Senior Life Insurance: Colonial Penn

Last updated December 18, 2018

Pros

  • Heavily advertised on TV by spokesperson Alex Trebeck.

Cons

  • Policies are MORE expensive than other competitors offering the same type of policy.

  • Maximum coverage amounts are significantly lower than the competitors.

Colonial Penn Life Insurance Pricing

Colonial Penn products for seniors are priced HIGHER than the similar products offered by competitors, as demonstrated below:

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Level Premium (fixed premium)YesYesYes
Maximum Benefit Without Health Questions$7,040$25,000$25,000
Health Questions?NoNoNo
Medical Exam?NoNoNo
65 Year Old Male With $5000 In Coverage
Premium Amount$56.53 per month$44.78 per month$44.81 per month
Percent Savings21% savings21% savings
* Quote is based on $5,000 in Guaranteed Issue coverage for non-smoking 65-year-old male in California

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Overview

Colonial Penn is a life insurance company based in Pennsylvania that offers term life insurance and permanent life insurance to people 18 – 85. Colonial Penn Life Insurance typically markets to the senior market using Alex Trebeck as their national spokesman in print and TV advertising.

As a sister company to Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Colonial Penn is a wholly owned subsidiary of CNO Financial.

Colonial Penn has had 42 complaints filed against the company in 2017 per NAIC, which is higher than average for a life insurance company. Most of these complaints were surrounding premium refunds regarding their Guaranteed Issue policies. (See our article on “Graded Benefits” for more information.)

Colonial Penn Insurance Review

Customer Satisfaction

Colonial Penn Life Insurance does have a few blemishes regarding overall customer satisfaction. Many of the complaints listed against Colonial Penn are surrounding the difficulty beneficiaries encounter when trying to file a claim after the death of a loved one. Click on the logos below to read more reviews on the company.

Colonial Penn Insurance Review

Customer Satisfaction

Colonial Penn Life Insurance does have a few blemishes regarding overall customer satisfaction. Many of the complaints listed against Colonial Penn are surrounding the difficulty beneficiaries encounter when trying to file a claim after the death of a loved one. Click on the logos below to read more reviews on the company.

Level Premium

It is important to note that Colonial Penn guaranteed issue life insurance product is a level premium, meaning that it is based on the attained age of the applicant and will not increase over time.

Cash Value

Colonial Penn Guaranteed Issue policies do build cash value and can be borrowed against; however, Colonial Penn charges an 8% interest rate on any loans made against the cash value.

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Who Is Colonial Penn Life Insurance Best For?

Based on customer reviews, pricing, and underwriting practices; Colonial Penn is best for customers who can not get guaranteed acceptance life insurance from any other life insurance company.

Many other companies like Gerber, AIG, and Mutual of Omaha offer equal or better quality guaranteed issue and final expense products at prices that are up 33% less than Colonial Penn.

As always, we highly encourage all customers to get quotes from other companies prior to purchasing any form of insurance.

Important Note About Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

In some cases, there is a chance that you can outlive the value of the death benefit (pay more in premiums than what the death benefit pays out). When shopping for life insurance, you can easily calculate this using the following formula:

Death Benefit / (Monthly premium x 12) = Years until outlive value

If you think you may live longer than the years displayed you may be better off looking at a different type of life insurance policy.

Is Colonial Life The Best Deal?

Based on data above, Colonial Penn Life Insurance is a more expensive option with lower death benefits than other competitors. Because of this, we believe that Colonial Penn puts customers at a disadvantage when it comes to securing a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy. When shopping for final expense life insurance, we recommend customers to shop around to find the most affordable life insurance given the current market.

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Summary

Given the underwriting, pricing, and customer satisfaction issues; it would be in the customer’s best interest to consider all options before deciding on purchasing Colonial Penn’s guaranteed issue life insurance product. While mass media advertising and national spokepeople help build brand recognition, in this case it doesn’t translate to providing the best coverage for a customer’s end of life need. We recommend you contact an independent agent like True Blue to locate a more affordable life insurance policy that best suits your needs.

