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Banner Life Insurance Company – 2022 Complete Review

Are Banner Life Policies Competitive?

Banner is always competitive with its pricing, including:

  • #1 in price 83% of the time
  • Term lengths from 10-40 years
  • Flexible Term Riders

Banner Underwriting Advantages

Competitive underwriting opportunities to save with Preferred Plus rates for:

  • Blood pressure medication
  • Cholesterol medication
  • Family history of cancer death

Is Banner Life Insurance a Good Company?

The parent company, Legal & General is the 7th largest insurer in the world:

  • A+ Rated by AM Best
  • AA- rated by S&P & Fitch
  • Over 1.5 million customers

How Easy is it to Get a Policy with Banner Life?

No more lengthy paper applications to complete, everything is digital!

  • Applications
  • Electronic Interviews
  • Accelerated Underwriting
  • Digital Policy Delivery

High-Risk Life Insurance with Banner

Banner Life is good with health impairments such as:

  • Asthma – Preferred
  • Type 2 Diabetes – Standard Plus
  • Sleep Apnea – Preferred – Std+
  • Anxiety & Depression

Does Banner Provide Good Customer Service?

When you need Banner after the sale, they’ll be here to help.

  • Online account access
  • Live telephone support
  • Beneficiary changes online
  • Address updates online

Is Banner Life Insurance a Good Company?

While Banner Life and its New York company William Penn may not be household names, don’t let that fool you.

Both are owned by Legal and General America, whose parent company Legal & General Group Plc is the 7th largest insurance company in the world!

To put it in perspective, Legal & General Group Plc has $570 billion in assets as of 2020.

Compare that to Northwestern Mutual’s $309 billion in assets as of 2021.

In the U.S., Banner has over 1.5 million customers and $782 billion of in-force life insurance as of 2021.

Great life insurance rates and a digital process make Banner a great choice to consider.

Financial Strength

  • AM Best rating = A+
  • S&P rating = AA-
  • Fitch rating = AA-

Ratings as of 01/2021. Subject to change

You’ll see that Banner ranks among the best life insurance companies with their ratings.

How Easy is it to Get a Policy with Banner Life?

It’s easy to get life insurance with Banner in most states, and William Penn in New York.

It’s called The Horizon Experience, which is Banner’s way of providing an end-to-end digital application experience to you.

E-applications and e-policies are available for all Banner policies, while accelerated underwriting is available if you meet the following criteria:

  • Age 20-40 – $100,000 – $1,000,000
  • 41-45 – $100,000 – $750,000
  • 46-50 – $100,000 – $500,000

When you start an application, Banner will check:

If you qualify for accelerated underwriting, Banner will waive exams, lab work, and medical records.

If you meet the criteria for Banner’s Lab Lift program, up to $2,000,000 may be available to you.

If not, your application will be moved to full underwriting and a paramedical exam will be necessary.

Banner Underwriting Advantages

Underwriting does a number of things really well compared to other companies.

Competitive underwriting advantages include:

* Is not a factor unless family history suggests hereditary cancer syndrome

Underwriting rate classes available:

  • Preferred Plus Non-Tobacco
  • Preferred Non-Tobacco
  • Standard Plus Non-Tobacco**
  • Standard Non-Tobacco
  • Preferred Tobacco
  • Standard Tobacco

** Health impairments are based on the standard plus rate. Most other companies use a more expensive “standard” rate for health problems.

Underwriting Criteria by Rate Class
  • Preferred Plus Non-Tobacco Requirements
  • Blood pressure average of 135/85 for the past 2 years
  • Cholesterol in the 120-300 range
  • Cholesterol Ratio of 4.5 or better
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol medications are okay.
  • Driving Record – No DUI’s in the past 5 years
  • No more than 2 moving violations in past 3 years.
  • No family history of heart disease prior to age 60.
  • Build – You must meet the build chart requirements.
  • U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (3 years)
  • Tobacco/Nicotine Use – None in past 36 months.  
  • One cigar per month with negative labs.
  • No substance or alcohol abuse

Additional criteria may apply.

Preferred Non-Tobacco and Preferred Tobacco
  • Blood pressure average of 140/90 for the past 2 years
  • Cholesterol in the 120-300 range
  • Cholesterol Ratio of 5.5 or better
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol meds are okay.
  • Driving Record – No DUI’s in the past 5 years
  • No more than 2 moving violations in past 3 years.
  • No cardiovascular death prior to age 60 for parents.
  • Build – You must meet the build chart requirements.
  • U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (3 years)
  • Tobacco/Nicotine Use – None in the past 24 months.  
  • One cigar per month with negative labs.

