Colonial Penn Life Insurance Review

A guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance product might be a good fit for seniors with existing health issues, though payouts are significantly lower than average.

A- (from A.M. Best)

  • No Exams
  • Guaranteed Approval
  • Fixed Rates
  • Low Death Benefits
  • Limited Availability

If you’ve ever found yourself channel surfing during the day, then you’ve probably already heard all about Colonial Penn life insurance from its sophisticated spokesperson, Alex Trebek. Is Colonial Penn the right answer for your life insurance needs? That depends.

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This insurance company offers some tempting enticements, including no medical exams and a guaranteed whole life insurance product. However, what glitters isn’t always gold. The company’s death payouts aren’t very impressive compared to industry standards, and some customers have had problems with its 30-day refund policy. All in all, Colonial Penn might be the ideal insurance company for those in certain situations, but it probably isn’t ideal for everyone. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of its different insurance plans.

Colonial Penn: best for seniors with pre-existing conditions

The Catch-22 of life insurance is that, often, the people who need it the most face the greatest challenges trying to get it. In this regard, Colonial Penn is a refreshing alternative. While the company offers term life insurance for all age groups, its whole life insurance products are geared squarely toward mature Americans.

In particular, seniors with a pre-existing condition that would make it difficult to find coverage with other insurers will likely be interested in the company’s most popular product, a guaranteed acceptance life insurance plan. This product requires no medical exam, and the company claims that you cannot be denied because of your health.

Younger folks or older Americans with a clean bill of health may be able to find policies with better benefits elsewhere, but if you’ve been denied by another insurer (or fear getting denied), Colonial Penn is definitely worth a closer look.

Things to consider about Colonial Penn life insurance

“Live for today. Plan for tomorrow,” Colonial Penn announces on its website. Those interested in planning for tomorrow can find a lot to like in this well-established company. It has received generally favorable marks from the top ratings agencies, which indicates that it is on solid financial footing and will likely be around when “tomorrow” comes and your family needs to collect on your plan.

Fans of the company will appreciate that it doesn’t require medical exams for any of its products, though you can expect to answer health questions as part of the submission process for two of its products. Locked-in premiums on its whole life insurance products and a clear rate schedule on its term life insurance are also useful benefits.

The primary drawback of the company’s life insurance is that the death benefits are relatively low, capping out at $50,000 for its term life insurance and whole life insurance.


  • Guaranteed issue whole life insurance
  • No medical exams required for any product
  • Locked-in premiums for whole life insurance


  • Low death benefit payouts
  • No availability in some states
  • May not be ideal for younger consumers

Colonial Penn life insurance products

Colonial Penn offers three life insurance products: a standard term life insurance, a permanent whole life insurance, and its flagship product, guaranteed acceptance life insurance.

  Coverage range Age range Exam required?
Term Life  $10,000– $50,000  18–75  No
Permanent Whole Life  $10,000–$50,000  40–75  No
Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life  Varies  50–85  No

*Table created using information available at as of 11/20/18.

Colonial Penn product details

Colonial Penn doesn’t require medical exams for any of its insurance products, regardless of your age or health. This can be comforting to those who don’t enjoy getting poked and prodded at the doctor’s office. However, be prepared to answer health-related questions if you apply for permanent whole life or term life insurance.

One obvious drawback of the company’s products is that the payout limits of the policy aren’t very high. While other companies are willing to pay out six-digit or even seven-digit benefits, Colonial Penn’s whole life insurance and term life insurance policies top out at a $50,000 payout. That won’t be enough for many individuals, especially younger or middle-aged adults who may wish for their benefit to cover the home mortgage or college costs for the kids.

These insurance plans could, however, offer enough of a death benefit to cover final expenses for those who do not want to burden their families with funeral and burial costs. If you are looking for a plan to cover that last big bill, this could be a good option. You could also search for dedicated final expense insurance with other insurers.

