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Cigna Life Insurance Review (Providers & Quotes)

Key InfoCompany Specifics
Year Founded1792
Current ExecutivesCEO – David Cordani
CFO – Eric Palmer
Number of Employees74,000
Total Sales / Total Assets$48,650,000,000 / $153,226,000,000
HQ Address900 Cottage Grove Road
Bloomfield, CT 06002
Phone Number1-800-997-1654
Company Websitewww.cigna.com
Premiums Written - Group Life$1,703,227,000
Financial Standing+17.9% Over Previous Year
Best ForGroup Term Life, Group Universal Life

A life insurance policy is one of the most important decisions you can make for your family. If they depend on your income, a life insurance policy could be the difference between their financial security and financial ruin if you were to die unexpectedly.

People usually purchase life insurance policies in one of two ways: directly at retail or as an employee benefit through work.

Employer-sponsored life insurance plans are known as group plans. Cigna, a global health services organization, is one of the largest providers of group life insurance.

This extensive review will give you a complete overview of the company and preview all their coverage options. If your company offers group life insurance through Cigna, this guide can help you decide if you should buy into the plan or shop for an individual policy somewhere else.

Start comparing life insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above!

Table of Contents

Cigna’s Ratings

The following third-party ratings give insight into Cigna’s financial strength, business practices, and quality of customer service.

A.M. Best

A.M. Best ratings measure an insurer’s financial strength and its ability to pay all its policy obligations.

Cigna has an A rating, meaning they have an excellent ability to meet their financial commitments.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The BBB assigns one of 13 letter grades based on factors such as time in business, open complaints, resolved complaints, and federal action against a company.

Cigna holds a perfect A+ rating.

Moody’s

Similar to A.M. Best, Moody’s long-term obligation ratings measure an insurer’s credit risk. Cigna holds an upper-mid-grade rating of A2, representing a low credit risk.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P)

S&P ratings also measure an insurer’s credit risk. Cigna earned a strong A rating, again representing a low credit risk.

NAIC Complaint Index

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Complaint Index (NAIC) compares the number of complaints registered against an insurer each year with that of other companies.

The NAIC sets the index at an average score of 1.00. Cigna has a current score of 0.56, well below the industry standard.

Cigna’s History

Cigna’s story involves two companies, with a history dating back to the earliest days of the nation.

The first story began in 1792 when a group of Philadelphia entrepreneurs formed the Insurance Company of North America. INA was the first marine insurance company in the country, providing coverage for ships and their cargo traveling between their port of origin and final destination.

Over time, INA grew to become one of the largest providers of life and property insurance, even inventing the modern homeowners policy, combining the previously separate fire, theft, and liability insurance policies.

The second story began in 1865 when the governor of Connecticut signed a special law creating the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. Later called the Connecticut General Corporation, or CG for short, the company became one of the largest providers of health and life insurance in the country.

In 1982, the two companies merged. Through the combining and rearranging of initials (INA and CG), CIGNA was born.

As of 2019, Cigna is a global health services company with 165 million customers and nearly 75,000 employees. They are one of the largest providers of medical, dental, disability, life, and accident insurance.

In 1997, Cigna sold a majority of its life insurance operations to Lincoln National Corporation — specifically their individual life insurance business.

Since then, the company almost exclusively sells employer-sponsored group policies. The only individual policy they sell is a supplemental burial and final expense policy.

Today, Cigna sells group insurance life insurance through one of five subsidiaries:

  • Connecticut General Life Insurance Company
  • Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company
  • Life Insurance Company of North America
  • Loyal American Life Insurance Company
  • Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York

Connecticut General, Cigna Health and Life, Life Insurance Company of North America, and Loyal American are licensed to sell policies in all states except New York.

Policies in New York are sold through Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, as its name implies.

Cigna’s Market Share

In 2018, Cigna held a 5 percent market share of all group life insurance business in the country, representing $1.7 billion in direct written premiums.

From 2015 to 2018, Cigna’s market share dropped 0.4 percent, along with a decrease of $104.5 million in premiums.

YearDirect Premiums WrittenMarket Share
2015$1,807,734,0005.40%
2016$1,821,564,0005.70%
2017$1,782,938,0005.00%
2018$1,703,227,0005.00%

Despite that slight drop, Cigna is still one of the top five writers of group life insurance.

Cigna’s Position for the Future

While Cigna has lost a little ground in the group life insurance market, they are still a massive presence. The company is one of the largest providers of health and life insurance in the world, ranking #65 on the Fortune 500 list and #229 on the Fortune Global 500 list.

