ReliaStar Life Insurance Review 2022

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

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Last Updated 05 Oct 2022

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 it down for you, including what Reliastar and Voya life insurance companies offer and how you can get coverage.

A Quick History of Voya 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 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.

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.

A whole life insurance policy is more expensive than term life because it offers permanent, lifetime coverage. It also builds cash value, which acts like a savings account, and grows interest over time. 

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.

If you decide you no longer want your whole life policy, you could face surrender charges if you cancel it. There is usually a surrender period of a few years after the policy is in force. Be sure you understand the surrender period and any charges before you buy whole life insurance.

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.

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 an 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 its 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 group whole life.

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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 wants to pay for your coverage. If you buy whole life, 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 supplement

Cons of Group Life Insurance

  • Limited policy choice
  • Low coverage amounts
  • Policy is usually not portable
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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 financial strength ratings are A or better with AM Best, Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

These financial strength ratings show the life companies can handle its 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 is 0.18, and Reliastar Life Insurance Company of New York is 1.22. With a national average complaint index of 1.00, Voya and Reliastar have hardly any complaints against them.

Reliastar Life Insurance Company of New York has an index slightly higher than the national average, with 10 complaints filed in 2021. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 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.

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 fully re branded its insurance, retirement, and investment products to Voya Financial. Voya Life Insurance took over Reliastar Life Insurance Company, who now underwrites Voya’s group life insurance products. ING, Reliastar, and Voya Financial are now one and the same.

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