ReliaStar Life Insurance Review 2023

Written by Kim Wilhelm

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Last Updated 01 Mar 2024

What do ING Group, ING Life Insurance, ReliaStar Life Insurance Company, and Voya Financial have in common? 

Well, ING Life Insurance is the same as ING Group, which rebranded to Voya Financial, which uses Reliastar Life Insurance Company to underwrite its life insurance products.

Sounds confusing?

We bet it does. We'll break down the ING Group life Insurance policies, including what Reliastar and Voya life insurance companies offer and how you can get coverage.


ARTICLE TABLE OF CONTENTS (Skip to section)

A Quick History of Voya Financial and Realistar Life Insurance

Back in 2000, Voya acquired Reliastar Life Insurance Company. ING Group and Voya combined, and ING announced in 2013 that it would rebrand as Voya Financial.

Now, Reliastar Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Voya Financial, underwriting its life insurance policies.

In 2019, Voya sold its life insurance businesses to Resolution Life Group Holdings. As of 2021, all of Voya's existing life insurance policy products are now under Resolution Life.

Since Voya Financial, and by extension, Reliastar Life Insurance, no longer has a life insurance division, it no longer sells individual life insurance policies.

They used to sell universal life insurance, variable universal life insurance, indexed universal life insurance, term life, and whole life insurance policies.

Now, the only way to get Reliastar life insurance is through an employer.

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Reliastar Life Insurance Company Group Policies

Reliastar offers two types of group life insurance policies: term and whole life insurance.

Term life insurance is temporary coverage that lasts for a certain number of years. Once the time expires, the insured no longer has coverage unless they buy a new policy.

whole life insurance policy is more expensive than a term life policy because it offers permanent, lifetime coverage. It also builds cash value which can be used in emergencies or to pay missed premiums.

The insured can use the cash value while still alive as a loan against the policy or withdraw the money. When the insured dies, the beneficiary receives the death benefit minus any outstanding loan and interest it accrues.

How much coverage you can apply for depends on the package your employer and Voya representative agree to. Premiums are paid through payroll deduction. Your age, coverage amount, and policy type determine your premiums. 

Group life insurance usually doesn't require a medical exam, although you will probably have to answer health questions.

Related: Can You Really Get Final Expense Insurance for $9.95 Per Month?

Policies and Rates

When it comes to life insurance rates, ReliaStar takes the individual's risk of death into account.

To determine rates, most life insurance companies classify applicants into different risk classes. While smoking is a significant factor, other health aspects are also considered. These risk classes include Preferred Plus, Preferred, Standard Plus, Standard, and Substandard. Each person is assessed individually, regardless of the group they belong to.

Let's take a look at the average monthly rates offered by ReliaStar Life Insurance for a 40-year-old male seeking a $250,000 policy over a 20-year term. The rates vary based on the underwriting class:

  • Preferred plus nonsmoker: $21.44

  • Preferred nonsmoker: $25.38

  • Standard plus nonsmoker: $31.06

  • Standard nonsmoker: $37.63

As you can see, preferred plus nonsmokers enjoy the lowest rates, while rates increase as health conditions worsen.

What Coverage Options Does ReliaStar Life Insurance Offer?

ReliaStar Life Insurance used to provide individual life insurance policies in the past, but it was sold by its parent company, Voya Financial, in 2019. Currently, ReliaStar focuses on offering group term and whole life insurance.

While group plans may lack customization for individuals since they are purchased by business owners, they have advantages. One significant advantage is that coverage is available to all employees, regardless of their health, without the risk of being denied coverage.

In a group plan, payments are conveniently deducted from employees' payrolls, making it easier for them to manage. This eliminates the need for employees to make separate payments.

Most group plans cease coverage when an employee leaves the company. However, ReliaStar stands out by allowing employees to remain covered even if they change companies or retire.

ReliaStar's group term life plan offers cost-effective coverage for a specific number of years. Although the company doesn't specify coverage amounts or other requirements, term life plans are generally more affordable than whole life options.

ReliaStar also allows employees to convert their term life coverage into whole life plans. These conversions ensure lifelong coverage with a higher death benefit.

Group whole life insurance from ReliaStar provides long-term coverage at fixed rates. Employees with this coverage won't experience rate increases over time. These policies accumulate cash values, and employees can borrow against them.

Available Riders

There are two riders available on a Reliastar group life insurance policy.

The accelerated death benefit rider will pay the insured part of the death benefits while still alive if they are diagnosed with a terminal illness. When they pass away, the beneficiary will receive the remaining death benefit amount.

