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Mutual of Omaha is a financially solid company with a few uncommon offerings that make it stand out, such as return of premium (ROP) term insurance and a disability income rider. The company also includes at least two accelerated death benefit riders on most policies, and earned top marks for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2021 Individual Life Insurance Study.
However, if you’re in good health and looking for no-exam coverage, you’ll want to consider other insurers. You’ll need to look elsewhere for variable universal or traditional whole life insurance as well.
- Pros & Cons
- Company Overview
Policies include at least two no-cost living benefit riders
Wide range of riders available
Live chat feature on the website
Offers return-of-premium (ROP) term
No-exam policies available
Online applications unavailable for term policies
No variable universal (VUL) or traditional whole life insurance
Mutual of Omaha was founded in 1909 and provides a wide range of insurance products, including life, disability, dental, and long-term care coverages. But one of its most interesting claims to fame has nothing to do with insurance. The company created “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” which is a wildlife documentary series that began in 1963 and is still running today.
- Some policies include three no-cost living benefit riders: Mutual of Omaha’s Term Life Express and IUL Express policies automatically include chronic, critical, and terminal illness accelerated death benefit riders at no extra cost, while most other policies include chronic and terminal illness riders free of charge.
- Wide range of available riders: In addition to the benefits above, the company makes a host of other riders available for purchase, including a disability income rider on its Term Life Express policies. This rider pays a monthly income in the event that you become disabled and can’t work, and is only offered by nine other companies of the 91 we reviewed.
- Live chat feature on the website: Live chat is not a common offering on life insurance company websites. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, the Mutual of Omaha virtual assistant will connect you with a live agent.
- Offers return-of-premium (ROP) term: ROP term insurance refunds some or all of your premiums if you outlive the policy. These policies are more expensive than regular term coverage and aren’t very common. Of the 91 insurance companies we reviewed, we found only nine others that also offer it.
- No-exam policies available: Mutual of Omaha uses a simplified underwriting process on its “Express” policies, which means that applicants can skip the exam when applying for coverage. While this is a nice feature, healthy applicants will likely pay a higher rate via a simplified underwriting process relative to a fully underwritten or accelerated issue life insurance—which Mutual of Omaha doesn’t offer.
- Online applications unavailable for term policies: Many companies allow you to apply for term coverage online without an agent’s assistance. But if you want a term policy from Mutual of Omaha, you’ll need an agent to help you apply.
- No variable universal (VUL) or traditional whole life insurance: Though Mutual of Omaha offers a wide variety of included riders and ones available for purchase, its policy portfolio isn’t as impressive. It doesn’t offer a VUL insurance policy or a whole life policy that provides coverage over $25,000.
Mutual of Omaha received about the number of complaints that would be expected based on its market share, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
The organization publishes a complaint index to help consumers compare the number of complaints that different-sized companies receive. For example, a very large company is likely to receive more complaints than a smaller company simply because it has more customers. But that doesn’t necessarily mean those customers are less satisfied. The NAIC complaint index essentially removes size from the equation so you can compare the complaint records of different-sized companies.
If a company received an expected number of complaints for its size, its index is 1.0. An index of less than 1 means that the company received fewer complaints than expected. The lower the number, the better.
We researched Mutual of Omaha’s NAIC complaint index over three years and came up with an average complaint index of 1.067. That’s not bad, but it’s not as good as many of the top carriers that it competes with on our list of best life insurance companies.
Since financial stability and customer satisfaction are two pillars of a life insurance company’s reliability, we consider the analysis of industry experts when it comes to both.
The ratings agency AM Best gives Mutual of Omaha an A+ for financial stability, which is the second-highest rating and means the company has a “superior” ability to take care of its contractual insurance obligations, like paying claims. AM Best has been rating the financial strength of life insurance companies since 1899 and uses letter grades that range from A++ to D.
