Overhyped Life Insurance With Alex Trebek and Colonial Penn

Last Updated April 23, 2024

You may have heard of Alex Trebek through his work hosting the hit game show Jeopardy, or with his time spent as the spokesperson for Colonial Penn. Regardless of how you know him, his line of commercials with Colonial Penn was a very successful campaign and spread his name throughout households across America. Were these commercials selling a legitimate product? How relevant were “the three P’s”? Read on to see our analysis.

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Who is Alex Trebek Life Insurance?

Alex Trebek, a popular household american name for decades and a name anyone can recognize. You probably have heard of Alex Trebek, either through his time as the host of Jeopardy for over 37 seasons, or a part of his five+ other game shows he’d either appear in or host.

It’s no question that Alex Trebek is a household name for any American alive in the 80s-90s. As a result of Alex Trebek’s incessant appearances in everything from game shows, athletic events, and even commercials, it comes as no surprise that Colonial Penn Life Insurance would merge forces with Alex Trebek, contracting him as their spokesman from the early 90s, to his unfortunate death in late 2020.

Alex Trebek Life Insurance With Colonial Penn

Beginning in the early 90s, Alex Trebek would take out a life insurance policy with Colonial Penn, forever tying him to the company. From here, Alex Trebek would be recognized and contracted by Colonial Penn to market their various life insurance policies, and specifically, their “Three Ps” program,

which stood for “price, price, and price”. Alex Trebek would continue to endorse Colonial Penn Life Insurance until 2018 when Jonathan Lawson would intermittently replace Alex Trebek as Alex dealt with his health issues.

Colonial Penn 995 “Three P’s”

In Alex Trebek Life Insurance Commercial, we see Alex Trebuk introduce the Colonial Penn 995 plan with the “Three P’s”, which as stated earlier equates to price, price, and price. On the surface, this may seem redundant, but the marketing tactic used was actually a really clever one.

Colonial Penn begins the Alex Trebek Life Insurance commercial with a brief explanation before we meet the three individuals they use to benchmark various demographics that would be interested in the Colonial Penn 995 policy. The tactic used involves a wide demographic, where Alex Trebek introduces the plan and 3 individuals of completely different demographics ask Alex if the plan is right for them. They use a 45 yr/old woman who quit smoking, a 55 yr/old on medications and a fixed income as well as an 80 yr/old senior woman who does not have pre-existing conditions.

The Alex Trebek Life Insurance commercial goes on to say that all 3 individuals are eligible for coverage, starting at just $9.95 a month.

“Guaranteed Acceptance Colonial Penn 995”

Colonial Pen’s most elusive coverage option, or the Alex Trebek Guaranteed Acceptance Plan, will not ask you any disqualifying questions, and instead anyone is approved.

The rate in which you are given may be adjusted depending on multiple factors. A few of the drawbacks to this policy involve the mandatory two year waiting period, in which Colonial Penn will not deem you eligible for payout.

The benefits to this plan are apparent in most whole life insurance policies, where you are guaranteed coverage regardless of your age, on top of the fact that your premiums will not increase regardless of the economic state.

Your Options With Colonial Penn Life Insurance

Colonial Penn offers two different forms of insurance, generally separating the two types by how the policy is renewed, or lack thereof. There are a few insurance types nesting within these categories, but this is what you can expect when pursuing coverage with colonial penn.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole Life Insurance, also known as Traditional Life Insurance or Guaranteed Life Insurance, this insurance type is sold as a policy meant to cover an individual for the remainder of their life, as long as premiums are paid accordingly.

Whole Life Insurance policies indicate a premium that is decided at the time of purchase and cannot go up due to factors such as inflation, what have you. Although Whole Life Insurance is considered the “default” insurance type, it does not indicate the only insurance type that may be “permanent”.

What Whole Life Insurance does simultaneously is that it accumulates a cash value so long as the policy is in place, to which someone may use this to their benefit while accruing interest. On top of the fact that this policy is paid regardless of circumstances, the individual upholding the policy may also withdraw these funds or adjust coverage at any time. This insurance type also usually does not require a medical exam, but rather a medical questionnaire. Due to this, the price point may be higher than other similar policies. Whole Life Insurance may include other insurance types, such as Final Expense Insurance.

