Ameritas Life Insurance Review

Competitive term life policies for healthy applicants

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Ameritas

 Ameritas

overall rating
3.1

Our Take 

Ameritas Life Insurance is a life insurance company with a long history that offers competitive rates on term life insurance as well as a wide variety of permanent life insurance products. With a strong rating from AM Best and fewer complaints than most companies its size, Ameritas is a solid life insurance company. If you are looking for no-exam life insurance, though, you will need to look elsewhere as all Ameritas policies require a medical exam.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Wide array of policies for all age ranges

  • Low-cost term policies for young, healthy individuals

  • Most policies offer a level premiums

  • Very high term life coverage limits ($50,000,000 maximum)

Cons
  • All policies require a medical exam

  • Cannot apply for coverage without speaking to an agent first

  • No final expense policies available

Key Takeaways
  • Ameritas is licensed to selling insurance in all 50 states.
  • The company has over $100 billion in life insurance policies in force.
  • There are several rider options to enhance life insurance policies.
  • Ameritas also sells annuities and disability insurance, as well as dental and vision insurance.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1887
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Whole, Universal, Indexed Universal, Variable Universal
  • Number of Plans 9
  • Payment Options Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annual, Annual
  • Official Website https://www.ameritas.com/
Ameritas

 Ameritas

overall rating
3.1

Introduction

Ameritas Life Insurance offers a variety of life insurance policies at reasonable rates. We researched Ameritas’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of Ameritas with the competition. 

Company Overview

Ameritas was founded as The Old Line Bankers Life Insurance Company of Nebraska in 1887 in Lincoln, Nebraska. It has expanded over the past century to offer life insurance policies nationwide and now has over four million customers in the U.S.

Ameritas is a mutual-based insurance company, which means it is owned by its policyholders, and profits are distributed back to members in the form of dividends and low policy rates. Ameritas Life Insurance is licensed in all 50 states, but actual availability varies by product and state. 

Ameritas also offers annuities and disability insurance, plus dental and vision supplemental insurance policies.

Available Plans 

Ameritas Life Insurance offers nine types of life insurance plans including term, whole, universal, indexed universal, and variable universal plans. Term life plans offer online quotes, but all life insurance plans require speaking to an agent directly to apply.

Value Plus Term

The Ameritas Value Plus Term policy is its standard term life offering with coverage running from 10 to 30 years and benefits from $25,000 to $50,000,000 (which is one of the highest coverage amounts available of any life insurance company). The Value Plus Term policy is convertible, meaning it can be converted into a whole life policy at the end of the term.

Whole Life Insurance

Ameritas’s whole life offering is a permanent life insurance policy that can accumulate cash value, which can be borrowed against or accessed early with optional riders. These policies have a guaranteed cash value and level premiums throughout the life of the policy. There are three whole life policies to choose from:

  • Value Plus Whole Life: This whole life policy covers the insured for life, builds cash value that earns interest, and may pay out annual dividends.
  • Access Whole Life: The Access policy offers guaranteed cash value growth and is eligible for annual dividends as well.
  • Growth Whole Life: The Growth whole life policy also offers guaranteed interest on the cash value of the policy, as well as access to dividends. Premiums may be higher on this policy as part of the “growth” aspect to increase the cash value of the policy.

Universal Life Insurance

Ameritas offers universal life insurance with flexible insurance premiums, as well as the ability to build cash value over time. This is a type of permanent life insurance that covers the insured for life (as long as premiums are paid). There is an optional rider to provide “lifetime income” for your beneficiary as part of the policy. 

The cash value of the policy can also be borrowed against on a tax-free basis.

Unpaid loans against the cash value of your policy may reduce the death benefit.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Ameritas offers two indexed universal life insurance policies with flexible insurance premiums, which can be split between a basic interest account and two index accounts. The indexed accounts may earn interest based on changes in the value of an index or indexes. 

  • Value Plus Index: This policy offers multiple investment options for your cash value, plus guaranteed interest rate protection. This allows you to still earn a minimal amount of interest, even if the underlying investments go down in value.
  • Growth Index: This policy allows the cash value to grow in line with certain indices, such as the S&P 500, Russell 2000, or others. There is also a fixed-interest account option that pays out a guaranteed 2% interest rate (as of 2021).

In addition, there is a survivorship option on these policies to cover two people under one policy which pays out after both of the insured have died.

Variable Universal Life Insurance

Ameritas also offers two variable universal life insurance products. Variable universal policies are the most flexible for investing cash value but also come with a risk of loss. Variable policies do not offer the same interest rate guarantees as a traditional universal life policy but offer far more control over the investment options within the policy.

  • Performance II: This policy is designed for investment control and allows you to choose from a wide range of investment options as well as access to your investments with an online tool.
  • Advisor II: This policy gives the insured the ability to choose from mutual funds managed by professional investors and work with a licensed agent to build an asset allocation for the investments within the policy.

Available Riders

Ameritas offers access to several riders for their life insurance policies to add coverage or enhance the policy. While some riders are included as part of the policy, other riders may cost extra. Rider fees are typically billed as a small percentage of the policy premium, or as a flat annual fee. 

Fees vary by policy, product, and options selected.

Care4Life Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

Depending on the diagnosis, this rider paid out a portion of the death benefit due to a qualifying illness. 

