Unbiased reviews are a rare thing in the internet age. We all have agendas, whether it’s selling more of the products for which we get paid the most, or companies who give us a free trial of some sort so that they can be in front of readers such as yourself. When it comes to life insurance companies review, it’s different because we at Effortless Insurance represent the client and not the carrier.

In other words, we are not trying to convince you to go with one company over another. In fact, they all pay us if you choose to buy from us, so our job as brokers is to place you with the right company based on your health history and financial goals and not based on one company we’d rather sell (we represent more than 50 companies).

Today, we review Columbian Mutual Life Insurance Company. They are known for their final expense life insurance products. I will look at the rates and underwriting process and compare them against the best in final expense companies. Let’s get to it!

Related: Best final expense companies for seniors

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Columbian Mutual Life Insurance History

Colombian Mutual Life is the parent company of the Columbian Financial Group and has been around for more than 130 years. Their main goal is always to put clients first and keep up with the financial changes in the insurance industry in order to meet policyholder obligations.

  • In 1882, Colombian Mutual is incorporated as the American Protective Association in Brooklyn, New York.
  • In 1907, name changes to Columbian Protective Association.
  • In 1952, they became a mutual company.
  • 1970–1990, Colombian Mutual Life is licensed to sell insurance in 50 states.
  • In 2011, they merge with Unity Mutual Life Insurance which results in $1.4 billion in assets and more than $100 million in capital.

Columbian Mutual Life Insurance Company Ratings

According to A.M. Best, Colombian Mutual Life Insurance Company has a BB+(Good) rating. It was downgraded from A- in June 2015. The downgrade reflects capital and operating performance fluctuations according to A.M. Best.

Products Offered by Columbian Mutual Life

Columbian Mutual Life offers term, whole, and universal life insurance products. It also has term life insurance without exam as part of their portfolio. In this review, I will only look at the final expense product offerings.

Dignified Choice—Level Benefit

Columbian Mutual Life’s level benefit plan comes in two forms: Classic Elite and Classic Choice. For starters, the level benefit plan means that there is no waiting period in which the coverage goes into effect. Whether the insured dies two days or twenty years after the policy is issued, Columbian Mutual will pay the full death benefit amount.

Additionally, these policies are simplified issue whole life policies. Simplified issue means that you don’t need to complete an exam as part of the medical evaluation for coverage. Columbian Mutual will run a Medical Information Bureau (MIB) check and prescription database report to validate the answers on the application. You will also undergo a phone interview as part of the underwriting process.

With whole life coverage, your premium and death benefit remain level (same) through your lifetime. Whole life also offers cash value accumulation on a tax-deferred basis, which you can withdraw in the future or collect if you surrender the policy.

Dignified Choice—Classic Elite

To qualify for this plan, you must be able to answer “no” to all the health questions on the application. In other words, you must be in good health to get the best rates for the immediate death benefit plan.

Dignified Choice—Classic Select

To qualify for this plan, you can answer “yes” to part 4 on the application and still qualify for the level death benefit, however, at an increased cost.

Plan Highlights

  • Issue ages:
    • 25–44: $5,000–$35,000
    • 45–80: $2,500–$35,000
    • 81–85: $2,500–$25,000
  • Whole life with a full death benefit
  • Simplified issue underwriting without an exam
  • All health questions answered “no” for Classic Elite plan
  • Any Part 4 health question answered “yes” for Classis Select plan
  • Medical Information Bureau check
  • Prescription database check
  • Motor Vehicle Report for ages 25–35

Available Riders

  • Children’s term insurance
  • Accidental death benefit
  • Accelerated death benefit

Dignified Choice—Graded Benefit

Columbian Mutual Life’s graded benefit plan also comes in two forms: Classic Advantage and Classic Security. Graded benefit plan doesn’t pay the full death benefit amount in the first two years of coverage. Instead, Columbian Life will pay your beneficiaries your total paid premiums plus 6% interest. Only in year three onward will they pay the full death benefit amount.

This product is tailored for those with a few health challenges who can’t get approved for a level benefit plan due to health history or the current one. It is also simplified issue whole life coverage with guaranteed premium payment through your lifetime and a cash value accumulation component.

Dignified Choice—Classic Advantage

To qualify for this plan, you can answer “yes” to any part 3 health questions and two or more in part 4.

Dignified Choice—Classic Security

To qualify for this plan, you can answer “yes” to any part 2 health questions and two or more in part 3.

Plan Highlights

  • Issue ages: 45–85
  • Face amount: $2,500–$20,000
  • Simplified issue underwriting without an exam
  • Medical Information Bureau check
  • Prescription database check
  • Graded benefit period is three years
  • Full death benefit paid if death is accident related
  • Return of premiums plus 6% if death occurs during the first three years

Available Riders

  • Children’s term insurance
  • Accelerated death benefit

Knockout Questions

columbian mutual life insurance knockout questions

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life

Columbian Mutual Life’s guaranteed issue life insurance is for those who can’t qualify for any type of life insurance due to serious health issues. Note, this coverage isn’t intended for terminally ill individuals or those who are confined to an assisted living facility, hospital, hospice, or another facility.

It bears repeating that guaranteed issue policies have three years’ graded benefit that will pay the paid premiums plus 6% interest should the insured die during the first three years. The advantage of this product is that it’s available for ages 25 and over. With most guaranteed issue policies, you must be 50 years old or older to apply.