Rate classes continued

Standard Plus Non-Tobacco
  • Blood pressure average of 145/90 for the past 2 years
  • Cholesterol in the 120-300 range
  • Cholesterol Ratio of 6.5 or better
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol meds are okay.
  • Driving Record – No DUI’s in the past 3 years
  • No more than 3 moving violations in past 3 years.
  • No heart disease death of more than one parent.
  • Build – You must meet the build chart requirements.
  • U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (2 years)
  • Tobacco/Nicotine Use – None in past 12 months.  
  • One cigar per month with negative labs.
Standard Non-Tobacco Rate and Standard Tobacco
  • Blood pressure avg. of 156/94 for past 2 years
  • Cholesterol in the 120-300 range
  • Cholesterol Ratio of 8.0 or better
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol meds are okay.
  • Driving Record – No DUI’s in the past 2 years
  • No more than 4 moving violations in past 3 years.
  • No heart disease death of more than one parent.
  • Build – must meet build chart requirements.
  • U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (2 years)
  • Tobacco/Nicotine Use – None in past 12 months.  
  • One cigar per month with negative labs.

You’ll receive the underwriting criteria from us when we quote your rates.


Get More Program

Once your application is approved, the underwriter will complete a financial underwriting review to determine if you are eligible for more coverage.

You’ll be notified that more life insurance is available and you can decide if you would like to increase your coverage without going through underwriting again.


Credit Program

Underwriting guidelines are strict for the best rate classes.

Most companies do not make exceptions if you just barely miss the best rate, but Banner Life does!

If you missed getting a better rate due to blood pressure, build, cholesterol ratio, family history, Banner has a program for you.

There are 7 credit criteria available to help you.

  1. No tobacco use in the past 10 years.
  2. Cholesterol ratio of 4.5 or better.
  3. NT Pro BnP under 100 (age 60 or older).
  4. Normal cardiac test within the past 2 years.
  5. Both parents surviving to at least age 75.
  6. Lifestyle – One of the following must be met
    • Regular annual checkups
    • Participate in wellness/exercise program
    • Routine age based exams – mammogram, pap smear, colonoscopy, prostate exam, etc.
  7. Liver function test GGT less than 30.

Meet 3 of the 7 to qualify for a better offer.


Lab Lift Program by Banner Life

Banner recently introduced the Lab Lift Exam Substitution Program.

If you’ve completed a physical with labs in the past 18 months, you may be able to skip the paramed exam.

Eligibility:

  • Ages 20-60
  • Up to $2,000,000 of coverage
  • Available if you’ve had a comprehensive physical with blood work in the past 18 months.
  • EKG requirements are waived for ages 51-60 for $1 – $2 million in coverage.
  • All underwriting rate classes available including high-risk cases.

Lab Lift Lab Requirements

Your lab work must be within the past 18 months and include the following

  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
    • Glucose
    • Calcium
    • Electrolytes – sodium, potassium, carbon dioxide, chloride
    • Albumin
    • Total protein
    • Liver Enzymes – ALP, ALT, AST, Bilirubin
    • BUN
  • Complete Lipid Panel
    • Total cholesterol
    • Triglyceride
    • HDL cholesterol
    • LDL cholesterol

If you don’t qualify for Lab Lift, a paramed exam will be ordered by underwriting.

If labs are required, Banner Life will test for the following drugs:

  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana (THC)1
  • Amphetamine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Morphine
  • Hydromorphone
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Fentanyl

1 – If you have a medical marijuana card, make sure you let us know before we apply, otherwise it causes a problem with underwriting.

Are Banner Life Policies Competitive?

Banner’s term life policies often rank in the top 3 for price.

Term Life Insurance from Banner Life

The OPTerm1 product as it’s called offers the following:

  • Face amounts start at $100,000.
  • Issue ages from 20 – 75.
  • Term lengths available – 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 year.
  • Conversion is available to universal life insurance.
  • Policy riders available:
    • Accelerated death benefit
    • Children’s rider
    • Waiver of premium
    • Term riders – 10, 15, and 20 years available

If you decide to convert your term life policy, the following is available with Banner Life.

Legal & General – 2020 Term Protection Brochure


Universal Life Insurance from Banner Life

Banner’s universal life insurance policy is called Life Step UL.

Life Step UL2 is a flexible premium universal life insurance policy that offers the following:

  • Face amounts start at $50,000.
  • Issue ages from 20-85.
  • Policy maturity to age 121
  • Guaranteed interest crediting rate of 2%.
  • You may borrow against the cash value of the policy.
  • Policy loan interest rate is 7.4%
  • 1035 exchanges.
  • Surrender charges last for 14 years.
  • Catch up provision
  • Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

Company-approved illustrations are available should you consider the Life Step UL policy.