Term Life Insurance

Term Life Insurance, similar to Whole Life Insurance, withholds a key takeaway when choosing between the two types. This takeaway involves the period of time in which you have the policy, where a term life insurance policy must be renewed and upheld over the term period given to you, usually 5-20 years.

This may sound like an inherent drawback to term life insurance, but the pros of this insurance type involve the generally lower price point. As a result of this lower price point, term life insurance policies usually require a medical exam. This form of insurance generally sees the most use with children and middle-aged individuals, as those that foresee unfortunate circumstances or are frequently in the hospital may wish to seek a whole life insurance option.

What is a Colonial Penn Rate Lock?

Colonial Penn Life Insurance’s “Rate Lock” is a tagline you may have heard in the various Alex Trebek Life Insurance commercials from Colonial Penn, but what does it mean? As far as we can tell, this “Rate Lock” indicates the rate in which you confirm when assessing your initial coverage. If this is the case, this “lock in” is present on all whole life insurance policies, as this is one of the main factors in how a whole life insurance policy is defined.

Guaranteed Acceptance with Alex Trebek Life Insurance

You may have seen the Alex Trebek Life Insurance commercials before, “You can get guaranteed coverage for $9.95/month” but, just how accurate is this? It’s important to pay attention to the system in which Colonial Penn uses with their insurance policies, which is a unit system.

With said unit system, your coverage isn’t as all encompassing as “$10,000 in coverage, just pay your premium”, as these units are priced individually depending on the qualifications of said individual. As a result, your coverage amount is constantly changing. This is more than likely a stressful aspect most people don’t want to have to worry about, especially on top of the fact that term policies already renew at a fixed rate.

Alex Trebek Life Insurance Commercial and The “Fine Print”

We’ve already touched on the fact that Colonial Penn Life Insurance markets their coverage in units and this may be misleading, as these units are priced based on the person applying for insurance. What the Alex Trebeke Life Insurance Commercial also fails to mention is that the Colonial Penn 995 plan with Alex Trebek contains a two-year waiting period, which by itself isn’t a huge deal.

The problem comes from the fact that Colonial Penn Life Insurance’s waiting periods do not pay you until that two-year waiting period is over – there is no compromise or proportional payouts to how long you’ve been paying premiums.  

What You Get With Colonial Penn 995 Life Insurance

A section of Life Insurance offered by Colonial Penn, otherwise known as a “unit”, is the unique way in which Colonial Penn markets their coverage options. Unfortunately, this unique system is overshadowed by how unfriendly it is to consumers.

1 unit may only cost $9.95/month, but the amount in which a unit covers you depends on a plethora of qualifications such as your age, weight, pre-existing conditions, smoking history, or questions that would qualify/disqualify you on a medical questionnaire.

For example, a 50 yr/old male would have their unit equate to roughly $1,700 in coverage vs an 80 yr/old male’s unit only containing not even $500 in coverage, both having the same qualifications.

Colonial Penn Life Insurance Rates

Now, you may be wondering, with the whole unit option, what would a sample of my Colonial Penn Life Insurance Rates look like? Below is a chart demonstrating a few sample Colonial Penn Life Insurance Rates per unit.

Age Units Coverage Per Unit Monthly Rate

Reviews For Colonial Penn Life Insurance

A trend we noticed when assessing reviews for Colonial Penn Life Insurance was the repeated mention of “fine print” as well as being misled. We feel deeply sorry for anyone involved with such a misunderstanding, as after having watched the Alex Trebek Life Insurance commercial and investigating the rates ourselves, we thought the same thing.

We agree that it’s very easy to be misled regarding Colonial Penn’s unit system and vague descriptions of policies. Reviews for Colonial Penn may overall trend negatively as a result of this “fine print”.

