RiverSource Life Insurance Reviews [Reliable, but not the Lowest]

There are two crucial steps to selecting the right life insurance company to protect your family. First, you need to find a trustworthy agent who is knowledgable in the craft of brokering life insurance. Second, you need to work with a reliable life insurer.

RiverSource Life Insurance Reviews

Our RiverSource life insurance review will provide you with our honest opinion. You’ll get the good, the bad, and the ugly so you can make the right decision for your loved ones.

Spoiler alert! The RiverSource Life Insurance Company, an affiliate of Ameriprise Financial, didn’t make our best life insurance companies list!

You can request the quotes from the top life insurance companies on our website quoter and see how competitive RiverSource is for yourself.

However, we always recommend that if you are trying to save time that you should stick to comparing rates and quotes with all life insurance companies.

You can do this easily below using our instant life insurance quotes rate engine to compare rates with 50 of the top rated life insurance companies.

RiverSource Life Insurance will even be one of the options for the rates displayed that you can view depending on the parameters and coverage amount you are searching for.

You can do this easily by using our rate engine directly below.

The RiverSource Life Insurance Company History

RiverSource Life Insurance Company was founded in 1894 by John Tappan as Investors Syndicate in Minneapolis, Minnesota as an investment company.

Investors Syndicate focused on serving middle-America with its introduction of the Face Amount Certificate, which was innovative for that time.

Investors Syndicate was known for its financial strength and managed to pay all its obligations through the Great Depression. In 1949, Investors Syndicate renamed its Investors Diversified Services (IDS).

In 1957, IDS founded Investors Syndicate Life Insurance and Annuity Company to help its investors protect their hard-earned gains and families from premature death.

The company was later renamed the IDS Life Insurance Company in 1973 and was acquired by American Express in 1984 and eventually became part of American Express Financial Advisors.

In 2005, American Express Financial Advisors was renamed Ameriprise Financial and broke away as an independent company focusing on the financial security of its clients.

As part of this rebrand, Ameriprise created the RiverSource brand to market its annuities, insurance, and investment products.

In 2008, the Great Recession hit and the independent Reserve Fund “breaks the buck” and freezes assets in the fund. Ameriprise responded by advancing $700 million to meet its client’s immediate cash needs.

Throughout the Great Recession, Ameriprise and the RiverSource brand maintained strong financial strength even refusing TARP funding in 2009.

Today, RiverSource maintains a culture of excellence in supporting its clients with insurance products that protect their life, assets, and income.

RiverSource Statistics:

  • 20th largest life insurance company based on total assets
  • 8th largest in variable life premiums
  • 8th largest provider of variable annuities
  • 10th largest in individual disability income sales for non-cancelable individual policies

The RiverSource Life Insurance Company Ratings

RiverSource Life Insurance Company has a bullet-proof balance sheet. Third-party rating organizations, such as The A.M. Best Company, have awarded RiverSource top ratings.

Moody’sA.M. BestStandard and Poor’sComdex Ranking
Aa3 (Excellent)A+ (Superior)AA- (Very Strong) 95 out of 100

RiverSource’s third-party ratings indicate that they have a high likelihood of paying the claims that they guarantee to their policyholders.

RiverSource Life Insurance Options

Life insurance comes in many shapes and sizes. RiverSource offers both temporary and permanent varieties of life insurance coverage depending upon your needs.

Whether this is your first life insurance policy or you’re entering your retirement years, RiverSource Life has an option to fit your needs, but can they compete with the top companies?

RiverSource also offers disability insurance or annuity services to its clients, but for the purposes of this review, we will focus on RiverSource’s life insurance with laser focus.

RiverSource Term Life Insurance

RiverSource term life insurance is a temporary solution to meet your short-term protection needs, like protecting your mortgage.

Term life insurance is an economical and cost-effective way of purchasing high death benefit amounts temporarily while you are young, healthy, and need the coverage the most.

