Review of Western and Southern Life Insurance Company
Our goal at TermLife2Go is to bring our clients the very best life insurance in the market. One way we accomplish our goal is by researching every company and discovering what its unique niches may be, its policies, ratings, etc. This allows us the ability to truly compare life insurance quotes from the top companies in the U.S.
In the following Western and Southern Life Insurance Company review we will look at the company’s history, financials, ratings, products and services. Is Western and Southern Life the right fit for you—based on your unique goals, objectives and needs? Let’s take a look.
About Western and Southern Life Insurance Company
History – With the main aim of providing affordable life insurance to individuals and families across the United States, Western and Southern Life Insurance Company has nearly 130 years of experience in the market after forming in 1888. Originally, the company had a goal to provide personalized services to the people of the US and they’ve stuck with this goal ever since. With this personal touch as a unique selling point, customers enjoy being looked after not just with the policy but with the provider itself.
Over the years, Western and Southern Life has demonstrated its ability to get through tough economic climates while still remaining strong and providing Americans with fantastic products. Since they have a mutual holding structure, as part of the Western and Southern Financial Group, this enables them to invest in the future without causing a huge impact in the short-term as a result.
Mutual insurance companies operate for the benefit of its policyholders, in contrast to stock companies which have to balance providing for policyholders with keeping stockholders happy. Whole life insurance policyholders of mutual insurance companies get to share in the company’s profits, after expenses, via participating policy dividends.
Financials – With nearly 140 offices around 23 states (and the District of Columbia), it’s fair to say the company is now a large one within the industry. When we take a look at the products in a later section, we’ll see exactly what has led them there but now we should look at the finances. Where are they in the industry? Are they in a good position to survive another financial scare or economic crisis?
Within the company’s 2016 Financial Report, there were a number of highlights for Western and Southern Financial Group including the new high for assets owned which is now at $45 billion. In addition to Western and Southern Life, this group includes Eagle Realty Group, Columbus Life Insurance Company, W&S Financial Group Distributors, Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Touchstone Investments, and The Lafayette Life Insurance Company.
If we look at Western and Southern Life Insurance Company alone, the highlights of 2016 included being named as the Top Military-Friendly Employer as well as brand-new customers across the 23 states in which they operate.
Looking at the consolidated income statement to judge the financial power behind Western and Southern Financial Group, we find insurance premiums and product charges at a total of $1.4 billion as well as a total revenue figure of over $3.3 billion. In assets, the group has nearly $45 billion worth and this should see them through nicely in the coming years.
Western and Southern Life Insurance Company Ratings
When looking at the smaller companies in the life insurance industry, there’s limited opportunity to really assess the financial ratings as well as what the Better Business Bureau says for customer service and their behavior within the industry. With a large company like Western and Southern Life, we have access to more ratings than normal and this allows us a complete overview of how they perform in the market as well as their future prospects.
A.M. Best – Although we say it all the time, there really is no better way to start than to look at the rating from A.M. Best since this assesses a company’s financial strength with everything kept in mind. Furthermore, combine this with the fact that the agency has a long history of over 100 years and you have one of the most reliable sources you could ever wish for.
Ever since June 2009, Western and Southern Life Insurance Company has held a rating of A+ which is considered ‘Superior’ and means you’ll always be in safe hands with this company. As the second-highest rating of 16, this rating means they won’t have any issues meeting their insurance obligations in the future. Whenever life insurance is involved, we need to know that we can trust their position in the market because, after all, they need to pay the death benefit ten, twenty-five, or even forty years from now.
If you’ve seen any of our reviews previously, you’ll know that very few companies in the world get the highest rating with A.M. Best so an A+ and Superior rating is the next best thing to this exclusive club.
Standard & Poor’s – With S&P, the focus is a little different to A.M. Best because they will assess the credit rating of the provider to ensure they can meet all ongoing demands such as claims, interest payments, debts, etc. If a company were to be making consistent operating losses, this money would have to come from somewhere until this ‘somewhere’ runs out and the policy of every client is in trouble.
