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Phoenix Life Insurance Company Review

Researcher & Writer
May 22, 2018

With so many companies offering life insurance, finding the right company for your specific need, health and lifestyle can be daunting. We put this Phoenix Life Insurance review together to cover the pros and cons of the company and help our visitors make an informed decision on the company they choose to protect them.

About Phoenix Life

A (not so) brief history

Founded in 1851 as the American Temperance Life Insurance Company. According to the Company's website, the company began by focusing on client who abstained from alcohol. In 1861, the Company changed its name to Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company.

In 1865, Phoenix issues a policy to Abraham Lincoln. There is no mention of the face amount or if his wife established a claim, but that is still a very interesting fact and shows just how long Phoenix has been doing business.

in 1955, Phoenix Life is the first company to make the correlation between women and longer life spans. Consequently, the Company offered special lowered premiums on life insurance for women, offering rates "three years younger than men."

In 1967, Phoenix Life is the first company to recognize the harmful affects of tobacco use. The Company lowered premiums for all non-tobacco users 20%, compared to those who used tobacco products.

The Company merged with Home Life in 1992 and was renamed Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Company.

In 2001, the Company successfully changed from a mutual company to a stock company and began trading on the NYSE under symbol PNX.

In 2016, Nassau Reinsurance Group Holdings L.P. acquired Phoenix and took the company private.

Phoenix Life Insurance Company's Ratings

Phoenix Life is rated by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. The Company has attained the following ratings:

  • A.M. Best rating — B, Fair
  • Standard & Poor’s rating — B+
  • Comdex ranking: 34

Phoenix LIfe's ratings are middle of the road. We prefer to see ratings of A- of better. A.M. Best also provides future guidance, stating that Phoenix Life's future outlook is "STABLE," with a long term issuer credit rating of bb+.

Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life Express*

The primary product we want to introduce our visitors to is the company's no exam term life insurance. Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life Express provides competitive term life insurance rates with living benefits.

Safe Harbor Term Life Express product features:

  • Available for ages 18-80
  • Term Length: 10, 15, 20 and 30 Year (availability based on age)
  • Face Amounts: $25,000 to $400,000 (availability based on age)
  • Accelerated Benefit Riders (where available):
    • Critical Illness
    • Chronic Illness
    • Terminal Illness
    • Unemployment waiver of premium rider
  • Conversion Option

*Not currently available in NY or ME.

Who should consider this product?

Anyone considering not taking an exam vs. fully underwritten life insurance should consider Safe Harbor Term Life Express. The product is focused on providing life insurance with living benefits.

The majority of term products in the marketplace provide only death benefit protection. However, Phoenix Life Insurance's simplified issue product combines a death benefit with living benefits, giving the insured protection in death and life.

Additional Life Insurance Products Offered by Phoenix Life

Phoenix offers various types of life insurance policies. Before deciding on any specific type of coverage, it is important to understand the differences between term vs permanent life insurance.

Permanent Life Insurance- this is life insurance that is good for your entire life (assuming that you continue to make necessary payments). This is a tax free death benefit. There are different types of permanent life insurance offered by Phoenix:

  • Universal Life insurance: flexible premiums, flexible death benefit, cash accumulation
  • Indexed Universal Life insurance: Put your policy in a fixed account or in indexed accounts, potentially getting a better return than with ordinary whole life or universal life.
  • Variable Universal Life insurance: flexible premiums, interest accumulating policy options. Since you are directly investing in the variable sub-accounts VUL has the risk of losing your cash value principle—but the gains may also work out to be much higher that universal life or whole life.
  • Whole Life insurance: guaranteed fixed premiums, death benefit and cash value growth.

Term Life Insurance- Instead of opting for whole life insurance, many people choose Phoenix’s term life insurance coverage. There are many reasons why someone would choose term life insurance over permanent life insurance, but the main one is cost. Phoenix offers affordable term life insurance that gives life insurance policy holders the coverage they need during the time it’s most crucial. If you have dependents and want to make sure they have financial security until a certain age, then term life insurance from Phoenix may be the best bet for you.

In addition to permanent life insurance policies, Phoenix also offers survivorship and first to die life insurance policies:

  • Survivorship Life Insurance: this is also referred to as second-to-die life insurance. Basically, it’s a policy that covers two people—usually a married couple or life partners—and the second to die will receive the benefit after the first death. Not all life insurance companies offer second-to-die life insurance policies, but Phoenix does!
  • Joint Life Insurance: This is often referred to as first-to-die life insurance and unlike survivorship, can cover more than 2 people. One scenario in which this makes sense is for multiple business partners who will need the payout to continue the business. Another is perhaps if siblings are all financially responsible for the well-being of elderly parents. Should one sibling die before their parents, then a joint life insurance policy will make sure the other siblings can still afford care for their parents.

Overall Impression of Phoenix Life

Most people who have bought a life insurance policy through Phoenix are generally content. They have been in the business for quite a long time, so it’s pretty certain they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon—and important fact to consider when purchasing a life insurance policy.

Phoenix Life has been granted decent ratings by two of the top life insurance rating agencies.  Honestly, they aren’t the highest ranking life insurance company out there, but there are definitely times when Phoenix is the best life insurance company for an individual.

When is Phoenix Life the best life insurance company option?

Finding the best life insurance for an individual is no easy task. If we could just tell you who should buy insurance from Phoenix and who should not, then life would be so easy, wouldn’t it?

Unfortunately, that’s just not how the life insurance industry works. The reason all life insurance companies work out to be different for different people is because the process of underwriting a life insurance policy is a complicated one (to say the least!).

Before a life insurance company like Phoenix underwrites your policy, they analyze everything about your health and life—from the number of kids you’ve had, to your career, to how much you weigh. They assign values to each of these pieces of information to determine:

  1. if they want to underwrite a life insurance policy for you
  2. If yes, what kind of life insurance policy
  3. What health class to assign to your life insurance policy

The problem is, all life insurance companies assign different values to different aspects of your life. One life insurance company might consider diabetic life insurance to be high risk life insurance, whereas another life insurance company may find it to be less of a risk. Each and every variable is assessed differently by different life insurance companies. Sounds confusing? It is!

How do I know if Phoenix is the best life insurance company for me?

The best way to know if Phoenix is right for you is by seeking the help of a third party organization that is going to tell you not only about Phoenix, but also about dozens and dozens of other life insurance companies. See, to know if Phoenix is the best for you, then you need to compare it to other life insurance companies and what they have to offer.

Guess what? TermLife2Go can do just that for you! We work with many of the best life insurance companies in the United States. We take your information and figure out which life insurance company is going to offer you the best life insurance coverage at the best price. We don’t do guesswork—we genuinely crunch the numbers and gather valid information pertinent to your exact case. We then make solid custom life insurance recommendations based on the facts.

Written by
We are a team of life insurance experts with the simple mission of helping you find the best coverage for your unique situation. We research, review, and rank life insurance companies to make that process easier.