Minnesota Life Insurance Review

July 6, 2020
Jonathan Fritz
B.A. Risk Management
Life Insurance Agent

Minnesota Life Insurance, now known as Securian, is a highly rated life insurance company offering a variety of life insurance, accident insurance, and annuity products.

In this article, we will go over the history, financial ratings, and products offered by Minnesota Life.

Our Take

Minnesota Life Insurance exceeds expectations in terms of financial ratings. The company offers affordably priced term life plans as well as permanent life plans with excellent benefits. They are a good choice for life insurance overall, though they did not make our best life insurance companies list.

History

minnesota life insurance
AM Best Rating
A+
Our Rating
Phone

1-800-277-9244

Founded

1905

Products sold

Term, Permanent

Minnesota Life began in 1880 when Russell Dorr – the company’s founder – set up the Bankers Association of Minnesota. It was the very first life insurance company to operate out of Minnesota. It is currently based in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In 1901, the company underwent a structural transformation and became a mutual life insurance company under a new name – Minnesota Mutual Life. From then on, the company has managed to grow from strength to strength and has become one of the largest providers of insurance products in the country.

In 2018, Minnesota Mutual Life adopted the name of its parent company – Securian Financial Group, Inc. Today, it operates as a fully-owned subsidiary of Securian under the same name.

Minnesota Life Financial Ratings

  • A.M. Best: A+ (Superior)
  • Moody’s: Aa3 (Excellent)
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA– (Very Strong)
  • Fitch: AA (Very Strong)
  • Comdex: 95
  • Source of Ratings

Minnesota Life is rated very highly by all the major rating agencies, which is a result of its consistent performance and the capacity to meet its financial obligations to its policyholders.

Minnesota Life is a Fortune 500 company with assets worth $78.6 billion under its management. It has close to 19 million customers in North America alone and has issued policies worth $1.2 trillion. In 2018, the company nearly $5.7 billion in statutory benefits to its policyholders.

Minnesota Life has all the hallmarks of a financially stable and reliable company – in terms of market share, earnings, the value of insurance in force, and assets under management.

Other Options to Consider

Minnesota Life's Products

Term Life Insurance

Minnesota Life offers a traditional term life insurance policy that offers you guaranteed protection for a certain time. If the insured passes away while the policy is in force, the beneficiary will receive the payout.

  • They offer term policies in 5, 10, 20, or 30-year terms. You can decide how many years of coverage you need and then choose an appropriate term length.
  • If the insured passes away, the entire death benefit amount is paid out to your designated beneficiary. The payout is not subject to income tax for the beneficiary.
  • Like most other insurance providers, Minnesota Life offers you the choice to convert to a permanent plan.

If you are a young man or a woman in an entry-level position, a term life policy is probably the best choice for you, as it offers a good amount of coverage for a relatively small monthly premium.

As you reach your prime earning years, you can get your term policy converted into a permanent policy, which costs more and provides you with lifelong coverage.

Whole Life Insurance

Minnesota Life also offers whole life insurance, which offers guaranteed protection for a lifetime. You are assured of coverage as long as you pay the premium. You lose coverage only if you stop making payments and let your policy lapse.

The policy includes an account that accumulates cash value. The rate of interest is set by the insurer while the policy goes into effect and remains consistent throughout the life of the policy. It is intended to offer you living benefits – financial benefits that you can use while you are still alive.

You can use the cash value account like an emergency fund. You can get a loan whenever you need the money and pay it back with interest. The rate of interest charged by the insurance company is generally lower than what you pay for a bank loan.

If you happen to pass away without repaying the loan, the insurance company will deduct the outstanding amount (principal and interest along with late fees or penalties, if applicable) from your policy’s death benefit. The remaining amount will be paid to the beneficiary.

One of the biggest upsides of a whole life policy is that the premium remains consistent throughout the coverage period. Your monthly or yearly contribution to your policy remains unchanged until your death.

Universal Life Insurance

Minnesota Life’s universal life policy offers you the amount of coverage you need for a lifetime. The key features include

Lifelong Protection – You are covered until the day of your death, as long as you meet the minimum required contributions to your policy.

Flexible-Premium – You can pay more if you get an unexpected salary bump or bonus and pay less when money is tight. Or you can pay a fixed, consistent amount on monthly or annually. It is up to you to decide how much you pay – as long as the amount meets the minimum requirements.