SUCK. SUCK SUCK!!!!!!!! This company is a rip-off, it’s not worth it and they don’t really explain what it consists of. They are taking advantage is senior citizens.,,,,,please don’t refer anybody to this company.

Marcella E

Beyond sick of dealing with this company. I have sent copies requested and still getting nowhere. I just received another letter stating they need what I just sent them. I will try one more time before I hand it over to my lawyer.

Carrie B

Thus us a horrible company! They prey on the elderly, soliciting them repeatedly until they take a policy they can afford but they don't understand the fine print. My mother passed from covid/sepsis and I received $120 of her $5000 policy because apparently the policy isn't in effect for 2 years...they will take your money but won't pay out. They only say sorry, it was in the contract. I would be ashamed to work there. Nothing but a scam!!

Leslie S

3rd Party Colonial Penn Life Insurance Reviews


The BBB, or Better Business Bureau offers a rating (out of five) that indicates how likely a company is to positively interact with their customers. This rating is similar to an out of 5 star rating, and is averaged together using customer reviews, complaints, as well as other public data sources.

The most recent rating given by the BBB to Colonial Penn Life Insurance was 1.15/5 stars.

A.M. Best
AMs best rating service

They utilize a rating, similar to the letter ratings placed on restaurants, meant to help you discern their overall quality. This letter ranking varies from A+ to F, similar to a scholastic grading system, and this organization is overseen by the chief insurance regulators regarding any US-affiliated territory. The rating itself is determined by a variety of different factors, such as performance, management, financial flexibility, shareholder safety, etc.

Colonial Penn was given an A- rating as of the most recent statistics, indicating great but not exceptional financial strength.

NAIC rating 2022

The NAIC, or The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, is a regulation standard support organization based in America meant to add credibility to insurance companies. Essentially, the goal of this organization is to protect consumers and to mandate that insurers deliver on their promises made. The rating used within the NAIC involves a numerical value usually ranging from one to ten. One implies average customer complaints, where anything above this is above average, and so on.

As of the most recent rating given to Colonial Penn Life Insurance by the NAIC, the rating given to Colonial Penn Life Insurance was a 3.06, indicating almost 3x the average customer complaints. 

Are Colonial Penn 995 Units Worth My Time?

In short, no. This unit system, when factoring in more proportional coverage, makes this option unappealing in almost every case. Yes, you may actually be paying a mere $9.95/month, but the payout will reflect that.

With 1 unit being priced at 9.95 a month, how many units would be required for a standard $10,000 policy? On average, you would need 14 units at age 70 without pre-existing conditions to maintain $10,000 in coverage. 14 units at $9.95/month adds up to $139 in monthly premiums, which is much more than someone with these qualifications could get elsewhere, such as with Mutual of Omaha or Prosperity.

Keep in mind, one policy holder is allowed an allotted maximum of 12 units, so this wouldn’t even be possible for most individuals.

Our Best Alternatives To Colonial Penn 995

It’s surprising to think about how many options there are for senior funeral insurance. We at Final Expense Benefits partner with over 20 carriers, with:


Being some of the ones that stand out among the crowd. Reduce the stress involved with life insurance for seniors and let us do all of the heavy lifting for you. 

Our number is (866) 311-4338 9am-5pm Monday through Friday EST.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, we at Final Expense Benefits have dealt with a lot of different insurance companies appearing in plenty of different forms, and there is almost no saving grace to Colonial Penn’s 995 plan. Mainly due in part to the unit system, there is constantly a need to renew your policy or worry about how your units are being converted as you age/gain various undesired health conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is Colonial Penn Whole Life Insurance?

Colonial Penn Life Insurance does come in the form of whole life insurance. It also may come in the form of term insurance. Both insurance types offer their coverage in units. 

Does Colonial Penn Have a Waiting Period?

Yes, all Colonial Penn Life Insurance policies have a two year waiting period wherein you are not entitled to any payout until after the two year period is over.

Is Colonial Penn 995 Plan Legit?

Yes, Colonial Penn Life Insurance is legit, it’s just not a great deal in our opinion.

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