Delaware Life Insurance Review

Fixed and variable annuity options for retirement planning

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Delaware Life Insurance

Delaware Life Insurance

Our Take 

Delaware Life Insurance Company no longer offers life insurance products, but instead offers fixed and variable annuities. Delaware Life Insurance Company’s annuities feauture a fixed-income savings strategy, as well as a steady stream of income in retirement. While the company still services its previous life insurance products, new customers can no longer buy them and will need to look elsewhere for life insurance.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Fixed and variable annuities offered

  • Tax-deferred retirement savings

  • Offers over 40 investment options

Cons
  • No longer sells life insurance products

  • Cannot purchase annuities online

  • Independent agents incentivized to sell you Delaware Life annuities

Key Takeaways
  • Despite “life insurance” being in its name, Delaware Life Insurance Company no longer sells life insurance products.
  • Delaware Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of One Thousand and One, LLC.
  • Delaware Life Insurance Company is one of the top 20 sellers of annuities in 2020 according to LIMRA.
  • Delaware Life Insurance Company is headquartered in Massachusetts, with service offices in Indiana and Kansas.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 2013
  • Kinds of Plans Fixed, fixed index, and variable annuities
  • Number of Plans 3
  • Payment Options Annual, lump-sum
  • Official Website https://www.delawarelife.com/

Introduction

Delaware Life Insurance Company does not offer life insurance but instead focuses on providing income in retirement, offering fixed, fixed index, and variable annuities. We researched Delaware Life Insurance Company’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of Delaware Life Insurance Company with the competition. 

Company Overview

Delaware Life Insurance Company was founded in 2013 in Waltham, Massachusetts, and originally offered life insurance and annuity products. In 2017, it became a subsidiary of Group 1001 Holdings, LLC, a rebrand of the original parent company, Delaware Life Holdings. Delaware Life Insurance Company no longer offers life insurance, but instead sells annuity products. As of 2020, Delaware Life Insurance Company has over 360,000 policies in force, including some legacy life insurance policies, as well as annuities.

Delaware Life Insurance Company offers fixed, fixed index, and variable annuities designed to preserve and grow retirement savings on a tax-deferred basis.

Expert Tip

Annuities held in an IRA or other retirement account do not provide additional tax savings, as the accounts are already tax-deferred.

Delaware Life Insurance Company is licensed in all 50 states, but actual availability varies by product and state.

Available Plans 

Delaware Life Insurance Company offers three types of annuities: fixed, fixed index, and variable annuities. Annuities are a type of financial product that helps provide guaranteed income during retirement.

During the accumulation phase of an annuity, there is typically an initial minimum deposit (lump sum), then additional contributions are made annually to the annuity via monthly or annual premiums, and the money is invested. Once the annuitization phase is reached, the money is distributed in regular payments to the account holder. The length of each phase varies by product.

Fixed Annuity

Delaware Life Insurance Company offers fixed annuity options, designed for a steady retirement income with a low level of risk. A fixed annuity is an insurance contract with a guaranteed interest rate for a set period of time. Delaware Life Insurance Company’s fixed annuity products are single-premium, meaning that contributions are made in a lump sum. Contributions and growth on fixed annuities are tax-deferred.

Fixed Index Annuity

A fixed index annuity is an insurance product designed for the growth of your investment. Contributions into the plan are invested in an interest-bearing account that follows the growth of an index, such as the S&P 500. This provides more potential growth than a fixed annuity, but with downside protection. The payments from this product are tied to the performance of the underlying investments.

Fixed index annuities are best for those who want the potential growth of the stock market but with a minimum guaranteed interest rate. These annuities pose more risk than a traditional fixed annuity, but less than a variable annuity. 

Delaware Life Insurance Company offers several fixed index annuities which provide different term lengths and investment options. Contributions and growth in this annuity are tax-deferred.

Tip

Fixed index annuities typically have a guaranteed minimum interest rate. Even if the underlying investments lose value, participants will receive a minimum guaranteed rate of return.

Variable Annuity

A variable annuity is a tax-deferred investment designed for retirement, where participants can choose to invest their premiums in a variety of investment options. Variable annuities are riskier than fixed annuities (no guarantee interest rate), and your investment may lose value.

Variable annuities function similarly to an investment account, as investors get to choose which investments to allocate their contributions to. Delaware Life Insurance Company offers over 40 investment options for investors to choose from. 

Available Riders

Delaware Life Insurance Company offers access to several riders for their annuity products. A rider is an optional policy enhancement that provides additional benefits or custom coverage options to the annuities.

While each annuity type offers unique options for customizing coverage, we’ve highlighted a few of the common rider options available on Delaware Life Insurance Company’s annuities:

Return of Premium Death Benefit

The Delaware Life Insurance Company variable annuities offer an optional death benefit rider, guaranteeing a return of premiums paid to beneficiaries upon death even if the portfolio has lost value. 

