Costco offers one life insurance product through Protective Life Insurance. Protective is a reputable insurance provider and the term life policy they offer is exclusive to Costco members.
Protective is a financially stable life insurance company boasting “AA” ratings from both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. They also have an “A+” from the Better Business Bureau. With that in mind, their insurance reputation should speak for itself.
On the surface, their offering with Costco sounds like it could be a sweet, exclusive deal. But, you’ll want to dig in and see everything their policy offers before you make your final choice.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Costco’s Life Insurance Offering
Member Advantage Life UL Insurance
- 10 & 20-year terms offered
- Potential universal life insurance component available
- Applicable for ages 18-75 (18-65 for a 20-year term)
- Exclusive for Costco members
- Easy online quote
- Short phone call required to complete application
- Medical exam required (but covered by Protective)
- Premium discount for the first five years
Learn more about Protective’s product guide for their Costco offering.
When considering Protective’s life insurance through Costco, you have to consider what kind of deal you’re actually getting. While Protective is a reputable insurer, they’re only offering you one kind of policy, versus the full breadth of Protective’s offerings. The terms they offer are surprisingly short compared to other insurers, at either 10 or 20 years. This is likely a way for Protective to keep costs down and offer discounts on their policy.
Plus, despite its name, the policy Protective is offering is less of a standard universal policy and more of a term policy with the potential to become universal.
Alongside this, a medical exam is part of the underwriting process, although it’s covered by Protective. To sweeten the deal for Costco members, Protective also offers a discount on premiums for the first five years the policy is in force. Outside of a selection of additional riders, this is really all that their term life insurance policy has to offer.
None of this is to say that Protective’s insurance product is bad. On the contrary, True Blue sells nearly the same product from Protective, but we only put customers in it about 1% of the time. You have t0 make sure the policy is the right fit for you and your best value, so you don’t wind up paying more than necessary. This is especially true if you can possibly get a better deal from a different insurer based on your health history.
A note about buying from a singular life insurance provider:
Since Protective is only selling one policy through Costco, you don’t have many options if they decline you or the rates come back higher than expected. There’s nothing else they can offer you.
If you were using an independent agent or brokerage instead, they could take the results of that medical exam and shop it around to other insurers and find you a better fit. As noted before, Protective is offering a good product as a Costco exclusive, but that doesn’t mean it’s a one-size-fits-all policy.
For example, if you have a history of heart disease or stroke in your family, you could likely save 25% on premiums with a provider like Banner over Protective’s Costco policy.
Again, this isn’t a knock against Protective, but more a warning about choosing a convenient option over the right option. Every company is going to fit your needs differently with varying levels of underwriting flexibility.
Alternatives to Protective’s Costco life insurance:
If you need help comparing and shopping around, here’s a list of some of the alternatives to Protective, both with and without medical exams, you should also consider:
|Medical exam required||No Medical exam|
Want to talk to real people who can help you sort through these alternatives and find the policy that best fits your needs? Give us a call at (866) 816-2100 or click here let our knowledgable agents shop for you!
After reviewing all of these alternatives, you decide to go with Protective’s offering through Costco, here’s what you need to know about applying:
How does the application process for Protective’s Costco life insurance work?
In order to get a policy from Protective through Costco, you’ll start by filling out their online application to get a quote. From there, they will get your member number and help set up payment options. Then a customer service representative will reach out and help guide prospective insureds through the next steps. On a 20-minute phone call, they’ll talk to you about getting a paramedical exam, your medical history, and the underwriting process at large.
Does Protective offer any additional riders for their Costco policy?
At the same time, this process will involve going through and deciding what riders they’d like to add to their policy. These additional riders include:
- Terminal Illness Accelerated Death Benefits Rider (w/ no extra charge)
- In the event you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, this allows you up to 60% of your policy’s death benefits to cope with emotional and financial costs.
- Income Provider Option Endorsement Rider (w/ no extra charge)
- This allows the insured to select whether the death benefit is paid out as a lump sum or over 30 years.
