North American Term Life Insurance Review

Table of Contents

Life insurance is one of the most important investments you can make as it provides financial protection for your family in the event of an untimely death. However, the decision to purchase a term life insurance policy should also not be taken lightly, as not all term life insurance plans offer the same benefits.

Sure, all term insurance plans also offer contract lengths that range from 10 years up to 30 years, and all term life insurance policies also provide a death benefit payable to your beneficiary upon your passing. 

However, not every term life insurance plan offers the same policy features. For example, some policies offer non-medical exam underwriting, and others require a medical exam. In addition, some plans offer unique policy riders, such as living benefits, which allow for early access to the death benefit if you become sick, and other plans offer no policy riders.

This is why you must do your research before settling one company’s policy.

Our review looks at two great term life insurance options offered by North American Life Insurance Company:

  • Classic Term Life Insurance
  • ADDvantage Term Life Insurance

We will compare the benefits that both term plans offer, discuss any limitations or restrictions associated with these policies, and provide an overall opinion about which one would work best for you based on your specific needs.

Our full review on Classic Term life insurance and ADDvantage term life insurance from North American Life Insurance Company will help you make an informed decision about which policy is right for your needs.

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North American Life Insurance Company

North American LifeNorth American Company for Life and Health Insurance (NACOLAH) was founded in 1886 and is headquartered in Sioux Falls, SD, which handles the life insurance side of the company, and a second headquarters located in West Des Moines, Iowa, where the company handles the annuities side of the business.

While North American may not be one of the more recognized brand names when it comes to insurance, the company does have over 130 years within the insurance industry. They are part of the Sammons Financial Group brand and currently provide financial protection to over 616,000 customers.

You may not have heard of North American Life or maybe hear very minimal because the company does not invest in expensive advertising, nor are they listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Instead, they invest in their company and developing products that bring the most value to their customers, and it definitely shows.  

North American Life offers several different fixed annuity plans and multiple life insurance products, including guaranteed universal life insurance, indexed universal life insurance, and two excellent term life insurance options packed with additional benefits.

North American Insurance Company Ratings

When choosing a life insurance policy, part of the process should always include viewing the professional ratings of a company before committing to buying a policy. Professional ratings provide helpful insight into the financial strength and stability of a company.

North American Company has earned top tier ratings from four of the main rating agencies:

  • AM Best: A+ Superior 
  • S&P Global Rating: A+ Strong
  • Fitch Ratings: A+ Stable
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): A+ Accredited

Most of the ratings are connected to the company’s parent organization – Sammons Financial Group. Sammons has maintained strong profitability and earnings stability through solid investment yields. As a result, you do not need to worry about North American Company folding before paying out your policy.

North American Term Life Insurance Options

North American term life insurance comes available in two options called:

  • Classic Term 
  • ADDvantage Term

Classic Term is the company’s basic term life insurance product. It is referred to as the “no-frills” option because it offers low-cost death benefit protection only. There are no extra policy features or optional policy riders, and contract options are limited to only a 10-year or 15-year term length. As a result, out of the two available North American term life insurance options, Classic Term offers the lowest rates.

  • Low Cost – competitively priced
  • 10 and 15-year term durations
  • $500,000 minimum coverage amount
  • Accelerated non-medical underwriting 

ADDvantage Term is more of the total package of the two available term insurance options. With ADDvantage, you will have a wider variety of contract lengths to choose from, plus your term insurance coverage will offer a few included policy features such as a conversion option and living benefits. However, while both term insurance options a priced very competitively against their competitors and each other, ADDvantage is going to be a little more expensive.

  • 10, 15, 20, and 30-year term durations
  • $100,000 minimum coverage amount
  • Living benefit feature for critical, chronic, and terminal illness
  • Renewable to age 95
  • Conversion options
  • Accelerated non-medical underwriting

Interested in learning more about these two excellent North American term life insurance options? If so, let’s take a deep dive into what each of these plans can really offer and if either will be the right decision for your life insurance needs.

