There are many reasons why people purchase life insurance. For some, the proceeds are intended for paying off debt and / or for replacing the income of a primary income earner, while for others, the key goal behind such a purchase is to ensure that loved ones don’t have to dip into savings in order to pay for the funeral and other final expenses of the insured.
Today, unlike many years ago, life insurance is also being used more and more as a tool for overall financial planning needs. With that in mind, the cash value in a permanent type of policy – which is allowed to grow and compound tax-deferred – may be earmarked for supplementing retirement income in the future, and/or for ensuring that a child or grandchild’s college education is paid for.
Due to its ability to provide market-linked growth, while at the same time keeping principal safe, indexed universal life insurance is becoming more popular as a savings-rich financial vehicle.
These policies allow a positive return on the cash value – typically up to a certain set maximum or “cap” – when an underlying index performs well during a given year. But should the underlying index perform in the negative, the policy holder’s principal will remain safe. That is because the return for that time period will simply be credited as a 0%.
It is important to note, though, that just as with any other financial product or service, not all indexed universal life (or IUL) policies are exactly the same. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the policy that you are considering will be right for you and your specific needs.
Likewise, it is also recommended that you review the insurance company that you’re considering purchasing the IUL coverage from in order to check its reputation for paying out claims, as well as the carrier’s overall financial strength and stability. One insurance company that meets these criteria in a positive manner is Symetra.
The History of Symetra Life Insurance Company
Symetra has been in the business of offering life insurance protection for more than 60 years. Originally established in 1957, this company has grown and expanded exponentially over time – due in part to expanding its product offerings to its customers.
The company is considered to be a pioneer is several insurance-related areas, such as coming up with medical stop-loss coverage in the mid-1970s, and by selling annuities through banks in the 1980s.
By 1999, Symetra has surpassed the $30 billion mark concerning life insurance in force. And, after nearly five decades, in 2004 Symetra became an independent company, Symetra Financial Corporation.
Today, Symetra is made up of several affiliated companies, including First Symetra National Life Insurance Company of New York, Clearscape Funding Corporation, Commercial Mortgage Loan, Symetra Assigned Benefit Service Company (SABSCO), and Symetra Securities, Inc. The company is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington.
Symetra Life Insurance Company Review
Symetra Financial Corporation is a diversified financial service company that offers employee benefits products, as well as life insurance coverage and retirement annuities. These products are offered via a national network of benefits consultants, as well as through financial institutions and independent insurance / financial services agents and advisors.
As of late 2017, Symetra held roughly $42.5 billion in assets and served approximately 2 million customers from coast to coast. The parent company of Symetra, Sumitomo Life, is considered to be one of the largest life insurance companies in Japan, with more than 100 years of operating history. Together, Sumitomo Life and Symetra has total assets of more than $300 billion.
Insurer Ratings and Better Business Bureau Grade
Because of its strong financial footing, along with its timely payment of its customer claims, Symetra has earned high ratings from the insurer rating agencies. These include the following:
|Financial Strength Ratings - Symetra Life Insurance Co.||Credit Ratings - Symetra Financial Corporation Senior Unsecured Debt|
|A.M. Best Company|
|Standard & Poor's|
Also, even though Symetra Life Insurance Company is not an accredited business through the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the company has received a grade of A+ (on an overall grade scale of A+ to F) via this organization.
Over the past three years, Symetra Life Insurance Company has closed out a total of two customer complaints (and has closed out no customer complaints within the past 12 months). Of these two complaints, both had to do with problems with the company’s products and/or services.
Indexed Universal Life Offered by Symetra Insurance Company
Symetra Life Insurance Company offers a wide range of indexed universal life insurance coverage options. As a permanent form of life insurance, these IUL policies offer both death benefit protection and cash value build up. (The company also offers several regular universal life insurance policies).
The company’s UL offerings include the:
- Symetra Accumulator IUL – Indexed Universal Life Insurance
- Symetra UL-G Universal Life Insurance
- Symetra CAUL Universal Life Insurance
- Symetra Universal Life Insurance (2008)
The Symetra Accumulator IUL is designed for offering death benefit protection, along with potential future supplemental income. This flexible life insurance policy provides the ability to provide for loved ones and survivors in case of the unexpected, while at the same time planning for retirement.
Some of the key features of the Symetra Accumulator IUL include its:
- Three index crediting strategies, including the JPMorgan ETF Efficiente 5 Index, a volatility controlled option that is licensed exclusively to Symetra. The return based on this index’s performance is based on 1 year with no cap. Other underlying indices include the S&P 500 (with a one-year capped return), and a blended option that includes both the S&P 500 and the JPMorgan ETF Efficiente 5 index. (This return is based on a point-to-point strategy, 2-year and no cap).