Speaking of other insurers, Colonial Penn offers only three life insurance products. If you wish to purchase additional types of insurance, such as accident insurance or long-term care insurance, you’ll need to search out a different company.

Term Life Insurance

Colonial Penn offers a standard renewable term life policy for adults ages 18 to 75. No medical exam is required, but get ready to answer questions about your health on the application. Rates depend on your age and gender. Once accepted, your rate will increase according to a set schedule every time you enter a new age band. Not exactly a fun birthday gift!

The maximum benefit of $50,000 is relatively low compared with term life products from other companies, so younger, healthier people can likely wrangle a better deal with a different insurer. (Learn more about no exam life insurance policies.)

Permanent Whole Life Insurance

Beginning at age 40, you can apply for Colonial Penn’s whole life insurance product. As with its other insurance products, you won’t have to undergo a medical exam, but you will have to answer questions about your health on your application. Once you are accepted, your rate is locked in for life and will never go up. After the first year, you will begin building a cash value that you can borrow against at a guaranteed interest rate. This can be a useful benefit in a financial pinch.

The biggest drawback to this policy is a measly max benefit of just $50,000. While the locked-in rate may comfort those on a fixed income or who fear the slow creep of increasing premiums, the low death benefit may convince some to look elsewhere for whole life insurance.

Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance

Colonial Penn’s most popular and unique product is its guaranteed acceptance life insurance plan. You can snag one (or at least apply) starting at age 50 and all the way up to age 85. As with its other products, Colonial Penn won’t require you to endure a medical exam. Here’s a bonus—you don’t even have to answer any health questions on your application. According to Colonial Penn’s website, you cannot be denied due to your health.

Premium prices will depend on the customer’s age, gender, and state. Customers can choose to increase their death benefit, but as the benefit rises, so does the monthly premium. Like its permanent whole life insurance product, rates are locked in once you are accepted. That means your monthly premium for this plan will never go up for the rest of your life.

That can be incredibly helpful to seniors on a fixed income, but keep in mind that Colonial Penn needs to make a profit somewhere. Premiums tend to be heftier than with similar whole life insurance plans, and payouts aren’t very high. Do your research and read the fine print before committing to this plan just because you get accepted.

Colonial Penn history and financial strength

If you decide to purchase life insurance through Colonial Penn, you’ll get the benefit of a company that has been around for over 60 years. Unlike some of its competitors, Colonial Penn specializes in offering life insurance with a focus on what it calls the “mature market.” Colonial Penn was one of the first guaranteed life insurance companies, which means it’s had plenty of time to test, tweak, and perfect this product.

As a result of its long history, Colonial Penn has received generally strong marks from the main ratings agencies and is considered to be financially stable. That’s a good report card for a company that might not need to make good on its payout promises for years or decades down the road.

Colonial Penn life insurance company is a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group, Inc., a large financial services holding company.

A.M. Best 1 A-
Fitch 2 BBB+
S&P 3 BBB+
NAIC 4 2.66

**All ratings current as of 11/20/18. Ratings reflect the evaluations of rating agencies but are not intended as a recommendation to purchase from any company. Rating agencies may update, suspend, or withdraw their ratings at any time.

Colonial Penn pulls in strong scores from well-respected ratings agencies, which indicate that the company is on firm financial footing. A.M. Best and Fitch rate it “Excellent” and “High Credit Quality,” respectively. Standard & Poor’s is a bit of an outlier. Though its BBB+ score matches that of Fitch, in the S&P rating system, this is only an “Adequate” rating. Still, this particular rating shouldn’t cause concern when paired with the stronger A.M. Best and Fitch ratings.

How Colonial Penn’s premiums stack up

Colonial Penn makes it easy to get a rate quote right on its website, as long as you don’t mind handing over your personal contact information, which will likely lead to a follow-up call from an agent. Once you complete the quote request, you’ll be taken to a page that lists all of Colonial Penn’s life insurance rates for the product you indicated. You can then choose different benefit levels to see how your monthly premium would change.

