CUNA Life Insurance Review

Term life, whole life, and guaranteed acceptance policies without a medical exam

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CUNA Mutual Group

CUNA Mutual Group

Our Take

CUNA Mutual Group is the parent company for CMFG, which issues the TruStage program’s life insurance products. TruStage makes it easy to get coverage online without a medical exam, but only relatively low limits are available and no customization options are offered. People looking for term life insurance will find more coverage for less at other companies, but CUNA could be a good choice for people seeking a small, whole life insurance policy without a medical exam. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Online quotes for all policies

  • No medical exam required

  • Same-day coverage available

  • Guaranteed acceptance policies are available

  • Excellent indicators of customer satisfaction

Cons
  • $100,000 coverage limit for term policies

  • Pricier than some other companies

  • No available riders

  • Term policy premiums increase with age

  • Not rated in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study

Key Takeaways
  • CUNA Mutual Group is the parent company of CMFG, which issues TruStage life insurance products through credit unions.
  • TruStage products are underwritten by CMFG, which has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best.
  • CUNA offers term life, whole life, and guaranteed acceptance policies without a medical exam requirement.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1935
  • Kinds of Plans Term life, whole life, guaranteed acceptance
  • Number of Plans 3
  • Payment Options Online, by phone, or by mail
  • Official Website https://www.trustage.com/

Introduction

CUNA offers term life, whole life, and guaranteed acceptance policies through TruStage. While coverage options are limited, the company has a great reputation and you can get a policy online without a medical exam. 

We researched CUNA’s financial strength rating, customer satisfaction rating, customer service reviews, plan options, customization options, and online tools to help you compare the life insurance policy options that CUNA offers with the competition.

Company Overview

CUNA Mutual Group was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. CUNA provides its TruStage life insurance products to more than 20 million people through relationships with 3,500 credit unions, but you can also apply for an individual policy with TruStage, and there’s no membership requirement. 

TruStage policies are available in all states and are sold online, through your credit union, or with the help of an agent. 

Available Plans

There are three plans to choose from: term life, whole life, and guaranteed acceptance policy. None of these plans require a medical exam, and you can get a quote online. However, policy limits are relatively low. 

Term Life

Term life insurance protects you when your financial needs are the greatest. Most companies offer level premiums for the length of the term, which is typically 10-30 years, but rates increase as you enter each new five-year age bracket. However, the death benefit remains constant. 

With the term policy, you can get coverage up to age 80 and convert the policy to a whole life plan later in life. However, face values are only offered up to $100,000, which won’t be enough coverage for many people. 

Whole Life

CUNA’s whole life policies through TruStage are only available in amounts up to $50,000, but the company is unique in offering the product without a medical exam. If you can qualify based on your health questions, this might be a better option than a simplified issue life insurance policy from another company. 

With whole life insurance, coverage lasts your entire life and the death benefit is guaranteed. Premiums also remain level and the policy builds a cash value component over time. 

Guaranteed Acceptance

Guaranteed acceptance life insurance is designed for older folks with health issues. You don’t need to answer health questions to qualify, but because acceptance is guaranteed, monthly premiums are expensive. Policy limits go up to $20,000 and you must be age 45 or older to purchase a policy. Premiums are level and the death benefit is guaranteed as long as you continue to pay. 

Unlike most other term life insurance providers, premiums for CUNA’s term policies increase over time. 

Available Riders

Many insurers offer riders, which are add-ons to a policy that can help you customize your coverage. For example, some life insurance companies offer access to a portion of the death benefit while you are living if you become ill. Riders also offer you the option to buy coverage for your children or purchase a long-term care endorsement for added protection. 

The TruStage program doesn’t come with any customization options, so if you’re looking for these features, you’ll need to go with another company. 

Customer Service: Several Options

You can manage your policy online, so most actions won’t require agent assistance. But if you do need help, there’s an online form you can use to reach the customer service team. You can also call 1-855-591-9026 on weekdays between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. C.T. CUNA doesn’t offer an online chat, which is becoming more popular in the industry. 