  • Critical Illness: If you are diagnosed with a critical illness such as life-threatening cancer, stroke, major heart attack, or major organ transplant, this rider pays 25% of the face value of a policy or $250,000, whichever is lower.
  • Chronic Illness: If you are diagnosed with an illness that prevents you from performing activities of daily living—including dressing, toileting, transferring, continence, eating, or bathing —this rider pays out the lower of 50% of the face value of a policy or $1 million.
  • Terminal Illness: If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 12 months or less, you can access up to 75% of the face value of the policy, up to $1 million.

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

If you become disabled (unable to work), you may be eligible to have your premiums waived.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

This rider pays an additional benefit if the policyholder’s death is due to an accident, although it is not clear what the additional benefit may be.

Children’s Insurance Rider

This rider offers up to $25,000 in children’s term life insurance, with the ability to convert to a permanent life policy.

Customer Service: Phone, Email, or In-Person

Ameritas Life Insurance offers support over the phone, online, or in-person with one of its local agents. Ameritas customer service can be reached by calling 800-745-1112 or submitting your questions through the online contact form.

Ameritas Life Insurance customer service business hours are not listed online.

Customer Satisfaction: Fewer Complaints Than Most

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NIAC) complaint index, Ameritas receives fewer complaints than the industry average life insurance company. While an average complaint score is 1.0 (the lower, the better), Ameritas received a 0.51 score. This is slightly higher than its 2019 score of 0.31, but still well below an average number of complaints.

J.D. Power also ranks companies based on customer satisfaction, but Ameritas was not included in its 2020 Life Insurance Study.

Financial Strength: A (Excellent)

Ameritas Life Insurance has an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best. This rating is based on Ameritas’ strong balance sheet, adequate operating performance, favorable business profile, and appropriate enterprise risk management. This high rating from AM Best assures customers that Ameritas can pay out claims as they arise.

Cancellation Policy: Standard Free-Look Period

Ameritas offers the standard free-look period for insurance policies, giving customers time to cancel their policies for a full refund. This policy varies by state but is usually 10–30 days. 

After the free-look period, cancellation terms vary between life insurance policies. Ameritas term life policies can be canceled at any time, but will not provide a refund of premiums paid. Whole and universal life policy cancellations may provide money back as part of the surrender cash value, but also may charge additional fees to cancel.

Ameritas’s cancellation fees are not publicly listed; you will need to speak with your insurance agent for exact details.

Price of Ameritas Life Insurance: Low Cost for Young, Healthy Adults  

Ameritas quotes are only available for the term policies; whole and universal life policies require speaking with an agent. The prices for term policies are very low for young, healthy individuals compared to Ameritas’ competitors.

Term policies require all a medical exam so prices may vary. Term quotes are based on gender, age, location, and smoker status. Premiums can be paid monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually.

Sample Ameritas Term Life Rates
  Man Woman 
10-year policy $12.54/month $11.46/month
20-year policy  $16.45month  $14.71/month 
30-year policy  $25.13/month $21.87/month 

Sample rates provided are for a 35-year-old individual in excellent health with $250,000 of coverage.

How Ameritas Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Ameritas Life Insurance offers quite a few policy options, especially for those looking for permanent life insurance coverage. Ameritas offers a quick quote online calculator for term policies, and its rates are competitive with other large life insurance companies in the industry.

That said, Ameritas does not have any instant-issue policies available and requires all applicants to take a medical exam. Ameritas sells direct through local agents, and policies cannot be applied for directly online. Here’s how Ameritas compares to a large national life insurance company.

Ameritas Life Insurance vs. State Farm Life Insurance

Both Ameritas and State Farm offer a wide range of life insurance products, including term, whole, and universal life policies. Both companies also offer additional insurance products. While Ameritas focuses on life, health, and disability insurance, State Farm offers everything from auto insurance to homeowner’s insurance to banking products and investments.

Here are a few key differences between Ameritas and State Farm:

  • State Farm offers term life insurance with a cash value option.
  • Ameritas offers up to $50,000,000 in term life coverage.
  • State Farm offers multi-policy discounts for existing customers.
  • Ameritas offers dental and vision insurance, while State Farm does not.

While Ameritas offers great rates for its term policies for healthy individuals, State Farm rates are very good, too, and it also offers more flexible policy riders as well as discounts for existing customers (such as auto policyholders).

Read our full review of State Farm Life Insurance.

  Ameritas Life Insurance State Farm Life Insurance
Market Share N/A Seventh-largest in the U.S., 2.87% 
Number of Plans  8
Online Quotes Available?  Yes (term life only) Yes (term life only)
Service Method  Email, phone, in-person Email, phone, in-person, social media
AM Best Rating  A (Excellent) A++ (Superior)
Complaints Index  0.51 (very good) 0.19 (excellent) 
Final Verdict

Ameritas offers a wide selection of life insurance policies, with competitive term policies and many permanent life insurance options. Its term life policies for younger, healthy individuals, offer competitive rates for 10- to 30-year policies, with coverage up to a massive $50 million available.

All Ameritas policies require a medical exam, so if you are looking for an instant-issue policy with no medical exam required, you will need to look elsewhere. If you want to compare quotes for life insurance, Ameritas is worth a look. Just make sure you speak to an agent for exact numbers before proceeding with a policy application.

Methodology 

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s offerings, customer service, financial stability, cost, and more. For each company, we compared the life insurance products offered, as well as available features, and reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated for over two dozen companies.