Transamerica Life Insurance Review

Low-cost term life insurance for young, healthy individuals

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Transamerica Life Insurance

Transamerica Life Insurance

Our Take

Transamerica is a long-tenured life insurance company with strong financial backing, offering several life insurance products for young and old alike. Its term policies for younger, healthy individuals offer very competitive rates along with no medical exam required.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Wide array of policies for all age ranges

  • Many no-exam policies available

  • Life insurance explorer to help users find the right policy

  • Better-than-average rates for smokers or those in poor health

  • Can borrow against cash value of some policies

  • Most policies offer a level premiums

  • Mobile app available

Cons
  • Customer service rankings are less than average (NAIC and J.D. Power)

  • Many policy quotes require talking to an agent directly

  • Universal and whole life cancellation policies are not publicly available

Key Takeaways
  • Transamerica is a long-standing life insurance provider with excellent financial strength.
  • There are several term, whole, and universal life policies available along with several rider options.
  • Transamerica’s customer satisfaction rating with J.D. Power and NAIC is below average.
  • Transamerica offers six types of life insurance policies with several riders available. 
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1930
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Whole, Universal, Indexed Universal, Final Expense
  • Number of Plans 6
  • Payment Options Monthly, Annual
  • Official Website https://www.transamerica.com/individual/

Introduction

Transamerica Life Insurance offers term, whole, universal, and final expense life insurance at reasonable rates. We researched Transamerica’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of Transamerica with the competition.

Company Overview

Transamerica Life Insurance, originally part of Bank of America, was founded in 1904 and became its own entity in 1956. It is now a subsidiary of Aegon US Holding Group and is the eighth largest life insurance company in the U.S. by market share.

Transamerica offers term, whole, and universal life insurance policies for all ages. There are several policy riders available as well to help add additional coverage options and flexibility to your policy. Policy quotes are available online, but many of the policy estimates require you to talk directly to an agent for an exact quote.

Transamerica Life Insurance is licensed in all 50 states, but actual availability varies by product and state. 

Note

Transamerica also offers retirement accounts (IRAs), mutual funds, ETFs, annuities, and supplement insurance products as employee benefits.

Available Plans 

Transamerica offers six types of life insurance plans including term, whole, universal, variable universal plans, and final expense plans. With so many options available, the company offers its Plan Explorer tool to help guide users toward the right policy.

Trendsetter Super Series Term Life Insurance

The Transamerica Trendsetter Super Series is its standard term life offering with coverage running from 10 to 30 years and benefits from $25,000 to $10,000,000. The Super Series term life policy can be converted into a whole life policy at the end of the term.

Trendsetter LB Term Life Insurance

The Trendsetter LB is a term life insurance policy with living benefits, meaning policyholders can access a portion of their death benefit early if certain health conditions arise. According to the website, customers may qualify for the “accelerated death benefit in the event of a qualifying chronic, critical, or terminal illness, while the insured is alive.”

Coverage is available up to $2,000,000.

Whole Life Insurance

Transamerica’s whole life offering is a permanent life insurance policy with benefits ranging from $25,000 to $2,000,000 in coverage. As with other whole life policies, these policies can accumulate cash value which can be borrowed against or accessed early with optional riders. These policies have a guaranteed cash value and level premiums throughout the life of the policy.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Transamerica offers universal life insurance with flexible insurance premiums, which can be split between a basic interest account and two index accounts. The indexed accounts may earn interest based on changes in the value of an index or indexes.

Transamerica Financial Foundation Indexed Universal Life Insurance

The Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL (FFIUL) is a universal life insurance policy that gives customers a guaranteed minimum interest rate, as well as a no-lapse guarantee. Policyholders can grow their policy value through excess index interest (above the guaranteed minimum) which is accumulated based on investment market index changes. This account also allows potential access to tax-free loans or withdrawals against the accumulated cash value in the account.

Quotes are not available online for indexed variable life insurance.

Final Expense Life Insurance

Transamerica offers three final expense life insurance policies, designed to help cover end-of-life costs such as burial and funeral expenses. These are permanent life policies that accrue tax-deferred cash value that can be borrowed against if needed.

  • Immediate Solution: Available for purchase from ages 0 to 85; coverage can extend until age 121
  • 10-Pay solution: Available for purchase from ages 0 to 85, premiums payable for 10 years
  • Easy Solution: Available for purchase from ages 18 to 80 (ages 50 to 75 in New York)

While the minimum death benefit for the final expense plans is $10,000, the maximum depends on the plan you choose. The Easy Solution Plan has a maximum death benefit of $25,000. The 10-Pay Solution and Immediate Solution plan maximum death benefits depends on your age:

  • Age 0 to 55: $50,000
  • Age 56 to 65: $40,000
  • Age 66 to 75: $30,000
  • Age 76 to 85: $25,000

Available Riders

Transamerica offers access to several riders for their life insurance policies. A rider is an optional policy enhancement that adds additional benefits or custom coverage options to the insurance policies. Rider fees typically are 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 with Nursing Home Benefit

While subject to state availability, this rider pays the policy face value upon a qualifying diagnosis or confinement in a qualified nursing home facility. The total paid would first pay back any interest discount, loans, administrative charge, or any premiums that would be due in the next year upon diagnosis or nursing home confinement.

