SBLI Term Life Insurance Review 2021

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Shopping for life insurance is a critical process in finding the perfect coverage, but it can often be a hectic experience if you don’t know which plan to choose.

There are so many different providers and policies out there that can offer coverage, but does that mean they will be the right choice for you?

Those interested in a simple but solid term life insurance plan that offers the option not to take a medical exam should consider SBLI term life insurance. 

With SBLI, you may be able to skip the medical exam with their accelerated underwriting process. That means no scheduling a medical exam, no blood sample, and no urine sample will be required.

We want to help make your life insurance shopping experience a little less hectic by providing you a full life insurance review on everything you need to know about SBLI and their guaranteed level premium term life insurance plan.

SBLI Life Insurance Company

The Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts, known as SBLI, was created back in 1907 by Louis Brandeis, who would later in time be named United States Supreme Court Justice Brandeis.

SBLI LogoOwning a life insurance policy back in 1907 was generally not something reserved for the wealthy.

In that era, life insurance plans didn’t have the rules and regulations they do in today’s time. Because of that, insurance companies could raise rates and even cancel policies, often leaving hard-working families without coverage due to them being unaffordable.

That would change with Justice Brandeis. By partnering with local saving banks in Massachusetts, SBLI would be created to offer hard-working families a solution to an affordable life insurance policy from an insurance company that they could have trust in.

Fast forward to today, and Justice Brandeis’s vision of the company still holds true from then to now. SBLI headquarters is located in Woburn, MA, and has provided valuable life insurance coverage to over 1,000,000 families.

SBLI is a top competitor when it comes to offering affordable term life insurance rates. Their motto, The No-Nonsense Life Insurance Company, means that they are committed to removing the “nonsense and confusing jargon” from life insurance by providing simply effective life insurance plans.

SBLI life insurance options include:

  • Term life insurance
  • Universal life insurance (term conversion only)
  • Whole life insurance

While SBLI offers a whole life insurance policy and universal life insurance used for conversion purposes, it’s their SBLI term life insurance plan paired with a non-medical accelerated underwriting process up to $750,000 that has placed SBLI as a top contender for life insurance coverage.

SBLI offers life insurance coverage in every state except MT and NY.

SBLI Life Insurance Ratings

When purchasing life insurance, it should always be a priority to view a company’s ratings and customer reviews. SBLI scores well in both.

SBLI has earned strong ratings from two top rating agencies, AM Best and Standard & Poor’s.

A.M. Best has rated SBLI with a letter grade of A (Excellent), which represents a strong ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations to their customers. An A.M. Best rating of an A is the 3rd highest score out of a possibility of 16 ratings.

Standard & Poor’s has rated SBLI with a letter grade of A- (Stable), representing strong financial security characteristics. A Standard & Poor’s rating of an A- is the 7th highest score out of a possibility of 21 ratings.

Professional rating grades can offer peace of mind in knowing that an insurance company can meet its financial obligation to its customers, but actual customer reviews can provide insight into the experience, good or bad, that they had with a company, which is also valuable.

For customer reviews, we can look at a few different organizations starting with the popular Better Business Bureau. SBLI has an impressive A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB is a nonprofit organization that focuses on marketplace trust and quality. The A+ rating means they have a score between 97 and 100 based on 13 extensive criteria ranging from the type of business to government action, unanswered complaints, and beyond.

Trustpilot is another excellent website to view past customer reviews on SBLI. With over 1000 reviews, SBLI has scored a 4.3 rating out of a possible 5, equivalent to an excellent score.

A few notable Trustpilot reviews include remarks such as:

  • “I was directed to SBLI through Dave Ramsey’s recommended insurers.”
  • “Life insurance made easy.”
  • “I turned 70 and could not find a policy until I was able to apply with SBLI.”
  • “I applied for my life insurance, and within a few weeks, I was approved and insured.”

SBLI Level Term Life Insurance

One of SBLI’s most popular life insurance options is its guaranteed level benefit term life insurance plans.

Term life insurance is an affordable, straightforward option that is suitable for most life insurance shoppers including those with young families that have a high need for financial protection.

