Banner Life Insurance Company

Banner Life Insurance Company – 2022 Complete Review

Banner Life offers some of the industry’s best term life insurance rates.

Banner Life is worth considering if you want accelerated underwriting and quick turnarounds.

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 PLC, is the world’s 7th largest life insurance company!

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

Compare that to Northwestern Mutual’s $309 billion assets as of 2020.

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

Banner is a great choice to consider for great life insurance rates and a digital process.

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.

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 you with an end-to-end digital application experience.

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:

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

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 several things well compared to other companies.

Competitive underwriting advantages include:

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

Other companies that use the standard plus rate for high-risk health issues include Corebridge Financial and AIG.

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 two years
  • Cholesterol in the 120-300 range
  • Cholesterol Ratio of 4.5 or better
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol medications are okay.
  • Driving Record – No DUIs in the past five years
  • No more than two moving violations in past three years.
  • No family history of heart disease before age 60.
  • Build – You must meet the build chart requirements.
  • U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (3 years)
  • Tobacco/Nicotine Use – None in the 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 two years
  • Cholesterol in the 120-300 range
  • Cholesterol Ratio of 5.5 or better
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol meds are okay.
  • Driving Record – No DUIs in the past five years
  • No more than two moving violations in the past three years.
  • No cardiovascular death before 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 two years
  • Cholesterol in the 120-300 range
  • Cholesterol Ratio of 6.5 or better
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol meds are okay.
  • Driving Record – No DUIs in the past three years
  • No more than three moving violations in the past three 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 the past 12 months.  
  • One cigar per month with negative labs.
Standard Non-Tobacco Rate and Standard Tobacco
  • Blood pressure avg. of 156/94 for the past two years
  • Cholesterol in the 120-300 range
  • Cholesterol Ratio of 8.0 or better
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol meds are okay.
  • Driving Record – No DUIs in the past two years
  • No more than four moving violations in the past three 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 the 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 your eligibility 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 barely miss the best rate, but Banner Life does!

If you missed getting a better rate due to blood pressure, build, cholesterol ratio, and 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 are 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 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. This policy is only available if you are converting your term life insurance policy.

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.

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

Banner’s use of a “standard plus” rate when underwriting health issues makes it competitive.

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 good with its customer service, making changes to policies quickly when needed.

Final Words

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

Michael Horbal - Author

Michael J. Horbal

Owner of RiskQuoter

Too many people overpay for life insurance because they end up with the wrong life insurance company, agent, or both. That’s why I started RiskQuoter – To help you get the best life insurance rates available.

As an independent insurance agent, I’m licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and offer 40+ life insurance companies to ensure you get your best rate!

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.

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.

By Michael Horbal – updated on – 10/17/2022

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