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RiverSource Life Insurance Company Review and Rating

Researcher & Writer
June 05, 2018

Riversource Life Insurance (affiliate of Ameriprise Financial) is one of many life insurance companies in the marketplace. At TermLife2Go, we work with dozens of different carriers, including the top ten best life insurance companies, offering both exam and no exam life insurance.

You’ve reached that point in life where taking steps to prepare for your death is important. Sure, you may not be ready to die tomorrow, but in a world of unknowns, you’ve realized the valuable truth of the old saying, “Better safe than sorry.”

You want your loved ones to be taken care of after you’re gone, which is why you need the best life insurance policy possible.

In your search for the perfect life insurance policy, someone may have recommended RiverSource as a possible life insurance company. Now you want to know more.

We at TermLife2Go are dedicated to helping individuals like you to find their perfect life insurance policy. In our effort to do so, below you’ll find some basic information about RiverSource and the different types of life insurance policies it offers.

About RiverSource

RiverSource Life Insurance, an affiliate of Ameriprise Financial, has been in the business for quite a while. With more than 120 years of experience, it has helped many generations of life insurance policy holders get the kind of coverage they need.

The company started with a young, but ambitious businessman, John Tappan. At 24 years old, Tappan founded the company in Minnesota, then known as Investors Syndicate.

In 1984, the company (then called IDS), was acquired by American Express, and in 2005, it became a publicly traded company.

Today, John Woerner is the company’s president, stating on the company's website, “My team and I make the strength and soundness of our company a top priority.”

RiverSource's Financial Ratings

RiverSource insurance has great ratings across the board. All of the top rating agencies have granted RiverSource Life with top tier ratings and have given it a stable outlook for the future.

RiverSource Life Insurance ratings by rating agency:
  • Moody’s: Aa3  (Excellent)
  • A.M. Best: A+ (Superior)
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA- (Very Strong)

RiverSource Life Insurance Products

As is the case with many life insurance companies, RiverSource has two main categories of life insurance: term life vs permanent life insurance.

Term Life Insurance

Riversource offers 10 year, 15 year, 20 year and 30 year level term life insurance policies.The premiums are guaranteed for the length of the term.

The policy is also convertible term life allowing you to convert all or a portion of the policy into permanent life insurance, such as universal life.

Universal Life Insurance

The best thing about RiverSource’s universal life insurance policies are the flexible options that allow you to change premium payments and adjust your death benefit. If money gets tight, you can pay lower premiums. When money is flowing, you can build up the cash value in your policy.

In addition, with the flexible death benefit, if you start out thinking you need a lot of coverage, but later decide less is more, then you can adjust your policy death benefit down to something more in line with your budget, rather than having to cancel and try and get a new policy.

A universal life policy's cash value grows income tax-free and have a guaranteed minimum fixed interest rate. The death benefit is paid as a lump sum income tax free.

In some states, you can also get a survivorship life insurance policy, which basically means that the policy covers two persons. This kind of coverage is often really good for couples or business owners looking to provide quick cash to an estate or business, such as with a buy sell agreement.

Indexed Universal Life

With Indexed Universal Life you can participate in an indexed account that tracks different indices of the stock market to get better returns. IULs offer a floor and cap.

The floor protects your policy from negative returns. You will have a different floor depending on if your cash is allocated to a fixed account (guaranteed 2%) or indexed account.

The cap limits the amount of gains your policy can be credited with. The company will declare the cap limit in advance of the particular segment start date. A segment represents when money moves from your interim account into an indexed account. The total time money resides in the segment is one year, determined by the start date to maturity date.

Upon 12 months time, your total return is determined by the cap rate or floor and the participation rate multiplied by your average balance for the 12 month segment.

Riversource Life Insurance offers two Indexed Universal Life Options. We will focus our attention on the company's multi-indexed option.

Riversource Multi-Index Universal Life

You have the option of utilizing a fixed account and other indexed accounts including: 

  • S&P 500,
  • MSCI Europe, Australasia and Far East and
  • MSCI Emerging Markets

Two Death Benefit Options

  • Level death benefit
  • Increasing death benefit

Guaranteed Floor

  • Fixed account guaranteed 2% floor
  • 1 Year Segment offers 0% guaranteed floor
  • 2 Year Segment offers 1% guaranteed floor

Policy Loans

Variable Universal Life Insurance

The difference with this policy and indexed universal life is that you are responsible to take on the risk that comes with an investment. Unlike indexed universal life that is not invested directly in a stock or equity investment, variable universal life is invested into stock or equity investments, similar to mutual funds.

The value of your policy will fluctuate with the market and the investments, and you will have to accept the responsibility, or benefit from the returns, all based on the market performance of your particular variable accounts. That way, if the market is doing great (going up), then you’ll be the one reaping the benefits that come with a variable universal life insurance policy.

Disability Income Insurance

Riversource ranks as one of the top individual disability insurance companies, offering long term coverage. If you have never contemplated disability insurance, consider the statistics that show 25% of people in their 20s will experience a disability before retirement. This is a shocking stat and demonstrates the importance of long term planning.

One of the best ways to protect your financial future is with private long term disability insurance. If you become totally disabled or partially disabled, you can receive an income benefit for the benefit period set forth in your policy. Then you can make your mortgage payment, auto loan payment, credit cards, etc., rather than risk foreclosure or bankruptcy. Plus, you can avoid tapping into any rainy day fund you may have set aside with the help of short term disability insurance.

What if I have group coverage?

You may have a group policy, but generally group plans only pay out for a year or two, the total benefit is low and it may be taxed if your employer pays the disability insurance premiums.

Interested finding out more about disability insurance? Give us a call today and speak to a experienced disability insurance agent who can help align you with the right company and policy and the right price to fit into your budget.

Overview of RiverSource

Now that you know a little about RiverSource and the life insurance policies they offer, you’re ready for the real answers: how are they as a life insurance company?

To be honest, RiverSource is a great life insurance company. There aren’t that many negative things we could say about it as a company, but there are a lot of positive things we could say.

After 120 years in the business, RiverSource has had scores of happy customers. Rating agencies agree and even say its outlook for the future is promising—an important thing when looking for a product that won’t come to fruition for decades.

The real question isn’t whether or not RiverSource is a good life insurance company—it is—but whether or not it is the best life insurance company for you.

How do you figure out if a life insurance company is right for you?

Each life insurance company will calculate and determine risk in a different manner. Some will consider hereditary diseases that you don’t have yet to be a big penalty whereas others may not.

Other life insurance companies may think that obesity should be punished, whereas others will think it’s okay so long as your blood pressure is under control. Because life insurance companies rate each individual factor differently, it’s a sum of all factors that determines what kind of policy they will underwrite and at what price. It really varies from person to person.

So is RiverSource the best for you?

We can’t really know without knowing you. We do not underwrite policies for RiverSource, so the best way for you to find out is to contact them directly.

But, in order to know if they’re the best for you, you’ll need something to compare it against. That’s where TermLife2Go comes in the picture. We will find out all about the life details that are important to insurance companies. Then, we will use our knowledge of dozens of the top life insurance companies in the US to make a custom recommendation in order to help you find the best life insurance rates by age.

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.