Pekin Life Insurance Review

Permanent and preneed life insurance policies

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Pekin Insurance

Pekin Insurance

Our Take 

Pekin Life Insurance is part of Pekin Insurance and offers term and permanent life insurance solutions as well as preneed insurance to help seniors prepay for funeral costs. Pekin Life Insurance also offers a wide selection of riders for additional coverage options on policies. Pekin may be a good option for those looking for customized whole life insurance, with multiple ways to pay and coverage options available.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Term policies can extend coverage to age 95

  • Transitional life insurance available that combines the benefits of term and whole life policies

  • Multiple ways to pay for whole life policies

  • Permanent policies build cash value that can be borrowed against

Cons
  • Only available in 21 U.S. states

  • No policy quotes available online

  • Requires speaking with an insurance agent to sign up for a policy

Key Takeaways
  • Pekin Life Insurance is a subsidiary of Pekin Insurance, a longstanding insurance provider founded in 1921.
  • There are several permanent life policies available, as well as seven riders.
  • Pekin Life Insurance received no formal complaints in 2020 (according to NAIC).
  • Pekin Life Insurance received an A- (Excellent) rating from AM Best, indicating a strong financial position.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1921
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Whole Life, Universal, Preneed
  • Number of Plans 8
  • Payment Options Monthly, Annually
  • Official Website www.pekininsurance.com/personal/life/life-insurance

Introduction

Pekin Life Insurance offers term, whole, and universal life insurance with a wide range of riders available. We researched Pekin Life Insurance’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of Pekin Life Insurance with the competition. 

Company Overview

Pekin Insurance was founded in 1921 to offer auto insurance to resident farmers in Illinois. It has expanded to offer a wide range of financial products, including life insurance, homeowner’s insurance, annuities, and supplemental health insurance options.

Pekin Life Insurance offers term, whole, and universal life insurance policies, along with preneed insurance to help cover funeral costs. There are also several riders available to customize policies and add coverage for your children.

Pekin Life Insurance is licensed in only 21 states, and actual availability varies by product and state.

Pekin Life Insurance partners with funeral homes to determine the exact amount needed for its preneed insurance, locking in your costs at current rates. You can contact Pekin to get in touch with a qualified funeral home in your local area.

Available Plans

Pekin Life Insurance offers four types of life insurance plans including term, whole life, universal, and preneed insurance plans. There are several available riders to customize policies as well as add-on coverage for dependent children. 

Term Life to 95+

Pekin Life Insurance offers a term policy with 10 to 30 years of coverage, with the ability to extend coverage until age 95. This is a level-premium policy that allows clients to lock in rates for the length of the term or until age 65. This is a convertible term life policy that can be converted into a whole life policy at the end of the term as well.

Transitional Life Insurance

This insurance is a combination of term coverage and permanent life insurance that adjusts coverage over time. Transitional life offers a level benefit term policy from 10 to 30 years in length, or an option to be paid up by age 65. At the end of the term period, the contract changes to a smaller, paid-up permanent policy that covers the insured for a lifetime.

Whole Life Insurance

Pekin Life Insurance offers four whole life plans. Whole life insurance is a permanent life insurance policy that accumulates cash value, which can be borrowed against on a tax-free basis. There are several policy payment and coverage options available:

  • Preferred Whole Life. This policy is a standard whole life offering with level premiums and guaranteed cash value. Payments can be over the insured’s lifetime, paid-up by age 65, or a single lump-sum payment.
  • Single Premium Whole Life. Similar to other whole life plans, this policy allows the insured to gain lifetime, level-benefit coverage for a single payment. The cash value of the policy grows on a tax-deferred basis.
  • Simplified Issue Whole Life. This policy offers no-exam whole life insurance, ideal for those who may be in poor health. Level rates and death benefits are available, along with coverage for those ages 0 to 85 years old.
  • Graded Whole Life. Also offers no-exam coverage, but only up to $24,000 in total coverage. Ideal for those in poor health who want to cover final expenses. Payment options include single-premium, paid-up by 65, and lifetime premiums.

Universal Life Insurance

Pekin Life Insurance offers universal life insurance with flexible insurance premiums and death benefits, which can be adjusted while the policy is in force. Coverage is available starting at $25,000 minimum, and policies can be issued up to age 85 with coverage lasting for the insured’s lifetime. 

Preneed Insurance

This policy allows clients to prepay funeral expenses, working directly with a local funeral home director to plan all of the costs involved. There are three payment methods available for this offering:

  • Pathway Single Pay. This is a lump-sum payment option that returns premiums paid, and in month seven, pays a full death benefit. The benefit amount grows each year. 
  • Pathway Multi-Pay. This is a monthly payment option that covers the premiums paid for the first two years, then full death benefit in year three and beyond. Annual increase to death benefit may occur to account for inflation.
  • Pathway Annuity. This option places the premiums into an annuity that grows until death. Can be paid in a single lump sum or a payment plan. Value increases may be subject to income taxes.

Available Riders

Pekin Life Insurance offers access to seven riders for its life insurance policies. A rider is an optional policy enhancement that adds custom coverage options to the insurance policies. Rider fees are typically billed as a small percentage of the policy premium or as a flat annual fee. Fees vary by policy, product, and options selected.