Colonial Penn’s competitive advantage is in offering convenient locked-in rates for its whole life insurance products and in offering its guaranteed acceptance life insurance. The tradeoff is that its premiums tend to be higher than average, while its benefits are nothing to write home about, as we mentioned earlier.

Customers who want an easy transaction, who prefer not to endure a medical exam, and who are looking for whole life insurance that won’t cost more every year may be willing to pay bigger premiums for these benefits.

Colonial Penn sample rates*

Term Life Insurance: 25 year old Female

Death Benefit Monthly Premium
$10,000 $4.02
$20,000 $6.55
$30,000 $9.07
$40,000 $11.6
$50,000 $14.12

Term Life Insurance: 50 year old Male

Death Benefit Monthly Premium
$10,000 $12.49
$20,000 $23.48
$30,000 $34.47
$40,000 $45.46
$50,000 $56.46

Whole Life Insurance: 50 year old Male

Death Benefit Monthly Premium
$10,000 $29.65
$20,000 $55.55
$30,000 $81.45
$40,000 $107.35
$50,000 $133.24

Guaranteed Life Insurance: 50 year old Male

Death Benefit Monthly Premium
$1,786 $9.95
$3,572 $19.90
$5,358 $29.85
$7,144 $39.80
$8,930 $49.75
$10,716 $59.70
$12,502 $69.65
$14,288 $79.60

*Sample monthly quotes are for illustration purposes only. Actual quotes may vary. Data effective 11/20/18. Rates are based on 50-year-old male smoker in good health and 25-year-old female in excellent health. Coverage and age options vary by type of policy, term, and other factors.

Colonial Penn claims and customer service

While Colonial Penn may have a slightly higher-than-average amount of customer complaints, as recorded by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), potential customers shouldn’t be too worried. Among all the policies Colonial Penn issued and managed in 2018, the NAIC logged only 21 Colonial Penn life insurance complaints. The NAIC’s records indicate that a majority of the complaints were related to premium refunds, though a few other customers mentioned delayed responses and billing issues. While the company was able to resolve some of these complaints, a majority of the complaints resulted in the company’s position being overturned.1

Colonial Penn claims to offer a full refund of premiums if a customer changes their mind within 30 days of purchasing a new policy. The number of complaints against the company indicate that receiving this refund may be not be as simple as their website implies.

FAQs about Colonial Penn

Still have questions about Colonial Penn? These FAQs may help.

Can I borrow from my permanent whole life insurance plan?

Yes. After paying into your plan for one year, you can borrow against it at a guaranteed interest rate.

Do I need to answer questions about my health for the guaranteed acceptance life insurance?

No. You do not need to undergo a medical exam or physical or answer any health-related questions when you apply for Colonial Penn’s guaranteed acceptance life insurance.

Are these plans available in every state?

No. Some Colonial Penn policies are not available in Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, and Vermont. Colonial Penn is underwritten by Bankers Conesco Life Insurance Company in New York, and plan details may vary for residents of the Empire State.

Colonial Penn: guaranteed plan; guaranteed premiums

If you’re willing to pay a higher premium and accept a smaller benefit in exchange for a guaranteed whole life insurance plan and locked-in premiums, then Colonial Penn might be the right answer for your life insurance needs. Younger and healthier adults searching for term life insurance can likely find a better deal with a different carrier, but older adults with health issues may want to give Colonial Penn serious consideration. The company has a long history and strong ratings, suggesting it will be around long enough to pay your benefit when the time comes.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to compare life insurance rates across multiple insurance companies to make sure you are purchasing the right plan.

Read more about top-rated life insurance companies or contact one of our knowledgeable, licensed agents today at (888) 234-8376.


