In the beginning, many life insurance companies started as regional insurers like Kansas City Life. Even if these regional insurers grow to service the greater United States, their brand may be centered around where they originated.
Our Kansas City Life insurance review will cover the history of Kanas City Life until the present day. We will cover the states that Kansas City life does business in and we will take a hard look at Kanas City Life’s rates to see how they compete with the other life insurance companies
Kansas City Life Insurance History
The Kansas City Life Insurance Company was founded in 1895 in Kansas City, MO under the name, Bankers Life Association by Major William Warner. During this time, Kansas City was known as the Athen’s of the West and its second largest city; only San Francisco was larger.
Shortly after in 1900, the Kansas City Life Insurance Company name was adopted. The company began issuing policies from the Scheidley Building. The company relocated a few times before finally settling in its current location.
Kansas City Life rolled into the 1940s. Kansas City Life began advertising on billboards in the Kansas City area, which help expand the Kansas City Life brand. Kansas City Life celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1945 by introducing the President’s Club.
Kansas City Life expanded in the 1970s when it purchased the Sunset Life Insurance Company of America in 1974. Kansas City continued to grow, and in 1991, Kansas City Life made its second acquisition of Old American Insurance Company.
Kansas City Life celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1995 and commemorated it by adding the Kugel fountain as a tribute and symbol of its service and commitment to its policyholders. Kansas City now proudly boasts it has been keeping its promises for over 100 years.
In the turn of the century, Kansas City Life acquires a number of life insurance companies. Kansas City life purchases GuideOne Life Insurance Company in 2003 and Grange Life Insurance Company in 2018.
Today, Kansas City Life is a publicly traded company that holds over $4 billion in assets. Kansas City Life has general agencies that cover the 48 continental United States and the District of Columbia.
Kansas City Life Ratings and Financial Strength
You cannot consider a life insurance company without looking at the books. You need to feel confident that the company has the financial resources to back up the promises that they make.
Kansas City Life has no such problems. Kansas City Life holds an A (Excellent) rating from third-party rating agency The A.M. Best Company. A-rated companies have a strong ability to meet their obligations to policyholders over the long run.
Kansas City Life also holds an A+ with the Better Business Bureau, which is the BBB’s highest honor. Kansas City Life is not an accredited company with the Better Business Bureau, however.
Kansas City Life Insurance Solutions
When it comes to life insurance, choosing the right product can be confusing. Kansas City Life offers a wide selection of insurance products and solutions for its policyholders through its agents.
Kansas City Life offers term life, universal life, and whole life. Kansas City also provides annuities, which provide pension-like income streams to its policyholders. Our Kansas City Life review will focus more on the life insurance products, but will briefly cover the annuity options.
Kansas City Term Life Insurance
Kansas City Life offers term life insurance as a temporary life insurance option. Term life insurance is initially lower than permanent coverage, which allows you to purchase higher levels of death benefit protection economically.
Term life insurance is a great option for a person who needs a significant amount of life insurance coverage for a temporary need. For example, covering your mortgage if you die.
Most term life insurance sold today is level term, which means that you select a period of time that your life insurance premiums are locked in and cannot be increased. After your level term period is over, you can continue the policy by paying annually.
Many people do not continue to keep their life insurance past the level term period because it can be costly. Instead, some people opt to replace the coverage or convert the term policy into a permanent life insurance policy.
The life insurance death benefit is paid out income-tax free, but term life insurance does not have any cash surrender value. It is a pure insurance product. Kansas City still offers a rare life insurance contract known as Return of Premium Life Insurance.
Return of Premium life has level premiums as level term does. However, at the end of the level term period, you receive 100 percent of eligible premiums paid if you survive the contract. This ensures that you do not “waste” your money if you do not die and trigger the death benefit.
Return of Premium life used to be more attractive. However, regulations overtime increased the cost of these types of policies. As a result, most people either opt for straight term life insurance or a permanent solution.
Kansas City Universal Life Insurance
Kansas City universal life insurance gives you flexibility in your life insurance. Universal life insurance grants you the potential for tax-deferred cash value accumulation and permanent death benefits.
Your premiums can be adjusted upwards, downwards, or entirely eliminated. However, you need to ensure that your policy is funded enough to cover its expenses. Therefore, it is wise to monitor these policies frequently.
A portion of the premium is deposited into an interest-bearing account that has a fluctuation interest rate with a guaranteed minimum level of interest. The money grows tax-deferred and can be removed from the account through tax-free loans or withdrawals.
You can also increase or decrease the amount of your coverage at any time without buying a new policy; although, you may be asked to provide proof of insurability.