North American Life Classic Term vs. ADDvantage Term

FeaturesClassic TermADDvantage Term
Issue Ages:18-7518-75
Contract Options:Classic Term 10-Year: 18-75
Classic Term 15-Year: 18-70
ADDvantage 10-Year: 18-75
ADDvantage 15-Year: 18-70
ADDvantage 20-Year: 18-65
ADDvantage 30-Year: 18-55 (18-50 tobacco)
Renewability:End of term contractUp to age 95
Coverage Amounts:Minimum Amount: $500,000
Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+
Minimum Amount: $100,000
Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+
Accelerated Underwriting:
(No Medical Exam)
WriteAway Accelerated Underwriting
Up to $2,000,000 for ages 18-50 ($500,000 for ages 51-60)
Traditional Underwriting:
(Medical Exam Required)
Medical exam will be required if an applicant does not qualify
for the WriteAway accelerated underwriting program.
Policy Riders:NoneAccelerated Death Benefit (Included)
Children's Term Life Insurance Rider (Optional)
Waiver of Premium (Optional)
Conversion Option:NoneConvertible to age 75
State Availability:Available in all states except New York

Who is eligible to apply for North American Term Life Insurance?

Classic TermADDvantage Term
Classic Term 10-Year: 18-75
Classic Term 15-Year: 18-70
ADDvantage 10-Year: 18-75
ADDvantage 15-Year: 18-70
ADDvantage 20-Year: 18-65
ADDvantage 30-Year: 18-55 (18-50 tobacco)

North American Term Life insurance policies are available to those between the ages of 18-75. Your age at the time of the application will determine which term lengths you will be eligible to apply for.

Classic Term

Available in only two contract lengths, 10 and 15 years. Premium payments are guaranteed to remain the same price throughout the entire contract length.

  • Classic Term 10-Year: Ages 18-75
  • Classic Term 15-Year: Ages 18-70

ADDvantage Term

Available in four different contract lengths to include 10, 15, 20, and 30 years. Premium payments are also locked in for the entire duration of the term length chosen.

  • ADDvantage 10-Year: 18-75
  • ADDvantage 15-Year: 18-70
  • ADDvantage 20-Year: 18-65
  • ADDvantage 30-Year: 18-55 (18-50 tobacco)

Both Cassic Term and ADDvantage Term are available in all states except for New York.

North American Term Life Insurance Minimum and Maximum Coverage Amounts

Classic TermADDvantage Term
Minimum Amount: $500,000
Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+
Minimum Amount: $100,000
Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+

Classic Term

The minimum coverage amount for the Classic Term policy is $500,000.

ADDvantage Term

The minimum coverage amount for the ADDvantage Term policy is $100,000.

Neither of the term life insurance options has a maximum coverage amount. However, applying for a death benefit that is greater than the allowable limits for accelerated underwriting will result in a medical exam. If you’re not sure how much life insurance coverage you will need, be sure to visit our life insurance calculator, which can help recommend an amount.

North American WriteAway Accelerated Underwriting

Classic TermADDvantage Term
Eligible for WriteAway Accelerated Underwriting

North American Company uses a traditional underwriting process for most applications. This generally requires applicants to take a medical exam as part of the overall application process.

However, applicants may qualify for an accelerated underwriting program offered by North American Life called “WriteAway.” The underwriting program offers a streamlined application process that is completed entirely online with the potential for a non-medical exam underwriting decision that can be made within 48-72 hours from applying.

The WriteAway accelerated underwriting program is available for both Classic Term and ADDvantage Term plans but does have a few limitations. To qualify, you must be between the ages of 18-60. In addition, the maximum death benefit that you can apply for is $2,000,000 and $500,000 for applicants between the ages of 51-60.

WriteAway works best with applications submitted electronically, but you do have the option to complete a paper application if you choose. Just note that choosing a paper application could result in a slower approval time, whereas an electronic application will yield a faster response for non-medical approval.

