Baltimore Life Insurance Review (Companies + Rates)
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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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|Key Info||Company Specifics|
|Current Executives||CEO - David K. Ficca|
|CDO - Damian A. Salvi|
|CFO - Richard A. Spencer, III|
|Number of Employees||250|
|HQ Address||10075 Red Run Boulevard, Owings Mills, MD 21117-4871|
|Premiums Written - Individual Life||$112,833,715|
|Premiums Written - Group Life||$606,686|
|Best For||Burial and Final Expense|
If you’re searching for the best coverages and rates for life insurance, our insurance review of Baltimore Life can help you learn more and compare the best rates. Its primary strengths are in life insurance products, including term, burial and final expense, whole, and universal policies.
That Baltimore Life is relatively small seems to be appealing to its customers, based on its above-average reviews on service and its very low index for consumer complaints.
What it lacks in national name recognition seems to be made up by its reputation for personalized financial advice and its products that are easily adjusted based on customer needs. Many of its term and whole life products, for example, can be adapted during a customer’s lifetime and based on their income requirements.
Baltimore Life’s rates are not known to be highly competitive, nor does the company offer a user-friendly online presence. Its solid history and financial standing, however, are worth considering if a customer expects personalized and ethical service.
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Baltimore Life’s Ratings
Independent ratings help you decide on an insurance company’s trustworthiness and financial stability. Although the ratings do not provide reviews of specific insurance products, they are a good indicator of reputation.
|Ratings Agency||Baltimore Life's Ratings|
|NAIC Complaint Index - Group Life||0 (No Complaints)|
A.M. Best is one of the oldest rating services, with an exclusive focus on the insurance industry. It is a trusted source for gauging a company’s credibility. A.M. Best’s portfolio of ratings includes over 3,500 companies worldwide.
Baltimore Life’s B++ (or “good”) rating is the fifth-best of 16 possible ratings, indicating the company has been financially stable for several years. It is also noted for its suite of life insurance products.
Better Business Bureau (BBB)
The BBB provides company ratings based on a strict standard of criteria. It serves as a source for consumer complaints and resolutions.
The BBB does not recommend or endorse specific companies. Instead, it protects consumers by reporting on potentially fraudulent business operations. A rating of A+ for Baltimore Life Insurance illustrates a stellar reputation with its customers.
NAIC Complaint Index
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides a national complaint index, where 1.00 represents the average expected number of reported complaints. The Baltimore Group Life Complaint Index for 2018 is 0 (no complaints), and the Individual Life Complaint Index for 2018 is .087, receiving fewer complaints than the national average.
The formula rates each company based on its market share. Both categories of group and life from Baltimore Life reflect its better-than-average NAIC Complaint rating.
The Baltimore Mutual Aid Society of Baltimore City was founded in 1882 to provide modest life insurance policies for families in need of proper burial after the death of the primary wage earner. Its name was changed to Baltimore Life Insurance Company in 1900.
Baltimore Life started small, with five businessmen and assets of $261. It grew in scope, particularly in its home region of Maryland. Today, even with market fluctuations, Baltimore Life has maintained its independence. It now provides a comprehensive suite of insurance products and continues to rank high in customer satisfaction. It is recognized favorably for its final expense insurance, as well as its critical illness insurance.
Baltimore Life is a private, mid-sized insurance carrier, with more than $1 billion in assets, and insures more than 300,000 clients. Clients can be served through either its career sales agencies or through independent agents.
Baltimore Life Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Baltimore Financial Group, Inc., a Maryland Stock Holding Company.
Baltimore Life’s Market Share
Baltimore Life ranks 108th nationally in life insurance sales. Its 2018 premium sales figure is $109,933,870, which translates into .07 percent of the total market share. This middle market placement is consistent with Baltimore Life’s primary market focus on the middle-income segment.
|YEAR||RANK (US)||Direct Written Premiums||Market Share %|
In the crowded field of nationally-recognized insurance conglomerates, Baltimore Life still shows particular strength in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. In the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) 2018 data, for example, its rank in its home state of Maryland is 72nd.
Baltimore Life operates 13 offices across five states, and serves over 300,000 clients in 49 states. Its client base represents a range from individuals to small and medium-sized businesses.
