United Life Insurance Review

Smaller insurance provider with a wide selection of riders for plans

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United Life Insurance

United Life Insurance

overall rating
4.2

Our Take 

United Life Insurance is a smaller life insurance company that is only available in 37 states and offers term, whole, and universal life policies with a wide range of riders for customization. Policies are only sold through independent agents, and all quotes and applications require speaking with an agent first. While there is a large selection of riders available, the policies are limited, and you may be better served by finding life insurance at one of our top-rated companies.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Some no-exam policies available

  • Can borrow against cash value of some policies

Cons
  • Some policies may have additional policy fees

  • Quotes not available online

  • Limited details about policies available on website

Key Takeaways
  • United Life Insurance was founded in 1962 and is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  • United Life Insurance was purchased by the Chicago-based company, Kuvare Holdings, in 2018.
  • United Life Insurance also offers annuity products in addition to life insurance.
  • United Life Insurance has a high rating of A- (Excellent) from AM best.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1962
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Whole, Universal
  • Number of Plans 3
  • Payment Options Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annual, Annual
  • Official Website https://www.unitedlife.com/

Introduction

United Life Insurance offers term, whole and universal plans with a wide variety of riders available. We researched United Life Insurance’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of United Life Insurance with the competition. 

Company Overview

United Life Insurance was founded in 1962, and offers life insurance products and annuities. Since 2018, it has been a subsidiary of Kuvare Holdings, a large insurance holding company based in Chicago, Illinois. Kuvare has a strong financial rating (A-, stable) from AM Best, whereas United Life has an A rating from KBRA as of February 2021.

United Life Insurance does not offer much information or educational material about its policies on its website and instead refers potential customers to independent agents to learn more. United Life Insurance is licensed in only 37 states, but actual availability varies by product and state.

United Life Insurance is not available in WA, OR, CA, GA, SC, NY, CT, RI, MA, ME, NH, or VT. Policies may be available in HI or AK, but you would need to check with a local insurance agent for more details.

Available Plans 

United Life Insurance life insurance plans come with quite a few policy riders available to help customize your coverage. You can use the United Life agent locator tool to find a local agent that sells United Life products and can answer your questions about its policies.

Policy quotes and details are not available online. You must speak directly with an agent for an exact quote and information.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is a type of temporary life insurance coverage that offers coverage for a specific length of time. Term life typically costs less than other types of life insurance as it only pays a death benefit and has an expiration date. Policies are usually available from $50,000 to $1 million in coverage (or more) and come in term lengths from 10 to 30 years.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that offers lifetime coverage for the insured. Whole life policies accumulate a cash value that may earn interest and can be borrowed against or withdrawn early for financial needs. Most whole life policies also offer level premiums throughout the life of the policy, no matter what your health status is. 

United Life Insurance offers basic whole life insurance with simplified underwriting, which means most policies up to $100,000 in coverage do not require a medical exam. 

Universal Life Insurance

United Life Insurance offers universal life insurance, which typically has flexible insurance premiums and coverage amounts. Universal life policies accrue cash value, which earns interest in a tax-deferred account, some offering a guaranteed interest rate. The policy’s cash value can be borrowed against tax-free, but borrowed amounts will reduce the death benefit of the policy until paid back.

United Life Insurance universal life policies may come with additional fees, including a monthly policy fee and other expenses.

Available Riders

United Life Insurance 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 are typically 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

This rider pays out up to a $300,000 accelerated benefit from your policy if you become diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 12 months or less. Note that payouts reduce your overall policy benefit.

Cost of Living Rider

This rider increases coverage annually based on increases in the consumer price index (CPI). 

Scheduled Increase Option Rider

This rider allows you to increase the amount of coverage on your policy (up to $100,000 more) without having to redo the underwriting process.

Disability Waiver of Premium

This rider will pay policy premiums if you become permanently disabled (unable to work) before age 60. This rider expires and stops paying premiums at age 65.

Disability Income Rider

If you become permanently disabled before age 65, this rider provides monthly income to assist with expenses.

Children’s Insurance Rider

This rider offers term life insurance for dependent children up to age 25. Policies are convertible to a permanent life policy at age 25.

Guaranteed No-Lapse Rider

This rider guarantees coverage of a permanent life policy for a specific length of time, up to lifetime coverage. This rider is valid as long as premiums are paid according to the policy schedule.

Living Benefit Rider

This rider, which is automatically included on policies with a minimum $50,000 death benefit, pays out an accelerated death benefit if the policyholder becomes terminally or chronically ill. This payout can be paid in a lump sum or a series of regular payments. 

Return of Premium Rider 

Available to permanent life policyholders, clients can access the cash surrender value of the policy which is at least equal to the premiums paid.

Spouse Insurance Rider

This rider offers the ability to insure your spouse on your policy, up to a limited amount of coverage.

Term Rider

With this rider, you can add term coverage to your policy for additional coverage.

Customer Service: Phone, Email, or Local Agent

United Life Insurance offers support over the phone, email, or in-person with a local agent. There is also an online portal for existing clients to manage their policies, make claims, or designate beneficiaries. Your local agent is the first line of support for United Life Insurance policies, but you can also contact the company directly.

United Life Insurance customer service business hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m CST. You can call customer service directly by dialing 800-637-6318, or send an email to lifeins@unitedlife.com.

United Life Insurance does not offer live chat support online.

