Transamerica Life Insurance Review
How We Reviewed Transamerica Life Insurance
71 life insurance companies compared
4 independent ratings groups consulted
8 policy types evaluated
Transamerica Life Insurance Review
Transamerica provides policies that are both well-rounded and flexible, while still pulling consistently low premiums in our quote comparisons — which is why we awarded it "most affordable policies" in our review of the best term life insurance.
In terms of policy options, we love that Transamerica offers term life coverage ranging from 10 to 30 years in length, and from $25,000 to $10 million for death benefits. This is a wider range than most companies on both counts. Since term life insurance is meant to provide affordable coverage as long as you need it (and no longer), Transamerica’s flexibility is key.
Transamerica has the credentials to back up its offerings, too. The company earned top financial strength scores from three separate ratings agencies, meaning it can be counted on to pay out if you need to file a claim. The only place Transamerica falls a little short is in customer service, polling below average in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey. That may be something to look out for if excellent support is high on your list of must-haves.
Transamerica emphasizes the highly individual nature of life insurance, claiming to offer a “range of flexible products to suit your personal needs.”
Is it true?
It’s true that Transamerica’s term life insurance is singularly flexible. It offers an impressive range of death benefits and term length options, so most people will be able to find a policy that fits their needs and their budget. The company also has a good selection of policy add-ons, like an accelerated death benefit, disability coverage, and the option to purchase long-term care insurance. This means you’ll be able to bolster your life insurance wherever you need extra protection. This flexibility also extends to the company’s permanent products, with individual whole life insurance policies going up to $3 million.
However, we don’t recommend Transamerica if you’re looking for a universal life policy. Its universal option — Transamerica Financial Fund Indexed Universal Life (FFIUL) — has been controversial in recent years, even being sued for upping prices on active policies.
Don’t let that turn you off on the company as a whole, though. Transamerica has a positive reputation for offering sound, affordable term life policies. Of course, prices are individual, so we recommend getting multiple quotes before buying. But if you’re thinking term insurance, then Transamerica should make the list.
Affordable term life insurance
Whole or universal life insurance
|Financial strength ratings||A.M. Best: A+
S&P Global: AA-
|J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study score||751/1,000|
|Insurance types offered||Term, whole, universal|
|Term lengths offered||10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years|
|Standout coverage||Guaranteed level premiums for term insurance
Accelerated death benefit
Disability waiver of premium
Accidental death insurance
Long term care insurance
|Customer tools||Online quotes for term insurance
Community financial forum and blog
*Trendsetter LB term life policy not available in New York
Flexible term life policies
The goal of term life insurance is to provide coverage during the most critical financial periods of your life: for instance, while you have a mortgage out on the house or while you’re paying your kids’ way through college. The best term life policies can be tailored to your unique situation — so you’re protected during these important times, without paying for more coverage than you need. This is where Transamerica excels.
Transamerica term life policies start at a death benefit of just $25,000: one of the lowest entry points we’ve seen. That gives customers the opportunity to purchase a small-size, super-affordable policy. The company also offers terms from 10 to 30 years in five-year increments. It even has a 25-year term, which some companies with similar options (like TIAA Life) skip over. Most people will be able to find the right term for their needs with Transamerica.
Well-rounded coverage selection
After choosing the right type of life insurance and the right term length (if applicable), you’ll have the option to customize your policy through add-ons or “riders.” Transamerica has a good selection in this department. Most importantly, it offers an accelerated death benefit rider, which lets the insured access funds during life to cover bills for a critical illness.
Other highlights include a disability waiver of premium rider, which forgives future payments if the insured is injured and can no longer work, and an accidental death rider, which may pay as much as 200% of the death benefit if the insured dies of accidental causes. If you’re considering a Transamerica policy, be sure to speak with an agent about rider options that may benefit you.
Generally affordable for term insurance
The larger your death benefit, the larger your premium. That means Transamerica’s low bar for entry — term insurance starting with a death benefit of $25,000 — allows it to offer some of the cheapest policies on the market by default. Even for a larger policy, though, Transamerica’s prices are likely to be competitive. After comparing a few companies’ premiums for different scenarios (by age, gender, and health level) we were impressed with Transamerica’s low cost — beginning at just under $11 per month.
Long-term care insurance available
Although Transamerica doesn’t offer long-term care as a life insurance add-on (some providers do), the company does sell it as a separate policy. Long-term care coverage can be incredibly valuable down the road.
It may save family members from paying huge medical bills out of pocket, allowing them to take care of their loved ones in the best way possible. If you’re looking for both term insurance and longer-term medical care coverage, Transamerica may be a good choice for keeping both policies under one roof.
Average customer service
Transamerica’s reputation for customer service is strictly mediocre. In J.D. Power’s 2018 customer survey, the company was rated near the bottom of the list with a below-average score of two out of five. If excellent support is a big selling point for you, you may be better off with a company like State Farm (which has earned J.D. Power’s gold award five years running).
However, this isn't a guarantee that your individual experience will be bad. We still recommend grabbing a quote from Transamerica when shopping around and seeing how the price and customer service stacks up for your individual circumstances.
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Transamerica vs. TIAA Life
TIAA Life and Transamerica run pretty neck-and-neck for term life insurance. They both nailed all the major criteria we look for in great coverage, including level premiums, renewable and convertible policies, and a wide selection of policy riders. However, TIAA may have a slight edge when it comes to price. It rang in a few dollars cheaper than Transamerica in almost every scenario we tested.
It’s important to keep in mind that life insurance prices are highly personal, though. Since cost is dependent on your age, health, family history, and other factors, it’s impossible to say which company will be cheapest for you until you’ve compared quotes. We’d recommend checking prices at both TIAA and Transamerica to see who can offer the best deal on your coverage.
Transamerica vs. New York Life
While Transamerica is one of our top picks for term life insurance, New York Life is one of our favorites for whole life. This is one of our top providers across the board, for whole and universal policies as well as term.
When it comes to whole life coverage, we appreciate that New York Life offers an incredible range of death benefits. You can purchase a policy starting at $50,000 or ending in the tens of millions — meaning there’s almost no limit to its capacity as a savings or inheritance channel. (Unless you’re Jeff Bezos. But you’re probably not.) New York Life also offers especially flexible guaranteed universal life policies, which makes it one of our favorite life insurance companies for seniors. Start your search here if you’re set on permanent coverage.
Transamerica vs. State Farm
One of the drawbacks we noted about Transamerica was its customer service: not awful, but not outstanding, according to the company's policyholders. If you’re someone who puts a lot of stock in customer service, you may be better off purchasing coverage elsewhere. We recommend State Farm. This company lives up to its reputation of being “like a good neighbor” and its newer pledge to be “here to help life go right”: as of 2018, it’s taken home J.D. Power’s gold award for customer satisfaction five years in a row.
That said, there may be a minor trade-off between service quality and price. Our quote comparisons showed higher premiums from State Farm than other term life providers, including Transamerica, TIAA Life, New York Life, and The Globe. Remember that prices are individual, so this isn’t set in stone. It’s definitely worth getting a State Farm quote while you’re shopping around to see how prices stack up.