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.