Transamerica Life Insurance Review 2022

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Transamerica Life Insurance
NerdWallet rating 

Bottom line: Transamerica life insurance offers a wide range of policy options but has below-average customer satisfaction.

Policies offered: Term‚ permanent & no-exam.

Financial strength: Strong.

Complaints: More than expected.

Buy online? No.

Transamerica offers individual term, indexed universal and whole life insurance, plus final expense coverage. Although its headquarters are no longer in San Francisco, Transamerica still uses the image of the city’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid for its logo.

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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 customer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Transamerica life insurance pros and cons

Pros

Cons

Wide range of life insurance offerings and lots of term lengths available.

Received more complaints than expected for a company its size.

Offers relatively high death benefit options.

Customer satisfaction scores below average for life insurance in J.D. Power comparison.

Transamerica life insurance policies

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 policies of up to $2 million are available with a variety of potential riders. These include accelerated death benefit riders for those with chronic, critical or terminal illnesses.

Indexed universal life insurance details are 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.

Final expense insurance 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, except in New York, where the coverage isn't available.

The company also offers group life insurance through employers.

Transamerica customer complaints and satisfaction

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

Transamerica ranked 19th out of 21 companies in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Life Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction

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More about Transamerica life insurance

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

Transamerica offers additional financial products and services, including annuities, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (known as ETFs), retirement planning and workplace benefits.

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

How we review life insurance companies

In our life insurance reviews, our editorial team considers both 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 A.M. 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.

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 2018-2020. 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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