Customer Satisfaction: Very Few Complaints 

According to the NAIC complaint index, United Life Insurance only received one formal complaint in 2020. This gives United Life Insurance a complaint score of 0.12, while an average complaint score is 1.0 (the lower, the better). United Life Insurance did not receive any formal complaints in 2018 or 2019, which shows a strong commitment to resolving customer issues.

J.D. Power also ranks companies in the U.S. based on customer satisfaction in its 2020 Life Insurance Study. Being a small life insurance company, United Life Insurance was not included in this study.

Financial Strength: A

United Life Insurance has a financial rating of A from Kroll Bond Rating Agency. The rating denotes United Life to be of "high quality with a small risk of loss due to credit-related events." United Life's parent company, Kuvare, has a credit rating of A- from AM Best, which means it has an "excellent ability to meet its ongoing insurance obligations."

A good rating from rating agencies gives customers confidence that policy claims can be paid out without issue.

Cancellation Policy: Minimum Free-Look Period

Most states require a minimum free-look period for insurance policies, giving customers the chance to cancel a new policy for a full refund. This period of time (usually 10 days) is state-regulated and all insurance companies must follow it. United Life Insurance does not list its cancellation policy, so it should offer the minimum free-look period for cancellations.

After the free-look period, term policies can be canceled at any time, but refunds may not be provided. Whole and universal life policies may offer a surrender value refund, but also may charge fees to cancel. You will need to reach out to a United Life Insurance agent for specifics.

Price of United Life Insurance: Not Available

United Life Insurance policy prices are available only through an agent, and will vary by policy type, age, health status and benefits selected. Term policies are generally the least expensive as they only carry a death benefit and do not build cash value. Whole and universal life policies are generally more expensive as the policies cover the insured for a lifetime and build cash value as well. 

Some policies do come with an annual fee in addition to policy premiums as well as other possible fees. Ask your insurance agent about all fees prior to signing up for a policy.

How United Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

United Life Insurance offers basic term, whole, and universal life policies, plus a long list of supporting riders. It also has very few customer complaints and gets financial support from its parent company, Kuvare Holdings.

United Life Insurance does not offer online quotes or the ability to apply for policies online, instead requiring applicants to talk to an insurance agent first. In fact, United Life gives very little information about its policies online compared to other life insurance companies. Here’s how United Life Insurance compares to a larger life insurance company with more transparent policy details.

United Life Insurance vs. John Hancock Life Insurance

Like United Life Insurance, John Hancock also offers a variety of life insurance policies, including term, whole, and universal life policies. Both companies also offer simplified issue policies, which do not require a medical exam for coverage. But while United Life Insurance does not offer indexed or variable universal insurance plans, John Hancock has multiple options.

Here are a few more differences between United Life Insurance and John Hancock:

  • John Hancock offers significant savings to smokers with their Quit Smoking incentive.
  • United Life Insurance has far fewer complaints than John Hancock in 2020, according to the NAIC.
  • John Hancock offers rewards for healthy activities, like going for a walk or buying healthy food.
  • United Life Insurance offers 11 policy riders, while John Hancock only has four.
  • John Hancock offers the option to manage policy premiums and make adjustments on universal life policies, giving users full control of their policies.

While United Life Insurance offers a wide range of riders for customized coverage, 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.

  United Life Insurance John Hancock Life Insurance 
Market Share N/A Ninth-largest in the U.S., 2.73%
Number of Plans 
Online Quotes Available?  No  No 
Service Method  Email, phone, in-person Email, phone 
AM Best Rating  A- (for parent company)  A+ (Superior) 
Complaints Index  0.12 (excellent)  1.54 (far below average) 
Final Verdict

United Life Insurance offers basic life insurance coverage, but provides a large selection of riders to customize policies. While information is not readily available online about its policies, United Life Insurance does score well in the customer service department.

With limited policy options, no online quotes and very few details available about policies, United Life Insurance is not one of our top picks for life insurance. If you are considering a policy from United Life Insurance, make sure to understand the policy details (and fees), and we recommend comparing the rates to other top life insurance companies before signing up.

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.

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. Kuvare. "Kuvare Completes Acquisition of United Life Insurance Company." Accessed Aug. 31, 2021.

  2. Kuvare. "Kuvare Shares Newly Published Robust Company Ratings." Accessed Aug. 31, 2021.

  3. United Life Insurance Company. "About United Life." Accessed Aug. 31, 2021.

  4. United Life Insurance Company. "United Life Insurance Company, Put Lazy Money to Work." Accessed Aug. 31, 2021.

  5. United Life Insurance Company. "Payment Options." Accessed July 6, 2021.

  6. United Life Insurance Company. "Contact Us at United Life." Accessed July 6, 2021.

  7. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Results By Complaint Index." Accessed July 6, 2021.

  8. KBRA. "Understanding Ratings." Accessed July 6, 2021.

  9. AM Best. "Guide to Best's Financial Strength Ratings." Accessed July 6, 2021.

  10. John Hancock. "Permanent Life Insurance." Accessed July 6, 2021.

  11. John Hancock. "Protection UL Strength and Features," Page 4. Accessed July 6, 2021.

  12. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Results by Complaint Index - John Hancock." Accessed July 6, 2021.

  13. John Hancock. "Vitality." Accessed July 6, 2021.

  14. John Hancock. "Life Insurance." Accessed July 6, 2021.