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Important Notice: This is a review of Delaware Life. The information published at this web site is not intended to be a recommendation to purchase an annuity. You are strongly urged to consult with financial planning, tax, and legal advisors to determine if an annuity is suitable in your financial situation.
About Delaware Life Insurance Company
Despite the name Delaware Life Insurance Company being relatively new, it actually began with the purchase of Delaware Life Holdings LLC. With this, it included various US annuities as well as life insurance policies belonging to Sun Life Financial Inc who actually have more than 40 years of experience in the industry. Therefore, the name might only have the experience of a handful of years but their foundations are much stronger and this has enabled them to have a solid start within a very competitive market.
Although the company now manages the life insurance policies from Sun Life Financial Inc, they only offer four annuity products themselves and believe this simple method of operating allows the consumer the best opportunity to save for retirement.
Delaware Life Insurance Company Finances
How can we expect a company to look after our money when they can’t even look after their own? When it comes to annuities, it’s important the company knows how to survive the fluctuations within the market.
With Delaware Life, they’re in a great position with over 342,000 policies under their belt. With annuities and life insurance combined, they now have nearly $41 billion worth of assets as well as nearly $14 billion in invested assets.
With this in mind, they’re doing incredibly well and these assets should keep you comfortable with any policy you decide to create; considering a percentage of these assets will be liquid, it should allow them to survive a financial crisis. However, the only real way to know this is to assess their financial ratings.
Delaware Life Insurance Company Ratings
A.M. Best – For many years, A.M. Best has been the go-to agency when looking for the financial stability of life insurance and annuity companies.
Why? Over the years, they’ve built a reputation for assessing the finances of a company before then giving a rating. As well as showing how financially sound the company is now, they will also suggest how secure they’ll be in the future and this is vital for annuities and life insurance because they are two financial tools that can last decades. If they aren’t in business in twenty years’ time, you lose your investment and money in retirement or death benefit for your beneficiary.
For Delaware Life Insurance Company, their hard work has been rewarded with a rating of A- which is classified as ‘Excellent’. At this point, we should note that they also have a subsidiary in New York and this has its own rating but it’s the same as the rating for the main company. With companies in this niche, experts recommend going for one that has a rating within the ‘A’ bracket for security so this is great news for you. In the short-term, this means they have the financial backing to offer the very best annuities. In the long-term, it means they should remain in business and pay out whenever you’re owed.
Standard & Poor’s – With S&P, the provide overall financial credit ratings for all consumers and have been doing this for a number of years. With S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch, they’re considered the three main options for credit ratings so it’s important to pay attention to whichever of these is available. For Delaware Life, the only one we have available is from S&P and it comes in at BBB+ and this is considered ‘Stable’. Since the entity itself is relatively new, this is actually a good rating and they were promoted from a BBB around one year ago. Thanks to increased earnings and capital, Delaware Life is steadily increasing their rating.
If we break this down even further, the story gets even better. Although you will find companies with more experience who have managed to earn one of the best ratings around, Delaware Life Insurance Company is now considered ‘Moderately Strong’ in the category of Financial Risk Profile as well as being ‘Adequate’ and ‘Low Risk’ in other areas. For the company, the promotion was a huge step because it took them from ‘Positive’ to ‘Stable’. Suddenly, the areas that were considered at-risk or a little insecure were changed and this means customers can be more relaxed about the future.
Moody’s – As mentioned previously, S&P is actually the only rating we have in terms of credit and this is because they lost their rating with Moody’s. Previously, Moody’s had rated Delaware Life at Baa2 and this was in August of 2016. Just four months later, the rating was withdrawn and they still remain unrated. In truth, this could be due to a number of reasons but the most common one is a lack of information. Sometimes, Moody’s don’t receive the right information in order to go through their usual criteria and come up with a rating. However, it could also be a reorganization of the company which is a little less rare and unlikely to be the case for Delaware Life Insurance Company.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) – With the finances dealt with, what about customer service? As we’ve explained before, the Better Business Bureau assess a number of different factors regarding the customer service of a company including how often complaints are made and how well the company responds to said complaints. With Delaware Life, they’ve been given a rating of B- which is somewhere in the middle between average and superb.