How WriteAway accelerated underwriting works in 3 steps:

Step 1: You’ll work with a licensed life insurance agent to discuss coverage needs and determine eligibility for the WriteAway accelerated underwriting option. After viewing initial quotes and determining if you will be applying for the Classic Term or ADDvantage Term policy, you will proceed to the electronic application.

Step 2: The electronic application is completed online with an agent or done independently through a custom application link sent to you via email. The application will consist of a series of lifestyle and medical history questions. When finished, your application responses will be reviewed by an underwriter and third-party sources such as LexisNexis to help determine eligibility for a quick non-medical approval.

Step 3: Within 24-48 hours, your application for coverage should be reviewed by underwriting and decided whether you have been approved for accelerated non-medical approval or if a medical exam is needed to complete underwriting.

If a medical exam is needed, the medical examiner will reach out to you to schedule a date to complete the medical exam. The medical exam can be done at your home and consists of blood pressure readings, physical measurements, and labs. Once completed, the results will be sent to North American Life to complete underwriting for potential approval.

North American Term Life Insurance Policy Riders

Classic TermADDvantage Term
No Available RidersAccelerated Death Benefit Endorsement (ADBE)
Children's Term Life Insurance Rider
Waiver of Premium

Classic Term does not come with any policy riders. It is a simple term life insurance product that offers no additional benefits or policy riders. It is pure death benefit protection only.

ADDvantage Term includes three different policy riders:

  • Accelerated Death Benefit Endorsement (ADBE)
  • Children’s Term Life Insurance Rider
  • Waiver of Premium Rider

Accelerated Death Benefit Endorsement (ADBE): A free living benefits policy rider that provides early access to the death benefit with a qualifying diagnosis of any of the following illnesses:

  • Critical illness
  • Chronic illness
  • Terminal illness

Specific medical conditions that occur after the term life insurance contract is active qualifies policyholders to request early acceleration of the policy death benefit for a cash payment due to a critical, chronic or terminal illness. (The critical illness benefit is not available in California.)

This policy rider is included with ADDvantage Term plans.

Children’s Term Life Insurance: The children’s term life insurance rider provides temporary life insurance coverage to all children of the insured. For a child to be eligible as a rider, they must be between the ages of 15 days and 20 years old.

The minimum coverage amount is $5,000, and the maximum amount is $25,000. When the child turns age 23, the coverage term insurance will terminate. At that time, the child will have the opportunity to convert their child coverage into their own permanent plan up to 5x the rider amount as long as it does not exceed $50,000.

This policy rider is available at an extra cost.

Waiver of Term Premium for Disability: The waiver of premium rider waives all premium payments if the insured becomes totally disabled for 180 days consecutive days. Premium payments will continue to be waived until no longer disabled or when the insured has turned age 65, whichever occurs first.

This policy rider is available at an extra cost.

North American Term Life Insurance Conversion Option

Classic TermADDvantage Term
Not convertibleConvertible to permanent coverage

ADDvantage Term Life insurance includes conversion privilege. As a result, you may convert your ADDvantage Term life insurance policy to multiple permanent insurance products offered by North American without providing new evidence of insurability.

Electing to convert a term policy to permanent coverage must be requested during the level premium period of the contract or up to age 75 (age 70 for 30-year plans), whichever is earlier. Requesting conversion to permanent coverage is not allowed during the first five policy years. Partial conversion of the death benefit is also allowed meaning you do not need to convert your full death benefit.

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North American Term Life Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we have explored both North American term life insurance options, Classic Term and ADDvantage Term, we would like to provide you with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about both term insurance plans.

If there are any questions that we missed, please be sure to reach out to us with your specific questions, and we will be sure to add them to the list below.

How do you apply for North American term life insurance?

As with most life insurance products, you need to work with an agent to complete your application. However, the application process can be completed electronically, and you can do it on your own if you choose.

