Reviewing an insurer’s financial stability and strength, as well as its reputation for paying its policyholders, can help you to get an idea of how, and how well, the company may do on following through with its claim. One of the top life insurance companies that has a substantial history in the insurance and financial industry is Transamerica.
The History of Transamerica
Transamerica initially began in the insurance and financial services industry in 1904. The company started out as the Bank of Italy, with its founder, Amadeo Giannini, who began the firm in San Francisco, California. The mission of the insurer was to make financial services available to all – and not only to those who were wealthy. This soon became a reality, when the company was able to provide funds for those in the San Francisco area after the infamous 1906 earthquake.
Later, in 1928, the company merged with Bank of America. It soon afterwards acquired Occidental Life Insurance Company through Transamerica Corporation. Then, in 1956, the firm took on the name of Transamerica.
Over the next several decades, Transamerica continued to grow substantially – as well as to acquire a number of additional companies. In 1999, Transamerica became part of Aegon N.V. Presently, the company provides a variety of financial, insurance, and retirement planning solutions to customers in the U.S. and in more than 25 markets across the globe.
The company offers its services to more than 27 million customers – and because of that, it is one of the world’s leading financial services companies. Today, Transamerica considers itself a “Tomorrow Maker.”
A Financial Review of Transamerica
Transamerica is a strong and stable company regarding its financials – and this is reflected in the ratings it has received from the insurer rating agencies. The company also has a good reputation for paying out its policyholder claims. The ratings currently held by Transamerica include the following:
- AA- from Standard & Poor’s
- AA- from Fitch Ratings
- A1 from Moody’s
- A+ from A.M. Best
Transamerica is also accredited with the Better Business Bureau. It has a rating of A+ with the BBB, out of a possible rating scale of A+ through F.
Products Offered Through Transamerica
Transamerica offers a variety of different investment and insurance products. These include mutual funds, annuities, insurance, and retirement solutions. Life insurance coverage includes term, whole life, universal life, accidental death, and final expense insurance.
Term Life Insurance
Term life polices are the most straightforward of any of the types of life insurance. The plans themselves have a set premium and will pay out a set face value at the death of the insured.
With term life, benefit periods will last for a specific number of years, thus the word “term”. The most common terms for these policies are:
- 10 years
- 15 years
- 20 years
- 30 years
Frequently, a term policy will also provide the option to do a conversion. This means that you can change the policy into a permanent life policy without going through a second round of underwriting.
Transamerica offers several different flexible term life insurance plans. These range from time frames of 10 to 30 years, and with benefit amounts of $25,000 up to $1 million. The core term product offerings include the:
- Trendsetter Super Series – The Trendsetter Super Series offers coverage of up to $1 million, which is guaranteed to remain the same throughout the initial term period. At the end of the term, the insured may be able to convert over to a universal life policy without having to provide evidence of insurability.
- Trendsetter LB (Living Benefits) – The Trendsetter LB policy also offers death benefit protection of up to $1 million. However, it also includes living benefits, which means that the insured may be able to access funds from the death benefit in the case of being diagnosed with a chronic, critical, or terminal illness while still living.
Whole Life Insurance
Unlike its term life insurance cousin, Whole life insurance is a permanent policy that does not expire on a set amount of time. Instead, you pay for your insurance coverage, receive a death benefit, and, have an attached investment account that accrues a cash value as you pay your premiums. These funds are allowed to gain interest without incurring any new taxes.
Both the death benefit and the monthly premiums are locked in place for the life of the policy.
Transamerica offers both group and individual whole life insurance coverage.
Universal Life Insurance
Another form a permanent policy, Universal Life policies work in a similar fashion to whole life insurance. The main difference is that the cash value is attached to an index. As that cash value increases, you have options to potentially not pay premiums or to change the amount of premium you pay each month.
Transamerica offers the following types of universal life (UL) products:
- Index Universal Life (IUL) – Index universal life (IUL) provides flexible premiums. The cash value growth is based on the performance of a market index like the entire stock market or the S&P 500. However, if there is poor market performance during a given time period, principal is protected.
- Variable Universal Life – With a variable universal life insurance policy, there is a guaranteed death benefit that is offered. The cash value component growth is based on the performance of an underlying equity market.
- Group Universal life – Transamerica also offers universal life insurance via employers on a group basis.
Accidental Death Insurance
Accidental death offers a death benefit – which is a guaranteed amount that is paid out to a named beneficiary – if an insured dies due to an accident. This benefit can be a stand-alone benefit, or it can be a benefit that is paid in addition to another life insurance policy. Also, accidental death can also provide a monetary compensation benefit if an insure loses his or her vision in an accident, as well as if he or she loses a limb.
Transamerica offers various accidental death benefit options. These include the following:
- Plan A – This pays out a benefit that is equal to $250,000 for a covered death that is accidental. The benefit will double for common carrier accidents.
- Plan B – Plan B will pay out a benefit to the named beneficiary that is equal to $125,000 for a death that is accidental in nature. The amount of the benefit will be doubled should the accident be due to a common carrier.
A family option may also be added. This option adds an additional amount of $125,000 to the payout on the death of the insured’s spouse, as well as a payout of $5,000 on the death of the insured’s children on Plan A. If the family option is chosen for Plan B, it will pay out $75,000 in benefits on the death of a spouse, and a benefit of $5,000 on the accidental death of any of the insured’s children.
Final Expense Life Insurance
The average cost of a funeral in the United States can exceed $10,000 in many areas. This includes factoring in the added expense of one’s headstone, burial plot, transportation, flowers, and obituary notices. Unfortunately, many families and loved ones don’t have that amount of money that is readily available for paying out final expenses. This is why having a final expense life insurance policy can be extremely helpful. In fact, in many cases, it has been said that having final expense insurance is like giving your loved ones one last gift.
This type of insurance policy can essentially save loved ones from having to withdraw funds from their savings or from having to sell precious assets in order to come up with the needed funds for burying a decedent.
People between the ages of 50-80 are most likely to purchase final expense life insurance. And, the death benefit amounts are generally in the range of $5,000 to $50,000. Qualifying for final expense life insurance is often not difficult.
Transamerica offers three final expense life insurance policies. These are the:
- Immediate Solution
- 10 Pay Solution
- Easy Solution
There are several advantages to purchasing final expense insurance from Transamerica, including:
- No waiting period for the coverage to begin.
- No increase in premium due to increasing age of the insured.
- Continuation of coverage – as long as the premium continues to be paid.