This article will be our Banner Life Insurance review, including the pros and cons of working with them, areas where Banner Life dominates the competition and a brief background so you feel comfortable working with them.
All companies have their pros and cons!
Quick Tip: If you’re looking to apply online with Banner Life Insurance OR go through a 5 minute process asking you more in-depth information for an accurate quote (no obligation to buy), you can do that here.
Do you know which companies offer permanent plans?
Do you know the carriers who have the cheapest life insurance for people who are overweight?
We can also help if you are interested in life insurance for 50 and over or life insurance for your parents.
Despite economic pressures, Banner Life is still one of the strongest life insurance companies in the US.
They carry an “A+” (superior) rating with AM Best.
Banner Life Insurance Company was formed in 1949 and was acquired by Legal and General group, an international insurance conglomerate in 1981.
Legal and General is still the parent company of Banner Life Insurance.
Banner Life is an industry innovator. Back in the early 80’s, they were one of the first companies to offer Universal Life.
Today, every life insurance company offers universal life.
On top of that, Banner Life has continually been one of the lowest cost level term life insurance policies on the market.
We consider Banner one of the best life insurance companies out there.
Banner Life Insurance Review (Product Offerings)
Banner has excellent term insurance and guaranteed universal life insurance rates.
Banner OpTerm Series
Their “OPTerm” term life insurance portfolio is simple. They have 10, 15, 20 or 30 year term policies with guaranteed level death benefits and premiums.
It comes with a FREE accelerated death benefit rider which pays a portion of the death benefit if you get a terminal illness.
They also have an optional waiver of premium rider which will pay your premiums in the event of a disability. It’s a very inexpensive rider.
One of the biggest advantages of Banner’s OpTerm series and any of their products really is their table rated cases are based off of Standard Plus. This is probably jibberish to you, so let me explain.
If you have any health complications and you’re rated below standard (Table 1 – Table 8), the rates will be better than 99% of the competition on an “apples to apples” table rating. In other words, Banner Life is VERY strong with impaired risks when it comes to pricing.
Banner’s OPTerm series also allows you can convert your term life insurance policy to permanent insurance with no evidence of insurability.
This is a very important benefit most never think of – and many companies are weak in this area. Click here for more information on a Banner Life Insurance Conversion.
This requires a whole article to explain, but let’s just say that we believe Banner Life Insurance’s conversion options are very fair.
Let’s take a look at some sample Banner Life Insurance OpTerm Rates.
For instant quotes for your specific age, use the quote tool.
35 Year Old Male, non-tobacco in the best health class (monthly rates):
|10 year term||$11||$18||$31|
|15 year term||$13||$21||$37|
|20 year term||$15||$26||$46|
|30 year term||$25||$44||$83|
35 Year Old Female, non-tobacco in the best health class:
|10 year term||$10||$14||$22|
|15 year term||$11||$18||$29|
|20 year term||$13||$21||$36|
|30 year term||$21||$36||$65|
45 Year Old Male, non-tobacco in the best health class (monthly rates):
|10 year term||$21||$36||$65|
|15 year term||$26||$47||$88|
|20 year term||$32||$60||$113|
|30 year term||$54||$103||$192|
45 Year Old Female, non-tobacco in the best health class:
|10 year term||$16||$28||$49|
|15 year term||$20||$35||$62|
|20 year term||$25||$45||$82|
|30 year term||$41||$77||$147|
55 Year Old Male, non-tobacco in the best health class (monthly rates):
|10 year term||$43||$81||$151|
|15 year term||$55||$105||$201|
|20 year term||$74||$142||$277|
|30 year term||N/A||N/A||N/A|
*N/A: See Mutual of Omaha, Prudential and Transamerica*
55 Year Old Female, non-tobacco in the best health class:
|10 year term||$32||$59||$109|
|15 year term||$39||$72||$134|
|20 year term||$55||$104||$195|
|30 year term||N/A||N/A||N/A|
*N/A: See Mutual of Omaha, Prudential or Transamerica
***It’s important to understand these are for “Preferred Best” rates. Meaning someone who is in great health. Rates are based on your health and lifestyle. If you’re taking any medications or being treated for anything, do not choose “Preferred Best”. Choose Preferred, Standard Plus or Standard.
Banner Life Insurance is usually in the top 10% when it comes to term life insurance rates. They may be a few dollars per month more expensive in some age bands, but it’s rarely a big difference in premium.
Where Banner really shines is in their Table Ratings. If you’re a substandard risk, their table rating pricing is in the top 2 of the industry. When comparing table rating pricing, Banner and AIG are almost always the top 2.