SBLI term life insurance provides the following benefits:

  • Low affordable rates
  • Guaranteed level premiums during the initial 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years
  • Ages 18-60 can qualify for up to $750,000 with no medical exam
  • Coverage convertible to permanent life insurance
Term Lengths:
Guaranteed Level Premium Term (10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years)
Death Benefit Amounts:
Minimum Face Amount: $100,000
Maximum Face Amount: $50,000,000
Issue Ages:
10-Year: 18-74 (18-70 Tobacco)
15-Year: 18-65 (18-60 Tobacco)
20-Year: 18-60 (18-55 Tobacco)
25-Year: 18-55 (18-50 Tobacco)
30-Year: 18-50 (18-45 Tobacco)
Accelerated Underwriting: (No Medical Exam)
Face amounts $100,000 to $750,000 (Ages 18-60)
Traditional Underwriting: (Medical Exam)
Face amounts above $750,000, all ages, are underwritten with a traditional paramedical exam.
Policy Riders:
Accelerated Death Benefit Rider
Accidental Death Benefit Rider
Children's Level Term Rider
Waiver of Premium
Conversion Option:
Convertible to age 70

What makes SBLI term life insurance unique?

SBLI term life insurance offers a major benefit, and that’s accelerated underwriting. Applicants under the age of 60 who apply for $750,000 of coverage or less can qualify for the accelerated underwriting program, allowing you to skip the medical exams commonly required in underwriting.

Accelerated underwriting makes the application process much shorter. Decisions for approval can often be made within one week of applying. 

The accelerated program with SBLI can be done in 5 simple steps with the help of a licensed life insurance agent:

  1. Complete a short drop ticket requesting coverage
  2. Complete a 25-30 minute telephone application that consists of your medical history, employment, income, tobacco, alcohol use, hobbies, and who your beneficiaries will be.
  3. Sign your application via voice-signature or electronic signature
  4. Allow underwriting to review the application.
  5. If approved, the policy will be sent to your email along with payment information to get your coverage started.

Who is eligible to apply for SBLI term life insurance coverage?

SBLI term life insurance is available to applicants that are between the ages of 18 and 74.

Any applicant between the ages of 18-60 will automatically qualify for accelerated underwriting as long as the death benefit is less than $750,000.

If you live in Montana or New York, you will not be able to apply for coverage as SBLI is not licensed to offer products in those states.

What are the minimum and maximum coverage amounts?

SBLI term life insurance coverage minimum is $100,000, and the maximum is $50 million. When determining an amount of life insurance coverage, it’s important to choose enough coverage to replace your income and handle your debts if you were to pass at this moment.

To determine how much coverage you need, you’ll need to consider your current income, any debts you have, potential end-of-life costs, and who’s financially dependent on you. If you have a spouse, you will want to determine how many years they will need your income so they can maintain their current lifestyle.

A good rule of thumb to figuring out a death benefit is to take your pre-taxed annual income and multiple it by a number of years which will provide you a good starting point for how much coverage to get quotes for.

Remember, the object is having enough death benefit protection to ensure that your family does not face financial hardship if you were to pass away.

What are the available SBLI term contract lengths?

SBLI offers several term contract lengths. Applicants under age 60 can choose between a 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30-year term. 20-year terms are not available for over 60, and applicants over 65 can only apply for a 10-year term. 

When choosing a term contract length, try to choose a contract length that lasts as long as your longest financial. While you can renew your plan after the term, the premiums would be higher since you’d be older, so it’s best to choose an adequate term length from the beginning.

You’ll want to consider:

  • Durations of any debts, like a mortgage balance and any other loans. 
  • The age of your children and potential education and childcare costs 
  • The financial obligation to your significant other such as replacement of income 

For example, if you just started a 30-year mortgage, it’s wise to choose a 30-year term length so that your mortgage could be paid off in the event of your death.

If you have children, consider how many more years they will depend on you and if you plan to help them through college.

Available Policy Riders

SBLI offers several policy riders for their term life insurance including:

Accelerated death benefit rider: This rider is included at no extra cost, and it allows you to receive a portion of the death benefit if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness that will result in death within 12 months. 

The maximum payment amount is up to 50% of the death benefit to a maximum of $250,000.

Accidental death benefit rider: Pays up to two times the base policy’s death benefit, up to a maximum of $250,000, if the insured dies before age 70 and within 180 days of an accidental bodily injury, per a physician’s statement. The rider is available to anyone between the ages 0-65 at the time of the application.

This rider is available at an additional cost.

Children’s term benefit rider: Provides up to $25,000 of term insurance coverage at one low cost for all natural or legally adopted, unmarried, financially dependent children, who are at least 15 days and less than 23 years old at the time of the application.

Coverage on each child expires when certain events occur, such as reaching age 25, the primary insured turning 65 years old, or premiums not paid when due.

The child rider is convertible to a permanent SBLI life insurance policy for up to five times the rider’s face amount, when the child turns 25 or when the primary insured turns 65.

This rider is available at an additional cost.

Waiver of premium benefit: Waives all premiums if the insured becomes totally disabled for at least six months during his/her lifetime.

To purchase the rider, the insured must be between 15-55 years old for whole life insurance and 18-55 years old for term insurance; the rider terminates at age 65.

