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Last updated on Jan 06, 2020

Colonial Life Insurance Review

Workplace insurance plans with a variety of voluntary benefits ​
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12 companies compared

2 features evaluated

5 ratings analyzed

Ethan Jacobs

By Ethan Jacobs Contributing Writer

Colonial Life Insurance Review

The first thing you should know about Colonial Life is that it only sells insurance products through employers. If you’re here because your company offers a Colonial Life benefit package and you’re wondering what that entails, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re looking to buy a policy on your own, start with our review of the best life insurance companies instead.

Based in Columbia, South Carolina, Colonial Life Insurance brings eight decades of experience in the life insurance industry to the table. Each year, almost 4 million people — and over 90,000 companies — use Colonial Life’s policies to protect themselves and their loved ones from the unexpected. Colonial Life’s policies are “portable,” which is to say that you can take your policy with you after you retire or quit a job. It also has top-notch financial strength and a wide range of workplace benefits that employers can choose to offer. Your experience with the company may depend on the benefits your employer selects, but know that Colonial Life’s base policies are solid.

Pros
Cons
Customizable coverage
‘Portable’ policy
Extensive online resources
Can only sign up through an employer
Quotes only available over the phone

The Life Insurance Factors We Analyzed

Customer experience

When evaluating customer satisfaction with a company, we typically turn to J.D. Power’s life insurance study, which measures customer satisfaction with factors like price, communication, and product offerings. Unfortunately, Colonial Life is not rated by J.D. Power. It does, however, receive almost three times the average number of complaints for a life insurance company, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners — a fact that’s hard to ignore.

Coverage and rider information

Colonial Life’s coverage offerings are provided by employers to employees. A perk of Colonial’s workplace-only insurance is that in many cases, it’s guaranteed-issue, meaning that users don’t need to take medical exams or answer questions in order to verify their eligibility. Its site also features a life insurance calculator, which helps users determine how much life insurance they actually need.

The exact coverage and riders you can choose from depends on what your employer elects to offer, but the potential options are comprehensive. Among these supplementary options are:

  • Accident insurance, which pays insured customers a lump sum to cover out-of-pocket expenses like emergency room visits, copays, doctor bills, and living costs as long as their accident or injury is covered
  • Cancer insurance, which helps cover screening tests and expenses incurred from diagnosis to recovery
  • Critical illness insurance, which provides lump-sum payments to help cover medical costs associated with a critical diagnosis
  • Dental and vision insurance, which can cover a wide range of dental treatments, checkups, eye exams, glasses, and contact lenses
  • Disability insurance, which helps provide financial support when you are unable to earn an income as a result of an injury or illness
  • Hospital indemnity insurance, which pays benefits for hospital stays, services, and covered surgeries whose costs surpass what is covered by health insurance premiums

Another perk of Colonial Life is that in most cases, customers are able to increase their coverage levels at a later date after purchasing insurance. Colonial Life notes that “depending on their plan and the amount of coverage desired, [customers] may need to answer health questions” in order to increase their policy limits. This means that if your health has changed since you first purchased life insurance, you may see a sizeable increase in your premium cost — so it may be worth checking prices for an individual term life policy with another company to supplement your group plan instead of simply increasing the limits.

Life insurance coverage features

Insurance types offered Term, whole, and universal
Term lengths offered 10, 15, 20, and 30 years
Standout coverage features Flexible coverage levels
Portable policies
Comprehensive benefit package
Life insurance needs calculator

Colonial Life Insurance Overview: Financial Strength, Availability, and History

Though Colonial Life’s financial strength is consistently strong across the board, its customer satisfaction and general public perception isn’t quite so consistent. Unum Group, Colonial Life’s parent company, received just 1.5 stars out of five based on 35 customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau site — although keep in mind that these ratings encompass all of Unum Group’s insurance products, not just life insurance.

A workplace insurance plan is only as good as what the employer offers. Your access to any of the voluntary benefits listed above — from accident and disability to cancer insurance and critical illness insurance — will be limited to the options your employer chooses to provide. On the bright side, Colonial Life does its best to help employees make the most of what’s available to them. The company provides benefit counselors to walk you through your options and choose the coverage that’s appropriate for your lifestyle and needs. Ask your employer for more information when it comes time to build your benefits package.

  • In business since: 1939
  • S&P Global financial strength rating: A
  • Moody’s financial strength rating: A2
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A
  • States served: 50

The Competition

A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating
J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study Score
NAIC Customer Complaints
Colonial Life
A
N/A
More complaints than average
MetLife
A+
3/5
Fewer complaints than average
State Farm
A++
5/5
Fewer complaints than average
Northwestern Mutual
A++
5/5
Fewer complaints than average

All information accurate as of January 2, 2020.

The Bottom Line

If it’s offered through your employer, Colonial Life insurance provides access to an extensive list of coverage options that go far and beyond traditional life insurance policies you might find elsewhere. With lots of term lengths and flexible coverage amounts, it’s likely that Colonial will have a good option for you. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have the best track record for customer service, and your policy options will depend on what your employer makes available. If you’re looking for something more personal and customizable, try starting with quotes for individual life insurance policies from State Farm or Northwestern Mutual.

Colonial Life Insurance FAQ