Funerals are expensive.
While most young families find term life insurance products to be the most beneficial type of policy to replace income and pay for expenses like mortgages and college degrees, seniors have different needs.
Many turn to final expense insurance to account for end-of-life expenses like funerals and medical bills.
Companies like Settlers Life Insurance Company, now owned by National Guardian Life Insurance Group, were built specifically to meet that need.
If you’re considering a final expense policy, read on to learn more about Settlers Life’s history, financial standing, and top alternatives to the policies formerly offered by the company.
Our Settlers Life Insurance Company Review
Settlers Life Insurance Company is an insurance provider that has gained notoriety for convenient final expense policies.
Before changing its name in 1984, it was known as the Huff-Cook Mutual Burial Association.
It originally opened its doors in 1933. Over the following decades, Settlers Life Insurance experienced rapid growth.
In 1999, the National Guardian Life Insurance Group (NGL) purchased the company to increase its final expense insurance offerings.
Unfortunately, on November 7, 2018, Settlers Life Insurance stopped offering new policies to its customers.
While current policyholders can still contact Settlers Life Insurance to manage their policies, all new policies are issued by National Guardian Life Insurance Company.
Current policyholders are not at risk of losing their coverage or death benefits.
Parts of Settlers Life Insurance Company remain open, but NGL has taken over most responsibilities on their policies.
NGL Insurance is a large insurance company that traces its origins to 1909 as the Wisconsin State Life Insurance Company.
They first opened their doors in Madison, Wisconsin, and now service 49 US states along with the District of Columbia.
A series of acquisitions over the past decade—including Settlers Life— has led to a rapid expansion of their business.
The company now has over 1.2 million policyholders throughout the country. While the company still maintains an office in Madison, it also has a location in Utica, New York.
NGL is known for its commitment to serving communities in need.
In 2019, NGL Insurance donated $50,000 to Operation Fresh Start, a nonprofit that focuses on providing critical employment training and services to youth throughout Madison, Wisconsin.
Financial Strength & Ratings
Assessing the financial strength of an insurance provider is one of the most critical components of selecting the right company from the hundreds available.
Because Settlers Insurance is no longer a new policy provider, we’ll explore the economic viability of its parent company, NGL Insurance.
At present, the company has over $4.9b of assets under its control.
In the past eight years, it has experienced 100% growth in its managed assets, thanks largely in part to acquisitions.
In addition to its assets, NGL Insurance also has $4.1b in liabilities. There were over 1.2 million policies in force in 2018.
By comparison, the firm had 731,000 policies in force in 2010. NGL Insurance’s total income for 2018 was over $209m.
In addition to the above financial figures, we also explored the economic viability ratings of NGL Insurance.
Let’s take a look at some of the company’s financial performance ratings:
- A.M. Best: A-
- Standard and Poor’s (S&P): A
- Better Business Bureau (BBB): A-
Not only does NGL Insurance have an A- rating from A.M. Best, but it has also managed to maintain that rating since 1963.
Customer sentiment is another major factor you need to consider when choosing an insurance company.
Because Settlers Life is no longer offering policies, we took a closer look at the customer sentiment towards NGL.
The company is BBB-accredited, but it’s hard to find any feedback about the insurance company online.
Considering insurance is an industry that often generates a lot of criticism, the lack of negative feedback could be considered a good sign.
While Settlers Life Insurance no longer offers its final expense policies, NGL Insurance does have similar products on offer to its client base.
NGL Insurance uses trusts to provide life insurance products for its customers.
There are two types of trusts currently available:
- NGL Estate Planning Trust
- NGL Funeral Expense Trust
Each of these policies is intended to help your family deal with end-of-life expenses.
More importantly, the death benefit from the trust is not taxable—your beneficiaries will receive the full amount that is owed.
NGL also provides quick payment options so your family members don’t have to wait for their benefits.
In addition to the above features, the trusts are protected from creditors. This extra security measure helps you safeguard the money intended for your family.
NGL Insurance does not offer larger insurance policies for the purpose of covering mortgage costs or other significant liabilities.
NGL Estate Planning Trust
The NGL Estate Planning Trust can be used for a variety of purposes.
