Bank of America Life Insurance Review
By Jim Tobin, CFP®
What Information Are You Seeking From This Review?
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Please note the Bequest Mutual is not in any way affiliated with Bank of America. This article is our personal review of the term life insurance products offered through Bank of America as well as alternatives. If you are looking to contact Bank of America directly, call them at 1 (800) 432-1000. If you are looking for a lost policy, try the NAIC policy locator tool found here.
Expert Review Of Bank Of America Life Insurance
Jim Tobin, CFP®
Why you can trust this review
At Bequest Mutual, we value our editorial independence. We keep our reviews strictly factual so you can use them to make informed decisions. Life insurance carriers listed on this site do not approve reviews.
Expert Reviews from the Bequest Mutual
If you have been considering buying life insurance from your local Bank of America branch and wanted to get a Bank of America Life Insurance Review first, you have landed in a good spot. This Bank of America Life Insurance Review will address, product offerings and alternatives, as well as advice on how to get the best deal possible on life insurance.
Review of Bank of America Life Insurance Through Bank of America Personal Banker
After some quick research, it turns out that there is no Bank of America insurance department or product to review. Bank of America does not offer it's own life insurance products. Rather, using their network of Bank of America personal bankers, they offer life insurance through third party carriers.
Like all the "money center" banks, Bank of America branches have personal bankers for the their clientele. These Bank of America personal bankers are often life and health licensed and can act as the conduit between the client and a third party agency contracted with the bank to provide life insurance services.
No Bank Of America Insurance Department
This setup is is problematic for the consumer because the Bank of America personal banker is not an insurance expert, but rather a jack of many trades.
Should You Buy Life Insurance From A Bank Of America Personal Banker
Although the answers to this question are self serving, they have the benefit of being demonstrably true, as will be shown in the case study later in this article.
This critique of service has nothing to do with how pleasant the personal banker is or whether you were offered coffee while you waited.
In the context of life insurance, "service" refers to beneficiary changes, address changes, activation of riders and conversions. The truth is you will probably own your policy for 20 or 30 years and having a steady hand to help you navigate the process is helpful.
This begs the question, will your twenty seven year old Bank of America personal banker be around when you need help or will you be calling the carrier's 1-800 number and listening to bad hold music? With neither dedicated professional agent's, nor a Bank of America insurance department the bad music is a good bet.
For professional independent agents, life insurance is not a stepping stone, it's our business. We are interested, even eager, to do service work because that is how we earn referrals.
II. Laser Focus
Experienced, professional life insurance agents don't do other things. With the exception of disability insurance or long term care insurance, good independent life insurance agents concentrate on their craft.
That means there is no time spent opening checking accounts, selling mutual funds, and playing corporate politics. This allows the best agents to find you the best deal for your unique situation.
Finding the best deal for your unique situation is sometimes as easy as using a free quote tool. This is because different insurance carriers have different appetites for specific risks.
III. Choice of Carriers
Banks and huge agencies like Select Quote and Zander offer the best deal among the carriers they carry. This is no different than most independent agents, accept they have fewer companies from which to choose.
The reason for this is simple, they negotiate the highest commissions in the industry because they do big volume business. In order to maintain the volume requirements for specific carriers they must limit the number of carriers. This is sound business for them, but it limits the ability to find the carrier that best fits your unique situation. In short their business model has no use for niche carriers.
IV. Experienced Independent Agents
Experienced independent life insurance agents have the niche carriers available and, they know specific carrier niches.
If you are in perfect health knowing the guidelines shouldn't matter because you will be preferred plus everywhere. In this case you really can just use the quote tool.
However, if you have a health condition, having an agent that knows the underwriting guidelines at various carriers is the key to finding the best deal possible for your specific condition.
Experienced independent agents will also be better situated to know which carriers allow for no exam options, specific riders and conversion privileges, financial ratings and underwriting turnaround times.
Bank of America Life Insurance Review: Example of Using an Independent Agent Instead of BOA Personal Banker
For example Prudential may have more of an appetite for the risk that say, depression presents than say Banner Life. In this case the underwriting grade will reflect this increased appetite.
So, if your bank representative only had access to one carrier and you found out later that that you could have gotten a rate 39% or 63% better, how would you feel?
You'd probably be less than satisfied with the BOA personal banker or yourself or both. So it's important that your Agent represent multiple carriers.
In fact a good independent agent will have access to over 40 "A" rated carriers. This ensures the best chance at a great rate.
Case Study of Life Insurance with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Earlier in this article I said that although it sounded self serving to say that working with an experience independent agent could save money, that I would demonstrate it later.
Well, here is a perfect example for you. We have borrowed a case study used in our life insurance with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) article to demonstrate the why it's in your interest to have multiple options available when shopping for life insurance with RA or any other impairment.
Gender: Female Age: 43
$500000 20 Year Term
Well controlled mild RA. Diagnosed Age 34
NSAID only No Other Health Concerns
- Standard rates
- Table 2/B rates
- table 4/d rates
This table which shows only a few of the major life insurance companies available illustrates the difference in rates. For standard rates Principal is 15%% more expensive than Banner.
On its' face this seems like a pretty straight forward choice and if underwriting grades between carriers is the same, it really can be that simple.
This kind of easy price shopping is particularly useful for younger folks in good health and demonstrates why you want to use an independent Agent.
For people who suffer from RA or any other serious diagnosis, it gets much more complicated.
Because life insurers manage their appetite for specific risks by being more lenient or more stringent with underwriting grades, you need to know which company will grade you a standard or table 2 risk and which ones will grade you as table 4-6.
In the case above Principal (the most expensive standard rate) is likely to be the best deal because the more competitively priced carriers will likely rate the risk table 4 while Principal might well go standard.
This is something you can't know by simply looking at the lowest price. In this case using an independent agent could save you 15% (the difference between principal @ standard and Banner @ Table 4).
Your Next Step
Now that you have read the Bank of America life insurance review and how to receive the most accurate quote possible, it's time to gather the information and speak to an independent Agent (raising my hand).
Simply give us a call or shoot an email over and we can get you started. We are committed to totally transparent pricing (we'll even share our computer screen with you if you'd like), and making the application process as painless as possible.
Thank you for choosing the Bequest Mutual to research our Bank of America Life Insurance review. If you have any questions, we'd like to hear them.
Bonus: The 5 most common mistakes people make buying life insurance and how to avoid them
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