Return of Premium Rider

This benefit is offered to certain term life insurance policyholders that outlive their policies. Transamerica will return eligible premiums paid for the life of the policy, excluding substandard premiums, rider premiums, and outstanding loans. Speak with an agent directly about the terms of this offer.

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

If you become disabled, you may be eligible to have your premiums waived after a six-month waiting period.

Monthly Disability Income Rider

If you become disabled for 90 days or more, you may be eligible to receive up to $2,000 of your monthly income for a period of two years.

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 and Grandchildren’s Benefit Rider

This rider offers level-term life insurance for your children or grandchildren. It is available only if the parent or grandparent is between 18 and 75 years old and the child is between 15 days and 18 years old. 

Coverage benefits range from $1,000 to $5,000, and the policyholder can cover up to nine children or grandchildren with this rider.

Customer Service: Many Ways to Connect

Transamerica Life Insurance offers support over the phone, online, or in-person at one of its local offices. It also has an app to access your account on your mobile device.

Transamerica Life Insurance's customer service business hours are Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m ET.

Transamerica Life Insurance does not offer live chat support online.

Customer Satisfaction: Lower Than Average Scores  

Transamerica's National Complaint Index Report rating of 1.30 indicates more complaints than the industry average life insurance company. An average complaint score is 1.00, with scores lower than that being better than average.

J.D. Power also ranks companies based on customer satisfaction, and it ranked Transamerica 18th out of 23 life insurance companies in the U.S. in 2020. It earned a score of 734, well below the industry average of 763.

Financial Strength: A (Excellent)

Transamerica Life Insurance is a strong financial company with an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best. Good financial stability and a high rating from AM Best reflect the confidence that customers' policy benefits will be paid out when they make a claim.

Cancellation Policy: Hard to Find for Most Policies

Most states require a minimum free-look period for insurance policies. Customers who decide to cancel for any reason within that period will receive a full refund of the premiums paid. Transamerica doesn’t advertise its free-look period, which means it is providing the minimum amount of time states allow—usually 10 days.

After the free-look period, cancellation terms vary between life insurance policies. Transamerica Term life policies can be canceled at any time, but the company will not provide a refund of premiums paid. 

For whole and universal life policy cancellations, you need to reach out to a Transamerica agent for specifics.

Note

Transamerica’s cancellation fees are not publicly listed and may vary per policy.

Price of Transamerica Life Insurance: Low Cost for Young, Healthy Adults  

Transamerica Life Insurance premiums vary by policy, but they are fairly competitive with their term life policies for young, healthy adults. We compared the cost of a 20-year Trendsetter Super Series term policy for both males and females, assuming a non-smoker in very good health living in Florida. We previewed these rates for a $300,000 policy for participants 20, 30, and 40 years old to compare premiums. Rates were obtained from the TransAmerica website.

Quotes are based on age and the answers to a short health questionnaire. Premiums can be paid monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually.

Term Life Rates

Age Male Female
20 $18.32/month $15.22/month
30 $18.58/month $15.74/month
40 $25.54/month $21.93/month

How Transamerica Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Transamerica Life Insurance offers quite a few policy options for every stage of life. Its term policies offer competitive rates for healthier participants, while the whole and universal life policies give maximum flexibility with various options and additional riders available.

However, the customer service scores leave something to be desired. Transamerica scores below-average with the NAIC as well as J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings. The company also does not offer online quotes for many of the cash-value policies, instead requiring that applicants talk to an insurance agent.

Transamerica Life Insurance vs. John Hancock Life Insurance

Both Transamerica and John Hancock offer a variety of life insurance policies, including term, whole, and universal life policies. Both companies also offer no-exam term life insurance for young, healthy applicants.

A few key differences between Transamerica and John Hancock:

  • John Hancock offers significant savings to smokers with its Quit Smoking incentive.
  • Transamerica offers convertible term life options (convert to whole life policy) while John Hancock does not.
  • John Hancock offers rewards for healthy activities, like going for a walk or buying healthy food.
  • Transamerica has local offices around the country, easily found using its Agent Locator tool.

While Transamerica offers great rates for its term policies for healthy individuals, 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.

  Transamerica Life Insurance John Hancock Life Insurance
Market Share Eighth-largest in the U.S., 2.80% Ninth-largest in the U.S., 2.73%
Number of Plans 6 14
Online Quotes Available? Yes (term life only) No
Service Method Email, phone, in person Email, phone
AM Best Rating A (Excellent) A+ (Superior)
Complaints Index 1.30 (below average) 1.54 (far below average)

Final Verdict

Transamerica offers a decent selection of life insurance policies for all ages with flexible term options and additional riders for customized coverage. It shines when it comes to its term life policies for younger, healthy individuals, offering competitive rates and potentially no medical exams for 10- to 30-year policies.

Its customer satisfaction ratings from both NAIC and J.D. Power are below average for the industry, but its financial strength and long-term history in the industry make it a reliable option for life insurance.

Methodology 

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company based on 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 more than 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. Transamerica. "Insurance Plan Explorer." Accessed Aug. 25, 2021.

  2. J.D. Power. "Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Aug. 25, 2021.

  3. AM Best. "Transamerica Life Insurance Company." Page 1. Accessed Aug. 25, 2021.