Cigna Life Insurance Review

Group term and universal life policies for employees

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Cigna

 Cigna

overall rating
3.8

Our Take 

Cigna offers group and individual life insurance policies with limited coverage. Most policies are offered through employers as an employee benefit with premiums paid through your paycheck, and individual policies can be purchased through independent agents. Cigna does offer some supplemental policies, but if you are looking for more than $500,000 in coverage, you will need to look elsewhere.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Premiums are paid using pre-tax dollars on group life policies

  • Simplified issue policies available (no medical exam required)

  • Strong financial backing of New York Life (parent company)

Cons
  • Group term policies limited to a multiple of your salary

  • Policy availability may vary by employer

  • Maximum of $25,000 in coverage available on individual whole life policies

Key Takeaways
  • Cigna offers term and permanent policies to individuals and through employers.
  • Cigna is licensed to sell insurance in all 50 states.
  • Cigna offers additional employer-sponsored benefits, including medical insurance, health savings, disability insurance, and critical illness insurance.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1792
  • Kinds of Plans Term, whole, universal
  • Number of Plans 3
  • Payment Options Payroll deduction, lump-sum payment
  • Official Website https://www.cigna.com/

Introduction

Cigna is an employee benefits insurance company that focuses on providing life and supplemental insurance. We researched Cigna’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of Cigna with the competition. 

Company Overview

Cigna is one of the oldest insurance companies in the U.S. and was founded in 1792 as the Insurance Company of North America. It has grown into a large insurance company, offering group life insurance policies as well as a whole life policy for individuals sold through independent agents. Most of Cigna’s insurance business is in the medical insurance field, but it also offers dental and vision, Medicare supplemental insurance, and other supplemental insurance.

Cigna is licensed to offer life insurance in all 50 states. In 2020, New York Life purchased Cigna and rebranded its group insurance division as New York Life Group Benefit Solutions.

Available Plans 

Cigna offers three types of life insurance policies along with several available riders for additional coverage. There are term and universal policies available as group plans from employers and a final expense whole life policy available for individuals sold through independent agents.

Group Term Life Insurance

Cigna’s group term life insurance coverage is only available as an employee benefit. Term life is a type of temporary life insurance that covers the insured for a length of time. Cigna group term life plans cover you for the length of your employment. Policies are portable and convertible, so you can continue coverage after leaving your employer or convert it to a Ciagna permanent life insurance plan.

Coverage amounts depend on the plan selected by your employer but typically offer a multiple of your salary as the death benefit (up to $500,000 maximum coverage). Simplified issue policies may be available, requiring no medical exam to obtain coverage.

Group Universal Life Insurance (GUIL)

This universal life insurance policy is a type of permanent life insurance that also builds cash value. The cash value earns tax-deferred interest and can be borrowed against tax-free. Withdrawals from this policy may be taxable if taken before age 59.5, but note that they will reduce the overall death benefit of the policy.

Policy amounts and coverage options will vary by employer. You will need to contact your employee benefits department for exact policy details on Cigna universal life insurance plans.

Individual Final Expense Whole Life

This whole life insurance policy is designed to help cover end-of-life costs such as burial, funeral, and other expenses. This policy is a type of permanent life insurance designed to cover the insured for their lifetime. It also builds cash value, which can be borrowed against tax-free.

Cigna’s final expense plans offer coverage from $2,000 to $25,000. Both level benefit and modified (decreasing) benefit plans are available, depending on your age and health status. Policy coverage is available from ages 50 to 85, and there are coverage discounts for spousal policies available.

Available Riders

Cigna offers multiple riders for both group term life and permanent life policies. Many of them are included with the policy, while some may cost extra. Exact details about the costs of each rider will vary and will be available through your employee benefits department.

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

This rider waives the future premiums for the insured if they have been diagnosed as permanently and totally disabled (unable to work).

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

This rider allows the insured to receive a portion of the death benefit as an advance should they be diagnosed with a terminal illness diagnosis with a life expectancy of 12 months or less.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

This rider is available in individual whole life policies and pays out an additional $10,000 to $50,000 if your death is a direct result of an injury due to an accident.

Child Term Life Rider

This rider is available on group life plans, allowing employees to elect voluntary term life coverage for their dependent children, up to $10,000 in coverage.

Spouse Term Life Rider

This rider is available on group life plans, allowing employees to elect voluntary term life coverage for their spouse up to $50,000 in coverage.

