Transamerica Life Insurance Review 2023

Andrew Marder
By Andrew Marder 
Edited by Katia Iervasi

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Transamerica

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: Transamerica life insurance offers term life, whole life and universal life policies, but has below-average customer satisfaction.
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

Financial strength rating

Strong

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Far more than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam
insurance-product-card-logo
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

Transamerica

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: Transamerica life insurance offers term life, whole life and universal life policies, but has below-average customer satisfaction.

Financial strength rating

Strong

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Far more than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam

In our life insurance reviews, our editorial team considers the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:

Policies offered. There are many types of life insurance on the market, and they fall into three key categories:

  • Term life insurance offers temporary coverage and a guaranteed payout if the policyholder dies during the term.

  • Permanent life insurance typically lasts a lifetime and builds cash value that can be borrowed against in the future.

  • No-exam life insurance issues coverage without the need for a medical exam.

Financial strength. We use AM Best ratings to confirm an insurer’s long-term financial stability and ability to pay claims. For life insurance, NerdWallet typically recommends considering insurers with ratings of A- or higher. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Exceptional: A+, A++.

  • Strong: A-, A.

  • Moderate: B, B+.

Complaints. These ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The best life insurance companies have fewer than the expected number of complaints.

Buy online. This indicates whether an insurer allows you to apply for and buy a policy completely online.

Transamerica offers term life, indexed universal and whole life policies, as well as coverage specifically designed for foreign nationals. Although its headquarters are no longer in San Francisco, Transamerica still uses the image of the city’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid for its logo.

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure the content on our site is accurate and fair so you can make financial decisions with confidence and choose the products that work best for you. Here is a list of our partners, and here’s how we make money.
TAKE CARE OF WHAT MATTERS MOST
Your family is unique — your life insurance should be, too.

Transamerica life insurance

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

Transamerica earned 3 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Transamerica life insurance policies

Term life insurance. Transamerica offers two types of term life insurance policies, with terms of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years available.

  • The Trendsetter Super policy offers up to $10 million in coverage — or even more, depending on individual circumstances.

  • The Trendsetter LB offers up to $2 million in coverage and gives access to some of the money before death if the insured person is diagnosed with a chronic, critical or terminal illness.

Whole life insurance. The company offers whole life insurance policies of up to $2 million with a variety of potential riders. These include accelerated death benefit riders for those with chronic, critical or terminal illnesses, term life riders, waiver of premium, children’s benefit riders and more.

Transamerica also offers a final expense insurance policy, which is a whole life policy with relatively small death benefits, ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 depending on age. Buyers can apply up to age 85.

Transamerica made our list for best burial life insurance of 2023.

Indexed universal life insurance. In depth information on the company's indexed universal life insurance is available by contacting an agent. With indexed universal life, the cash value growth is tied to a market index, such as the S&P 500. A wide range of riders are available, including an accelerated death benefit, children's benefit, guaranteed insurability, waiver of premium, concierge planning and an additional insured rider.

Group life insurance. The company also offers group life insurance through employers.

Life insurance for foreign nationals. If you’re a foreign national and work in the United States, visit often or own property in the country, you may qualify for one of Transamerica’s policies. You must be from one of 47 qualifying countries to apply and have a global net worth of $1 million.

Transamerica customer complaints and satisfaction

Over three years, Transamerica has drawn far more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size, according to a NerdWallet analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Transamerica ranked No. 21 out of 22 companies for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power's 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study.

More about Transamerica

On the Transamerica website, you can read detailed information about the company’s policies and use its Life Insurance Policy Explorer tool to find the right option for you. However, online quotes are available only for the Trendsetter Super plan.

Transamerica offers additional financial products and services, including:

  • Annuities.

  • Mutual funds.

  • Retirement planning.

  • Workplace benefits.

How to contact Transamerica

Transamerica can be reached by:

  • Phone: Call 800-797-2643 on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

  • Email: Contact form via the website.

  • Live chat: Transamerica does not have live chat capabilities.

TAKE CARE OF WHAT MATTERS MOST
Your family is unique — your life insurance should be, too.

Life insurance buying guide

Before you start comparing companies, choose the type of life insurance you want, such as term or whole life. Decide which life insurance riders, if any, you want the policy to include. Calculate how much life insurance you need and how long you want the coverage to last. Check that the insurers you’re considering offer the coverage you’re looking for.

When comparing rates, be sure the quotes are for the same amount of coverage over the same period of time. It’s also important to make sure the policy’s medical requirements match your needs. For example, if you want to skip the life insurance medical exam but don’t mind answering health questions, confirm that the application process for each policy you're comparing aligns with that.

Price may not be the biggest driver behind your decision to buy. Look at the number of consumer complaints each company receives, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service.

For more guidance, see our life insurance buying guide.

Life insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on consumer experience, complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. Within the consumer experience category, we consider ease of communication and website transparency, which looks at the depth of policy details available online. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019-2021. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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