Citi bank Life Insurance Review

By James Tobin, CFP®

Critical Takeaways

  • Citi Bank does Not Offer Proprietary Life Insurance Products
  • Limited Life Insurance Options Brokered Through Citi  "Personal Banker" Relationship
  • Limited Experience With Impaired Risk Cases.

Bequest Mutual Rating

Expert Review Of  Available  Options For  Life Insurance At Citi Bank

Citi Bank Life Insurance Review

Reviewed by

Jim Tobin, CFP®

Why you can have confidence in 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 referred to on this site do not approve reviews. 

There Is No CitiBank Life Insurance...Anymore

In 1992 Citi Corp. entered the life insurance world in a big way with the acquisition of Primerica. This acquisition  along with the acquisition of stock brokerage Smith Barney, was the culmination of Chairman & CEO Sandy Weil's vision of a financial supermarket. The conglomerate became known as Citi Group.

By 2008 the great recession was in full effect, an trying to raise cash, Citi Group was actively trying to find a buyer for it's life insurance arm Primerica.  A deal with Protective Life nearly came to pass, but fell apart for undisclosed reasons.

Ultimately, Primerica was spun off and following a successful Initial Public Offering , has acted as an independent company ever since. 

Citi bank Life Insurance Review...What Coverage Are The Selling?

If you have been considering buying life insurance from your local Citibank branch and wanted to get a Citi Bank life insurance review first, you have landed in a good spot. 

Like all the "money center" banks, Citi Bank branches have personal bankers for the their clientele. These 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. This is problematic for the consumer because the personal banker is not an insurance expert, but rather a jack of many trades.

Why Shouldn't You Buy Life Insurance From Citi bank Or Any Bank?

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.

1. Service

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 personal banker be around when you need help or will you be calling an 1-800 number and listening to bad hold music?

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.

2. 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 but not usually as easy as using  a  free quote tool. This is because different insurance carriers have different appetites for specific risks.

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 commisions 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.

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 turn around times.

Citibank Life Insurance Review:  Example Of Using An Independent Agent Instead Of  Citi Personal Advisor

For example Prudential may have more of an appetite for the risk that say, a DUI conviction 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 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 Lupus

We have borrowed a case study used in our life insurance with Lupus article to demonstrate the why it's in your interest to have multiple options available when shopping for life insurance with Lupus or any other impairment.

Gender: Female Age: 29

$1000000 20 Year Term

Tobacco: No

Well controlled mild Discoid Lupus. Diagnosed Age 23

NSAID only No Other Health Concerns

This looks like a best case scenario that would be either standard or Table 2/B or 4/D depending on the insurers appetite for a Lupus risk.. Let's take a look at the rates.

  • Preferred 
  • standard plus
  • standard

This table which shows only a few of the major life insurance companies available illustrates the difference in rates.For standard rates Lincoln is 35% more expensive than Banner.

On it's 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 Lupus 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 Prudential (one of the more expensive standard rates) is likely to be the best deal because the more competitively priced carrier will likely rate the risk table 4 while Pru 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 29% (the difference between Prudential @ standard and AIG @ Table 4).

Your Next Step

Now that you have read the Citibank 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 Citi Bank Life Insurance review , if you have any questions, we'd like to hear them.

Bonus: The most common mistakes people make buying life insurance and how to avoid them

The Life Insurance Help Desk Is now Bequest Mutual

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