Heidi works with top-rated life insurance carriers to bring her clients the highest quality protection at the most competitive prices. She is a wife, mom, and former school teacher, specializing in helping families. As parents, it's our responsibility to ensure our family is financially sound, regardless of what life brings. Her goal is to make the process of obtaining life insurance as simp...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2020

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Banner Life Insurance Company, owned by Legal and General Group, is a highly-rated carrier with competitive rates.

Should you buy a Banner life insurance policy? Perhaps.

First, you will want to assess their products and prices, and compare them with your coverage needs.

You have found a comprehensive review and buyer’s guide for Banner Life, including products, quotes, and frequently asked questions.

banner

Banner Overview

Banner Life, with over 180 years of history, was founded in 1836 in London, England.

In 1981, Legal & General America was formed. During that time, they purchased Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO), which would eventually be renamed, Banner.

Life insurance policies are issued by Banner (and William Penn in New York), while Legal & General is the parent company.

Key Features

  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A+ (Superior)
  • Affordable premiums
  • No medical exam options
  • Lenient underwriting for health conditions and tobacco use

To date, Legal & General holds over $1.4 trillion in assets under management. In the United States, over 1.3 million Americans own policies through Banner.

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Banner Life Insurance

Before applying for coverage, compare your financial needs with the products offered to determine if there is a good match.

Nobody lives forever, no matter how many fruits and veggies you eat. – Banner
banner

Banner is a top-rated life insurance company currently offering three forms of life insurance.

  • Term
  • Universal
  • Final expense

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance, the most popular form of coverage, provides coverage for a certain amount of time, like 20 years.

Often recommended, term allows you to financially protect your life for a period in which you need it most – raising a family, working years.

Essential Facts

Banner’s term product is called OPTerm.

  • Term lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years
  • Issue ages: 20 – 75
  • Minimum face amount: $50,000
  • Level premiums and flexible payment schedule
  • Multiple health classes
  • Accelerated underwriting (no exam) available

Conversion Options

OPTerm is convertible, meaning that you have the option to convert your term policy – during the initial level term period – to a universal policy.

You may convert your policy with no need to demonstrate insurability.

Age limits do apply. You must be no older than an attained age of 70. If your policy was purchased at age 66 or older, you may convert during the first five policy years.

Riders

Riders are helpful contractual provisions to your life insurance contract, in addition to the death benefit.

Banner offers the following riders:

  • Accelerated Death Benefit – (no additional cost) the option to access up to 75% of your death benefit if diagnosed with a qualifying terminal illness. Limit of $500,000.
  • Waiver of Premium – the ability to waive premium payments if you become totally disabled for at least six months.
  • Term Rider – (for 10, 15, or 20-year terms) provides additional insurance coverage that must be for a shorter time period than the base policy.
  • Children’s Rider – death benefit protection for one or more children, up to age 25 or insured’s 65th birthday.

Is term life insurance right for you?

Term coverage offers the most coverage (face amount) for the lowest cost (premium). That’s why it is a popular form of life insurance.

OPTerm is recommended for someone who:

  • Needs financial protection for a certain period of time
  • Has no interest in cash-value
  • Is looking for affordable coverage

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Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance, a form of permanent protection, provides policy flexibility and includes a cash-value component.

Your universal policy will not expire, as long as you make adequate premium payments.

Essential Facts

Banner’s universal product is called Life Step UL.

  • Permanent coverage option
  • Issue ages: 20 – 85
  • Minimum face amount: $50,000
  • Flexible premiums and death benefit
  • Multiple health classes
  • Cash value component to access via loans or withdrawals

Additional Features

Banner provides guarantees on their universal life insurance product to meet your needs.

  1. Guaranteed Cash Value – lifetime premium guarantees cash value to the policy.
  2. Lifetime Guarantee – option to pay a level premium that will guarantee permanent coverage.
  3. Short Pay Guarantee – flexible premiums and coverage guarantees to allow for premium payment consolidation.

Riders

Riders are automatically included with your universal policy (no additional cost).

  • Accelerated Death Benefit – option to accelerate up to 75% of the policy’s face value, up to $500,000, if diagnosed with a qualifying terminal illness.
  • Partial Surrender Benefit – allows policy owners to take a portion of the cash surrender value after the first five policy years.

Is universal life insurance right for you?

Universal life insurance provides flexibility in policy design, coverage amount, and the death benefit.

Life Step UL is recommended who:

  • Wants lifetime guaranteed coverage
  • Flexibility in premium payments
  • Protection for a family business
  • Desires to utilize cash-value for retirement or major purchases

Final Expense Life Insurance

Aptly named, final expense life insurance is designed to cover end-of-life costs.

