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Transamerica Life Insurance Review 2021

Bottom line: Transamerica life insurance offers a wide range of policy options but has below-average customer satisfaction, earning it an average rating from NerdWallet.
June 1, 2021
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TRANSAMERICA LIFE INSURANCE

  • Rated 3 stars out of 5 by NerdWallet.
  • Offers a wide range of term and permanent life insurance.
  • Below-average customer satisfaction ratings.

Transamerica offers individual term, indexed 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.

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

» MORE: Best Life Insurance Companies for 2021

Transamerica life insurance pros and cons

ProsCons
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. Transamerica also sells small whole life policies designed to cover funeral and other final expenses.

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 $25,000 to $50,000 depending on age. Buyers can apply up to age 85, except in New York where the limit for some products is 75.

The company also offers group life insurance through employers.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Transamerica complaints and customer 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 18th out of 23 companies in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction.

More about Transamerica

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

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.

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.

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.