Life Insurance

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What is life insurance and why do I need it?

Life insurance offers a way to provide for your loved ones. It pays them a sum of money that may help protect them from the financial impact of your passing. Life insurance can be an important aspect of retirement planning—helping bring peace of mind and financial security for your family.

See how life insurance can be a part of your story.

How can life insurance help protect my family?

Life insurance can help protect your family’s future by providing funds to pay off debts and final expenses, replace lost income, and transfer wealth.

What type of life insurance policy suits me the best?

Finding a policy that’s right for your needs is easier when you know the types of life insurance that are available and what they're designed to do. Answer some important questions when deciding which type and what amount of life insurance is right for you:

  • What do you want the insurance to cover?

  • What amount of coverage do you need?

  • How long will you need the coverage?

Compare types of life insurance policies

Bankers Life offers several temporary and permanent insurance options that have one sure thing in common: Each pays a death benefit when the covered person passes away. The money can be used by heirs to replace income, pay off debts, or leave a legacy. But the plans can differ in terms of coverage length, premium flexibility, cash value accumulation and distribution.

  Term Whole Universal Juvenile
A pre-determined number of years Lifelong, permanent protection Lifelong, permanent
Lifelong, permanent protection
Death Benefit Included
PLUS Living Benefit* Option
Most affordable and remain level throughout the term of the policy. Premiums are level for life and will never increase as long as they're paid on time. Premiums are flexible, choose to make higher payments when you can afford it or pay a lower amount if money is tight. Premiums are level for life and will never increase as long as they're paid on time.
N/A Guaranteed Guaranteed Guaranteed
Advantages Only buy what you need. Guaranteed cash value accumulates over time and can be borrowed against. Guaranteed cash value accumulates tax-deferred and can be used in the future for any purpose. Lock in childhood rates for life, making premiums affordable.
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How do I know if I’m eligible for life insurance?

Step one in obtaining life insurance is completing an application. Our underwriters will review your medical history to determine if your application is acceptable, and to identify your risk classification. You may need a medical exam. In general, the younger and healthier you are, the less the cost of life insurance.

How is the cost of life insurance determined?

Some life insurance policies go through underwriting, which is the process of assessing risks faced by the insured. Premiums may vary based on the type of life insurance plan chosen (i.e. term, whole life, universal life). Your premium amount will be determined in part by the amount of insurance coverage you request, your age, gender and risk classification. Additional risks that can impact cost include tobacco use, health/medical history, and risky hobbies/jobs.

Why Bankers Life?

Simplified application process

Our knowledgeable insurance agents/producers sit down with you in your home to understand your preferences and goals. They’ll provide you with simple, clear choices that meet your individual financial needs.

Personalized approach

With a history dating back to 1879, there are some things that never change. At Bankers Life, that means taking a personalized approach to help protect the individuals and families we serve. We focus on helping you improve upon your financial security, particularly as you enter and navigate retirement.

Service you can trust

Our goal is to provide excellent service to every policyholder and make your life easier when it comes to your claims. In 2022, Bankers Life paid life insurance claims to over 650,000 policyholders, totaling $260 million.


Bankers Life is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating as of March 2023, in addition to receiving an A (Excellent) rating by A.M. Best Company for our financial strength.

Hear from our customer

Dilla Joseph shares her story about the benefits of having Universal Life insurance with the Accelerated Benefit Rider.


If someone depends on you financially, you likely need life insurance. The proceeds of life insurance, known as the “death benefit,” can be used for any purpose. Life insurance beneficiaries can use the money to pay final expenses, replace lost income, pay off a mortgage or other debts, fund a child’s education and more. As a bonus, life insurance proceeds are not subject to federal income taxes in most instances.

There are three major types of non-variable life insurance coverage:

  • Term life insurance–the most affordable type—is designed to pay a benefit if the insured person dies during a certain time period, such as 5, 10 or 20 years. Term life insurance is best when your need is limited to a set time period, such as the duration of your mortgage or until you retire. The coverage lasts only as long as the policy stipulates.
  • Whole life insurance is permanent protection to cover you, literally, for your whole life. The coverage includes many guarantees. Premiums are guaranteed level and will never increase for the life of the contract as long as premiums are paid on time. Whole life insurance comes with guaranteed cash value, which accumulates over time and can be borrowed against.
  • Universal life insurance is another permanent form of life insurance. Premiums are flexible, so you can choose to make higher payments when you can afford it or pay a lower amount if money is tight. Universal life insurance also has a cash value, which accumulates tax deferred. You can access your cash value in the future for any purpose.

Term life, whole life and universal life insurance plans have one sure thing in common: Each type pays a death benefit when the covered person passes away. The money can be used by heirs to replace income, pay off debts, leave a legacy, etc. But the three types can differ in terms of coverage length, premium flexibility, cash value accumulation and distribution, and other factors. To determine which type of life insurance is best for you, talk to your Bankers Life insurance agent, who will listen to your concerns, understand your needs and recommend the right solution for you.

Life insurance is an important component of any financial plan. As you consider how much life insurance you truly need, ask:

  • How much income does my family need if I died today?
  • What types of debts or other expenses need to be paid when I pass away?
    • These may include your mortgage, final expenses (such as funeral costs, probate charges, costs of settling your estate) and any other debt, such as credit card and car loan balances.
  • How much do I have set aside for savings?
  • Do I have any existing life insurance policies?

Upon the policyholder’s passing, the named beneficiary will receive the guaranteed death benefit (provided premiums are paid), which is a tax-free payment equal to the face amount of the policy, less any policy indebtedness.

Most life insurance claims are paid within 10 days of receiving a valid death certificate from the beneficiary.

Bankers Life’s permanent life insurance policies offer living benefits, which build cash value that you can access through loans and withdrawals. The cash can then be used however you’d like–add to your retirement income, pay off debts, or cover emergency expenses.

Yes. There are two approaches to naming multiple beneficiaries – either the per capita or per stirpes option:

  • The per capita approach divides the benefit among all named beneficiaries. If a beneficiary is deceased, a share won’t be created for that person, and shares of other members will be increased accordingly.
  • The per stirpes approach differs in the case of a deceased beneficiary, where their distribution would be divided up evenly among the deceased’s descendants.