ǂ A.M. Best’s financial rating scale is the following: A++ (Superior), A+ (Superior), A (Excellent), A- (Excellent), B++ (Good), B+ (Good), B (Fair), B- (Fair), C++ (Marginal), C+ (Marginal), C (Weak), C- (Weak), and D (Poor). A.M. Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. An FSR is not assigned to specific insurance policies or contracts and does not address any other risk—including, but not limited to, an insurer’s claims-payment policies or procedures; the ability of the insurer to dispute or deny claims payment on grounds of misrepresentation or fraud; or any specific liability contractually borne by the policy or contract holder. An FSR is not a recommendation to purchase, hold, or terminate any insurance policy, contract, or any other financial obligation issued by an insurer, nor does it address the suitability of any particular policy or contract for a specific purpose or purchaser.


  1. A.M. Best, “Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company
  2. Fitch, “Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company
  3. S&P, “Colonial Penn Life Insurance Co.
  4. NAIC, “Colonial Penn Life Ins Co
39 comments... add one
  1. TermLife2Go

    Although we may not be able to help with specific policy details, you can speak to a licensed insurance agent by calling (888) 234-8376.

  2. TermLife2Go

    This type of question is best answered by talking directly to a licensed agent. Please give us a call at (888)234-8376.

  3. Kim

    My husband and I want to get burial insurance to cover the cost of an absolutely no frills cremation for both of us when Old Death comes to call. He’s 50 and I am 54, non smokers and in good health, no meds except hormone replacement pills for me. We don’t want to break the bank, either. Suggestions?

  4. Ash F

    Hello, I’d like to get some additional life insurance for my elderly mother who is under insured for only $10k. We’re only looking for $50-$75k. Just enough to cover any unexpected medical expenses or debts that may arise when she passes. She is in decent physical health however her family has long history of dementia. And she did not get long term care insurance as I had suggested 25 years ago.
    Thank you,

    • TermLife2Go


      Sounds good, we’ll have an agent reach out to you ASAP so that they can discuss what options may be available to you for your mother.



  5. Christopher

    I just turned 50 and have no life insurance policy. I’m healthy, but in looking at the future, I am looking to buying a policy to cover burial and a few final expenses. I’m thinking of a $25,000 to $40,000 policy which would take care of those things. Is Colonial Penn a good option, or is there something which will guarantee that without breaking the bank while I’m still around?

    • TermLife2Go


      If you just turned 50 and you’re healthy, there should be plenty of options out there that will meet your needs.

      Our advice is to give us a call, see what we have to offer, then call Colonial Penn directly and see how they compare.

      At the end of the day, only you will be able to determine which is the best decision for you, but we have a pretty good idea what you’ll decide.



  6. Marcia F

    Thank you for your article on Colonial Penn. it is trreight forward and easy to understand.
    I was about to take out a tern life policy with them for $34.00 for $4,000.00. Don’t know if this is a wise idea. Also, can you tell me the difference between term life and whole life?

    • TermLife2Go


      From the article that you’re reading, “Colonial Penn Life Insurance Review”, it appears as though your looking for a quote from Colonial Penn.

      Now we here at TermLife2Go don’t actually offer any Colonial Penn products, but do believe they are a quality company.

      That being said however, we would encourage you to get a quote from Colonial Penn and then compare that quote to one of the many life insurance companies that we work with and see which company is going to offer you the “better” deal.

      You can compare all of our final expense and burial life insurance companies using our final expense quoter that is found on this article:

      Then after you’ve compared prices, if it looks like we may have a better option, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to see what we can do for you!



    • TermLife2Go


      From the article that you’re reading, “Colonial Penn Life Insurance Review”, it appears as though your looking for a quote from Colonial Penn.

      Now we here at TermLife2Go don’t actually offer any Colonial Penn products, but do believe they are a quality company.

      That being said however, we would encourage you to get a quote from Colonial Penn and then compare that quote to one of the many life insurance companies that we work with and see which company is going to offer you the “better” deal.

      You can compare all of our final expense and burial life insurance companies using our final expense quoter that is found on this article:

      Then after you’ve compared prices, if it looks like we may have a better option, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to see what we can do for you!



  7. clarence M.

