We offer our clients life insurance reviews, such as the following review of The Knights of Columbus (KofC), to equip our clients with knowledge to help them make the best decision on who to choose for their insurance needs. Our goal is to align each client with the top life insurance carrier, for both exam and no exam life insurance, best suited to meet the unique need, health and lifestyle of each client. Is KofC the right company for you?
Review of Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is one of the more recognized names in the insurance industry. Founded in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, the company has flourished over the years in providing excellent life insurance policy options for people of all backgrounds.
The foundation of the company was due to the large number of immigrants that were entering the United States at the time. Father McGivney was looking for a solution that would address the unfavorable working conditions that many of the immigrants faced. By pulling together the Catholic men in the community, they could provide proper insurance for those who did not have the means to obtain such support.
That is the foundation of the Knights of Columbus philosophy which has stayed true throughout the many changes the company has undergone since that time. The charity and unity of the message Father McGivney delivered on that day has resulted in a service that is now enjoyed by millions.
About Knights of Columbus
Today, the Knights of Columbus is a multi-billion-dollar insurance program that is one of the best rated in the US and Canada. Currently, the insurance programs and products include the following;
- Life Insurance: Permanent and Term
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Disability Income Insurance
- Retirement Annuities
In addition to the insurance and annuity services provided by the Knights of Columbus, they also offer charitable services that amounted to over $175 million with more than 73.5 million hours of service provided to their communities. Nearly 2 million men from over a dozen countries are proud to call themselves Knights.
Pros of Knights of Columbus
There are many benefits that the Knights of Columbus offers in terms of their insurance and annuity products.
Solid Products: Because the Knights focus on only life, disability, and long-term care insurance along with retirement annuities, they have created a series of excellent products that have stood the test of time. This allows them to focus on the needs of their clients so they can provide for them the security of having insurance and annuities that will last for their lifetimes.
Affordable Rates: Because the system is supported by the membership in the Knights, the rates are kept affordable for their members. This provides a good alternative compared to other, similar companies since many do not have the supporting resources of the Knights of Columbus.
Sterling Reputation: Few insurance companies have managed to build up such a strong reputation as the Knights which only serves to improve their standing in the community. For many Catholics, they are the go-to company when it comes to their insurance needs.
A.M. Best Rating: The A.M. Best rating has issued two ratings for the Knights of Columbus services that are provided to their customers. The Knights have earned an “A++” or Superior rating in terms of their financial strength. They have also earned an “AA+” when it comes to being a long-term issuer of credit rating. Both ratings are superior and demonstrate the financial soundness of the Knights of Columbus.
Although strong, the Knights of Columbus have not grown substantially in terms of membership over the past five years and face low interest rates which have inhibited growth in some of their financial products due to forces that affect all similar institutions. The credit rating reflects the strong network of their agencies, local councils, and the membership base which has remained steady for many years.
Customer Service: Another strength of the Knights of Columbus is their excellent record when it comes to their customer service. As with most insurance companies, the primary role of customer service falls to their agents that are spread across the US and Canada 1,500 strong. They work with their members to ensure that they have full access to the information needed when it comes to answering questions about products, billing issues, or additional services.
Plus, the Knights of Columbus is headquartered out of New Haven, Connecticut which allows for customers to call the main office in case they cannot reach their agent. For those within the system, they provide excellent customer service which is the backbone of their company.
Reviews from BBB: The Knights of Columbus have been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2002. Today, they have earned an “A+” rating for their service. This is the highest rating offered by the BBB and it reflects the dedication of their agents to their members along with the company. It probably isn’t surprising that the Knights of Columbus excel in this rating thanks to their straightforward insurance and annuity products, dedicated agents, and focus on helping those in need of assistance.
Product Offering: The Knights of Columbus offers insurance and a retirement annuity product as part of their service to their members. The insurance they offer is restricted to life, disability, and long term care with a retirement annuity that is also part of their program.
If you are a qualifying member, it pays to look over the products that the Knights of Columbus offers. The company itself is built on nearly 140 years of service and the dedication as shown by the agents is considerable. This means that you can get the type of products you want at good rates that can meet the needs of you and your family.
However, keep in mind that the Knights of Columbus work within the parameters of Catholicism which means that their services are not available to everyone.
Although the Knights of Columbus comes with many advantages for those looking at getting life, disability, or long-term care insurance along with retirement annuities, there are a few drawbacks that the company has which you should be aware of before trying to make a purchase.
Products are for Members Only: The insurance and annuity products are only for members of the Order of the Knights of Columbus and their families. Those who are eligible to join are Catholic males that have reached the age of 18. This means for anyone outside the requirements of being in the Order and who are not practicing Catholic males, you do not qualify for their products.
Plus, if you do qualify as a practicing male Catholic, you still need to be a member of the Order to qualify to get the products provided by the Knights. The qualifications are such that it considerably limits those who might otherwise benefit from the insurance and annuities that are provided.
Comparable Rates: Although the premiums for the life insurance policies from the Knights are competitive with many other insurance companies, they are not as low as you might expect. Given the restrictive membership requirements, the Knights still operate the company much like a private firm in the sense that they keep many of the same requirements that limit who gets the insurance.
Naturally, this means that the rates are good, but not great and that may turn off some who must join the Knights and undergo their membership requirements if their primary goal was to get the insurance or retirement annuity products.
Basically, you should not consider joining the Knights just to get the insurance. Rather, it is part of the overall service that you want to provide for your community. This is because the Knights operate under many of the same rules of other insurance companies which means that the rates are still good, but not spectacular.
So, you are better off simply purchasing life, disability, and long-term care insurance from an outside company if that is all you want. However, it should be noted that joining the Order and becoming a volunteer for charitable work does offer opportunities to help others in need.
Your decision to purchase the products offered by the Knights of Columbus will rest on whether you qualify or not. For those who do qualify, then purchasing the insurance is arguably an excellent deal considering all the advantages that the Knights offer their members. They are a highly rated company with an excellent track record.
Of course, if you do not qualify or want to join the Order so that you can qualify, then passing on the Knights is an obvious choice. Unless they change their requirements, which is not in the foreseeable future, then you are going to be on the outside looking in when it comes to applying for their insurance or retirement annuities.
Having said that, there is little doubt that the Knights of Columbus is one of the best companies in its industry. The agents are all dedicated and hard working to meet your needs and the products themselves are high quality and backed by a company that has been in existence since 1882. It would be hard for those who gathered all those years ago to hear Father McGivney’s plea to help the new immigrants in their community to imagine where their endeavor stands today. The Knights of Columbus has become one of the best all based on the principles established all those years ago.
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