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LAST UPDATED: April 15th, 2021

Colonial Penn is a trustworthy life insurance company. It has received high financial strength ratings, which indicates that the insurer can meet its claims obligations to its clients.

Colonial Penn offers great life insurance options — renewable term, whole life, and guaranteed-issue whole life. Whether you are looking for a term or permanent life insurance policy, Colonial Penn has good options. Colonial Penn's life insurance products are available in 49 states, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Because of differences in state laws, some things may vary slightly with the insurance coverage it offers depending on the state. Colonial Penn also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group which is based in Indiana. Colonial Penn is based in Pennsylvania.

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The Good

  • High Financial Strength Ratings
  • Life Insurance Options
  • Living Insurance™

High Financial Strength Ratings

Colonial Penn has been highly rated by four financial strength rating companies. Below find the financial rating from each agency:

  • A.M. Best — A-
  • Standard & Poor's — A-
  • Fitch — A-
  • Moody's — A3

While these ratings are a good sign, it's unclear how recent these are because there is no date listed on CNO Financial Group's page. Many life insurers receive new ratings annually, but it is a little concerning that the website does not disclose the dates of these ratings.

Life Insurance Options

None of Colonial Penn's life insurance policies require a medical exam for underwriting, which is nice for those looking for no-exam life insurance. Some do require a health questionnaire, though.

Underwriting is how life insurance companies evaluate the risk of insuring each applicant. A serious health condition or other pre-existing conditions may affect an applicant's acceptance and the premium rates. Sometimes the medical underwriting process involves answering health questions and a medical exam. It depends on what the insurance carrier requires for the life insurance policy.

Rates for guaranteed issue life insurance can be higher than policies that have a more rigorous underwriting process. In some cases, the underwriting process allows the applicant to qualify for a lower monthly premium rate.

Each Colonial Penn life policy also allows clients to set their payment schedule: monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

Colonial Penn offers three kinds of life insurance policies:

  • Renewable Term Life Insurance
  • Whole Life Insurance
  • Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life Insurance

Renewable Term life insurance coverage is available for people ages 18 to 75. These policies are renewable and can offer coverage through age 90. Term insurance only offers coverage for a set period of time. 

The renewable feature of this term life insurance policy is advantageous because people can make the lower premium payments for a term policy and convert it later when they can afford to pay the higher premiums of a permanent policy.

Completing a health questionnaire is part of the application and underwriting process for these term life insurance policies. The life insurance premiums for these term policies are also determined by the insured's age group.

Colonial Penn's renewable term life policy stands out from those offered at other companies because the cash value of these term policies can be borrowed against at a preset interest rate.

Permanent life insurance policies accrue cash value over time that can be borrowed against. The ability to borrow against your term policy offers a permanent life insurance policy benefit with the other nice features of a term life policy, like cheaper rates.

Colonial Penn offers two kinds of permanent whole life insurance. Both come with set premium and coverage amounts. The life insurance rate and benefit amount won't change over time, which is a nice feature of whole life policies. 

Colonial Penn's whole life insurance policies are available for people ages 40 to 75. Approval for the non-guaranteed issue whole life policy from Colonial Penn requires a health questionnaire for medical underwriting.

The guaranteed acceptance policies from Colonial Penn do not require a health questionnaire for underwriting. Because there is no medical underwriting, the insurance rates tend to be higher than those of policies that do require a medical exam or answers to health-related questions in the underwriting process. While there are pros and cons to a guaranteed acceptance life insurance, it can be beneficial in some situations.

Colonial Penn's guaranteed acceptance policies are whole life insurance. They have a set premium and benefit amount for the duration of the policy. 

Those interested in a guaranteed acceptance policy should know that there is a two year waiting period before full coverage is available. These guaranteed issue policies are available to people ages 50 to 85, so this is a good option for people seeking life insurance for seniors in their family. 

Because these policies are designed with seniors in mind, Colonial Penn's guaranteed acceptance whole life policies can be purchased instead of burial insurance or final expense insurance.

Living Insurance™

Colonial Penn’s whole life and renewable term policies can be adapted to become Living Insurance™.

These policies include an accelerated death benefit rider. If you are diagnosed with a heart attack, stroke, cancer, or a chronic illness, you can receive 25 or 50 percent of the insurance policy's death benefit depending on what your diagnosis is. The accelerated death benefit can be used to pay for medical expenses that may not be fully covered by your health insurance plan.


The Bad

  • Insufficient Customer Insight
  • No Universal Life Insurance
  • Not Available in New York
  • Limited Cost Information

Insufficient Customer Insight

Colonial Penn life insurance reviews are limited on, which means that conclusions about the customer experience are not available.

However, it's a good sign that the reviews received reflect a positive experience with Colonial Penn.

No Universal Life Insurance

Colonial Penn does not list a universal life policy option on its site. Those seeking this type of policy, will need to consider another life insurance provider.

Not Available in New York

A Colonial Penn life insurance product is not available in the state of New York because it does not have the licensing. If you live in New York, you'll need to consider another insurer.

Colonial Penn does have the appropriate licensing in the other regions where it sells insurance, so if you live anywhere else in the United States, Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico, you can buy a Colonial Penn insurance product.

Limited Cost Information

While site visitors can view customized life insurance quotes on Colonial Penn's website, general information about the cost of insurance premiums is not available. To learn more about Colonial Penn rates, interested individuals will need to visit the site or contact the insurance company directly.


The Bottom Line

If you live in New York or want a universal life policy, you'll need to find another insurance company.

However, Colonial Penn offers a good selection of life insurance products, including: renewable term, whole, and guaranteed issue whole, life insurance. It's guaranteed acceptance policies do not require a medical exam or answers to health questions, which make them a nice option if you're looking for a final expense policy. While guaranteed acceptance coverage is convenient, it also means paying higher premiums and lower maximum coverage options.

If you want a more in-depth underwriting process to see if you qualify for a lower rate, you may want to look at another insurance company or consider Colonial Penn's non-guaranteed issue whole life insurance policy. With its range of insurance policy offerings, most shoppers should be able to find a plan that fits their life insurance coverage needs.

Colonial Penn also has earned high financial strength ratings. However, it's unclear how recent these ratings are from CNO Financial Group's website. So, while it's a good sign, you should also ask questions about these ratings before you buy an insurance policy.

As with all life insurance carriers, read customer reviews and complaints, look at the life insurance company's financial stability, and be sure you understand the terms of the policy before making a purchase. It can also be worthwhile to work with an independent insurance agent to be sure you find the best fit.

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Nancy A DeNault

The lady that signed me up. Was great, very helpful and thorough

3 years ago

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Dayn Slaathaug

Very generous terms and cost provided as a work benefit but I have not had to use their services yet.

6 years ago