The History of Phoenix Life Insurance CompanyPhoenix Life Insurance Company has more than a century and a half in the business of providing coverage to its customers. Initially founded in 1851 as the Phoenix Companies, Inc., the company has grown and expanded throughout the years. This insurer has a primary focus on helping those who are considered to be in the middle income market, as well as those who are more affluent, with securing the property life insurance protection for their needs.
Phoenix Life Insurance Company ReviewPhoenix Life focuses on offering a variety of life insurance plans, as well as retirement annuities. These are offered via financial advisors throughout the U.S. The company also has a distribution subsidiary, Saybrus Partners, which provides insurance coverage to clients. While Phoenix Life Insurance Company is considered by many to be a somewhat small insurance carrier – with roughly 600 home office employees – its products and services rate among the best. Phoenix Life is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut.
Insurer Ratings and Better Business Bureau (BBB) GradeDue in part to recent financial issues, Phoenix Life Insurance Company’s ratings are not currently among the best from the insurer ratings agencies. These ratings include a B+ (Credit Watch) from Standard and Poor’s (which is a rating of 14 out of 21 possible ratings), and a B (Stable) from A.M. Best Company (which is seventh out of a possible sixteen total ratings. Even though the company’s ratings are not on par with where they could ideally be, Phoenix Life Insurance Company has been satisfying the financial obligations that it has to its current policy holders. While Phoenix Life is not an accredited company through the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it has still been provided with a grade of A+, which is on an overall grading scale by the BBB of A+ through F). Over the past three years, Phoenix Life Insurance Company / The Phoenix Companies, Inc. has not had to close out any customer complaints through the Better Business Bureau.
Life Insurance Products Offered by Phoenix Life Insurance CompanyWith its key focus on life insurance and annuities, Phoenix Life Insurance Company provides a wide range of products for customers to choose from. This can be quite beneficial, as coverage can change along with the client, as his or her needs change over time. The company provides several types of permanent life insurance, along with final expense coverage. With permanent life insurance, there is both a death benefit component, and a cash value component. Typically, once an insured has been approved for coverage, the amount of the death benefit protection is locked in, as is the premium amount – which means that the premium that is charged will not go up, even as the insured’s age increases, and if he or she contracts an adverse health condition. The cash that is inside of the cash value component is allowed to grow and compound over time on a tax deferred basis. This means that there are no taxes due on the growth of these funds unless or until they are withdrawn. Policy holders who have permanent life insurance protection are allowed to withdraw or borrow cash from the policy’s cash component for any need that they see fit – including to pay off debts, to supplement retirement income later in life, or even to take a nice vacation. One type of permanent life insurance coverage that is offered through Phoenix Life Insurance Company is whole life. The Phoenix Remembrance Life policy is a simplified issue whole life insurance policy, which also offers supplemental benefits that are designed for protecting the insured’s loved ones and for leaving a legacy. Because the Remembrance Life plan is a simplified issue policy, it will not require the applicant for insurance to undergo a medical examination, or to answer a long list of medical related questions. Because of this, these policies will oftentimes be approved within just days – or sometimes even sooner. So, if an individual is in need of life insurance protection quickly, this could be a viable option. Another form of permanent life insurance coverage that is offered by Phoenix Life Insurance Company is universal life. With a universal life insurance policy, there are some similarities to whole life in that there is death benefit protection, along with a cash value component. However, in many ways, universal life insurance is considered to be much more flexible than whole life, as the policy holder is allowed – within certain guidelines – to change the due date of the premium, as well as to allocate how much of his or her premium will go towards the death benefit, and how much will go into the cash component. Phoenix Life offers the Phoenix Accumulator UL universal life insurance policy. With this plan, policy holders may obtain a higher cash value crediting rate than they can with whole life insurance. There is also an interest bonus feature with this policy. For those who are seeking both death benefit protection, along with a potentially higher amount of cash value build up over time (in a tax-advantaged manner), the Phoenix Accumulator UL policy may be a good fit. Another type of universal life insurance that is offered through Phoenix Life Insurance Company is indexed universal life. Here, there is also a death benefit and a cash value component within the policy. However, instead of having the cash grow based on a certain rate of interest, the growth is based on the performance of an underlying market index (or indexes) such as the S&P 500. With an indexed universal life insurance policy (IUL), if the underlying index or indexes perform well within a certain time period, then the cash value will be credited positively – typically up to a certain “cap.” If, however, the underlying index performs poorly – or even in extreme negative territory – then the cash value will not lose value. Rather, it will just simply be credited with a 0 percent for that time period. Because of this, indexed universal life insurance is used by many policy holders who are seeking higher potential growth (than that of whole life, or even CDs and money markets), yet with protection of principal. Phoenix Life Insurance Company offers the Phoenix Simplicity Index Life policy. With this plan, the policy holder may choose from several different cash value accumulation options. There is also a death benefit included in the policy, with the option to allocate policy value in a fixed account and / or to two indexed accounts. As with the whole life insurance policy that is offered via Phoenix Life, this indexed universal life product will not require a medical examination by the applicant for coverage. There is also no need to fill out a large amount of paperwork. Therefore, those who may have certain health issues could still qualify for this policy – and it could be a viable option if someone is looking for guaranteed death benefit protection, along with protection of cash value and possible higher growth.
Other Products and ServicesWhile Phoenix Life Insurance Company is known for its offerings of life insurance coverage, the company also offers some options for retirement annuities. Today, because many baby boomers are reaching retirement age, there is worry about whether or not retirement income will be able to last through the remainder of their lifetimes. This is particularly the case as life expectancy has increased. With an annuity, a guaranteed, set income can be received – and, if the annuity holder opts for the lifetime income option, they can literally receive an income stream that will last for the remainder of their lifetime, regardless of how long that may be. Do your research and make sure you’re getting the best annuity rates. All of the annuity products that are offered via Phoenix Life Insurance Company are designed for flexibility – depending on what it is that a client needs. These annuity products include the following:
- The Phoenix Personal Retirement Choice – The Phoenix Personal Retirement Choice is a deferred annuity that provides its holder with the ability to build up long-term savings over time on a tax deferred basis. Deposits can be made into the annuity over time, prior to converting the annuity to an income stream. This annuity has several different income options to choose from as well.
- The Phoenix Personal Income Annuity – The Phoenix Personal Income Annuity is a fixed indexed annuity, so it allows the opportunity to grow cash over time, based on the performance of an underlying index – but if the index should perform negatively in a given time period, there are no losses of principal.
- The Phoenix Personal Protection Choice – With the Phoenix Personal Protection Choice annuity, the client can deposit a single premium up front. Because this annuity is a fixed indexed annuity, the cash will be protected from market downturns, while at the same time having the opportunity to grow, based on an underlying market index. There are also several options that are available when it comes time to convert this annuity to an income stream.