Mutual of Omaha also does well when it comes to customer satisfaction, ranking No. 5 out of 21 major life insurance companies in the 2021 J.D. Power Individual Life Insurance Study. Mutual of Omaha scored 795 points out of a possible 1,000, while the No. 1 company (State Farm) scored 822 points.
|Mutual of Omaha||Nationwide||MassMutual|
|Types of Coverage||Term, universal, indexed universal, final expense||Term, whole life, universal, indexed universal, variable universal, final expense||Term, whole life, universal, variable universal|
|Dividends for 2022||Not applicable||Not applicable||Nearly $1.85 billion|
|Online Application||Available (for guaranteed issue whole life)||Available (for term)||Available (for term)|
|AM Best Rating||A+||A+||A++|
|Price for Term Policies||Average||Average||Better than average|
|NAIC Complaint Index (3-year average)||1.067||0.263||0.133|
|J.D. Power Ranking||5||2||7|
An NAIC complaint index of 1.0 means the company received an expected number of complaints based on its size. An index greater than 1.0 means it received more complaints than expected; less than 1 means it received fewer complaints than expected. The lower the number, the better.
Chronic, critical, and terminal illness riders are included free of charge on Mutual of Omaha’s Term Life Express and IUL Express policies. Most other policies include chronic and terminal illness riders at no additional cost.
Term Life Insurance
If you need affordable and temporary life insurance coverage, term life insurance may be a good fit. Term insurance guarantees that your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit if you die during the policy term, such as 30 years. Both Mutual of Omaha term products offer 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms. Both are also convertible term policies, which means you can convert your term coverage to a permanent life insurance policy without having to go through the underwriting (application) process.
- Term Life Answers: This is Mutual of Omaha’s fully underwritten term life insurance product, meaning you’ll need to answer a bevy of health questions and take a medical exam to apply. Both chronic and terminal illness riders are included at no cost. The healthier you are, the less expensive this policy is likely to be relative to the no-exam option below (Term Life Express).
- Term Life Express: You can skip the medical exam with this policy, and critical, chronic, and terminal illness riders are included at no additional cost. Plus, you can purchase an ROP version, which means you can receive up to 100% of premiums paid into the policy if you surrender it. However, since this is a simplified issue policy, if you’re healthy you’ll pay more per dollar of coverage than you would for a policy that requires a medical exam that proves your good health.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life (UL) insurance is designed to last for your entire life and builds a tax-advantaged cash value within the policy over time. Permanent policies typically are more expensive than term, but you may be able to borrow or make withdrawals from the cash value.
- AccumUL Answers: This is a fully underwritten product (it requires a medical exam) that includes no-cost terminal and chronic illness riders. Because this is a universal life insurance policy, you can potentially change the premium and death benefit amount.
Most permanent policies have a surrender period, during which time you’ll pay a surrender charge for withdrawing from the cash value or canceling the policy. Ask how long the surrender period is on any permanent life insurance you might buy.
Indexed Universal Life Insurance
Indexed universal life (IUL) policies are a type of UL policy in which the cash value is tied to a stock market index, such as the S&P 500. IUL policies are not directly invested, but gains credited to the account are based on the performance of the index the account is tied to—subject to caps and floors. For example, if an index returns 10%, the account might be credited 8% due to a cap; if the index has a negative return, the cash value would not be credited anything less than 0% (the floor for many IUL policies).
IUL policies are considered more risky than regular UL policies because cash value returns may not be enough to offset policy expenses. However, they’re less risky than variable universal life (VUL) policies, which are invested in the market and can have returns below 0%. Mutual of Omaha has two Indexed universal life insurance policies:
- Income Advantage IUL: This IUL policy offers the potential for greater cash value growth with fewer protections in place. It offers a no-lapse protection guarantee for up to 10 years.
- Life Protection Advantage IUL: This IUL option offers the potential for some cash value growth with an available no-lapse protection feature that can guarantee the death benefit through age 90.
- IUL Express: This is a quick-issue IUL policy that does not require a medical exam. Coverage is only available up to $300,000, and you can elect death benefit protection for up to 20 years. Since this is a simplified issue policy, premiums will be higher per dollar of coverage if you’re healthy than if you qualified for a preferred rate class on Mutual of Omaha’s other IUL products.
Some people use permanent insurance policies to build a tax-advantaged cash value in order to supplement their retirement income. But withdrawing or borrowing too much can potentially cause the policy to lapse.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life policy that guarantees the death benefit and cash value for life as long as the specified premium is paid. Mutual of Omaha offers a children’s whole life policy.
