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Legal & General America Life Insurance Review (Providers & Quotes)

Key InfoCompany Specifics
Year Founded1836
Current ExecutiveCEO - Mark Holweger
Number of Employees7,570
Total Sales / Total Assets$55,999,000 / $684,172,300
HQ Address3275 Bennett Creek Avenue, Frederick, Maryland 21704
Phone Number1-800-638-8428
Company Websitewww.lgamerica.com
Premiums Written - Individual Life$844,000,000
Financial Standing+43.4% from the Previous Year
Best ForFinal Expense

Deciding it’s time to provide for your loved ones’ future is as important as it gets.

Whether you’re starting your family or preparing for final expenses, the payout will help soften any financial blows on top of the emotional ones.

With the variety of policies and companies out there, you may not know where to start. The policy you’ll need relies heavily on your life and what you plan to use it for.

A larger death benefit will help provide for college tuition, business expenses, or inheritance, while a smaller and more affordable benefit can be used to only cover your burial and final medical expenses.

In this article, we take a look at one insurer, Legal & General America, and its subsidiaries, Banner Life and William Penn of NY. We will cover their reviews, employee culture, policy types, and more to give you a better idea of what you can expect.

Ready to start looking now? Use our FREE quote tool to find your best rates.

Legal & General America’s Ratings

These third-party rating sites show a company’s ability to meet both its financial and customer service obligations.

Legal & General America has achieved ratings that are pretty average among the competition. While there are some great reviews, there are also complaints and financial struggles the company has faced in the past.

A.M. Best

A.M. Best rates a company on its financial history and the potential for future credit risk. They base this rating on a company’s ability to pay back both short- and long-term commitments.

Legal & General America has two companies that A.M. Best has reviewed.

Both Banner Life Insurance Company and William Penn Life Insurance Co of NY have an A+ financial rating and a credit rating of aa- with A.M. Best. These ratings are reflective of a superior dedication to ensuring that their customer’s financial future is secure.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The Better Business Bureau, more popularly known as the BBB, rates a company on its ability to serve its customers. The BBB uses public information such as financial records and complaints made against a company.

Legal & General America’s two subsidiaries both have an A+ rating with the BBB. This is the highest rating given to a company.

That being said, Banner Life has a few closed complaints registered with the rating service.

Most of the complaints seem to stem from Banner Life’s employees either assuming or leaving out pertinent information when helping the client.

This, as one would expect, leads to frustration and confusion for both parties.

Moody’s

Moody’s rating is based on an insurer’s long- and short-term credit risk and their ability to meet their financial obligations. They use information such as financial records, customer complaints, and other public information.

Legal & General America has a rating of A2 and is regarded as a stable credit risk. A2 is regarded as an upper average rating for an insurer.

Legal & General America seems to be on the uptick, as they have recently had their ratings raised.

From 1995 to 2010, Legal & General America saw their Moody’s rank drop a few times before rebounding in 2010 with their first improved rating in 15 years.

NAIC Complaint Index

The NAIC offers a lot of objective information that consumers can use to make informed decisions about insurance companies.

The most useful tool is the complaint index, where you can compare the number of closed complaints to the industry average to give you an idea of how much trouble you should expect during the life of your policy.

That being said, NAIC compares complaints to a market average of 1.00 with any higher number being worse, and any number lower meaning less than the average.

Legal & General America doesn’t have a place on the NAIC complaint index, but its subsidiaries do.

In the individual life category, Banner Life has a score of 0.14, only a little over 10 percent of the average market complaints. Similarly, William Penn of New York only has a 0.10 compared to the average closed complaints in individual life.

Company History

Legal & General America finds its humble beginnings in a small English coffee shop in 1836. Sergeant John Adams and his band of lawyers formed a group specifically for those that worked in the legal sector. When it was first formed, it was called the New Law Life Assurance Society.

Later, to better advertise what kind of policies they sold to the right audience, they changed their name to Legal & General Life Assurance. With this new name, their products became available to the general public, but only those in legal professions could take stock or shares of the company.

Around the 1970s, Legal & General Group would find itself in a successful enough position to start buying shares of other companies overseas.

In 1981, Legal & General America formed its holding company and bought its first American branch, Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO). GELICO would change its name to Banner Life two years later.