At first, a B- looks to be relatively poor because, let’s face it, the company is one grade away from a C+. However, something we always say with the BBB rating system is that the ratings are made on a scale between 0 and 100. In the grading system we might use in school, a B- would be somewhere in the sixties or seventies. With the BBB system, the ‘B’ scale (including + and -) covers the eighties. With this in mind, a B- rating will actually fall somewhere between 80 and 84 and this is still a very good rating.
Customer Service – Finally, how do they operate in terms of customer service? With life insurance and annuity providers, we’ve concentrated on contact forms quite heavily in the past but sadly Delaware Life doesn’t offer one of these for their clients. This being said, it shouldn’t ever be a problem getting hold of a company representative whether it’s through specialized phone numbers or email. With the phones, they have two different numbers depending on whether you want to speak to an advisor or whether you have a request or concern regarding an open policy. For us, this is just as good as a contact form because you are put through to the right department straight away rather than being redirected all over the place.
After this, they also have three mailing addresses; one for regular mail, one for incoming payments, and another as an overnight address. Again, this is highly beneficial as opposed to sending all letters to one address and hoping it gets to the right place.
Delaware Life Insurance Company Products
As mentioned previously, Delaware Life currently offer four different annuity products depending on your needs moving forward;
Assured Income 7 Fixed Index Annuity
Offered as a flexible and ‘straightforward’ solution to building funds for retirement, this fixed index annuity allows you to choose between several crediting options with a guaranteed income so you can plan for the future. If you don’t want to risk your retirement on the whim of the market by sticking everything into mutual funds, you can go the route of a fixed annuity solution which will grow over time. Whether you want to choose the S&P 500 or a Fixed Account, you can allocate your value in any which way you desire.
Furthermore, you’ll be granted a Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) component which means that income will be provided to the owner of the policy even if the cash value of the account drains to nothing. Finally, a ‘Bailout Endorsement’ allows a full or partial withdrawal if you want to remove yourself from the contract without penalty.
Retirement Stages 7 Fixed Index Annuity
Similar to the first option in that you’ll be tied to a fixed index, this means you can grow your funds at a steady rate but you can also add your own riders such as the Return of Premium rider (free from surrender charges). With this option, you can actually choose indexes that are exclusive to Delaware Life which means you won’t find them anywhere else on the market. Despite being fixed in nature and the way your money grows, this is a flexible policy and it will adjust to your needs as they change through the years.
As with the previous option, you’ll receive a Bailout Endorsement and a guaranteed way to make money. However, the indexing options are very different because you have two more available including CROCI Sectors III USD 5.5% Volatility Control Index AND the Momentum Asset Allocator 5.5% Volatility Control Index. In terms of payment at the end, you can take the income however you wish from annuity payments, free withdrawal amounts, periodic withdrawals, and more.
Retirement Chapters 10 Fixed Index Annuity
With this Retirement Chapters policy, you get all the great benefits of a fixed index annuity including tax-deferred growth, predictable income, and even the security of principal protection. In life, you never really know what’s going to happen but you can be prepared for it and this is what Delaware Life Insurance Company wants to offer.
As well as flexibility you often get with these types of policies, you also get control with this one and your first decision comes from the four indexes we’ve discussed previously. This being said, there’s an option to go with more than one strategy and you can also allocate your account in a different way on the anniversary of each contract. With the indexes on offer, you have decades of experience and two of the options are run by Deutsche Bank; this is the largest bank in Germany who manage funds worth over $2 trillion.
Pinnacle MYGA A Multi-Year Guaranteed Fixed Annuity
Finally, the fourth annuity available with Delaware Life is the easy way to build your retirement fund with one premium to pay and no risk of being tied to the stocks and bonds market. After starting, you can choose between several guarantee periods depending on which suits your needs. After choosing, the rate remains fixed for that period of time. As long as you remain in contract, the interest and principle will remain the same.
Additionally, Pinnacle MYGA also provides a death benefit which will be the same amount as the account value. If you happen to make a withdrawal before the interest rate period ends, there is likely to be a market value adjustment between the start of the period and the interest rate at the time of withdrawing.
The information published at this web site is not intended to be a recommendation to purchase an annuity. You are strongly urged to consult with financial planning, tax, and legal advisors to determine if an annuity is suitable in your financial situation.