- Disability Benefit Rider (w/ extra charge)
- In the event you’re hit with a disability, this rider allows you access to coverage as an add-on to your existing life insurance policy.
- Accidental Death Benefits Rider (w/ extra charge)
- This rider allows for a greater death benefit to be paid out if the insured’s death is ruled an accident.
- Children’s Term Life insurance Rider (w/ extra charge)
- If you want to add your children to your life insurance policy, this rider will cover them up to the age of 25. After that point, they can either terminate the policy or pick up the policy from protective on their own.
After all of that, they will review your application and analyze your medical history, exam results and perform a background check. They will use that information to make their final decision about accepting your application.
Is Protective’s Costco life insurance your best deal?
Protective’s offering through Costco can be a good deal, but it really depends on your situation.
As noted before, Protective can only sell you this singular policy, versus an independent agent’s breadth of policies. While they’re selling a quality policy, it is also inherently limited and may not be your best fit.
Although, if you find that Protective’s Member Advantage Life policy best fits your needs, we encourage you to apply through Costco. They can give the best possible deal, offering discounts for the first five years of your policy.
Get a quote for Protective’s Costco life insurance
On the other hand, if you’d like to explore your options further and talk with a True Blue independent life insurance agent, who represents over 30 companies, we’re here to help. You can click here to use our questionnaire and quote engine to compare and find the best policy.
Or, if you’d like to speak with one of our knowledgable agents directly, you can follow the contact links below:
Toll-Free: (866) 816-2100
E-mail: [email protected]
Contact us page
Let us be your personal shopper
Schedule an appointment with a True Blue agent
As the largest nonprofit organization in the United States, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) charges its members a monthly fee of $16. In exchange, you receive discounts on restaurants, travel, even healthcare providers.
AARP also provides life insurance through a 3rd party. It’s important to note that you must be an active member in order to be eligible for their life insurance plans.
Two things you need to know about AARP
The first thing you need to know before buying life insurance from AARP is that they do not write their own policies.
- All of AARP’s life insurance policies are written by New York Life.
It’s worth noting that New York Life is a reputable company in the world of insurance. In addition, they are the third largest life insurance company in the United States and boast an A+ BBB rating. (Although they are not currently accredited by the BBB at the time of publication.)
- AARP’s New York Life policies are all sold as exclusives for their members.
Their offerings do carry a lot of positives. It’s worth noting though that they tend to be more expensive than many other options available on the market. So, it pays for you to understand their offerings and do some shopping around on your own.
If you’re considering buying a life insurance policy from AARP, you should dig into what they’re really offering. Here’s a helpful breakdown of all the policies they are offering:
The four AARP life insurance plans
1. AARP Level Term Benefit Life Insurance
- Basic term policy offering, which carries a level death benefit and lasts until the insured turns 80. Their term policy ranges from
- Coverage amounts of $10,000 to $100,000 of coverage
- Doesn’t require a medical exam. As another benefit
- There are only three yes or no qualifying questions
The three qualifying questions:
- In the past 2 years, have you had treatment or medication for or been diagnosed by a doctor as having heart trouble, stroke, cancer, lung disease or disorder, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, AIDS, AIDS-related complex, or immune system disorder?
- In the past 2 years, for any condition, have you been admitted to or confined in a hospital, sanitarium, nursing home, extended care, or special treatment facility?
- In the past 3 months, have you consulted a doctor or had treatment or diagnostic tests of any type?
What you need to be careful about with these policies are the premiums.
At first, they are affordable but they slowly rise every five years over the policy’s lifespan.
While it doesn’t require a medical exam, it also means that the policy will be more expensive than what is available from other providers.
|No medical exams||More expensive to get more coverage|
|Only three easy questions to answer||Premiums slowly increase every five years|
|Premiums stay level based on the applicant’s initial age||Term length expires at age 80|
2. AARP Permanent Life Insurance
- Offers up to $50,000 in permanent coverage.
- No medical exam is required.
- Premiums are level and never increase over the policy’s lifespan.
- The policy stays in force as long as the insured is alive.
