Stonebridge Assurance Life Insurance Review

International presence with US policies through Transamerica

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Transamerica

Transamerica

Our Take 

Stonebridge Life Assurance operates under the Stonebridge International Insurance umbrella, which is a life insurance company out of the U.K. Stonebridge Life Assurance’s life insurance policies are underwritten by Transamerica. We particularly like the wide array of options for death benefits, payment plans, and rider availability Transamerica offers. 

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Great variety of riders

  • Guaranteed issue policies up to $50,000

  • Wide selection of policy choices

  • Excellent financial stability ratings

  • No-medical-exam options for those 18-55 years old

Cons
  • Online application or quotes not available for all products

  • Below-average customer service ratings

  • No online chat feature

  • Rider descriptions unavailable online

  • Website isn’t well laid out

Key Takeaways
  • Stonebridge Life Assurance is the sister company to Stonebridge International Insurance out of the U.K. 
  • Stonebridge Life Assurance sells life insurance policies through Transamerica
  • Transamerica offers life insurance options for qualifying foreign nationals
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1904
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Whole, Indexed Universal, Final Expense
  • Number of Plans 5
  • Payment Options Electronic funds transfer, direct bill, federal allotment (civil service and military allotments), salary deduction/list bill, credit card
  • Official Website insuranceservicenow.transamerica.com

Introduction

Stonebridge offers several different life insurance products issued through Transamerica. Policy options include term, whole, and universal life insurance and final expense coverage as well as options for foreign nationals to purchase insurance. We researched Transamerica’s policy options, rider availability, online accessibility, customer service ratings, and complaints to help you compare Transamerica to the best life insurance companies out there. 

Company Overview

Stonebridge International Life was established in the U.K. over a decade ago and primarily offers accident insurance plans. Its sister company, Stonebridge Life Assurance, offers insurance through Transamerica in the U.S. 

Transamerica was founded in 1904 as the Bank of Italy. In 1928, it consolidated into what would become Bank of America. In 1930, it acquired a life insurance company through its newly created holding company, Transamerica. In 1999, Transamerica became part of the Aegon N.V. family, a world-renowned financial organization. 

Together with Aegon, it serves 13 million customers in the U.S., yet to obtain a life insurance quote, you must contact an agent.

Available Plans

Through Transamerica’s underwriting, Stonebridge offers several plans, including coverage options for foreign nationals. There are several different plans available including term, index universal, and whole life, as well as final expense coverage. Transamerica also offers insurance policies to foreign nationals, helping those who regularly visit, do business, or own property in the United States with their coverage needs.

Term Life

Term policies range from 10 to 30 years in length and from $25,000 to $10 million in coverage. The ability to get insurance without a medical exam is offered to those ages 18 to 45 for up to $2 million in coverage and to those ages 46 to 55 for up to $1 million in coverage. 

There are two different types of term life insurance policies: Trendsetter Super and Trendsetter LB. 

Trendsetter Super has a high death benefit (up to $10 million in coverage, depending on individual consideration) with the ability to convert some or all of the coverage to a permanent policy during the conversion period, which is the amount of time that you can switch over your term policy to a whole life policy. During this time, you might not need to undergo additional underwriting, such as proving that you are insurable through a medical exam. 

Qualifying foreign nationals can apply for a minimum of $1 million Trendsetter Super coverage. 

Trendsetter LB policy offers up to $2 million in death benefit protection and has conversion options and living benefits. Living benefits give policyholders the option to receive a portion of the death benefit when they are diagnosed with a chronic, critical, or terminal illness.

Index Universal Life

Transamerica’s Index Universal Life product, called the Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL (FFIUL), offers traditional death benefit coverage with the potential for cash value accumulation. It includes a guaranteed minimum interest rate as well as earnings above the guaranteed rate that may be credited to the policy based on changes in the major stock indexes such as the S&P 500. 

Qualifying foreign nationals can get a minimum of $250,000 FFIUL insurance. 

Whole Life 

Transamerica’s whole life product, Transamerica Lifetime, has three guarantees: guaranteed cash value, level premium, and death benefit.

There are several different types of whole life policies including 10-pay, 20-pay, 30-pay, and pay to 100. This means that you can obtain coverage for life by paying over 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, or opting to pay up until age 100. The shorter you opt to pay, the more expensive your payments will be but the quicker your insurance policy will be fully funded. Regardless of how long you make payments, your coverage lasts for life. Qualifying foreign nationals can apply for a minimum of $250,000 of whole life coverage. 

Final Expense 

Transamerica’s final expense policy, Final Expense Solution Portfolio, offers coverage between $1,000 and $50,000. This policy has level premium payments as well as a guaranteed death benefit. It requires no medical exam and has automated underwriting, making it quicker to get the coverage you want.

The final expense policy comes with an online application as well as the ability to obtain a quote online.

Available Riders

Riders are additional options that customers can add to their policies. Most riders cost an additional premium, and not all are available for every plan type. 

Riders available through Stonebridge and Transamerica include: 

Concierge Planning Rider (Additional Service Rider) 

This rider, offered through Everest Funeral Concierge, is designed to make funeral planning simpler and potentially cheaper. Everest Funeral Concierge helps with funeral and legal estate planning as well as giving comparisons of funeral prices to the insured’s beneficiaries when the time comes. 

