Replacing Employer Based Life Insurance With Banner Life

See Our Review

By James Tobin, CFP®

Critical Takeaways

  • Rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best
  • Great Pricing For Certain Impaired Risk Applicants
  •  Competitive Rates For Type 2 Diabetes, Family History Of Cancer, Asthma, Depression & Anxiety
  • Banner Life Is Not Especially Competitive For Applicants Who Smoke

Workers Bequest Carrier Rating

Banner Life Insurance Carrier Specifics

Policy Options

Term, Universal Life

Term Lengths





A+ - A.M. Best


NY William Penn

Mo. Pricing


Customer Service

Issue Age


Min. Coverage


No Exam Option


Expert Review Of  Banner Life Insurance

Jim Tobin promo

Reviewed by

Jim Tobin, CFP®

Why you can trust this review

At Workers Bequest Life Insurance, we value our editorial independence. We keep our reviews strictly factual so you can use them to make informed decisions. Life insurance carriers referred to on this site do not approve reviews. 

If you are considering replacing your employer sponsored life insurance plan with a privately owned (and portable) policy from Banner life, this review should be helpful to you. You will read about the history, strengths, niches and weaknesses of Banner Life below. Should you require any help, please do not hesitate to contact us

Banner Life Insurance Company Review Of Carrier History

Founded in 1836, Legal & General, the British corporate parent of Banner Life Insurance Company, has a long and rich history in the life insurance marketplace. That rich history includes the acquisition of Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO) in 1983.

Government Employees Life insurance Company  or GELCO had been founded in 1949 and it's name was changed to Banner life upon acquisition by Legal & General. Legal & General would later acquire the William Penn Life Insurance company (1989) and consolidate management with Banner Life. William Penn life Insurance is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Banner Life and represents Legal & General in New York.

Banner Life Insurance Customer Service

Banner can be found on the web @    The Banner Life Insurance phone number is 800-638-8428    The William Penn Life Insurance telephone number is 800-346-4773

Banner Life Insurance Company Rating Of Financial Strength

The financial ratings for Legal & General America are very strong. Although A.M. Best is thought to be the foremost authority of financial strength in the life insurance market, below we have provided the ratings for Legal & General America (Banner Life) from all the major agencies. Included in this list is Comdex which is an industry specific compilation of rantings. You can explore the financial strength ratings of other carriers here.

Banner Life Insurance Company Review Of Policy Options

Banner Life (and William Penn in New York), offers two types of life insurance policies currently, term life insurance and universal life insurance. 

Banner Term life Insurance

Banner's term life insurance offering is called  OPTerm series, and it is offered in 10,15,20 & 30 year terms. These well priced and aggressively underwritten products come with two notable rider options.

The accelerated benefits rider option that allows for the early distribution of benefits in the event of a terminal illness. This rider is free.

The waiver of premium rider that pays your premiums in the event that you become disabled and are unable to work. This rider has an additional cost associated with it.

* With TermAccel, Banner has entered the no exam market for qualified applicants (excellent health) up to $500000.

Banner Universal Life Insurance

Banner was long a leader in the Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL) market, unfortunately this product was discontinued in 2015. 

Banner currently offers the Life Step UL which is a customizable universal life product. This can be tailored for limited pay, flexible premium and cash value accumulation.

Banner Life Insurance Review Of Underwriting Niches

The underwriting at Banner Life is well known in the life insurance industry for being aggressive. This attitude is reflected in its pricing models and its treatment of specific medical conditions. 

Banner has 4 underwriting categories plus table rated /substandard rates. They Are:

  • Preferred Plus
  • Preferred
  • Standard Plus
  • Standard

The underwriting at Banner Life is well known in the life insurance industry for being aggressive. This attitude is reflected in its pricing models and its treatment of specific medical conditions. 

Family history of cancer can still qualify for preferred plus rates

 Applicants over 50 with well controlled type II diabetes can qualify for standard plus rates.

High cholesterol treated by prescription is eligible for preferred plus rates.

Mood disorders  such as depression or anxiety treated with one prescription are eligible for preferred rates.

High blood pressure , effectively treated by prescription can be eligible for preferred plus rates.

Asthma that is well controlled can qualify for preferred rates.

While smokers rates are not very competitive with Banner life, they will consider preferred plus for people who quit 3 or more years ago.

This list is far from complete. The fact is that if you have a health condition that concerns you Banner is likely a serious contender for best rate available. In fact, Banner rates three quarters of all applications are rated as standard plus or better, this is all the more impressive when you consider that Banner has a reputation liberally underwriting health conditions.

Banner Life Insurance Quote And Pricing

Banner Life is super competitive in some cases and appears expensive in others. However, it is important to note that even in cases where they appear expensive they are often the best deal. Try the quote tool and decide if you'd  consider Banner life insurance application

You may be asking: "How can the be?"

It all comes down to the underwriting class you are given. If Banner Life is the most expensive of the major carriers at standard rates but the more competitive carriers would grade you as table 2/B or 4/D, then the "more expensive" standard rate would be the best deal.

If you would like to see accurate rates based on underwriting class for Banner Life insurance, simply input your information into the quote tool and press "Display Quotes". Just bear in mind that, as I have discussed, the best rate is not always the best deal for your particular health situation.

Banner Life Insurance Exclusions

We are aware of no pre-underwriting exclusions with Banner life insurance except the universal exclusion for suicide within two years of policy being put in force. While exclusions can arise in underwriting, they are rare and generally center around a dangerous activity. 

Alternatives To Banner Life Insurance Company

In cases where Banner Life is not the most competitive rate (for example smokers), there are over 50 carriers available to Workers Bequest. Whether it's a condition that Banner chooses not to see favorably or a no exam option you are looking for, we will be happy to help you get the best deal possible 

Your Next Step

Thank you for choosing Workers Bequest Life Insurance to research replacing your work provided life insurance with Banner Life insurance. We sincerely hope that this review of Banners history, strengths, niches, and weaknesses has been helpful. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to call or send over an email.

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