Catholic Life Insurance Review

Discounted life insurance for members

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Catholic Life Insurance

Catholic Life Insurance

Our Take 

Catholic Life Insurance is a fraternal-benefit organization offering discount life insurance and other insurance products to members. It only offers basic term, whole, and final expense insurance in seven states in the U.S. Pricing is not available online, and policies have very limited customization, so we recommend comparison shopping at a top-rated life insurance company.

  • Pros and Cons 
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons 
Pros
  • High coverage limits (up to $10 million on term policies)

  • Some no-exam policies available

  • Most policies offer a level premiums

Cons
  • Pricing not available online, must contact an agent for quotes

  • No universal policies available

  • Only one rider available on one policy

  • Not available in most states

Key Takeaways
  • Catholic Life Insurance is a longstanding fraternal-benefit society for Catholics offering discounted insurance products to members
  • Catholic Life Insurance also offers supplemental Medicare insurance as well as annuities and IRAs
  • Catholic Life Insurance had no formal complaints for three years (2018-2020) according to the NAIC
  • Anyone can apply for Catholic Life Insurance products and become members once they hold a policy with them
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1901
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Whole, Final Expense
  • Number of Plans 4
  • Payment Options Monthly
  • Official Website www.cliu.com

Introduction

Catholic Life Insurance offers discounted life insurance to members, including term, whole, and final expense policies. We researched Catholic 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 Catholic Life Insurance with the competition. 

Company Overview

Catholic Life Insurance was founded in 1901 to provide insurance benefits to Catholic families. It operates as a not-for-profit fraternal-benefit membership to provide affordable insurance products to members. Membership is not required to apply for policies, and all policyholders become members who are eligible for additional membership benefits such as scholarships and product discounts. 

Catholic Life Insurance is only licensed in seven states: AZ, FL, LA, MS, NM, OK, and TX. Actual policy availability varies by product and state.

Catholic Life Insurance also offers supplemental Medicare insurance.

Available Plans

Catholic Life Insurance offers four types of life insurance plans including term life, whole life, and final expense plans. Term policies are convertible, and whole life policies offer multiple ways to pay for premiums.

Basic Term Life

Catholic Life Insurance’s term policies offer temporary life insurance coverage with a large death benefit. The Basic Term policy offers coverage from 10 to 30 years and benefits from $100,000 to $9,999,999. All term life policies can be converted into a whole life policy at the end of the term.

Just for Kids (Term)

Catholic Life Insurance offers term life insurance policies for kids ages 0-17 years old. Policies can be purchased for children or grandchildren, and coverage is available up to $20,000. Policies are purchased with a single premium and coverage lasts until your child’s 22nd birthday. Just for Kids term life policies can be converted into a whole life policy within 30 days of their 22nd birthday.

An additional $100,000 of permanent life insurance can be purchased if your child is in a severe accident or is diagnosed with a debilitating disease.

Whole Life Insurance

Catholic Life Insurance’s whole life offering is a permanent life insurance policy with benefits ranging from $25,000 to $5,000,000 in coverage. Policies are available for individuals ages 14 days to 85 years. These policies can accumulate cash value that can be borrowed against on a tax-free basis or withdrawn for personal use. These policies have a guaranteed cash value and level premiums throughout the life of the policy.

Withdrawals from the cash value of a whole life policy may result in a penalty if taken before age 59.5. Withdrawals may be subject to tax. Speak with an insurance and tax professional before taking money from any life insurance policy.

Catholic Life Insurance offers many ways to pay premiums for whole life policies:

  • Limited Pay Life. This payment plan allows the insured to pay all premiums within 10 or 20 years. Once premiums are paid up, the policy remains in force for a lifetime.
  • Life Paid Up at 65. This payment plan allows the insured to pay all premiums by age 65. Once premiums are paid up, the policy remains in force for a lifetime. This payment plan is available up to age 50.
  • Single-Premium Whole Life. This payment plan is a single premium payment for lifetime coverage.

Whole life policies are available for individuals, their children, or their grandchildren.

Final Expense Life Insurance

Catholic Life Insurance offers a final expense life insurance policy designed to help cover end-of-life costs such as burial and funeral expenses. This whole life policy accrues tax-deferred cash value that can be borrowed against if needed.

Policies offer coverage from $5,000 to $35,000 and are available to individuals from ages 40 to 80. While no medical exam is required for Catholic Life Insurance’s final expense policy, they are not guaranteed issue and require modified underwriting for approval.

Available Riders

A rider is an optional policy enhancement that adds coverage to a life insurance policy. Rider fees are billed as a small percentage of the policy premium, or as a flat annual fee. Fees vary by policy, product, and options selected. 

