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Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company Review

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Sentinel Security Life insurance company review

About Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company

Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company was formed in 1948 by a Utah-based group of funeral directors.  Then known as Sentinel Mutual Insurance Company, its original purpose was to provide final expense insurance to help surviving family members with burial and funeral costs for departed loved ones.

Since its mid-20th-century origin, Sentinel Security has achieved considerable growth by expanding its product lines, acquiring other insurers, and converting from a mutual company to a stock-issuing corporation.

From its headquarters in Salt Lake City, Sentinel Security issues annuities and insurance policies through over 23,000 agents in 36 states.  The company does business in most of the western states, but it’s reach is limited east of the Mississippi, particularly in the Northeast.

Sentinel Security Life Financial Ratings

A.M. Best: B++
Fitch: NR
Moody’s: NR
S&P Global: NR
Comdex Ranking: NR

As of the end of 2019, Sentinel Security had around $690 million in total assets and an annual net income of about $8.7 million.  The company holds about two-thirds of its assets in stable, investment-grade bonds and cash.

The B++ grade from A.M. Best is not top-tier, so there are plenty of life insurers with better financial ratings.  Financial-planning experts often recommend purchasing life insurance from companies with an A.M. Best grade of at least A-.  However, Sentinel Security has consistently met its obligations, and it’s overall financial position is fairly secure.

Sentinel Security has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 1979 and currently scores an A+ rating from the BBB.  In general, customer reviews of Sentinel Security are largely positive.

Products Offered by Sentinel Security Life:

  • Final Expense Insurance
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance
  • Annuities

Life Insurance Policies Offered by Sentinel Security Life

Although Sentinel Security offers an impressive variety of annuities, its life insurance offerings are limited to a single final expense product, with three variations.

All three burial insurance policies for seniors are simplified-issue whole life policies, with fixed premiums, guaranteed-for-life coverage, and cash-value accumulation.

New Vantage I:

Sentinel Security’s New Vantage I policy provides cash value whole life, final-expense coverage in amounts between $1,000 and $35,000.

Applicants can be up to 85 years old, though coverage amounts are limited for new insureds over 75.  Sentinel Security’s application process includes three sections of health screening questions, all of which applicants for New Vantage I must pass.

This is burial insurance with no waiting period, so if medical eligibility is satisfied, full coverage takes effect immediately after a new policy is issued.

Depending on the new insured’s age, limited pay whole life insurance is available and premiums can be scheduled to be payable until age 121 or to be fully paid-up in 10 years, 20 years, when the insured reaches age 65, or when the insured reaches age 85.

Accidental Death, Children’s Protection, and Waiver of Premium riders are available with New Vantage I.

New Vantage II:

New Vantage II is structured similarly to New Vantage I but is designed for applicants with some health concerns affecting eligibility.

Coverage is open to new insureds between ages 45 and 85 in amounts up to $20,000 (limited to $15,000 for new insureds ages 81 and older).

Policies include a two-year waiting period before full coverage takes effect.  If death occurs during the first year, the benefit is measured as 30% of face value.  In the second year, the death benefit is 70% of face value.  Starting in year 3, full coverage amounts are available.

During the first two years, an accidental death rider is included at no additional cost so that, notwithstanding the waiting period, full policy proceeds are effectively paid if the insured’s death results from an accident.

New Vantage III:

New Vantage III is designed for new insureds between ages 45 and 85 who are in relatively poor health.  However, the policy is not guaranteed-acceptance life insurance, so applicants who answer “yes” to certain knock-out questions will not be eligible for coverage under any New Vantage policy.

Coverage amounts under New Vantage III are limited to $15,000, and death benefits are subject to a two-year waiting period.  If death occurs during that window, the payout is equal to the total premiums paid to-date, plus ten percent.

During the first two years, an accidental death rider is included at no additional cost so that, notwithstanding the waiting period, full policy proceeds are effectively paid if the insured’s death results from an accident.

Available Life Insurance Riders

Sentinel Security offers three optional riders that can be added to New Vantage I policies only.

Accidental Death:

Available for new insureds up to age 60, the Accidental Death rider provides supplemental coverage of up to five times a policy’s face value (subject to a $100,000 cap) if the insured’s death occurs due to a qualifying accident.  The rider expires when the insured reaches age 65.

Waiver of Premium:

Available for new insureds age 15 through 55, the waiver of premium rider waives further premium obligations if the insured becomes totally disabled for a period of at least six months.  The rider expires when the insured reaches age 60.

Children’s Protection:

Sentinel Security’s Children’s Protection rider provides up to $5,000 in term coverage for the primary insured’s minor children.  If the insured parent dies while the rider is in place, the term rider is deemed paid-in-full until expiration.

A Children’s Protection rider expires when the child reaches age 25 or the insured parent reaches 65, whichever occurs first.  On the date the term rider expires, it can be converted to a whole life policy providing up to five times the coverage without additional underwriting.

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