Recent reports suggest Cigna may divest their group life business, much like they did their individual life business. Until that time comes — or if it comes — they will remain a top provider for the foreseeable future.

Cigna’s Online Presence

Cigna offers the ability to file a life insurance claim through the member portal on its website.

Since their main policies are only sold through employers, they don’t offer online quotes or applications. Premiums are also paid through payroll deductions rather than electronically.

Individuals can get a quote for final expense insurance online, as well as apply for a policy.

Cigna’s Commercials

Cigna’s current ad campaign involves celebrities Queen Latifah, Nick Jonas, and Ted Danson making public service announcements that encourage people to take control of their health — both body and mind.

Cigna in the Community

Cigna is committed to giving back to the communities in which it operates. In 2018, Cigna’s combined giving totaled $24.3 million. That amount was divided among the following three initiatives:

Cigna Foundation:

The Cigna Foundation makes charitable grants to nonprofit organizations with a focus on health equity and community health navigation.

Their primary grant program, World of Difference, provides funds to nonprofits that help people overcome barriers to their health, which may be related to ethnic, race, gender, age, education, and socio-economic factors.

Charitable Giving:

Cigna provides charitable sponsorships and financial support to nonprofit organizations nationwide. The funds help charities and sponsor charitable events in the local communities where Cigna does business.

Employee Volunteerism:

Cigna provides its employees with a wide range of projects and programs that enable them to volunteer and serve their communities.

Along with providing their employees the time and opportunity to volunteer, Cigna matches employee contributions to eligible charities and awards grants to charities specifically chosen by employees, such as walk-a-thons and 5K races.

Cigna’s Employees

Cigna employs just over 1,000 people in North America.

Glassdoor employee reviews for Cigna averaged 3.4 our of five stars based on over 2,000 reviews. More than 60 percent of current employees say they would recommend the job to a friend.

Cigna also ranks on the following lists of best places to work:

  • #334 Forbes America’s Best Employers 2019
  • #390 Forbes World’s Best Employers 2019
  • #212 Forbes Best Employers for Women 2019
  • #86 Forbes Best Employers for New Grads 2019
  • #328 Forbes Best Employers for Diversity 2019
  • Perfect score on 2018 Disability Equality Index
  • Perfect score on 2019 Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality List

Shopping for Life Insurance

If you’re reading this guide, you’ve probably already realized the importance of owning a life insurance policy. If not, consider these statistics.

According to the 2018 Insurance Barometer Study from Life Happens and LIMRA:

  • 35 percent of households would be financially affected within one month of the primary wage earner’s death
  • 90 percent agree that the primary wage earner should carry insurance
  • 60 percent of all people living in the United States have life insurance
  • 20 percent of those with a policy feel their coverage is insufficient

If you’re the primary wage earner in your family and you think you’re one of those with insufficient coverage, here are some key things to take into consideration when shopping for life insurance.

In general, life insurance needs to cover two types of obligations: immediate and future.

Immediate obligations are the things that need to be paid soon after your death. These include:

  • Funeral costs
  • Medical bills
  • Mortgage balances
  • Personal loans
  • Credit card debt

Future obligations are all the expenses (either planned or unexpected) that you want paid after your death. They include:

  • Income replacement
  • Spouse’s retirement
  • Emergency savings fund
  • Children’s college tuition

A life insurance agent or financial planner can help you determine exactly how much coverage you’ll need to meet all those obligations. For now, here is an example using a basic life insurance calculator.

A husband and father of a 13-year-old is the primary wage earner for his family, with an annual salary of $70,000. The family has a remaining mortgage balance of $75,000, along with an $8,000 car loan.

He would like to leave his wife five years’ worth of salary to cover expenses until their child leaves for college. He’d also like to set aside $25,000 to cover the cost of that tuition.

After factoring in an average funeral cost of around $7,500, her insurance needs are as follows:

  • Immediate: $75,000 mortgage + $8,000 car loan + $7,500 funeral costs = $90,500
  • Future: $350,000 income replacement + $25,000 college fund = $375,000
  • Total: $465,500

That total means he should purchase a life insurance policy with a face value of $500,000.

Average Cigna Male vs Female Life Insurance Rates

Group plans are often less expensive than individual plans because the employer covers a portion of the costs.

An insurer’s rates vary from person to person based on their employer and their particular benefits package. For that reason, group insurers don’t often give quotes or publish sample rates. That includes Cigna.

However, to give you an idea of how much a life insurance policy will cost you, here is a breakdown of the combined average premium of the top 10 insurers by market share for a 10-year, $100,000 term policy for key demographics.

