Foresters Life Insurance Review

Custom life insurance policies with a wide range of riders and annual dividends

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Foresters

 Foresters

Our Take 

Foresters Life Insurance is part of Foresters Financial, a member-owned financial company that offers several life insurance products as well as a host of riders to customize any policy. Members can earn dividends on policies to help reduce premiums or add to the cash value of permanent life policies. Foresters does not offer any online quotes, making price comparison shopping difficult, but with so many options available, it’s worth considering.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Wide range of policies, including term, whole, universal, and final expense life insurance

  • Coverage available for those with Type 2 diabetes

  • Can borrow against cash value of permanent life policies

  • Potential annual dividends paid out to members

Cons
  • Quotes and applications require speaking directly with an agent

  • Limited ways to contact customer service (phone or email only)

  • No indexed or variable universal policies for growth

Key Takeaways
  • Foresters is a not-for-profit life insurance provider with great financial strength.
  • The company offers 12 available riders on its life insurance policies.
  • Foresters is a Toronto-based company, available in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, and the UK
  • Policies come with free Foresters membership with access to discounted services and products.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1874
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Whole, Universal, Final Expense
  • Number of Plans 6
  • Payment Options Monthly, Annual
  • Official Website https://www.Foresters.com/

Introduction

Foresters Life Insurance offers many life insurance policies with a wide range of riders for truly custom life insurance coverage. We researched Foresters’ financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of Foresters with the competition. 

Company Overview

Foresters Financial was founded in 1874 to provide insurance benefits to working families. Over the years it has expanded into an international fraternal-benefit society, operating in a not-for-profit manner to provide affordable insurance products to members. While membership is not required to apply for life insurance policies, all policyholders are eligible for membership. Foresters now has over 3 million policies in force.

Foresters Life Insurance is licensed in all 50 states, but actual availability varies by product and state. All policies from Foresters are underwritten by the Independent Order of Foresters.

Any Foresters life insurance active policyholders who are age 16 or older automatically qualify for Foresters membership. Enrollment is available with your policy number on the Foresters website.

Available Plans 

Foresters offers six life insurance policies, but policy quotes are not available online and require talking with an independent agent directly. 

Your Term Insurance

The Foresters Your Term life insurance is its basic term life offering with coverage running from 10 to 30 years in length. The policy is renewable or convertible, meaning that it can be converted into a whole life policy at the end of the term without the need for an additional medical exam.

This policy may also come with complimentary riders, depending on your state. These may include the common carrier accidental death rider, family health benefit rider, accelerated death benefit rider, and Charity Benefit provision rider. 

Additional riders are also available for purchase.

Prepared II Accidental Death Term Insurance

This is a term policy for coverage for accidental death, offering accidental death protection up to $500,000 as well as access to several optional riders including a disability income rider, waiver of premium rider, and return of premium rider. 

Accidental death definitions are defined in the policy contract and may have exclusions, so speak with an agent about what is included in this policy before signing up.

Advantage Plus II Whole Life

Foresters' Advantage Plus II whole life offering is a permanent life insurance policy that offers level premiums, lifetime coverage (up to age 121), a guaranteed death benefit, and the ability to accumulate cash value which can be borrowed against or accessed early with optional riders.

It also comes with three riders at no additional cost: the common carrier accidental death rider, family health benefit rider, and accelerated death benefit rider. This policy is also available for dividends that Forester may pay out at the end of the year. These can be added to the cash value of the policy, reduce premiums, or used to purchase additional coverage.

BrightFuture Children’s Whole Life

The BrightFuture Children’s Whole Life whole life offering allows parents or grandparents to purchase whole life insurance for their children (or grandchildren) under the age of 18. Benefits range from $5,000 to $75,000 in coverage per child. Policies can be transferred to the child at any time, and children age 16 or older will automatically qualify for Foresters membership.

Similar to other policies, it also comes with three riders at no additional cost: the common carrier accidental death rider, family health benefit rider, and accelerated death benefit rider. This policy is also available for dividends that Forester may pay out at the end of the year, and may be added to the cash value of the policy, reduce premiums, or used to purchase additional coverage.

SMART Universal Life Insurance

Foresters SMART universal life insurance policy is a type of permanent life insurance that offers flexible insurance premiums and the ability to build cash value that earns interest over time. The cash value can be borrowed against on a tax-free basis. Similar to the whole life policies, this policy may be paid an annual dividend that can be used to lower premiums, add to the cash value of the policy, or purchase additional coverage.

This policy also comes with a few riders at no additional cost including the common carrier accidental death rider, family health benefit rider, and accelerated death benefit rider.

PlanRight Whole Life Insurance (Final Expense Policy)

The Foresters PlanRight whole life policy is its final expense life insurance offering, designed to help cover end-of-life costs such as burial and funeral expenses. This policy offers lifetime coverage up to age 121 and guaranteed level premiums for the life of the policy. It also comes with a few riders at no additional cost including the common carrier accidental death rider, family health benefit rider, accelerated death benefit rider.

Available Riders

Foresters offer access to 12 different riders for its life insurance policies. A rider is an optional policy enhancement that adds additional benefits or custom coverage options to the insurance policies. While rider fees are typically billed as a small percentage of the policy premium or as a flat annual fee, many of Foresters' life insurance policies offer riders at no additional charge. Fees vary by policy, product, and options selected.

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

The accelerated death benefit rider allows the insured to access a portion of their death benefit if diagnosed with a qualifying critical, chronic, or terminal illness.

Common Carrier Accidental Death Rider

This rider pays up to two times the face value of your policy if you die due to an accident while riding as a paying customer in a plane, bus, or train.

Family Health Benefit Rider

This rider pays an additional death benefit for family health expenses following a natural disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake. 

