THE GOOD

Solid coverage options:

The Hartford life insurance offers a full selection of policy types to meet your personal goals, including term life, whole life, and standard universal life policies, as well as variable and indexed universal life policies. You can also select from an excellent variety of optional coverages that include almost all major options available in the industry. Standard cash surrender, return of premium, and term conversion options are available to ensure you have maximum flexibility as your policy needs to evolve. Other popular optional coverages include a mortgage life option and a survivorship and joint coverage option. The only major optional coverage not provided by The Hartford is a whole life vanishing premium option, which enables you to apply your policy dividends toward future premium payments. However, this typically doesn't rank as essential for most life insurance shoppers.

Medical exams not required:

The Hartford's lack of a medical exam requirement is sure to appeal to many potential policyholders, especially older individuals. This provision applies to both new policyholders and existing policyholders who are interested in converting a term life policy to permanent coverage. Though there are some restrictions in place, notably for policyholders over age 70, most customers can take advantage of this provision. If you're looking for maximum convenience and minimum hassle when purchasing or converting a policy, The Hartford life insurance makes a great choice.

Generous grace period:

If you've ever missed an important due date during an especially busy period, you can really appreciate the value and convenience of The Hartford's 31-day grace period for premium payments. This provision is especially important for life insurance policies, as it helps you to avoid a policy lapse or cancellation resulting from a simple oversight. Since a policy lapse or cancellation could have huge ramifications for you and your family, it's very nice to see that The Hartford makes an allowance for this kind of common mistake.

THE BAD

Weaker financial strength:

The Hartford is a well-known name in the insurance industry and has been operating for over 200 years. However, despite this long track record of success, the company's financial strength ratings from top ratings agencies are lower than those of their competitors. For example, A.M. Best and S&P both rate The Hartford below all of the company's major competitors in terms of overall financial strength. Though The Hartford's ratings are actually favorable according to the rating scales, their position relative to other companies is an important indicator that may give pause to cautious shoppers.

Confusing online tools and learning materials:

Though The Hartford does provide some educational content, it is spread out over The Hartford's main website and a secondary website for investment customers, which is pretty difficult to navigate. Additionally, the company does not provide a comprehensive beginner's guide to get first-time buyers up to speed, something that the top insurance companies are careful to provide. If you are a self-starter or if you're simply interested in having helpful resources at your fingertips, The Hartford is not a particularly strong choice.

No mobile app capability:

Customers who value the ability to access their account from anywhere will be disappointed. The company does offer a mobile website designed for smartphone web browsers, but it provides almost no value to the company's life insurance policyholders. In combination with the lack of online tools and resources, the complete lack of mobile functionality indicates that The Hartford has not yet taken steps to appeal to technologically savvy life insurance shoppers who appreciate a strong online presence and functional mobile tools.

THE DETAILS

Details
A.M. Best FSR Rating A-
A.M. Best ICR Rating a-
Moody's Rating A3
Policy Offerings Term, Whole, Universal
Standard & Poor's Rating A

FEATURES

Title
  • A.M. Best "Excellent" or Better The insurance company has an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or better.

  • ICR Rating "Stable" The insurance company has an A.M. Best Credit Rating of "Stable" or better.

  • Moody's "Very Strong" The insurance company has a Moody's rating of "Aa3" or better.

  • S&P Rated "Very Strong" The insurance company has an S&P rating of "AA-" or better.

  • Cash Value Access The policy owner can access or borrow against the value of policy accounts.

  • Dividends The policy owner can receive periodic dividends based on account performance.

  • Dynamic Premium Amount You decide the amount and date of premium payments, subject to basic minimums.

  • Expiration or Lapse Guarantee The policy does not expire if premiums paid are insufficient.

  • Graded Premium Option The life insurance company offers a policy that starts with a low initial premium and gradually increases over time.

  • Guaranteed Level Premiums Premiums do not increase over time but remain constant for the entire life of the policy.

  • Interest Rate Guarantee You receive a guaranteed minimum level of interest in the contract.

  • No Exam Term Conversion The insurance company guarantees conversion of a term policy to a cash value or permanent policy offered by the life insurance company without a physical exam.

  • Partial Surrenders You can withdraw funds up to a certain percentage of the policy value.

  • Tax-Deferred Growth The cash value of the policy grows tax-deferred.

  • Term Renewal Guarantee You are guaranteed a renewal option annually after term expiration.

  • Variable Death Benefit A policy where the death benefit increases or decreases with your policy account value is available.