This rider is available at an additional cost.

SBLI term life insurance conversion option

SBLI term life insurance comes with a guaranteed conversion option that allows the term insurance to be switched to either an SBLI whole life policy or a universal life policy.

The conversion option is available at any point before the earlier of attained age 70 or the end of the level term period.

SBLI Level Term Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about SBLI term life insurance?

Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the popular term life insurance coverage offered by SBLI. 

If we didn’t answer a question, please be sure to reach out to us so we can get you an answer to your question.

How do you apply for SBLI term life insurance coverage?

SBLI offers two different options when it comes to applying for their term life insurance coverage. 

As you are aware, if your life insurance request qualifies for the accelerated underwriting option, the entire process can be done electronically combined with a 25-30 minute telephone interview to complete the life insurance application.

The second option is with a good old fashion paper life insurance application. However, with SBLI and their accelerated underwriting program, you will still have to do the telephone interview, but only the medical history portion of the interview will be conducted.

If your application request for coverage is outside the guidelines of the accelerated underwriting program, you will be required to complete the traditional life insurance application, which will include a paramedical exam that will be provided by SBLI free of charge.

What information is used to determine eligibility?

To determine your eligibility, SBLI will assess many different personal factors which include:

  • Age
  • Health status/health conditions
  • Lifestyle risk (occupation and hobbies)
  • Nicotine use

SBLI underwriting will utilize data-driven information to help verify responses to questions answered on the life insurance application. This information will help asset an applicant’s overall risk to the insurance company in order to provide a potential approval for coverage. 

A large part of data that is used to verify an individuals risk comes from third-party sources such as the following:

  • Medical Information Bureau (MIB)
  • Motor Vehicle Reports (MVR)
  • Prescription Results (Rx)
  • Data analytics from public Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA)

It’s also not uncommon for SBLI to request medical records depending on the applicants overall medical history.

Will a medical exam be required?

A medical exam is not required for SBLI’s Level Premium Term policy as long as you are under 60 years of age and applying for $750,000 of coverage or less.

Even those with common medical conditions like asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even well-controlled diabetes (Type 2) can qualify for no medical exam applications.

When would a medical exam be required?

In some cases, a medical exam is required.

Applicants 61 and older can still apply for SBLI’s guaranteed level premium term life insurance, but they will need to undergo traditional underwriting.

Another scenario in which a medical exam would be needed would for coverage amounts that exceed $750,000.

If your life insurance requires a medical exam, it will be provided by SBLI free of any costs to you. A licensed examiner will contact you to schedule a date to complete your medical exam that works best with your schedule.

Life insurance exams are often completed at the applicant’s home.

What happens after you are approved for coverage?

If you are approved for coverage, you’ll receive notification from your life insurance agent with your approval. If your policy has been approved as applied, the application and any final forms can be emailed to you electronically.

If your application is not approved as applied but at a different risk classification, you will be able to discuss the new rate or adjust your coverage to work with your budget. If your coverage was not approved as applied and you do not wish to accept the new terms, you are not required to accept the policy and can request to close your application.

Once you have accepted your new SBLI term life insurance policy, you will be able to create your online customer account where you can view your policy information, download policy forms, and have the option to make a one-time payment.

Who is not eligible for SBLI accelerated underwriting?

No medical exam underwriting can be tricky. A lot of companies that offer the option tend to have strict guidelines on who can apply especially when it comes to health. 

SBLI and their accelerated underwriting, on the other hand, are really good about considering applicants that may not have the greatest history of health but have taken the steps to improve it and keep the health condition under control with routine doctor visits and medication when needed.

While they may not be the fastest to approve coverage, underwriting will take the time needed to review applications from applicants that may have a history of certain health conditions by requesting medical records in order to make a determination for approval.

The accelerated underwriting program offered by SBLI will not be able to accept everyone and there are a few immediate knockout questions that can automatically disqualify someone from applying. 

  • Marijuana use, 4 or more times weekly
  • Substance abuse/misuse within the last 5 years
  • Criminal activity
  • DUI, more than 2, or under age 25, within the last year
  • Unemployed (other than homemakers or retired) with minimal household income or dependent on SSI/disability benefits
  • Bankruptcy filing within the last 2 years or past multiple filings
  • Liens/judgements, outstanding activity that exceeds $50,000
  • Heavy collection activity or significant bad debt/repossession activity

Is SBLI term life insurance affordable?

There are many key factors that influence the cost of an SBLI term life insurance. For most age groups, SBLI’s rates are cheaper than the industry averages. For example, the SBLI average for those in their 20s is $25.34 per month, compared to the industry average of $28.02. The SBLI average for people in their 30s is $29.19 per month vs the industry average of $32.06. 

