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SBLI

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The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts was founded in 1907 by Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis. The Massachusetts company boasts being a "no nonsense life insurance company," and is a customer favorite for its quality service and top-notch life insurance products. SBLI, as the company is abbreviated, is affordable, dependable and has consistently earned an A+ rating for financial strength from A.M. Best. They also received an A- rating from Standard & Poor's, a "good financial strength" rating from Weiss, and has been endorsed by multiple companies, like AAA Southern New England.

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The Good

SBLI is known for being active in the community and is involved with companies like The American Heart Association, The New England Center for Homeless Veterans, and Woburn Memorial High School. Since they are a smaller company, they can focus more of their attention on quality customer service. They have helped over 1 million families get insurance. Other benefits include:

Thorough Coverage: Term Life Insurance

Term Life insurance is the ideal policy for families on a budget. It offers lower premiums, and customers can choose term lengths from 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-years. Term Life insurance savings can be used to help with death expenses, mortgage expenses, college tuition and more. SBLI offers 3 kinds of Term Life insurance, including Guaranteed Level Premium Term Life Insurance, One Year Non-Renewable Term Life insurance, and Yearly Renewable Term Life insurance. Guaranteed Level Premium Term Life Insurance:

  • Coverage from $100,000 to $30 million (people from ages 70-74 can get coverage up to $10 million)
  • Lasts up to age 85 (ages 18-74 qualify to apply)
  • Premiums guaranteed to stay the same amount
  • Accelerated death benefit rider
  • Waiver of premium rider
  • Children's level term rider

Yearly Renewable Term Life Insurance:

  • Renews every year - premium costs calculated on age
  • The younger one is, the less expensive premiums are
  • Lasts up to age 75, but people can renew it up to age 90 (people from ages 18-65 qualify to apply)
  • Coverage from $25,000 to $30 million
  • Accelerated death benefit rider
  • Waiver of premium rider
  • Children's level term rider

One Year Non-Renewable Term Life Insurance:

  • No available riders
  • Affordable single premium
  • Guaranteed life protection for 1-year
  • Customers able to convert this plan to a permanent policy that builds cash value
  • Coverage from $100,000 to $10 million
  • Ages 18-90 qualify

Thorough Coverage Options: Whole Life Insurance

Whole Life insurance is perfect for people who want 100% guaranteed life protection. People from ages 15-days to 80-years qualify for Whole Life insurance. All Whole Life policies last until age 121 and offer tax-free cash value accumulation. Coverage ranges from $25,000 to $30 million, and premiums remain stable. SBLI offers 3 Whole Life policy options, including:

  • Continuous Payment Whole Life - If people continue to pay their set premiums, they get full life protection.
  • Limited Payment Whole Life - While still getting full life protection, people can choose to pay their premiums during a set period: 10 years, 15 years, 20 years or until they are age 65. This way, customers don't have to pay premiums their entire life, they just pay them all during a selected set period of time.
  • Single Premium Payment Whole Life - People can get full life protection with a single payment. This is said to be the cheapest Whole Life option.

Thorough Coverage Options: Whole Life for Children

People can buy Whole Life protection for their children or grandchildren. This policy builds cash value accumulation tax-free and offers stable premiums. Children can also receive dividends. For this plan:

  • Ages 0-14 can get $25,000 to $1 million coverage
  • Ages 15-days to 14-years can qualify
  • Children under 15-years-old do not need to take a medical exam (children age 15 and over are required to take one)

Convenient Quote

Customers have the ability to receive a quick quote right from the website's homepage. People can put in their information to the quote tool, and it will generate the selected term rate. This is an extremely convenient way to get a quote and is a great way for people to compare prices. Not only that, but the whole process is completely free.

Affordable Rates

For people in great health who do not smoke, SBLI offers incredibly reasonable rate prices.

Annuities

Annuities are a great way to supplement one's retirement plan. SBLI offers tax-deferred annuities that accumulate cash value. People can choose between Fixed Immediate Annuities and Fixed Deferred Annuities.

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The Bad

Although SBLI offers a number of beneficial services and features, there are limitations to their insurance platform as well. Prospective clients should be aware of the following prior to enrollment:

Basic Chat Options

Unfortunately, the contact department is something SBLI could definitely improve on. Communication options are very basic. The website does not offer an email address or an email submission form; many other insurance companies at least offer that. Another option that SBLI lacks, is an online chat option. An online chat option is helpful in letting customers get immediate answers. Though the company does have a chat for sales, it doesn't have one for customer service in general. Today, everything is technology based, and the average person prefers to get quick answers from the convenience of their computer.

Rigid Underwriting Process

Compared to other companies, SBLI's underwriting process is far more strict. It is for customers to qualify for the top health class, unless they truly are in spectacular health. For people that do have illnesses like diabetes, they should maybe look elsewhere for insurance. Even a few extra inches on the waistband can make all the difference in where people classify for their health class. For example, someone with even a history of cancer in the family might not qualify for the highest health class. Also, people that smoke or have smoked in the last few years are not eligible for the highest health class. This company has a very rigid underwriting process, and because of this factor, it is hard to get the most affordable rates unless one is in tip top shape.

Limited Life Policies

SBLI provides Term Life and Whole Life policy options, but many other competitors offer more of a life insurance selection. SBLI also offers universal Life as a conversion product for their term policy owners. Universal life plans are convenient to offer because customers can design the plan to best fit their circumstances. Other companies who offer Universal Life insurance allow customers the ability to increase or decrease the death benefit and choose the amount they would like to pay the premium. Also, SBLI policies do not double as retirement plans.

Medical Exam Required

This company typically requires that applicants get a medical exam for the underwriting process. The medical exam is free and can be taken from home or the workplace. However, SBLI does not require medical exams for its guaranteed level premium term life insurance products for applicants between ages 18-60 seeking $500,000 of coverage or less.

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The Bottom Line

People should definitely consider SBLI when looking into life insurance options. Their rates are affordable, (they even beat out Banner Life, Metlife, and AIG on price) and their customer service can be trusted. While they do not offer Variable Life or Whole Life insurance, their Term Life policy is thorough and provides many term length options. SBLI does not offer instant chat or an email address. If customers are ok with speaking over the phone, this company is dedicated to offering good service. SBLI has a rigid underwriting process. For example, for a person who has a family history of cancer, they might not qualify for the best health class. Additionally, if a person smokes or chews tobacco, they will be given smoker rates. Some companies will offer non-smoker rates in this instance - not SBLI.

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