Luckily, the S&P rating for Western and Southern Life Insurance Company is AA which is ‘Very Strong’ and the third-highest rating possible from 21 with this agency. As you can see, S&P has a different grading system to A.M. Best and this is something you’ll continue to see as we look through the other agency ratings.
Fitch – Once again, this is an agency that looks at the credit rating rather than the overall financial strength. Can the business meet all contract demands both now and long into the future? According to Fitch and their AA (Very Strong) rating for Western and Southern Life, they think this answer is a ‘yes’. Having held this rating since June 2009, it seems as though nothing will disrupt their financial performance. Even if there was to be a major shake-up in the economy, they should be in a good position to survive and excel once again thereafter.
Comdex – Taking into consideration the ratings from Moody’s Investor Service, A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch, Comdex actually creates a score from 100. In order to qualify, the provider should have at least two agency ratings which is why we’re hardly able to discuss it in our reviews with the smaller companies. With this in mind, it creates a universal scale by which every life insurance provider can be measured.
For Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, we’ve already seen they have superb ratings from three of the four agencies so it perhaps isn’t surprising to hear they’ve been given a Comdex score of 96 out of 100. Having held this score for over four years now, it doesn’t look as though anything will shift this anytime soon and it means the company can meet their financial demands whilst also going further than most.
Customer Service – With every large company, customer service needs to play a large role otherwise we’re likely to get fed up and find another provider. With the right support network in a provider, we can contact them with any issues we have regarding the policy as well as getting hold of an agent when something with the policy has been altered. With Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, the options are expansive and it starts by logging into your account. With an online platform for your policy, you can access your online documents within seconds as well as finding the appropriate numbers and email addresses to speak to a representative.
For example, they offer a ‘Locate an Office/Agent’ feature which means you can deal with the same office and even the same agent every time you phone. With this, you don’t have to explain your story every time and you can actually build a relationship with the agent.
Elsewhere on the website, you can ‘Request an Appointment’, view all your accounts, make a claim, and contact the company via all the usual channels. However, none of these compare to the ‘Live Help’ function because a company that can stay with the times is one that wins a good number of customers. With this live help option, you can have a solution to your issue within minutes rather than waiting hours or even days to get a reply to your message.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) – Finally, will there be a blemish on an otherwise perfect record from the official agencies regarding finance and customer service? In short, no. Right across the board, Western and Southern Life is impressive (to say the least!) and it doesn’t seem to end. With the BBB, we know they judge companies based on a whole range of criteria from their complaint history to whether they’ve had any issues regarding advertising or branding in the past.
With Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, we have a business with an A+ score which means, on a scale between 0 to 100, they scored somewhere above 97. In truth, they do relatively little wrong and it makes our job harder in finding something bad or negative about the company to prevent this guide from leaving the ‘impartial’ category. However, we can only comment on what we see and this is solid ratings from every agency for both financials and customer service.
Products offered by Western and Southern Life Insurance Company
When it comes to Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, it’s fair to say they have an extensive range of products and perhaps this is why they have proven to be so popular in the market. Today, we’re going to split these products down into their different sections so you can decide which products you want as well as the ones you need. However, we’ll save annuities and life insurance for their own sections since this is where our focus will be.
Retirement – If you’re already starting to think about retirement, Western and Southern Life has some good resources on the topic. As well as providing advice and a survey so you can see where you are in the process, you can also choose between Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Overall, this section of the business is designed to provide advice on the best annuities and life insurance policies you can choose in order to enjoy a comfortable and perhaps even extended retirement.
Mutual Funds – Once again, sometimes you need advice regarding your investments in mutual funds and Western and Southern Life can provide this with superb professionals and years of experience in the market. Whether you don’t have the time or you don’t have the knowledge, the expertise you can utilize with this service will allow you to make the most of all your investments rather than plodding along without a goal or plan.
Since Touchstone Investments is included under the Western and Southern Financial Group umbrella, the services sometimes coincide with one another and this is what happens here. For many years, Touchstone Investments has been lending a hand to those in the mutual fund market and you can benefit from this in 2017 and beyond.