In many cases, policyholders use the trust to pass money on to loved ones or organizations. There is no limit on the number of beneficiaries.
The maximum amount available is $100,000.
The funds will initially be put aside for funeral costs— any excess cash will then be transferred to the named beneficiaries to use as they see fit.
NGL Funeral Expense Trust
The NGL Funeral Expenses Trust is designed to take the pain out of the funeral planning process.
By setting money aside for funeral arrangements, you can rest assured that family members won’t need to contend with any financial issues in the event of your death.
NGL Funeral Expenses Trust Money is compatible with any funeral home of your choice.
The maximum amount available under this trust is $15,000.
If the funeral costs do not exceed this amount, the rest of the cash from the trust will automatically transfer to your estate and its beneficiaries.
Settlers Life Former Insurance Products
As mentioned previously, if you currently have a Settlers Life insurance product, it’s still in effect.
Since this is a Settlers Life Insurance Company review, we’ll take a quick look at the Settlers Life Insurance Company policies that were on offer before the recent corporate restructuring.
The following policies were offered by Settlers Life:
- Gold Plan
- Silver Plan
- Silver II Plan
- Bronze Plan
- Bronze Plan II
This policy is for consumers between the ages of 15 and 85 who have reliable health records for the past five years.
Policyholders have immediate coverage from the inception of the policy, and premiums remain level throughout the plan.
The Silver Plan is for anyone up to the age of 85 who can demonstrate a solid health record for the past two years.
The maximum amount of coverage on this plan is $25,000.
Silver II Plan
The Silver II Plan is for consumers who have mild health issues.
It offers up to $15,000 in coverage to policyholders. You must be a non-smoker and between the ages of 50 and 75.
The Bronze Plan is designed for consumers who exhibit health issues.
You must be able to answer health questions and be between the ages of 40 and 80.
The death benefit on this plan is graded over two years — there is a maximum death benefit of $15,000 attached to this policy.
Bronze Plan II
The Bronze Plan II is another health plan for policyholders with health issues.
You must be between the age of 40 and 75 to be eligible.
The death benefit attached to this policy is graded over two years and is a maximum of $10,000 in burial insurance.
To recap, here are a few of the features we like most about Settlers Life and its parent company NGL.
- Straightforward Policies: While NGL’s current policies don’t offer much flexibility, they’re incredibly straightforward. If you’re looking for simple insurance to help take care of funeral expenses or provide money to loved ones, NGL has suitable options.
- Exempt from Creditors: If you’re trying to ensure creditors don’t impact your ability to pass money to your family members or loved ones, NGL’s Estate Planning Trust is shielded from their reach.
- Financially Stable Parent Company: Although Settlers Life Insurance is no longer offering new policies to its customers, NGL Insurance exhibits strong financial viability and growth.
- Other Products on Offer: While there aren’t any other basic life insurance products on offer at NGL Insurance, you’ll still have access to other financial products via the platform. Clients can also obtain annuities, student health insurance, and specialty insurance products.
While the outlook on NGL is positive, like any company, it does have a few downsides you should consider.
- Must Use NGL Insurance: Because Settlers Insurance is no longer offering insurance policies to new clients, you have to go through NGL Insurance if you want to access products from the same group.
- Small Policies: Neither Settlers Insurance or NGL Insurance are known for providing sizeable personal life insurance policies. NGL Insurance’s current policies only allow for a maximum of $100,000 in coverage.
- Not as Large as Some Providers: While NGL Insurance has strong financial ratings, it’s not nearly as large as some of the providers in the industry. If you’re looking to work with a major insurance company, there are better options on the market.
- No Clear Online Application Portal: NGL Insurance does not appear to offer an accessible online application portal. You’ll need to call NGL Insurance to discuss their various policy options. If you’re aiming to obtain an online quote, this isn’t the right insurance company for you.
Final expense insurance can be a major asset to individuals looking to shield their family from funeral expenses.
NGL is one of several financially stable companies offering satisfactory final expense products, through both its pre-existing Settlers Life policies and its current trust products
Ultimately, the decision comes down to which company you feel will best meet your family’s needs.
Before you decide on a policy, take a few moments to review each company and compare quotes.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ve picked the right provider and policy.