Philadelphia American Life Insurance Review

Affordable final expense coverage

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New Era Life Insurance

New Era Life Insurance

Our Take

Philadelphia American primarily offers supplementary benefits like disability insurance and dental coverage to individuals and also sells a simplified-issue final expense whole life plan. Philadelphia American is a great option if you need affordable guaranteed whole life coverage for funeral expenses.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Death benefits up to $25,000

  • Level premiums

  • Simplified-issue coverage with no medical exam

  • Guaranteed death benefit

  • Coverage builds cash value

Cons
  • Does not offer term or universal life coverage

  • Can’t apply for coverage online

  • Doesn’t give online quotes or estimates

  • No policy riders

  • Cannot increase your coverage amount if your needs change

Key Takeaways
  • Philadelphia American provides final expense policies available through an insurance agent that start at just $2,000 in coverage. 
  • The company offers several other types of supplemental insurance that you can purchase.
  • Philadelphia American does not offer property and casualty insurance, such as home and auto policies. 
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1978
  • Kinds of Plans Final Expense
  • Number of Plans 1
  • Payment Options Mail, online, phone, automated payment, credit card
  • Official Website apps.neweralife.com/site/products/finalexpense

Introduction

Philadelphia American is an insurance provider that offers several types of supplementary and medical plans including Medicare supplement policies, disability insurance policies, and final expense life insurance policies. The company’s final expense coverage is simplified issue, which means you can get it without a medical exam. Philadelphia American sells to consumers via insurance agents. 

We reviewed Philadelphia American’s policy offerings, riders, pricing, customer service, industry ratings, and more to help you decide if its policies are right for you.  

Company Overview

Philadelphia American is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and owned by New Era Life Insurance Company, which has been in business since 1924. New Era Life Insurance Company also owns New Era Life Insurance Company of the Midwest. Together, they make up the New Era Group, but each company is a separate entity and underwrites policies on its own. The company primarily aims to provide basic coverage at a low price for those who need insurance on a budget. 

Philadelphia American is licensed to do business in all states, but their product offerings might not be available in every state. 

Available Plans

Only one life insurance option is available with Philadelphia American—final expense coverage through a whole life permanent life insurance policy with death benefits ranging from $2,000 to $25,000. The policy is simplified issue, which means that you don’t need to undergo a medical exam, take blood tests, or get your physician to make any statements about your health; you just need to answer a few simple questions. 

The policy’s cash benefit amount is guaranteed and the policy also builds cash value. The premiums are level and so will never increase and the policy can’t be canceled. 

To get a policy, you have to call or email Philadelphia American for an agent referral or contact your insurance agent. 

Although a guaranteed-issue policy doesn’t require a medical exam, you might be able to save money with a simplified-issue plan if you’re healthy and qualify for it. 

Available Riders

Riders are typically add-on coverages or benefits that you can get at a lower cost to supplement your policy. Philadelphia American does not offer any riders on its final expense insurance policies. 

However, the company does offer separate coverage policies you can purchase to supplement your life insurance policy, such as 24-hour accident coverage, critical illness insurance, and disability insurance policies. For more information on these plans, you will need to contact an agent who sells Philadelphia American products.  

Customer Service: Limited Phone and Email Options

Philadelphia American's toll-free number, 1-800-552-4884, is staffed Monday through Friday. Its call center hours of operation aren’t listed online. 

You can also connect with the company via email at home@neweralife.com or by mail.

Customer Satisfaction: Fewer Complaints Than Average

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index rates insurance companies on customer satisfaction, which potential customers can use to help make decisions about what provider to choose. A company with an NAIC complaint index score of 1.0 receives an average number of complaints, and the lower the number, the better.

Philadelphia American received an NAIC complaint index of 0.81, which means that it receives fewer than average complaints. It also received just 0.023% of the national complaint market share. Many of the complaints received were for problems with claims payments and billing issues. 

Financial Strength: B++ (Good)

AM Best helps consumers determine the comparable financial strength of different companies by giving them a rating to help predict the company’s ability to meet its future financial obligations. They base their ratings on an analysis of factors like the company’s assets and debts, its balance sheet, its forward-looking statements, and its performance.

Although Philadelphia American and New Era have a B++ (Good) rating from AM Best, its long-term issuer credit rating was upgraded in 2021 because of improvements in its balance sheet. 

Cancellation Policy: Free Look Period

Philadelphia American offers a free look period but does not list the length of that period on its site. Generally, life insurance companies provide customers with a free look period that lasts between 10 days and 30 days. During that time, you can cancel your policy for a full refund without any penalties and fees.

Philadelphia American might have a cancellation policy after the free look period that could include penalties and fees, although details are unclear online. Be sure to read the fine print before getting a policy.  

Since the final expense coverage is a permanent life insurance policy that accumulates cash value, ask how the company calculates the surrender value of its policies. A surrender value is the amount of your cash value that an insurance company pays out when you cancel your policy.  

Price of Philadelphia American Life Insurance: Not Listed Online

Philadelphia American doesn’t provide quotes or estimates of premiums online, but since the company claims to focus on providing supplementary coverage for those on a budget, it’s likely the premiums are affordable. For more information, contact your insurance agent or call Philadelphia American to ask them for an agent referral. 

How Philadelphia American Compares to Other Life Insurance

Philadelphia American offers final expenses coverage via a whole life policy as well as several supplementary benefits. However, competitors like Lincoln Heritage might offer better final expense options. 

Philadelphia American vs. Lincoln Heritage 

Philadelphia American and Lincoln Heritage are both companies that only offer a final expense life insurance policy. Both companies allow you to get a policy without a medical exam by filling out a short application, making it easy to get coverage even if you have some preexisting conditions. Also, both have high approval ratings; however, Lincoln Heritage has a much higher AM Best rating. 

Some key differences between Lincoln Heritage and Philadelphia American include the following:  

  • Philadelphia American offers up to $25,000 in final expense coverage, whereas Lincoln Heritage only offers up to $20,000.
  • Lincoln Heritage has a rider that you can add to your coverage to increase your death benefit to $100,000 in the case of accidental death. 
  • Lincoln Heritage has a much higher NAIC complaint index score, indicating a greater rate of complaints for its market share. 
  • Lincoln Heritage offers sample quotes on their website for a $10,000 policy for non-smokers in good health that lists rates starting as low as $25 per month. 

Read our full Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Review.

  Philadelphia American Lincoln Heritage
Types of plans Final Expense Final Expense
Customer service  Phone, online, email, mail  Phone, fax, online form, email 
NAIC complaint index  0.81  1.39 
Optional riders available  Yes  Yes 
AM Best rating  B++  A- 
Final Verdict

Philadelphia American offers only one type of policy: simplified-issue final expense coverage for individuals. You can choose a coverage amount between $2,000 and $25,000 but otherwise, there are no riders or other ways to customize or add to your life insurance policy. However, this permanent, affordable policy with level premiums might be the right fit for you if you’re looking for a way to protect your family from the cost of funeral expenses. 

While you might be better served by a policy with a larger maximum coverage amount or which will allow you to add riders to give you other layers of protection, Philadelphia American is a great choice for people who are looking for inexpensive final expense coverage.

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, available features, and customer ratings. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated for over two dozen companies.