Personal Finance

Foresters Life Insurance Review 2021


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FORESTERS FINANCIAL LIFE INSURANCE

  • Rated 3 out of 5 stars by NerdWallet.
  • Offers term, whole, universal and final expense policies, along with member benefits.
  • More than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size.

Founded in 1874, Foresters Financial is an international fraternal organization that aims to make life insurance accessible and affordable for its members. The company has a strong lineup of term, permanent and final expense policies, all of which are issued by the Independent Order of Foresters. It stands out for its wide range of riders and additional benefits, such as financial guidance and legal support.

However, you can’t get a quote, apply for a policy or buy coverage online — you have to speak to an agent first.

Foresters life insurance

Foresters life insurance earned 3 out of 5 stars for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Foresters life insurance pros and cons

Foresters life insurance policies

Foresters offers a range of term and permanent life insurance policies through its network of agents across the country. You’ll need to contact one directly to apply for or buy coverage.

Term life insurance. The Your Term Level Term policy is open to people ages 18 to 80 in all states. You can choose a 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- or 30-year term and purchase $50,000 to $10 million in coverage. If you want to upgrade to a permanent policy, you can convert coverage until five years before it’s set to expire or when you’re 65 — whichever comes first.

Whole life insurance. Foresters has three whole life insurance policies to suit different needs:

  • PlanRight Whole Life Insurance made our list of the best burial insurance policies in 2021. Open to people ages 50 to 85, it offers $5,000 to $35,000 of coverage to help pay for your funeral, burial and end-of-life expenses, such as medical bills. It’s available nationwide.
  • Advantage Plus II Whole Life is a standard whole life policy that covers people ages 0 to 85 and accumulates cash value over time. You can purchase a policy worth $25,000 to $10 million, and you might earn annual dividends based on the company’s financial performance. While these aren’t guaranteed, Foresters Financial is set to pay out $24.4 million to policyholders in 2021.
  • BrightFuture Children’s Whole Life is designed to protect children ages 0 to 17, though it’s not available in California, New York or Washington. You can buy $5,000 to $75,000 in coverage, which accrues cash value over time. As the owner of the policy, you may transfer the policy to the child in the future, and thanks to the built-in guaranteed insurability rider, the child can boost the coverage amount later without taking a medical exam.

Universal life insurance. If you want the flexibility to adjust your premiums and death benefit, SMART Universal Life Insurance might fit the bill. It’s available to people ages 0 to 85 in all states, and you can purchase $10,000 to $10 million in coverage depending on your age.

Accidental death insurance. Foresters also offers an accidental death policy to applicants ages 18 to 70. The Prepared II Accidental Death Term pays out if you die in an accident and can cover you until you’re 80. But it’s not available in all states.

Most of Foresters’ policies include a charity benefit provision. This means that for each claim, the insurer will pay an additional 1% of the value of the policy — up to a maximum of $100,000 — to a charity of the policyholder’s choice.

Available riders and add-ons

Foresters has an extensive list of life insurance riders to help you customize your coverage. The options vary by policy, and you might need to pay an extra fee.

  • Accelerated death benefit rider. Allows you to tap into your death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a critical, chronic or terminal illness.
  • Accidental death coverage. Offers an extra payout if you die in an accident.
  • Child term rider. Covers a child or multiple children under your policy, and can be converted to permanent life insurance later down the track.
  • Common carrier accidental death benefit rider. Pays out an additional sum if you die in an accident while riding as a passenger on a plane, bus or train.
  • Disability income rider. If you become disabled or ill after an accident and can’t work, this rider kicks in to provide you with a monthly payout.
  • Family health benefit rider. Helps pay the cost of an ambulance, emergency room exam or hospital stay if your health suffers due to catastrophic weather or a natural disaster.
  • Guaranteed purchase option rider. Gives you the chance to add up to $50,000 of coverage to your policy without taking another medical exam.
  • Paid-up additions rider. Allows you to increase the cash value of your permanent policy.
  • Return of premium rider. Reimburses you for the premiums you’ve paid if you outlive your accidental death policy.
  • Term rider. Boosts the payout on your policy for a set number of years.
  • Waiver of monthly deductions rider. Available with some permanent policies, this rider pays part of your premium after you’ve been disabled for six months. While it helps to keep your policy active, it won’t contribute to your cash value.
  • Waiver of premium rider. Temporarily puts your premiums on hold if you become disabled.

Foresters customer complaints and satisfaction

Over three years, Foresters’ customers filed more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size, according to NerdWallet’s analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

More about Foresters Financial

Since Foresters is a fraternal organization, all policyholders are eligible for member benefits. These include financial counseling, discounted legal services and deals on a range of items from gift cards and electronics to hotels and rental cars. Policyholders can also access an online learning library and apply for academic scholarships and community grants.

You automatically become a member when your life insurance policy goes into effect, as long as you’re at least 16 years old. To access member benefits, you’ll need to create an account at MyForesters.com.

Life insurance buying guide

Before you start comparing companies, choose the type of life insurance you want, such as term or whole life. Decide which life insurance riders, if any, you want the policy to include. Calculate how much life insurance you need and how long you want the coverage to last. Check that the insurers you’re considering offer the coverage you’re looking for.

When comparing rates, be sure the quotes are for the same amount of coverage over the same period of time. It’s also important to make sure the policy’s medical requirements match your needs. For example, if you want to skip the life insurance medical exam but don’t mind answering health questions, confirm that the application process for each policy you’re comparing aligns with that.

Price may not be the biggest driver behind your decision to buy. Look at the number of consumer complaints each company receives, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service.

For more guidance, see our life insurance buying guide.

Methodology: Life insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims, and complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.


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