Continental Life Insurance Review

Final expense insurance for seniors

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Continental Life Insurance

Continental Life Insurance

overall rating
3.3

Our Take

Continental Life Insurance, a subsidiary of health insurance company Aetna, offers whole life policies aimed at seniors to cover final expenses, such as funeral and burial costs. The policies only cover up to $35,000 in total death benefit, so those looking for larger life insurance policies may need to supplement with another policy. 

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Final expense policies backed by Aetna

  • 30-day free-look period

  • No medical exams required

Cons
  • $35,000 maximum coverage amount

  • No online quotes available

  • Policies limited to ages 45 and older

Key Takeaways
  • Continental is a provider of final expense whole life policies for seniors.
  • Continental offers both level and graded benefit final expense plans.
  • Continental requires talking with an insurance agent directly to purchase.
  • Continental life insurance policies are not available in all states.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1983
  • Kinds of Plans Whole
  • Number of Plans 1
  • Payment Options Monthly, quarterly, annual
  • Official Website https://www.aetnaseniorproducts.com/

Introduction

Continental Life Insurance offers final expense whole life policies for seniors. We researched Continental Life Insurance’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare its life insurance policy options with the competition.

Company Overview

Continental Life Insurance was founded in 1983 in Brentwood, Tenessee. It offers supplemental life insurance for seniors and in 2011, it was purchased by Aetna to round out Aetna’s senior supplemental insurance offerings.

Continental Life Insurance is licensed to sell life insurance in most states but is unavailable in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Maine, Vermont, and Washington.

Quotes are not available online.

Available Plans 

Continental Life Insurance only offers final expense whole life insurance policies that cover the insured for life. This policy does not accumulate a cash value, the coverage maximum is only $35,000, and eligible participants must be age 45–89 to qualify.

There are two options for the whole life policy:

  • Level Benefit: The level benefit policy offers the full death benefit amount immediately upon policy coverage.
  • Graded Benefit: The graded benefit policy will pay a full death benefit upon accidental death, but the full death benefit is not available for non-accidental death until three years into policy coverage. Only a partial death benefit will be paid if the insured passes away within the first two years.

Policy coverage amounts and terms are only available by contacting a Continental Life Insurance agent directly.

Note

A graded benefit plan can help you save money on premiums, but comes with the risk of only a partial payout. Make sure you understand the details of the graded benefit plan before purchasing.

Available Riders

An insurance rider is an optional enhancement that can be added to your life insurance policy. It may add coverage for additional family members, or allow you to access your death benefit early. It also may waive your premiums should something unexpected happen. Unfortunately, Continental Life Insurance does not offer riders on its life insurance policies.

Customer Service: Business Hours Only

Continental Life Insurance offers customer support via online chat, over the phone, or email on business days (Monday - Friday). Since Continental Life Insurance is owned by Aetna, the customer service team operates under the Aetna name.

General customer service hours are 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. CT, while claims support is only available from 7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. CT. Members can log in to the Aetna website and start a live chat online with a customer support representative as well.

Customer Satisfaction: High Marks  

Continental Life Insurance receives fewer complaints than the industry average life insurance company according to the NAIC complaint index. While an average complaint score is 1.0 (the lower, the better), Continental received a 0.89 score in the 2020 complaint index survey. Though this score is better than average, the score is higher than previous years, up from 0.46 in 2018, and 0.56 in 2019.

Note

Most of the customer complaints were with Continental’s Medicare supplemental insurance policies, not the life insurance policies.

J.D. Power rates the top life insurance companies on customer satisfaction in their annual survey, but neither Continental Life Insurance nor Aetna was included in the 2020 study.

Financial Strength: A (Excellent)

AM Best recognized Aetna (Continental Life’s parent company) as a strong financial company, giving them an A (Excellent) ranking. A strong ranking assures customers that the insurance company can pay out claims. The AM Best ranking for Aetna is based on a strong balance sheet and operating performance.

Cancellation Policy: 30-Day Free-Look

While most insurance companies follow the state-regulated minimum “free-look” period (usually 10 days), Continental allows up to 30 days for customers to cancel their policy. This is more than generous, giving customers the ability to cancel an insurance policy for a full refund.

Once the free-look period has ended, canceling the policy may incur additional fees. Please speak with your insurance agent for details on fees and charges when canceling a Continental Life policy.

Price of Continental Life Insurance: Varies per Policy

Continental Life Insurance does not provide quotes for its final expense life insurance online, and the cost of a policy will vary based on the applicant’s age, health status, and other factors. To get a quote for Continental whole life insurance, you will need to speak with a local agent.

Expert Tip

Always get quotes from multiple insurance companies before making a final decision on your coverage.

How Continental Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Continental Life Insurance offers one life insurance product with low limits, intending to help seniors cover their final expenses. It does not offer additional policies or riders and is meant as a supplemental insurance policy only. If you are looking for more insurance options, other companies provide more flexibility and policies to choose from. Here’s how Continental Life Insurance compares to another life insurance company.

Continental Life Insurance vs. AARP Life Insurance

Both Continental Life Insurance and AARP offer insurance policies for seniors and have above-average customer service rankings. Both companies are strong financially, and their permanent life insurance policies have low limits. But while AARP life insurance is for AARP members only, Continental Life Insurance policies are available to all qualified individuals.

Here’s are a few key difference between Continental and AARP:

  • AARP offers term life insurance policy while Continental does not.
  • Continental Life Insurance offers a graded benefit option to help lower premiums for their policies.
  • AARP allows users to get quotes and apply for term life insurance online.
  • Continental Life Insurance policies are available for those age 45 or older while AARP only offers coverage for members age 55 or older.

While Continental Life Insurance offers guaranteed final expense whole life policies, AARP offers both term life and permanent life policies without a medical exam. 

Read our full  AARP Life Insurance review.

  Continental Life Insurance AARP Life Insurance (underwritten by New York Life)
Market Share N/A Largest in the U.S., 6.75%
Number of Plans 1 4
Online Quotes Available? No Yes
Service Method Email, phone, live chat Direct, phone
AM Best Rating A (Excellent) A++ (Superior)
Complaints Index 0.89 (Excellent) 0.16 (Excellent)

Final Verdict

Continental Life Insurance offers a simple final expense life insurance policy aimed at helping older individuals protect themselves against burial and funeral costs. These policies only offer a benefit of up to $35,000 and should act as a supplement to other life insurance policies.

If you are looking to find a simple final expense whole life policy, Continental may be worth a look. If you are seeking term coverage, higher death benefit amounts, or more flexible permanent life insurance policies, you will find better options 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.