If you want to lead a comfortable life during retirement, you need to start planning and you can do this with annuities. Seen as a financial vehicle that allows you to build funds for when you eventually leave work, annuities take advantage of the magical theory that always seems to demand attention; compound interest. Below, we’ve listed the four main options you can choose from if you decide to go with Western and Southern Life Insurance Company.
Single-Premium Immediate Annuities
If you have some money saved or recently received inheritance from a loved one, you can invest a lump sum into an annuity. With the immediate option, you’ll start reaping the rewards just one period after the initial investment. Over time, you’ll receive a steady stream of income rather than letting the lump sum go to waste elsewhere.
Single-Premium Deferred Annuities
Once again, this option is perfect if you have a lump sum to invest. However, this time, your money will grow over time (free from the confines of tax) until you start to withdraw it later down the line (normally during retirement). The longer you leave this money to snowball with compound interest, the better your results will be.
Flexible-Premium Deferred Annuities
If you aren’t lucky enough to have a lump sum to invest, you can pay whenever you have the opportunity and however much you decide is appropriate given your current status. Of course, there will be certain limits to the annuity but you won’t be forced into a certain amount nor will you have to pay every month (this is great for those slow months where the bills seem to get on top of you). As the money grows, you will eventually have access to withdrawals and it can make your life easier in the future.
Flexible-Premium Deferred Variable Annuity
With this annuity, you have even more flexibility because you have a say in the strategy for the investment sub-accounts. With several investment options available, you can decide how much money goes to each fund. Since this is more of an investment than all other options, no performance or results could ever be guaranteed; all investments can fluctuate in value so your money could be worth less when it comes to withdrawal time. If you spread your risk with the help of a professional though, it could also be worth much more.
If you need life insurance, this is the section you’ve probably been waiting for and it’s good news because Western and Southern Life Insurance Company has an extensive list of life insurance options.
Term Life Insurance
With this short-term form of insurance, Western and Southern Life Insurance Company provides you with three main options and the one you choose will depend on your needs as well as your age, health, and purpose of insurance in the first place.
Simple Choice Annual Renewable & Convertible Term
With this annual renewable term policy, it will be renewed at the end of each term which is typically twelve months. Over time, your premiums will gradually increase because your circumstances are reviewed each year. However, this is a flexible and ideal solution if you don’t know whether you’re going to need your policy from one year to the next.
Simple Choice Guaranteed Level Term
If you choose the level term life insurance policy, you can decide between 10, 15, 20, and 30 years and your premiums will remain level throughout which is different to the first option we showed. At any time, you can also exercise the conversion option into a permanent policy.
Term to 25
Finally, this is an opportunity to insure your child up to the age of 25 years with steady premiums and the chance to convert it to permanent life insurance without having to go through the tiresome underwriting process.
Whole Life Insurance
Simple Choice Whole Life
Depending on how long you actually want to pay premiums for, this participating whole life policy splits down again into three different options; 20 years of premiums, premiums until 65 years of age, and premiums until 100 years of age.
Although you can choose limited pay options, the coverage lasts your entire life. The policy builds cash value. Premiums are fixed. And you may be eligible for life insurance dividends.
Superior Value Life
If you aren’t too worried about the cash value with your policy, you can go for the Superior Value Life option which offers a guaranteed death benefit. As before, you can pay all your premiums up in twenty years or continue paying until the age of 100.
All the benefits of a whole life policy with the additional benefit of potentially growing your death benefit over your lifetime making it a great choice for building a legacy.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance offers flexible premiums and death benefit. Western and Southern Life offer two different UL policies.
Ultra Universal Life
With this policy, you’ll be covered for the rest of your life but you have the flexibility to adjust your premiums and coverage amount depending on what’s going on in your life.
Protection Universal Life
If you want flexible premiums as well as guarantees that your protection will never lapse, look no further than the Protection Universal Life policy. As long as you continue paying the premiums as agreed in any given moment, the coverage will remain in place.
Other Insurance Policies
If you haven’t yet seen something that falls into your requirements, you can also find Critical Illness policies as well as Accident coverage with Western and Southern Life so be sure to assess exactly what you need. If necessary, talk to a professional who can find the right policy for you!