Colonial Penn Insurance Review 2024

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Updated Mar 14, 2024

At a glance

Bankrate’s take

Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company offers whole life insurance, including a guaranteed issue policy option, and focuses primarily on serving customers over 50. The carrier may not be the right choice for younger shoppers looking for a variety of policy options.

Colonial Penn’s guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance policy may be appealing to those who have struggled to find affordable life insurance, like those with chronic health conditions.

Colonial Penn life insurance

Colonial Penn life insurance may be an option worth considering, according to Bankrate’s analysis, especially for shoppers over age 50 looking for life insurance.

Colonial Penn offers guaranteed acceptance life insurance and whole life insurance, but it does not offer a range of permanent and universal life insurance options. If you’re looking for term life insurance or other types of life insurance, you may have to turn elsewhere.

  • Permanent: Colonial Penn offers whole life insurance, which is a type of permanent life insurance policy. These types of policies remain in effect for the duration of your life or as long as you pay your premiums. 
    • Whole life insurance comes with a cash value account designed to accumulate interest and returns, which you may be able to use to pay your premiums or borrow against. Colonial Penn’s LifeChoice whole life insurance policy is available to those between the ages of 50 and 75 in most states, with the maximum coverage amount of $25,000. That coverage limit is considerably low compared to other life insurance companies, so whether or not Colonial Penn is the right company for you depends on how much coverage you need. For Colonial Penn’s guaranteed acceptance policies, the maximum coverage amount depends on your age and state. 
  • Guaranteed: Guaranteed acceptance life insurance is another permanent policy type available through Colonial Penn, which may be a good choice for individuals with health issues who are concerned about the life insurance medical exam. In most states, Colonial Penn’s guaranteed life insurance is available for those between the ages of 50 and 85. Colonial Penn issues coverage for its guaranteed acceptance policies in units, with each unit worth $1,000 of coverage. The number of units available to you may depend on your age, gender and the state you live in. Colonial Penn advertises a cost of $9.95 per unit per month. However, costs may vary based on your circumstances. 

Pros and cons of Colonial Penn life insurance

As with all carriers, there are potential perks and drawbacks to consider with Colonial Penn life insurance. Here are some of the key points our insurance editorial team identified.

  • Offers no-medical-exam life insurance options

  • Rated A (Excellent) by AM Best for financial strength

  • Customer service available in Spanish and English

  • Policy types are very limited

  • More complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners than other companies of its size

  • Low coverage limits with all policy types

Colonial Penn life insurance endorsements

Colonial Penn’s life insurance endorsement options are sparse, but you may be able to include endorsements such as:

  • Accidental death benefit rider: This rider provides additional coverage ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 if the insured dies due to a covered accident​​.
  • Accelerated death benefit rider: This option allows policyholders to access a portion of their benefit early if diagnosed with a qualifying illness. Colonial Penn offers three early payout options for this rider: heart attack and stroke, cancer or terminal illness. When combined with its permanent whole life policies, this rider is known as its Living Insurance product​.

Compare Colonial Penn with other insurers

This Colonial Penn life Insurance review may have you wondering if this is the company for you. If you’re looking for a type of life insurance policy that Colonial Penn doesn’t offer, then you may want to compare quotes and coverage options from some (or all) of the companies below: 

Colonial Penn vs. State Farm

While Colonial Penn does not offer term life insurance, State Farm won a 2024 Bankrate Award for the Best Term Life Insurer and Best Universal Life Insurer. The provider also sells universal and whole life insurance, along with auto, business, health and home insurance products. State Farm offers a 24/7 payment line, a network of local agents and an easy-to-use mobile app.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Colonial Penn vs. MassMutual

MassMutual earned a 2024 Bankrate Award for Best Whole Life Insurer. The company earned this title in part due to its high AM Best financial strength score, high coverage capacity and numerous whole life policy riders. The carrier also sells term life insurance, along with universal and variable life policies, which Colonial Penn does not offer. If you’re looking for a whole life insurance provider with a high coverage capacity, you may want to check out MassMutual.

Learn more: MassMutual life insurance review

Colonial Penn vs. Nationwide 

Nationwide offers a wide range of life insurance riders, high J.D. Power score and accessible network of local agents. The company also writes term life, variable life and life insurance for children. Nationwide life insurance policies enable you to add a long-term care rider, which can help pay the costs of home or nursing home care. 

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

Is Colonial Penn a good insurance company?

Since 1972, Bankrate has been a trusted voice in the financial services industry (at that time, we were a print publication known as the Bank Rate Monitor). Fast forward to today, where our insurance editorial team uses our real-world insurance expertise to conduct unbiased reviews of the largest carriers by market share. 

