In the following Ameritas review we will focus on the company’s history, strong ratings, life insurance policies, and the unique features offered.
Review of Ameritas Life Insurance Company
If you are in the market for life insurance then one of the best methods to discover the best life insurance is to get familiar with the various carriers and policies in the industry. At InsuranceandEstates, we have put together different life insurance reviews, which include our picks for the top whole life insurance companies for building cash value.
About Ameritas Life Insurance Company
Headquarters: 5900 O Street Lincoln, NE 68510
Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation is a subsidiary of Ameritas Mutual Holding Company.
The Company has been in existence since 1887, originally under the name The Old Line Bankers Life Insurance Company of Nebraska (Bankers Life). Bankers Life changed its name to Ameritas Life in 1988. Ameritas does business in New York under Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. of New York (Ameritas Life of NY).
Ameritas Mutual Holding Company is well funded with over 25.8 billion total assets under management. With over 3.8 million customers, Ameritas is a large life insurance company, with $88.7 billion life insurance inforce.
Ameritas is a mutual insurance company. A mutual insurance company is owned by the policyholders. The company is operated in such a way as to maximize the profits for policyholders and not stockholders.
What is a mutual insurance company?
Mutual companies are privately held and operate for the sole benefit of policyholders, rather than for the benefit of stockholders.
Ameritas Life pays an annual cash dividend to policyholders. The amount of dividend to be paid to participating policyholders is determined by the board of directors.
Ameritas Life Insurance Company Ratings
A.M. Best rating A (3rd highest rating of 15)
A.M. Best rating of A as of June 2016 signifies that Ameritas has a strong financial foundation and creditworthiness. The company is properly diversified and funded to provide long term security and peace of mind to policyholders.
Standard and Poor’s A+ (5th highest rating of 22)
Additionally, Ameritas Life Insurance Company has an A+ rating with the BBB.
Ameritas Life Products
On the individual and family side, Ameritas offers life insurance, dental/vision/hearing, retirement plans, disability income, investments, public finance and annuities.
- Term Life Insurance
- Whole Life Insurance
- Universal Life Insurance
- Indexed Universal Life Insurance
- Variable Universal Life Insurance
- Indexed Annuities
- Deferred Annuities
- Variable Annuities
- Immediate Annuities
Ameritas Life Insurance Policies
Ameritas offers a full range of life insurance policies, including term life and permanent life insurance.
Each type of coverage offers unique benefits. In the battle between whole life insurance vs term life, we most often favor cash value life insurance over term.
Benefits of Term Life Insurance
- Lower Initial Cost
- Income Protection
- Mortgage Protection
- Conversion Option
- Supplement Permanent Life Insurance
Benefits of Cash Value Life Insurance
- Business Succession Planning
- Buy Sell Agreements
- Key Man Insurance
- Estate Planning
- Infinite Banking
- Executive Bonus Plans
- Deferred Compensation Plans
- Retirement Planning
- Wealth Building
Ameritas Term Life Insurance
Keystone Term life insurance allows you to leverage a relatively small monthly premium for a large guaranteed death benefit with a lower initial cost than permanent life insurance.
Ameritas term life insurance is available in 1, 10, 15, 20 and 30 year terms.
Ameritas’ Keystone term policy is convertible term life insurance which allows the insured to convert all or a portion of the policy to permanent coverage. The advantage of conversion term life insurance is you can get insured at a relatively low cost depending on your age and health that can be converted to a superior whole life or universal life policy at a later time, with no evidence of insurability required, i.e. no health questions or medical exam.
Ameritas Life also offers a child term rider. You can purchase up to $25,000 of life insurance for children that can be converted to permanent coverage down the road.
Keystone term life insurance also offers an accelerated death benefit rider. The ADB rider allows the owner to access a portion of the death benefit if the insured is diagnosed terminally ill.
Ameritas Universal Life Insurance
Excel LifeValue and Excell Essential Universal life are permanent life insurance policies. Universal life offers the following benefits:
Cash Value: growing cash value that can be withdrawn or borrowed against.