In 1989, Legal & General America completed its American empire thus far with the purchase of William Penn.

In the early 2000s, Legal & General America seemed to run into a bit of financial trouble. They sold off Legal & General Bank and Legal & General Mortgage to the Northern Rock bank. They also let go of their stake in Gresham Insurance, a partnered effort with Barclays Bank.

However, by 2008, they seemed to have turned it around because they bought Suffolk Life, a self-invested pension option. They sold it in 2016.

In 2009, they formed a venture with two Indian banks to launch IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company. Another purchase came in 2013 with Lucida Life.

In the 2010s, Legal and General Group has boasted their Recovery and Infrastructure Developments, where they show how they helped the U.K. housing crisis and set themselves up for more success in the future.

While Legal & General America may have a bumpy history, they have always kept their heads above water.

Legal & General America’s Market Share

A company’s market share is indicative of how much of the market they have control over. Legal & General America has a 1.01 percent share of the individual life insurance market.

While that might not seem like much, having even half that takes years of work and dedication to the customer and the life insurance business.

CompanyMarket Share
Northwestern Mutual8.20%
Lincoln National5.80%
New York Life5.70%
MassMutual4.80%
Prudential4.50%
John Hancock3.60%
State Farm3.60%
Transamerica3.60%
Pacific Life2.90%
Metlife2.90%
Legal & General America1.01%

As you can see, Legal & General America isn’t lagging too far behind the top contenders in the country.

Taking on an air of recovery seemed to work out in the company’s favor, as shown by their hold on the market.

Legal & General America’s Position for the Future

Although Legal & General America had a little trouble at the turn of the 21st century, they seem to have rebounded in recent years.

In fact, due to their current hold on the market, some might even consider them a leader in the insurance industry.

With profits up 43 percent from last year, one can expect this momentum to carry into the future. If Legal & General America continues to see that kind of success, they’ll be a major contender in just a few years.

Legal & General America’s Online Presence

Legal & General America’s insurance site is pretty standard. All the information on the site is sorted into a rectangular layout that seems really familiar.

There are tabs for their various products, as well as a place to file your claim.

You can also log into a customer account, learn more about the company, and get information about starting your career with Legal & General America.

You can find them on social media via Twitter, @landg_usa, and on their Facebook page sharing information and promoting their products.

Legal & General America’s Commercials

Legal & General America’s commercials are informative and provide the benefits of life insurance in general as well as with their company.

In this commercial, they take a look at their 40-year term product.

With this new four-decade plan, your dependents and the ones you love will never have to worry about finances if anything happened to you.

Another form of a promotional video on Legal & General America’s YouTube channel is a series of videos that take place in the same auditorium where a woman named Ellen G. schools you on a variety of life insurance topics and who they best benefit.

These serve as brief overviews and give just the necessary information and not much else. Watching one or two videos in this series will give you an understanding without having to watch the rest.

Legal & General America in the Community

Legal & General America has taken pride in its social and eco-responsibility as demonstrated in the video below.

The company understands what they owe to the land they call home, so they have dedicated their efforts to preserve our planet.

Not only have they installed energy- and water-efficient features in their office, but over 50 percent of their current workstations are made with recyclable and recycled materials.

They have also made a promise to donate to charities each year during their Charitable Giving Campaign to give back as much as they can.

In 2018, Legal & General America raised almost $1 million with the focused charities being Second Chances Garage and America’s VetDogs.

They are only set to increase upon that in the years to come, and their community will be all the better for the care and compassion they put into it.

Legal & General America also recognizes the importance of showcasing the work put in by its employees. With awards for charity organization and contribution, they make sure that those who put in the work are properly rewarded.

Legal & General America’s Employees

Employee reviews across the web range from average to great. Most reviews praise the coworkers while drawing attention to problematic behavior by management.

Employees also enjoy the competitive pay Legal & General America offers.

In this video, employees remark how they love their coworkers and everything else the company offers them.

They also take a moment to stress the importance of life insurance and how it can provide for your family’s future.

However, there are also several complaints about IT issues within the company, a real problem in the digital age.

According to Great Place To Work, 78 percent of Legal & General America’s employees would recommend their job to others. They were recertified as a Great Place To Work in both 2017 and 2018.

