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RiverSource (Ameriprise) Life Insurance Review

Jan. 2, 2019
Insurance, Life Insurance
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at a glance

  • Life insurance sold through Ameriprise Financial advisors.
  • Preliminary term life quotes available online.

RiverSource is a brand of Ameriprise Financial, which offers financial planning, investments and other financial products. RiverSource products include term life insurance and a broad selection of universal and variable universal life insurance, which are sold through Ameriprise advisors. The company does not offer whole life insurance.

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Click below to learn about each factor that goes into our RiverSource review.

RiverSource life insurance

4.0 NerdWallet rating

RiverSource earned 4 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 from A.M. Best.

Based on these ratings, RiverSource is among NerdWallet’s Best Life Insurance Companies for 2020.

Consumer complaints: Better than the median

RiverSource drew significantly fewer than the median number of complaints about individual life insurance to regulators in 2017, compared with life insurance companies of similar size.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners calculates a “complaint ratio score” for insurance companies, which is based on the number of complaints to state regulators, adjusted for market share. The median score is 1; a score less than 1 means fewer complaints than other companies with a similar market share. RiverSource Life Insurance Co. had a complaint ratio score of 0.04 for individual life insurance. Its subsidiary, RiverSource Life Insurance Co. of New York, which does business only in New York, had a complaint ratio score of zero.

RiverSource life insurance options

Term life: Policies with 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year terms are available. The annual price stays level throughout the term. You can convert RiverSource term life to one of the company’s permanent policies in the first five years of the term or at age 65, whichever comes first. Or when buying a policy you can pay extra for the option to convert until the end of the term or at age 65, whichever comes first.

Universal life: A wide selection of universal life policies is available, including indexed universal life, which ties the policy’s cash value growth to an index, such as the S&P 500. The company also offers universal life that can provide monthly payouts for long-term care.

Variable universal life: You choose how the policy’s cash value is invested. You can build a customized portfolio from a wide selection of investment options or choose from one of five professionally managed funds to match your goals and risk tolerance.

Survivorship life: This type of permanent life insurance insures two people on one policy. The policy pays out after the second person dies. Both universal and variable universal life options are available.

More about RiverSource

Types of life insurance soldOther products and services
  • Term life.
  • Universal life, including indexed universal life and policies that provide long-term care benefits.
  • Variable universal life.
  • Survivorship life.
  • Annuities.
  • Disability income insurance.
  • Methodology: Life insurance ratings

    NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the NAIC and A.M. Best 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.

    Methodology: Insurer complaints

    NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2016-2018. 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.