    Looking for life insurance that there is no waiting period,covers me immediatley ,if I die tomorrow it pays in full the premium and the benefit stays the same over the course of my life.amount I would like to get would be $30,000 to $50,000.I’m 56 years old and have diabetes,sleep apnea,congestive heart failure and AFIB- not related to ant heart condition.

    • TermLife2Go


      Based on your existing medical conditions, we here at TermLife2Go, are unaware of any life insurance company that would provide coverage to you without a 2 or 3 year waiting period.

      We’re sorry we couldn’t be more helpful.



  8. Jim S

    Hello, to whom it my concern.
    I went on line to get a quote and for the 9.95 a month you only get 1200.00 dollars coveage. That’s not going buy much of any funeral benefit. The only thing you possibly can buy, is a blanket to cover your self and a little flower or two.

    So I wanted to see if I spend more a month what I can get, for ten thousand dollars of coveage I would have to pay $89.00 a month for this coveage. I do not smoke, or drink
    I’m 59 and eat healthy , so l called and got quote’s from other insurance company’s with more coveage for less the money. So if you want very little coveage for your love ones, this would be for you. But for me, I want the most coveage for my money and my life.

    • TermLife2Go


      We’re happy you were able to find a coverage for less that what you were being quoted by Colonial Penn. As you may have noticed by reading our review, we here at TermLife2Go are not Colonial Penn nor do we offer their products.

      We do however believe that they are a good insurance company, and are an excellent choice for many, however, there are many times when they may not be the most affordable option. With that said, feel free to visit our online quote screen where you will be able to instantly compare the price that you are currently paying with dozens of insurance companies that we actual do represent.



  9. Sandra K

    Im 57yrs old and have. 37 yr old
    Neither of us have a life insurance policy in place. I would like to purchase for us both together. I am on a low income bracket. And want a Whole life policy for us. Please can u direct me in the right direction? Thank you

    • TermLife2Go


      We would be happy to help you out, just give us a call at and we’ll take a look at your options.



  10. Marian A Smith

    I like to know a figure of what I should get back on whole life Insurance. I have been with Colonial Pen since 2014. I have made my monthly payments every month on time. All they want to give me. Is $240. Is that fair. I don’t think so.

    • TermLife2Go


      Colonial Pen would be the only ones who know just how much cash value your life insurance policy has accumulated since 2014.

      Now if you’ve already contacted Colonial Penn and they have told you that you’ve only accumulated $240.00 since 2014, it sounds like you probably have a small burial whole life insurance policy with them.

      These types of policies are great for protecting your loved ones from having to pay for your final expenses once you have died, but they’re not a great way to accumulate cash over the years.

      Sorry we couldn’t help out more in this situation, but if you do have any questions about your policy or would like to look at some alternatives, we’d be happy to help.

      Lastly, we would strongly encourage you to keep your existing life insurance policy in place until you have time to find alternative coverage elsewhere.

      Additionally, please realize, with your existing Colonial Penn policy, if it contained a “Graded Death Benefit” there is a very good chance that keeping your existing policy would be the wisest course of action.

      ***We have NO vested interest in you keeping your Colonial Penn policy, we just want to make sure that you understand all of the risks associated with dropping your existing policy.



  11. Melodie womack

    I’d like to know more about life insurance I’m in the market to purchase some and think it would be a good idea!!! I had life insurance though my husband si ve 1984 until my divorce in 2014 and he selected it!! I don’t know anything about life insurance so I’m in need of some information and knowledge before i ask questions or know the questions to ask can you help me and get me up to speed on life insurance and what it means for fixed?? term??? Etc… Thank you melodie

    • TermLife2Go


      You don’t need to worry about not knowing all that much about life insurance because the truth is, not that many people do. The most important thing to “know” is:

      “What do you want to achieve buy buying life insurance?”

      Are you looking to:
      – Cover the cost of a mortgage?
      – Provide financial support for a child?
      – Protect lost wages in the event of a death?
      – over the cost of a burial?
      – Etc, etc…

      Knowing what you want to achieve, will help us determine what “type” of life insurance will be best for you.

