Final Expense Benefit’s *ULTIMATE* Guide To Banner Life Insurance

Last Updated May 25, 2024
Unrecognizable young woman sitting on park bench and reading a book.

Banner life insurance boasts some of the highest maximum coverage amounts, and generous term lengths we’ve seen.

But is bigger always better? 

You may be sacrificing accessibility and ease of use for polar extremes.

Here’s everything you need to know. 

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The Origin Of Banner Life Insurance

Beginning almost 186 years ago on just a humble chancery lane coffee shop in London, Legal & General was formed by a group of 5 lawyers and a Sergeant. Originally locked to only those within the legal profession, they quickly redirected their focus to appear to a broader audience. Quickly expanding their locations overseas, the 20th century saw great success for Legal & General and Banner Life Insurance. Spending most of its time acquiring subsidiaries and allocating resources as necessary, Banner Life Insurance has grown its services and comfortably sees itself as a global business.

Fast forward to today – banner life serves over 1.5 million policyholders, holds over half a billion in assets, and almost 2 billion in assets spread across them and their various subsidiaries.

Notable Developments

1836: Legal & General, the origin company for what would become Banner Life Insurance, was formed in June of 1836 in a chancery lane coffee shop in London.

1930: Banner Life Insurance acquired their first overseas business.

1940: The main office of Legal & General was moved from their original location within the city of London to their new headquarters located in leafy Kingswood.

1981: Legal & General America formed various holding companies, as well as purchasing Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO).

1983: GELICO’s name was changed to Banner Life Insurance in 1983. 

1991: Sir David John Prosser became CEO and oversaw the most profitable period in Banner Life Insurance ‘s history. 

2006: Banner Life Insurance elects their current CEO, Tim Breedon.

2018: the leafy Kingswood location was shut down after many renovations. 

Your Coverage Options With Banner Life Insurance

They offer Term, Universal, and Burial Insurance.

Aside from converting your term policy to permanent life insurance, they offer no whole life insurance out of the gate.

Banner Life Insurance Term Life Insurance

final expense benefits term life insurance

Term Life Insurance, also known as pure life insurance, is a form of life insurance that exists in terms, paying specified beneficiaries with a death benefit should death occur during the term. Users pay a monthly premium agreed upon during the application process, usually determined by the policy holder’s underwriting requirements (medical background, habits, substance use, medications, etc). The most notable aspects of Term Life Insurance involve its lucrative price point, as well as the fact that it can expire at the end of the term, nullifying your coverage. Term Life Insurance may be converted to permanent coverage, though, either via a term conversion life insurance rider or via other means specific to the carrier. 

  • Banner Life Insurance Term Policy offers itself in terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 year options.
  • Coverage amounts start at $100,000 and reportedly do not have a maximum coverage amount. 
  • Banner Life Insurance Term Policy offers itself in terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40-year options. 

Banner Life Insurance Universal Life Insurance

final expense benefits universal life insurance

Universal Life Insurance is a permanent life insurance option that boasts flexibility over all else. Featuring flexible payment options, allowing you to pause payments as well as pay off multiple months/years in advance. Users may adjust their maximum death benefit as well as their monthly premium as a result at any time. You can also borrow from this policy without the need for an accelerated death benefit rider, on top of the fact that universal life insurance may come in an indexed (IUL) form, allowing users to participate in an active stock exchange. 

  • The policy does not expire.
  • Your account can expect a guaranteed minimum return in interest.
  • No restriction as to how the payout may be used.

Banner Life Insurance Burial Insurance

final expense benefits burial insurance

Also known as Final Expense Insurance, End of Life Insurance, Simplified issue whole life insurance, and so on. Existing in many forms and titles, Final Expense Insurance is a whole life insurance policy that boasts flexibility and low maximums meant to prepare beneficiaries for funeral expenses. There are no restrictions as to how the death benefit may be used, allowing beneficiaries to use it however they please. Generally burial insurance policies begin at $2,000 and max out at $50,000 – In rare cases this may be extended. Final Expense Insurance may comfortably co-exist with other insurance policies, and is not required to be marked as an asset on supplemental qualifications. Final Expense Insurance also states that your premiums are locked in at the rate you qualify for, and that your final death benefit will never decrease, regardless of societal conditions.

  • Coverage starts at $1,000 and maxes out at $15,000.
  • The age range for application is 50-80. The policy whole life once instated.
  • Premiums stop occurring at age 90, and again, the policy is permanent. 

Your Insurance Rider Options With Banner Life Insurance Insurance

  1.  

ADB: Terminal Illness Rider

A terminal illness rider allows users to advance their death benefit before death occurs so long as a viable terminal illness is diagnosed. The amount given to the policyholder is equal to 75% of the maximum policy amount or $500,000, whichever ends up being less. 

2. 

Waiver Of Premium

This one is pretty self explanatory, in that if your spouse/SO passes away while the rider is active, you will receive a mini death benefit as a result. This comes at a direct increase to your monthly premium.

3. 

Child Term Rider

Similar to a spouse term rider, if a child passes away during the active time period of the rider then you will receive a mini death benefit.

Banner Life Insurance In New York? Who Is William Penn?

Banner Life Insurance is insured in all 50 states, EXCEPT for New York. 

This isn’t uncommon, as New York has strict underwriting materials, requiring users to sign for their insurance application in person (known as a ‘wet’ signature) as well as other various restrictions specific to that state. 

As Banner Life Insurance is not insured within the state, they utilize their mirror company, William Penn Life Insurance of New York. Existing as a joint venture since the early 1980s, it was decided that William Penn Life Insurance offer their full services to the state of new york while Banner Life Insurance maintains the other 49 states.

