About Knights of Columbus Life Insurance
Originally formed in 1882, the Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal benefit society headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, with nearly 2 million members worldwide.
Along with its extensive charitable work, Knights of Columbus provides members of the organization and their families access to multiple benefits, including eligibility to purchase life insurance through Knights of Columbus.
Membership in the Knights of Columbus is limited to Catholic men over age 18.
Knights of Columbus policies are issued and serviced through local field agents throughout North America. Like policyholders, Knights of Columbus agents must also be members of the organization.
Knights of Columbus Life Insurance Financial Ratings
A.M. Best: A+
S&P Global: AA+
Comdex Ranking: 98
The strong financial position and consistently high ratings from A.M. Best suggest that Knights of Columbus is a safe option for life insurance.
Over its long history, Knights of Columbus has earned a reputation for a conservative investment philosophy and consistent financial security. The organization currently has assets totaling $24 billion and more than $100 billion of in-force life insurance policies outstanding.
Additionally, Knight of Columbus has put well over a billion dollars toward charitable causes over the last ten years.
Knights of Columbus’s life insurance division is not currently accredited by the Better Business Bureau, though it has a reasonably good A- BBB rating. Most online reviews are generally positive, though there are some consumers frustrated with the claims handling process.
Products Offered by Knights of Columbus Life Insurance:
- Term Life Insurance
- Whole Life Insurance
- Final Expense Insurance
- Universal Life Insurance
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Disability Insurance
Life Insurance Policies Offered by Knights of Columbus Life Insurance
Accelerator Term Life Insurance:
The Accelerator Term policy is available to members between ages 18 and 70 in coverage levels starting at $100,000. Initial term periods of 10, 15, and 20 years are available.
Term life insurance premiums are fixed for the initial term, and coverage can be renewed through age 85, with premiums increased upon renewal. Policyholders can increase coverage amounts by up to 25% during the initial term for a relatively small premium increase.
Knights of Columbus term policies include conversion options, allowing the policyholder to convert the term coverage to permanent insurance without any further underwriting requirements.
Annual Renewable Term:
Coverage is issued for one-year periods only, but can be renewed at the end of the year. Premiums are adjusted upon each renewal.
Young Adult Insurance:
Available only for members and spouses from age 18 to 29, Knights of Columbus Young Adult Insurance is a low-priced term option designed to provide inexpensive, relatively short-term protection to insureds just starting out in their careers.
Knights Advantage Series—Limited Pay Whole Life:
Knights of Columbus describes Limited Pay Whole Life as its “flagship policy.”
Like other limited pay whole life policies, Knights of Columbus’ version offers fixed premiums and guaranteed-for-life death benefits. Policies accrue cash value that earns tax-deferred growth at guaranteed interest rates.
Cash value can be used as collateral for a policy loan or cashed out to help fund retirement. Policyholders can choose the premium schedule, allowing policies to be fully paid-up as early as 5 years after issuance or as late as the insured’s 100th birthday.
Knights of Columbus also offers a graded-premium modified whole life insurance option which, if selected, starts with lower premium payments for the first few years after a policy is issued.
Whole life policies are eligible for dividends, which, though not guaranteed, can be put back into the policy when received to increase cash value and the death benefit.
Single Premium Whole Life:
A single premium whole life policy is paid-up from the start with one initial, lump-sum premium payment. Policies have cash value that earns tax-deferred interest and can be accessed through policy loans or surrenders. Like other life insurance, the death benefit is not subject to income tax when paid out to beneficiaries.
Graded Death Benefit Whole Life:
Marketed as a final expense insurance policy, Graded Death Benefit Whole Life does not require any medical screening in the application process. New applicants must be between ages 18 and 65 and can obtain up to $7,500 in permanent coverage.
Graded-benefit policies have a two-year waiting period before coverage fully takes effect. If death occurs during that period, the beneficiary will receive all premiums paid into the policy to date, plus interest.
The waiting period does not apply in the event the insured’s death results from an accident.
The graded death benefit is essentially a tradeoff for the guaranteed acceptance.
The company accepts the higher risk involved in issuing policies without any underwriting and, in exchange, full coverage amounts do not kick in until two years after the policy is issued.
Protector No Lapse Guaranty Universal Life:
Knights of Columbus’ Protector universal life policy is a fairly standard universal life insurance policy.
Premiums are flexible, subject to a monthly minimum, and policyholders can opt to pay higher premiums to increase the policy’s cash value and death benefit.
A built-in Lapse Protection Rider guarantees that coverage will remain in force as long as the required minimum premium is paid.
A similar Survivorship Universal Life policy covers two insureds and pays out when both insureds have passed away.
Available Life Insurance Riders
If selected, the policyholder can convert term coverage into a whole life or universal life policy. The option must be exercised before the earlier of the insured’s 65th birthday or the end of the policy’s initial term.
Terminal Illness Rider:
Included standard with most policies, the terminal illness rider allows acceleration of a portion of a policy’s death benefit if the insured is diagnosed as having less than 12 months to live.
Chronic Illness Accelerated Death Benefit Rider:
Standard with Knights of Columbus’ universal life survivorship policies, the chronic illness rider allows acceleration of a portion of a policy’s death benefit if an insured is diagnosed with a qualifying chronic illness.
Disability Waiver of Premium:
If the insured becomes totally disabled before age 60, premiums are waived during the period of total disability.
Spousal Waiver of Premium Rider:
If spouses each purchase a permanent policy at the same time, the rider is included without charge. In the event of one spouse’s death, further premium obligations are waived for the other spouse’s policy.
Guaranteed Purchase Option:
If purchased, the rider gives the policyholder a contractual right to increase the policy’s coverage amount at defined intervals with no additional underwriting requirements.
Children’s Term Insurance:
This rider provides term coverage to the insured’s children. The term coverage lasts until the earlier of the covered child’s 26th birthday or the primary insured’s 65th.
Income Protection Rider:
If purchased, the rider adds a supplemental death benefit in the form of monthly income payments upon the insured’s death.
Accidental Death Benefit:
If the insured’s death results from a qualifying accident, the rider provides for a supplemental death benefit. The rider is available for new insureds through age 55.