Reliance Standard Life Insurance Review

Group and voluntary term life insurance offered through employee benefits

We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments from advertisers. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure.
Reliance Standard

Reliance Standard

Our Take

Reliance Standard Life Insurance offers group and voluntary term life policies as well as supplemental insurance through employers. The voluntary term life offering can be elected as an employee benefit, and premiums are paid through your paycheck. Term life policies are limited to $500,000 in coverage, so those looking for higher benefit amounts will need to look elsewhere or supplement with an additional policy.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Premiums paid using pre-tax dollars, lowering your taxable income

  • Multiple riders included for term life policies

  • Guaranteed issue amounts available

Cons
  • No permanent life insurance policies available

  • Maximum of $500,000 in coverage available

  • Policy limits and terms may vary by employer

Key Takeaways
  • Reliance Standard Life Insurance offers group term life insurance coverage through employers.
  • Reliance Standard is licensed to sell insurance in all 50 states.
  • Reliance Standard offers additional group and voluntary benefits, including disability, AD&D, dental, and eye care insurance.
  • Reliance Standard is a subsidiary of Tokio Marine, a holding company headquartered in Japan.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1906
  • Kinds of Plans Term
  • Number of Plans 2
  • Payment Options Payroll deduction, Monthly
  • Official Website www.reliancestandard.com

Introduction

Reliance Standard Life Insurance is an employee benefits insurance company that focuses on providing life and supplemental insurance. We researched Reliance Standard’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of Reliance Standard Life Insurance with the competition. 

Company Overview

Reliance Standard Life Insurance was founded in 1906 and specializes in providing group and voluntary benefits coverage to employees. Reliance Standard Life Insurance does not offer policies directly to consumers, but partners with employers to create voluntary benefits packages that may include life insurance short- and long-term disability as well as dental and eye care insurance.

While some of the benefits may be packaged and subsidized by employers, many of the benefits are optional, with premiums being deducted from employee paychecks. Reliance Standard Life Insurance offers term life insurance to employees as a group or voluntary benefit, with the ability to also cover your spouse and children on the policy.

Reliance Standard is licensed to offer life insurance in all 50 states, though policies in New York are underwritten by its sister company, First Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company.

Available Plans 

Reliance Standard Life Insurance offers two types of life insurance, group term life and voluntary term life. Both of these policies come with various riders and the ability to add family members to the policy.

Group Term Life Insurance

Reliance Standard’s group term life insurance coverage is available to employees, typically with the cost subsidized or completely covered by employers as part of the overall employee benefits package. There is also a flexible benefit schedule, allowing employees to elect a flat benefit amount or multiples of their salary. This term life policy does not have standard term lengths but rather is billed in five-year age bands.

There may be additional costs to employees for electing higher coverage amounts.


The policies are also portable, meaning employees can convert them to individual policies within 30 days of leaving their employer. This allows employees to continue coverage even after they are no longer working for the company that offered the original policy.

Voluntary Term Life Insurance

Reliance Standard offers additional voluntary term life insurance coverage in amounts from $10,000 up to $500,000 in coverage. The premiums for this coverage come directly out of the employee’s paycheck on a deferred basis, meaning their taxable income will be reduced, similar to a 401(k) plan.

Instead of offering level-premium policies, Reliance Standard offers age-banded premiums, meaning the monthly premium amount is determined by the insured’s age. These bands increase rates in five-year increments. 

If you are looking for a level-premium policy, check out our recommended life insurance companies for more options.

There is also a benefit reduction schedule when the insured reaches age 75, reducing the total benefit amount every five years until age 100. Here is what the reduction schedule looks like:

  • Age 75 = 65% of total benefit
  • Age 80 = 35% of total benefit
  • Age 85 = 27.5% of total benefit
  • Age 90 = 20% of total benefit
  • Age 95 = 7.5% of total benefit
  • Age 100 = 5% of total benefit

Reliance Standard group term policies offer Guaranteed-Issue (GI) amounts for employees under age 70, meaning there is no medical exam or health questionnaire required to obtain a certain amount of coverage (amount varies by policy). To qualify for GI coverage, employees must apply within 31 days of eligibility. Spouses under age 60 can also qualify for GI coverage.

Quotes for the voluntary term life policies are not available online but can be obtained through your employer benefits department.

Available Riders

Reliance Standard offers multiple available riders for both group term life and voluntary term life policies. Many of them are included with the policy, while some may cost extra. Exact details about the costs of each rider will vary and be available through your employee benefits department.

Here are a few of the riders Reliance Standard offers:

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

This rider helps those who have been permanently and totally disabled (unable to work) by waiving premiums on their policy. The disability diagnosis must occur before the insured’s 60th birthday to qualify. This is included with Reliance life insurance plans.

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

This rider covers a terminal illness diagnosis, allowing the insured to access a portion of their death benefit on the life insurance policy. The amount received reduces the overall death benefit of the policy. This is included with Reliance life insurance plans.

Spouse and Child Term Life Rider

This rider is available on voluntary life plans, allowing employees to elect term life coverage for spouses and children. Spousal coverage can be as much as $500,000, while children (over six months old) can be covered up to $20,000. Employees can elect to cover just their spouse, but if they want to cover children, their spouse must be covered as well. Costs will vary by plan elected and employer benefits.

The spouse and child term life insurance coverage is portable, meaning the policy can be kept even if the employee becomes ineligible for coverage.