Shopping for Life Insurance

Purchasing life insurance can be a daunting and overwhelming task. No one wants to confront the possibility of their death, and the fear of what might happen after you leave can be unbearable.

But that’s precisely why making sure your loved ones are safe no matter what life brings is important when planning your financial future.

As unique as your life is, there is a policy that can be customized to fit your needs perfectly.

Coverage Offered

Trying to find the best policy option for you among the many choices is sure to drive you crazy. When you also consider the special add-ons that each individual company offers, you may quickly feel like a fish out of water.

Legal & General America primarily offers coverage through its main site as well as its subsidiaries Banner Life and William Penn.

Types of Coverage Offered

While there might be a wide variety of options available, most policies follow the same simple process.

All life insurance policies rely on you paying a premium in order for your beneficiaries to be awarded the death benefit should you die during your policy.

A premium is a monthly payment you pay to maintain coverage during the length of your policy. Your beneficiary is the person that will receive the payout, or death benefit when you pass.

If you stop paying your premiums, your policy will be canceled, and you’ll lose all of your coverage.

Term

A term life policy will last for a predetermined period of your life. During this term, usually several decades, you’ll pay your premiums to maintain coverage.

Once your policy ends, you lose out on the premiums you’ve been paying for the last decade or longer.

Sometimes you can even renew your policy at a rate much lower than purchasing a consecutive term life policy. But even then, you can’t get a new term policy after a certain age.

If you don’t like the idea of losing out completely on your investment, you can usually add a return of premium rider to get a portion of what you paid into the policy. However, it’ll likely be nothing near the death benefit or what you paid.

Increasing term and decreasing term policies adjust the death benefit and premiums to better suit life’s changing needs.

Legal & General America offers term life insurance through its subsidiaries, Banner Life and William Penn.

Whole

Just like it sounds, a whole life policy will cover you your entire life. There’s no need to renew or purchase a new policy because this coverage will remain as long as you pay your premiums.

However, the monthly premiums will be more expensive than with term life, no matter your risk factors.

That’s because every month, a portion of your premium will be put toward your cash value.

Cash value is a savings type account that can be used later in life. You can take a loan out against it, use it to pay your premiums, or surrender your policy for the full amount.

Traditional whole life allows for an equal premium and death benefit for the entire policy as long as you meet your obligations. It’s the simplest form of whole life.

Legal & General America offers a guaranteed whole life insurance plan, meaning you’ll pay equal premiums every month for a level death benefit when you die.

Universal

Like whole life, a universal life policy will cover your entire life.

But instead of accruing cash value in a savings account, a portion of your premiums will be invested in an internal or external investment account.

Most policies offer the ability to lock in or keep your investment at a guaranteed rate of increase.

Indexed universal invests your cash value in a mutual-fund type account on the stock market. This method can allow for impressive returns but may also cause you to lose your entire investment if the market takes a turn for the worse.

A guaranteed universal policy is more affordable than a base whole life or universal life policy while still covering your entire life.

Legal & General America offers universal life, as well. They promise guaranteed accruement of cash value as well as flexible premiums.

Burial & Final Expense

Burial and final expense insurance only covers the needs you’ll have at the end of your life. Since the death benefit is much smaller, it’s best used for medical bills and final expenses such as funeral costs.

The premiums are much more affordable, and most people can qualify for this policy even if they have severe risk factors.

Legal & General America offers guaranteed coverage without any lengthy health screening and full coverage of accidental death after two years.

You can also accrue cash value that’s guaranteed to be paid out to your beneficiary within one business day after the claim is filed.

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Factors That Affect Your Rate

The way that an insurer will decide how much you have to pay each month, or if you’re even accepted at all, depends on a time-tested process called underwriting.

If the insurance company gave everyone the same flat rate, they would quickly be out of money. By placing people in groups based on the risks in their lives, they’re able to determine a rate that guarantees the most profit for the insurer.

The more things that can raise the likelihood you’ll die, the higher you can expect to pay. There are several risk factors that an insurer will consider before giving you a policy.

Demographics

The two main factors that affect all of our premiums are age and gender.