Baltimore Life’s Position for the Future
Baltimore Life’s position in the market place remains strong. Baltimore Life’s position for the future appears solid, as it continues to serve its niche with plenty of personalized attention. It continues to experience conservative but measurable growth.
For more than a century, Baltimore Life has weathered several market near-disasters, including the global financial crisis a decade ago. In the face of adversity, it has maintained a foothold and adjusted by adding concierge-style suites of products.
Consumers looking for one-stop insurance shopping may not be as attracted to Baltimore Life as to a larger company, but it does offer strength and favorable reviews by customers and agents who sell it.
Baltimore Life’s Online Presence
About half of adult consumers visited a life insurance company website or sought life insurance information online last year. Millions now turn to the internet to research options before having an actual conversation with an insurance agent.
Here is where Baltimore Life’s online challenges are evident. Although the website offers a comprehensive listing of services, it does not offer an online application to anyone interested in applying for coverage. Instead, it emphasizes the importance of contacting a qualified agent to ensure personalized recommendations.
Its website’s services page provides explanatory links to each of their product categories, while its advice and guidance page provides a friendly and educational list to help customers get a head start on determining what their insurance needs will be or what questions they may prefer to discuss further with an agent.
This page also provides a calculator tools to determine coverage needs and other budgeting recommendations.
Baltimore Life’s Commercials
Very few commercials are available for public consumption; those found on YouTube appear as dated commercials for recruiting agent trainees.
They do not have any video commercials linked on their website, although there are some generic life insurance tutorials.
Baltimore Life in the Community
Baltimore Life has been a generous member of the communities its clients and employees live and work. It was founded as a company serving the needs of its immediate neighbors and continues that mission through its financial support.
Most of Baltimore Life’s outreach takes place where it has employees and agencies: in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, South Carolina, the District of Columbia, Ohio, and New Jersey. Its community headquarters is in Owings Mill, Md.
Direct financial support includes grants for community projects. They participate in matching charitable gifts, blood drives, safety education, and providing medical and children’s IDs. Baltimore Life fosters a culture of employee volunteerism, service hours, charity events, and the annual United Way drive.
Baltimore Life’s Employees
The number of Baltimore Life employees is estimated to be in the range of 250-500, with the majority working from the headquarters office in Owings Mills, Md. Baltimore Life has 13 agencies in five states and is always seeking new employees with sales and customer service talents.
Both Indeed and Glassdoor reviews by Baltimore Life employees rate the company with 3.7 stars out of four. The company’s high standards, attention to customer needs, and competitive compensation were cited in employee comments. Other factors included flex-time benefits and generous overall insurance coverage.
Shopping for Life Insurance
The internet is a good place to start shopping for competitive life insurance rates. There are excellent resources available, such as the NAIC glossary of insurance terms to help you walk through. Baltimore Life’s online tutorials can also teach you the difference between term life or permanent life, or identify your needs based on factors such as age, income, family size, and health.
Even when you are ready to submit a no-obligation quote on life insurance rates, you should first take the time to learn the basics of life insurance. That basic knowledge is an enormous hurdle for most consumers. For example, only 41 percent of Americans actually have life insurance, but 83 percent they’d look into it if it were easier to understand.
Step one is to estimate how much life insurance you need.
Baltimore Life agents’ approach begins with an evaluation of a client’s needs to determine which insurance products are most suited for their personal preferences. Their walkthrough of insurance fundamentals explores their coverage products, such as their concierge-style packages, which may help you decide what types of insurance are best for you.
Baltimore Life is most recommended for certain types of policies, including final expense insurance for seniors ages 50 to 80, legacy planning services for tax advantages, and critical care insurance for families facing terminal illness or nursing home confinement.
Average Baltimore Life Male vs Female Life Insurance Rates
According to a recent study by insurance advocates Life Happens.org and LIMRA, one in five people who do not have life insurance state they believe they need it. Most people think they only need to make sure the main wage earner has enough life insurance to cover family expenses.
Life insurance may be more affordable than most people perceive it to be. A misconception of millennials, for example, is that insurance costs more than five times the actual rate. Even single persons need insurance for the unexpected.
Understanding how rates are calculated can help you compare rates between companies. Unfortunately, rates offered by Baltimore Life are not available publicly, unlike many larger insurance companies.