Banner insurance Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Coverage maximums up to $10 million (for very healthy individuals).
    Banner Life Insurance features remarkably high maximums, some of the highest we’ve seen. 
  • Term coverage is available for up to 40 years.
    Again, boasting very high term maximums, some of the highest we’ve seen so far.

Cons

  • No quote tool: A phone call to an agent is needed.
    Specifically the lack of a quote tool. 9/10 times an insurance provider is going to provide you with a quote tool so that you may view a rough estimate of the options available to you. Although they offer explanations as to what products they offer and what they mean, you need to call an agent to receive a quote.
  • No Dedicated Whole Life Insurance Options.
    Although Banner Life Insurance does feature a universal life insurance policy, there isn’t a dedicated traditional whole life insurance policy, you would need to convert an existing term policy via a conversion rider or utilize their universal life insurance.
  • Inconsistent/unspecified underwriting requirements.
    It’s been reported that some individuals will receive a different rate after fulfilling underwriting requirements. There have also been complaints that converting term coverage into permanent coverage increases rates as well.

If you’re in need of a term policy that lasts for over half a lifetime, paired with very high maximums then this might be the policy for you. Keep in mind, your rates will reflect the maximum and/or term length. 

A.M. Best Rating Service

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.

The rating given to Banner Life Insurance was an A+, implying very good financial strength. 

NAIC Rating 2022

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 1 – 10.

One implies average customer complaints, where anything above this is above average, and so on.

The NAIC value given to Banner Life Insurance ebbs and flows under 1.0, sitting at around .53 as of late.

J.D Power

JD Power ratings are essentially nationwide surveys that allow consumers an unbiased opinion regarding what other consumers say about said company.

Generally, these surveys take a group of companies, usually around 21, and rate the companies in relation to each other.

This is done either through focus groups, paid calls, or what have you. JD Power spends large sums of money annually simply on data specifically for this reason.

Unfortunately, Banners Life Insurance was not selected to participate in the 2022 JD power survey.

Banner Life Insurance Reviews

I would give zero stars if I could. We agreed to monthly auto pay and received no notice of our premiums tripling or more prior to them being deducted from our checking account. We were told we received a letter in 2013 for action that was taken in 2021. That was quite deceptive.
Wendy Probst ✓
Boston, MA⭐
Trying experience as it took 6 weeks to get from start to finish. After filling out the initial application, there were three additional requests for information, after each, I was told that was all that was needed. The underwriter kept coming back for more info. Contacting directly is impossible as you have to first call LGA who then connects you with Banner Life who then has to find out what was requested. A long drawn out process that I would not do again. Way too much back and forth using emails and calls.
Bruce Bowen ✓
Raleigh, NC ⭐
My email was entered wrong and it took multiple days to correct a problem that should be easily handled. Once the problem was identified I was assured it would be handled by the end of business that day (Friday). Nothing came until 10:30am the following Monday. Incredibly frustrating and delayed a closing planned for months.
T Duncan ✓
San Diego, CA⭐

How To Cancel A Life Insurance Policy

Insurance policies may be canceled at any time during what is called the “free look period”. A free look period, which begins on the 10th day after qualification, and extends to the 31st day after coverage is acquired. If you decide to cancel the policy during this free look period, all premiums/payments made will be refunded, and your coverage will be voided. 

This free look period is a two way street, with insurance providers able to terminate your policy within the first 31 days if they uncover any information that they deem unfit. Some examples include if the information you entered on your application doesn’t line up with reality, or if conviction of crime occurs during the free look period, just to name a few. 

Important: Insurance policies may be canceled at any time, but to receive an adequate refund you must undergo the return process during the free look period.

Our Review

Although great at providing extreme maximum amounts, on top of generous term limits, this niche is rather small. Yes, if you fall into this category, banner life insurance may be a premiere option for you, but for the majority of policyholders, this is simply too extreme. 

With reports of unclear underwriting requirements, and a universal life insurance policy with minimal accumulating potential, banner life insurance isn’t for everyone. 

For the average 50,000 whole life insurance policy, you’re better off going elsewhere.

Best $10,000 Burial Insurance Companies

Overall, Banner Life Insurance offers limited coverage options at a very non competitive price point. 

If you’re in need of a $10,000 insurance policy but don’t know where to start or how to move forward, we encourage you to enjoy the chart embedded below. 

We have included a sample size consisting of a few providers that stood out to us.

Company 50 y/o Male 50 y/o Female 60 y/o Male 60 y/o Female 70 y/o Male 70 y/o Female
$49
$39
$74
$59
$107
$85
$58
$49
$76
$60
$127
$96
$44
$34
$64
$47
$110
$78
$51
$43
$64
$53
$119
$88
$82
$56
$101
$79
$158
$119

These figures were obtained from the NFDA and are estimates only. For a detailed quote, please contact an agent. 

Final Thoughts

Banner Life Insurance certainly offers itself as a premiere coverage option if you find yourself in need of 10 million in coverage, or a term policy that lasts for half of an individual’s lifetime, then they might be right for you.

For the vast majority of people, though, a standard $10,000 – $50,000 policy is going to be far more realistic. 

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 and let us do all of the heavy lifting for you.

You can reach us at 1 (866) 311-4338, and we’re open from 9-5, Monday through Friday.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Banner Life A Good Company?

Well, they’re certainly reputable, with an A+ rating regarding their financial strength, they are certainly able to honor financial obligations.

Now the matter of whether or not they are good is going to depend on the individual. 

Who Bought Banner Life?

In 1981 Legal & General purchased Government Employees Life Insurance Company which would eventually change its name to Banner in 1983.

Does Banner Life Require Medical Exam?

Only in certain cases, according to Banner, around 50% of applications do not require a medical exam/lab.

Sources

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