- Children’s Whole Life: Coverage is available for children as young as 14 days old up to 17 years old for between $5,000 and $50,000. You can get a quote and apply for coverage online. No exam is required and only three health questions are asked.
Final Expense or Burial Insurance
This is a type of whole life policy that is often referred to as final expense insurance, burial insurance, or funeral insurance because it provides a small death benefit for older applicants. Mutual of Omaha offers a guaranteed issue whole life policy, which means you won’t be denied coverage based on your health. As a result, there are no health questions, no medical exam, and coverage is more expensive per dollar of coverage than other types of life insurance that consider your health when setting your premium.
- Guaranteed Whole Life Insurance: Available to applicants between 45 and 85 years old for coverage between $2,000 and $25,000. The death benefit is graded for the first two years, which means that if you die of natural causes during that time, your beneficiaries will get the premiums you paid plus 10%. Your beneficiaries will get the full death benefit at any time for an accidental death or if you die from natural causes after the first two years.
- Critical illness benefit: You can request up to 80% of the death benefit early if you experience a critical illness, such as kidney failure or a heart attack.
- Terminal illness benefit: If your life expectancy is less than 12 months, you can request up to 80% of the death benefit early.
- Chronic illness benefit: If you lose the ability to perform at least two activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing and feeding yourself, for 90 consecutive days, you can request up to 80% of the death benefit early.
- Accidental death benefit rider: Your beneficiaries will receive an additional death benefit amount, up to $250,000, if you die from an accidental event.
- Dependent children's rider: With this rider, you can add up to $10,000 in coverage for a dependent child up to 20 years old to your own life insurance policy. You may be able to convert this coverage to a permanent policy for your child once they become an adult.
- Guaranteed insurability benefit rider: You can increase coverage without providing evidence of insurability upon certain events, such as getting married or having a child. The rider expires after you turn 50 years old.
- Waiver of premium rider: Mutual of Omaha offers a few different waiver of premium riders for different events, including unemployment, disability, and if your home sustains more than $25,000 in damages.
- Disability income: Available on non-ROP Term Life Express policies, this rider provides a monthly income if you become disabled, after a 90-day elimination period. Of the 91 companies we researched, we found only nine others that offer a disability income rider.
If you take part of the death benefit early via an accelerated death benefit rider, the benefit your beneficiaries receive will be reduced by that amount.
Customer service is available by phone at 877-202-2676 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central time. You can also fill out a form to receive a response by phone or email, or utilize a virtual assistant that can connect you with an agent for live chat. If you’d prefer to speak with a local agent, you can find one by entering your ZIP code into the agent-finder tool.
Mutual of Omaha’s term prices neither impressed nor alarmed us. They were exactly average.
Whenever quotes are available for term policies for the dozens of companies we review, we gather quotes for males and females in excellent health aged 25, 40, and 55 years old looking for 30-year $250,000 term policies. Considering that Mutual of Omaha provides up to three living benefit riders on its term policies, along with optional disability income and return of premium features, the cost could represent a good value if these features are important to you.
Is Mutual of Omaha Right for Me?
Whether Mutual of Omaha is the best life insurance company for you depends on what you need. If you’re in the market for a disability income rider or ROP term policy, Mutual of Omaha is one of only a few options available, and likely an excellent choice since it ranks highly for both financial stability and customer satisfaction.
And if you’re interested in an IUL, UL, or guaranteed issue whole life policy, the company is definitely worth a look. But if you want a VUL policy or a traditional whole life policy, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Also, if you prefer no-exam options that are as cheap as policies that require an exam, you should look to another carrier that offers an “accelerated” underwriting process.
Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers
We designed a comprehensive rating methodology based on consumer priorities and life insurance company fundamentals to rank more than 90 insurers across five general categories: financial stability, customer satisfaction, product and feature variety, the overall buying experience, and cost.
In order to do this, we collected over 5,000 data points and scored each company based on 55 metrics. We grouped metrics by category to see how insurers performed in each; we then weighted category scores to determine how companies performed overall.
To learn more, read our full Life Insurance Methodology.