Big Lou Life Insurance Review

Policies from top companies for people with existing health issues

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Big Lou

Big Lou

overall rating
4.0

Our Take

Big Lou, also known as TermProvider, is a brokerage that specializes in selling life insurance policies from top providers to people with existing health issues. You can purchase term, whole, and universal life insurance from Big Lou, and you may be able to get coverage without a medical exam, but you can’t get a live quote online. Big Lou is a good option for people with health issues looking for accurate quotes, but young and healthy people who appreciate a digital process will be better served by another company. 

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Works with major life insurance providers rated A- (Excellent) or better for financial strength by AM Best

  • May provide the lowest rates for people with existing health problems

  • Simplified underwriting available for young and healthy folks

  • Over 30 years of industry experience

  • No upfront cost or obligation to purchase

Cons
  • Few details about each policy are available online

  • No instant online quotes

  • No online application

  • Customer support and claims filing process varies by insurer

Key Takeaways
  • Big Lou encourages customers to shop around for the best rate. In fact, you can take your medical exam from Big Lou to other companies to get a quote. 
  • You can initiate a quote online with Big Lou, but you’ll need to speak to an agent to get your rate. In most cases, this will provide a more accurate estimate, especially if you have health issues. However, young and healthy people may be able to get accurate instant quotes elsewhere. 
  • Big Lou has great customer reviews on the company website, but third-party reviews are difficult to find. Furthermore, indicators of customer satisfaction will vary by insurer, so be sure to research the company that will underwrite your policy. 
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1980
  • Kinds of Plans Term, whole, universal, and group life
  • Number of Plans 12
  • Payment Options Varies by provider
  • Official Website https://www.bigloulife.com/ or https://www.termprovider.com/

Introduction

Big Lou is a brokerage that sells term, whole, and universal life policies from major insurance providers. We researched the providers Big Lou works with along with their financial strength and customer satisfaction ratings. We also looked into the customer experience of buying life insurance from Big Lou, including the company’s online tools and customer support. Here’s everything you need to know to compare the life insurance policy options that Big Lou offers with the competition. 

Company Overview

TermProvider was founded in 1980 and created the brand name Big Lou in 2011. The company is headquartered in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. 

Big Lou is one of the largest life insurance brokerages in the U.S. and is focused on providing low rates to people with health issues. Because the broker works with multiple providers that have different underwriting standards, Big Lou may be able to find cheaper rates for applicants with health concerns. Big Lou has the experience to know which provider is best for each health condition. 

Tens of thousands of policyholders have trusted Big Lou with their life insurance needs. While you won’t be able to get a quote or apply for a policy online, for people who are overweight and have corresponding health issues, talking to an agent may provide a more accurate estimate. You can initiate a quote online, and a Big Lou financial professional will contact you with a pricing estimate. 

Available Plans

Policy details are limited on Big Lou’s website, but the company works with insurers that provide term, whole, universal, and group life insurance plans. Within each of those categories, there are several plan types. 

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is designed to provide coverage during a period of financial responsibility. The most common terms for these policies are 10, 15, 20, or 30 years, but options vary by provider. 

There are a couple of types of term life insurance:

  • Level Term Life Insurance: Your monthly premiums stay level for the length of the term.
  • Return of Premium Life Insurance: For a higher monthly price, you can have your paid premiums returned if you outlive the term.

Big Lou will also work with you to layer your coverage. For example, you might purchase a 20-year policy and add a 10-year policy for increased coverage while you’re paying off your mortgage. 

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent policy that builds cash value. It’s much more expensive than term life insurance, but you have the option to borrow against the cash value if you need to. A whole life insurance policy pays a lump sum to your beneficiaries at the time of your passing. 

There are several types of whole life insurance available from Big Lou’s partner providers that you may be able to choose from:

  • Non-Participating: Death benefits and premiums are determined when the policy is issued and can’t be changed.
  • Participating: Excess profits are paid out as dividends to policyholders.
  • Economic: Dividends are put towards purchasing extra term insurance.
  • Intermediate Premium: Premiums may vary, but only up to a maximum.
  • Single Premium: A policy can be purchased in one upfront lump sum.
  • Limited Pay: With this permanent life insurance, premiums paid are over a period of years instead of for life.
  • Interest Sensitive: The policy’s cash value fluctuates with the market.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is a type of permanent policy with flexible premiums and adjustable death benefits. You may even be able to skip some premium payments since the cost of the insurance charge can be drawn from earned interest. You can also borrow against the cash value of your policy. 

Big Lou offers a few types of universal life insurance:

  • Single Premium Universal Life: For a large upfront sum, you can keep this universal life insurance policy in force provided that the cost of insurance charges don’t empty your account.
  • Fixed Premium Universal Life: You can make premium payments for a limited term (10 years, for example) but keep the policy in force permanently
  • Flexible Premium Universal Life: You're able to decide how much to pay each month; it's frequently purchased with an initial deposit followed by irregular payments.

Group Life Insurance

Big Lou partners with America’s Consumers & Affiliates (AC&A) to offer group benefits to employed people willing to provide anonymous access to their web browsers for use in marketing analysis. This option can provide lower-cost whole life or term life insurance benefits without any medical questions or exams. 

It’s available to applicants ages 18 to 70 and comes in face value amounts between $5,000 and $100,000. The coverage is provided by Boston Mutual Life Insurance and comes with an accidental death benefit. 

Big Lou doesn’t offer live quotes online, but the company claims that this allows them to provide more accurate pricing information to applicants.

