As part of our ongoing attempt to review all life insurance companies in the U.S. we bring you this Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company Review. Our focus is on the company’s life insurance policies, but we will also address the company’s history, ratings, and other products and services. Is Sentinel Security the right company for you?
About Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company
In 2018, Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company (sometimes shortened to SSL) will be celebrating their 70th birthday in the insurance market in America and this rich history is a testament to their effort and contribution to the industry.
Originally, the company started with the goal of helping families fund all burial and funeral costs after somebody passed away. With their final expense life insurance product still at the top of their services 70 years later, it’s fair to say they’ve reached this goal and they continue to excel in the market.
In terms of finances, 2016 saw the company earn a net operating income of $2.7 million. However, income means very little with life insurance companies. Since we need them to stay in business for many years, we prefer to assess the assets in more detail and these have actually increased by a whopping 60% in the last five years. Currently, Total Statutory Assets amount to $617 million and this, when coupled with the total liabilities of $577 million, creates a large surplus.
Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company Ratings
A.M. Best – With these financial details in mind, how has A.M. Best rated the company recently? For many, they like to rely on this little letter to learn just how financially stable a company is now as well as the likelihood of this changing in the near future. Fortunately, the rating for Sentinel Security right now is ‘B++’ and you might be wondering why we’re saying ‘fortunately’ when it doesn’t fall into the ‘A’ range.
Ultimately, B++ is just one step away from the ‘A’ bracket and we accept it as a buffer zone. For us, the fact they have ‘++’ means they couldn’t be any closer to achieving the magical A- grade.
If it’s long-term financial security you’re after, we’re talking about a company with over $600 million in admitted assets as well as 70 years of experience in the market. Although it isn’t the grade we look for (most of the time), there are times where adjustments should made to allow for certain circumstances.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) – With no Moody’s, Comdex, or Standards and Poor’s, our attention turns to the Better Business Bureau and their incredibly useful rating regarding customer service and business practices within the industry. Boasting an ‘A+’ rating, Sentinel Security Life is in the top percentile when it comes to the BBB and this means they scored above 97 during the rating process.
As well as meaning you shouldn’t have an issue with customer service and complaints, this also means you can trust the company with their advertising campaigns and how they behave within the industry. As an accredited business too, Sentinel Security Life couldn’t be performing any better with the BBB and their file has been open since 1979 which is another reason to celebrate.
Products offered by Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company
In total, Sentinel Security has six different insurance products ranging from health insurance to our focus of life insurance. So far, we’ve learned that their financial position is strong (enough) and that they have the best rating available from the BBB…but how do the products weigh up?
Sentinel Plan Hospital Advantage – While healthcare used to be an option, everybody now knows the dangers of having no insurance. Not only does it cause disruption in the short-term, the negative impact of having to find the money can also create a dent in a family’s finances for many years to come. With this in mind, Sentinel Security Life has decided to offer the Hospital Advantage plan.
Available to all those between the ages of 60 and 85, the plan is designed to be supplementary to your main policy since it ‘fills the gaps’. Whether an injury or illness requires visits to the physician’s office, surgeon’s office, or even the emergency room, the policy will pay up to $250 per day and it also offers non-monetary benefits including emergency room benefits, ambulance transportation, and skilled nursing benefits. Considering the money is paid to you directly, it can be used to cover medical bills, support family members, or for any other reason.
Medicare Supplement Insurance – If you already have a medicare plan in place, this supplemental insurance can boost your coverage and protect you against things Medicare doesn’t cover. With seven plans you can choose from in total, they tend to vary by state but you should be able to select between different deductibles, benefits for blood, and excess charges. Depending on the level of coverage you choose, your premium will adjust accordingly.
Sentinel Plan Summit Bonus Index – From the very beginning, you’re in control of this fixed annuity opportunity because you decide how your money grows, how you receive the resulting income, and many other factors. Once your money has been invested, it starts to grow with the market but you’re protected against downturns in the economy. Over time, the money grows with premiums and interest and you build an amount perfect for you or your beneficiary for retirement.
In addition to this, you can opt into an Income Rider which means you’ll receive income for the rest of your life. Even after this, you’ll benefit from the annuity bonus rate of 1% after setting up your policy so there are numerous advantages to be had with this particular product. Remember, you will never lose money even if the index falls.
Sentinel Plan Personal Choice Annuity – With options available for five, seven, or ten years, this is perfect for those approaching retirement because you can set the right duration and have the money available as you need it. In terms of contributions, you can choose anything between $2,500 to $1 million (both qualified and non-qualified).
In terms of customization, you can add numerous riders including a Required Minimum Distribution rider which sets the very minimum you’ll receive each period in retirement. With other riders available too, you can add/remove the features depending on what works for you. Just like choosing dishes from a menu, you end up creating a policy that’s ideal for your needs.
Sentinel Plan Personal Choice Plus Annuity – As the third and final annuity, the Personal Choice Plus goes one step further than the standard solution and allows four different crediting methods which gives greater control over the growth of your annuity. As the interest rate is fixed for five years, the rate itself is based upon the changes within the market which means you’re positioned to profit from good market returns but you don’t have to worry about the downturns and losses, since you are not directly investing in the market.
Life Insurance offered by Sentinel Security Life
When deciding on what policy to choose it is important to know what all the hubbub regarding term life vs whole life is.
Whole life last your entire life, builds cash value, and the premiums remain the same.
New Vantage Life Insurance
Finally, we have the main life insurance option from Sentinel Security and it comes in the form of a top final expense insurance policy.
If you’ve never heard this term before or don’t quite know what it means, it’s policy that looks to cover all the final expenses (hence the name) that may arise. Rather than being insured for hundreds of thousands of dollars, final expense policies generally range from $5,000 to $20,000.
With simplified underwriting, you don’t have to worry about a medical examination but instead a few simple health questions over the phone. With this in mind, it allows for faster acceptance and you can have peace of mind the policy is installed just in case something were to happen.
The simplified issue whole life insurance policies are available in single pay, 10 pay, 20 pay or full pay, which allows premiums for the life of the policy.
New Vantage I
Available for ages 0-85, this cash value whole life insurance policy is available for face amounts starting at $1,000 up to $35,000.
New Vantage II
Similar to the New Vantage I, this is a senior life insurance policy designed for those with some minor health issues. The policy comes with a graded death benefit paying 30% of the face amount in year one, 70% in year two and the full death benefit in year three. The coverage amounts range from $1,000 to $20,000 and is available for ages 45-85.
New Vantage III
This policy is for those with impaired health offering a graded death benefit that provides for all premiums returned plus 10% interest in year one and two, with the full face amount available starting in year three. The coverage amounts range from $1,000 to $15,000 and is available for ages 45-85.
Life Insurance Riders
Among the life insurance riders offered are:
Waiver of premium: this rider allows your premiums to be waived if you suffer from a qualifying disability.
Finally, we always like to finish with the customer service aspect of the company. As we’ve already seen, Sentinel Security has the highest possible rating with the BBB but how will you get hold of your new insurers if you were to open a policy?
Depending on the product you have with the company, you’ll be given a specialized phone number alongside a physical address. Nowadays, the annuities and life insurance phone number has been separated from the hospital indemnity and medicare supplement and this allows us to contact only the number we need rather than it being all in one and the process leading to mass confusion.
After this, you can also email the company or, alternatively, request information or ask a question through the online contact form. After sending off your details along with your comments, you should receive a reply within no time.
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