June 21, 2021

Western & Southern Life Insurance Review 2021

Western & Southern Life is not one of our top-rated life insurance companies. You can…

Western & Southern Life is not one of our top-rated life insurance companies. You can review our list of the best life insurance companies for what we think are better options.


Pros Explained

  • Multiple plan options: Western & Southern Life has nine different plans for term, whole, and universal life insurance.
  • Transparent website: One of the most refreshing things about Western & Southern Life is the easy transparency and accessibility of its site. There are tons of articles and resources to help you understand how it can best fulfill your needs.
  • Good ratings: Western & Southern Life manages to get good ratings from top industry experts like Standard & Poor’s and AM Best.


Cons Explained 

  • Limited availability: The availability for Western & Southern Life products varies both by state and product, with consumers in states like New York, Alaska, and Maine without service. 
  • Separate entities: Western & Southern Life also offers products via Western-Southern Life Assurance Company and Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, making it a little confusing for customers when deciphering availability.
  • Not the cheapest: With so many plans, riders, and options to choose from, plans can quickly get expensive.


Available Plans

Western & Southern Life offers three types of life insurance, whole, term, and universal life insurance, with a total of nine plans for you to choose from. 

Whole

There are three different plans for whole life insurance with lifetime coverage, fixed premiums, and the opportunity to build cash value. You have the option to choose between level premiums, limited payment whole life, and single-premium life insurance. 

Simple Choice Whole

Simple Choice Whole life insurance is available in three different plans based on your premium term. 

  • Simple Choice 20: This plan requires paid premiums for 20 years. 
  • Simple Choice 65: With this option, you pay premiums to age 65.
  • Simple Choice 100: You can pay cheaper premiums with this plan through extended premiums paid to age 100.

The longer your premiums, the cheaper they will be, but these extended plans will require a much longer commitment than Western & Southern Life’s shorter plans. These plans have fixed premiums with an accelerated death benefit and the option of guaranteed insurability riders. Plans may earn dividends to build cash value with potential for tax-deferred growth.

Superior Value Life®

This plan also features fixed premiums with an accelerated death benefit and guaranteed insurability riders but no dividends. You can choose between two plans.

  • Superior Value Life 20 requires premiums payable for 20 years. 
  • Superior Value Life 100 requires premiums until age 100 for a longer, more extended plan.

Legacy Master®

The Legacy Master® plan gives the option of a single lump-sum premium or a series of fixed premiums. There are no dividends, although it does accumulate cash value that is income tax-deferred. Also, there is no accelerated death benefit or guaranteed insurability rider. However, this can be an easy way to quickly establish an estate. 

Term

With term life insurance at Western & Southern Life, you have the choice between a guaranteed level or renewable/convertible policy. Terms typically last 10, 15, 20, or 30 years for a plan that skips the cash value to instead offer greater affordability.  

Simple Choice Term

Simple Choice Term begins at $25,000 in coverage and is available in 10, 15, 20, or 30 years, regardless of age and health. This plan allows you to convert your policy later to permanent insurance if you prefer.

IncomeSense

This is a unique approach to life insurance that offers death benefits in a monthly payment format instead of just one large lump sum. It provides regular income that can prove invaluable to a family. Policy coverage is completely customizable with terms up to 30 years and coverage for adults 20 to 55 years old until age 65. There are no medical exams with an easy online approval that takes just minutes. Monthly payments may be anywhere from $500 to $10,000 per month or use, depending on your age and the policy you choose.

Universal

For a more flexible policy, consider these two plans for Western & Southern Life’s universal insurance. 

  • Ultra Life®: There is no level death benefit with coverage that lasts beyond age 100. It builds cash value despite flexible premiums and can also include a guaranteed life death benefit lasting beyond age 100. 
  • Expedition SIULTM Survivorship: This plan provides a death benefit for two people, such as your spouse or business partner. It pays a death benefit upon the second death and usually features more premiums than other types of life insurance with a guaranteed Persistency Bonus each policy year. 

Western & Southern universal coverage is available in a survivorship life insurance policy.

Indexed Explorer Plus®

The Indexed Explorer Plus® plan offers options for policyholders of all ages. It covers either children from ages 0 to 19 or adults between the ages of 20 and 70. Policies have face amounts of $25,000 or $100,000 with flexible premiums, cash value accumulation, and a flexible level death benefit.

Protection Life

Protection Life gives the peace of mind of a no-lapse guarantee that means your policy will not be canceled from non-payment as long as sufficient premiums have been paid. Policy premiums are also flexible, offering cash value accumulation with a level death benefit.


Available Riders

Life insurance riders are additional types of coverage that you can purchase to further customize your life insurance plan. Western & Southern offers 13 riders for select policies. 

Riders are great for extra coverage but can quickly drive up the cost. 

Accelerated Death Benefit Plus Rider

This rider allows you access to a portion of the death benefit before the policyholder dies when certain conditions apply. 

Accidental Death Benefit Rider 

With the accidental death benefit rider, your beneficiaries receive an additional payout if you die in an accident.

Children’s Term Rider 

The children’s term rider provides a death benefit for a policyholder’s eligible children aged 15 days to 18 years until age 23. 

