Kemper Life Insurance Review

Low-coverage life insurance sold in-home

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Kemper

Kemper

Our Take 

Kemper Life Insurance sells term, whole, and guaranteed issue life insurance via its career agents, with a majority of sales occurring during in-home appointments. The basic life insurance policies offer very low coverage amounts; policy premiums are far higher than competitors for the amount of coverage elected; and the company has a higher-than-average number of customer complaints reported via the NAIC. Overall, you are better served by finding term and whole life policies with a more reputable life insurance company.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Policies can be purchased in person from your home

  • Guaranteed policies available (no medical exam required)

Cons
  • Low-coverage term policies with relatively high premiums

  • No life insurance riders available

  • Cannot get life insurance quotes online

  • Only available in 26 states

Key Takeaways
  • Kemper Life offers term and permanent life insurance policies sold via local in-home career agents.
  • Its parent company, Kemper Corporation, also carries many other types of insurance, including auto, boat, home, and property insurance.
  • Kemper Life insurance products are only available in 26 states.
  • Kemper Corporation has an AM Best financial strength rating of A (Excellent).
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1912
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Limited Whole, Guaranteed Issue
  • Number of Plans 3
  • Payment Options Monthly, Annual
  • Official Website https://www.Kemper.com/

Introduction

Kemper Life Insurance offers term, whole, and guaranteed issue life insurance through its in-home sales team. We researched Kemper’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of Kemper with the competition.

Company Overview

Kemper Life Insurance is a subsidiary of Kemper Corporation, which in turn owns several insurance companies that cover everything from auto, boat, and renters to health and life insurance. Founded in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1912, Kemper Corporation issues life insurance policies through several subsidiary companies including United Insurance Company of America, The Reliable Life Insurance Company, Union National Life Insurance Company, Mutual Savings Life Insurance Company, United Casualty Insurance Company of America, Union National Fire Insurance Company, Mutual Savings Fire Insurance Company, and Reserve National Insurance Company.

Kemper Life Insurance sells its policies through Kemper “career agents” and brokers as part of their “Home Services” division. All agents are paid a commission by selling Kemper Life Insurance policies. 

While Kemper Life Insurance is licensed in 26 states, actual availability varies by product and state. 

Available Plans 

Kemper only offers four types of insurance, including one type of term policy and three types of whole life policies. Quotes are not available online; you need to contact a Kemper agent directly for pricing and policy details.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is a type of temporary life insurance coverage that allows clients to choose a death benefit amount and set term length. Kemper Life Insurance’s term policies can be purchased in 10-, 20-, and 30-year increments, with varying death benefit amounts.

According to Kemper’s 10-K filing, average policy coverage amounts are $5,800 for term policies. This amount is much lower than most term policies from competitors.

Whole Life Insurance

Kemper Life Insurance offers whole life insurance with level premiums. Whole life is a type of permanent life insurance that has a death benefit as well as a cash value component. Premiums paid into a whole life policy accumulate a cash value that earns interest and can be withdrawn or borrowed against in certain circumstances.

Details about its whole life policies are only available directly from a Kemper Life Insurance agent.

Limited Pay Whole Life Insurance

Kemper Life Insurance offers a type of whole life insurance that allows customers to only pay premiums for a set amount of time. After this set period, customers are no longer required to pay premiums but the policy stays in force for the rest of the client’s life. 

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance

Guaranteed issue whole life policies are available from Kemper Life Insurance, and allow customers to gain life insurance coverage even if they have been denied for health reasons by other policies. These policies typically have higher premiums and lower coverage amounts than traditional life insurance but can help cover the costs of funeral and other end-of-life expenses.

Available Riders

A rider is an insurance policy add-on that extends or enhances coverage not found in a basic life insurance policy. Riders typically cost extra and are added to policy monthly or annual premiums.

Kemper Life Insurance only offers basic life insurance plans and does not offer riders on its policies.

Customer Service: Bare Minimum

Kemper Life Insurance customer service can only be reached by phone by calling 800-777-8467 or by submitting a claim form over email. Customer service hours are not available online and most policies are serviced by the local “career agent” directly.

Kemper Life Insurance does not offer general customer service via email, chat, or social media. Customers also cannot submit claims online, get quotes for insurance, or find details about life insurance policies.

Policy claims or changes can only be submitted after downloading the appropriate PDF form and emailing or faxing the completed form to Kemper Life Insurance. An agent will then reach out to follow up.

