WoodmenLife Insurance Reviews [Does it Pay to Join?]

WoodmenLife insurance might not be the most well-known insurance company, but they have been quietly servicing their members with quality life insurance since 1980! Our WoodmenLife insurance review will cover their life insurance products in great detail.

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We will discuss WoodmenLife’s history as a fraternal life insurance company, WoodmenLife’s financial ratings, and WoodmenLife’s life insurance products of course. If you are looking for life insurance, make sure you read our review before moving forward with your purchase.

WoodmenLife History

WoodmenLife was founded on June 6, 1890, by Joseph Cullen Root in a hotel room in downtown Omaha. WoodmenLife, formerly known as Woodmen of the World, was founded on the principles of making life insurance available to everyone.

WoodmenLife grew quickly providing quality life insurance to its members. As the company grew so did its influence. In 1934 Woodmen Life Treasurer and U.S. Senator Morris Sheppard sponsored legislation to create Federal Credit Unions!

During the Great Depression, not only did WoodmenLife not collapse as other banking institutions were during that time, but they donated more than $160,000 for food, clothing, medical supplied, fuel, and general relief during the Depression!

In 1966 WoodmenLife exceeded the $1 billion of insurance in force milestone only to double to $2 billion of insurance in force four-years later in 1970.

The 1980s was a time of innovation. In 1986 WoodmenLife’s Adjustable Life product was rated best in the nation by a leading consumer magazine, and WoodmenLife was the first life insurance company to equip its field agents with laptop computers.

In 1997, WoodmenLife celebrated its 50th anniversary of their patriotic program, which presents American flags to non-profit and community organizations. In addition to the flags, the program began issues American History Awards to middle school and high school students.

After September 11th happened, WoodmenLife created a special tribute called “In Honor and Remembrance.” This memorial ceremony has been performed by thousands of WoodmenLife members nationwide on every 9/11 since.

In 2002, WoodmenLife expanded its services to include the Woodmen Financial Services, Inc. (WFS). This subsidiary provides WoodmenLife members with a wider array of financial products including mutual funds, variable annuities, and college savings plans.

In 2004, Woodmen expanded once again creating the Woodmen Insurance Agency, Inc. (WIA) to provide its members with disability and health insurance, personal lines and commercial lines. WoodmenLife’s life insurance was rapidly growing into a $35 billion in force.

In 2015, Woodmen of the World rebranded itself to WoodmenLIfe with a new logo and tagline, “Standing Strong for Generations.” WoodmenLife today is the merger of five other fraternal benefit societies, the last of which took place in 2001 with The Neighbors of Woodcraft merger.

WoodmenLife Ratings and Financial Strength

A.M. BestBBB
A+ (Superior)
A+

You cannot consider a life insurance company without first considering their financial strength. When the time comes to pay the claim, you need to have peace of mind that the life insurance company can pay the claim.

WoodmenLife is rated A+ (Superior) from The A.M. Best Company, which is a third-party rating agency. A+ (Superior) is A.M. Best’s second-highest rating. This is an investment grade financial strength rating and indicates that WoodmenLife has reliable financial health.

In 2018, WoodmenLife’s had a total income of $1 billion and certificate reserves (funds held to guarantee future benefit and claim payments) of nearly $8.5 billion. WoodmenLife has over $10.95 billion in assets and liabilities of $9.52 billion.

WoodmenLife has been in business for over 129 years making good on its promises to its policyholders. In 2018, WoodmenLife paid to its members holding life, accident, and health certificates $38.5 million.

WoodmenLife has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 1960, and the WoodmanLife BBB rating is listed as an A+ as of the creation of this WoodmenLife insurance review.

WoodmenLife Insurance Solutions

WoodmenLife offers life insurance and other insurance solution to its members. Since our blogs specialty is on life insurance, we will keep that as the focus of this WoodmenLife insurance review.

However, we will touch on the other WoodmenLife insurance lines and services that they provide their members, such as annuities, disability, accident, and health insurance.

WoodmenLife Term Life Insurance

WoodmenLife offers affordable term life insurance options to its members. Term life insurance is less expensive than whole life in the short-term and is excellent for temporary life insurance needs, such as mortgage protection.

However, over time term life insurance can be more expensive than buying a whole life or universal life insurance policy when you are younger. Additionally, term life insurance does not have any cash value that can be borrowed. It is a pure insurance contract.

Term life insurance premiums are guaranteed to not increase for the initial policy term that you purchase. After your term duration is up, the life insurance company can increase your premiums annually.

WoodmenLife offers the following term life insurance durations:

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

WoodmenLife is also customizable. It comes with an accelerated death benefit rider that advances a portion of your death benefit for terminal illnesses while you’re still living. You can add on optional riders for a fee to add additional benefits to your term life insurance policy.

WoodmenLife Additional Optional Riders:

  • Accidental Death Benefit Rider

Provides extra life insurance death benefit in the event that you die of an accident on top of your primary face amount.

  • Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

Pays your premiums if you become disabled within the contractual definition of disability.

  • Applicant Waiver of Premium Rider

When you purchase life insurance for someone younger than age 15, this rider ensures that their premiums will be paid on the child’s life insurance certificate in case of your death or disability within the contractual terms of the rider.

WoodmenLife Family Term Life Insurance

WoodmenLife also has a unique product called Family Term Life Insurance. The WoodmenLife Family Term Life product might vary slightly state-by-state so be sure to check what version of it is in your state if at all.

The way the Family Term Life Insurance works is your policy will cover your entire family including two adults, your children, and any additional children that are born or adopted after you purchase the policy!

Regardless, of the number of children that you have the premiums will be locked in for a 10-year or 20-year level term. Adult face death benefit amounts can be $50,000, $100,000, $250,000, or $500,000 and children under age 25 receive $10,000 of term life coverage.

After your term period selected expires, you can renew the policy annually until age 95, but the rate can increase at that point. For this reason, many people look into converting the term life insurance to a permanent policy.

Any of the insureds on the policy can convert to a permanent life insurance policy before the age of 72 for the same amount of coverage or less without proof of insurability. Children’s coverage may be converted at any time before the child’s 25th birthday.

The Family Term Life policy allows you to add on the disability waiver of premium rider as well, which pays your premiums if you become disabled as per the terms of the contract.

WoodmenLife Whole Life

WoodmenLife whole life insurance is the original life insurance that safely builds cash value while providing your family with lifelong death benefit protection.  Your premiums will never increase regardless of your age or health and your death benefits are paid income-tax free.

The cash that grows in your whole life policy grows tax-deferred. If needed you can take a tax-advantaged loan against your cash value secured by your death benefit.

WoodmenLife whole life is eligible for refunds, which are similar to dividends on participating whole life policies, annually. These refunds can be reinvested as paid-up additions increasing your cash value and your death benefits.

We usually recommend whole life insurance to protect lifetime life insurance needs such as funeral and burial costs. However, you can use whole life insurance for any life insurance need really.

WoodmenLife allows you to structure your whole life policy to fit a variety of needs. For example, you can purchase the following types of whole life insurance plans from WoodmenLife:

  • Whole Life Paid-up at age 100

You spread the cost of your whole life insurance until age 100 allowing you a lower monthly premium.

  • Whole Life Paid-up at age 65

This policy builds cash value fast with premiums only being paid until you reach age 65. This allows you to eliminate your life insurance bill around the time most people retire.

  • 10-pay or 20-pay Whole Life

Allows you to pay off your life insurance policy in 10 or 20 years. Once your policy is paid-up, you will not be required to pay any more premiums to receive your death benefits. These types of policies also build cash value quicker as well.

  • Single Premium Whole Life

This pays up your whole life policy in one lump-sum payment. Your lifetime death benefit is guaranteed, but this payment option turns the life insurance policy into a modified endowment contract. Singe premium whole life is mostly used for death benefit planning typically in estate planning cases.

WoodmenLife Whole Life Optional Riders:

  • Accidental Death Benefit Rider

Provides additional death benefits for deaths resulting from an accidental bodily injury on top of your original face amount.

  • Waiver of Premium Rider

Pays your premiums if you get disabled as per the terms of the contract.

  • Applicant Waiver of Premium Rider

When you purchase life insurance for someone younger than age 15, this rider ensures that their premiums will be paid on the child’s life insurance certificate in case of your death or disability within the contractual terms of the rider.

  • Guaranteed Insurability Rider

Allows you to purchase additional insurance coverage in the future at certain ages and life events like marriage or birth or adoption of a child without proof of insurability.

Built-in Riders at No Additional Cost:

  • Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

Allows you to take an advance on your death benefit if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness while you are still living.

  • Chronic Illness Accelerated Benefit Rider

Allows you to take an advance on the death benefit if you have one or more qualifying conditions and are still alive.

WoodmenLife Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is another type of lifelong life insurance coverage. While whole life is rigid, universal life is all about flexibility. You have flexible premiums that can fit your budget and the versatility of a death benefit that can increase or decrease.

Also, you can build tax-deferred cash value that can be accessed through tax-advantaged loans and withdrawals. Since Universal life insurance does not have the robust guarantees of whole life the premiums tend to be more affordable apples-to-apples.

WoodmenLife has two universal life insurance options; one focused on building cash value and the other focused on guaranteed death benefits. The accumulation of universal life insurance policy is designed to grow your cash, but the tradeoff is dialed back guarantees.

The WoodmenLife no-lapse guaranteed universal life insurance policy, also known as the Woodmen Protector, gives your guaranteed death benefits out to age 121 as long as you make your minimum payments.