Available Riders

Riders or endorsements are add-ons that can help you customize your life insurance coverage. Big Lou’s website doesn’t provide specific information about available riders. Your options will depend on the insurance carriers able to offer you the lowest rates. However, the company mentions that the following living benefits may be available:

Accelerated Death Benefit

This living benefit is typically included in life insurance policies at no additional cost. It allows you to access a portion of the death benefit while you’re still alive if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness expected to result in death within 12 months. The money can help you cover medical bills or other needs. 

Critical Illness Rider

Should you experience a critical illness such as cancer or a heart attack, this rider can provide a one-time payment to help you cover the expenses. It typically costs extra to add this rider to a life insurance policy. 

Chronic Illness Rider

This rider can be added for an additional cost and allows you to access a portion of the death benefit monthly if you are diagnosed with a chronic illness. 

Not all plan and rider options will be available from all providers. You’ll need to speak with an agent to find the most affordable option that meets your needs. 

Customer Service: A Personalized Approach

There are a variety of ways to contact customer service at Big Lou. The company lists the direct phone numbers for each agent on its website, so you can always contact a Big Lou financial professional directly. Big Lou doesn’t list customer service hours, but you can also call 888-893-2105 to be connected with an agent. You can also fill out an online form or emailbiglou@termprovider.com.

Customer Satisfaction: Varies by Provider

Since Big Lou is a brokerage that works with a variety of providers, indicators of customer satisfaction vary. Here’s how each partner provider ranked in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, out of 23 providers:

  • Legal & General: Not Rated
  • Pacific Life: 7th
  • SBLI: Not Rated
  • Lincoln: 13th
  • Protective: 12th
  • United of Omaha: 5th 
  • American General: 15th
  • Prudential: 11th
  • John Hancock: 17th

The NAIC complaint index is another indicator of customer satisfaction. It scores life insurance providers based on the number of customer complaints they receive. Industry average is 1.00, so anything above that indicates a higher than expected number of complaints given the company’s size. Here’s how each provider fared:

  • Legal & General: 
  • - Banner Life: 0.29
  • - William Penn: 0.6
  • Pacific Life: 0.05
  • SBLI: 2.98
  • Lincoln: Not available
  • Protective: 3.98
  • United of Omaha: 0.8
  • American General: 0
  • Prudential: 4.09
  • John Hancock: 384.11 (based on two complaints)

Financial Strength: A- (Excellent) and Above

AM Best is a third-party rating agency that scores insurance companies based on financial strength. A good grade from AM Best indicates the company will be able to reliably pay claims in the future. Each provider that Big Lou works with has its own grade from AM Best:

  • Legal & General: A+ (Superior)
  • Pacific Life: A+ (Superior)
  • SBLI: A- (Excellent)
  • Lincoln: A+ (Superior)
  • Protective: A+ (Superior)
  • United of Omaha: A+ (Superior)
  • American General: A (Excellent)
  • Prudential: A+ (Superior)
  • John Hancock: A+ (Superior)

Cancellation Policy: Varies by Provider

Providers are required to offer a minimum 10-day free-look period, although many companies will give you up to 30 days to cancel your policy. If you cancel during the free-look period, your paid premiums will be returned. If you cancel after the free-look period, your refund will depend on the type of policy you have. 

Each provider working with Big Lou has its own cancellation policy and the time you have to cancel may vary according to state law.

Price of Big Lou Life Insurance: Ask an Agent

For most policies, you’ll need to speak with a financial professional at Big Lou to get a quote. The company claims this provides more accurate pricing to help you make an informed decision. However, Big Lou does provide estimates for its group life insurance product, which is a guaranteed issue policy. A 35-year-old non-smoker would pay about $57/month for a $50,000 whole life policy, while a 55-year-old non-smoker would pay about $33/month for $10,000 in whole life coverage or $267/month for $100,000 in coverage. 

How Big Lou Compares to Other Life Insurance

Big Lou is a broker that partners with many top insurers to sell life insurance policies, and that allows the company to find lower rates for people with health conditions. It also means that your options will vary depending on the provider that issues your policy. Since Big Lou doesn’t offer online quotes, it’s best for someone who prefers to work with an agent directly. 

Big Lou vs. Fidelity Life Review

Big Lou and Fidelity both offer term and permanent policies that you can get without a medical exam. Fidelity Life has an A- (Excellent) rating from AM Best, and Big Lou’s partner providers are rated A- (Excellent) or above, so you can trust the financial stability of both companies. However, there are several key differences between the two companies:

  • Fidelity offers instant online quotes for term and permanent policies.
  • Big Lou’s group life insurance option is more affordable in most cases than Fidelity’s final expense policies.
  • Fidelity life has a higher than average number of complaints with the NAIC and mixed customer service reviews on third-party websites. Big Lou’s customer satisfaction indicators vary by provider. 

While both companies may be a good option for people with existing health issues, Fidelity Life is better for people looking for an instant online quote, while Big Lou may be able to provide more affordable rates. 

Read the full Fidelity Life Insurance review.

  Big Lou Fidelity Life
AM Best Rating A- (Excellent) and above A- (Excellent)
Available Plans Term, Whole, Universal, and Group Life Term, Final Expense, Senior Whole Life, and Accidental Death
Price for a healthy 55-year-old male purchasing a $10,000 permanent policy $33 $51
NAIC Complaint Rating Varies by Provider 4.39
Final Verdict

Big Lou is an especially good option for people with weight-related health conditions who are looking to purchase a permanent policy. Big Lou may be able to provide better rates than other companies, but you’ll need to call a financial professional to get a quote. Online policy details are also vague, so you’ll need to discuss your options as well. 

Big Lou encourages customers to shop around, and you can even take your medical exam to another provider. Young, healthy people who want a quick, simplified issue term quote will need to look elsewhere.

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.