Customer Satisfaction: More Complaints Than Average

Kemper Life Insurance receives more complaints than the industry average life insurance company. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) collects customer data on complaints and scores each company via their complaint index. An average complaint score is 1.0 (the lower, the better), but Kemper received a 4.42 score via their Reserve National subsidiary. The United Insurance Company of America subsidiary scored worse, receiving a 6.05 score in 2020. Most of the complaints are due to delays in communication and denial of claims.

J.D. Power also ranks the top 24 insurance companies based on customer satisfaction and neither Kemper nor its subsidiaries were included in the 2020 study.

Financial Strength: A (Excellent)

Kemper Corporation received an AM Best rating of A (Excellent), indicating a strong balance sheet, adequate operating performance, neutral business profile, and appropriate enterprise risk management. This score was upgraded from an A- score in January of 2021.

A high score from AM Best indicates a strong financial position which can help customers feel confident that the insurance company can pay out claims.

Cancellation Policy: Hard to Find for Most Policies

Kemper Life Insurance policies benefit from the state-regulated “free-look” period for insurance policies. Customers who sign up for an insurance policy and decide to cancel within the period will receive a full refund of premiums paid. 

Once the free look period has passed, cancellation terms vary by life insurance policy. Term policies can typically be canceled, but will not receive a refund. For whole life policy cancellations, you will need to reach out to a Kemper Life Insurance agent for details

Price of Kemper Life Insurance: Higher Than Average

While Kemper Life does not offer online quotes or publicly list life insurance prices, its public 10-K filing does share some basic information about average pricing.

Kemper Life Insurance term policies offer an average face value amount of $5,800 with an average monthly cost of $24. Policy coverage amounts and prices vary by age, health status, and term lengths.

Exact pricing for Kemper Life Insurance policies can be obtained by calling the company and speaking directly with a local agent.

How Kemper Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Kemper Life Insurance offers in-person services with agents who visit your, but its higher-than-average customer complaints and high premiums are a deterrent when looking for competitive life insurance options. They also don’t offer many policy options or additional insurance riders.

If you’re looking for a highly-rated life insurance company with low-cost term policies, you may consider checking out Transamerica Life Insurance.

Kemper Life Insurance vs. Transamerica Life Insurance

Kemper Life Insurance and Transamerica Life Insurance both offer term and whole life policies and are financially strong companies with an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best. While Kemper Life Insurance prefers to sell and service policies via their in-home agents, Transamerica Life Insurance allows customers to obtain quotes and buy term policies online.

Here are some other ways the companies compare:

  • Transamerica Life Insurance offers competitive term policy rates with many policies requiring no medical exam.
  • Kemper Life Insurance offers limited pay whole life policies while Transamerica Life Insurance does not.
  • Transamerica Life Insurance offers rewards for healthy activities and those looking to quit smoking, helping keep policy premiums lower.
  • Kemper Life Insurance sells and services their policies in-home, meaning an agent will visit your house.

While Kemper Life Insurance offers in-home service, Transamerica Life Insurance offers much more competitive rates on its term policies. Smokers may also benefit from Transamerica’s Quit Smoking incentive plan which gives a significant discount on premiums for up to three years.

Read our full Transamerica Life Insurance review.

  Kemper Life Insurance Transamerica Life Insurance
Market Share N/A Eighth-largest in the U.S., 2.80%
Number of Plans 4 6
Online Quotes Available? No Yes (term life only)
Service Method Phone, in-person Email, phone, in person
AM Best Rating A (Excellent) A (Excellent)
Complaints Index 4.42 (very poor) 1.31 (average)

Final Verdict

Kemper Life Insurance offers basic life insurance policies and gives direct customer care via their in-home service model. Its policy coverage is much lower on average, and its premiums are much higher, making them a poor choice for term life policies. While Kemper Life Insurance does offer limited pay and guaranteed issue policies, customer complaints show that the company doesn’t service these policies well.

If you are looking for competitive life insurance rates with great customer support, many other companies offer this in addition to online quotes and educational tools. When researching life insurance, always shop around, compare rates, and look at the customer service and financial strength ratings of a company before buying a policy.

Methodology 

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of 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. SEC.gov. "Form 10-k: Kemper Corporation." Page 10. Accessed Apr. 22, 2021.

  2. AM Best. "AM Best Upgrades Credit Ratings of Kemper Corporation, Its Affiliates and Subsidiaries." Accessed Apr. 22, 2021.