DemographicAnnual Premium: MaleAnnual Premium: Female
25-year-old Non-Smoker$178.54$160.57
25-year-old Smoker$321.76$248.75
35-year-old Non-Smoker$185.04$165.91
35-year-old Smoker$360.23$286.18
45-year-old Non-Smoker$267.89$240.25
45-year-old Smoker$637.51$493.20
55-year-old Non-Smoker$524.95$406.94
55-year-old Smoker$1,364.09$991.63
65-year-old Non-Smoker$1,273.12$880.66
65-year-old Smoker$3,245.05$2,235.31
Average Non-Smoker$485.91$370.87
Average Smoker$1,185.73$851.01

Coverage Offered

Cigna offers a limited selection of term and permanent life insurance policies. You can also choose from several riders to further tailor your policy.

Types of Coverage Offered

Life insurance policies fall into one of two general categories: term or whole. Term policies only pay if the death occurs within a set time frame, usually between 10 and 30 years.

Whole policies have no term, and they pay whenever a death occurs, regardless of age. Some also build cash value by allocating a portion of your premiums into an interest-bearing account.

They can also come with two benefit options: fixed and increasing.

With a fixed death benefit, the policy premiums decrease over time as the cash value increases so the payout is always equal to the initial face value. With an increasing death benefit, the premiums and face value remain the same over time. As the cash value increases, the overall death benefit increases.

Whole policies have multiple variations: traditional whole life, universal life, guaranteed universal life, indexed universal life, and variable life.

Keep in mind that group policies can be canceled if your employer changes providers or stops offering the benefit.

Cigna offers group term and universal life policies, as well as a supplemental final expense whole policy.

Term

A term policy is payable only if the death of the insured occurs within a specified period or before a specified age.

Once the term has passed, the insurer cancels the coverage. There are generally no refunds on the premiums paid. Many policies can also be converted to a permanent policy before they expire.

Cigna offers guaranteed coverage without a medical exam for their employer-sponsored term policies, up to certain face values.

Universal

Universal policies offer the permanent coverage and cash value growth of a traditional whole plan while also allowing flexibility to set monthly premiums, change coverage amounts, and make lump-sum payments to keep premiums low.

Cigna’s group universal life policy places a portion of your premiums in a tax-deferred cash accumulation fund that has a guaranteed minimum interest rate of 4 percent.

They also come with a portability option that allows you to keep your coverage if you ever change employers.

Burial & Final Expense

Burial and final expense policies are whole life policies with low face values meant to cover only funeral expenses and small financial obligations such as outstanding credit card debt.

Premiums are fixed, and your death benefit is guaranteed.

Because the face values are so low, final expense policies are often the most affordable form of permanent life insurance. They offer guaranteed acceptance with no medical exam.

Cigna offers final expense insurance with face values from $2,000-$25,000. The policies are only available to those ages 50-85.

Riders

Riders can be added to each policy to customize your coverage further. Cigna offers the following:

  • Child Protection Rider: Provides life insurance coverage for all eligible children.
  • Disability Waiver of Premium Rider: If you become disabled, your premiums will be waived for the duration of the disability or to the end of the policy term.
  • Accelerated Death Benefit Rider: If you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have less than six months to live, you can access a portion of the policy death benefit up to a set maximum.
  • Accidental Death Benefit Rider: Pays an additional death benefit on top of the base policy’s death benefit if the death resulted from a qualifying accidental injury.

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Factors That Affect Your Rate

Anything that increases your risk of an early death increases the chances the insurer will have to pay out on your policy. That higher risk classification will result in a higher premium.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common factors that affect your rate.

Demographic

Several demographics can have a big impact on your life insurance premium.

Age: Age is one of the most important factors in determining insurability.

The older you are, the more likely it is that an insurer will have to pay out on a term policy. It also means that they are more likely to pay out on a whole policy before it grows enough to be profitable.

You can expect your rate to climb higher with each year you wait to purchase a policy. Some insurers also limit coverage amounts for people over certain ages.

Gender: Gender also plays a key role. Statistically, men have shorter life expectancies than women. For that reason, women in the same risk classification will almost always pay lower premiums than men.

Current Health & Family Medical History

Healthy people have longer life expectancies and therefore pay lower life insurance premiums.

To determine your overall health, insurers will require you to fill out a health questionnaire and may ask for access to your medical records. Some may require a complete medical exam and bloodwork.

Even if a policy doesn’t require a medical exam, underwriters still have access to public prescription and Medical Information Bureau (MIB) records.

You need to be honest on the medical questionnaire because the insurer will find the truth eventually.

