Review of COSTCO Life Insurance
It appears Costco has entered the world of life insurance. In the following Costco life insurance review we will investigate the company’s history, financials, ratings, and products offered. Is Costco the right choice for your insurance needs?
About Costco Life Insurance
If you live in the U.S. and you are not familiar with Costco we provided a brief section for you. Costco Wholesale is a membership required retailer that is best known for its huge shopping carts and bulk items. It is also well known for having the lowest prices on gas and pretty much every item on its shelves. So the question becomes, does Costco offer the cheapest life insurance?
Costco’s Life Insurance History
Of course, we’re used to buying all sorts of products from Costco from steaks to toilet paper but seeing their name in front of a life insurance review may be a little confusing. However, they’ve now teamed up with Protective Life for ‘value, stability, and financial strength’. Rather than offering their own ‘Costco Life Insurance’ policies, they’ve created a partnership with Protective and this is how the policies are offered to all members.
(So there is the big reveal. Costco life insurance is really Protective Life Insurance Company. This could really just be a Protective Life review. Since we already have one of those, we will just continue this review of Costco Life Insurance for anyone who is curious how this all plays out.)
With over 110 years of experience in the industry, Protective offers products in every state across the US and has over seven million policies in effect. Each year, over $2 billion is paid out to beneficiaries after claims. With Protective coming together with Costco, they’re certainly two huge names but can they compete with the largest insurance companies?
Protective Life’s Finances
In terms of finances, we’re going to dig into the financial strength of Protective since they offer the life insurance side of things. First impressions, the finances are very good and this can be seen in the GAAP assets which come to a value of $3.2 billion (using the most recent 2013 financial report). Furthermore, the amount of life insurance in-force now stands at $773 billion which is impressive (to say the least!).
Costco Life Insurance Ratings
If Costco was a life insurance company it would have ratings from the various agencies that rate carriers in the marketplace. So let’s take a look at Protective Life’s ratings.
A.M. Best – As always, we’re going to delve into the ratings starting with A.M. Best and they look at the overall financial picture before then giving a grade. After looking at the financial strength of the company ourselves just a moment ago, perhaps it’s no surprise to hear that Costco, via Protective Life Insurance has a rating of ‘A+’. Looking at the scale, this comes in as the second-highest from a possible sixteen. From this, we can deduce they’re in a solid position within the market and should be for some time to come.
With A.M. Best, they also offer a long-term issuer credit rating which shows the company’s ability to pay all liabilities in the future. Costco Life Insurance via Protective has been awarded an ‘aa-’ which is one of the best once again; this suggests financial security beyond most other companies.
Moody’s – From the well-known investor service, the companies have an ‘A2’ rating and this agency is all about debts, liabilities, and the overall credit rating of insurance companies. Luckily, they’re in a great position and their ‘debt rating’ was pushed up to Baa1 recently from Baa2 which shows progress in the market.
Standard and Poor’s – As with Moody’s, S&P consider the financial capacity of a company and how well they can meet insurance policy obligations looking ahead. With an AA- rating, this is the fourth-highest rating from 21 and suggests no concerns at all.
Fitch – Finally, in terms of financial ratings, we have Fitch and they’ve awarded the insurance service with A+ rating and this is the fifth-strongest rating from 22. As you can see, this rounds off a very successful set of financial ratings for the companies and it means Costco Life Insurance, despite going through Protective, is a secure company to choose.
Better Business Bureau – After finishing the financial ratings, we have the Better Business Bureau and an agency that considers several customer service factors. Including complaints, advertising issues, and the company’s history within the market, Costco Life Insurance and Protective have the best possible rating of A+. Although we sound like a broken record, this suggests you shouldn’t have any worries and that you’ll be secure with the service.
Products offered by Costco Life Insurance
With Costco, we know they offer everything from electronics to groceries but they’ve clearly made a decision to keep their insurance offerings simple. If you have needs for multiple insurance policies, including your home and vehicle, it’s great news for you because these two policies are available. What’s more, you can even start a health insurance policy with Costco.
Costco Life Insurance
As mentioned, Costco has decided to keep their life insurance policy offering simple and this has led to the creation of just one policy; the Member Advantage Life UL policy.
Member Advantage Life UL
According to Costco themselves, the policy offers several benefits that come with term life insurance products and all for an affordable price. Compared to other products within the life insurance market, they believe you can save up to 20% with Costco.
In terms of features, this flexible universal life insurance policy will last for either 10 or 20 years depending on your needs. If your needs change at any time throughout the policy, you’ll have an opportunity to extend your coverage before it comes to an end.
Depending on the policy length you choose, an extended level payment period will match and the first five years of premiums will enjoy an ‘additional reduction’.
Furthermore, coverage amounts and premium payments can be adjusted throughout the policy much like a standard universal life policy.
As you can see, these features create what could be considered a hybrid between a universal policy and a term life policy.
Typically, coverage is also less expensive than other term, whole, and universal products.
Are there any negatives to Costco’s Member Advantage Life UL?
Costco advertises that members will enjoy 20% savings on life insurance. Of course, when something appears too good to be true, it probably is. Here is the fine print on that 20% savings. The 20% savings is based on the first 5 years of premium with a Gold Star or Business Membership. Monthly premiums increase at year 6 for the Member Advantage Life. After the initial level benefit period, the face amount will decrease until it gets down to $10,000. From there, the premiums start to increase again.
Another potential drawback to choosing Costco life insurance is that you are limited to one company and one policy. At times, something other than a term life policy for 10 or 20 years is needed. You might find that 30 year term life insurance is preferable.
You might also discover that whole life insurance or indexed universal life is the better choice for your financial goals.
Whatever the case, it pays to have options when shopping for life insurance.
If you’re a Costco member or choose to become one before opening your policy, you can enjoy some exclusive benefits which could just make the process worthwhile. Of course, we would never suggest becoming a Costco member just to save a little money because the policy still needs to meet your needs. If it does meet your needs, however, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy these benefits.
Finally, we want to finish with customer service since this may be important for your policy in the future. If ever you have an issue or want to make changes, you want to be put through to the right people as opposed to your local Costco store and this is actually something many worry about. However, it shouldn’t ever be a problem with multiple channels to target when you need help.
First, the Protective website offers an extensive FAQs section which helps most people with their concerns. For each question, you’ll be provided with either a detailed answer or even the right link or email address with which to receive further support. After this, Costco Life Insurance offers an email address in addition to a phone number if you want to speak to a representative directly.
If you need immediate help and you have a pressing concern, the ‘Talk to an Agent’ live chat feature will come in handy since this allows for an immediate response. If you want to keep up-to-date with the latest news from the company or you like to contact companies via social media, they’re available on Facebook, Twitter, and others.
Considering we’ve already seen the A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, we can say with confidence that Protective has a strong customer service presence. This, coupled with the team at Costco, will allow you to get help whenever required and this is always beneficial.
Costco Life Insurance Conclusion
Costco Life Insurance is one option among many. If you need life insurance you have a great company in Protective Life. Just be aware that you have options. Often, shopping for the best life insurance is the only fool proof way to make sure you are getting the right policy for you, based on your unique needs, health and lifestyle.
If you are interested in seeing how your Costco Life Insurance Quotes stack up with other top companies, please give us a call today or enter your info into our quoter.