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, when it comes to purchasing a policy, choosing a policy should not be taken lightly, as not all plans offer the same benefits.
Sure, all term insurance plans also offer contract lengths that can 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, when it comes to other features such as non-medical underwriting or policy riders such as living benefits, well, not all term insurance plans offer those same features.
It is why you must research before settling on one company’s policy. Our review looks at a great term life insurance option offered by North American Life Insurance Company called:
- ADDvantage Term Life Insurance
This review will look at all the policy features and benefits of North American ADDvantage Term Life Insurance that place the company in front of its competition.
We will also discuss any limitations or restrictions associated with the life insurance plan helping you make an informed decision about purchasing a policy from North American Life Insurance Company.
North American Life Insurance Company
North 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. A second headquarters is 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 in insurance, the company does have over 130 years within the insurance industry. They are part of the Sammons Financial Group brand and 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 develop products that bring the most value to their customers, and it shows.
North American Life offers several fixed annuity plans and multiple life insurance products, including guaranteed universal life insurance, indexed universal life insurance, and an affordable term life insurance option packed with several 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 a company’s financial strength and stability.
North American Company has earned top-tier ratings from four of the leading 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
ADDvantage Term is not your basic term life insurance coverage. Instead, you’re getting the total package with a wide variety of policy options and contract lengths at an affordable cost.
One of the most notable features of the term life insurance coverage is the built-in living benefit features that provide financial protection from a qualifying illness. Check out these other great policy features:
- 10, 15, 20, and 30-year term durations
- $100,000 minimum coverage amount
- Living benefit features for critical, chronic, and terminal illness
- Optional children’s term insurance rider
- Renewable to age 95
- Conversion options
- Accelerated non-medical underwriting
Let’s dive deeper into what ADDvantage term insurance can offer and if either will be the right decision for your life insurance needs.
ADDvantage Term Insurance Overview
|Contract Options:||ADDvantage 10-Year: 18-75|
ADDvantage 15-Year: 18-70
ADDvantage 20-Year: 18-65
ADDvantage 30-Year: 18-55 (18-50 tobacco)
|Renewability:||Up to age 95|
|Coverage Amounts:||Minimum Amount: $100,000|
Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+
|Non Medical Underwriting:||WriteAway Accelerated Underwriting|
Up to $2,000,000 for ages 18-50 ($1,000,000 for ages 51-60)
|Medical Underwriting:||Medical exam will be required if an applicant does not qualify|
for the WriteAway accelerated underwriting program.
|Policy Riders:||Accelerated Death Benefit (Included)|
Children's Term Life Insurance Rider (Optional)
Waiver of Premium (Optional)
|Conversion Option:||Convertible to age 75|
|State Availability:||Available in all states except New York|
Who is eligible to apply for North American Term Life Insurance?
|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.
ADDvantage is available in four contract options that 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)
ADDvantage Term plans are available in all states except for New York.
North American Term Life Insurance Coverage Amounts
|Minimum Amount: $100,000 |
Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+
The minimum coverage amount for the ADDvantage Term policy is $100,000.
ADDvantage term life insurance does not have a maximum coverage amount. However, applying for a death benefit greater than the allowable limits for accelerated underwriting will result in a medical exam.
If you’re unsure how much life insurance coverage you will need, visit our life insurance calculator, which can help recommend an amount.
North American WriteAway Accelerated Underwriting
|WriteAway Accelerated "Non-Medical" 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 application process.
However, select applicants may qualify for an accelerated underwriting program offered by North American Life called “WriteAway.”
The WriteAway underwriting program provides a streamlined application process that can be completed entirely online with the potential for a non-medical exam underwriting decision that can be made within 48-72 hours of applying.
While the accelerated underwriting program is available for ADDvantage Term plans, there are a few limitations. To qualify, you must be between the ages of 18-60. In addition, if you are between the ages of 18-50, the maximum death benefit you can apply for is $2,000,000, and $1,000,000 for applicants between the ages of 51-60.
WriteAway works best with applications submitted electronically, but you can complete a paper application. 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 WriteAway accelerated underwriting. After viewing initial quotes and determining if you will apply for an ADDvantage Term policy, you will proceed to the electronic application.
Step 2: The electronic application is completed online with an agent or 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
|Accelerated Death Benefit Endorsement (ADBE) |
Children's Term Life Insurance Rider
Waiver of Premium
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): Is 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 qualify 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
|Convertible to permanent coverage|
ADDvantage Term life insurance includes a conversion privilege that allows for the term coverage to be converted 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 specific time durations as follows:
- ADDvantage 10-year: Earlier of 7 years or age 70
- ADDvantage 15-year: Earlier of 12 years or age 70
- ADDvantage 20-year: Earlier of 15 years or age 70
- ADDvantage 30-year: Earlier of 20 years or age 70
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 entire death benefit.
North American Term Life Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we have explored the main parts of a North American term life insurance plan, we would like to answer some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding the coverage.
If we missed any questions, 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 can work with an agent to complete your life insurance application.
However, North American does offer an electronic application process called “Simple Submit,” which can be completed with the assistance of a licensed agent or independently on your own.
The first part of the application process begins with a quote and an illustration for coverage, followed by the life insurance application.