- Indexed strategies that lock in any interest earnings, and also help to protect against loss during a negative market performance
- Flexible, potential tax-free access to the policy’s cash value via withdrawals and/or policy loans
- Persistency bonus that is guaranteed by Symetra for maintaining the policy as planned. Here, starting in policy year 11, this policy will receive a guaranteed persistency bonus that increases the credits that are applied to the index segments, and the interest that is applied to the fixed and holding account by 15 percent. As an example, should the current crediting rate for the fixed account and the holding account be at 5%, then the rate inclusive of the bonus credited to the policy value would be 5.75%. Therefore, if the value for the index segment is $1,000, then the index credit – inclusive of the bonus – would be $1,150.
Information above gathered from https://www.symetra.com/
Also, this policy offers a minimum overall performance guarantee. Here, the inherent “lookback guarantee” provides an increase in the policy’s value should any index segment return not be at least 2 percent per year cumulative over resetting 8-year periods. In this case, the first 8-year period begins at policy issue and is recalculated over every 8-year period after the previous look back period has ended.
In addition, with the policy’s no-lapse guarantee, the policy will essentially be protected from lapsing for a period of up to 20 years – depending on the age of the insured at the time of policy issue. There is no added premium cost for this benefit.
Those who own a Symetra Accumulator IUL policy may also be able to qualify for lifestyle rewards. For instance, qualifying for the company’s Goodlife Rewards could potentially lower the overall cost of this coverage. In order to qualify, an individual must be between the ages of 20 and 70 and receive qualifying credits that are applied during the policy’s underwriting due to having a healthy lifestyle.
If, after this policy has been purchased, the insured’s health status changes, he or she may be able to access funds from the policy’s death benefit via the Accelerated Death Benefit for Chronic Illness Rider. Here, up to 50 percent of the policy’s death benefit (with a $500,000 maximum amount) may be accessed while the insured is still living, provided that a licensed physician certifies that the insured is in fact terminally ill and that he or she has a life expectancy of fewer than 12 months. The funds that are accessed from the policy may be used for any need or reason.
The Symetra Accumulator IUL policy also has some additional, optional riders that may be added. These include an Accelerated Death Benefit for Chronic Illness Plus Rider, and/or a Charitable Giving Benefit Rider.
With the Accelerated Death Benefit for Chronic Illness Plus Rider, up to 100% of the policy’s death benefit may be accessed in advance – with a monthly benefit of 2% – if the insured is certified by a licensed health care practitioner of being unable to perform two specific activities of daily living. There is an added premium cost for this rider – and the rider must be selected at the time of policy application. In order to continue receiving the monthly benefit with this rider, the insured must be annually recertified by a licensed health care practitioner of being unable to perform the daily living activities.
The Charitable Giving Benefit Rider must also be selected at the time of application; however, it is available at no added cost. Here, there is an additional benefit or 1% of the base policy’s death benefit – up to a maximum of $100,000 – that can go to a qualified charity of the policy holder’s choice upon death.
Other Available Produces and Services
In addition to indexed universal life insurance coverage, Symetra also offers a wide range of products and services to both individual and business customers. These include:
- Convertible term life insurance, universal, and variable life insurance coverage
- Bank-owned life insurance (BOLI)
- Corporate-owned life insurance (COLI)
- Employee Benefits, including medical stop-loss coverage, limited benefit medical plans, group life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, disability income insurance for employer groups
- Deferred Annuities – both fixed and variable in nature, including tax-sheltered annuity products, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and group annuities for qualified 401(k), 403(b) and 457 retirement plans
- Income Annuities – including single premium immediate annuities (SPIAs) and single premium deferred payout annuities
How to Get the Best Premium Rates on Indexed Universal Life Insurance From Symetra
If you are seeking the best premium rates on indexed universal life insurance from Symetra – or from any other life insurance company – it is recommended that you work with an independent insurance professional who can show you many different policy and quote options. From there, you can then determine which one is right for you, and for your budget.
When you are ready to take a look at available IUL life insurance options, we can help. We are an independent life insurance brokerage, and we work with many of the top-rated insurance carriers in the industry today. We can provide you with all of the details that you need – and we can do this for you quickly, easily, and conveniently, and without you having to meet in person with an insurance agent. If you are ready to proceed, then all you need to do is just simply take a moment to fill out the quote form on this page.
Should you find that, after reviewing our website, you still have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out directly to our life insurance specialists. We can be contacted via phone, toll-free, by calling 800-712-8519. When doing so, we will happily walk you through how you can obtain a policy quote, as well as give you tips on how to determine the right type and amount of life insurance coverage for your needs.
We understand that the purchase of life insurance coverage can be somewhat overwhelming. But, when you are working with an expert on your side, it can be so much easier. So, contact us today – we’re here to help.