However, for applicants in their 50s, SBLI rates tend to be higher than the industry average. An applicant in their 50s pays an average of $168.58 with SBLI, vs the industry average of $152.00. But once you get to your 60s, the SBLI average of $310.28 is again less expensive than the industry average of $504.29. 

For those in their 20s-40s or 60s, SBLI is incredibly affordable and the premiums tend to be lower than the industry average. Those between 50 and 60 can expect to pay more than the industry average. Age always impacts the cost of your term life insurance premiums, but it has a very specific impact on SBLI. Other factors that may affect the cost of SBLI term life insurance include:

  • Gender: Men tend to have higher premiums. 
  • Nicotine use: Smokers and nicotine users can face higher premiums. 
  • Career: High-risk careers can raise your premiums. 
  • Hobbies: High-risk hobbies, like scuba diving, can raise your premiums. 
  • Health status/ history: Those with diabetes, personal or family history of cancer, or nicotine use can still obtain life insurance, but you may be able to find more affordable policies elsewhere.

$500,000 SBLI Term Life Insurance Sample Rates

Male10 Years15 Years20 Years30 Years
Age 30$13.75$14.76$19.87$31.71
Age 35$14.06$16.92$22.68$36.75
Age 40$18.37$24.50$31.30$52.21
Age 45$27.62$37.72$48.58$81.26
Age 50$42.44$58.89$83.33$136.00
Female10 Years15 Years20 Years30 Years
Age 30$11.44$13.50$17.05$26.69
Age 35$11.96$14.86$17.88$30.87
Age 40$15.72$20.06$24.62$41.73
Age 45$24.30$29.03$38.46$62.29
Age 50$35.87$44.63$60.41$98.87

*Preferred Plus Non-Nicotine underwriting classification. Monthly Male/Female premium rates current as of 01/03/2021

Options When Coverage Ends

When you have a term insurance policy, you choose a contract length that locks your rates in for that entire contract duration. Once the term insurance contract ends, your guaranteed premium is over.

The vast majority of people outlive their term life insurance policy, which begs the question of what to do once coverage ends.

When your term insurance policy ends, you have no obligation to begin a new one. If you no longer need life insurance, you may choose to let your policy expire. 

However, some people may realize they still need life insurance after their term policy ends. In that case, you can purchase a new term life insurance policy for the contract length that makes sense for your current situation.

With SBLI term insurance, you have the option to continue making premium payments after the initial term contract period has ended. You can choose to renew the coverage each year until you reach the age of 85 but beware, your premiums will be higher and will continue to increase each year.

Another option offered with SBLI term insurance is a conversion option. The conversion option allows you to exchange your term insurance policy into either universal life or whole life plan offered by SBLI. 

Converting to a permanent plan must be completed before the age of 70 or before the level term contract ends, whichever comes first. 

Pros & Cons of SBLI Term Life Insurance

There is a lot to like about SBLI and their guaranteed level benefit term life insurance coverage. We can honestly say that are not many cons that are so significant to the coverage, making it difficult to come up with any at all.

SBLI Level Term Pros

  • Up to $750,000 without a medical exam. Qualified applicants under 60 can qualify for accelerated underwriting with coverage amount being as high as $750,000. 
  • You don’t have to be in excellent health to qualify. Most no exam options require you to be in perfect health to qualify for their no medical coverage options. With SBLI, you don’t have to have an outstanding history of health. SBLI is known for providing no exam underwriting to applicants with health conditions such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and even diabetes. As long as you are being treated for your medical condition, there’s a good chance you can qualify for coverage.
  • Easy application process. If you don’t mind doing a short 25-30 minute telephone interview to complete the life insurance application, that’s pretty much all you will need to do. It’s a straightforward process.

SBLI Level Term Cons

  • They are not the fastest to approve coverage. At best, the turnaround for getting approved takes about a week, and that’s for healthy applicants. Those that require additional underwriting, such as medical records, can take a few extra weeks.
  • Higher coverage amounts are available with other companies. While SBLI does offer a maximum coverage amount of $750,000, several other no medical exam companies offer up to $1,000,000 or more in coverage.
  • Not the cheapest term insurance option. SBLI offers competitive rates, but they are hardly the cheapest. Be sure to compare rates from the other companies before settling on the first company you come across.

How to get an SBLI Term Life Insurance Quote

You can certainly get a quote directly from SBLI, but keep in mind their website will only generate quotes for their policies. You won’t be able to compare multiple providers to make sure you are getting the best one for you. 

To compare quotes and apply for SBLI term insurance plans, visit our online quote tool, where you will be able to see instant term life insurance rates for the top companies that offer applications with no medical exams.

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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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