- Monthly premium payments cease at age 95.
- Grows a cash value that the insured can borrow against.
Unfortunately, the biggest hang up with their permanent policy is more expensive than many other permanent offerings on the market. Meaning, AARP’s policies might not be the most affordable option if price is at the forefront of your search.
|No medical exam required||More expensive than other options|
|Guaranteed permanent coverage||Cash value growth is slower than many comparable policies|
|Grows cash value|
3. AARP Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance
- Carries a maximum permanent benefit of $25,000
- No medical exams required.
- No health questions to answer.
- Graded death benefits for the first two years.
With a guaranteed acceptance coverage insureds run the risk of outliving their policy. In other words, insureds may wind up paying more in premiums than their death benefit is actually worth.
Here’s a helpful formula to see how long until it will take to outlive your policy:
Death Benefit/(Monthly Premium x 12) = How Many Years Until You Outlive Your Policy
If you don’t want to run the risk of outliving your policy, you may want to consider other coverage options instead.
|Guaranteed coverage||More expensive coverage|
|Easy application||Limited benefits for the first two years|
|Grows cash value||Insured runs the risk of outliving policy|
4. AARP Young Start Life Insurance
- Provided for children or grandchildren of AARP members.
- Carries a maximum coverage amount of $25,000.
- Does not require a medical exam.
- Only requires answers to general health questions.
- Stays in force after the parent passes away, as long as:
- The policy has been in force for more than 2 years.
- The child is under 21.
- The child becomes the policy’s beneficiary after age 21.
|Low rates for children||Premiums will vary based on the child and their response to medical questions|
|No medical exam|
|Rates won’t increase for the child|
It pays to compare life insurance rates
If you are an active AARP member and you enjoy the benefits you receive, getting life insurance through them may seem like an obvious choice.
However, it doesn’t cost anything to run a quote and compare other providers. Instead, you could save hundreds of dollars a year, for the same coverage, with the same benefits.
What Is TruStage Life Insurance?
TruStage is an online provider of life insurance policies that are underwritten directly by their parent company, CUNA Mutual Group. Established in 1935, CUNA (also known as “Credit Union National Association” or CMFG) is a mutual life insurance company offering their services and products to credit union members directly through aligned credit unions around the United States.
TruStage (CMFG Life Insurance) Instant Issue Term Life Insurance
One of the most promoted products by TruStage is their instant term life insurance product. While they offer other life insurance and financial products, much of the marketing being done currently centers around this type of instant issue product.
As technology changes, the popularity of instant issue life insurance is increasing. The ability to manage risk and underwrite policies is becoming cheaper and quicker with use of modern AI developments. These advancements have led to more affordable instant issue options on the market. As the market embraces this change, you will see more companies offering these types of policies as part of their life insurance solutions.
TruStage Price Comparison
In order to better understand TruStage’s insurance product, we ran a quote to compare their rates to other companies on the market. Here are the life insurance quotes for Bob, a 45 year old non-smoker in Alabama looking for $150k in instant issue term life insurance.
|Instant Issue Life Insurance?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Price Remains The Same?||No, increases every five years based on your age.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Financially Stable Company?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Price?||$95.00 per month||$58.50 per month||$69.77 per month||$78.84 per month|
As you can see, TruStage’s term life insurance is almost twice as expensive as the Forester’s policy and the Forester’s policy has more benefits to offer Bob at a much lower price. Even Phoenix, who has the next highest premium, still is $15 per month cheaper with better benefits for Bob.
When you add up the cost for 20 years, you see that TruStage’s increased price will cost Bob over $8000 more when compared to the Forester’s instant issue policy.
Trustage/ CMFG Life is a mutual life insurance company
When it comes to life insurance, mutual companies typically offer substantial benefits to their customers. Since the policyholders and not shareholders own a mutual company, the administration is generally more customer focused, and the policyholders have more say over the management of the business.
They offer instant issue
As technology changes and insurance companies begin using more advancements to help reduce risk and underwriting time, instant issue and simplified issue policies are becoming more mainstream. Because this type of product offers a quick decision and expedited purchasing options, it is becoming more favorable to those who need a life insurance solution fast without the headache of long underwriting times and medical exams.
