Banner Life Insurance

Kim Wilhelm CEO of Final Expense Direct Life Insurance
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Written by Kim Wilhelm

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Last Updated 03 Dec 2022

Banner Life, formerly known as Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO) has been around since the 1980s. Banner issues and underwrites its life insurance policies under Banner’s parent company Legal & General America nationwide, except for New York, where William Penn Life Insurance Company issues and underwrites policies.

Here’s our Banner Life insurance review and whether we recommend them for seniors.

What Life Insurance Products Does Banner Offer?

Banner Life offers two types of life insurance: term and permanent.

Term Life Insurance

Banner offers term life insurance coverage for applicants aged 20 to 75. Term coverage periods run from 10 to 40 years. Coverage starts at $100,000.

You can get term life insurance quotes online through Banner Life. Unless you meet certain criteria, expect to take a medical exam to get approved for term life insurance with Banner.

The policy can be converted to a permanent life insurance policy at any time during the coverage period. There is no medical exam to do this, but you’ll pay the going rate for the coverage amount at your current age.

Banner term life insurance has the following rider options:

  • Accelerated death benefit
  • Adult term rider
  • Children’s term rider
  • Waiver of premium for disability

Universal Life Insurance

Banner’s universal life policies are for adults aged 20 to 85. The policy starts at $50,000.

Like other universal life policies, Banner offers flexible premiums and death benefit. It also builds cash value, which you can take a loan from or borrow against while still alive. If you die before it's paid back, with interest, it reduces the death benefit amount your beneficiary receives.

The policy only comes with one rider option, which is the accelerated death benefit rider.

How Much Does Life Insurance from Banner Life Cost?

There are several factors that determine how much life insurance policies from Banner Life cost. 

Since you most likely have to take a medical exam and will complete a health questionnaire on the application, the following factors can affect your life insurance rates:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Coverage amount
  • Policy type
  • Health status
  • Lifestyle
  • Hobbies
  • Occupation
  • Tobacco usage

You’ll pay higher premiums if you choose universal life insurance over term life insurance policies because it offers permanent coverage. The more coverage you need and the longer the term (if you choose term), the more your premium payments will be.

You will get the best life insurance rates the younger and healthier you are. If you don’t already have a life insurance policy, now is the best time to get one, since you’ll never be younger.

How Much Does Life Insurance from Banner Life Cost for Smokers?

Life insurance from Banner Life Insurance will cost more for smokers than for nonsmokers. Even if you’re healthy, you can pay up to 300% more for life insurance as a smoker.

Here are rates Banner Life provides for its term policies to give you an idea of how much you could pay for life insurance. Keep in mind, these rates are for non smokers:

  • 10 years: $10.62 per month
  • 15 years: $10.62 per month
  • 20 years: $12.28 per month
  • 25 years: $15.58 per month
  • 30 years: $17.47 per month
  • 35 years: $21.68 per month
  • 40 years: $24.85 per month

Though it doesn’t specify, these rates are likely for a 20- or 30-year-old at the minimum coverage of $100,000.

How Much Does Life Insurance from Banner Life Cost for Seniors?

The cost for Banner Life insurance for seniors is probably pretty expensive. Most seniors have at least one pre-existing condition, and since Banner Life Insurance requires a medical exam, you’ll pay higher rates for it.

Although term life insurance is cheaper, universal life offers lifetime coverage. We usually recommend whole life insurance if you want a permanent life insurance plan, but Banner doesn’t offer whole life.

If you want lifetime coverage and financial protection, call us at Final Expense Direct. We can work with you to get your final expenses covered and most of the life insurance companies we partner with don’t require a medical exam. If you’re in poor health, we can get you guaranteed coverage without any health questions.

How Do I Buy Life Insurance from Banner Life?

To buy life insurance from Banner Life, you have to work with a Banner Life insurance agent.

You can get quotes for term life through Banner online to find out how much smokers life insurance will cost. If you need permanent life insurance, you have to speak with a Banner Life insurance agent to get a universal life insurance policy quote.

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Banner Life Insurance Company Pros and Cons

If you’re interested in Banner Life Insurance policies, consider the pros and cons first.

Pros

  • Offers term and universal life insurance
  • Can ladder term coverage with adult term rider
  • May qualify for no medical exam coverage
  • Term available up to 40 years
  • Can convert term to permanent coverage without medical exam

Cons

  • No whole life policies
  • Most will have to take medical exam
  • Few riders
  • Rates may not be the cheapest

Banner Customer Complaints and Satisfaction

Banner has some positive customer complaints and satisfaction. Its compliant index with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is only 0.12, which is much lower than the industry average of 1.00.

However, it only earns 1 out of 5 stars with the BBB after 3 customer reviews. The reviewers complain of long application processing times, poor communication, and promises they can’t fulfill in the underwriting process.

If you’re interested in term or universal life insurance, consider this Banner life insurance review to decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Bought Banner Life?

Banner Life is one of the operating companies of Legal & General America, along with William Penn Life Insurance Company of America. Both Banner and William Penn underwrite and issue Legal & General Group PLC life insurance companies policies.

Is Banner Life the Same as Legal and General?

Yes, Banner Life is the same as Legal and General. Banner underwrites and issues the insurance policies under the Legal and General America companies’ umbrella.

What Rating is Banner Life?

Banner Life receives an AM Best rating of A+ , which is the second highest financial rating life insurance companies can earn. Banner has a 95 score with Comdex and Fitch and Standard & Poors (S&P) rate it at AA-. It shows the company is financially stable and has sufficient funds to pay out claims.

Does Banner Life Require Medical Exam?

Yes, Banner Life insurance requires a medical exam, unless you meet qualifications for its accelerated underwriting program. You have to be a non-smoker, pass the phone health interview, and live in a state other than Alaska, Connecticut, or Hawaii. 

The accelerated underwriting program is only on term life insurance. If you’re between 46 and 50 and applying for less than $500,000 in term life insurance, you may qualify. Those between 20 and 40 may qualify with up to $1 million death benefit, while those between 41 and 45 can qualify with up to a $750,000 death benefit.

If you’re between 20 and 60, apply for $2 million or less in coverage, and have had a physical with blood work in the last 18 months, you may be able to bypass the medical exam through Legal & General America’s Lab Lift program.

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