North American Company uses several online platforms to streamline the application process. It starts with a web-based illustration platform. The illustrations platform allows agents to provide instant quotes for any of North American’s insurance products.

Initial comparison quotes can be viewed here.

The company also has an electronic application platform called “Simple Submit.” Simple Submit helps agents submit documents quickly for a faster turnaround time. 

After applying for Classic Term or ADDvantage Term, your information is submitted to the WriteAway underwriting platform. Combining these components speeds up the application process. For example, if you do not require a medical exam, you may get approved in as little as two days.

When would a medical exam be required?

If you have any medical conditions, you will likely need to take a medical exam. The following conditions typically result in the need for an exam as they are not eligible for the WriteAway accelerated underwriting program:

  • AIDS or HIV positive
  • Alcohol or drug abuse and/or treatment
  • Aneurysm
  • Anxiety/Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Asthma
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Emotional disorder
  • Heart disease, including any heart surgery, heart attack, or angina
  • Hepatitis B or C
  • Kidney disease
  • Overweight or underweight build
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Seizure disorder
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stroke or mini-stroke (TIA)
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Weight loss surgery in the past 5 years

Before completing an application, your insurance agent will ask about your medical history, which can help determine if you will be required to take a medical exam. Therefore, it is important to be truthful in your answers.

The insurance company’s underwriters will use third-party consumer data and potentially pull medical records directly from primary physicians to help verify responses to the application questions.

If you are in good health and are within the age range for accelerated underwriting, you may not need a medical exam. However, the coverage amount also determines whether you need an exam.

If you are required to complete a medical exam, it will be provided to you at no cost. The insurance company will also make it convenient as possible, and most applicants choose to complete their exam in the comfort of their home.

Is North American Term Life Insurance affordable?

When both North American term life insurance plans are compared against each other, Classic Term 10-year and 15-year options will be cheaper than ADDvantage Term. This is because Classic Term death benefit protection only and does not offer the extra features you can receive with ADDvantage.

Keep in mind that Classic Term is only available when the death benefit is $500,000 or higher. Therefore, any coverage amount less than $500,000 will need to be supported with an ADDvantage Term policy.

When comparing North American term life insurance rates to other top competitors, both plans do very well. If coverage is over $500,000, Classic Term is often within the top 5 companies for the lowest rates.

ADDvantage also does very well. Plus, North American is an AM Best A+ rated life insurance company, which often pushes them to a top choice even if they are a few dollars short of being the cheapest company.

While overall North American term life insurance rates are highly competitive, they are just as competitive when comparing the term plans against companies with similar benefits, such as the conversion option and the popular living benefits found with ADDvantage Term.

$500,000 North American Term Life Insurance sample rates

MaleClassic Term 10-YearADDvantage 10-Year
Age 30$13.64$14.52
Age 35$14.52$15.40
Age 40$18.48$19.80
Age 45$28.60$29.92
Age 50$42.24$44.00
Age 55$69.96$72.16
Age 60$113.08$117.04
Age 65$201.52$207.24
Age 70$328.24$342.76
Age 75$661.76$669.68
FemaleClassic Term 10-YearADDvantage 10-Year
Age 30$11.88$12.76
Age 35$12.76$14.08
Age 40$16.28$17.60
Age 45$25.08$25.96
Age 50$33.88$36.52
Age 55$51.92$54.56
Age 60$75.24$79.64
Age 65$126.72$130.24
Age 70$204.16$216.04
Age 75$432.52$441.32

*Preferred Plus Non-Nicotine underwriting classification. Monthly Male/Female premium rates current as of 06/27/2021 representing the cost of a $500,000 20-year North American Life Classic Term vs. ADDvantage Term life insurance policy.

What happens after the level premium period ends?

Classic Term policies are not renewable or convertible. The policy expires at the end of the chosen term. If you still need coverage after the term contract expires, you will need to re-apply for a new policy.

ADDvantage Term policies are renewable up to the age of 95. That means once the level term period has ended, you have the option to keep paying on your term plan up to age 95.

