Transamerica Life Insurance Review 2017

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Transamerica Life Insurance

  • NerdWallet rating: No. 16 best life insurance company out of 18 considered.
  • It ranked in the bottom tier of life insurers in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study.
  • It offers a wide range of term and permanent life insurance.


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

NerdWallet rank: 16th

Transamerica ranked 16 out of 18 companies in NerdWallet’s scoring of the largest life insurance companies. The composite score is based on three elements: the number of complaints to state regulators against the company, adjusted for market share; A.M. Best financial strength ratings; and J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores.

» MORE: The best life insurance companies

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 company’s complaint ratio score from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners was .57 for individual life insurance in 2015, the latest year for which data are available. The score is based on the number of complaints to state regulators, 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.

J.D. Power ratings: Among ‘the rest’

Transamerica was among the bottom three scoring companies in J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Life Insurance Study. The company was rated with “the rest,” the lowest score among categories of customer satisfaction. (Other categories include “among the best,” “better than most” and “about average.”) Overall, the company came in at No. 19 out 21 life insurers evaluated.

Transamerica customer satisfaction scores
Overall satisfaction “The rest”
Billing and payment “The rest”
Price “The rest”
Policy offerings “The rest”
Interaction “The rest”
Source: J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Life Insurance Study

More about Transamerica

Types of life insurance soldOther products and services
  • Final expense life
  • Term life
  • Universal life (through employers only)
  • Variable universal
  • Whole life
  • Accidental death insurance
  • Annuities
  • Dental insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Medicare supplement plans
  • Mutual funds
  • Retirement planning
  • Life Insurance options

    Two types of term life policies: Both offer up to $1 million in coverage. The main difference is that the Trendsetter LB provides the ability to receive the death benefit while you’re still alive, if you suffer from a chronic, critical or terminal illness.

    Permanent life insurance: You can buy an individual whole life policy with coverage of $2,000 to $50,000 from Transamerica. Variable universal life details are available by contacting an agent. With variable universal life, the policy’s cash value growth is tied to the performance of underlying investments. Transamerica also offers small whole life policies designed to cover funeral and other final expenses. The company’s universal life insurance is available only through employers.