This rider typically costs a small percentage of the value of the policy, but amounts vary by each type of annuity. Rider fees and term details are available by speaking with an agent.

Terminal Illness Waiver

Delaware Life Insurance Company fixed annuity plans offer a waiver of early withdrawal charges if the insured is diagnosed with a terminal illness. This rider is only available at least one year after the first contract anniversary.

Note

Riders are not available on all products, and availability will vary by state.

Customer Service: Many Ways to Connect

Delaware Life Insurance Company offers many ways to connect with its customer service team. You can reach out via phone, email, mail, fax, or through the customer online portal. The phone number is 800-374-3714, and the email address is customer.relations@​delawarelife.com

Delaware Life Insurance Company does have a Twitter account, but is not active nor does it offer customer service via social media.

Delaware Life Insurance customer service business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m ET.

Customer Satisfaction: Very Few Complaints  

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Delaware Life Insurance Company received fewer complaints than other companies its size. The NAIC complaint index scores insurance companies in the U.S. on the number of complaints received, with the national average score of 1.0  (the lower, the better). Delaware Life Insurance Company received a score of 0.26, far below the average complaints about a company their size. This score is slightly improved from the 0.35 score in 2019.

J.D. Power also ranks annuity companies based on customer satisfaction. Delaware Life Insurance Company was not ranked in the 2020 Life Insurance Study.

Financial Strength: A- (Excellent)

Delaware Life Insurance Company received an A- (Excellent) rating from AM Best, based on its strong level of risk-adjusted capitalization, positive operating earnings trends, and improving business profile. This rating gives customers confidence that Delaware Life Insurance Company is in a solid financial position to pay out its annuity contracts.

Cancellation Policy: Free Look Period Only

The U.S. requires a minimum “free-look” period for insurance policies (Delaware Life Insurance Company annuities are considered insurance). Though this period varies by state, it is usually a period of 10 days (or more) that allows customers who purchased an annuity to cancel it and receive a full refund.

After the free look period has ended, cancellation terms will vary based on the product purchased, so make sure you ask your agent to clarify the terms of cancellation before signing up.

Price of Delaware Life Insurance: Quotes May Vary

Prices for Delaware Life Insurance Company’s annuities are not available online. Prices will vary depending on the type of annuity, the total amount invested, and the optional riders selected. Quotes will need to be obtained directly from an independent insurance agent.

How Delaware Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Given that Delaware Life Insurance Company does not sell traditional life insurance and has shifted its focus to selling annuities only, annuities help you generate income in retirement, while life insurance is designed to protect your assets if you pass away. If you are looking for life insurance products, you will need to find a company that offers term life or permanent life insurance.

Here’s how Delaware compares to another life insurance company (that actually offers life insurance). 

Delaware Life Insurance vs. Nationwide Life Insurance

Both Delaware Life Insurance Company and Nationwide offer a variety of annuity products. While Delaware Life Insurance Company offers several fixed and variable annuity products, Nationwide offers those too, as well as term, whole, and universal life insurance.

Here are a few of the differences between Delaware Life Insurance Company and Nationwide:

  • Nationwide offers term, whole, and universal life policies, as well as homeowners and auto insurance, in addition to annuities.
  • Delaware Life Insurance Company offers fee-free early withdrawal of annuities with optional riders.
  • Nationwide has local offices around the country, while Delaware Life Insurance Company sells its products through independent agents.
  • Nationwide does not offer a fixed index annuity product, but Delaware Life Insurance Company offers several.

While Nationwide is one of the largest sellers of life insurance and annuity products in the U.S., Delaware Life Insurance Company has more options and riders available for its annuities. If you are looking for life insurance products, Nationwide is a solid choice, but if you want to build a fixed-income strategy for retirement with annuities, Delaware Life Insurance Company offers more choices.

Read our full Nationwide Life Insurance review.

  Delaware Life Insurance Company Nationwide 
Market Share 18th-largest seller of annuities in the U.S. 14th-largest life insurance company in the U.S., 1.84%
Number of Plans 3 8
Online Quotes Available? No Yes (term life only)
Service Method Email, phone, mail, fax Email, phone, in-person, social media
AM Best Rating A- (Excellent) A+ (Superior)
Complaints Index 0.26 (Excellent) 0.10 (Excellent)

Final Verdict

Delaware Life Insurance Company is a decent option for fixed and variable annuities as a retirement savings strategy. It also offers additional riders to help customize your annuity, giving you flexibility in how your investment grows, and how to distribute the income over your lifetime.

While purchasing annuities can help generate guaranteed income, finding a quality life insurance plan is another way to protect your assets. If you are looking for policies such as term or whole life policies, you won’t find those with Delaware Life Insurance Company and are better off shopping around to find the best life insurance for your needs.

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.