If you choose to keep paying on an expired term contract, you will face higher premiums each year the coverage is renewed. However, when a term insurance policy ends and coverage is still needed, it’s always going to be cheaper to apply for a new term policy.

On the other hand, if you have suffered a major change in health that would prevent you from qualifying for a new policy, choosing to renew your policy each year could be ideal. You may also want to consider using the conversion option and exchange your expired term plan into a permanent policy as conversions are guaranteed approval, regardless of any changes in your health.

Do premiums increase over the life of the policy?

Both North American term life insurance options offer a premium payment guaranteed to remain the same price throughout the entire level premium contract length chosen.

After you are approved for a policy, have received your final risk classification, and have accepted your coverage, your life insurance rates cannot increase. 

So, for example, if you chose an ADDvantage Term 30-year plan, your premium payments will stay the same price for exactly 30 years. However, once the 31st year comes, your term contract will turn into what is referred to as an annual renewable term insurance plan.

Should you choose to keep your coverage outside of the level premium period, your premiums will increase. However, most people who purchase term insurance choose to purchase a new contract once the level premium period has expired. It will generally be much cheaper than paying on an annual renewable term contract.

How does the living benefits work with North American term life insurance?

A term life insurance policy that can offer both death benefit protection and living benefits has become a popular choice of coverage for anyone concerned about providing financial security to their loved ones if they pass away and worried about protecting family savings if a sudden illness occurs.

Some companies offer living benefits at no added cost, and others offer the benefit as an additional policy rider for an extra cost. One of the great features of ADDvantage Term plans is that they offer a built-in living benefit feature that can help if you become ill with a critical, chronic or terminal illness.

For example, a heart attack, stroke, organ transplant, kidney failure, or cancer diagnosis may qualify for the critical illness benefit.

The maximum amount of policy death benefit that may be accelerated for a qualifying critical illness is up to 90% of the entire policy’s face value. However, the total payout from the death benefit may not exceed $1,000,000.

If diagnosed with a chronic illness and unable to perform at least two of the six activities of daily living or require substantial supervision by another person may receive up to 24% of their policy’s value each year up to a maximum of 100% of the death benefit, not to exceed $2,000,000.

And lastly, if diagnosed with a terminal illness and given a 24-month life expectancy, up to 90% of the death benefit can be accelerated but cannot exceed a total of $1,000,000. 

Quick Note: The critical illness benefit is not available to residents of the state of California. If you live in California and are considering a term life insurance policy with all three living benefits, take a look at Transamerica Living Benefits.

Does North American Company offer guaranteed universal Life Insurance?

North American Company does offer an excellent and highly competitive guaranteed universal life insurance policy called Custom Guarantee. The life insurance option will be a bit costly compared to both North American term life insurance options, but on a positive note, it will offer a guaranteed death benefit for the entire duration of your life. 

In addition to a lifetime of coverage, Custom Guarantee offers a few more extra benefits that you cannot get with Classic Term or ADDvantage. One of which is a return of premium option and a guaranteed insurability rider that allows you to add to your death benefit at certain policy years.

If you choose ADDvantage Term Life Insurance, you can convert your policy to a guaranteed universal life policy. If you’re interested in learning more about Custom Guarantee by North American Life, be sure to check out our guaranteed universal life insurance article, where we discuss the coverage in detail there.

What is North American Company’s cancellation policy?

North American Company follows the “free-look” period required in most states. The period varies from state to state but typically includes a grace period of 30 days where you can cancel coverage in the first 30 days for a full refund. After the cancellation period, you forfeit any potential refunds.

North American Company customer service

If you have any concerns or issues with your policy, it helps to have a customer service department that responds quickly. North American Company deals with inquiries swiftly but is only available during normal business hours.

The company does not have live chat support. You can contact the customer service department by phone or email. The customer service hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM (CT) and Friday from 7:30 AM to 3 PM (CT).