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

This rider pays 50% of the policy face value (up to $250,000) upon a terminal illness diagnosis. There is no additional charge for this rider.

Long-Term Care Rider

This rider helps pay for long-term care expenses such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. This rider is available on all permanent life policies.

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

If you become permanently disabled (unable to work) before age 60, you may be eligible to have your premiums waived.

Monthly Disability Income Rider

Available only on universal life policies, if you become disabled and unable to work, you may be eligible to receive monthly income to help replace lost wages. 

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

This rider pays an additional benefit if the policyholder’s death is due to an accident. There may be additional payment if the death is caused by a “common carrier” such as a bus or train. This rider also carries additional financial support if the insured loses sight or limbs due to the accident.

Children’s Term Rider

This rider offers level-term life insurance for your children until age 25.

Guaranteed Insurability Benefit

This rider guarantees the insured the ability to purchase additional life insurance without the need to re-qualify.

Customer Service: Phone and Online Support

Pekin Life Insurance offers support over the phone and through online contact forms, as well as the ability to submit claims online. Pekin Life Insurance customer service business hours are Monday-Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. CT. You can call 800-322-0160 to reach customer service via phone, or send a message through its online contact form.

Pekin Life Insurance does not offer live chat support online.

Customer Satisfaction: No Formal Complaints in 2020 

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index, Pekin Life Insurance received no formal complaints in 2020. Its complaint index score was 0.00, while the industry average is 1.0 (the lower, the better). This is an improvement on its score of 0.27 from 2019, and 0.11 from 2018. Overall, Pekin Life Insurance receives very few customer complaints.

J.D. Power also ranks companies based on customer satisfaction, but Pekin Life Insurance was not included in the 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study.

Financial Strength: A- (Excellent)

Pekin Life Insurance is a strong financial company with an A- (Excellent) rating from AM Best. This rating is based on its strong level of risk-adjusted capitalization, a high-quality investment portfolio with adequate liquidity and historically favorable loss reserve development trends. Good financial stability and a high rating from AM Best give customers confidence that Pekin Life Insurance can pay out claims as they arise. 

Cancellation Policy: Hard To Find for Most Policies

Pekin follows the state-minimum free look period (usually 10 to 30 days) for insurance policies. Clients can cancel new life insurance policies for any reason within the free look period and receive a full refund of premiums paid.

After the free look period, cancellation terms vary between life insurance policies. Pekin Life Insurance 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 an insurance agent for specifics.

Pekin Life Insurance’s cancellation fees are not publicly listed, and may vary per policy.

Price of Pekin Life Insurance: Not Available 

Pekin Life Insurance premiums vary by policy, but quotes are only available by contacting an independent insurance agent that sells Pekin policies. Term policies usually have the lowest premium cost as they only provide temporary coverage. Whole and universal policies typically cost more but provide lifetime coverage and the ability to accumulate cash value.

How Pekin Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Pekin Life Insurance offers quite a few permanent life insurance policy options for every stage of life. Its term policies offer basic coverage with the ability to extend coverage to age 95. Pekin also offers preneed insurance, allowing seniors to prepay for funeral expenses by working directly with a funeral home director to plan the funeral.

Pekin also receives very few complaints for a life insurance company its size, making it a decent choice for high-quality customer service. Here’s how Pekin Life Insurance compares to another life insurance company.

Pekin Life Insurance vs. John Hancock Life Insurance

Both Pekin Life Insurance and John Hancock offer a variety of life insurance policies, including term, whole, and universal life policies. Both companies also offer no-exam life insurance to applicants, though John Hancock’s simplified-issue policies are term while Pekin Life Insurance no-exam policies are permanent. 

Here are a few more key differences between Pekin Life Insurance and John Hancock:

  • John Hancock offers a Quit Smoking incentive, while Pekin does not offer this type of incentive program.
  • Pekin Life Insurance offers four whole life policies with multiple payment options.
  • John Hancock offers premium rewards for healthy activities, like going for a walk or buying healthy food.
  • Pekin Life Insurance offers a funeral planning service to connect clients with local funeral directors.

While Pekin Life Insurance offers a great selection of permanent policies and the ability to plan funeral costs to the penny, smokers may benefit more from John Hancock’s Quit Smoking incentive plan, giving a significant discount on premiums for up to three years. 

Read our full John Hancock Life Insurance review.

  Pekin Life Insurance John Hancock Life Insurance
Market Share N/A Ninth-largest in the U.S., 2.73%
Number of Plans  8 14 
Online Quotes Available?  No  No 
Service Method  Email, online Email, phone 
AM Best Rating  A- (Excellent)  A+ (Superior) 
Complaints Index  0.00 (excellent) 1.53 (far below average) 
Final Verdict

Pekin Life Insurance offers a decent selection of permanent life insurance policies for all ages, as well as a flexible term policy and preneed insurance availability. It shines when it comes to its selection of riders to help customize policies and cover your dependent children as well. Pekin also has no formal complaints, giving them high marks for customer satisfaction.

That being said, quotes are not available online, making it difficult to compare pricing with other top life insurance companies. If you are in the market for preneed insurance or flexible whole life policies, Pekin Life Insurance is worth a look. If you want to compare costs on term life policies or have more universal life policy options (such as indexed universal policies), you may want 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.