We recommend universal life insurance as an affordable alternative in for lifetime death benefit needs, especially in estate planning cases. If cash value is not important to you, you can save a ton of money with a guaranteed universal life compared to whole life.

Additional Riders for WoodmenLife Universal Life Insurance:

  • Accidental Death Benefit Rider
  • Waiver of Monthly Deduction Rider

How Do I Apply for WoodmenLife Life Insurance?

WoodmenLife insurance products are sold by WoodmenLife career agents. Unfortunately, WoodmenLife does not post its rates online. You need to contact one of their agents in order to get a price quote.

Career agents, also known as captive agents, can only represent one life insurance company. While WoodmenLife is a great company, it is not always the best company for your situation. That is why we recommend working with an independent broker who understands underwriting.

For example, WoodmenLife insurance will require you to take a medical exam in order to qualify you for life insurance. Today, there are great options, like Sagicor Life, that are leading the way in no-exam life insurance.

We always suggest comparing the quotes of multiple life insurance companies to find the best deal for you, and your family. Since independent brokers work with multiple life insurance companies, they can steer you towards the best option for your situation.

Other WoodmenLife Insurance Products

Outside of life insurance, the WoodmenLife fraternity offers additional lines of insurance, annuities, and investment solutions to its members. Whole life insurance protects you if you die young, annuities protect your income if you live too long.

Woodmen Life Types of Annuities:

  • Deferred Fixed Annuities

Gives you a guaranteed interest rate that grows your money tax-deferred.

  • Immediate Annuities

Gives you guaranteed income for life starting right away by trading a lump-sum dollar amount.

  • Variable annuities

Can possibly generate higher returns through investments in the stock and bond markets, but your principal is at risk for investment loss.

Other WoodmenLife Lines of Insurance:

  • Personal Disability Income Insurance
  • Business Overhead Disability Insurance
  • Graded Benefit Disability INsurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance
  • Medicare Part-D Insurance
  • Short-term Convalescent Care Insurance
  • Long-term Care Insurance
  • Individual Dental Insurance
  • Second-to-die Life Insurance
  • Impaired Risk Life Insurance
  • Accident Insurance
  • Hospital Confinement Indemnity Insurance

WoodmenLife Individual Medical Insurance:

  • High deductible Health Insurance
  • Traditional Co-pay Health Insurance
  • Short-term Medical
  • Health Savings Plans

WoodmenLife Group Benefits:

  • Major Medical Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Long-term Care Insurance
  • Supplemental Insurance

WoodmenLife Investment Services

WoodmenLife also offers its members investment services in the form of mutual funds and college planning services through 529 plans. Investments are complex financial products. You should carefully consider a security before purchasing it to make sure it makes sense.

WoodmenLife has two basic types of mutual funds. They provide stock funds that invest in the equity markets and fixed-income funds that invest in bonds. Investments carry risk, and you can lose your investment principal if the markets underperform.

WoodmenLife Member Benefits

Unlike for-profit life insurance companies, fraternal life insurance companies are focused on providing their members with benefits in the form of quality investment and insurance products as well as special member benefits.

WoodmenLife member benefits assist its members in things like:

  • Paying for College - Approximately $1 million available in the WoodmenLife Focus Foreward Scholarship Fund.
  • Discounts at 30,000 retailers nationwide through Life’s Perks
  • $25,000 for families of First Responders killed in the line of duty
  • Financial assistance following natural disasters
  • $10,000 following the death of an infant
  • And $1,000 monthly for orphaned children

These member benefits speak to the heritage that WoodmenLife has in its beginnings as a welfare society and the compassion that it has for the well-being of its members.

WoodmenLife Retirement

WoodmenLife also offers retirement solutions to its members as well in the form of IRAs, workplace plans, and non-qualified annuities. These accounts offer WoodmenLife members a place where they can invest their retirement dollars with tax-deferral.

Certain accounts like Qualified IRAs and workplace retirement plans may offer WoodmenLife members tax deductions on the dollar proceeds that they put into the accounts.  Please note that qualified accounts may have income and contribution restrictions.

Final Thoughts: Is WoodmenLife Insurance Worth It?

WoodmenLife is a reputable company with a historical legacy. They offer their members a ton of value and give back to the communities that they serve. Their patriotism initiative should be applauded.

If you are looking to be part of an organization that takes care of its members and shares in your beliefs, than WoodmenLife may be the right company for you. However, you might have to pay a premium for your life insurance.

If you are just looking for quality life insurance coverage than we would recommend taking the quotes of multiple insurance companies. Companies like AIG Life Insurance may be for-profit companies, but they still offer competitive life insurance.

If things like member benefits or whole life insurance are not crucial to you, then going with an affordable term product may be a better option for you. You can request a quote from our website or give one of our veteran agents a call to go over your options.

FILED UNDER – INSURANCE COMPANY REVIEWS

RESOURCES – WoodmenLife

Joseph Cirillo of Good Life Protection

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.