

Plenty of people aren’t familiar with them.  Banner Life Insurance Company does not advertise like a lot of the household insurance names.  Companies like State Farm, Geico, Farmers and Allstate have huge advertising budgets.  Guess who pays for those fancy commercials we all see by the way?

That’s right!!

That is how and why consumers come to trust a company…familiarity.

But, what actually determines which life insurance company is really the best? 

Truth be told, there are a number of “best” life insurance companies out there.  The four former household names would not make our top ten regardless of how well known they are.  None of them are serious life insurance companies and their underwriting practice do not lend themselves to competitive premiums. Keep in mind, their focus is on Property and Casualty insurance, not the lives of people.

There is a lot of hogwash spread by bloggers that don’t have a life insurance license nor the professional training to be even discussing who the “best” is and why. The research they generate as not based on real world experience.

Banner Life is one of the primary life insurance companies we work with among dozens of others.  Take that statement to consider as we move into our professional review of this company.

Banner Life Insurance Company

Banner Life has been in the life insurance business for over 60 years.  It however, has not always had the same name.

History Of Banner Life

The company is owned by Legal and General America, a holding company whose founders go back more than 180 years.  Legal and General Group, PLC founded Legal and General America in 1981 and purchased Government Employees Life Insurance Company, changing its name to Banner in 1983. 

Legal and General Group also purchased William Penn Life Insurance to be a subsidiary of Banner Life in 1989.

Both of these insurance companies underwrite and issue all of the life insurance policies issued by Legal and General America with the same common name, Legal & General America.

Legal & General Group is the 7th largest insurer in the world according to the 2017 A.M Best findings.

Financial Rating Of Banner Life

Depending how many Banner Life Insurance reviews you have already read, you may learned that A.M. Best also continues to rate Legal & General America as an A+.  This is a financial rating given to only a very limited number of life insurance companies and signifies top tier financials.  Rest assured, Banner has the coffers to make sure all claims are satisfied.

Banner Life Insurance Phone Number

Customer Service at Banner Life can be reached at (800) 638-8428 Monday-Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm EST. You may also email them at customerservice@bannerlife.com

The Pro’s of Banner Life Insurance Co

If you are in less than perfect health, odds are, Banner will be an option at the top of the list for you.  That is, if you are after “cheap” or low cost life insurance anyway.

Banner Life has a history of being very competitive or at the very top for people who fall into the standard and table rate classes (risk).  Even in 2018, the company continues to have flexible underwriting and excellent pricing for those in less than perfect health.

If you are living with sleep apnea, diabetes as examples, we usually see favorable outcomes for our clients and Banner.  If you suffer with AFib, you will find Banner to be very liberal for that as well.

Life Insurance Products Offered by Banner

Banner OpTerm Life Insurance

OPTerm Life Insurance is the most frequently purchased life insurance product from this life insurer. 

Yes, it is a term life insurance policy available several different “term” lengths. It is designed for those needing financial protection for a defined amount of time such as those raising a family.  Banner term life insurance is typically sold for periods of 10, 20 and even 30 years.

  • Banner has both renewable and convertible term life available
  • Renewable policies to age 95.  Competitors max is 90

Universal Life Insurance from Banner Life

Life Step UL is their product for those needing more guarantees into the future.

  • Designed to be Permanent Insurance.
  • Includes a level premium option that guarantees your policy will remain in force till age 121.
  • You can also take a short pay option in which allows you to pay the policy up before retirement that will guarantee coverage for life as well.
  • $50,000 minimum amount of coverage is less than the majority of insurers.  This is a great feature for those that need a smaller policy.   The majority of carriers start at $100,000.

Guaranteed Universal Life Policy (GUL)

This is a great feature of Banner. 

Their $50,000 minimum face amount Guaranteed Universal Life policy.  Many people do not need large GUL policies and this policy fits in very nicely.

The benefit amount never goes down, and level premiums for life.  Very affordable, and a no lapse, permanent policy with guaranteed coverage up to age 121.

Underwriting Health Conditions At Banner Life Insurance Company

Banner Life is very relaxed in the evaluations of several different health ailments.  That is why we at Special Risk Life will often send in anonymous requests to Banner underwriting for people with AFib in their medical history.  This is part of our shopping process to see which insurer is likely to get our client the best rate when they have a special insurance risk. In this case, we are referring to such a medical condition.

Banner usually comes in with a better rating than other carriers we prompt for Atrial Fibrillation coverage. 

What does that mean?

Their premium offers are usually much more affordable when working with this particular condition among a few other insurance companies.

Getting a “standard/regular rating” versus being “table rated” makes a huge difference in the cost of policy ownership.

This is one value of working with Banner Life certainly, but remember, your agent must have the access to these carriers, and experience negotiating cases like these to get the better rating.  Only the better agents are going to deliver like this. Don’t expect a big call center to go to bat for you. They are high volume and have sales quotas.

