Trustage Life Insurance Review
Term, Whole, Accident
TruStage is the insurance division of CUNA Mutual Group, which is a Madison, Wisconsin based mutual insurance company. The company offers term life and whole life policies to a nationwide customer base with a special focus on credit unions.
In this review, we discuss TruStage.com’s history, financial strength, policy options, and its strengths and weaknesses as an insurer.
History and Background
In 1935, a group of credit union leaders established the CUNA Mutual Insurance Society in an effort to provide affordable financial protection to working class people all over the country.
In the decades following World War II, the company enjoyed a period of high growth, during which it expanded its presence in the country and significantly increased its customer base.
After solidifying its position as the premier financial services provider for credit unions in the country, CUNA Mutual Group established an insurance agency called TruStage to offer insurance products to people from all walks of life, including those who do not have a credit union membership. Trustage’s products are issued by CMFG Life Insurance Company, which is the parent company of CUNA mutual group.
TruStage insurance offers a wide range of life, auto insurance, property, and health insurance products, all of which are issued and underwritten by CUNA Mutual Group/CMFG Life Insurance Company. As of 2018, the company had issued insurance policies worth $6 billion, out of which $1 billion was issued online.
Trustage Financial Strength
CUNA Mutual Group has an A rating from A.M. Best. It is the third highest rating offered by the agency and is indicative of the company’s ability to honor its ongoing financial commitments.
As of 2017, CUNA Mutual Group had assets worth over $20 billion and paid $1.33 billion in benefits to its policyholders. It was also named the most reputable insurance provider (life and investment category) in the country by the Reputation Institute in the same year.
The company employs over 3,000 people and caters its products to a large, nationwide customer base consisting of more than 20 million people.
Products Offered by TruStage
Term Life Insurance
TruStage’s term life policy is meant for people who are in need of affordably priced life insurance coverage for a specific length of time. The key features include:
The amount of coverage that you can apply for can be anywhere from $10,000 to $300,000. In the event of your death – due to a natural cause or an accident – the death benefit is paid out to the designated beneficiary in full.
You need to be between the ages of 18 and 69 in order to be able to apply for the policy.
Online Application Process
TruStage allows you to apply for the policy and buy it online. The application process does not involve lab tests or medical exams. The only thing you need to do is to answer a few health questions. Once you are approved, you can buy the policy right away. The whole process only takes about 10 minutes.
Term Length and Premium
The policy is designed to provide you with coverage until you reach the age of 80. The premium is determined based on your age, gender, health condition, lifestyle, and various other factors.
It is set to increase every five years, as you reach a new age band. For instance, if you buy the policy at the age of 35, the premium will increase when you turn 40, 45, 50, and so on.
From the moment you are approved, you are guaranteed of life insurance coverage until the age of 80.
As long as the premium payments are made in a timely manner, the company cannot cancel the policy for any reason – even if you are diagnosed with serious, life-threatening problems like coronary artery disease or cancer.
Whole Life Insurance
TruStage’s whole life policy is meant for people who need life insurance coverage for their entire life. The key features include
Once you are approved, you do not have to worry about losing coverage at any point in your life – as long as you pay the required premiums. It is not possible for you to outlive the policy, so you can rest assured knowing that you are covered until your death.
Online Application Process
The application process is extremely simple – you are only required to answer two questions regarding your health condition. Your insurability is determined based on the answers you give.
There is no lab test or physical exam involved and you do not have to wait for weeks to find out whether you are approved or rejected. You can find out the status of your application within minutes.
If you are approved, you can make the payment and buy the policy immediately. The coverage starts as soon as the payment is processed and remains in force until your death.
You need to be between the ages of 18 and 85 in order to be able to apply for the policy.
The coverage amount can range from $1,000 to $100,000.
The premium amount is determined based on a number of factors – most notably your health condition and medical history. Once determined, the premium does not increase at any point during the coverage period for any reason.
The policy has a built-in cash value component, which is set to grow at a steady rate and accrue cash value for the entirety of the coverage period. The rate of interest is determined and declared by the insurance company from time to time.
If you need to access your policy’s cash value, you can get a low-interest loan from the insurance company. If you are unable to repay it for any reason, the unpaid amount (principal, interest, and late fees or penalties, if any) will be deducted from the death benefit.
Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life Insurance
TruStage’s guaranteed acceptance whole life policy is meant for people who are in need of a policy to cover their final expenses. The key features include:
The biggest selling point of the policy is that your acceptance is guaranteed. You can get approved regardless of your age or health condition.
Online Application Process
You need to be between the ages of 45 and 80 in order to apply for the policy. The application process does not include a lab test, physical exam, phone interview, or even a questionnaire. You can apply for the policy online and get approved within minutes.
This is a whole life insurance plan, which means you are covered for life. The company cannot cancel the policy for any reason, as long as the premiums are paid on time.
The amount of coverage that you can apply for can range from $2,000 to $25,000. The policy has an exclusion clause, wherein your beneficiary becomes eligible to receive the full death benefit only from the third year.
If you pass away during the first two years of the coverage period, the death benefit is limited to the total amount of premiums you paid (in case of suicidal death) or the total amount of premiums you paid along with a 10% interest (if the death is due to a natural cause).
The insurance company determines the premium at the time of issuing the policy and the amount does not change at any point during the coverage period.
One of the key features of the policy is the cash value component, which grows in value for the entirety of the coverage period. The rate of interest is decided by the insurer depending on various factors.
The money in the cash value account remains accessible to you throughout the coverage period. If and when the need arises, you can borrow against the built-up cash value and repay it with an interest.
Strengths and Weaknesses of TruStage
TruStage is the insurance division of CUNA Mutual Group, which has an A rating from A.M. Best and has assets worth billions. So, it is undoubtedly a financially stable and reliable insurance company.
No Medical Exam
This is the most notable feature of TruStage’s life insurance policies. All three policies offered by the company (term life, whole life, and guaranteed acceptance) do not require a medical exam or a lab test. You only have to answer a set of questions regarding your medical history and health condition.
Simplified Application Process
The application process is extremely simple and only takes about 10 minutes. There is no paperwork involved and there is no need for a phone interview.
More importantly, you do not have to wait for three to six weeks to find out if your application has been accepted or rejected, which is usually the case with traditional life insurance companies.
You can apply for a policy of your choice, answer the health questions, and get the results (whether you are accepted or rejected) immediately.
If you are approved, you can pay for the policy right away and seal the deal. The whole process can be completed online without stepping out of the comfort of your home.
In this particular aspect, TruStage is as good as Haven Life, Ethos, Ladder, and other such digital insurance companies which allow you to buy life insurance coverage online.
Money Back Guarantee
TruStage offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, wherein you can cancel your policy within 30 days from the date it is issued and get your money back.
Low Coverage Amount
The coverage amount for TruStage’s term life policy is capped at $300,000. Similarly, the coverage amount for the company’s whole life policy is capped at $100,000. Needless to say, it is not sufficient to cover the needs of people who have significant financial obligations.
Increasing Term Life Premium
The premium for TruStage’s term life policy is set to increase at a five-year interval. The premium increases every time you enter a new age band. This is a major downside, as it goes against the very idea of affordable term life insurance.
One of the reasons why a term life policy is considered a better choice than a permanent life policy is that it allows you to purchase a substantial amount of coverage at very cheap rates and the rates are locked in for the entirety of the term period.
So, the idea of a term life policy with increasing premiums might not appeal to many people.
TruStage’s policies are more expensive compared to the policies offered by most other life insurance providers. A $300,000 term life policy for a 35-year-old male can cost around $96 a month, which might not fit into the budget of those from a lower middle class background.
No Universal Life Policies
TruStage only offers term life, whole life, and guaranteed acceptance policies. If you are looking to buy an indexed or variable universal life policy, you will have to consider other options.
TruStage does not offer any riders with its policies. While it is not exactly a deal-breaker, many people prefer to have the comfort of optional riders, which are designed to enhance the protection offered by life insurance policies.
Final Thoughts on TruStage
TruStage is an established name in the industry and is a financially stable institution. Its policies, however, are likely to appeal only to a niche customer base.
The company’s simplified online application process is pretty impressive, but other insurers like Haven Life, Ladder, and Ethos allow you to buy a much larger amount of coverage through the same process.
Bottom line – if you have serious health problems and have been rejected by other insurance companies, TruStage’s guaranteed acceptance policy might be a good choice for you. Otherwise, you have several other options which are better, cheaper, and offer a wide range of benefits.
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