Colonial Penn life insurance has written life insurance policies for more than 60 years and was one of the first to offer guaranteed acceptance life insurance, making it a recognizable name in life insurance. If you’re looking for guaranteed acceptance, renewable term and whole life insurance, Colonial Penn may be worth considering. However, Colonial Penn life insurance may not be right for everyone, and you may need to look elsewhere if you’re looking for universal life or variable universal life.

Colonial Penn customer satisfaction

Getting a good rate is only one consideration when shopping for life insurance, especially when you consider that life insurance quotes do not vary as much between carriers as home or auto coverage. Third-party ratings can give you an idea of whether insurers have historically had the financial strength to meet their claims obligations or whether their customer service is up to par. Reviewing J.D. Power studies and AM Best ratings may be a good place to start.

Colonial Penn was not included in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Individual Life Insurance & Annuity Studies or the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Group Life Insurance Study, but its parent company (CNO Financial) AM Best rating is promising. AM Best measures a company’s financial strength, and a high rating indicates a historical ability to meet financial claim obligations.

Colonial Penn life complaints

Aside from financial strength, Bankrate also looked at customer complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Among other duties, the NAIC tracks the number of complaints filed against an insurance company and gives that company a complaint index score based on its market share. The NAIC uses 1.00 as its baseline index and tracks complaints by product type. This means that an insurer with a complaint index lower than 1.00 receives fewer complaints than expected for its size and vice versa.

Colonial Penn life complaints 

Colonial Penn’s NAIC Complaint Indexes for its life insurance product are not good. In 2021, Colonial Penn received over 20 times the number of complaints than expected for a company of its size. Based on this information, you may want to speak with existing policyholders about their experience before committing to a policy with Colonial Penn.

Other Colonial Penn tools and benefits

Colonial Penn insurance does not offer policy management through a mobile app, but the following perks may be of interest.

  • Online bill pay: Through Colonial Penn’s web portal, policyholders can virtually make payments, download forms and contact customer service.
  • Online quotes and applications: Colonial Penn offers an online platform for customers to easily obtain quotes and submit insurance applications. This digital approach simplifies the process of choosing and applying for life insurance policies​​.
  • No medical exam requirement: One of the standout features of Colonial Penn’s policies is that they do not require a medical exam. This is particularly beneficial for those seeking quick and hassle-free insurance approval​​.
  • 30-day free cancellation period: Colonial Penn provides a 30-day free cancellation period. This feature offers customers the flexibility to review and decide if the policy meets their needs without any financial commitment​.
  • Online policy management: Managing a policy with Colonial Penn is streamlined and user-friendly. Customers can log in to their accounts to view coverage amounts, cash value, loan information and payment history, as well as submit address changes, thereby offering a comprehensive and easy-to-navigate customer service experience

Frequently asked questions about Colonial Penn

  • To file a life insurance claim with Colonial Penn:

    1. Your beneficiary will submit a form called “Claimant’s Statement For Life Insurance Death Benefits.” The provider typically includes the form in the insurance policy documents, but you can also request one by mail or phone or download one at the Colonial Penn website. Colonial Penn enables a beneficiary to submit the claim form, along with the death certificate and any other required paperwork, online or by fax or mail.
    2. Within one to two weeks, Colonial Penn will then assign the claim to a claims associate. In some cases, the associate may request additional documents, such as estate or trust paperwork. After receiving all required documents, the claims associate will determine eligibility for benefits within one to two weeks. Bear in mind that claims time frames vary.
    3. Once approved, Colonial Penn and Washington National customers will receive payment by mail. Bankers Life customers may receive contact from an agent to arrange payment delivery.

    If your beneficiary has any questions during the claims process, they may find it helpful to contact Colonial Penn directly. You may also want to let your beneficiary know where your life insurance documentation is stored prior to your passing.

  • It depends on the type of coverage you are looking for. If you are someone who has struggled to get affordable life insurance from other providers, Colonial Penn’s guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance may suit your needs. However, if you need over $50,000 in life insurance coverage or are looking for universal life insurance, Colonial Penn life insurance may not be worth it. Additionally, the company received an outsized number of complaints for its individual life product, so the company may not be worth it for those who value exceptional service.

  • Colonial Penn states that diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is among one of its top core values. Additionally, the company has maintained a partnership with the American Heart Association (AHA) since 2020. This partnership aims to support the AHA’s Healthy for Good campaign, which encourages heart-healthy habits like eating well and regular exercise. In 2022, Colonial Penn was honored by the AHA for its donations for the AHA’s 2024 Impact Goal, which is designed to make quality health care accessible to more people and to promote cardiovascular health overall.

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