There are more than 800 life insurance companies operating in the United States.
How do you pick the right one?
As an independent broker, we are NOT an employee of Kansas City Life and are able to provide a fair and unbiased review for consumers. Later, we’ll also show you how to compare and make sure you are using the best company for your situation.
About Kansas City Life Insurance
Kansas City Life Insurance was established in 1895, in Kansas City, Missouri. They now serve consumers in 48 states, plus the District of Columbia. Still headquartered in Kansas City, the company has more than 400 associates, supporting more than 2,500 life insurance agents.
They provide individual life insurance products, annuities, and group products. These include term life, variable life, and variable annuity options. They operate through more than 150 general agencies across the country, insuring more than half a million policyholders.
It’s a publicly traded company, with more than $4 billion in total assets.
Kansas City Life Insurance Financial Ratings
Kansas City Life Insurance has an excellent rating from both A.M. Best and the Better Business Bureau, two of the leading rating agencies involving the insurance industry.
Here are the most recent ratings on the company:
- Standard & Poor’s: N/A
- A.M. Best: “A- Excellent”, as of September 2017.
- Moody’s: N/A
- Better Business Bureau: “A+” (on a scale of A+ to F). Though the company is not BBB accredited, the Bureau has had an open file on the company all the way back to 1916. No complaints filed.
Based on the ratings above, Kansas City Life Insurance is financially one of the stronger companies in the insurance industry. This is important because life insurance is a long-term financial engagement for you as the consumer. You’ll want to know that they will be in business for many years. Meanwhile, the absence of complaints filed with the BBB indicates a high level of customer satisfaction.
Products Offered by Kansas City Life Insurance
Even if you are only planning to purchase a term life insurance policy, it’s always good to know that an insurance company has related products. As time goes on, you may want access to additional financial products and services.
Here are the basic product lines offered by Kansas City Life Insurance::
- Term life insurance
- Return of premium life
- Universal life insurance
- Indexed universal life insurance
- Variable universal life insurance
- Whole life insurance
- Fixed annuities
- Variable annuities
Unlike some of the larger insurance companies, Kansas City Life Insurance doesn’t offer the full range of diversified financial products. These would include retirement plans, business solutions and investment options (beyond annuities). They do not currently offer a no exam option so if that is of interest, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
However, the company website does provide a large number of financial tools and calculators. These include calculators for retirement planning, homeownership and mortgages, college funding, investments and savings, life insurance and disability, and income and estate taxation.
For example, under retirement planning, they have a calculator that will help you to determine how much you will pay in income tax upon completing a Roth IRA conversion. Another calculator allows you to determine the future impact of inflation on your retirement needs and savings goals.
Other calculators help you to determine how much house you can afford, college funding needs, and an investment asset allocation tool.
Kansas City Life Insurance Term Life Insurance
Kansas City Life Insurance term life insurance policies have the following features:
- Terms of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years.
- Convertible term life insurance. You can convert all or just a portion of your policy to a whole life policy, at any time during the term. Best of all, no proof of insurability is required at the time of conversion. This will give you the option to purchase affordable term life insurance early in life, then to convert it to permanent coverage later. By then, you’ll need less coverage, and affordability will be less of a factor.
Why term life insurance, and not permanent?
There are various factors that affect the decision to purchase either term life insurance or permanent coverage. Since premium cost is almost always a factor, we strongly recommend using term life insurance. Not only is it much less expensive, but you can purchase more of it. That will be important for anyone who is at a point in life that requires a large amount of coverage, but a limited budget to pay for it.
Term life insurance with Kansas City Life Insurance is particularly attractive because virtually all of their term policies enable you to convert to permanent coverage at a later date. For example, if you take the $500,000 20-year term policy at age 25, you might convert $200,000 to permanent coverage at age 40, when you can better afford the higher premium.
Popular Kansas City Life Insurance Policy Riders
Kansas City Life Insurance offers a number of different policy riders. The most popular include:
Income insured option: gives you the option of having your death benefit distributed to your beneficiaries as an income, rather than as a lump sum benefit. This is sometimes referred to as a “spendthrift provision”.
Terminal illness rider: this rider enables you to receive part of the death benefit in your policy upon the diagnosis of a qualifying chronic or terminal illness. You can get some of the policy face amounts while you’re still alive, leaving the remainder for a death benefit for your family.
Waiver of premium: premiums are waived if you become completely disabled. However, you generally have to be fully disabled in order to qualify. (Partial disability won’t qualify for the waiver.)
Accidental death benefit: with this provision, your beneficiaries will receive an enhanced death benefit should you die as a result of an accident.
Spouse’s or children’s rider: this rider enables you to purchase coverage on your spouse or children under your policy. You can purchase coverage, which will run with the term of your policy. It avoids the need to purchase separate policies for each family member.
Kansas City Life Insurance Pros and Cons
Kansas City Life Insurance Pros:
- Convertible term life option. You can take an inexpensive term policy early in life, when your need for insurance is greater, then convert a portion to whole life later. It adds a permanent benefit to an otherwise temporary policy.
- Large, well-established company that’s been around for more than 120 years. There’s no concern about Kansas City Life Insurance going out of business while your policy is in force.
- The company is highly regarded by A.M. Best, which is a strong indication of its financial integrity.
- Solid policy riders that enable you to deal with a variety of life’s many variables.
- Underwriting can be more accommodating with certain health conditions, though that certainly isn’t the case across-the-board.
Kansas City Life Insurance Cons:
- Kansas City Life Insurance premium rates are definitely competitive, but they’re rarely the lowest.
- A lack of financial services and products typically found with larger life insurance companies (investments, retirement planning, etc.).
Should You Get a Term Life Policy Through Kansas City Life Insurance?
Kansas City Life Insurance may not be the first choice company to go with if you’re looking for the least expensive premium. But they do offer more flexibility with certain types of health conditions. If you have one of the conditions where they are stronger than the general field of companies, Kansas City Life Insurance could be the first choice.
What makes this company particularly attractive is the wide range of riders available on their policies. There’s one to cover just about any eventuality. For example, the terminal illness rider, which gives you access to part of your death benefit while you are still alive and in need of additional funds should be a consideration.
But probably the biggest positive is the ability to convert term policies to permanent life insurance. This feature alone removes the confusion about the term-versus-whole-life debate. You can take the lower-cost term policy, with a much higher death benefit, then convert it at a later date when your finances are more accommodating. And since the conversion does not require medical underwriting, you also won’t need to worry about any health conditions that develop between the time you begin the policy and make the conversion.
Give us a call, or complete the brief quote request to the left of this article, and we’ll see if Kansas City Life Insurance – or another insurance company – is the right choice for you. As an insurance broker, we work with them all, and we’ll work to get you the best policy for the lowest premium.