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Colonial Penn primarily offers life insurance products to people between the ages of 50 and 85, individuals who may otherwise have difficulty finding affordable life insurance. Aside from its whole life plans, Colonial Penn also offers “easy-issue” policies for term life. Altogether, the company has sold more than 750,000 policies totaling more than $3.2 billion in value.
Between 1998 and 2001, the company was known as Conseco. In New York, the company still goes by that name, so customers in that area will be looking out for Banker’s Conseco Life Insurance Company. Alex Trebek, known widely for his role hosting the game show Jeopardy, is the spokesperson in Colonial Penn advertisements.
Colonial Penn specializes in whole life insurance products, but it does offer a number of term policies as well.
Whole life insurance lasts for the duration of an insured’s lifetime so long as premiums are paid. Term policies are more affordable but last only as long as the term; after the term has ended, the policy ceases to be effective. These are the products offered by Colonial Penn:
- Guaranteed acceptance whole life – Offered to people between the ages of 50 and 85, this is a whole life policy with no physical and no health questions asked. Because people cannot be turned down due to health problems, this policy is a good choice for those who might otherwise have difficulty qualifying for life insurance. However, the price is going to be higher, and people in good health may find a better rate by going with a more traditional policy.
- Whole Life – Available to insureds between the ages of 40 and 75, available in all states except ME, NY, and VT. No medical exam is required, and the policy begins to build cash value after the first year of coverage. Premium rate always stays the same.
- Term Life– Available to those ages 18-75. The premiums are based on age and gender at the time of issuance and rates can increase as you enter a new age group. Coverage is available in all states except ME, MA, MT, NY, and VT.
Aside from life insurance, Colonial Penn also offers Medicare Supplement plans and other types of health insurance and retirement planning products:
- Long-term care and home health care policies, which help to cover the cost of routine care required by an aging individual.
- Annuities, which can provide stable retirement income to individuals.
- Medicare supplement and prescription drug coverage, helping to fill in the gaps left by standard Medicare plans.
All of these products are brokered through local agencies and can be purchased independently or in tandem with life insurance.
Colonial Penn’s term life insurance is extremely overpriced for most people.
Colonial Penn offers term life insurance for adults over 18, but their options are limited. According to their website, the maximum coverage amount we could find a quote for was $50,000. The cost for a year of this coverage would be just over $250, which is almost as much as the average $500,000 policy we have found on the open market. Anyone looking for a decent amount of term life insurance coverage for a reasonable price should look elsewhere.
Claims can be handled over the phone or by email. To file a claim online, click the “Contact Us” tab on the Colonial Penn website.
Phone claims are handled at 1-800-523-9100 between 8:30am and 5:30pm Monday through Friday. New York policy holders should call 1-800-323-4542 instead.
In general, filing a claim for life insurance requires the insured’s beneficiary or next-of-kin to contact the company with a death certificate and policy information. Once the policy has been reviewed, the insurer will be in contact with the beneficiaries to arrange disbursements. At any time, questions about the claims process or policy can be directed through a local agency.
Colonial Penn is accredited with the Better Business Bureau under the name “Bankers Life and Casualty Company.” It received its accreditation in 2013 and has an “A” rating on the BBB site. In the past three years, 185 complaints have been closed against the company, with 85 of these being closed in the last year. Of these, the majority are listed as problems with the product or service, with the others divided fairly equally between advertising/sales issues and problems with billing and collections.
Among the most recent complaints listed on the site are unauthorized billings and delays with settlement checks. All recent complaints have been resolved according to the BBB site.
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Consumers that are in need of insurance and are having trouble getting approved through other companies may be able to obtain coverage through Colonial Penn, but they will do so at a cost. Our test showed that their products are extremely expensive compared with many other firms out there. They also have some of the worst financial ratings we have seen.
The amount of coverage Colonial Penn offers is very low for the premium amount required. Individuals that can procure insurance coverage from other sources should shop around for a better price.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.