It shouldn’t come as a shock that the older you are, the more susceptible you become to disease and other health conditions. Thus your age is one of the most important factors when applying for a policy.

The sooner you apply, the less you can expect to pay for your entire policy, no matter what your other risk factors are. On average, women live longer than men. This is due to biological differences as well as risk-taking behavior on the part of males.

Regardless of your gender, however, starting your policy as soon as possible is one of the best ways to get a better rate,

Current Health & Family Medical History

Because your policy depends on the quality of your life, your health plays a huge role in your premiums.

While a bad case of the sniffles won’t affect your rates, more severe illnesses may keep you from getting a policy altogether. Once again, it comes down to the risk you pose of the insurer having to pay out that large sum of money to your beneficiaries.

Unsurprisingly, they also take a look at your family’s medical history.

Depending on what Grandpa Greg has hidden in his file, you could find yourself paying more and find out you’re susceptible to diabetes as well. However, some major medical conditions such as having a pacemaker will still qualify for some coverage.

Legal & General America promises that those between 50 and 80 years old have access to final expense life insurance, regardless of their health.

High-Risk Occupations

Certain jobs come with great benefits, and others come with a greater chance of death.

While still unlikely, insurers frown upon any chance that they’ll have to pay out the policy.

So if your job poses an extra risk, your premiums will pay the price.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most dangerous jobs are those that have to do with transportation and other forms of heavy machinery, for obvious reasons.

High-Risk Habits

Just like your occupation, there are things that you do in your personal life that severely hurt what you can expect to pay each month. The most common, smoking, has been linked to a number of life-threatening diseases and cancers.

In fact, when you add age into the mix, you could be paying twice as much as someone your age who doesn’t smoke.

Due to the recent understanding of e-cigarette related dangers, some companies may even start classifying vapers as smokers, or they might place them in their own, more expensive, risk group.

Even smoking an occasional cigar can raise your rates.

Other high-risk habits include extreme sports, eating more than you should, and bad driving. Try to quit or improve these behaviors before you apply, as just these factors alone can really hurt your policy.

Veteran or Active Military Status

If you’re an active member of the military, there’s good news. The U.S. government offers active duty insurance under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. When your service is up, you’ll have the option to switch to the veterans’ program within a certain window of time.

Veterans Group Life Insurance offers coverage for veterans at an affordable price.

Getting the Best Rate with Legal & General America

When it comes to getting the best rate with any company, it isn’t difficult.

First, you must start your policy as soon as possible. Not only will you have extra time to accrue cash value, but your underwriter will see that you have more time to pay into the investment.

Second, it’s time to finally start taking better care of your mental state and maintaining physical health. You’ll be subjected to a medical exam, so you want to make sure that you’re in your best shape before applying.

Lastly, quit any habits that endanger your life. Not only will your loved ones be able to sleep better, but you also won’t have to pay to cover your risky extracurricular activities.

All it comes down to is being your healthiest self so that an insurer doesn’t see any risk in your life.

You may also save by switching to another company if they offer a better deal for your specific life or age group.

Legal & General America’s Programs

Legal & General America offers a waiver of premiums, policy conversions, and a flexible payment schedule on their policies.

For an additional cost, they also offer riders so that you can further customize your policy. Legal & General America offers a Life Lessons scholarship for those who qualify, such as the 2019 winner below.

As someone who lost her entire family without any protection via life insurance, this bright young woman understands the importance of securing her future, and she hopes that she can provide that protection for the ones she loves.

Canceling Your Policy

There can be many reasons to want to cancel your policy.

Whether you can’t afford it, don’t want it, or find a better deal somewhere else, canceling your policy is easy and should take no time at all.

If you don’t wish to formally cancel your policy, not paying your premiums will end your coverage, as well.

How to Cancel

Canceling your policy only requires that you gather a little information and that you fill out a form.

#1 – Gather Your Financial Information

To surrender your policy, you’ll need your Social Security number and policy number.

#2 – Download the Form

The Legal & General America surrender form allows you to cancel your policy and withdraw any cash value.

Legal & General Surrender Form 1

You may be able to fill this form out in your browser before printing.

#3 – Fill Out the Form

Whether you fill it out in your browser or by hand, make sure that all of your information is correct.

Legal & General Partial Fill Out

There is a section for a notary, but this isn’t necessary for canceling.