Flexible Premiums: premiums can be increased or decreased depending on your financial health.
Permanent Protection: as long as your cash surrender value stays above $1 your policy will remain inforce.
Excel Life Value UL also offers an accidental death benefit rider and guaranteed insurability rider.
Excel Essential UL also offers a child term rider, insurance exchange rider, total disability benefit rider, waiver of monthly deduction rider and Care4Life Acceleration rider.
Care4Life Acceleration rider. Allows you access to your death benefit for critical illness or terminal illness.
Excel LifeValue Survivor
Ameritas also offers survivorship life insurance. Survivorship insurance protects the life of two people and may be more affordable then buying an individual policy. For more information on the advantages of survivorship life insurance, click the link above.
Ameritas Indexed Universal Life Insurance
Excel Index and Excel Plus Index Universal Life Insurance provides a return tied to a market index, such as the S&P 500, and offers built in protection from market loss.
There are many universal life insurance rider options:
- Accelerated Death Benefit
- Accidental Death Benefit
- Accounting Benefit
- Children’s Insurance
- Guaranteed Insurability
- Insurance Exchange
- Paid-Up Life Insurance Benefit
- Scheduled Increase
- Supplemental Coverage
- Term Insurance for Other Insureds
- Total Disability Benefit
- Waiver of Monthly Deductions
Ameritas Variable Universal Life Insurance
Excel Performance Variable Universal Life Insurance allows premium to be invested in different investment choices.
Variable Universal Life (VUL) offers the following benefits:
- Income tax free death benefit
- Potential for a greater return
- Flexible investment options
- Asset allocation for diversification
- Flexible premium payments
Ameritas Whole Life Insurance
Keystone and Keystone Foundation Whole Life Insurance offer custom protection, as well as the following guarantees:
- Guaranteed death benefit,
- Guaranteed cash value growth and
- Guaranteed level premiums.
Additional cash value growth is available through dividends.
Dividends are valuable and can be used to:
- Purchase paid up additions
- Pay Premiums
- Earn interest with the company
- Cash Out
Additional Benefits of Whole Life Insurance
Tax free life insurance policy loans
You can take out a tax free life insurance loan by using your cash value as collateral. There is no limit as to what you can do with your policy loan, but we would recommend using it to buy additional income producing assets.
Ameritas practices a direct recognition approach to life insurance policy loans. When there is an outstanding policy loan, Ameritas pays the dividend based on the cash value that is not being used as collateral for the loan.
For those who are interested in using the policy for infinite banking, the work around would be to use the cash value as collateral with a separate financial institution, such as a local bank, instead of borrowing form the life insurance company.
Tax deferred cash value growth
Under IRC 7702, cash value life insurance is given certain tax incentives. One such benefit offered is that your cash value grows tax deferred.
If you are using paid up additions to increase your cash value you need to be aware that over funding your policy will change the tax status of your policy to that of a modified endowment contract (MEC). If your policy becomes a MEC, many of the provisions of IRC 7702 will not apply to your policy.
Tax free death benefit
Life insurance death benefits pass to your beneficiary income tax free. A death benefit is taxed if your estate exceeds the federal estate tax exemption limit. If you have an estate that is close to the federal exemption limit, careful asset protection using an irrevocable life insurance trust may be necessary.
Ameritas Whole Life Insurance Riders
Care4Life (or Accelerated Death Benefit) Rider: provides living benefits if the insured is diagnosed as critically ill or terminally ill.
Flexible Paid Up Rider: paid up additions allow the purchase of paid up additional whole life insurance through additional premium payments or dividends.
Guaranteed Insurability Rider: you can increase you coverage at certain dates with no evidence of insurability.
Accidental Death Benefit
Children Insurance Rider
Level Term Rider
Individual Disability Income Insurance
Ameritas Life Insurance Company Review Conclusion
If you have more questions or would you like to see an illustration of Ameritas Life or any of the other best cash value life insurance companies we represent, please give us a call today for a free life insurance consultation with an advanced markets professional.