Kansas City Index Universal Life
Kansas City Index Universal Life is a particular type of universal life insurance that credits interest to your account through an index investment strategy. Indexed universal life has all of the flexibility of current assumption universal life with the potential for greater cash growth.
When you pay your indexed universal life premium that premium goes into a fixed account where the policy expenses are deducted. The remainder has the potential to build cash value through indexing.
Indexing does not invest your principal directly in the stock or bond market. Instead, it tracks the growth of a specific index, for example, the Standard and Poor’s 500. If the market goes up you get credited with interest up to the cap.
However, if the market declines, you cannot lose any money due to investment loss. Your account would not get credited with interest in a down year, and you still need to pay the insurance expenses of the policy.
Your cash value will grow tax-deferred, and you can remove cash from the policy through tax-advantaged loans or withdrawals. The death benefit is paid out income-tax-free as well.
Kansas City Variable Universal Life
Kansas City Life also offers variable universal life insurance, which is a unique offering. Variable universal life insurance is similar to other types of universal life insurance in that it offers the same flexibility.
However, Kansas City life allows you to select professionally managed separate account to invest your policies cash value in. Unlike indexed universal life insurance, variable universal life insurance is directly invested in the underlying investments that the account manager selects.
This means that you are putting your principal at risk and can suffer investment loss. If the policy does not perform as expected, you could potentially lose your life insurance coverage as well. As a result, you should monitor the performance of your policy frequently.
The variable separate accounts grow your cash value deferred of taxation. If you want to remove money from the policy you can take tax-advantaged withdrawals or loans against the death benefit.
Kansas City Whole Life
Kansas City Whole Life Insurance is the original type of life insurance and offers the most robust guarantees of Kansas City Life’s lineup. Whole life gives you guaranteed cash value accumulation, guaranteed lifetime death benefits, and guaranteed level premiums.
Once you lock in your monthly rate, it is locked in for the life of the policy. That means the life insurance company cannot raise your rate on you in the future. As long as you maintain your premiums, your death benefit is guaranteed as well.
Your cash value will grow tax-deferred. You can access the cash value through tax-advantaged loans, which are secured by the death benefit. If you do not pay back the loan before you die, the balance will be subtracted from the death benefit proceeds.
If you are considering whole life insurance, we would suggest looking at a company that specializes in participating whole life insurance that has the opportunity to receive dividends at the end of the year, like Foresters Financial.
Kansas City Life Annuities
Kansas City Life offers fixed annuities and variable annuities for its policyholders as well. You may consider an annuity if you are seeking a long-term investment that has the ability to provide guaranteed lifetime income.
A fixed annuity guarantees you a minimum level of interest. However, Kansas City Life can and often will credit you with a higher rate based on market conditions. You can make a lump-sum deposit or on-going payments.
Key Benefits of a Kansas City Fixed Annuity:
If you decide to turn your annuity into an income stream, there are a variety of payout options that can be selected ranging from period certain to lifetime income. The annuity also comes with various death benefit options.
Before you turn the annuity into income, your beneficiary can receive the proceeds of the annuity in a number of ways. Once the guaranteed income option is selected, you need to decide on a specific death benefit option or no death benefit option if you prefer.
Kansas City Life also offers a variable annuity which allows you to invest your cash in a professionally managed separate account in stocks and bonds. Unlike a fixed annuity, your principal is at risk for investment loss.
Therefore, you should carefully consider if a variable annuity meets your risk tolerance. Variable annuities also offer a variety of payout options, similar to the fixed annuity, that can be chosen when you are ready to receive your income.
The Kansas City Life variable annuity has a death benefit and many optional riders including a guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit rider.
Final Thoughts: Is Kansas City Life Worth It?
Kansas City Life is a fine life insurance company, but they did not make our best life insurance companies list. Kansas City Life has competitive rates, but they are not always the rock-bottom lowest rate.
We always recommend comparing the rates of multiple life insurance companies especially if you have a pre-existing health condition. If you are considering no-exam life insurance options, then we would suggest looking at other options.
If you have any questions about our Kansas City Life Review, please contact us via our phone number or a request a quote today. We can review your life insurance situation and compare the quotes of multiple A-rated companies.
FILED UNDER – INSURANCE COMPANY REVIEWS
Joe is a lifelong learner with a passion for sharing what he has learned with others. Joe has publicly spoken on life insurance in the past to both colleagues at industry conferences and to consumers in educational settings and as a contributor to industry blogs. Additionally, Joe is studying for certifications such as the CFP, CLU, and RICP to further his professional knowledge.