Can $1 really buy you $100,000 of life insurance coverage through Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company? Are the low life insurance rates advertised by Globe Life too good to be true? Is Globe Life a legitimate, financially sound insurance company, or some type of Ponzi ripoff scheme? Is Globe Life a good insurance company compared to other life insurance companies? This review will answer these questions and provide you with important information, so you can decide if Globe Life is a good choice for you.
I, like many people across the USA, receive mailers regularly from Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company. One mailer advertised monthly life insurance rates as low as $3.49 for adults and $2.10 for children or grandchildren to buy $50,000 life insurance coverage. Another Globe Life mailer advertised monthly life insurance rates of $3.49 for adults and $2.17 for children or grandchildren to buy $100,000 life insurance coverage. How can Globe Life offer twice as much coverage for about the same rate? The reason is these are two different life insurance products sold by Globe Life, and the wise life insurance consumer needs to know what they are buying.
Although I doubt Globe Life ads are a scam with intentionally fraudulent rates, it is very doubtful these advertised rates will be the rates you pay if you buy a life insurance policy from Globe Life. However, many life insurance companies advertise their lowest rates to show how affordable life insurance can be. What’s important for prospective customers to know is how Globe’s life insurance policies, customer complaint record, financial strength, and pricing compare to other companies.
I’ll review the AM Best Financial Strength Rating, any JD Power claims or customer satisfaction ratings, Better Business Bureau ratings, customer complaint record, and insurance products for Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company and compare Globe Life to competing life insurance companies, like Gerber Life. A problem with companies like Globe Life & Gerber, selling quick-to-get life insurance with no money down or a $1 payment, is you can often get double or more the life insurance coverage or a much better rate, with a simplified issue life insurance policy requiring no medical exam or a regular term life insurance policy, through an independent insurance agent representing many life insurance companies.
Be sure to use the information in this review and the ad below this paragraph (or the ad at the end of this review) to request life insurance price quotes, and find the best life insurance company for you. Remember, shopping your auto, home, and medicare insurance can help you save money so you can buy the life insurance you need. Some auto, home, & medicare insurance companies charge a lot more for the same level of coverage, and you don’t get better service by over-paying for your coverage. The ad below will take you to links to get online quotes from leading Home, Auto, Health, & Life insurance companies in your area. Choose the type of insurance, put in your zip, and start shopping now!
Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company Review of its complaint record, BBB & AM Best Rating, Insurance Products and Pricing
This review consists of 1. a company overview of Globe Life and the pros & cons of its insurance products, 2. the AM Best Financial Strength Rating for Globe Life, 3. any JD Power customer or claims satisfaction ratings for Globe Life, 4. customer complaints against Globe Life, 5. an examination of the reliability of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating for Globe Life, and 6. a Globe Life review summary looking at the price competitiveness of its life insurance rates.
If you don’t care about the details, you can skip down to the review summary to help you decide if Globe Life & Accident Insurance is right for you, and see how its life insurance rates compare to competitors.
1. About Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company
Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company is best known for its small amount (up to $100,000 for term or $50,000 for whole life), simplified issue term & whole life insurance it sells direct from the company (instead of selling through independent or its own exclusive agents), with no medical exam and few medical questions, it markets to the public through TV ads and direct mail.
Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company, based in Oklahoma City, OK, was founded in 1951 to sell health and accident insurance to rural Oklahoma communities. Today, Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company is major U.S. life insurer licensed in every U.S. state except New York, with over 3.9 million policyholders. In 1980, Liberty National acquired Globe Life And Accident Insurance Company and formed a new holding company, Torchmark Corporation. Torchmark is also the parent company of United American insurance, best-known for its medical supplement insurance sold by United American insurance agents.
$1* Buys Globe Life Insurance
For its adult term & children’s whole life insurance, Globe Life allows you to pay $1 for the first month’s premium only, and the next and all following months premiums will be based on the insured’s present age (for children’s whole life) and stay the same, or will be based on the insured’s current age (subject to the Globe Life rate schedule that increases every five years) for adult term life insurance. So, you pay $1 for the first month’s premium, then you pay the much higher rate based on the age of the person insured.
* Always read the fine print associated with an asterisk. Here’s the fine print associated with the $1 offer from Globe Life, from its website: “$1 pays for the first month of children’s coverage. Then the rate is based on your child’s present age and is guaranteed to stay the same for the rest of their life. Policy Form #GWLC1/GWLP1, GWL20001, GWLEC1/GWELP1 or GWLA001*$1 pays for the first month’s adult coverage. Then the rate schedule is based on your current age and is guaranteed for the life of the policy. Policy Form #GRTG or SRTCV”
Source: Globe Life web page
The Different Types of Life Insurance Sold by Globe Life
Many of the advantages of its life insurance policies, Globe Life states in its life insurance product descriptions on its website, are typical of the product with most insurance companies or required by law of all companies, like the lifetime rates never increasing for any reason with a whole life insurance policy, or providing a free look period with a money back guarantee. Being swayed to buy a particular brand of life insurance based on a common feature of life insurance with other companies is like buying a certain model of car because the sales person tells you this model comes with tires for each wheel.
Here is my analysis of the pros & cons Globe Life term & whole life insurance products:
Globe Term life insurance for adults
Globe offers term life coverage in these amounts: $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000. Globe offers different term life insurance policies renewing each year until expiration at age 70, 80, 90, or 100.
1. Easy to apply and qualify for coverage, with few medical questions, and a $1 payment for the first month of coverage.
1. Many people need more term life insurance than the maximum of $100,000 allowed by Globe Life, and there are competing companies widely available to most people, offering higher amounts of coverage (some companies offer as much as $350,000) for simplified term life insurance like that sold by Globe Life, requiring no medical exam.
2. Although you may be able to have coverage until age 70, 80, 90, or 100, the term life insurance rates go up every five year and will not be affordable to most people in old age.
3. Globe customers often confuse Globe term life insurance with whole life insurance, and are surprised when a policy they have had for many years expires at a certain age and does not build any cash value.
4. Most term life insurance policies are renewable until old age, but many competing companies guarantee the same monthly rate for twenty or thirty years. Globe Life has the option for its term life insurance buyers to keep the same rate only for the first five years, then rates are adjusted higher based on the insured’s attained age. Rates increase when the insured’s age ends in a “1” or a “6.” For example, your monthly rate will go up at age 46, and again at age 51, and age 56, etc.
How much will it go up every five years? The increase in monthly premium will depend on the rate schedule Globe Life guarantees when you buy your term life insurance policy.
Deceptive wording alert: Globe Life states its term life insurance on its website has:
“A rate schedule that is guaranteed to never increase. The premium schedule you establish today will not change for any reason.”
This statement makes its sound like the monthly rate you are paying now for your Globe term life insurance will never increase, but the only thing being guaranteed is when and how much your rates will go up. Globe Life term insurance increases the monthly premium every five years. If you are buying the term life policy that expires at age 80, because you are sure you will die before age 80, check and see how expensive the monthly premiums will be at age 71 and age 76 in the rate schedule. Will you be able to afford the higher monthly premiums, going up every five years, as you get older?
By the way, don’t think like the hypothetical customer I described in the paragraph above. It’s fine to buy term life insurance expiring after a certain age if you won’t need the coverage (like after you pay off your mortgage or all your children are grown and no longer dependent on you), but don’t try to guess how long you will live. It’s a huge mistake to make an assumption about when you will die, so buy whole life insurance (permanent coverage that does not expire) if you need the policy to pay when you die, regardless of your age, and buy term life insurance if you no longer need coverage after a certain age.
Globe Whole life insurance for adults
Globe offers whole life coverage in these amounts: $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 or, $50,000 of coverage ($50,000 coverage not available for Montana residents). Simplified issue whole life policies offering small amounts of coverage like these are often referred to as final expense or burial policies. These policies are usually purchased by senior citizens, people in later middle age, or people with health issues.
1. As with its term life insurance, Globe Whole Life Insurance is easy to apply and qualify for coverage, with few medical questions, and a $1 payment for the first month of coverage.
1. Many life insurance companies offer similar types of life insurance, and the company with the best rates for you will depend on your individual health conditions, so Globe Life may not have competitive whole life insurance rates for you. Also, as you will see later in this review, Globe Life has a terrible customer complaint record.
Globe Whole life insurance for children
The Young American Plan® from Globe Life is a whole life insurance policy for children with up to $25,000 coverage that builds cash value.
Setting aside opinions of whether life insurance for children is a good idea or not, I don’t see much value in buying whole life insurance for a child where the face amount remains at only $25,000 throughout the child’s life into old age. Many life insurance policies designed to insure children have options to purchase more coverage once they become an adult regardless of health condition (such as Gerber Life). If a whole life insurance policy that builds cash value is attractive to you, other companies are likely to build more cash value. I recommend contacting independent insurance agents knowledgeable in the cash value life insurance market or life insurance to insure children, to find the best companies and policies for your premium dollars.
Globe Mortgage Protection Insurance
Mortgage Protection insurance isn’t a type of insurance, but a marketing term used to sell insurance based on the need to pay a mortgage. With most companies marketing Mortgage Protection Insurance, they offer simplified issue term life insurance policies, sometimes with limited critical illness or limited disability riders. However, Globe Mortgage Protection Insurance pays only in the event of accidental death, which is too limited to make it worthwhile for most people to waste money on this type of Globe Life policy.