Baltimore Life is known predominantly as a provider of life insurance and related income-protection products such as long-term and critical illness insurance, retirement planning issues, and final (or burial) expense insurance.
Types of Coverage Offered
Changes in income and family, marital status, and overall health will fluctuate. The good news is, so can your options, provided you choose policies that allow for flexibility.
Term life insurance is payable at the time of death, but only if it falls within a specific timeframe. It is usually purchased for increments of five, ten, 15, 20, or 30 years. It is considered to be an affordable option for most families, especially younger people.
Baltimore Life also offers whole life, which remains in effect for the insured’s entire lifetime, provided premiums are paid on time. Universal life is similar to whole life, but can offer more flexibility.
It also offers workplace Business Solutions for interested clients and employers.
As its name implies, term insurance allows you to choose a policy with a defined period of time. This is one of the most affordable ways to stay insured, and most policies can be converted to permanent coverage. Baltimore Life offers its own Protector and aPriority™ term life product, allowing for flexibility and the opportunity to add specific riders as necessary.
Protector and aPriority™ Term Life Insurance:
- Is defined by a specific period over coverage (10, 15, 20, or 30 years) with a guaranteed death benefit
- Has optional riders and the ability to convert to permanent life insurance
Whole life policies provide guaranteed income throughout a lifetime. Baltimore Life offers its own line of whole life insurance: Advantage Continuous Life and aPriority™ Whole Life Insurance.
- Premiums do not increase as long as premiums are paid
- Cash value increases each year on a tax-deferred basis
Silver Guard® I and II are designed for seniors ages 50-80 for final expense protection (See Burial and Final Expense). See the client brochure for more information.
A universal life policy from Baltimore Life offers flexible premiums and tax-deferment opportunities to the insured. These plans are popular due to their flexible premiums and protection guarantees. Baltimore Life offers Lifetime Navigator ® and aPriority ™ Universal Life. These include:
- Flexible and affordable premiums
- Lifetime protection guarantee
- Suitable for business protection
Regardless of the type of life insurance you need, remember first the reasons you need to research your best options.
Burial & Final Expense
Baltimore Life is highly reputable for its burial and final expense insurance policies, which require no medical exam.
Recognizing that families often face substantial expenses beyond burial, such as estate taxes and other debts, their Silver Guard ® I and II policies provide additional protection insurance for seniors ages 50-85, and with benefits that are guaranteed no matter what the age at death.
Baltimore Life also offers an end-of-life planning guide to help families organize financial, legal, and other vital documentation.
|Level, Non-Smoker||$5,000: Male||$5,000: Female||$10,000: Male||$10,000 Female||$15,000: Male||$15,000: Female||$20,000: Male||$20,000: Female||$25,000: Male||$25,000: Female|
As you can see from the chart, final expense insurance is significantly more expensive than for a non-smoker, in both male and female populations. Despite not needing to have a medical exam for burial and final expense insurance, rates are higher across the board for smokers.
And Baltimore Life policies do not exceed the $25,000 payout that some larger and more well-known companies allow.
A female smoker’s premiums, for example, are on average, 16 to 29 percent higher than non-smokers, regardless of the amount of coverage. Male premiums, already higher than a female’s because of gender, are between 21 and 29 percent higher if he is a smoker.
Critical Illness Insurance
A somewhat unique product offered by Baltimore Life is critical illness insurance. Health insurance alone in no way covers other expenses such as caregiving, lost income, and other results of an unexpected critical illness or accident.
Features of critical illness insurance include:
- Flexible uses, such as no restriction on when or how benefits are used
- Different from disability insurance, but can be used as a supplemental policy
- Lump-sum distribution when needed
Baltimore Life also offers various disability and long-term care insurance options. These products offer additional insurance to prepare for the possibility of not being able to work.
Factors That Affect Your Rate
Life insurance rates are calculated using safety and risk factors. Most are obvious, such as age and whether an individual is a smoker.
More than two-thirds of Americans view life insurance as being just as complicated as taxes, so learning more can help save you money. Here are the most common factors life insurance companies use to determine your rate.
Age and gender are the most obvious factors, followed by lifestyle and family medical history, your existing health conditions, and even your driving record. While you cannot control your age, it is common sense to purchase life insurance while younger to lock in rates and save money over the long term. Rates are higher for men and increase with age.