Submit a question

Did we miss answering your question about Classic Term or ADDvantage term life insurance coverage? No worries! Use the form below to send us your question, and we will get you an answer. Plus, you will be helping out others who may have the same question as we will add your question and our response to this article.

Advantages of North American Term Life Insurance

North American Company is a large company with over 130 years of experience. You can rely on the company to honor your policy because they have strong financial stability. 

Along with financial security, North American Company offers the following advantages:

  • Two different term insurance options
  • Competitive rates
  • Simplified underwriting process
  • Fast turnaround time
  • Online quotes
  • Easy application
  • High maximum coverage amounts

North American Company offers some of the lowest premiums for its Classic Term life insurance product. Non-smokers under the age of 40 may qualify for term life rates of $14 or less per month.

The company also has a simplified underwriting process. Applicants who do not need a medical exam can complete their application through the WriteAway platform, which may result in approval within 48 to 72 hours.

North American Company also offers a faster turnaround time compared to most companies. With the traditional underwriting process, the company starts processing applications within two business days.

You can also get a quote online instead of needing to talk directly to an agent. This makes it easier to compare quotes from multiple companies. However, you still need to work with a financial professional at the North American Company to complete the application process.

North American Company also offers higher maximum coverage amounts compared to most companies. You can get coverage up to $5,000,000, which should be more than enough protection for your loved ones or in the event of a major illness.

Disadvantages of North American Term Life Insurance

North American Company offers many advantages, but the term life products still come with a few potential disadvantages:

  • Not licensed to sell life insurance in all states
  • No optional riders for the Classic Term insurance
  • Relatively high minimum policy amount

North American Company is not licensed to sell term life products in the state of New York. Therefore, if you are a New York resident looking for a comparable term life insurance option, we recommend ANICO Signature Term, which also offers accelerated underwriting and living benefit.

As mentioned before, the critical illness portion of the free accelerated death benefit rider is unavailable in California.

The Classic Term does not provide access to any optional riders. If you want to include an accelerated death benefit, child term life rider, or disability waiver, you must choose the ADDvantage Term coverage.

While the Classic Term coverage is the cheaper of the two term insurance options, the downside is that the coverage is limited to only the 10 and 15-year contract lengths.

North American Company also has relatively high minimum policy amounts, which may not work for those who want a limited amount of protection. For example, the Classic Term product has a minimum policy value of $500,000. On the other hand, the ADDvantage Term has a minimum policy value of $100,000.

For anyone looking for less than a $100,000 term insurance policy, you will need to look at other companies such as Assurity Term Life Insurance which can offer a $25,000 minimum death benefit.

Conclusion – Is North American Term Life Insurance Worth it?

North American Company is a quality choice for those who want a simple term life insurance policy. The Classic Term has no optional riders, renewal options, or conversion privileges. However, it comes with some of the lowest premiums.

The Classic Term product is especially beneficial for those who are in good health. You can lock in a low rate for a 10-year or 15-year period. Unfortunately, the Classic Term option is not available with 20-year or 30-year terms.

The ADDvantage Term product provides access to common riders and benefits, including an accelerated death benefit for chronic, critical, or terminal illnesses. The cost of the policy is a little higher than the average price when compared to other companies. Both plans offer accelerated underwriting potential with the WriteAway program making the application process is simple and quick.

In the end, if you want to obtain a term life policy without any hassle, North American Company comes highly recommended. You can get a significant amount of coverage at reasonable prices to ensure that your family is protected.

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Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert

Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert

Jeffrey Manola is the founder of No Medical Exam Quotes, an online insurance broker with a strong focus on helping people shop for the perfect life insurance policy. Jeffrey is both a licensed life insurance expert and content creator for the website. Before becoming a licensed life insurance agent, he served in the United States Marine Corps. He transitioned from serving his country to helping families find affordable life insurance coverage since 2009. No Medical Exam Quotes is licensed to offer life insurance coverage in all 50 U.S. States.

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