Banner Universal Life Insurance
Banner Life Insurance is still one of the industry innovators.
They were one of the first to market a universal life with a secondary guarantee, also called No-Lapse Universal Life Insurance. In other words, it’s a level premium GUARANTEED.
This is a VERY hot product among consumers right now.
Banner’s Choice UL Product had some of the most competitive rates on the market.
Update: As of 4/10/2015, Banner has pulled their Choice UL Product. Currently they do not have a guaranteed universal life insurance product. I will update here when and if they replace this product.
As of today, the only Universal Life product that Banner offers is their LifeStep UL. It’s a flexible premium universal life insurance policy. Your life insurance agent will have to tailor it to your needs. ie. guaranteed level premiums, paid up in 15, 20, 30 years etc.
I will say that if you’re looking for a no-lapse universal life insurance policy, also known as a guaranteed universal life insurance policy – you should look at a different company at this point in time.
As of today, Banner’s biggest weakness is their strength of universal life insurance policies after taking the Choice UL product off the market.
Banner is very liberal with various health issues and have a unique “table rating” program which makes them very inexpensive in comparison to other companies for those with less than average health.
With their strong financial ratings, liberal underwriting and low rates – there’s no reason to look at another company if they are competitive for your situation.
Banner Life is VERY Competitive in These Situations
We work with Banner daily and have a database of underwriting niches where they’re typically the best priced carrier.
Here are some of them:
- Preferred plus consideration (best class available) for cigarette smokers who quit 3 years ago.
- High Blood Pressure or Hypertension treated with medications can qualify for Preferred plus.
- High Blood Pressure and elevated cholesterol combo treated with medications can qualify for Preferred Plus.
- Well controlled asthma and taking 2 medications or less can qualify for Preferred rates.
- Controlled Type II diabetics can qualify for Standard Plus rates (over age 50).
- Well controlled anxiety or depression on one medication can qualify for preferred.
- Treated Hypercholesterolemia can qualify for Preferred Plus.
- A family history of cancer does not exclude you from the preferred rate class.
These are just a few of the underwriting niches we’ve found where Banner shines over other life insurance companies.
Banner Life also reports that 78% of their applications are approved in one of the three best health classes – Preferred Plus, Preferred and Standard Plus.
That makes a lot of sense because of their underwriting credits program where they do anything they can to improve an underwriting decision. And as you know, the better the health classification, the lower the life insurance premiums.
Banner can also underwrite coronary artery disease, sleep apnea, hepatitis B and C, diabetics and prostate cancer without flat extras in which the majority of the market would add a flat extra. A flat extra is an extra charge on top of the premiums.
The Banner Life Insurance Difference
Banner just makes it easy to do business with them.
We don’t need to mail you an application, they allow us to send you an e-signature to complete your application. It’s very easy and we can walk you through the entire process in 2 minutes if you end up applying with Banner Life Insurance.
On top of that, after your policy is approved – they give you the option to “e-deliver” your policy.
With Banner, we can email your policy and you can place it in force with Docusign (an e-signature platform). Again, we can walk you through this. Banner reports that around 1 out of 5 policies are e-signed so it must be easy.
Oh yeah, and for you Paypal users, you can even make your first payment with Paypal!
Why Choose Us To Represent You With Banner?
Not all Banner Life Insurance agents are equal. It’s true we all offer the same published rates, BUT our relationships with their underwriters are far better than any other agency.
Here’s a recent example of why these relationships matter:
A 52 year old man with a squeaky clean health history applied with a couple agencies and was going to take the best offer. We had him apply with Banner Life and he was initially offered a “Preferred” rating instead of a more favorable “Preferred Plus” rating because he admitted to experimenting with drugs when he was a teenager.
In fact, all the companies he applied with gave him a “Preferred” rating because of that fact. We called Banner Life Insurance’s Underwriting Director and pled our case that this was over 30 years ago and shouldn’t have an bearing on his life insurance. Well, the director agreed and he was offered a “Preferred Plus” rating and we earned his business.
Having the ability to get Banner Life’s Medical Director on the phone makes a huge difference. Our relationships with everyone at Banner Life is strong because we’ve worked with them for so many years and we deal with them daily.
This is what separates us from other agencies. With these relationships, we can obtain better health classes which in return gives you better rates.
Not only can we get you the best rates with Banner Life, but we also work with some of the biggest insurance providers out there.
Instead of wasting hours and hours calling different companies, make one phone call to our agents. Then, you can sit back and let us handle the insurance shopping for you.
We would appreciate the opportunity to represent you obtain quotes with Banner Life Insurance and can assure you we’ll obtain the most favorable rate.
We’ll leave you with an overview video of Banner Life: