Baltimore Life Insurance Review

Several final expense life insurance policies for seniors

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Baltimore Life Insurance

Baltimore Life Insurance

Our Take 

Baltimore Life Insurance is an established life insurance company that offers term and permanent life insurance policies. With several final expense policies and whole life insurance options, Baltimore Life Insurance may be an option for seniors looking for minimal coverage. But, given the inability to get online quotes, and with no coverage amounts listed, those looking for low-cost term or permanent life insurance will want to look elsewhere.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Some policies are simplified-issue (no medical exam required)

  • Can borrow against cash value of some policies

  • Most policies offer level premiums

Cons
  • Below-average customer service rankings (NAIC)

  • All policy quotes require talking to an agent directly

  • Financial rating below most competitors (B++ from AM Best)

Key Takeaways
  • Baltimore Life Insurance is a long-standing mutual life insurance company
  • There are several term, whole, and universal life policies available along with many rider options
  • Baltimore Life Insurance pays annual dividends to policyholders, which may reduce premiums
  • Baltimore Life Insurance requires clients to speak with an agent for policy quotes and coverage amount details
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1882
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Whole, Universal, Final Expense
  • Number of Plans Four
  • Payment Options Monthly, Annual
  • Official Website www.baltlife.com/

Introduction

Baltimore Life Insurance offers a variety of life insurance options and additional riders for all individuals. We researched Baltimore Life Insurance’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of Baltimore Life Insurance with the competition. 

Company Overview

Baltimore Life Insurance was founded in 1882 as the Baltimore Mutual Aid Society of Baltimore City and was renamed Baltimore Life Insurance in 1900. It has since grown to offer life insurance and other financial products, with over 300,000 policies in force.

Baltimore Life Insurance offers term, whole, universal, and final expense life insurance policies for all ages. There are also several rider options available to enhance policy coverage. 

Baltimore Life Insurance is licensed in 49 states (excluding New York), but actual availability varies by product and state. 

Baltimore Life Insurance also offers annuities, critical illness insurance, and supplemental insurance products as employee benefits.

Available Plans

Baltimore Life Insurance offers four types of life insurance plans sold through local insurance agents. Quotes can only be obtained through them directly.

Term Life Insurance

Baltimore Life Insurance term life plans offer level-premium policies from 10 to 30 years in coverage, and continued coverage up to age 100 (with annual increasing premiums). Term policy amounts start at $25,000, but you will need to speak to an agent directly for maximum coverage options.

Term policies come with additional rider options and all policies are convertible, which means they can be converted to a permanent life policy at the end of the term.

Whole Life Insurance

Baltimore Life Insurance’s whole life offering is permanent life insurance that offers lifetime coverage and a guaranteed minimum interest rate on the cash value of the policy. The cash value of the policy can also be borrowed on a tax-free basis. This policy offers level premiums throughout the life of the policy. Additional coverage can be elected with optional riders.

Whole life insurance policy premiums can be paid in a single-premium payment, over 10 years, or stretched out over the life of the policy.

Universal Life Insurance

Baltimore Life Insurance universal life insurance policies give customers a guaranteed minimum interest rate as well as a no-lapse guarantee. Premium amounts are flexible and contribute to the cash value of the policy, which can be borrowed on a tax-free basis. Universal life policies also offer a catch-up privilege, allowing you to catch up on missed premium payments (within 61 days) to keep the policy active.

Final Expense Life Insurance

Baltimore Life Insurance offers two final expense life insurance policies, designed to help cover end-of-life costs such as burial and funeral expenses. Available to applicants ages 50 through 80, these are permanent life policies that accrue tax-deferred cash value that can be borrowed if needed. Policies include level premiums and simplified underwriting (no medical exam required).

  • Silver Guard I: Standard whole life coverage with a $1,000 cash draft benefit available immediately upon insured’s death
  • Silver Guard II: For those who do not qualify for Silver Guard I, this policy has a graduated benefit, with 30% of the policy face value available in year one, 70% available in year two, and 100% available in year three

Final expense life insurance policy premiums can be paid in a single-premium payment, over 10 years, or stretched out over the life of the policy.

Available Riders

Baltimore Life Insurance offers access to several riders for its life insurance policies. These are optional policy enhancements that add custom coverage options to the insurance policies. 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.

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider With Nursing Home Benefit

While subject to state availability, this rider pays a portion of the policy face value upon a qualifying diagnosis or confinement in a qualified nursing home facility. Any payments taken will reduce the overall death benefit of the policy. Accelerated benefits are included at no additional cost.

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

If you become permanently disabled (unable to work) before age 60, you may be eligible to have your premiums waived.

Monthly Disability Income Rider

If you become disabled (for 90 days or more), you may be eligible to receive a monthly benefit for a period of up to two years.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

This rider pays an additional benefit if the policyholder’s death is due to an accident before age 70.

Children’s Benefit Rider

This rider offers level-term life insurance for your children from seven days old to 14 years old. Coverage continues until the child is 25 years old, or the insured is 70 years old.

Customer Service: Limited Access

Baltimore Life Insurance offers support over the phone, online, or through a local insurance agent. While it states “24/7 access to receive requests,” business hours are not listed and email and online contact form inquiries may take up to two days to get a response.

Customers can call Baltimore Life Insurance directly at (800) 628-5433 or send an email to info@baltlife.com.

Baltimore Life Insurance does not offer live chat support online.

Customer Satisfaction: Worse Than Average

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index, Baltimore Life Insurance receives more complaints than other companies its size. While an average complaint score is 1.0 (the lower, the better), Baltimore Life Insurance received a 1.61 score. It has progressively declined over the past few years, as the 2018 score was 0.62 and the 2019 score was 1.02. This means there are more formal complaints against Baltimore Life Insurance in recent years.

J.D. Power also ranks companies based on customer satisfaction, but Baltimore Life Insurance (being a smaller company) was not ranked in the 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study.

Financial Strength: B++ (Very Good)

Baltimore Life Insurance received a B++ (Very Good) financial strength rating from AM Best, based on its balance sheet strength, operating performance, and business profile. While this rating is good, many other top life insurance companies have a much stronger financial profile, which can give clients confidence that claims will be paid out when submitted.

Cancellation Policy: Minimum Free Look Period

Baltimore Life Insurance follows the minimum "free look" period for insurance policies, which is anywhere from 10 to 30 days and varies by state. If a customer decides to cancel for any reason within that period, they will receive a full refund of the premiums paid.

After the free look period, cancellation terms vary between life insurance policies. Term life policies can be canceled at any time, but will not provide a refund of premiums paid. For whole and universal life policy cancellations, there may be a cash surrender value available, but surrender charges may apply. You will need to reach out to your local insurance agent for specifics.

Baltimore Life Insurance’s cancellation fees are not publicly listed and may vary per policy.

Price of Baltimore Life Insurance: Not Available

Baltimore Life Insurance premiums vary by policy, but quotes are not available online. As a mutual company, premiums may be reduced if the company pays out its annual premium from excess company profits. You will need to reach out to your local insurance agent for policy exact quote details and prices. You can also submit a request on the Baltimore Life Insurance website to have an agent reach out directly.

How Baltimore Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Baltimore Life Insurance offers quite a few policy options for almost everyone, but benefit amounts and policy quotes are not readily available. There are a few riders available to customize coverage, but have age restrictions that may limit their effectiveness.

Baltimore Life Insurance also receives more customer complaints than other life insurance companies its size, and its financial rating is not as strong as other large insurance carriers. Here’s how Baltimore Life Insurance compares to a large national insurance company.

Baltimore Life Insurance vs. State Farm Life Insurance

Both Baltimore Life Insurance and State Farm offer a variety of life insurance policies, including term, whole, and universal life policies. Both companies also offer a wide range of policy riders to customize insurance coverage. While Baltimore Life Insurance focuses on seniors, with several final expense insurance options, State Farm offers flexible insurance options that can grow by investing the cash value.

Here are a few more key differences between Baltimore Life Insurance and State Farm Life Insurance:

  • State Farm offers term life insurance with a cash value option
  • Baltimore Life Insurance offers annual dividends to help reduce premiums
  • State Farm offers multi-policy discounts for existing customers
  • Baltimore Life Insurance offers a $1,000 immediate cash withdrawal on final expense policies

While Baltimore Life Insurance offers a few whole life and final expense options, State Farm is a very strong financial company with insurance for almost everyone at incredibly low prices.

Read our full State Farm Life Insurance review.

  Baltimore Life Insurance State Farm Life Insurance 
Market Share  N/A Seventh-largest in the U.S., 2.87%
Number of Plans  Four  Eight 
Online Quotes Available?  No Yes (term life only)
Service Method  Email, phone, Fax Email, phone, in-person, social media
AM Best Rating  B++ (Very Good) A++ (Superior) 
Complaints Index  1.61 (below average) 0.19 (excellent)
Final Verdict

Baltimore Life Insurance offers a wide selection of policies, with a variety of riders to cover the most common life insurance needs. But the policies listed are vague (no minimum or maximum coverages listed on most policies), and quotes must be obtained directly through an insurance agent.

Their customer satisfaction ratings from NAIC are below average for the industry, and while they are strong financially, they are below most of the top-rated insurance companies we’ve reviewed. Pair that with the inability to shop prices on its policies, you may be better served by looking elsewhere for low-cost life insurance options.

Methodology

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s product 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.