Initial comparison quotes can be viewed here.
Completing the life insurance application should take 20-30 minutes. Part of the application will include questions about your medical history, including details about your family’s medical history.
After completing the ADDvantage Term application, your information is submitted electronically to the WriteAway underwriting platform, where it will be reviewed for potential non-medical approval.
After the life insurance application has been reviewed, underwriting will notify you if you have been approved for non-medical underwriting or if a medical exam is needed.
If approved, your life insurance policy will be issued and delivered via email for acceptance. If a medical exam is required, North American Life will order the medical exam, at which that point you will be contacted to schedule with an examiner who will come to your home to collect labs.
When would a medical exam be required?
You will likely need to take a medical exam if you have any medical conditions. 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
- Anxiety/Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Atrial fibrillation
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Crohn’s disease
- 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.
You may not need a medical exam if you are in good health, within the height and weight guidelines, and are within the age range for accelerated underwriting.
If you are not eligible for WriteAway accelerated underwriting, you will be asked to complete a medical exam that will be provided 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?
Rates will depend on gender, age, tobacco use, term length, coverage amount, and your approved risk classification. North American term life insurance rates are affordable but are not the cheapest compared to other competitors.
However, with an AM Best A+ rating and multiple policy features, such as the living benefit options, the idea of paying a few extra dollars is often welcomed by most people who want these options in their life insurance coverage.
North American Term Life Insurance Rate Chart
|Age||Gender||Face Amount||Term Length||Premium|
|30||Male||$1,000,000||ADDvantage 30-Year||$59.40 / monthly|
|30||Female||$1,000,000||ADDvantage 30-Year||$48.84 / monthly|
|35||Male||$1,000,000||ADDvantage 30-Year||$68.20 / monthly|
|35||Female||$1,000,000||ADDvantage 30-Year||$57.64 / monthly|
|40||Male||$1,000,000||ADDvantage 30-Year||$102.52 / monthly|
|40||Female||$1,000,000||ADDvantage 30-Year||$80.52 / monthly|
|45||Male||$750,000||ADDvantage 20-Year||$72.38 / monthly|
|45||Female||$750,000||ADDvantage 20-Year||$57.20 / monthly|
|50||Male||$500,000||ADDvantage 20-Year||$76.56 / monthly|
|50||Female||$500,000||ADDvantage 20-Year||$58.08 / monthly|
|55||Male||$250,000||ADDvantage 15-Year||$50.38 / monthly|
|55||Female||$250,000||ADDvantage 15-Year||$36.52 / monthly|
|60||Male||$100,000||ADDvantage 10-Year||$37.66 / monthly|
|60||Female||$100,000||ADDvantage 10-Year||$27.54 / monthly|
*North American ADDvantage Term sample rates shown in the above table are based on male and females in excellent health with no nicotine use. The monthly male and female rates are current as of December 20, 2022, and were pulled directly from our online quote tool, which is updated any time there is a change in rates.
What happens after the level premium period ends?
ADDvantage Term policies are renewable up to the age of 95. That means once the level term period has ended, you can keep paying on your term plan until 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 is often much cheaper to apply for a new term policy.
On the other hand, if you have suffered a significant 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 for a permanent policy, as conversions are guaranteed approval, regardless of any changes in your health.
Do premiums increase over the life of the policy?
North American term life insurance offers a premium payment guaranteed to remain the same price throughout the chosen level premium contract length.
After you are approved for a policy, have received your final risk classification, and have accepted your coverage, your life insurance rates cannot increase for the entire duration of the level premium period has ended.
So, for example, if you chose an ADDvantage Term 30-year plan, your premium payments will stay the same price for precisely 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.
If you choose to keep your coverage outside 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. This is because 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 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 fee. One of the great features of ADDvantage Term plans is that they provide 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, consider 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.
Unfortunately, the life insurance option will be a bit costly compared to both North American term life insurance options. Still, 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 you cannot get with ADDvantage. One is a return of premium option and a guaranteed insurability rider that allows you to add to your death benefit at specific 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, check out our guaranteed universal life insurance article, where we discuss the coverage in detail.
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).
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Advantages of North American Term Life Insurance
North American Life Insurance Company is a large company with over 130 years of experience. Backed by strong financial strength ratings, you can rely on the company to be around to honor your policy.
Along with strong financial strength ratings, North American Life Insurance Company offers the following advantages:
- Competitive rates
- Simplified underwriting process
- Fast turnaround time
- Online quotes
- Easy application
- High maximum coverage amounts
With the option for a simplified non-medical underwriting process, some applicants may not need a medical exam. They 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 talking directly to an agent. This makes it easier to compare quotes from multiple companies. However, you still need to work with a licensed agent 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
- Relatively high minimum policy amount
North American Company is not licensed to sell term life products in 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.
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, 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?
In our opinion, North American term life insurance (ADDvantage Life) is entirely worth it.
The ADDvantage Term product provides access to multiple policy 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 compared to other companies. However, if you’re looking for a convenient application process with an accelerated non-medical underwriting option, the WriteAway program can offer it.
North American Company comes highly recommended. You can get a significant amount of coverage at reasonable prices to protect your family.