RiverSource term life insurance payments are guaranteed never to go up for the term period you select.

RiverSource Term Life gives you a choice of:

  • 10-year term
  • 15-year term
  • 20-year term
  • 30-year term

If you die while your term life insurance contract is active, the life insurance company will give the death benefit to your loved ones income-tax-free.

If you outlive the term period, you can exchange your term life insurance contract with a permanent life insurance contract by converting it.

While RiverSource term life insurance provides you with basic death benefit protection, it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Pro tip: Companies like AIG Life Insurance, offer similar coverage and are topping the charts when it comes to price for nearly identical coverage in almost every age category

RiverSource Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance that gives you control and flexibility in how you build your life insurance policy.

Other forms of permanent life insurance, such as whole life insurance, can be inflexibly designed in order to protect the life insurance company’s guarantees.

Universal allows you to adjust your benefits as your needs change while providing important insurance protection and potential cash value accumulation.

Universal will allow you to select your monthly premium. If your investment performance within the policy is better than expected, you can even reduce your bill!

However, if the policy underperforms, you may need to add more money into it to avoid the policy from canceling. We suggest reviewing the policy every few years.

Earlier policies had no guarantees from the life insurance company at all. It was like the wild west, but those days are long gone. Today you can add a secondary guarantee for a fee.

As long as the secondary guarantee is maintained through your minimum monthly payment, your death benefit will be guaranteed even if the policy underperforms.

Pro tip: Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance offers the most economical permanent death benefit on the life insurance market today.

Due to guaranteed universal life’s affordability, we often use it in scenarios where the death benefit is the only concern such as estate planning or special needs trusts.

The universal life cash has amazing tax advantages. The cash value grows tax-deferred and can be accessed with tax-free withdrawals/loans. Also, the death benefit is income-tax-free.

The money inside the universal life policy can be credited declared interest rate that is declared periodically by the life insurance company or an indexing strategy.

Indexed Univeral Life does not directly invest your cash value in the stock market, so you cannot lose your principal to investment loss, but will usually limit your upside potential.

RiverSource Variable Life Insurance

RiverSource also offers a rarer product today called variable universal life insurance. Variable universal life insurance provides lifelong death benefit with the potential for market gains.

Your cash value is invested in mutual-fund-like subaccounts and invested in things like the stock market. Variable universal life has a higher risk profile since your cash value can decline due to investment loss.

You can take a tax-advantage loan or withdrawal from your universal life insurance policy, but you should monitor the policy carefully.

If the investment gains underperform, the life insurance policy may not have enough cash value within it to maintain your death benefit, and your policy may lapse.

RiverSource Long-term Care Solutions

Long-term care insurance has increased significantly in cost since its inception. Today, many providers have left the marketplace altogether. Others have shifted strategies.


RiverSource overs two long-term care solutions built into universal life insurance policies. One policy is more care focused, and the other is more life insurance focused.

However, both have death benefits and care benefits. You can craft a care solution as follows:

Universal Life Insurance with Long-term Care Rider

  • Lump-sum payment
  • Greater long-term care benefits and focus
  • Money-back feature if you change your mind
  • Death benefit protection

Universal Life Insurance with an Optional Chronic Care Rider

  • Monthly payment option
  • Greater emphasis on death benefit protection
  • The death benefit can be advanced for chronic illness needs

Final Thoughts: Is RiverSource what’s best for my family?

Depending on your needs, RiverSource may be right for you. Every life insurance company focuses on different areas. Some focus on whole life, and others on low-cost term life.

RiverSource is one of the largest providers in the industry for variable products. If variable life insurance is something that you are considering, then Ameriprise may be worth a look.

However, if you’re looking for the rock-bottom lowest price on term insurance, there are probably better options. Request a quote on our website to see for yourself.

Everyone life insurance company has slightly different opinions on underwriting and pricing, so it is worth it to consult with a knowledgable agent who understands field underwriting.