Plan Highlights

  • Issue ages:
    • 25–80: $5,000–$10,000 (50–75 in NY)
    • 45–80: $2,500–$25,000
  • No health questions
  • No exam
  • Whole life coverage
  • Guaranteed rates
  • Graded benefit for the first three years
  • Return of premiums plus 6% if death occurs during the first three years

Columbian Life vs. Other Carriers’ Sample Monthly Rates

Male $10,000 Whole Life

 CompanyAge 50Age 60Age 70Age 80
 Assurity $28.82 $41.65 $73.05 $155.57
 Mutual of Omaha $29.16 $42.76 $73.70 $132.65
 Americo $32.06 $43.68 $72.93 $145.65
 Liberty Bankers Life $30.51 $45.80 $73.31 $146.80
 Phoenix$30.15 $43.27 $72.74 $146.92
 American-Amicable $30.80 $45.76 $76.57 $151.36
 United Home Life $31.02 $44.69 $74.63 $138.60
 Settlers $31.45 $45.31 $72.85 $153.80
 Transamerica $30.73 $43.85 $74.66 $140.22
 Columbian Life $31.74 $59.95 $75.10 $141.89

Female $10,000 Whole Life

 CompanyAge 50Age 60Age 70Age 80
 Assurity $25.48 $34.74 $56.41 $113.89
 Mutual of Omaha $24.67 $32.87 $53.24 $98.43
 Americo $24.56 $33.93 $53.43 $112.77
 Liberty Bankers Life $25.57 $34.67 $54.79 $109.16
 Phoenix$26.63 $36.46 $55.26 $110.24
 American-Amicable $25.96 $37.22 $58.70 $110.44
 United Home Life $26.06 $35.42 $73.28 $141.58
 Settlers $26.01 $36.38 $55.76 $113.48
 Transamerica $25.32 $33.72 $71.59 $104.11
 Columbian Life $29.93 $34.39 $54.24 $104.32

Male $20,000 Whole Life

 CompanyAge 50Age 60Age 70Age 80
 Assurity $55.44 $81.10 $143.90 $308.93
 Mutual of Omaha $55.11 $82.31 $144.20 $262.11
 Americo $60.33 $83.56 $142.06 $287.51
 Liberty Bankers Life $56.39 $86.97 $141.99 $288.97
 Phoenix$56.16 $82.40 $141.34 $289.69
 American-Amicable $58.96 $88.88 $150.50 $300.08
 United Home Life $57.68 $85.03 $144.91 $272.05
 Settlers $62.90 $90.61 $145.69 $291.13
 Transamerica $57.89 $84.05 $145.74 $276.88
 Columbian Life $59.98 $87.02 $146.70 $280.28

Female $20,000 Whole Life

 CompanyAge 50Age 60Age 70Age 80
 Assurity $48.77 $67.28 $110.62 $225.58
 Mutual of Omaha $46.14 $62.53 $103.28 $193.66
 Americo $45.32 $64.07 $103.06 $221.75
 Liberty Bankers Life $46.51 $64.71 $104.95 $213.69
 Phoenix$49.12 $68.78 $106.37 $216.34
 American-Amicable $49.28 $71.81 $114.75 $218.24
 United Home Life $47.76 $66.49 $100.59 $204.87
  Settlers $52.02 $72.76 $111.52 $226.95
 Transamerica $47.07 $63.87 $104.41 $204.65
 Columbian Life $47.56 $65.29 $104.98 $205.15

Male $30,000 Whole Life

 CompanyAge 50Age 60Age 70Age 80
 Assurity $82.06 $120.55 $214.75 $462.30
 Mutual of Omaha $81.06 $121.86 $214.69 $391.56
 Americo $88.59 $123.44 $211.19 $429.36
 Liberty Bankers Life $82.27 $128.14 $210.67 $431.14
 Phoenix$82.17 $121.53 $209.94 $432.47
 American-Amicable $87.12 $132.00 $224.43 $448.80
 United Home Life $84.35 $125.38 $215.19 $407.10
 Settlers $94.35 $135.92$218.54 $461.81
 Transamerica $85.04 $124.29 $216.83 NA
 Columbian Life $88.22 $128.78 $218.30 $418.67

Female $30,000 Whole Life

 CompanyAge 50Age 60Age 70Age 80
 Assurity $72.05 $99.83 $164.82 $337.27
 Mutual of Omaha $67.60 $92.20 $153.31 $288.89
 Americo $66.07 $94.20 $152.68 $330.72
 Liberty Bankers Life $67.45 $94.76 $155.11 $318.23
 Phoenix$71.61 $101.10 $157.49 $322.43
 American-Amicable $72.60 $106.39 $170.81 $326.04
 United Home Life $69.47 $97.55 $148.71 $305.13
 Settlers $78.03 $109.14 $167.28 $340.43
 Transamerica $68.82 $94.02 $154.84NA
 Columbian Life $69.59 $96.18 $155.72 $305.97

*All rates quoted on this page are for a super-preferred healthy individual who does not use tobacco. Monthly rates are updated as of March 2018 and are subject to underwriting approval.*

Bottom Line

When it comes to Columbian Mutual Life’s prices, they aren’t the most competitive. There are much better options with Assurity Life and Mutual of Omaha. The graded benefit plans don’t offer the best payout option because, for the first three years, the benefit equals paid premiums plus 6% interest, while many others offer 40% payout for the first year, 75% for the second year, and 100% at year three.

I think the biggest elephant in the room is their financial rating having been downgraded to BB+. They do have one great benefit unfound in other companies: they offer guaranteed issue life insurance for individuals at the age 25 years while many others require you to be 50 years old.

Choosing the best carrier for your specific needs and overall health is challenging, especially if you only get a quote from one company. Don’t bang your head against the wall trying to find the best company by reading life insurance company reviews.

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