Life insurance policies are necessary for a complete financial plan. Finding the right company for your policy is not difficult.
This review of Forethought life insurance details everything you need to know and make an informed decision about purchasing one of their policies.
Forethought Life Insurance Company does not have the long heritage of some of the major life insurance carriers. Starting life in 1985 as a subsidiary of Hillenbrand Industries, they went on to become a Fortune 500 company.
The initial core focus was delivering insurance for funeral expenses. This remained the case throughout their first decade in business. It took just seven years for Forethought to achieve $1 billion of insurance in place.
Growth continued with assets of over $1 billion to follow with a doubling to $2 billion of insurance by 1995. By 1996, Forethought were the market leaders regarding pre-need insurance.
Becoming independent in 2004, Forethought finally moved away from Hillenbrand, and product expansion began. In 2006, the company started offering fixed annuities, so policyholders were able to save for retirement while also guaranteeing a fixed income.
Further expansion ensued in 2011 with a shift into banking. Product development continued with hybrid annuities targeting long-term care.
In 2013, Forethought introduced annuity and broker-dealer capabilities via The Hartford. This enabled the company to launch into both variable and fixed annuities.
Today, forethought is part of the Global Atlantic Financial Group, a group that started in 2004 as Goldman Sachs Reinsurance Group. The growth of this group was the result of aggressively acquiring other financial and insurance companies.
A separation took place in 2013 with Global Atlantic now operating entirely under its own steam.
Today, the Global Atlantic Financial Group continues to offer a robust suite of life insurance products alongside annuities and reinsurance.
The holding company has around $45 billion in assets, while Forethought Life Insurance Company holds almost $19 billion in assets in its own right.
The mission of the company remains the same, the desire to be a leading provider of life insurance and reinsurance with a focus on long-term value not just to stakeholders but also to customers.
Creative and innovative, customer service is still uppermost, while associates and employees are treated as shared owners. Transparency is evident in all the company’s dealings.
Global Atlantic Financial Group is judged to be dependable and financially secure. The same vote of confidence extends to the insurance companies under this holding company.
AM Best Company rates Forethought an A-, which is the fourth highest possible rating on a scale of 16.
Moody’s gives them an Aa3 rating, and Standard & Poor’s gives them an A-, both very respectable scores.
The company’s Comdex score is 65.
Not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, they’re still rated A+, and only four complaints have been closed over the past three years.
Life Insurance Products Offered
Forethought Life Insurance has a narrow but solid choice of life insurance that caters for most main needs with simple and affordable coverage.
Term Life Coverage
As with all term life policies, you’ll get death benefits without the investment component leading to the build-up of cash value. The payoff for this is reduced premiums bringing life insurance coverage within the realm of most prospective customers.
Forethought Life Insurance offers term policies of 20 or 30 years. You can also opt for 1-year annual terms if that makes more sense for your needs.
Coverage starts from as little as $50,000.
As with all of the best term life policies, you’ll also be able to convert to permanent coverage subject to certain conditions.
Premiums usually remain level throughout the term.
While this is not the most comprehensive coverage, it’s very affordable and provides the flexibility of conversion if your needs and budget changes.
Permanent Life Insurance
If you’re looking for cash value building up as well as the payout of death benefits, you can choose the permanent policy offered by Forethought Insurance.
This cash value grows tax-deferred, so there’s no penalty on gains until the funds are withdrawn. You’ll have the option of borrowing funds for any reason at all whether that’s paying down other debt, home improvements, or even heading on vacation. This will impact the policy.
You’ve got two main types of permanent policies if you’re looking to do business with Forethought Life Insurance:
- Universal Life
- Indexed Universal Life
You’ll have the death benefits and cash accumulation you’d expect from a universal life policy with this option.
As long as you stick within the policy guidelines, you’ll have some degree of choice in what proportion of your premium goes toward each component, making this a reasonably flexible option.
Indexed Universal Life
Forethought Life Insurance also offers indexed universal life coverage.
As with all indexed policies, performance is linked to how the underlying market performs. While less certain than guaranteed policies, you’ll still be insulated against loss.
You gain in terms of cash value when the market performs strongly. If the market returns poor performance, your principal is protected so that you won’t suffer an outright loss.
Other Products Offered
As well as the regular term and permanent life insurance policies on offer, you can also take out final expenses coverage and combination insurance with Forethought.
Your standard medicare coverage has multiple gaps in the coverage. This means that you are on the hook for any of these costs.
To help the consumer, Medicare supplemental insurance plans were created. Forethought Medicare supplements were once some of the most well respected in the country. They still service these policies for existing customers, but they are not accepting new applications.
Funeral costs can easily exceed $10,000, and by definition, it always comes at a time that’s least convenient and least affordable.
If you’re looking for peace of mind against your dependents needing to shoulder these charges, Forethought has a Pre-need policy meant only for final expenses and funeral-related expenses.
While extremely basic and limited in scope, you can make arrangements through Forethought Funeral Planning Network affiliates, so you’ve got all those expenses covered.
Combination Insurance: TrustGuard Gold
A TrustGuard Gold policy combines the benefits of a burial expenses policy along with a trust component, this makes sure your funds are completely protected against any creditors.
Forethought Life Insurance Company has several annuities available:
- Fixed Annuities
- Variable Annuities
- Fixed Indexed Annuities
These annuities are offered through Forethought distributors.
Standard death benefits can be leveraged according to the funds in place. The funds then operate very much like a regular life insurance policy.
Annuities are useful for bolstering your retirement income.
With Forethought’s fixed annuities, you’ll get a guaranteed income thanks to conservative investment. Since performance is not tied to the stock market, interest is predictable and consistent. This is an excellent approach if you’re looking to fund long-term care.
Fixed indexed annuities give you the possibility of increased growth, but with the risk of loss, they are a more volatile proposition. That said, there’s still guaranteed income and multiple payout options.
Six different choices of this type of annuity are available with various benefits and riders that you can add.
Axa – Offering a wide variety of life insurance policies, Axa is a good option if they win on price.
1 Forethought Center
Batesville, IN 47006-1279