TIAA Life Insurance Review

Affordable term life insurance backed by strong financials and great service ​
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Lena Borrelli

By Lena Borrelli Contributing Writer

TIAA Life Insurance Overview

TIAA stands for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, which leads many to believe that membership is limited to teachers. That is not the case, as TIAA is one of the most versatile companies for life insurance. Though the company has ceased accepting new applications, they are a well-respected and highly ranked life insurance company that delivers excellent service at an affordable cost.

The company’s finances are strong, ensuring timely payments, and its customer service offering includes multiple ways to get in touch or find an answer to a question on your own.

Pros
Cons
Consistently affordable premiums
Open conversion policy
Life Wizard quote tool
No whole life insurance
Medical exam required
Little information provided online

The Life Insurance Factors we Analyzed

Customer Experience

TIAA continues to offer a superior customer experience, beginning with a simple application process and continuing with top-tier customer service. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) registers just a single complaint to federal regulators.

TIAA was not included in 2019’s J.D. Power customer satisfaction rankings, but customer reviews say it loud and clear – TIAA offers solid customer service.

Coverage and Rider Information

TIAA offers some of the most affordable life insurance that we have come across for all demographics. Policies begin at $100,000 and last 10 to 30 years in length. While many companies require you to buy additional coverage, TIAA includes an accelerated death benefit rider for free. However, TIAA life insurance does not offer whole life insurance, nor are there are any exemptions for medical exams.

TIAA is all about flexibility, and it shows in its conversion policies. It offers term-to-permanent conversion that applies to all policies at any time, without exception. This is rarely seen today, as most companies have strict requirements for conversion, if allowed at all.

Life Insurance Coverage Features

Insurance Types Offered
Term, universal, variable universal
Term Lengths Offered
10, 15, 20, or 30 years
Term Life Insurance Coverage Limits
Up to $1,000,000
Whole Life Insurance Coverage Limits
Not offered
Standout Coverage Features
First-term guaranteed level premiums
accelerated death benefit
term-to-permanent conversion

TIAA Life Insurance Overview: Financial Strength, Availability and History

TIAA has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which is another factor in support of TIAA’s generally positive reputation. In 2020, TIAA will cease to accept new policies for life insurance, although new policies will be accepted on the annuities side. Existing life insurance policies will still be honored, with no public plans to alter insurance coverage, but it signifies a huge shift in life insurance going forward.

The Competition

AM Best Financial Strength Rating
JD Power 2019 Life Insurance Study
NAIC Customer Complaints
TIAA
A++
Not Rated
Fewer complaints than average
Northwestern Mutual
A++
5/5
Fewer complaints than average
State Farm
A++
5/5
Fewer complaints than average
Nationwide
A+
4/5
Fewer complaints than average
New York Life
A++
4/5
Fewer complaints than average
Mutual of Omaha
A+
4/5
Fewer complaints than average

*All information accurate as of Dec. 15, 2019.

The Bottom Line

TIAA has consistently proven to be a good option for those looking for long-term, permanent coverage. It is very affordable, impressively so, but it does not work for everyone. TIAA did not offer policies designed for wealth accumulation, so it was not the best choice for growing your portfolio. Still, its conversion options are impressive, creating a program designed to grow with you as you age.

TIAA offers great coverage, even better pricing, and excellent customer service. It will be a shame to see it wind down its life insurance offerings.

TIAA Life Insurance FAQ

Is TIAA Life Insurance a good life insurance company?

TIAA is a top-rated leader for life insurance and is financially secure, so you know your policy is safe. You can expect quick payouts with excellent customer service, giving you greater transparency when it comes to your policy. TIAA is a standout for its dependable professionalism – just bear in mind that your options are more limited than other companies.

What types of life insurance does TIAA Life Insurance offer?

While TIAA will no longer offer new life insurance policies starting in 2020, the company has offered both term life insurance and permanent life insurance in the past. Term life coverage is limited to a set period of time, while permanent life insurance is designed to last the rest of your days. The two differ greatly, as term life insurance is only temporary, while permanent life insurance will build cash value for you over time.

What is the average life insurance cost per month with TIAA Life Insurance?

Customers can expect TIAA to deliver consistently low pricing on its life insurance premiums. Pricing for life insurance policies is based upon several factors, to include the type of policy you have, the amount of coverage, and the length of your policy’s term. TIAA also considers things like your age, medical history, and lifestyle to determine how much life insurance you will need.

Does TIAA Life Insurance pay out dividends to its policyholders?

Depending on your policy, TIAA Life Insurance may pay dividends. However, as a company in full transition, TIAA may redevelop its policies regarding life insurance moving forward. For the most up-to-date information, contact your insurance agent, or you can contact TIAA Life directly at 877-276-9429.

Does TIAA Life Insurance require a medical exam?

When purchasing a new life insurance policy, many companies require you to go to the doctor’s office for a medical exam that demonstrates your current health. TIAA was one of those companies, requiring new customers to submit the results of a medical exam before they could be approved for their new policy.

Can you cancel TIAA Life Insurance life insurance?

As TIAA shifts its position within the insurance industry, there are more customers than ever who want to review their options. Even though TIAA is no longer accepting new customers, the company will still fulfill its obligations to current policyholders and maintain coverage as normal. To discuss your options for cancellation, contact TIAA directly for requirements.

Does TIAA have membership requirements?

TIAA opens its application process to everyone. Unless the product or policy specifically dictates otherwise, there are no eligibility requirements for life insurance coverage. However, you might find that some specific policies are restricted to certain groups, like federal employees or medical professionals. TIAA provides a helpful eligibility guide to help you determine where you qualify.