#4 – Mail the Form to Legal & General America’s Home Office

As with most policies, you’ll need to mail in the form to Legal & General America’s home base.

You’ll address the form to 3275 Bennett Creek Avenue, Frederick, MD 21704.

After you’ve given the insurer notice, wait for them to contact you with confirmation or further steps.

How to Make a Claim

When it comes time to collect the death benefit, you may find it to be a difficult process. There are usually no set limits on when you can file your claim. Remember that your loved one set this up for you in case this very thing happened.

When it comes to filing your claim with Legal & General America, it only takes a few short steps.

  • Go to www.LGAmerica.com.
  • Click “Claims” on the top middle part of the screen.
  • Click on the green “Start Here” button.
  • Select the subsidiary that your policy is through — William Penn or Banner Life.
  • Fill out the application with your policy information and then submit the claim.

After you submit it, an insurance agent will get back to you after they verify your information.

How to Get a Quote Online

Looking for a specific quote from Legal & General America? No problem. Getting the quote you’re looking for is easy and only requires you to click through a few screens.

#1 – Go to www.LGAmerica.com and Click “Get a Quote”

Start on Legal & General America’s home page.

Legal and General Home Page Get a Quote Highlight

Click the “Get a Quote” option to continue.

#2 – Fill Out the Form with Your Basic Information

All you need is to know a little about yourself and the policy you’re looking for.

Legal and General Quote Form

As you can see, this is very basic information about your health and other common factors.

#3 – View Your Quote

After clicking “Get My Quote,” you’ll be brought to a page showing your potential premiums.

Legal and General Apply for Quote

If you’d like for a financial adviser to get in touch, fill out your contact information and wait to be contacted.

Design of Website/App

Legal & General America’s site is pretty standard for an insurer. You’ll find more information than you need about the company and its life and retirement products.

Legal & General America doesn’t have an app, and neither does its subsidiaries.

Pros & Cons

Like all things, you should be aware of the positives and the negatives that come with doing business with Legal & General America.

Pros

Legal & General America has rebounded in the last decade after a less than favorable time in the mid-1990s into the 2000s. They also:

  • Maintain a stronghold with a 1 percent share of the whole U.S. insurance market
  • Have good financial ratings
  • Give recognition and fun opportunities for employees

While not the most impressive company, they’ve been working hard to set themselves up for a better future.

Cons

While they’ve done better in recent years, their troubles were recent enough that they should be kept in mind by all potential customers.

  • From 1995 to 2010, they had a fluctuation in their financial ratings for the worst
  • Employees don’t favor the management
  • Their video catalog is lacking for such a leading insurer

In recent years, however, they have dedicated themselves to improving their business and community as they learn from their prior mistakes.

The Bottom Line

As soon as you began to consider a life insurance policy, your family was already better off.

That being said, no one can blame you for simply gawking at the wide variety of policies and companies to choose from.

Legal & General America isn’t the worst choice for purchasing a life insurance policy. Their variety of policies and customer-oriented service has helped them attain hold of their share of the market for a reason.

However, whether you decide you want a policy from Legal & General America or another insurer, you should speak with a financial adviser to find out your options.

Ready to see your options? Use our FREE quote tool below to find out what you can expect to pay.

Legal & General America’s FAQs

Below you’ll find some frequently asked questions about Legal & General America.

#1 – Who owns Legal & General America?

This common question would be better asked as, “Who does Legal & General America own?”

Legal & General America, the U.S. branch of the financial holding company, owns William Penn of NY and Banner Life.

#2 – How do I contact Legal & General America?

For general inquiries, you can call 1-800-638-8428.

For Banner Life policies and questions, you can call 1-800-638-8428 or email customerservice@bannerlife.com.

For William Penn inquiries, you can call 1-800-346-4773 or email customerservice@wpenn.com.

#3 – What are the requirements for a Legal & General America policy?

As with most insurers, Legal & General America only gives policies to those who they know will be able to pay into the investment.

This means that the only requirements are that you’re still young enough to not be a risk and healthy enough for the insurer not to worry.

That being said, Legal & General America guarantees that those between 50 and 80 years old won’t be turned down for final expense insurance because of their health.

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