2. AM Best Financial Strength Rating for Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company
Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company had its A+ (Superior) AM Best Financial Strength Rating with a stable outlook (no ratings upgrade or downgrade is expected in the near future) reaffirmed on 6/04/2015, the same rating it has maintained since 2010 or longer. A+ is the second highest rating for AM Best.
The AM Best financial strength rating for Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company is not a measure of customer service or the quality of the company’s claims adjusting, but an opinion about its ability to pay claims, remain financially solvent, and stay in business. I recommend avoiding, if possible or practical, any auto, property, or life insurance company with lower than an “A-” rating for financial strength from AM Best.
3. JD Power Customer Satisfaction & Claims Satisfaction Ratings for Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company
JD Power recently started evaluating the major U.S. life insurance companies for customer satisfaction in its annual U.S. Household Insurance Study, however, Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company was not included among them in the 2014 study. Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company not being rated by JD Power is not a negative against or a positive for the company, but its lack of rating means there is one less objective source to evaluate the customer & claims service provided by Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company.
4. Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company Customer Complaint Record
Another measure of quality for an insurance company is the number of upheld complaints filed against it with a state’s insurance regulatory authority, adjusted for the company’s market share. This section of the review will show you if Globe Life has a better-than-average, average, or below-average complaint record for individual life insurance in 2012, 2013 & 2014.
The complaint statistics used below are the number of upheld complaints filed against Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company with a state’s insurance regulatory authority, adjusted for the company’s market share, to establish a complaint ratio, as determined by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners NAIC.
Annual life insurance complaint ratios lower than “1” have less complaints than average for the year, and complaint ratios over “1” have more complaints than average. The lower the complaint ratio, the less complaints against the company. Ideally, you want to choose an insurance company with complaint ratios much less than 1.00 each year, over the most recent last three years or longer.
Don’t worry about comparing complaint ratio numbers, I devised a rating system to help you identify if Globe Life has a good or poor complaint record.
Here’s how I establish my life insurance complaint ratings:
B = Better than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios less than 75% of the average insurance company.
C = Average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios from 75% to 125% of the average insurance company. I use a minus sign (-) to indicate auto insurance complaint ratios slightly worse than average (1.05 to 1.25) and a plus sign (+) for auto insurance complaint ratios slightly better than average (.95 to .75).
W = Worse than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios more than 125% of the average insurance company.
I prefer companies with the longest recent history of “B” ratings each year or at least in the most recent three years. I prefer to avoid companies with a consistently higher than average number of complaints, or with inconsistent complaint records.
Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company Individual Life Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings
B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average
2014 Individual Life Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (8.16)
2014 US individual life insurance premium = $274,758,897
2013 Individual Life Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (7.44)
2013 US individual life insurance premium = $287,858,928
2012 Individual Life Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (5.03)
2012 US individual life insurance premium = $282,287,105
Globe Life & Accident has a terrible complaint record from 2012 to 2014 for its individual life insurance policies*, with its number of individual life insurance policy complaints in its best year still more than five times worse (503%) than the industry average.
As a comparison, to show you how poor the individual life insurance policy complaint record for Globe Life is to most other life insurance companies, a competitor selling a similar simplified issue life insurance product direct to the public, Gerber Life, had a 2014 individual life insurance complaint ratio only 52% of the industry average, which is still a worse complaint record than the primary subsidiaries of major life insurance companies, like Metlife & Prudential.
*Individually purchased life insurance policies, instead of those customers insured under a group life policy issued by Globe Life, such as through their employer.
Of the 181 complaints Globe Life received in 2014, 153 complaints were regarding individual life insurance policies. For all 2014 complaints, there were 77 incidents of claim delays, claim denials, failure to promptly pay a claim, and unsatisfactory settlement of a claim.
Reasons for other complaints against Globe Life
As of the publish date for this review, there are 251 customer reviews for Globe Life on pissedconsumer.com. Common complaints are long hold times on the phone trying to reach the company or not being able to contact the company, rude service, billing mistakes, claim denials, policy cancellations, and miscommunication setting up policies properly and misleading explanation of policy benefits.
To get insight from the Globe Life employees viewpoint, glassdoor.com has employee reviews of the working environment at Globe life. Service representatives have common complaints about low pay and poor training. One customer service representative stated this as a “con” of working at Globe Life: “When you find out how a lot of the policy holders are really treated.”