Customer Service: 24/7 Assistance Over the Phone

Cigna offers customer support over the phone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There is also help available online, via standard mail, or fax. For group and employer-sponsored policies, questions should be directed to your employee benefits department. For individual policies, you can contact the local independent agent who sold you the policy for assistance.

If you want to connect with Cigna customer service directly, it is available by phone around the clock at 1-800-997-1654. Cigna also offers live chat on its website, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST.

Customer Satisfaction: Average

Cigna receives an average number of complaints for a company its size, according to the NAIC Complaint Index. While an average complaint score is 1.0 (the lower, the better), Cigna received a 0.93 score. This is down from a 1.07 score in 2019. A majority of complaints were for other types of insurance, and Cigna only received one formal complaint for its life insurance products in 2020.

Cigna was not included in the 2020 J.D. Power Life Insurance Study, which evaluates the overall customer satisfaction of life insurance companies.

Financial Strength: A (Excellent)

Cigna received an A (Excellent) rating by AM Best. This rating is based on its strong balance sheet, strong operating performance, favorable business profile, and appropriate enterprise risk management. Cigna is now owned by New York Life, which has the highest rating from AM Best, an A++ (Superior) rating. This gives customers confidence in the financial strength of Cigna and its ability to pay out claims.

Cancellation Policy: Depends on Employer Policy

A free-look period is required for U.S. insurance policies. This is a period of 10-30 days (depending on the state) during which new insurance policies can be canceled for a full refund. Cigna must follow this policy per state regulations, but cancellation policies may vary by employer.

After the free-look period has ended, term life policies can be canceled at any time, but typically do not offer a refund. Universal and whole life policies may offer a surrender value refund, but may also charge a surrender fee and other fees to cancel.

Employer-sponsored plan cancellation policies will vary; contact your benefits department for details.

Price of Cigna: Varies by Employer 

Cigna doesn’t offer online quotes for its group policies, as those are specific to the employer that carries its coverage. There are no formal quotes available for its whole life policies, but it does offer an example quote for basic coverage.

Individual whole life plans cost an average of $28 per month. This quote is based on Cigna’s $10,000 whole life plan for a 55-year-old female, non-tobacco user in Alabama. Individual rates will vary based on your state, age, sex, tobacco status, and the benefit amount selected.

How Cigna Compares to Other Life Insurance

Cigna offers term and universal life coverage for employees, as well as a final expense whole life policy for individuals. Group policy premiums are paid directly from employee paychecks, and individual policies are sold through independent agents.

Coverage options and amounts are limited, but premiums may be partially (or totally) covered by your employer, making Cigna a decent supplemental life insurance option. Here’s how Cigna compares to another workplace insurance provider.

Cigna vs. Boston Mutual Life Insurance

Cigna and Boston Mutual Life Insurance offer group life insurance policies through employers as well as individual life insurance options. Both have an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best, and both receive an average number of complaints (according to NAIC). But while Cigna is a huge insurance company, most of its business is in the accident and health insurance field.

Here are a few of the differences between Cigna and Boston Mutual Life Insurance:

  • Boston Mutual Life Insurance offers multiple whole life individual and group plans.
  • Cigna offers group health insurance plans to over 17 million customers globally.
  • Boston Mutual Life Insurance collected $170 million in life insurance premiums in 2020, while Cigna only collected $210,000 in life insurance premiums.
  • Cigna offers up to $500,000 in coverage, while Boston Mutual Life Insurance plans are capped at $250,000.

While Cigna offers a larger array of insurance options for employers, Boston Mutual Life Insurance offers far more permanent life options to employees and individuals alike.

  Cigna Boston Mutual Life Insurance
Market Share N/A N/A 
Number of Plans  3 4
Online Quotes Available?  No No 
Service Method  Email, phone, live online chat Email, phone, fax 
AM Best Rating  A (Excellent) A (Excellent) 
Complaints Index  0.93 (average) 0.90 (average) 
Final Verdict

Cigna offers employer-sponsored life insurance options, including term and universal plans with low coverage amounts. While paying premiums through your paycheck may defer your taxes and save you some money, limited coverage of $500,000 or less may leave you underinsured. However, Cigna’s final expense plan may be a good option for covering end-of-life expenses.

If you are looking for supplemental life insurance that is discounted through your employer, Cigna may be a decent option. If you need higher benefit amounts, you may want to check out our top life insurance companies for coverage up to $5 million (or more).

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.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. NAIC. “Cigna Hlth & Life Ins Co Company Overview 2020.” Accessed June 17, 2021.

  2. NAIC. “Boston Mut Life Ins Co, Company Overview 2020.” Accessed June 17, 2021.