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Transamerica Life Insurance Review 2019

Jan. 2, 2019
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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at a glance

  • NerdWallet ranking: No. 20 life insurance company.
  • Offers a wide range of term and permanent life insurance.
  • So-so customer satisfaction ratings.


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

» MORE: The best life insurance companies

Take care of what matters most

Your family is unique — your life insurance should be, too.

Find out more about each element that goes into our review of Transamerica Life by clicking below.

NerdWallet rank: 20th

Transamerica was ranked No. 20 out of the best life insurance companies as scored by NerdWallet. The rankings are based on composite scores that include A.M. Best financial strength ratings, J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores and the number of complaints to state regulators, adjusted for market share. NerdWallet scores the largest national life insurance companies that sell policies to individuals.

A.M. Best financial strength rating: A+ (superior)

Transamerica’s financial strength is “superior,” according to ratings agency A.M. Best.

It’s important to check the financial strength ratings of insurers, especially when buying life insurance. Financial strength indicates a company’s ability to pay claims. Your policy may not pay out for many years, so you want to choose a strong company with staying power.

Consumer complaints: Better than the median

Transamerica drew fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners assigns a complaint ratio score to companies based on the volume of complaints, adjusted for market share. The national median score is 1. A score lower than 1 means fewer complaints; a score higher than 1 means more complaints.

The average score, weighted for market share, for Transamerica’s life insurance subsidiaries was 0.77 for individual life insurance in 2017.

J.D. Power ratings: Generally below average

Transamerica scored in the bottom third of companies in J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study. The company was rated among “the rest” of companies, the lowest rating, for overall customer satisfaction and two other categories. It earned “about average” ratings for price and interaction with customers. Transamerica scored No. 18 out of 23 life insurers evaluated by J.D. Power.

Customer satisfaction category Transamerica's score
Overall satisfaction"The rest"
Billing and payment"The rest"
Price"About average"
Policy offerings"The rest"
Interaction"About average"

More about Transamerica

Types of life insurance soldOther products and services

  • Term life.
  • Index universal life.
  • Universal life (through employers only).
  • Variable universal.
  • Whole life.
  • Annuities.
  • Long-term care insurance.
  • Medicare supplement plans.
  • Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.
  • Retirement planning.
  • Workplace benefits.
  • Life Insurance options

    Two types of term life policies: Terms of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years are 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.

    Permanent life insurance: Whole life policies of up to $3 million are available. Transamerica also sells small whole life policies designed to cover funeral and other final expenses. Index and variable universal life details are available by contacting an agent. With index universal life, the cash value growth is tied to a market index, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500. With variable universal life, the policy’s cash value growth is tied to the performance of underlying investments. The company’s group universal life insurance is available only through employers.