  • Level Death Benefit A policy where the death benefit remains level is available.

  • Limited Premium Payments Whole life insurance premium payments can be limited to a fixed number of years.

  • Paid-Up Additions You can purchase additional insurance with paid-out policy dividends.

  • Waiver of Monthly Deductions Future monthly deductions are waived in the event of disability.

  • Accelerated Benefit for Terminal Illness A rider which grants early access to the death benefit to defray the cost of a terminal illness is available.

  • Accidental Death Benefit A rider that pays an additional death benefit in the event of the accidental death of the insured is available.

  • Child Rider An added rider that covers the death of your child is available.

  • Disability Income Rider An added rider that provides income in the event of a bodily injury that prevents you from working is offered.

  • Estate Protection Rider A rider that provides extra coverage to offset estate taxes if the policy is included in the insured's estate is offered.

  • Final Expenses Policy A rider or a policy that covers funeral expenses is available.

  • Long-Term Care Rider A rider is available that covers the cost of long-term care if needed during the policy term.

  • Additional Insured Rider A rider that extends coverage to an additional person/spouse is available.

  • Whole Life Guaranteed Insurability Rider An option to guarantee future insurability at standard rates without further proof of insurability is available.

  • All Policy Types Term, whole, and universal coverage options are available.

  • Cash Surrender Option Policyholders of lapsed or surrendered policies can request immediate cash disbursement or remaining balances.

  • Flexible Coverage Options Low initial coverage options below $100,000 are available.

  • Mortgage Life Option A policy in which the death benefit stays level for a fixed number of years but then decreases over the remainder of the term is available.

  • Return of Premium Option An option is available where the premiums paid over the life of the policy are returned at the end of the term less any deductions or loans taken.

  • Survivorship/Joint Coverage Option The policy covers two people and is paid when the first or the last of the two people covered in the policy dies.

  • Term Conversion Option Conversion to a cash value or permanent policy is offered by the life insurance company.

  • Whole Life Vanishing Premium Option A whole life policy whose dividends can be used to reduce future premium payments is available.

  • Email/Ticket An email or ticket system dedicated to support is available.

  • Phone You can get support by phone.

  • Social Media You can contact the insurance provider with questions through social media websites.

  • Live Chat You can get support through live chat.

  • Grace Period The insured has a grace period after missing a premium payment before the policy is cancelled.

  • No Medical Exam Required A medical exam is not required in order to qualify for a policy.

  • Waiver of Premium An option that waives the premium payment if the policyholder becomes disabled or otherwise unable to pay is available.

  • Assignment Clause The insurance policy is freely assignable to anyone.

  • Automatic Premium Loan Provision The insurance provider can automatically pay an outstanding premium with a policy loan, preventing a lapse of coverage.

  • Incontestable Clause After an initial period, the provider can no longer contest or revoke the policy.

  • Interest-Free Cash Value Loan You can borrow against the cash value of the policy without paying interest.

  • No Maximum Age No maximum age for policy coverage is imposed.

  • No Maximum Coverage Level The provider does not impose a maximum coverage level.

  • No Minimum Age The provider does not impose a minimum age for policy coverage.

  • No Minimum Coverage Level The provider does not impose a minimum coverage level to start a policy.

  • No Minimum Premium The provider does not impose a minimum premium amount in the early stages of a policy.

  • Policy Discount A discount is offered if you hold additional insurance with the life insurance company.

  • FAQs You have access to a collection of relevant frequently asked questions and answers.

  • Learning Resources You have access to online resources that explain the various types of life insurance.

  • Level of Coverage Calculator An online tool to determine the level of insurance coverage that you need is available.

  • Policy Selection Guidance A tool or guide to help you select the best type of coverage is offered.

  • Claim Status and Management Death claims can be managed online.

  • Glossary You have access to an online resource that explains commonly used insurance terminology.

  • Online Agent Contact You can forward the details of your online rate quote directly to an agent for review.

  • Online Purchase You can purchase a new policy over the Internet.

  • Online Quotes You can obtain a term insurance quote online.

  • Automatic Payments Premium payments can be automatically scheduled.

  • Bank Account Payment You can pay your premiums with a linked bank account.

  • Credit Card Payment You can pay your premiums with a credit card.

  • Online Premium Payment You can pay your premiums online.

  • Single Premium Payment An option to pay a single life premium payment up front for whole or universal life insurance is available.

  • Phone Payments You can pay your premiums over the phone.

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