Settlers Life Insurance Review

Settlers offers whole life policies but is no longer accepting new customers

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Settlers Life Insurance

Settlers Life Insurance

Our Take

Settlers Life Insurance is no longer accepting new policyholders, so people seeking a new life insurance plan should look elsewhere. Previously, the company sold a handful of different simplified-issue whole life policies, which included some no-cost riders. Settlers is not rated for financial strength or customer satisfaction and has limited online tools. Better options are available from other life insurance companies.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Child/grandchild benefit included at no cost

  • Living benefits available at no cost on some policies

  • Online bill pay

  • Low face amounts available

  • Children eligible for some plans

Cons
  • Not rated by AM Best

  • Not rated in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study

  • No online quotes

  • No online claims

  • Low policy limits

Key Takeaways
  • Settlers Life sells simplified-issue whole life policies with low limits that are designed to cover final expenses and does not offer term life insurance, universal life insurance, or high-value whole life insurance.
  • Settlers Life lacks most online tools besides bill pay, and the company also has limited customer service hours and no live chat.
  • The lack of online customer reviews and pricing estimates make Settlers Life a difficult company to evaluate for your life insurance needs.
  • Though Settlers Life is not rated by AM Best, its parent company received an A (Excellent) financial strength rating.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1982
  • Kinds of Plans Whole life
  • Number of Plans 4
  • Payment Options Lifetime premiums (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually), 10-year pay, 20-year pay, or single payment
  • Official Website https://www.settlerslife.com/

Settlers Life insurance offers simplified issue whole life insurance policies and final expense trusts, each with low policy limits, but the company is no longer accepting new business. 

We researched Settlers’ financial strength, customer satisfaction, website tools, policy options, and available riders to help you compare the life insurance policy options that Settlers offers with the competition. 

Company Overview

Settlers Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of National Guardian Life Insurance Company, was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. The company represents less than 0.03% of the U.S. market share for life insurance premiums. When Settlers previously sold policies, it was by phone via an agent; you can’t get a quote or apply for a policy online. 

The company has over 6,500 appointed agents in 42 states. Not all life insurance products they offer are available in all states. 

Warning:

Settlers no longer accepts new customers.

Available Plans

Settlers Life Insurance Company once provided four different options for whole life insurance policies. All were simplified-issue plans, meaning they did not require a medical exam for approval. All whole life policies build cash value, but not all policies may be eligible for loans. 

Settlers Life Gold Plan

The gold plan is an immediate benefit whole life policy available for applicants ages 15 days to 85 years. The plan does not require a medical exam and has level premiums for the life of the policy. Face amounts range from $2,500 to $50,000.

Settlers Life Silver Plan

The silver plan is an immediate benefit whole life policy that is available for applicants ages six months to 85 years. Face amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000 and premiums stay permanently level. No medical exam is required. 

Settlers Life Bronze Plan

The bronze plan is a modified whole life insurance policy that provides a reduced initial benefit. If the policyholder dies of natural causes in the first two years, they’ll receive premiums paid plus an extra 10%. Full death benefits are accessible in the third year of coverage. Accidental death during the first two years will also result in full benefits paid. 

The policy is available to people ages 40-80 who can answer “No” to two simple health questions, and face amounts range from $1,000 to $15,000. 

Settlers Life Bronze II Plan

Like the bronze plan, the bronze II plan provides paid premiums plus an extra 10% if the policyholder dies of natural causes in the first two years. After that, the full death benefit is paid. Full benefits are also accessible at any time if the policyholder dies in an accident. 

This simplified-issue policy is available to applicants ages 40-75 years in face amounts between $1,000 and $10,000 and does not require a medical exam. 

Your answers to health questions could disqualify you from some Settlers Life policies, even though the provider doesn’t require a medical exam

Available Riders

Riders are endorsements or add-ons that allow you to customize your life insurance policy. Settlers once offered a few options, and select riders were included on some plans at no additional cost. 

Child/Grandchild Death Benefit

This rider provides a one-time benefit of $5,000 (or the face amount of the policy, whichever is less) following the death of a child or grandchild. It is included at no cost for gold and silver plans. 

Accidental Death Benefit

This rider provides an extra payout if the insured dies in an accident. Benefit amounts between $1,000 and $100,000 are available, but the insured must be at least 40 years old and the base policy must be for at least $10,000 to purchase $25,000 or more in coverage. Furthermore, the rider expires when the insured is 80 years old on the policy anniversary date. 