Flexible Death Benefit – You can increase or decrease your policy’s death benefit depending on your needs. For instance, you can increase your coverage amount when you have major financial commitments like a mortgage or a family to raise. You can decrease it when you pay off the mortgage or when your children go off to college.

Living Benefits – The cash value account allows the insured to have access to funds to potentially pay for your policy or emergency purposes.

Minnesota Life offers three universal life policies – fixed universal, indexed universal, and variable universal life.

Fixed Universal Life

True to its name, the policy is designed to accumulate cash value at a fixed rate. The rate of interest paid by the insurer is determined based on a variety of different factors. Once set, the interest rate does not decrease.

Indexed Universal Life

In this policy, the cash value account is tied to an index. So, the accumulation of cash value is entirely dependent on how that index performs.

There is, at the same time, an upper limit on how much interest your account can earn. Similarly, there is a lower limit, which is the minimum rate of interest your cash value account is guaranteed to earn, no matter how badly the index performs.

This is the reason why many people prefer an indexed life policy over a fixed life policy. It not only offers you a chance to earn more money but also ensures that your policy accumulates cash value at a guaranteed rate, regardless of how the market performs.

Variable Universal Life

For variable life insurance, the cash value is tied to a wide range of investment options. The money you contribute to your policy is invested directly in the market, so the rate of return is variable.

Under favorable market conditions, your investments tend to fetch high returns. Under unfavorable conditions, they tend to lose value.

This is the most flexible universal life policy offered by Minnesota Life. In addition to premium payments and the coverage amount, it also allows you to choose your investment options.

The company offers a wide range of options for you to invest your money in. You can choose the appropriate asset classes to invest in depending on your risk tolerance and the rate of return you expect to earn from your investments.

Unlike an indexed universal life policy, a variable universal life policy does not have a cap on interest.

If the market is heading upwards, you can expect to see a nice return in your account. The flipside, however, is also true. If the market tanks, your investment portfolio is likely to lose value to a considerable extent.

You can, however, mitigate the risks involved by diversifying your investments.

Survivorship Universal Life Insurance

In addition to traditional universal life policies, Minnesota Life also offers a survivorship policy that allows two individuals to be covered under a single plan.

It is easier to qualify for than an individual life policy and ideal for couples who want to leave a significant sum of money for their children. The insurer pays out the death benefit after both the policyholders have passed away.

Pros and Cons of Minnesota Life

Pros

Financial Stability

Minnesota Life is financially very stable, has an ‘A’ rating from all the agencies, has a nationwide presence, and is backed with solid assets.

Nice Range of Products

It offers a nice range of term and permanent life insurance plans. The company’s universal life plans, in particular, are excellent.

Lenient Underwriting for People with Borderline High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

The company is quite lenient when it comes to people with borderline high cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.

If your blood pressure level is 145/90, you can qualify for the ‘Preferred’ risk class, even if you are taking medications. This is not possible with most other insurers since you are likely to be classified as a potentially high-risk applicant if you are getting treated for high blood pressure.

Similarly, if your total cholesterol level is 240 or less, you can qualify for the ‘Preferred Select’ risk class, which is the best possible rate class you can qualify for. This is even more significant, as not many insurers allow you to qualify for the lowest possible risk class with borderline high cholesterol levels.

If your total cholesterol level is 260 or less, you can still qualify for the ‘Preferred’ risk class, which is the second-best rate class you can qualify for.

Cons

Minnesota Life is quite strict when it comes to smokers. Though no really a downside and you cannot hold it against the company, it is something you should be aware of if you are thinking of applying for a policy with the company and are a smoker.

The company’s best possible rate class – Preferred Select – is usually reserved for non-smokers. If you are someone who has quit the habit, you can qualify for the rate class only if you have not smoked a cigarette or consumed tobacco in any form for at least three years.

If you have quit the habit and have not smoked or consumed tobacco in any form for one year, you can qualify for the second-best rate class – preferred.

If you are a casual smoker, you are likely to be placed in the ‘Standard Tobacco’ category, which means your rate will be higher.

Final Thoughts on Minnesota Life Insurance Company

If you have borderline high cholesterol or high blood pressure, Minnesota Life is one of the best choices for you, since the company allows you to qualify for its ‘Preferred Select’ or ‘Preferred’ risk classes.

If you are a casual smoker or someone who has only recently quit the habit, you should look for companies whose underwriting guidelines are lenient towards smokers.

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