Term Life Carve-Out from Banner Life

A-List Term3 is an individual term life insurance policy for highly compensated employees.

With most group insurance, the amount of life insurance available is typically limited to 1x or 2x salary.

A carve-out plan like A-List, allows a company to potentially offer up to $3 million in coverage.

A-List features include:

  • Minimum face amount of $50,000
  • Maximum face amount of $3 million.
  • Group Sizes of 10-24, and 25 and larger.
  • Rates are guaranteed for 3 years.
  • Conversion to the Life Step UL is available.
  • Employee compensation must be $100,000 or greater.
  • Portable to an individual policy.
  • Accelerated death benefit.
  • Increasing death benefit rider.

Underwriting and coverage amounts are based on the group size and participant ages.

Groups of 25+ participants – One medical question for ages 20-70, and simplified underwriting for ages 71-75.

Groups of 10-24 participants – Simplified underwriting prescription and medical history, MVR, and MIB checks.

Coverage amounts are based on the number of participants multiplied by the following multiplier factor.

25+ participants x $30,000 multiplier

10-24 participants x $20,000 multiplier

Maximum average issue age of 55 for 25+ participants, age 50 and under for the 10-24 group size.


High-Risk Life Insurance with Banner

Banner underwrites many high risk health conditions such as:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Asthma
  • Anxiety, Depression and Mood Disorders
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Hepatitis “C”
  • Epilepsy
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Skin Cancer

What makes Banner competitive is its use of a “standard plus” rate when underwriting health issues.

Most other companies use the more expensive “standard” rate to underwrite.

Does Banner Provide Good Customer Service?

Banner Life Insurance’s phone number is 800-638-8428

Online access to your life insurance policy is found below

Existing policy owners can register for online access to your policy.

Here’s what you need to do to access Banner Life Insurance login:

  1. Go to Banner’s parent company website – LGAmerica
  2. At the top right, click on “Account”
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on:
    • “First-time user? Register for your account.”
  4. Follow the prompts to register – You’ll need your:
    • Policy Number
    • Date of Birth
    • Social Security Number
  5. Once registered, you’ll be able to view policy data and request information and changes online.

Banner Life Headquarters is located at:

3275 Bennett Creek Avenue – Frederick, Maryland 21704

Banner Life has been pretty good with its customer service, making changes to policies quickly when needed.

Conclusion

Banner Life is a great company to consider for your term life insurance needs.

With great life insurance rates, an easy to use digital application process, and competitive underwriting,

Banner Life is worth consideration.

Please request your no-pressure, no-obligation quote today!

Other Companies We Review

Banner Product Disclosures

Legal & General America life insurance products are underwritten and issued by Banner Life Insurance Company, Urbana, MD and William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York, Valley Stream, NY. Banner products are distributed in 49 states and in DC. William Penn products are available exclusively in New York; Banner does not solicit business there. The Legal & General America companies are part of the worldwide Legal & General Group.

1 – OPTerm policy form # ICC18-OPTC and state variations. In New York, OPTerm policy form # OPTN-NY.

2 – Policy form # ICC12 UL13 and state variations. Life Step UL is a flexible premium universal life insurance plan. This product offers a coverage guarantee to maturity at age 121 if the appropriate premium according to policy terms is paid on time. The policy will not lapse if the coverage guarantee requirement is met. A policy loan however, that exceeds the cash surrender value will result in a lapse of coverage. Signed illustrations are required for Life Step UL.

Policy form # UL13S-NY. Life Step UL is a flexible premium universal life insurance plan. This product offers a coverage guarantee to maturity at age 121 if the appropriate premium according to policy terms is paid on time. The policy will not lapse if the coverage guarantee requirement is met. A policy loan however, that exceeds the cash surrender value will result in a lapse of coverage. Signed illustrations are required for Life Step UL.

3 – Banner A-List Term policy form # ICC12OPT and state variations; William Penn A-List Term policy form OPT-NY.

Two-year contestability and suicide provisions apply. Policy descriptions provided here are not a statement of contract. Please refer to the policy forms for full disclosure of all benefits and limitations.

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Meet the Author - Michael Horbal

That’s me to the left. I’m the founder and owner of RiskQuoter. I hate the fact that many people pay too much for life insurance because they end up with the wrong life insurance company, agent or both.

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There’s never any pressure or obligation with my life insurance service. Get the information you need to make an informed decision for yourself.

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