Some companies selling life insurance direct to the public, like USAA (for military), TIAA-CREF (for educators), and Amica, are known for good customer service, but the best option for many people is the personal service and expertise from a competent independent insurance agent specializing in life insurance and focused on providing superior service.
5. Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating for Globe Life & its Reliability
Although customer complaints are best directed toward a customer’s state department of insurance, the Better Business Bureau is a well-known and popular choice for consumers filing complaints against companies. If many customers are having difficulty resolving an issue with their insurance company and take the time to contact the Better Business Bureau about it, it’s a pretty good sign customers in general may be unhappy with the service provided by their insurance company. If a lot of complaints are made to the BBB about a company, in greater numbers than similar-sized insurance companies, it’s reflected in the BBB rating, and is one indicator the company may have more dissatisfied customers than some of its competitors. I don’t consider an A+ BBB rating to be a reliable indication of a good insurance company, but a lower than “A” rating should be considered as a sign of below average customer service.
Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company has the highest rating of “A+” from the Better Business Bureau, and it has been BBB accredited since 01/01/1952. Hallmark Insurance Company had 369 BBB complaints in the last three years, with 141 occurring in the last 12 months. 224 complaints were for the category of a problem with service, 76 complaints were for billing / collections issues, 52 complaints were for advertising / sales issues, 8 complaints were for delivery issues, and 9 complaints were for guarantee/waranty issues. All complaints have been closed and resolved according to the BBB.
Although the Better Business Bureau does not consider the 369 BBB complaints against Globe Life to be a high number of complaints for a business its size, a competitor with more individual life insurance policy customers, Gerber Life, had only 70 BBB complaints over the same three years.
As I mentioned above, I don’t consider an A+ BBB rating to be a reliable indication of a good insurance company in general, but given the high number of complaints made with the BBB and with other sources, I would not rely on the A+ rating given to Globe Life & Accident Insurance Company as an indication this company is a good choice as your life insurance company.
6. Globe Life Review Summary & Life Insurance Rates Compared to Other Companies
Globe Life has an extremely high number of customer complaints in spite of its A+ BBB rating, and this reason alone should be enough for anyone to reconsider buying or having a life insurance with this company. However, if you are insured with Globe Life, be sure to talk to several agents to get the best advice about replacing your policy, and if you have a whole life insurance policy with Globe Life for longer than the initial two year contestability period, staying with Globe Life may be your best option, but I’d still recommend having a competent life insurance agent review the policy, to make sure it is set up the way you need it to be. Never cancel a life insurance policy until your new life insurance policy has been approved and delivered to you.
Globe Life Term Life Insurance: Globe Life term rates go up every five years, and there are many competing companies, also requiring no medical exam and with much better complaint records, offering term life insurance policies with rates guaranteed for twenty or thirty years. Term life insurance with few medical questions and no medical exams always costs a lot more than term life insurance requiring medical exams, so, even if you are not in perfect health, you can usually qualify much lower rates & a higher amount of coverage with a regular term life insurance policy.
Globe Life Whole Life Insurance for Children: Other companies have better life insurance policies designed to insure minor children.
Globe Life Whole Life Insurance for Adults: If you are looking for a life insurance policy to pay a small amount to cover final & funeral expenses when you die, word among some independent insurance agents is Globe Life may have competitive for non-tobacco users, but is likely to cost a lot more than other companies if you smoke. However, the poor life insurance complaint record for Globe Life should make you rethink choosing Globe Life for life insurance.
If you want a reputable & financially sound life insurance company, competitively priced rates, the proper type of policy for you, and a smooth process buying the coverage you need, comparison shop with several life insurance agents & agencies, so you can find an agent offering the best life insurance options for you at a low price. Life insurance can be adjusted to fit any person’s budget, & a good agent representing many life insurance companies and having knowledge of the market can help find the best life insurance policy for you.
No single life insurance company has the best rates for everyone. Many people pay too much for their insurance because they never shop for better rates, or if they do shop, they don’t comparison shop with enough agents. Your life insurance needs & health change over time, so you should shop & review your coverage every one or two years. Remember — saving money by finding lower auto & home insurance rates can help you have the extra money you may need to buy the right amount of life insurance for you. The ad below will take you to links to get online quotes from leading Home, Auto, Health, & Life insurance companies in your area. Choose the type of insurance, put in your zip, and start shopping now!
For more information, I surveyed the companies with the best term life insurance rates in these reviews here, which you can use to help you shop and find the life insurance coverage you need at the lowest rates.
What do you think about this review of Globe Life & its life insurance products, its AM Best, JD Power, & BBB ratings and customer complaint record? Comment or ask me questions on my facebook page. Follow me on Twitter for important insurance consumer news & new blog entries at CarInsWatch.