Current Health & Family Medical History
Your current health is important when applying for life insurance. Most applications require a medical exam and a thorough history of your family’s medical history. Factors such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer in family members are all documented. Insurance companies have a goal to be profitable while minimizing risks. With the exception of burial expense insurance, which does not require a medical exam, be prepared to provide an honest assessment of your history for a life insurance medical exam.
What you do for a living may affect your life insurance rates. Occupations associated with high risk may factor in your rates. Examples include firefighters, airline pilots, heavy machinery or equipment operators, and commercial vehicle drivers.
If you are fortunate to have group life or disability insurance through your employer, this can help to supplement life insurance costs. Baltimore Life does offer guidance on insurance at the workplace and offers consultations with agents representing your employer.
Companies that offer group life insurance benefits may help to alleviate the cost of such occupational factors. It is often used as an incentive to recruit and keep employees.
You can expect to be asked about your health and lifestyle on all life insurance applications. Insurers are concerned about any perpetual high-risk hobbies such as sky diving or rock climbing. Even your driving record may come into question.
Agents encourage their clients to be honest on the application to determine what policy is best suited for them. Refusal to do so may result in a denial of benefits.
Veteran or Active Military Status
Baltimore Life does not promote any veteran or active duty insurance incentives in its publicly available product literature.
Getting the Best Rate with Baltimore Life
Comparing Baltimore Life rates side by side with a competitor’s advertised rates is not easy to accomplish, due to the proprietary nature of their agents’ recommendations. What they do offer that may be of help, however, is a no-obligation financial needs analysis that will provide you more definitive results.
There are no advertised discounts available within an internet search, but there may be incentives for packaged products, or bundled policies. For example, if you decide that your needs change, and you’d like to include long term or critical care insurance to your portfolio, you may be able to convert some of your existing policies into Baltimore Life products, preventing any additional fees (such as an application or administrative fee) from a new company.
Life insurance rates are regulated to a degree by law. However, recent law adaptations may lower rates in most states, so it is worth inquiring.
Baltimore Life’s Programs
In addition to its previously mentioned life insurance products, Baltimore Life offers other company programs, including:
- Generation Legacy ®, a tax-efficient way to gift heirs or use death benefits while living, to help pay for costs such as home health care or terminal illness
- Flexible Premium Retirement Annuity (FPRA), a retirement annuity product that offers a variety of payout choices and flexible premiums
- Choice ® Single Premium Deferred Annuity (SPDA), with guaranteed income for five to seven years, while saving for retirement
- Benefit Solutions, an assortment of voluntary workplace benefits designed for businesses to offer to their employees
- Identification programs provided free of charge to communities and individuals, including Sport Smart® and medical ID cards to be used in case of emergency or medical reference (although it is free, users must agree to receive phone calls or literature about Baltimore Life products)
These add-on products reflect Baltimore Life’s commitment to personalizing and protecting clients’ lifetime income. While life insurance is Baltimore Life’s forte, it now has to compete with larger insurance companies to keep its market share and attractiveness.
It does not offer comprehensive insurance services “across the board,” such as health, homeowners, and auto insurance. However, it does offer enough variety in life insurance and related products to maintain its reputable standard.
Canceling Your Policy
Before you decide whether to cancel a life insurance policy, you need to understand the original purpose (to have enough to pay for your child’s college education, for example) and weigh the benefits versus risks in canceling. Do you no longer need to pay for an outdated risk? Should you keep it because you now have other unexpected debts?
How to Cancel
Take these steps before canceling any insurance policy. Most importantly, before you begin, have your policy information on hand, and do not permanently cancel your policy until you have a replacement.
Baltimore Life’s customer support link does not offer online cancellation forms. Inquiries are encouraged by either:
- Submitting a customer service inquiry form
- Calling an agent
The only other electronic submission available is Baltimore Life’s INSpeed ® application. Claims and cancellations, on the other hand, must be handled with Baltimore Life’s customer service representatives or agents.
How to Make a Claim
What information do I need to submit a claim?
