As one of the most well-known names in the industry since 1882, The Knights of Columbus was founded by Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut. Starting in St. Mary’s Church basement, the Knights of Columbus has continued to flourish through the years while offering excellent options for life insurance.
The organization was started due to the influx of immigrants into the United States. Father McGivney began searching for a resolution to the adverse working environments encountered by many of the arriving immigrants. The company, comprised of Catholic men within the community, worked on a way to offer insurance for those individuals that didn’t have the resources to procure such.
The benevolence of the Knights of Columbus has remained consistent despite the many changes the company has withstood since that particular time. The unity and charity shown by Father McGivney can now be appreciated by millions.
Knights of Columbus Ratings and The Better Business Bureau
A.M. Best is the leading insurance rating agency. These ratings that are assigned to the numerous insurance companies available are A.M. Best’s opinion of financial strength, financial soundness, and credit risk as an entity. As of 2017, the Knights of Columbus has been awarded an “A+”, superior rating for their financial strength and an “AA”, superior rating for their ability to meet their policyholder’s needs.
Additionally, the Knights of Columbus has maintained an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), since 2002. As the highest rating awarded by the BBB, it denotes the company’s dedication to the service it provides. It’s not at all surprising that Knights of Columbus would receive these high ratings due to their focus on charity, their dedicated agents, and their uncomplicated insurance and annuity products.
The Knights of Columbus Today
Presently, the Knights of Columbus is one of the leading insurance companies in the U.S. and Canada, not to mention it’s multi-billion-dollar status. The products the company offers include, life insurance, disability income insurance, long-term care insurance, and retirement annuities.
Besides the superior product line offered by the Knights of Columbus, they’ve also clocked in over 73.5 million hours in community service and donated more than $175 million to charities. Almost 2 million men among numerous countries are honored to call themselves Knights.
To clarify, only members and family members of the Order of the Knights of Columbus are eligible for their insurance and annuity products. Eligible members must be practicing Catholic males of at least 18 years of age. That’s the main drawback of the company’s offerings – the criteria for eligibility limits those who would potentially benefit from their services.
The Knights of Columbus Product Line
Reserved strictly for their members, the Knights of Columbus provides both insurance and annuity products as part of their service. Their insurance line is restricted to disability, long-term care, and life. This is not unlike other associations or groups. We also see this discrimination in groups like CPA’s, Federal Workers, Servicemen and Servicewomen. Knights of Columbus also offers a retirement annuity as part of their program as well. Let’s briefly take a look at the company’s product offerings.
Term Life Insurance
Available in 10, 15, and 20-year terms, the Knights of Columbus offers its members level term life insurance coverage. Term life insurance is more affordable when compared to whole life insurance. Fortunately, their term products’ rates are highly competitive. Knights of Columbus’ term life insurance is convertible as well, which means that it can be converted to permanent coverage without the need to prove insurability.
Whole Life Insurance
Knights of Columbus offers several options for whole life insurance, which is a form of permanent life insurance. These whole life insurance products are great options for guaranteed level premiums, guaranteed death benefit, and guaranteed accumulated cash value.
Single Premium Whole Life
One single payment guarantees coverage for the insureds entire lifetime. Single premium life insurance will also have cash value that can be accessed through loans, withdrawals or surrendering the policy.
10-Pay Life and 20 pay life
Premiums are paid over 10 years or 20 years, and death benefit is guaranteed for life. Much like the single premium policy, this limited pay policy has cash value buildup.
Life Paid-Up at 65
Just as the name implies, pay premiums until the age of 65 and your whole life insurance policy will need no further premium payments. Just as the other whole life insurance policies offered by Knights of Columbus, you will see cash value growth inside this policy.
Life Paid-Up at 100
This policy from Knights of Columbus is more of the norm. You will see level, guaranteed premiums until the age of 100 and have cash value growth that can be accessed at anytime.
Graded Premium Whole Life
Knights of Columbus graded premium policy is a little unusual in today’s product lineup. The policy offers lower premiums in the beginning, then gradually increasing until reaching level. Typically the graded premium will be at the full amount in 5 years.
Word to the wise, an excellent way to provide for the security of your family is by securing permanent life insurance, such as whole life. It covers a wide variety of needs and goals, including:
- Providing coverage for final expenses
- Replacing your income for the security of your family
- Providing a savings for your children’s college
- Providing coverage for an existing mortgage, paying off the house
- Reducing estate taxes and subsidizing an estate
Life insurance riders offer additional protection for your policy. The riders provided by Knights of Columbia include:
Guaranteed Purchase Option Rider
This rider adds more life insurance protection as needed with no evidence of insurability needed.
Disability Waiver of Premium
This rider waives the premium should you become disabled before your 60th birthday.
Chronic and Terminal Illness ADB Rider
In the event that you are diagnosed with a chronic condition or qualifying illness, this accelerated death benefit rider allows you to gain part of your death benefit.
Children’s Term Insurance Rider
This rider provides protection for all of your children and allows them to convert this policy over later in life.
Final thoughts on Knights of Columbus
First and foremost, the ability to be able to purchase the Knights of Columbus’ products will rely on whether you qualify or not. However, for those individuals that do qualify, purchasing the organization’s insurance is most certainly the best deal, especially considering all of the advantages available to their members. Their superior track record makes them a highly rated insurance provider.
With all of that said, there is little room for doubt that by far the Knights of Columbus is one of the top companies in the insurance industry. For over 135 years, the Knights of Columbus agents are loyal and have worked tirelessly to offer superb products in order to meet the needs of those that qualify. This insurance program has grown by leaps and bounds since where it first began – in that small basement of St. Mary’s Church.
If you don’t qualify to purchase a policy through KOC, there are companies such as Banner Life/William Penn, North American/Midland National, Mutual of Omaha and Sagicor that have very competitive life insurance rates for all ages and products.