Catholic Life Insurance only offers one rider, which is available on its whole life insurance plans. There are no available riders on term or final expense policies

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. The diagnosis is defined as having a permanent inability to perform at least two of the following activities of daily living: bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring.

This benefit pays out an amount of 3% of the original face value times the number of months remaining in the current calendar year. This benefit can be elected once per year and reduces the overall face value of the policy.

This benefit is only available on whole life policies for individuals who are 40 to 79 years of age.

Customer Service: Limited Access

Catholic Life Insurance offers support over the phone or online via its contact form. You can also request a meeting in person at its local office in San Antonio, Texas. Clients can reach Catholic Life Insurance by calling 210-828-9921 or filling out the online contact form.

Catholic Life Insurance customer service business hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT.

Catholic Life Insurance does not offer live chat support online.

Customer Satisfaction: Lower-Than-Average Scores

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index, Catholic Life Insurance didn’t receive any formal complaints in 2018, 2019, or 2020. While an average complaint index score is 1.0 (the lower, the better based on market share), Catholic Life Insurance received a 0.00 score. This is good news for clients and shows that Catholic Life Insurance provides quality customer care.

J.D. Power also ranks companies based on customer satisfaction, but as a smaller life insurance company, Catholic Life Insurance was not ranked in the 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study.

Financial Strength: A- (Excellent)

Catholic Life Insurance received an A- (Excellent) rating from AM Best. This rating is based on Catholic Life Insurance’s balance sheet strength, operating performance, and business profile. A high ranking from AM Best assures clients that the company has the financial ability to pay out claims as they arise.

Cancellation Policy: Standard Free-Look Period

Catholic Life Insurance follows the standard “free-look” period for insurance policies, which is usually 10 to 30 days and varies by state. This is a period of time during which individuals can cancel a new life insurance policy for any reason and receive a full refund.

After the free look period, cancellation terms vary among life insurance policies. Term policies can be canceled but will not provide a refund of premiums paid.

For whole and final expense policy cancellations, you will need to reach out to a Catholic Life Insurance agent for specifics. There may be a cash value refund available, but there may also be a surrender charge for any canceled policies.

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

Price of Catholic Life Insurance: Not Available

Catholic Life Insurance premiums are not publicly available, and policy pricing will need to be obtained by contacting an insurance agent directly. Term policies typically offer cheaper premiums as they only carry temporary coverage. Whole life policies typically have higher premiums, but cover the insured for a lifetime and build cash value as well. 

To get a quote, contact a Catholic Life Insurance agent by submitting a request using the agent contact form.

How Catholic Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Catholic Life Insurance offers a limited amount of life insurance policy options that are only available in seven states. Policy prices are not available online so comparison shopping will require getting a quote directly from an agent.

Catholic Life Insurance is a much smaller company than many insurers, but has not received any formal complaints in recent years and has a strong financial rating. Here’s how Catholic Life Insurance compares with a large, national insurance company.

Catholic Life Insurance vs. Allstate Life Insurance

Both Catholic Life Insurance and Allstate Life Insurance offer term and whole life insurance policies. Both companies also offer no-exam life insurance options as well. But while Catholic Life Insurance only offers one additional rider for its policies, Allstate has a wide range of riders to customize policies.

Here are a few key differences between Catholic Life Insurance and Allstate Life Insurance:

  • Allstate offers life insurance in all 50 states, while Catholic Life Insurance is only available in seven states
  • Catholic Life Insurance offers an accidental death bonus payout on life insurance and annuity products to members
  • Allstate offers universal life insurance while Catholic Life Insurance does not
  • Catholic Life Insurance also offers product discounts and even scholarships to members

Although Catholic Life Insurance offers simple life insurance policies at a discounted rate for members, Allstate offers low-cost term insurance and multi-policy discounts for customers of its other insurance products.

Read our full Allstate Life Insurance review.

  Catholic Life Insurance Allstate Life Insurance 
Market Share N/A Eight-largest in the U.S., 2.80%
Number of Plans  Four  Four 
Online Quotes Available?  No Yes (term life only) 
Service Method  Phone, contact form Email, phone, in person, social media 
AM Best Rating  A- (Excellent) A+ (Superior)
NAIC Complaint Index  0.00 (excellent)  0.29 (very good) 
Final Verdict

Catholic Life Insurance offers basic life insurance policies in only seven states without much customization available. Prices are not available online so prospective clients will need to get in touch with an agent to see how well its prices stack up against top life insurance companies.

The company does score well in financial strength and customer service, and offers additional member benefits such as discounts and scholarships. If you are searching for basic term or whole life coverage, it may be worth getting a quote from Catholic Life Insurance. But if you need more policy options and transparent pricing, you will be better served 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.