Chronic Illness Rider

This rider helps pay premiums if the insured is diagnosed with a chronic illness such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, or arthritis.

Critical Illness Rider

This rider helps pay premiums if the insured is diagnosed with a critical illness such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s, or autoimmune diseases. This rider could also be beneficial if the insured has suffered paralysis, blindness, a major organ transplant, burns, loss of limbs, heart attack, bypass, or strokes. 

Terminal Illness Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

With this rider, the insured can access a portion of the death benefit if they are diagnosed with a terminal illness. 

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

Available only on term policies, this rider waives premiums of a policy if the insured becomes fully disabled.  

Income Protection Option

Available only with term policies, the insured can structure the death benefit to control payout amount, frequency, and who receives it.  

Guaranteed Insurability Benefit Rider

This rider allows the insured to add on additional death benefits without having to prove insurability. 

Term Insurance Rider

This rider is only allowed on whole life policies and allows the insured to choose a portion of the coverage to be term, making the overall policy less expensive. 

Children's Benefit Rider

This rider, only available on term policies, allows the insured to add on protection for their child(ren).  

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

Available with term policies, this rider gives an additional death benefit if the insured's death is ruled an accident.  

Customer Service: Adequate but No Live Chat

Customer service representatives can be reached at 1-800-527-9027, from Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CST. 

The Claims Representative line can be reached at 1-888-345-0234, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST.

Current clients can log into their accounts to view or update active policies, change contact information, print claim forms, and more. Clients can also send an email using this form or enter their policy number and state of residence online to print or download claim forms

There is no live chat for customers. 

Customer Satisfaction: Below Average

In 2020, J.D. Power, a global leader in consumer insights, ranked Transamerica 18th out of 23 companies in customer satisfaction. This study ranked overall customer satisfaction based on application and orientation, communications, interaction, price, product offerings, and statements. 

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index, Transamerica has a higher-than-average number of complaints in relation to its market share. It was given a score of 2.19, with the average complaint index having a score of 1.0. In 2020 they had 6 complaints, 0 in 2019, and 3 in 2018.

Stonebridge was not rated by the NAIC.

Financial Strength: Excellent

Transamerica was given an A rating from AM Best due to its financial strength and ability to meet financial obligations. AM Best provides news, credit ratings, and financial data products and services for the insurance industry. 

Cancellation Policy: Speak With an Agent

There is no information online regarding canceling these policies, including the "free look" period. Before you purchase a policy, be sure to ask your agent about cancellation options including any potential fees.

Ask your agent if there is a free look period in which you have time to review a policy and cancel risk-free. Most states have one, but it’s important to ask to find out. 

Price of Transamerica Life Insurance

Stonebridge only provides online quotes for its final expense policy. Quotes for other policies will need to be obtained from a representative. 

That said, it appears that the final expense policy is quite expensive. For a 35-year-old female with preferred non-tobacco status, the cost is $85.36 per month. Adding on the Accidental Death Rider would cost an additional $10.28 per month. 

The same policy for a 35-year-old male with preferred non-tobacco status is $103.11 per month, and the Accidental Death Rider would cost the same additional $10.28 per month. 

For $50,000 of final expense insurance with standard non-tobacco status, a female was quoted $85.36/month. A preferred non-tobacco status would lower her premiums to $77.49/month. The same coverage for a male, the cost with standard non-tobacco status was quoted as $103.11/month. A preferred non-tobacco status would lower his premiums to $92.32/month.

For both males and females, adding on an Accidental Death Rider costs $10.28/month additional. 

How Transamerica Compares With Other Life Insurers

Although it has a higher-than-average number of complaints and limited online options, Transamerica holds up to other companies with its wide variety of policies, multitude of riders, and no-medical-exam options.

Transamerica vs. MassMutual Review

We compared Transamerica with MassMutual for their wide array of plan options. Although they both offer term, whole, universal, and variable universal insurance products, MassMutual offers the ability to apply for term policies online. 

Although both companies have a variety of riders, MassMutual offers the ability to apply for term coverage up to $3 million online. MassMutual was also ranked higher on the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, coming in at #10 (above industry average) versus Transamerica’s #18.

Other notable differences include: 

  • Transamerica has an A rating (Excellent) from AM Best, while MassMutual has an A++ (Superior)
  • MassMutual offers payment terms for their whole life policies for 10, 15, or 20 years, as well as up to age 65 and 100, while Transamerica offers 10-, 20-, and 30-year and pay up to age 100 options
  • Transamerica offers online quotes for final expense policies, while MassMutual offers them for term policies

While Transamerica has an impressive number of policy and rider options, MassMutual may be the better choice for those looking for stronger customer satisfaction and online accessibility. 

Read our full MassMutual review.

Final Verdict

Stonebridge Life Assurance is an international company that gives customers in the U.S. the option to obtain insurance through Transamerica. Transamerica offers a great variety of insurance policy and rider options, as well as the ability to obtain coverage without a medical exam. 

Although they offer limited online quotes and online applications, they give you several options for connecting with an agent. Transamerica has strong financial ratings and an established history, making them a key player in the life insurance game and worth considering if you are looking for coverage.

Methodology

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s product 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. J.D. Power. "2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study." Accessed August 13, 2021.