Settlers Life Insurance Company Review

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Effective November 7, 2018, Settlers Life will no longer accept any new applications for life insurance and will begin a phased shutdown of new business operations. The decision to close our new business operations was not made due to financial difficulties.

If you got to this page, you are probably seeking final expense or burial insurance policies. Settlers Life is among our top 20 final expense companies. With so many choices, how do you make an informed decision? If you have an interest in Settlers Life or have received a phone call from an agent trying to sell you this plan, you may want to read on for our unbiased, independent evaluation about Settlers Life.

In this review, I will compare Settlers Life against the best in the final expense market when it comes to pricing, underwriting, and customer service. They have a very catchy slogan: “It’s about people.” Let’s find out if this is true.

Related: Life insurance for parents.

Settlers Life History

Settlers Life started as the Huff-Cook Mutual Burial Association in 1933 with agents selling insurance certificates in Virginia. In 1984, Huff-Cook decided to offer insurance product in other states other and wanted to create an independent life insurance company, thus Settler Life was born to achieve this vision.

In the nineties, Settlers continued to thrive and expand. In 1999, Settlers Life became a member of the National Guardian Life Insurance Group. Today they have over 8,200 agents selling their products and have earned their nickname as “America’s Final Expense Company.”

Settlers Life Financial Ratings

According to A.M Best (a leader in the insurance industry), Settlers Life has an A- (Excellent) rating. This means that they are able to meet their financial obligations to their policyholders. In 2016, Settlers Life paid 7,975 death benefit claims and only rescinded 69.

Their claim payment percentage is 99.13%, which I must admit, is astonishing. The total claims were over $29 million in death benefits. Another very interesting fact is that most claims are processed and paid within 24-48 hours upon receiving the required documents (i.e. death certificate, beneficiary information).

Life Insurance Products Offered by Settlers Life

Settlers offers four final expense plans that can fit a wide range of clients based on their recent health conditions: Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Bronze II plans.

All offered plans are “simplified issue plans,” which means that there is no exam needed as part of the underwriting process, and they ask only a few health questions that require a “yes” or “no” response. The insured will have a phone interview, and Settlers will pull information from the Medical Information Bureau and prescription database to validate the answers on the application.

The plans are whole life insurance (regardless of the plan you may qualify for) with a level premium (one that stays the same) and coverage that never decreases. It’s also worth it to mention that the whole life policy carries a cash benefit component that you may use later in life if you choose to surrender your policy or take a loan. Let’s take a look at each of the plan highlights.

Settlers Life Gold Plan

You may qualify for the Gold plan if you have been in good health for the last five years.

  • Immediate whole life benefit
  • Face amounts from $2,500–$50,000 (ages 15 days–80 years)
  • Face amounts from $2,500–$20,000 (ages 81–85 years)
  • Premium rate stays the same
  • Coverage never decreases
  • Cash value accumulation
  • Child/Grandchild rider at no extra charge
  • Accelerated death benefit at no extra charge
  • Accidental death benefit at extra charge

Settlers Life Silver Plan

You may qualify for the Silver plan if you have been in good health for the last two years.

  • Immediate whole life benefit
  • Face amounts from $1,000–$25,000 (ages 6 mos–80 years)
  • Face amounts from $1,000–$20,000 (ages 66–75 years)
  • Face amounts from $1,000–$15,000 (ages 76–85 years)
  • Cash value accumulation
  • Premium rates stay the same
  • Coverage never decreases
  • Child/Grandchild rider at no extra charge
  • Accelerated death benefit at no extra charge
  • Accidental death benefit at extra charge

Settlers Life Bronze and Bronze II Plans

These may be the plans for you if you are facing health difficulties that have prevented you from getting life insurance.

Here are the two questions you must answer “no” to in order to qualify for the modified Bronze plan:

  1. Is the proposed insured (applicant) currently hospitalized, bedridden due to disease, confined to a nursing facility, or receiving hospice or home health care?
  2. Has the proposed insured been diagnosed by a medical professional with AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) or ARC (AIDS Related Complex), or has tested positive for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)?