Accelerated Benefit Rider

This rider is included at no cost for policyholders with a silver or gold plan and a face amount of at least $5,000. It allows the policyholder to access up to 75% of the death benefit while they are alive if they are diagnosed with a terminal illness expected to result in death within six months. In many states, policyholders who require continuous nursing care can also qualify for the accelerated benefit. 

Accessing living benefits will reduce the amount your beneficiaries will receive. 

Customer Service: Limited Hours

Settlers Life is only open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST on weekdays. Customer support can be reached by phone at 800-542-8711. You can also email policyholder services at phs@settlerslife.com. If you have questions about claims, you can email claims@settlerslife.com

In addition, you can pay your bill online, submit an inquiry for policy information, or change your address

Customer Satisfaction: Few Complaints

The NAIC complaint index shows whether the number of complaints for a given company is higher or lower than what would be expected based on its size. An index of 1.00 is average. A score below 1 demonstrates a lower number of complaints while a score above 1 indicates a higher number of complaints

Settlers Life Insurance Company’s complaint index for 2020 was 1.72 However, it’s important to note that the company makes up such a small share of the life insurance market that this index was a result of only one complaint. Complaints are also trending downward from the previous year. 

Settlers Life Insurance Company was not rated in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, and customer reviews are few and far between online making it difficult to evaluate the company’s overall customer satisfaction. 

Financial Strength: Not Rated

Settlers Life Insurance is not rated by AM Best. In 2021, Settlers requested not to be included in the independent rating agency’s interactive rating process. However, the parent company of Settlers, National Guardian Life Insurance Company, was given an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best. 

Ratings from AM Best are important because they help assess a company’s financial outlook. Companies rated A- (Excellent) or above have the financial standing to reliably pay claims. 

Cancellation Policy: Not Listed

Settlers Life does not state its cancellation policy online. Thirty days is typically standard for the industry, and by law, all life insurance companies must provide at least a 10-day free-look period. That means if you cancel a life insurance policy within 10 days of the effective date, you’ll receive all paid premiums returned to you. 

Price of Settlers Life Insurance: Ask an Agent

Unlike some other companies, Settlers Life does not offer online quotes or pricing estimates for its simplified-issue whole life policies online. You’ll need to speak to an agent to get a quote. Your individual quote may be based on factors such as your age and your answers to health questions. 

How Settlers Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Settlers Life Insurance specializes in final expense insurance, so the company doesn’t have the range of policy options that other companies provide. Settlers Life Insurance also lacks an online quoting feature and other website tools. Furthermore, Settlers is no longer accepting new customers, so people looking for a new life insurance policy should compare other providers. 

Settlers Life Insurance vs Fidelity Life Insurance Review

Both Settlers Life Insurance and Fidelity Life Insurance issue final expense policies without a medical exam. These policies can be used for funeral expenses or other costs and accumulate cash value over time. However, there are some key differences between these companies and the plans they offer:

  • Fidelity Life only offers final expense policies for people ages 50 and older, while Settlers offers final expense policies to children as young as 15 days old. 
  • Fidelity Life offers online quotes and applications, while Settlers Life does not.
  • Fidelity Life final expense policies come in face amounts up to $35,000, while Settlers Life policies go up to $50,000.
  • Fidelity Life also offers term life insurance products, while Settlers does not.
  • Fidelity Life has an A- (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best, while Settlers Life is not rated.

Since Settlers Life is no longer accepting new customers, Fidelity Life is a good alternative for seniors looking for a final expense policy without a medical exam. 

Read our full Fidelity Life review.

  Settlers Life Fidelity Life
Age Limits 25 days to 85 years 50 to 85 years
Policy Limits $1,000 to $50,000 Up to $35,000
Online Quotes  No  Yes 
Financial Strength Rating  Not Rated  A- (Excellent) 
Final Verdict

While Settlers Life once provided a good option for younger folks seeking a final expense policy for purchase through an agent, the company is no longer accepting new policyholders. The company once provided some attractive riders at no cost, and the parent company is well-rated for financial strength. But Settlers Life has limited online tools, which makes other simplified-issue whole life insurance providers a more convenient choice.

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.