- A completed claimant’s statement, a death certificate, and the original policy(ies), if available
- A copy of a death certificate is accepted if the death benefit is $10,000 or less
- A certified death certificate is required for a death benefit of $10,000.01 and above
- Baltimore Life does not accept faxed or scanned death claim paperwork if the death benefit is $10,000 and below
- If the death benefit is $10,000.01 and above, the claim paperwork MUST be mailed
- Information must be mailed to:
The Baltimore Life Insurance Company
Attn: Claims Department
10075 Red Run Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117
Fax: (866) 879-9867
E-mail Address: email@example.com
Claims are usually be processed within 10 business days.
Proceeds may be made directly to the funeral home if an assignment is completed and signed by the beneficiary(ies).
State laws will be reviewed to determine how the proceeds can be paid in the case of a minor.
Baltimore Life does not offer online submission of claim forms, which some people may regard as outdated and inconvenient. They will, however, accept electronic submission of necessary documents. Customer service handles claim protocol, through email or a phone call, (800) 628-5433.
This video also offers an explanation of what you can expect.
How to Get a Quote Online
Baltimore Life does not offer online quotes through its website. Instead, they encourage site visitors to find a certified agent.
Design of Website/App
Baltimore Life’s website is adequate for informational purposes, but definitely does not offer an interactive platform for FAQs, reviews, or a live chat with customer service. There is currently no mobile app, nor do they have a large social media presence.
Instructional videos on the website appear generic and outdated but offer sufficient information about generalities. Its website serves more like a table of contents than a manual on finding what’s best for individual clients.
Most of its online, downloadable brochures seem targeted toward an older demographic. Visitors may be disappointed in its lack of a blog or the ability to get immediate customer service.
Pros & Cons
Baltimore Life is small enough to feel like a neighbor or friend who has your best interests in mind, but it may feel limited in scope. Its strengths are its stability and tradition, but it offers fewer products than larger, nationally recognized companies.
- Baltimore Life’s Silver Guard® and its critical illness insurance consistently rate high in reviews.
- Benefits can be customized or adjusted easily throughout one’s lifetime.
- The company’s medium size provides a personalized customer experience.
- Baltimore Life consistently receives excellent customer and employee ratings.
- The company has survived for more than a century, even through turbulent markets
- It is difficult to shop for Baltimore Life products independently. All applications must go through an insurance agent.
- No online applications are available.
- Baltimore Life’s small market share limits options and a comprehensive menu of products.
- Rates are not known to be highly competitive, and cannot generally be compared online easily.
- Baltimore Life’s independent status may cause a perception that it is not as transparent as publicly traded companies.
The Bottom Line
Baltimore Life is a reputable and reliable life insurance company, but people unfamiliar with their name may have a more difficult time deciding why to choose Baltimore Life since there are endless other options available. The online presence of Baltimore Life is not prominent at all, but this in itself does not reflect on its performance and personalized service.
For older adults whose financial situations need added protection for their surviving families, Baltimore Life rates high for flexible options, even if it costs slightly more than policies found elsewhere. It is this customization that earns it the highest rating from BBB and an index of 0 on the NAIC consumer complaint index of 2018.
For adults of all ages, Baltimore Life is also rated highly for its critical illness insurance — especially because it allows families to use the benefits at their own discretion.
If personalized service with an agent is what you are seeking, then Baltimore Life is a trustworthy insurance company. If you do not have allegiance to one particular agent or insurance brand, Baltimore Life might still be considered on the merits of its solid reputation. A further comparison would be recommended.
Baltimore Life’s FAQs
#1 – Can I use my existing agent to purchase a Baltimore Life policy?
Yes, you may purchase your policy through a licensed insurance agent, although Baltimore Life encourages using independent agents already familiar with the product specifics. Use these tools to get organized first.
#2 – I am concerned about my personal history and how it may affect my ability to get life insurance.
Many people are surprised when they confidently fill out life insurance applications only to find they are considered to be too high-risk. Discussing your circumstances honestly with your agent is the best way to help you find alternative insurance options.
#3 – My wife and I are expecting. How will this affect an existing life insurance policy on her, or on me?
An existing life insurance policy will not be affected by a pregnancy, but you may want to explore rider options or a new policy for a child right away. Women, in particular, should be involved in a family’s life insurance portfolio.
#4 – How can I research any complaints about Baltimore Life or any other insurance carrier in my home state?
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners provides a list of every state’s contact information.
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