William Penn Life Insurance Review

Low-cost term life insurance for young, healthy individuals

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Legal & General

 Legal & General

overall rating
4.2

Our Take 

William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York is a subsidiary of Legal & General, and its policies are only offered in New York state. Its sister company, Banner Life Insurance, is licensed in the rest of the US. Though its 40-year term policy is unique in the industry, giving longer coverage than most, those looking for a wide selection of permanent life policies will need to look elsewhere.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Up to 40-year term lengths

  • Licensed in New York for over 50 years

  • A+ (Superior) rated by AM Best

  • Claims typically approved within one business day

Cons
  • No whole life or variable universal life policies

  • Quotes for term policies available online, but required to speak to an agent to sign up

  • Most policies require a medical exam and health interview

Key Takeaways
  • William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York sells insurance through independent agents and brokers.
  • William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York’s parent company, Legal & General, is headquartered in London and operates in North America, Europe, and Asia.
  • William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York receives far fewer complaints than its competitors.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1963
  • Kinds of Plans Term, universal
  • Number of Plans 2
  • Payment Options Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annual
  • Official Website https://www.lgamerica.com/

Introduction

William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York (William Penn) offers term and universal life insurance policies to New York residents. We researched William Penn’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of William Penn with the competition. 

Company Overview

William Penn was founded in 1963 as Modern Life Insurance Company and changed its name to William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York in 1975. It is now a subsidiary of Legal & General, a large insurance company based in the U.S.

William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York offers term, whole, and universal life insurance policies with a few available riders. While policy quotes are available online, signing up for life insurance requires talking directly to an agent, as well as a health interview and medical exam.

William Penn is licensed in New York state only; policies for other states are available through Banner Life Insurance.

Available Plans 

William Penn offers two types of life insurance, including term and universal plans. The term policies in particular offer longer term lengths than most competitors. 

Term Life Insurance

William Penn offers term life insurance policies from 10 to 40 years in length and coverage from $100,000 to $10,000,000. The term policies are convertible, meaning they can be converted into a universal life policy at the end of the term.

The term policies do require a health interview and most will require a free medical exam as well. There is the possibility of an accelerated underwriting process, which would waive the need for a medical exam, but is only available on term policies between $100,000 to $500,000 and for clients between the ages of 20 to 50. Talk to a licensed agent to see if your policy may qualify for accelerated underwriting.

Universal Life Insurance

William Penn offers universal life insurance with flexible insurance premiums and benefit amounts. These policies accrue cash value that earn a guaranteed interest rate. Policies offer guaranteed coverage until age 121, assuming premiums are paid. 

The death benefit can be increased or decreased during the policy, with benefit amounts starting at $50,000. There are no investment options for the cash value of the policy, outside of the guaranteed interest rate.

Available Riders

Multiple rides are available with William Penn’s life insurance policies. A rider is an optional policy enhancement that allows clients to customize their insurance policies. While some riders may be included as part of the insurance plan, others incur a flat fee or annual charge that is typically added to the policy premium. 

Fees vary by policy, product, and options selected.

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

This rider is included with each life insurance policy and allows the insured to access a portion of the death benefit if they are diagnosed as terminally ill.

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

If you become permanently and totally disabled (unable to work), you may be eligible to have your premiums waived (after a six-month waiting period). This is limited to disabilities that occur before age 65.

Children’s Term Insurance Rider

This rider offers level-term life insurance for your children. This policy is only available until the parent is 65 years old, at which time the policy expires. 

Coverage benefits range from $5,000 to $10,000 and end when the child turns 25 years old. Policies can be converted into the child’s name once they are 25 years old or the parent is 65 years old. Policies must be converted within 31 days of expiry.

Customer Service: Many Ways to Connect

William Penn offers support over the phone, email, via standard mail, or in-person with a local agent. Customer service can be reached by calling 800-346-4773 or by sending an email to customerservice@wpenn.com. Claims can be filed via the phone or online at https://my.lgamerica.com/claims/new.

William Penn’s customer service business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m ET.

William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York does not offer live chat support online.

Customer Satisfaction: Fewer Complaints

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NIAC) complaint index, William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York receives fewer complaints than other life insurance companies its size. While an average complaint score is 1.0 (the lower, the better), William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York received a 0.40 score. This is slightly up from its score in 2019, which was 0.00 as William Penn received zero complaints that year. Overall, its scores are far below the industry average, showing that William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York provides excellent customer service.