Return of Premium Rider

Available on term policies, this rider will refund a portion of premiums paid if you outlive your insurance term.

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

If you become disabled, this rider will temporarily waive your life insurance premiums so you don’t lose coverage while you’re out of work. 

Disability Income Rider

This rider will provide some additional income if you become disabled and are unable to work. 

Paid-up Additions Rider

The Paid-up Additions rider allows you to increase your death benefit and cash value of the policy via a one-time payment or flexible payments.

Term Rider 

The 10- or 20-year term rider will increase the death benefit on your policy for a set amount of time to cover obligations such as a mortgage.

Children’s Term Rider

The children’s term rider allows you to add term coverage for your child, and it can be converted to a permanent life policy in the future.

Accidental Death Rider

This rider pays out an additional death benefit in the event your death is caused by an accidental bodily injury. The types of accidents covered are not disclosed online.

Guaranteed Purchase Option Rider

This rider allows the insured to increase their death benefit without having to provide evidence of insurability or taking another medical exam.

Waiver of Monthly Deductions Rider

This rider waives your monthly deductions (including premium charges, policy charges, or rider fees) if you are totally disabled and unable to work for six months or more.

Customer Service: A Few Ways to Connect

Foresters only offers support over the phone or via email. Local agents may be available in your area as well. If you are looking to apply for a policy, you must talk with an agent directly first.

Foresters customer service business hours are Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m ET. Foresters can be reached by calling 800-828-1540 or emailing service@foresters.com.

Foresters Life Insurance does not offer live chat support online.

Customer Satisfaction: More Complaints Than Average  

According to the NAIC complaint index, Foresters received more complaints than the industry average life insurance company in 2020. An average complaint score is 1.0 (the lower, the better), and Foresters received a 1.23 score. This is higher than the complaint score in 2019 (1.13) and 2018 (0.74). While the score went up in 2020 (due to industry complaints overall being lower), the total number of complaints was actually lower, with 14 total in 2020 compared to 21 total in 2019.

J.D. Power also ranks companies based on customer satisfaction in its 2020 Life Insurance Study, but since Foresters is a smaller company, it was not included in the 2020 rankings.

Financial Strength: A (Excellent)

Foresters Life Insurance is a solid financial company with an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best. Good financial stability and a high rating from AM Best give customers confidence that their policy benefits will be paid out when they make a claim. 

Cancellation Policy: Hard to Find for Most Policies

Foresters follows the minimum free-look period for insurance policies, which is a period of 10-30 days (depending on the state) that a new insurance policy can be canceled for a full refund of premiums paid. Foresters doesn’t advertise their free-look period, which means they likely provide the minimum amount of time the state allows (usually 10 days).

After the free-look period, cancellation terms vary between life insurance policies. Foresters Term life policies can be canceled at any time, but will not provide a refund of premiums paid. 

For whole and universal life policy cancellations, you will need to reach out to a Foresters agent for specifics.

Foresters’ cancellation fees are not publicly listed and may vary per policy.

Price of Foresters Life Insurance: Not Available

Foresters Life Insurance policy quotes are not available online. Typically, prices vary based on age, weight, height, health, and amount of coverage selected. Term policies are typically the least expensive option, as they only offer temporary coverage with no cash value component. Permanent life policies (such as whole and universal life) are usually more expensive but accrue cash value. Riders may add to the cost of a policy as well.

How Foresters Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Foresters Life Insurance offers quite a few policy options and a massive amount of riders to customize coverage options for any individual. As a not-for-profit fraternal benefit society, excess funds are distributed back to policyowners in the form of annual dividends, helping to lower the cost of Foresters’ policies.

Foresters scores below-average with the NAIC, receiving more formal complaints than competitors of its size. It also does not offer online quotes for applications, forcing buyers to speak to an agent directly for policy details. 

Here’s how Foresters compares to a traditional life insurance company.

Foresters Life Insurance vs. Nationwide Life Insurance

Both Foresters and Nationwide offer a variety of life insurance policies including term, whole, and universal life policies. Both companies have several riders available to enhance policies and help customers get discounted rates. But while Nationwide gives current customer discounts for having multiple policies, Foresters offers annual dividends to pay back to clients in the form of lower premiums or increased cash value.

Here are a few key differences between Foresters and Nationwide:

  • Nationwide offers online quotes available for term policies.
  • Foresters includes several free riders on all of its policies.
  • Nationwide offers indexed universal policies that allow the cash value of the policy to grow with the performance of an index (such as the S&P 500).
  • Foresters is a not-for-profit member-owned organization, while Nationwide is a publicly traded corporation.

If you are looking to save money, Nationwide offers low rates on term policies, with the ability to apply online directly, and discounts are available for its policies. If you're looking for customization, Foresters offers a dozen riders to truly customize any of its life insurance policies.

Read our full Nationwide Life Insurance review.

  Foresters Life Insurance Nationwide Life Insurance
Market Share N/A 14th-largest in the U.S., 1.84%
Number of Plans  6 8
Online Quotes Available? No  Yes (term life only) 
Service Method  Email, phone, in-person Email, phone, in-person, social media 
AM Best Rating  A (Excellent)  A+ (Superior) 
Complaints Index  1.23 (below average)  0.10 (excellent) 
Final Verdict

Foresters offers a good selection of life insurance options, and it shines when it comes to its free rider enhancements as well as annual dividends to help lower the cost of its policies.

Foresters’ customer satisfaction ratings from NAIC are below average for the industry, but its financial strength and long history in the industry make it a quality option for life insurance. If you are looking for custom term and whole life policies, Foresters is worth considering. However, if you want to apply for cheap term life online or have access to more universal life options, you will need to look 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.