The waiver of premiums rider kicks in if the insured is deemed disabled and unable to work. After a waiting period, Reliastar will waive the premiums until the insured is no longer considered disabled.

Availability can vary by state and may depend on eligibility criteria.

Additional Benefits Available

When designing the benefits package for their employees, employers have several other add-on services they can include:

  • Employee Assistance Program

  • Funeral planning

  • Will prep and concierge services

  • Voya travel assistance

Employees may also add family-term life insurance coverage for their spouse or children if they buy their own life insurance policy. 

To supplement an existing life policy, employees may also consider accidental death and dismemberment insurance, which will provide another death benefit to their beneficiary for accidental death.

Do Seniors Qualify for Group Life Insurance?

Seniors can qualify for group life insurance as long as they meet the age criteria and their employer offers it as part of their benefits package. Retired seniors typically don't have an option for group life insurance.

For seniors who don't want to take a medical exam, are in poor health, or don't need a lot of coverage, group life may be more affordable coverage and easier to qualify for than individual life insurance.

However, coverage amounts for group life insurance are usually smaller than individual policies. The cash value interest rate also might not be as good for the group whole life policy.

Can I Take My Group Life Insurance With Me if I Leave My Employer?

Typically, you cannot take your group life insurance with you when you leave your employer. Group life insurance coverage is generally not portable, but with Voya Reliastar group life, it is.

If you decide to leave your employer or you retire, Voya offers several ways to pay for your coverage. If you choose a whole life policy, you can continue to build cash value as long as you make payments on the policy.

Pros and Cons of Group Life Insurance Through Work

There are a few reasons group life insurance is good and a few reasons it's not the best fit for everyone.

Pros of Group Life Insurance

  • Cheaper than individual life

  • No health exam

  • Easy to qualify

  • Paid through payroll deduction

  • Can act as a supplemental policy

Cons of Group Life Insurance

  • Limited policy choice

  • Low coverage amounts

  • Policy is usually not portable

Voya and Reliastar Ratings From Third Parties

Financial Ratings

The financial information ratings of life insurance companies show their financial strength or claims-paying ability. Voya and Reliastar each have a financial strength rating of A or better with AM Best, Fitch, Moody's, and Standard & Poor's (S&P).

These financial strength ratings show that life insurance companies can handle their financial obligations. For life insurance companies, that means they can pay claims once they are filed.

Index of Complaints

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) ranks insurance companies by the feedback it receives from customers. The lower the complaint index, the fewer complaints the insurance company has received compared to other life insurance companies.

Voya's complaint index is 0.02, Reliastar Life Insurance Company's is 0.18, and Reliastar Life Insurance Company of New York's is 1.22. With a national average complaint index of 1.00, Voya and Reliastar have hardly any complaints against them. Voya and Reliastar life insurance reviews are generally positive.

Reliastar Life Insurance Company of New York has an index slightly higher than the national average, with ten complaints filed by policyholders in 2021. 

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has rated ReliaStar a B, which indicates that policyholders are generally happy with the brand and their insurance products.

Also See:  $50,000 of Coverage for $30/month from Globe Life: Fact or Fiction

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are Voya and Reliastar The Same Company?

Reliastar Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Voya Financial. It underwrites Voya's group life insurance products offered through employer benefits packages. They have positive financial strength ratings and are seen as financially stable.

Who Bought Reliastar Life?

Voya Financial bought Reliastar Life in 2000. Reliastar Life Insurance Company and Reliastar Life Insurance Company of New York underwrite Voya Financial's group life policies nationwide. 

Who Took Over Voya Life Insurance?

In 2013, ING Group announced it had fully rebranded its insurance, retirement, and investment products to Voya Financial. Voya Life Insurance took over Reliastar Life Insurance Company, which now underwrites Voya's group life insurance products. ING, Reliastar, and Voya Financial are now one and the same.

Conclusion

ReliaStar offers nationwide coverage, ensuring that its services are available across the country. The company has a low number of customer complaints, indicating a satisfactory experience for policyholders. ReliaStar's financial strength is also a positive aspect, giving customers confidence in the company's ability to fulfill claim payouts.

One drawback is the limited availability of online information about ReliaStar's coverage options. This can make it hard for potential customers to gather detailed information before making a decision. Another negative is the absence of individual policies; ReliaStar exclusively offers coverage through employers. This limitation reduces flexibility for individuals seeking personalized coverage options.

If you are looking for individual coverage, get in touch with Final Expense Direct. We'll help you evaluate different options based on your unique profile, so you can find a policy that fits your budget and needs.

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