Colonial Penn even offers coverage without medical examinations.
Excellent advertising aside, is Colonial Penn a good choice for life insurance?
Let’s find out! In this Colonial Penn Life Insurance review, we’ll provide everything you need to know to determine if they’re the right option right for you.
Who Is Colonial Penn?
Colonial Penn Life Insurance is the brainchild of Leonard Davis, co-founder of AARP, who started the company in 1968 in Philadelphia.
Davis used Colonial Penn to supply life insurance through AARP, which is not an insurance provider. The company primarily targets people ages 50 to 85, including recent retirees.
Several companies have purchased Colonial Penn since its founding, most recently CNO Financial Group in 1997.
CNO Financial Group made $4.1 billion in revenue and $333.7 million in earnings before losses in 2019, with Colonial Penn making up 6% of those profits. Colonial Penn has several awards in its trophy case, including a Pega 2012 Customer Experience Award and the National Business Group’s Best Employers: Excellence in Health & Well-being. It also has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Credit bureaus rate Colonial Penn as “excellent,” including:
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What Makes Colonial Penn Different?
Colonial Penn merits consideration regardless of age. The company makes life insurance accessible for anyone age 18 to 90. That includes no-exam policy options.
Colonial Penn has term and whole life insurance with early payout riders, which let policyholders access part of the death benefit during chronic or severe illness.
For instance, Colonial Penn will write a check if you have cancer, Alzheimer's, or dementia. Guaranteed life insurance policies aren’t eligible for riders, and you can’t be over the age of 65.
Features & Benefits
Guaranteed Life Insurance
People between the ages of 50 and 85 can apply for guaranteed life insurance. The application does not include health questions.
However, Colonial Penn does have a caveat where policyholders can’t access the death benefit until two years after the issuing date.
The policy comes with a 30-day free look period, which allows you to cancel within the first month without a penalty fee.
Policies peak around $25,000, though Colonial Penn uses units of coverage, instead of dollar values to represent prices. It’s potentially misleading for people unfamiliar with life insurance.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance policies are available for people ages 40 to 75. The application requires some health-related questions, but you don’t have to take a medical exam.
Colonial Penn determines premiums based on age and sex, which remains fixed for the policy’s duration.
The death benefit amount starts at $10,000 and goes up to $50,000.
It features a built-in cash value that begins to accumulate the first year after the policy begins.
While whole life insurance covers all the meaningful bases, it's often more expensive.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is available starting at age 18. Most insurance companies terminate the policy after a set time, though Colonial Penn uses a different approach.
The first premium corresponds with the policyholder's age at the time of coverage and goes through "age bands."
For instance, if you open the policy at 42 years old, your rate stays the same until you turn 46.
While the terminology is confusing, the application is not. It's similar to the whole life application and does not ask for a medical examination.
You can renew your policy up to age 90.
Colonial Penn Availability
Colonial Penn is available in 49 states, including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
The company isn't licensed in New York. New Yorkers need to visit Banker’s Conseco Life Insurance Company to access an application.
If you're elsewhere in the US, you can get a quote online or by phone to get started with the application process at Colonial Penn.
Colonial Penn provides life insurance products to consumers between the ages of 18 and 90.
Applicants must be at least 50 to qualify for the Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance policy.
Terms and availability are subject to change without notice.
Claims Process & Guarantee
Beneficiaries can call 1-800-523-9100 (1-800-323-4542 in New York) to get started with a claim. In most cases, a claimant's statement, and a certified death certificate, must be mailed to:
Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company
Life Claims Dept
PO Box 1918
Carmel, IN 46082-1918
Bankers Conseco Life Insurance Company
Life Claims Dept
PO Box 1918
Carmel, IN 46082-1918
A claimant’s statement form can be found on Colonial Penn’s website here, but there is no option to file a claim online.
If coverage is in effect, the death benefit payable will be released less any policy loans or premium adjustments.
While Colonial Penn has operated for more than 50 years and has celebrities like Alex Trebek endorsing them, their life insurance products are middle of the pack.
The coverage structure is confusing, and competitors offer lower premiums for comparable policies.
Colonial Penn also lacks the customer service and online accessibility common in the industry these days.
Those that are serious about their life insurance should consider other options. Not sure where to look next? Check out our in-depth review of the best life insurance companies.