Trustage works with credit unions
Over the past few years, consumer sentiment toward large banks has shifted, and the market has seen an increase of interest for credit unions, given that they are nonprofit entities that support local communities and members. As the mass exodus from big-name banks continues, credit unions are seeing exponential growth and creating a market for mutual life insurance companies to excel.
The Not So Good
Overpriced Instant Issue Product
TruStage/ CUNA Mutual’s instant issue product can be up to 38% more expensive when compared to other products on the market. Competing policies not only are cheaper, but they also provide a level premium, meaning the price stays the same for the entire time you own the policy.
Rates go up every 5 years.
TruStage’s instant issue policy states that premiums go up every five years (based on your attained age). Per their page “small print”:
This type of premium adjustment is common in term life insurance prices if one doesn’t look closely at the fine print. As stated above, not only is the CUNA product overpriced when compared to other companies it also continues to increase in price as you get older. Competing policies from companies like Forester’s or Fidelity Life offer prices that are guaranteed to not increase.
2 year exclusion on GI
What TruStage doesn’t advertise is the 2-year coverage exclusion on their guaranteed issue for any death that is not an “accidental” death. This concept is called “graded benefits” and is commonly found in guaranteed issue whole life policies. During these two years, if you die from natural causes, your premiums will be refunded plus interest instead of paying out the death benefit. If you are opting for a guaranteed issue policy, it is important to note this.
No ability to compare prices
Because TruStage is a direct to consumer sales portal for CMFG Life, it does not allow you to see competing prices for the same or better products from other companies. It is always advised to use independent life insurance agencies when shopping for life insurance to ensure you are adequately informed of your options regarding price and quality.
Questions About TruStage
Is TruStage life insurance a good buy?
When it comes to the quality of Trustage/ CFG life insurance policies, there isn’t anything that stands out as not being “good”. However, there are concerns regarding their instant issue product’s increasing rates every five years and their marketing methods to advertise their product. Overall, the company has good ratings with few complaints just like many others out there.
Does TruStage provide auto or home insurance?
In this situation, TruStage operates similarly to Primerica when it involves auto or homeowners insurance. Instead of writing the policies through CUNA Mutual companies, they act as a referral source for other companies like Esurance (Allstate) and Liberty Mutual who then provide quotes and write the policies. Much like their life insurance quotes, auto and homeowners insurance prices are not able to be compared with other companies to locate the best price.
Should I respond to the letter TruStage sent me?
Because they work in partnership with participating credit unions, your membership information is shared with CUNA Mutual/ TruStage. This relationship means you have little choice but to enter into their marketing process which is causing more people to voice concern. When it comes to their direct mail marketing tactics, some of the credit union members are even calling it “predatory” in nature due to the use of credit union logo, address, and concerning notices on the exterior of their sales envelopes.
If you do receive a solicitation from CUNA Mutual/ TruStage or any company that uses direct mail, we recommend you price shop and read the fine print before responding. Often, these types of letters are just methods to get you interested in their product and move you into the buying process.
Based on the numbers we’ve seen, TruStage’s life insurance product offering tends to be more expensive when compared to others on the market offering similar or better policies. While instant issue policies are often more expensive when compared to other types of insurance policies, Forester’s and Fidelity Life offer more benefits with their instant issue life insurance at a fraction of the cost.
We encourage all potential customers to consult an independent agent and compare prices and policies before purchasing a policy from TruStage.
|Issue Amount||$50,000 – $500,000||$50,000 – $400,000||$50,000 – $400,000||$10,000 – $100,000|
|Issue Age||18 – 50||18 – 80||18 – 80||18 – 64|
|Convertible To Whole Life Policy||Yes, during years 1 – 5||Yes||Yes, for the first half of the term||No|
|Price: (37-year-old male, non-smoker, in California, for $100k in coverage)||$24.99 per month||$23.28 per month||$33.31 per month||$67.92 per month|