Most insurers will also examine the health history of your immediate family to identify any potential hereditary medical issues such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.

High-Risk Occupations

Some jobs are more dangerous than others.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows that police officers, firefighters, and many others have a higher risk of accidental death than someone with an office job.

A dangerous job will earn you a higher risk classification, which equals higher premiums.

– High-Risk Habits

Similarly, high-risk habits outside of work can also result in costlier life insurance.

The most common high-risk habit that insurers look for is tobacco use. Smokers almost always pay higher rates than their non-smoking counterparts in every demographic.

For example, the average 35-year-old male non-smoker pays around $185 per year for a 20-year, $100,000 policy. A 35-year-old smoker pays $360 for the same policy.

That’s an extra $3,500 paid over the life of the plan.

In addition to smoking, insurers will also ask about any other high-risk hobbies that come with a greater risk of injury. A single experience isn’t going to increase your premiums, but a regular hobby such as flying, racing, or skydiving could increase your risk classification.

Veteran or Active Military Status

Military status falls under the category of high-risk occupations. Most insurers charge higher rates to active duty military service members, and some don’t sell them policies at all.

Getting the Best Rate with Cigna

Your risk classification determines whether an insurer will raise your price from their base premiums. Those base premiums are generally based on three factors: mortality, interest, and company expenses.

Insurers use statistical mortality tables to estimate how many people in every demographic are likely to die each year. If they insure people in demographics with a high likelihood of death, they’ll raise their rates on them to minimize losses.

Rates are also influenced by current interest rates. Insurers increase their profits by investing the premiums you pay in bonds, stocks, and mortgages. A low expected return on those investments could result in higher premiums.

They also factor in all of their operating expenses. The more a company spends maintaining their business, the more of that cost they pass onto their policyholders.

Rates can also vary from state to state, although the NAIC currently encourages states to adopt laws that would provide more uniformity nationwide.

With so many variables, how can you get the best rates?

A lot of these factors, such as gender and family medical history, are beyond your control. The best way to lower your rates is to improve all of the areas you can.

First, make healthy lifestyle changes. Blood pressure, BMI, and cholesterol are key measures on a medical exam. You can improve them through diet and exercise.

If you do smoke, not only do you need to quit, but you need to quit as soon as you can. Some insurers require you to be tobacco-free for a certain amount of time before you can claim a non-smoking rate.

Second, buy early. Every year you wait to buy results in a higher premium.

For example, the average 10-year, $100,000 policy for a 35-year-old non-smoking male is around $185 per year. That same policy for a 45-year-old costs $270. That 10-year jump represents an increase of nearly 50 percent.

Finally, you need to pay your premiums on time. Like any bill, late payments result in penalties and could even lead to the cancellation of your policy.

If you have a policy canceled for non-payment, you can expect additional fees to get it reinstated, or higher rates at the next insurer.

To give you an idea of how much a term life policy might cost, we’ve compiled a list of average monthly sample rates for a 10-year term for non-smokers at key ages.

Age$100,000: Male$100,000: Female$250,000: Male$250,000: Female$500,000: Male$500,000: Female
25$11.03$10.02$22.10$12.91$23.19$19.04
30$11.12$10.07$15.31$13.02$23.85$19.26
35$11.12$10.07$15.42$13.02$24.07$19.26
40$12.65$11.12$17.94$15.21$29.10$23.63
45$14.57$13.31$21.55$19.69$36.32$32.60
50$18.60$17.20$30.19$27.02$53.60$47.26
55$24.51$20.61$42.88$34.35$78.98$61.91
60$35.88$27.48$71.10$50.86$135.41$94.94
65$51.06$37.76$109.82$75.14$212.85$143.51

Cigna’s Programs

Cigna offers little in the way of additional life insurance resources on its website. Nearly all of its resources are dedicated to understanding health insurance coverage.

Canceling Your Policy

If you need to cancel your policy completely, you can do so at any time, although terminating some term plans early could result in penalties. There are generally no refunds on premiums when you cancel life insurance unless you pay extra for a return of premium policy.

For a regular term policy, you would receive only a refund on prepaid premiums for an upcoming period.

For a universal policy, you’ll be refunded any prepaid premiums as well as the surrender value of your policy. The surrender value is the cash value of your policy minus any surrender fees.

How to Cancel

To cancel a group policy, you’ll need to do so through your employer.

You can cancel an individual final expense policy by requesting a cancellation form from customer support. You’ll need to fill out the form and submit it either electronically or via mail.

You can reach customer support through your member portal or by phone at 800-997-1654.