J.D. Power also ranks companies based on customer satisfaction, but neither William Penn, its sister company Banner Life, nor its parent company Legal & General, were ranked in the 2020 Life Insurance Study

Financial Strength: A+ (Superior)

William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York, with the backing of parent company Legal & General, boasts a strong rating from AM Best. The A+ (Superior) rating is based on strong operating performance, favorable business profile, and appropriate enterprise risk management. 

This rating gives customers confidence that William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York is solvent and can pay out claims, which is evident in its one-day approval of claims.

Cancellation Policy: Follows New York State Regulations

New York State requires a minimum free-look period for insurance policies of at least 10 days, with a maximum of 30 days. If a customer decides to cancel a policy for any reason within that period, they will receive a full refund of the premiums paid. William Penn adheres to these guidelines for cancellation.

After the free-look period has ended, term life policies can be canceled at any time, but will not provide a refund of premiums paid. Universal life policy cancellations may provide a cash surrender refund, but there may also be a surrender charge and additional fees applied. Please contact a licensed agent for more information.

William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York’s cancellation fees are not publicly listed and may vary per policy.

Price of William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York: Low-Cost Term Policies for Healthy Young Adults

William Penn premiums vary by policy, but its term rates for young, healthy adults are very low. We compared the cost of a 20-year term policy for both males and females, assuming a non-smoker in “very good” health living in Florida. We previewed these rates for a $250,000 policy for participants age 20, 30, and 40 to compare premiums. Rates were obtained from the Legal & General website, and may not represent actual rates for individual policies.

Quotes are based on age, height, weight, and general health status. Premiums can be paid monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually.

Term Life Rates
Age Male Female
20 years old $12.30/month $10.95/month
30 years old  $12.61/month  $11.14/month 
40 years old  $17.64/month  $15.30/month 

How William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York Compares to Other Life Insurance

William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York offers basic life insurance coverage options for New York residents with its term and permanent life policies. While rates are very good for young, healthy adults, the underwriting process typically requires a medical exam and health questionnaire.

However, William Penn does not have the most policy options available, so here’s how it compares with another life insurance company that has more options available.

William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York vs. Nationwide Life Insurance

Both William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York and Nationwide offer term and permanent life policies. Both boast strong financial ratings from AM Best and receive far fewer complaints than average life insurance companies. But while William Penn only insures clients in New York State, Nationwide is available in all 50 states.

Here are a few other differences between William Penn and Nationwide:

  • Nationwide offers a survivorship option on its variable life insurance (covers two people on one policy).
  • William Penn has a 40-year term policy available, while Nationwide does not.
  • Nationwide offers multi-policy discounts for current Nationwide customers (auto, homeowners, etc.).
  • William Penn offers better term rates for longer policies (as compared below).
Nationwide vs. Nationwide Price Comparison
  William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York Nationwide
10-year policy $13.81/month $12.69/month
20-year policy  $14.24/month  $16.84/month
30-year policy  $22.08/month $25.16/month

Sample rates provided are for a 35-year-old male in excellent health with $250,000 of coverage.

While William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York offers up to 40-year term lengths on its policies, Nationwide offers far more permanent coverage options, including whole and variable universal life insurance.

Read our full Nationwide Life Insurance review.

  William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York Nationwide Life Insurance
Market Share N/A 14th-largest in the U.S., 1.84%
Number of Plans  2 8
Online Quotes Available?  Yes (term life only)  Yes (term life only)
Service Method  Email, phone, in-person  Email, phone, in-person, social media 
AM Best Rating  A (Excellent)  A+ (Superior) 
Complaints Index  0.40 (Very Good)  0.10 (excellent) 
Final Verdict

William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York offers a small selection of policies for residents of New York, including longer term lengths and competitive prices on term policies. For younger, healthy individuals looking to compare rates on term insurance in New York, William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York is worth a look.

That said, William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York is lacking in its permanent life insurance offerings, with no option for whole, variable, universal, or final expense life insurance. If you are looking for more flexibility in your life insurance coverage, you will be better served by checking out the top life insurance companies to find more coverage options.

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.