Other Conditions Banner Life Shines In

  • Banner Life Insurance is very reasonable with tobacco or nicotine users.  After 3 years of no use, if all else is in order, you can qualify for preferred plus rating.  This is something that most insurers require a minimum of 5 years of no use to consider.
  • High Cholesterol treated with medication that is completely controlled can potentially still qualify for a preferred plus rating.  Very few companies will allow anything but a preferred rating
  • Controlled High Blood Pressure – If you are under medication, banner will consider preferred plus rating.  Again, most companies will not consider anything but preferred.
  • Anxiety or Depression History – Applicants can qualify for preferred rate if the condition is well controlled.
  • Sleep Apnea is favorably underwritten with Banner.  More so than other carriers.
  • Asthma – If you are on two or less medications and all else ok, Banner will consider you for a preferred rate class.  Typically, this is a standard rate class with most other carriers.
  • Diabetes or Diabetic Life Insurance applicants can actually obtain a standard plus rating with Banner.  Most competing companies offer a best case of standard rates.
  • Family History – Banner is one of the best insurance companies at underwriting cases with family history of medical conditions.  Family history will play into any medically underwritten policy out there.  Banner Life seems to be less focused on the family versus the applicants own history.  They are liberal if you have a family history of health problems.

3 Other “Big Name” Insurers vs. Banner Life Insurance Company

Below are a few of the other carriers comparable to Banner.  However, they may not be best suited for your needs either. 

It is always in your best interest to speak to a professional regarding he suitability of particular product and company. There may be small differences in your history where one or even none of these companies is appropriate:

  1.  MetLife – We often push diabetic cases for Type 1, insulin dependent cases towards both Banner Life and MetLife.  Other details of your history will however influence recommendations
  2.  Protective – Protective is consistently a top competitor for low cost life insurance.  Their underwriting, like Banner makes them a great option for a good number of applicants.
  3.  Prudential – When we need to save your age, we may suggest Prudential versus Banner.  Banner Life will use your nearest age, not your actual age.  With a large policy and many years of payments, this can mean a lot of savings.

The Cons Of Banner Life Insurance

Ladies and gentleman, there really are not any cons to speak of. Whether you have recently became familiar with them or not, Banner Life is a top tier, hard core life insurance company with excellent products.  

Yes, there are plenty of junk policies out there put out by what I consider opportunistic insurance companies.  Banner doesn’t waste the time of reputable agents with low quality, overpriced offerings found elsewhere.

Banner A Diamond In The Rough?

An important point to remember is that Banner Life is one company of literally hundreds of life insurance carriers. 

You can’t, however, limit yourself to one company.  Banner Life and William Penn Life Insurance Company have created life insurance that applicants can certainly count on, but it does take someone with the right skill set to work thru this with you especially if you have above average risks for coverage. 

Sometimes insurance companies see applicants in a different light than we see ourselves.  It is great to have options.

If Banner does not offer a premium acceptable to you, we can continue shopping for offers from other insurance carriers.  We just arrange to have your paramedical report forwarded to another insurance company that may be more inclined accept you most favorably.

Banner Life Insurance Company is definitely a “Diamond In the Rough” in my book.

Is Banner One of the Best Life Insurance Companies?

Based on the low rates for healthy people, aggressive underwriting practices, claims paying ability (financial rating) and reputation, I don’t believe that anyone should doubt that Banner Life Insurance Company isn’t one of the top 5 life insurance companies in the country for those who need term life insurance or no-lapse, guaranteed universal life. 

Whether it is the #1 option for you is going to be strictly a personal matter based off your specific needs. You may have a “risk profile” which presents itself better to other carriers thereby resulting in lower premiums elsewhere.

A good number of people will not be able to do much better than this first rate company.

Be sure that we have first evaluated that this is your best option.

The Conclusion to Our Banner Life Insurance Review

I probably telegraphed this in my review long before this, but Banner Life Insurance Company is a personal favorite of mine.  Does that make my review biased…I will let you be the judge.

Remember, there are plenty of good life insurance carriers out there ready to fight for your business.

As you sift thru different reviews of Banner Life Insurance, I think you will find one thing in common.  As a company, they are well liked, period. 

They have an excellent reputation for affordability, medical underwriting, financials and their claims paying.  Complaints against them are very low.

The last term life insurance I took out over a decade ago would have been with Banner, but was edged out by a small carrier now owned by Protective Life Insurance Company.  My personal case qualified me for preferred plus with the smaller company.  I got those ultra low rates so Banner was edged out.  Lucky me!!

Almost took Banner anyway, but…I pinch pennies. 

As an agent, if were to be captive with one company, Banner Life would probably be my single choice.  I would have a competitive company with great term and Guaranteed Universal life rates which is 50% of our business.

Fortunately, we have access to dozens of fine life insurance companies. No limitations on who we can help with their needs.

Today, people are busier than ever…often by choice.  Money is tight for many folks and having access to affordable, quality life insurance companies like Banner Life is very important to the average person.  People want to buy financial coverage that is dependable, yet very affordable.

What a good, independent agent or broker does for you is give you those options instead of leading you into something that is not in your best interest. 

That is the power of having an advocate who’s interest is you, the client and not the big insurance company or a sales quota in the big, high volume call centers.

We try to help you gain the comfort you need to move forward with your decision on life insurance.  Not everyone need term or guaranteed universal life insurance.  Make sure you have a good reason to have it and that the policy you are applying for meets those needs specifically.

Never put a round peg in a square hole with life insurance.

Not sure if term or GUL is right for you?  Ask. Look around our website. Lots of articles on the different options.

We can and will be here to help you out with any other questions you have.

 If you know you need coverage, take action now.  There will not be a better time. 

Life insurance only goes up in cost as you age. You are not saving any money by waiting.  Lock your rate in now before something changes.  Let Special Risk Life be your guide and advocate.  800-598-6445

As always, feel free to comment below.

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