Customer Satisfaction: Positive Indicators

CUNA was not rated in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study. However, complaints about CMFG to the NAIC have been trending downward over recent years, and in 2020 the life insurance issuer only received a total of five complaints. 

The complaint index was only 0.62, which indicates a lower than expected number of complaints given the company’s size (the average score is 1). 

Financial Strength: A (Excellent)

AM Best, one of the independent rating agencies focused on assessing the financial stability of insurance companies, gave CMFG an A (Excellent) financial strength rating. This indicates the company is stable enough to meet its obligations and pay claims. While some larger insurers have ratings as high as A++, CFMG is still a reputable underwriter and you can rely on the company to pay the death benefit to your beneficiaries. 

Cancellation Policy: 30 Days

Every TruStage policy comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, which is standard for the industry. If you decide to cancel, you’ll need to call within 30 days to get your paid premiums refunded. After 30 days, you can still cancel, but you won’t receive any money back unless you have a policy that has accumulated cash value. 

Price of CUNA Life Insurance: Relatively Expensive

TruStage term policies start off pricey and get more expensive as you age. For example, a 35-year-old female would pay $38.50 per month for $100,000 worth of coverage, and that cost would increase to $44.50 after five years. A 45-year-old male would pay $86.50 per month for a $100,000 policy. A similar 20-year policy from Bestow would only cost about $10 per month for a 35-year-old female and $21 per month for a 45-year-old male with locked-in rates. Note that premiums may vary slightly by location. 

While TruStage guaranteed acceptance policies come up closer to the industry average, you still may be able to find cheaper rates elsewhere. For example, a 55-year-old male would pay a $60 monthly premium for $10,000 in coverage with TruStage but would be able to get the same coverage for $45 from Mutual of Omaha. 

Still, the TruStage program is one of the few options for a whole life policy without a medical exam, and if you can qualify based on your health questions, you’ll pay less than you would for a guaranteed acceptance plan from most other companies. A 55-year-old male would pay $68.60 per month for $20,000 in whole life coverage. 

Unless you have health issues that disqualify you, a whole life insurance policy from CUNA is a better and cheaper option than a guaranteed acceptance policy.

How CUNA Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

CUNA’s TruStage program has lower coverage limits, fewer customization options, and higher pricing than most other life insurance companies. However, CUNA is one of the few companies to provide a whole life insurance policy with an online quote and no medical exam. 

CUNA Life Insurance vs. AAA Life Insurance Review

Both CUNA and AAA offer term and whole life policies that are available without a medical exam. They both have A (Excellent) ratings from AM Best and very few complaints with the NAIC. However, there are some key differences between these two insurers:

  • AAA doesn’t offer online quotes for its whole life policies.
  • AAA has higher coverage limits for term policies than CUNA.
  • Pricing is cheaper for AAA term life policies than for CUNA’s term coverage, and premiums stay level.
  • AAA has more plan options, including universal life insurance plans and a selection of riders to customize your policy.
  • AAA offers special perks to AAA members.

If you’re an AAA member looking for a term policy, you’ll be better served by AAA than CUNA. On the other hand, if you’re looking to buy a whole life policy online with just a few health questions, CUNA is the obvious choice. 

Read our full AAA life insurance review.

  CUNA AAA 
AM Best rating A (Excellent) A (Excellent) 
Quote for a 35-year-old female buying $100,000 in term coverage  $38.50 $8.31
Number of available plans
NAIC Complaint Index  0.62
Final Verdict

CUNA offers great online tools and is a reputable company with solid indicators of financial strength and customer satisfaction But for people seeking term life insurance, CUNA is an overpriced option with insufficient coverage limits for most. There are also few customization options available for their policies, and you can find less expensive guaranteed acceptance life insurance policies at other companies. 

Still, CUNA’s whole life insurance policy, which is available for purchase online without a medical exam, is a unique offering. For those who want quick coverage and can qualify based on a few health questions, a whole life policy from CUNA will likely be cheaper and come with higher coverage limits than a guaranteed issue policy at another company.

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.