Source: Settlers life insurance application.

  • Graded benefit whole life policy (there is a two-year waiting period before the full death benefit kicks in). If you die from natural causes, the beneficiaries will get the premium paid plus 10%. Full benefits will be paid if you die from an accident.
  • Face amounts from $1,000-$15,000 (ages 40-80 years)
  • Bronze II (only in NC) face amounts from $1,000-$10,000 (ages 40-75 years)
  • Premium rate stays the same
  • Coverage never decreases
  • Cash value accumulation

Settlers Life Available Riders

Riders provide extra benefits or enhancements to a life insurance policy. I like the fact the Settlers offers two riders at no additional cost. They are only available on the Gold and Silver plans and not in all states.


I’m not a big proponent of buying life insurance for a child (unless of course it is free) because they are not a breadwinner that the family depends on for financial support, and I feel it’s an up-sell by insurance agents and companies alike. That being said, getting this for free from Settlers makes it a no-brainer.

  • Included with all Gold and Silver plans
  • No forms needed at time of application
  • Equal to $5,000 or the base amount in the policy, whichever is less
  • One-time benefit of one eligible child or grandchild

Accelerated Benefit

This is one of my favorite riders and a necessary one in my opinion. An accelerated benefit rider allows the policy owner to access some of his or her death benefits while still alive. Settlers allows the policyholder to access up to 75% of the current face amount if he/she is diagnosed with a terminal illness and given a life expectancy of six months or less.

  • Included with all Gold and Silver plans with a face amount of $5,000 or more
  • No additional cost
  • Up to 75% of the current policy death benefit

Accidental Death Benefit

This rider will pay up to a maximum of $100,000 in death benefits, should you die as a result of an accident. This rider is offered at an extra charge.

  • Maximum $100,000 in benefit
  • Maximum eligible age is 70
  • Coverage ends at age 80

The Application Process

As with all final expense policies, the application process involves a few health questions you must answer “no” to in order to qualify. Settlers has developed a unique application process called a “progressive application.” This process has three parts: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. All applicants are started at Bronze, which has the most basic questions, and then continue to the Silver and Gold, which have more in-depth health questions.

Below you will find the process they use to determine for which plan you could be eligible.

Part 1: Bronze Plan

  • As mentioned above, there are only two questions you must be able to answer “no” to in order to qualify for the Bronze plan.

settlers life application part 1

Part 2: Silver Plan

  • Note that there is no height and weight question on this part. If you are overweight and have had a hard time getting life insurance, you may be eligible for the Silver plan, as long as you can answer “no” to the health questions.
  • If you chew tobacco, you will not be considered as a smoker by Settlers. Other good news for smokers is that you are only considered a smoker if you smoked in the past year. If it has been more than a year since you last smoked, you are considered a non-smoker. There are many other companies out there that you must be smoke-free for 3-5 years.

settlers life application part 2

Part 3: Gold Plan

  • Must be a non-smoker
  • Must meet height and weight guidelines

settlers life application part 3

Settlers 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
 Foresters $32.00 $45.19 $72.91 $216.09

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
 Foresters $26.05 $35.41 $83.41 $111.08

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
 Foresters $60.85 $87.22 $142.66 $290.33

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
 Foresters $48.95 $67.67 $103.69 $219.01

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
 Foresters $89.70 $129.26 $212.42 $433.91

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
 Foresters $71.85 $99.93 $153.96 $326.94

*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.*

Last Word

Settlers Life is an outstanding company with great customer service and pricing. They are usually in the top 10 companies price-wise, depending on your age and gender. However, as a consumer, you owe it to yourself to go the extra mile and compare all available companies with Settlers. When it comes to their Bronze plan, I would skip it and just buy a guaranteed issue plan without any health questions.

They both offer graded death benefits and other companies, such as AIG, offer up to $25,000 in benefits, compared to only $15,000 with Settlers.  Feel free to run the quotes yourself on this page.

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Mar 22, 2018 | Categories: Company Reviews, Seniors Life Insurance | 0 comments

About the Author: Ron Attias

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