11 replies
  1. Mary
    Mary says:

    About 3 yrs ago a young male knocked on my door. I don’t open my door to unexpected strangers, dangerous. But there’s a message on my door about how to call me if there’s an emergency, and he used it and called me fifteen minutes later, tried to sell me Colonial Penn! I said, you’re not an emergency, I’ve never contacted your company, and I want your company’s 800 number to complain. He wouldn’t give it to me! I got it elsewhere and called the company three times, and they hung up on me three times.,. They claimed I had called them THREE YEARS EARLIER! and that they were just now following up, because they don’t like to “leave loose strings.” What honest insurance company waits three years to follow up on a lead? And I don’t need, and never will need, insurance. They LIED. I contacted their State agency that handles insurance, and registered a formal complaint. They said lots of others complained about this company’s weasely tactics, too. And I can’t stand that TV ad they saturate the airwaves with, using Trebek as if old people trust him… he’s just a paid spokesman. I don’t watch shows like his, and the ad is irritating, condescending and patronizing. Saturates the airwaves all day! Be careful, if you do need insurance find another, more honest company. They tried to GASLIGHT me into thinking I had called them three years previously! I’ve never called them or any other insurance company, I don’t need it!

    Reply
  2. Ravanh
    Ravanh says:

    Do not do business with this company. They are quick to take your money out monthly for dues but when you actually have a claim for a death, they give you the run around in what types of documents you need to send them, once you send the paperwork they asked for, they need additional paperwork. You wait for the so called claims dept to process your claims and it takes 14 business days the customer service dept says. I have waited for 2 months now! You have to keep calling and you get shuffled all over the place with people who you can hardly understand!!! Finally spoke to supervisor, A***** F***** (redacted by admin for privacy) who didn’t sound like he was very thrilled to be bothered. He actually hung up on me and said that he is rejecting my call because i raised my voice!!!

    Spend your money elsewhere. It is devastating to lose a loved one, then having to spend time and effort on the phone to get the insurance claims dept to release your money that you are entitled to is a pain in the behind.

    Reply
    • Luke Kinton
      Luke Kinton says:

      Hi Cassie!

      I don’t know of any case where a policy like what Colonial Penn offers would offer a full refund. Similar to how auto insurance works, even though you didn’t file a claim during that month, they still provided coverage for you during that time. The only policy that gives you a full refund is a Return Of Premium term life insurance policy.

      Hope this helps!

      -Luke

      Reply
  3. Carey Watson
    Carey Watson says:

    Colonial Penn are a bunch of [admin edit] and liars, they’re great when you don’t have any contact with them for years while they’re taking money out of your bank account years, but it’s a whole different ball came when you try to cancel your policy and get the money they owe you and stop them from taking money out of your bank account, they say they sent the paper to close the acct to your address you had when you opened the acct even though you haven’t live there for years even when you give them your current address, I could go on and on, put there’s not a big enough page here, lets put it this way these people that work the phones for Colonial Penn are totally incompetent and rude. these people are crooks if you do business them you’ll be sorry. BAD BUSINESS!!!!

    Reply
  4. Charles L. Hickey
    Charles L. Hickey says:

    I wouldn’t buy your insurance if I needed it! It’s probably good insurance–but seeing Alex promoting same on “ME TV” 8 times a day,
    day after day saying PRICE PRICE PRICE I tune him out.You should have an alternate ad every once in a while. But GREED in all companies win out. Wonder how many other people feel the same? You are not the only company doing this–they all do it.

    Reply
    • Luke Kinton
      Luke Kinton says:

      Hi Charles!

      There may be some confusion, so I just want to clearly state that we are not Colonial Penn and that you echo the sentiment of many seniors out there.

      Colonial Penn uses TV advertising as part of their mass media marketing to attract the attention of seniors and there are many seniors in your position who are tired of seeing these commercials nonstop. This is why we offer products that are not only more affordable options, but we also don’t advertise this way either.

      I encourage you to check out what companies we represent, pick a policy that works best for you, and reach out if there are any questions you may have.

      -Luke

      Reply
    • Barb Hitman
      Barb Hitman says:

      Charles, I agree with you. Also, who pays for that commercials? However, Alex is quite good on Jeopardy. That should be enough income alone. Just my observation.

      Reply
      • Beverly
        Beverly says:

        I am honestly upset over this false advertisement, I will turn them in to bbb.. they state you cannot ever be turned down,,well let me tell you they turned me down,,,,i will spread this word about this insurance company. its false advertisement.

        Reply

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About Luke Kinton

In additional to his background in marketing, sales, and web design, Luke brings an impressive range of financial and insurance experience to his role as marketing and communications director at True Blue. A licensed insurance producer in life/health/property/casualty, Luke also has FINRA Registered Series 6 and 63 certifications. As a Six Sigma Green Belt and Certified Market Research Associate, he takes user content to a new level of professionalism.