Simple and affordable guaranteed whole life insurance. – Banner

Available coverage amounts are modest and is best for someone who does not already have life insurance in place.

Final expense is a common form of life insurance for seniors.

Essential Facts

Banner’s final expense insurance includes some key features.

There is no medical exam or lengthy health questionnaire.
  • Permanent coverage
  • Issue ages: 50 – 80
  • Up to $15,000 in coverage
  • Cash-value component
  • Guaranteed acceptance
  • Type of no exam life insurance
  • Premium payments stop at age 95
  • Claims are paid within one business day

Final expense coverage through Banner is a form of guaranteed acceptance life insurance, meaning that you cannot be turned down for coverage due to health complications.

Graded Death Benefit

It is important to note that Banner’s final expense policy includes a graded death benefit.

What is that? To protect the financial integrity of the company, a final expense policy will only pay the full death benefit after the policy has been in place for at least two years.

Because the product is a form of guaranteed issue whole life, all applicants are accepted, and hence, all risk is accepted.

The graded period safeguards the carrier from paying a death benefit immediately after a policy was purchased.

Is final expense life insurance right for you?

Final expense is recommended in specific circumstances.

  • Coverage is needed for end-of-life expenses, like medical bills and a funeral
  • No existing life insurance in place or term policy will expire soon
  • Interested in a modest cash-value component
  • Looking for affordable premium payments

Banner Life Insurance Quotes

To get a general idea of cost, evaluate the following sample rates for Banner.

Keep in mind sample rates are just that – examples of cost and they do not reflect individual rates.

Quotes are for healthy, non-tobacco individuals.

The following is for Banner OpTerm life insurance for 10 years.

Banner Term Life Insurance Quotes Male

 $100,000$250,000$500,000
20 year old$7.57$11.18$16.77
25 year old$7.57$11.18$16.77
30 year old$7.57$11.18$16.77
35 year old$8.47$11.73$17.42
40 year old$9.76$15.05$24.94
45 year old$11.10$19.44$32.25
50 year old$15.39$30.74$54.18
55 year old$20.16$40.20$70.00
60 year old$31.73$66.10$122.76
65 year old$52.57$107.84$193.76
70 year old $86.60$199.04$345.68
75 year old$151.46$352.60$673.04
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10-year term.
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Banner Term Life Insurance Quotes Female

 $100,000$250,000$500,000
20 year old$6.99$8.53$11.67
25 year old$6.99$8.53$11.67
30 year old$7.03$8.71$12.03
35 year old$7.10$10.00$14.83
40 year old$8.57$13.67$19.13
45 year old$10.15$16.12$26.01
50 year old$13.67$26.44$43.43
55 year old$17.60$33.75$60.20
60 year old$25.63$56.33$104.49
65 year old$45.19$97.82$178.02
70 year old $74.60$171.35$320.35
75 year old$138.74$339.10$673.04
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10-year term.
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For universal life insurance quotes, an advanced product, reach out to an independent agent to walk you through the quoting process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about Banner Life and their unbiased answers.

What is good about Banner?

Banner offers competitively priced life insurance, especially for someone with health complications.

For example, Banner has some of the most affordable rates for an applicant with a history of:

Further, Banner often utilizes an electronic underwriting process to streamline your application.

What is bad about Banner?

Banner only offers three life insurance products, making your options limited. For example, Banner does not offer:

Will I need to take a medical exam?

Not necessarily.

Banner’s final expense life insurance is always a form of no exam coverage.

For a term policy, it’s possible to skip the medical exam, depending on your health and medical/lifestyle history, and age.

Should I buy a Banner life insurance policy?

Possibly.

You should buy the life insurance policy that best matches your financial needs. And – based on the form of coverage you qualify for.

To start, conduct a needs analysis:

  • Who is the policy for? (You, your parents, your child?)
  • What is your annual income?
  • List the financial needs of your beneficiaries.
  • Calculate your budget for coverage. (Do you need cheap life insurance?)
  • How many years do you need coverage?
  • Do you have charitable giving goals?

Next, document your health and lifestyle as they can affect the type of policy you qualify for.

For example, do you have a history of:

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How To Buy

There are two important steps to take in order to find the best policy with Banner, or any carrier for that matter.

First, collaborate with an independent insurance agent. Why? Independent agents access multiple carriers to compare and contrast product features and rates.

Next, prepare for the application. That way, there are no surprises or delays during the application process. List your beneficiaries, your medical and lifestyle history, and occupation details.