      That being said, we have an article that provides a brief breakdown of some of the most common types of life insurance policies that you may want to read, but again, the most important factor in knowing which type of policy will be “best” will ultimately come down to what you want to achieve.

      Types of life insurance policies:



  12. Barb


    Just wondering if I can get just a quick brief answer. I recently got term life insurance for my 78 year father but family members are saying that it was a mistake to get term as opposed to whole life. So does ALL term life ins. increase yearly? Also does term offer “return of premium”?


    • TermLife2Go


      You have a couple of different questions so we’ll do the best that we can, we’ll also keep our answer very “general” since we don’t know exactly what your situation is or what type of term life insurance policy that you purchased.
      So… Let us first start off with saying that, without knowing more about your situation, it would be impossible for us to say whether or not you made a mistake getting term vs whole life insurance. The answer to this question will really depend on your individual situation and what you hope to achieve in purchasing the life insurance for you father.

      Now does “ALL” term life insurance increase yearly?
      No, in fact most term life insurance should NOT increase yearly. That is what the “term” refers to. Most (if not all) “term” life insurance death benefits and premium payments should remain constant during the “term” period.
      After the “term” period ends, some term life insurance policies do have a period of time in which they are renewable. It is during this yearly renewable period that you will generally see a yearly increase in premium.

      Lastly, does all term offer “return of premium?”
      The answer to this question is “No”. Some insurance companies will allow you to purchase a return of premium product and some will not. These products are also generally limited to younger applicants that your father.
      Now with all that said, if you still have questions about whether or not you have purchased to correct policy for you father, we would encourage you to give us a call so that we can learn a bit more about what you have in fact actually purchased and see if it’s actually the right fit.



  13. Tim

    I want a policy that stays in affect until the day I die…. no matter what age. Do you know of any company who offers this?

    • TermLife2Go


      There are a ton of different life insurance companies that offer policies like this, the trick is knowing which one is best for you.

      Why don’t you just give us a call and we can give you a couple of options to consider.



  14. Sherri

    I am 65, will be 66 in Sept. I currently have $53,000 term policy. Every 5 yrs., my benefit decreases, and my premium increases!! I am interested In a policy which will leave the benefit and premiums as it is in the beginning, do you have something to offer me??

    • TermLife2Go

      What we would recommend is that you give us a call so that we can learn a little be more about your situation and see what we can do to help.
      You may also be interested in reading an article that we just wrote:

      This article will go into greater detail about what you should look for when purchasing a life insurance policy, and how you can avoid some of the common “pitfalls” you’ve already experienced with your current life insurance policy.



    • TermLife2Go


      Sounds like you are looking for multiple quotes for multiple people. Why don’t you just give us a call and we’ll go over all of your options.



  15. Donna Hylton-Royce

    I was turned down owing to a medication which I no longer need to take seems like false advertising when Mr Trebeck says you cannot be turned down for health reasons

    • TermLife2Go


      There are policies that are called “guaranteed issue” life insurance policies which, as long as you are over the age of 40, you should have no problem qualifying for. But before we jump right to a “guaranteed issue” life insurance policy, we should also rule out any other types of policies (AKA more affordable policies) that you may or may not be eligible for.

      For this reason, just give us a call so that we can review all of your options and see what we can do for you!



  16. aiesha

    to be clearer on 2yr death benefit.
    i pay the premium every month as long as i liveWhat happens if i die before 2yrs of natural cause.What will My beneficiary receive?
    and if i live after 2yrs my premium stays the same til my time of death. if i die 3yrs after what will my beneficiary receive then?

    • TermLife2Go


      Without knowing the specifically which type of policy you are referring too, we wouldn’t want to make an generalizations or lead you in the wrong direction. But it sounds like you have a couple of questions regarding what is called a “Graded Death Benefit”. We recommend that you take a look at this article and if you still have additional questions, just give us a call.



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