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Kemper Life Insurance Review 2021

Bottom line: With very few tools available online and relatively high complaints, Kemper is unlikely to be the best option for most life insurance shoppers.
June 1, 2021
Insurance, Life Insurance
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KEMPER LIFE INSURANCE

  • Rated 2.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance in NerdWallet’s analysis.
  • Higher number of complaints to state regulators than expected.
  • Not available in all states.

Kemper Life is based in St. Louis and falls under the Kemper Corp. umbrella. Term and whole life insurance policies are sold and managed by Kemper Life companies, which include United Insurance Company of America, The Reliable Life Insurance Company, Union National Life Insurance Company and Mutual Savings Life Insurance Company. Guaranteed issue whole life policies are sold by Reserve National Insurance Company, part of Kemper Life & Health.

Kemper Life companies collectively draw a much higher number of complaints to state regulators than other life insurance companies of similar size. This, combined with limited product availability and an inability to easily manage policies online, means you may want to shop around before purchasing a life insurance policy from Kemper. If you’re looking for a top-rated company, NerdWallet’s guide to the best life insurance companies for 2021 is a great place to start.

Kemper life insurance

2.5 NerdWallet rating

Kemper Life earned 2.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Kemper life insurance pros and cons

ProsCons
Guaranteed issue whole life policy may not require a medical exam.High number of complaints to state regulators compared to companies of similar size.
Cannot get a life insurance quote or buy and manage a policy online.
Not available in all states.

Kemper life insurance policies

Kemper sells term and permanent life insurance policies through its group of life insurance companies and their affiliates and subsidiaries. You can purchase a policy only from an agent of one of these companies, not online, and product availability varies by state.

Kemper life insurance options include:

    • Term life insurance policies, available for 10, 20 or 30 years at level premiums.
    • Whole life insurance policies with level premiums.
    • Limited pay whole life insurance policies. After a set amount of time, the policyholder no longer needs to make premium payments to keep the policy active.
    • Guaranteed issue life insurance policies are available from Reserve National Insurance Company, which is part of Kemper Life & Health. Guaranteed issue policies don’t require a medical exam for approval, and come with level premiums and a cash value.

» MORE: Term vs. whole life insurance: How to choose

Customer complaints for Kemper Life

Over three years, Kemper life insurance companies have collectively drawn significantly more complaints to state regulators than expected for companies of similar size, according to a NerdWallet analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

More about Kemper life insurance

Kemper’s website offers limited information on its life insurance policies and doesn’t have an online portal for policyholders to manage their accounts or make payments. If you wish to make policy changes, the website has forms available that can be faxed, mailed or emailed. You can make premium payments by mail, electronic transfer or payroll deduction, or have a Kemper representative collect payment at your home.

Life insurance claims can be filed by contacting the policyholder’s agent or by mail or email. Claim updates are delivered by mail about every three weeks.

Kemper Life sells term and whole life insurance in the following 19 states (guaranteed issue policies may be more widely available): Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The Kemper Life phone number is 800-777-8467.

Kemper auto and homeowners insurance

Kemper also sells auto and homeowners insurance. For more information, read our Kemper insurance review.

Other insurance products available from Kemper include:
Renters insuranceCondo insurance
Boat insuranceCommercial auto insurance
Personal valuables insuranceCollectibles insurance
Personal catastrophe insuranceIdentity fraud insurance

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.

Methodology: Life insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims, and complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance. 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.

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. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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