How to Make a Claim

The overall process of filing a death benefit claim with Cigna follows general industry-standard steps:

  • First, initiate a claim
  • Second, fill out company-specific paperwork
  • Third, submit the paperwork along with a death certificate and any other requested documents
  • Fourth, choose a disbursement method
  • Fifth, receive the benefits

With Cigna, you can initiate a claim online at cigna.com/customer-forms or over the phone at 800-362-4462.

Once you initiate a claim, you must provide a policy number, the insured’s date of death, and a death certificate. If the insurer requires any other documentation, it will be listed in the claim package.

How to Get a Quote Online

The only quotes Cigna offers online are for its supplemental final expense policy. If you’d like to know how much a limited face value policy will cost you, here’s a step-by-step guide.

#1 – Go to the Individuals & Families Page

From the homepage, go to the Individuals and Families page using the menu bar in the top left of the page.

Cigna Online Quote Step 1

From there, scroll down to Shopping for Insurance, and select the option for Other Supplemental Insurance.

Cigna Online Quote Step 2

#2 – Go to the Quote Tool

At the beginning of the supplemental insurance page, click the Get A Quote button.

Cigna Online Quote Step 3

#3 – Enter Your Information

Enter your personal and contact information into the quote tool. Select Individual Whole Life as your policy option.

Cigna Online Quote Step 4

#4 – Get Your Quote & Contact an Agent

Once you submit your information, the tool will display quotes for a standard policy and one with an accidental death benefit rider. You’ll then have the option to contact apply directly from the results screen.

Cigna Online Quote Step 5

The next section will discuss what you’ll find when you access Cigna’s website and app.

Design of Website/App

The Cigna website is simple to navigate, but low on information.

Most information on group policies comes from the employer’s human resources department, along with other benefit details. Cigna’s website offers little in the way of details for individuals.

Cigna doesn’t have an app for managing group life insurance policies.

Pros & Cons

As with any company, there are pros and cons to shopping with Cigna. Here are some of the biggest ones.

Pros

  • Financially sound
  • Term and whole options
  • No-exam policies
  • Lower rates through employer-sponsored plans

Cons

  • No indexed universal options
  • No variable options
  • Not available to individuals

The Bottom Line

Because Cigna only sells group life insurance policies, the question isn’t whether you should go to Cigna for insurance. Rather, it is more likely, “My insurer offers life insurance through Cigna. Should I sign up or shop elsewhere?”

Life insurance isn’t Cigna’s primary business; health insurance is. Because of that, and because of the fact that group life insurance is generally seen as an added benefit rather than a complete product, Cigna doesn’t offer a lot of policy options.

If you’re looking for highly customizable term policies with large face values or want to treat life insurance as an investment with indexed and variable insurance, Cigna probably isn’t the company for you.

However, if you want a basic life insurance coverage at a discount, Cigna is a strong option.

Cigna’s FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about Cigna and their policy offerings.

#1 – Does Cigna offer a no-exam life insurance policy?

Depending on your age and health history, Cigna may waive the medical exam on their term policies, up to certain amounts.

#2 – Does Cigna offer any supplemental coverage?

Along with their final expense insurance, Cigna also offers supplemental Medicare coverage, lump sum heart attack and stroke insurance, lump-sum cancer insurance, and cancer treatment insurance.

#3 – Can anyone buy life insurance through Cigna?

No. Cigna primarily sells group insurance. Outside of their final expense policies, you can only buy life insurance from Cigna if your employer offers it as a benefit.

#4 – Will I lose my group life insurance policy if I change jobs?

Cigna’s group universal policies are portable. If you change jobs, you can keep your policy.

#5 – How do I make a payment on my Cigna life insurance premiums?

For group policies, your payments are deducted from your paycheck.

#6 – How easy is it to change my beneficiary?

You’ll need to fill out a beneficiary change form, which you can fill out and submit online or by mail.

#7 – Can I make withdrawals on my Cigna life insurance policy?

Cigna doesn’t allow policy loans on its group universal policies.

#8 – How long does it take for Cigna to pay death benefits on a life insurance policy?

Death benefits are typically paid within 30 days of processing the completed claim packet. The benefit also accrues 2 percent interest between the day the claim is filed and the day it is paid.

#9 – Are the life insurance benefits taxable?

Life insurance benefits are non-taxable when they are paid directly to a beneficiary, such as a spouse or a child. However, if you name your estate as the beneficiary, the benefits become a part of the estate and are then subject to estate taxes.

#10 – Are all Cigna life insurance policies available in all states?

Yes. Cigna is licensed to sell all its policies in every state through one of its two affiliates.

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