Conversion Rider

This feature helps you transition term coverage into a permanent policy. 

Disability Credit Rider 

The disability credit rider provides a monthly premium credit for six months when you experience a total disability.

Estate Protection Rider

This rider safeguards against estate taxes that may apply when the policy is transferred to a trust. Both insureds must die within the first three policy years for this to apply. 

Insured Insurability Rider 

The insured insurability rider allows you to increase your insurance coverage, despite health. 

Life Plus Accelerated Death Benefit Rider®

Designed for survivorship policies, this rider allows advanced access to a portion of the policy’s death benefit based on certain medical needs after the first insured’s death.

Overloan Protection Rider 

With this rider, you receive extra loan protection that guarantees your policy will not lapse.

Other Insured Term Rider 

With this rider, you can receive term insurance coverage until age 95.

Premium Deposit Account 

You can make extra premium payments to help with your future finances. This rider is not available in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Spousal Rider

This rider will provide term life coverage for a policyholder’s spouse with a death benefit. 

Waiver of Premium Rider

If you become totally disabled from injury or illness, this rider will help you maintain your insurance by waiving premium requirements. 


Customer Service

Western & Southern Life offers several options for customer support. You may call 866-832-7719 Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. It even offers rare Saturday customer service hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. You also have the option to send an email or request a phone call. If you prefer to work with an agent directly, you can use the online tool to find an office or local financial representative. You can make payments online and file a claim online or via phone at 800-926-1315 during regular business hours.


Note

Western & Southern offers phone support on Saturdays, and you use the online form to request a call.


Complaint Index 

To determine a company’s customer satisfaction, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks customer complaints on an annual basis. Its average score is 1.0, but Western & Southern Life scores well below that, earning an impressively low NAIC rating of 0.05. It marks an improvement from the last two years, when it scored 0.14 in 2019 and 0.11 in 2018.


Third-Party Ratings

Western & Southern may not be ranked in J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance study, but it still boasts strong ratings by leading industry experts. It proudly boasts its financial ratings on its site, including AA- (Very Strong) from Standard & Poor’s, AA (Very Strong) from Fitch, and Aa3 (Excellent) from Moody’s. Western & Southern receives an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best for financial stability. This signifies that this is a company that can be relied upon to pay its policyholders’ claims.

The COMDEX index rating averages these scores together, using the average score to provide an overall ranking. With 100 being the best score, Western & Southern receives an impressive 96 out of 100 total COMDEX index ranking. It shows that Western & Southern is a highly-rated company by the top insurance industry experts.


Cancellation Policy 

Western & Southern offers a free-look period for its life insurance policies. During this time, you have a chance to review your policy in detail to ensure that it is the right fit for you without fear of commitment. The length of the free period varies based on state law but typically lasts 10 days. After this period ends, you may be assessed additional penalties and fees taken from your cash value if you cancel your insurance policy. Some policies may also no longer be subject to fees if you cancel after a certain period.

Every policy is different, so the cancellation term may vary. If you decide to cancel your policy during or after the free-look period, you can call 866-832-7719 or contact your agent directly for help.


Price

The price of Western & Southern life insurance policies varies based on several factors which can include the type of coverage you choose, the state in which you live, your medical history, and your age. Gender is another factor that impacts cost, although most insurance companies base rates on your sex at birth and not your current gender identity. Being non-binary won’t disqualify you from getting life insurance, though you may find carrier underwriting standards to be frustrating requiring you to select your birth gender rather than your chosen gender.

The cheapest life insurance policies tend to be offered to those who are younger and in excellent health. 


Competition 

To assess how Western & Southern Life stacks up against the competition, we look to one of our best insurance companies, New York Life. As one of the largest providers in the country, New York Life is much larger than Western & Southern Life’s 0.17% market share. New York Life also offers more plans and at a lower average price. It also has better ratings from AM Best, signifying that claims are both reliable and efficient.

  Southern Life New York Life
Market Share 0.17% Third-largest in U.S., 5.7%
Number of Plans 9 10 
Dividends for 2020  $2.9 billion $1.9 billion 
Wellness Program Discounts/ Quit Smoking Incentives Yes Not applicable 
Service Method Agents, phone, online Agents 
AM Best Rating A+ (Superior) A++ (Superior) 
Price Rank Pricey Better than most 
Complaints Trend 0.05 (Best) 0.15 (Excellent) 


Final Verdict

Western & Southern Life gives extra peace of mind with its strong industry ratings and a selection of nine plans for whole, term, and universal life insurance. However, it is a much smaller company that lacks the options and financial security that can come with a larger company, so this is best suited for those comfortable working with a niche provider.



Methodology

Our exclusive life insurance review methodology takes a five-pronged approach to life insurance. We evaluate companies based on several factors, including customer service, product lines, claims and complaints, stability and reliability, and affordability. We also look to industry expert reviews from leaders like AM Best, J.D. Power, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Using the latest data available, we provide an honest and accurate portrait of today’s best life insurance companies so you can make the best choice for you and your family.

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .

  1. NAIC. “Western Southern Life Assur Co National Complaint Index Report.” Accessed May 27, 2021.