Additional Insurance Products Offered by Reliance Standard Life

Reliance Standard also offers additional employee benefits other than life insurance. Here are a few of the additional insurance options available:

Short- and Long-Term Disability Insurance

This insurance pays employees weekly should they become disabled and unable to work. Short-term disability covers up to 70% of an employee’s salary for up to 52 weeks. Long-term disability covers up to 66.6% of an employee’s salary for at least three years (state maximums vary, but may be up to five years). These offerings are available as part of the basic employee benefits package, as well as additional voluntary coverage.

Critical Illness Insurance

Available as a voluntary benefit, this insurance coverage offers a lump-sum benefit of $5,000 to $50,000 to help cover the costs of a critical illness diagnosis. The rates vary but are determined by age bands. There is also spousal and dependent coverage available. 

Dental Insurance

Offered as a supplemental or full-service plan, dental insurance is available to help cover the cost of dental appointments and procedures, including those not covered by a traditional health insurance plan.

Eye Care Insurance

This is a full-featured eye care package with several levels of coverage. Plans include exams and eyeglasses discounts, and most cover LASIK eye surgery procedures as well. Costs and coverage options vary by employer benefits packages.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance

This voluntary policy offers a lump sum payment of up to $500,000 for death or dismemberment due to an accident. This coverage is guaranteed-issue (no underwriting needed). Costs vary by plan and benefits elected.

Customer Service: Basic Support

Reliance Standard Life Insurance offers standard customer support over the phone, online, via standard mail, or fax. Most questions will be directed to your employee benefits department.

Reliance Standard Life Insurance customer service is available by phone from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET by calling 1-800-435-7775.

Customer Satisfaction: Above Average

Reliance Standard Life Insurance receives fewer complaints than average life insurance companies, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index. While an average complaint score is 1.0 (the lower, the better), Reliance Standard received a 0.24 score. This almost exactly matches the 2019 score of 0.23. This points to quality customer service and issue resolution.

Reliance Standard (or its parent company, Tokio Marine) was not included in the 2020 J.D. Power Life Insurance Study.

Financial Strength: A++ (Superior)

Reliance Standard was recently upgraded to the highest rating by AM Best, which is an A++ (Superior) rating. Tokio Marine, Reliance Standard’s ultimate parent company, also has an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best. This rating is based on its very strong balance sheet, operating performance, and enterprise risk management. This rating gives customers confidence that Reliance Standard can pay out claims submitted.

Cancellation Policy: Depends on Employer Policy

A minimum free look period is required for U.S. insurance policies, which is a minimum of 10 days that customers have to cancel a newly purchased policy for a full refund. While Reliance Standard follows this policy, its life insurance policies are offered through employers, and the actual cancellation policy may depend on your state and employer.

After the free look period has ended, term life policies can be canceled at any time, but typically do not offer a refund.

Contact your employee benefits department for exact cancellation policy details and costs.

Price of Reliance Standard Life Insurance: Varies by Employer 

Reliance Standard Life Insurance quotes are not available online, and premiums may be partially covered by your employer. Prices vary by policy, coverage, and term lengths selected as well as employer-negotiated pricing.

How Reliance Standard Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Reliance Standard Life Insurance offers supplemental benefits and term life coverage for employees. Policies are available as paycheck deductions and premiums are paid with pre-tax dollars.

Its term policies offer flexibility in coverage and many rider options are included, but prices and coverage vary by employer. Here’s how Reliance Standard Life Insurance compares to another workplace insurance provider.

Reliance Standard Life Insurance vs. Colonial Life Insurance

Reliance Standard Life Insurance and Colonial Life Insurance both offer group term life insurance policies through employers as well as other supplemental insurance options. Both are financially strong companies (according to AM Best), and both receive fewer complaints than other life insurance companies of the same size. 

Here are a few difference between Reliance Standard Life Insurance and Colonial Life Insurance:

  • Colonial Life Insurance offers whole life insurance that accumulates cash value.
  • Reliance Standard Life Insurance term policies come with several riders as part of the policy.
  • Colonial Life Insurance offers hospital indemnity insurance, while Reliance Standard Life Insurance does not.
  • Reliance Standard Life insurance offers eye care insurance plans, while Colonial Life Insurance does not.

While Reliance Standard Life Insurance offers more inclusive life insurance packages for term-only coverage, Colonial Life Insurance gives employees the option of permanent coverage with a whole life policy.

Read our full Colonial Life Insurance review.

  Reliance Standard Life Insurance Colonial Life Insurance
Market Share N/A Sixth-largest in the U.S. by in-force premiums (UNUM, parent company)
Number of Plans Two  Two 
Online Quotes Available? No No
Service Method Email, phone, fax Email, phone, social media
AM Best Rating A++ (Superior) A (Excellent)
Complaint Index 0.24 (excellent) 0.55 (very good)
Final Verdict

Reliance Standard Life Insurance only offers employer-sponsored insurance plans, and the basic group term life option may be included in your standard benefits. If you want additional coverage, it offers up to $500,000 in voluntary term insurance and you can even cover your spouse and kids. Depending on the rates, this may be a good option to supplement an existing policy, while getting the tax advantage of paying premiums through your paycheck.

Reliance is also a very strong company financially, and services customers well, as shown in their very excellent NAIC complaint index scores. 

If you are looking for a way to get term life insurance coverage from your employer, Reliance Standard Life Insurance may be a good option. If you need a higher benefit amount or more flexibility in your life insurance coverage (such as building cash value), you may want to check out our top life insurance companies for more offerings.

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 reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated for over two dozen companies.