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Transamerica Living Benefits (LB) Term Life Insurance Review

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Life insurance is a valuable tool for protecting your family’s finances after you pass away. But what if your life insurance could also provide benefits while you’re still alive?

Transamerica’s Trendsetter LB (Living Benefits) term life insurance does just that. It offers a death benefit for your loved ones and includes coverage for serious illnesses like heart attacks, cancer, and strokes.

Keep reading if you’re in the market for an affordable term life policy with some unique features. This review will tell you all you need to know about Transamerica’s Trendsetter Living Benefits plan.

Quick Notes

  • Transamerica’s Trendsetter LB is a term life insurance policy that offers both death benefit protection and living benefits, which allow policyholders to access a portion of their death benefit if diagnosed with a qualifying chronic, critical, or terminal illness.
  • The policy is available for individuals aged 18-80, with term lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years, and coverage amounts ranging from $25,000 to $2,000,000. Depending on age and coverage amount, some applicants may qualify for a no-medical-exam option.
  • While Transamerica has strong financial ratings from agencies like AM Best, Moody’s, and S&P, customer reviews on platforms like J.D. Power, BBB, and Trustpilot indicate room for improvement in customer satisfaction and engagement.
  • The Trendsetter LB policy offers several optional riders, such as the Accident Indemnity Rider, Child Protection Rider, Monthly Disability Income Rider, and Waiver of Premium Rider, providing additional flexibility and protection. The unique Income Protection Option allows policyholders to structure how the death benefit is paid out to beneficiaries.
  • Although Transamerica’s Trendsetter LB premiums may be higher compared to some competitors, the policy includes built-in living benefits riders that other insurers may charge extra for or not offer at all. Policyholders can also convert their term policy to a permanent life insurance plan before their 70th or 75th birthday, depending on their initial health classification.

Transamerica Life Insurance Company

Transamerica Logo BlackFounded in 1904, Transamerica is a well-established and prominent life insurance company in the United States. With headquarters in Cedar Rapids, IA, this insurance giant provides coverage in all 50 states.

Transamerica offers a diverse range of life insurance products, including two different term life insurance options, indexed universal life and whole life insurance. Beyond life insurance, the company has a dedicated branch focusing on retirement-planning products.

Transamerica Life Insurance Ratings

When considering life insurance, evaluating the company’s financial strength and customer satisfaction is crucial. Transamerica has received the following ratings from well-respected agencies:

  • AM Best: “A” rating (3rd best out of 16)
  • Moody’s: “A1” rating (5th best out of 21)
  • S&P Global: “A+” rating (5th best out of 21)

These high ratings indicate Transamerica’s financial stability and ability to pay claims.

However, customer reviews paint a different picture:

  • J.D. Power 2023 Life Insurance Study: Transamerica scored 757 out of a possible 1000-point scale based on factors like coverage options, pricing, and communication. The top company in the study was State Farm, which scored an 843. J.D. Power 2023 Life Insurance Study
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): Despite an “A” rating, Transamerica is not BBB-accredited and has a low 1.13 out of 5-star customer review rating, with many 1-star reviews. However, they have closed 215 complaints in the last 12 months, suggesting efforts to address concerns. Transamerica BBB Reviews
  • Trustpilot: Transamerica has a “Bad” 1-star rating based on 150 reviews. They have not claimed their profile or responded to reviews, indicating a lack of engagement with customer feedback. Transamerica Trustpilot Reviews

While Transamerica’s financial ratings are solid, the low customer satisfaction scores are concerning. Before choosing a life insurance provider, it’s essential to research customer experience thoroughly to make an informed decision.

Transamerica Living Benefits Term Life Insurance

Transamerica offers two term life insurance options: Trendsetter Super (death benefit protection) and Trendsetter LB (death benefit protection with living benefits).

The Trendsetter LB plan is the insurance company’s popular term life insurance with living benefit options. You can receive death benefit protection up to $2 million along with the option to access your death benefit for cash benefit payment if faced with a qualifying chronic, critical, or terminal illness that is built into the term insurance plan at no additional costs.

Transamerica Trendsetter LB provides the following benefit:

  • Competitive term insurance rates
  • Term contract options of 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years
  • Coverage amounts as high as $2,000,000
  • No medical exam option for applicants ages 18-60
  • Several optional policy riders to add to the base coverage
  • Option to convert to permanent coverage after the contract expires
  • Acceleration of death benefit proceeds for qualifying chronic, critical, or terminal illness

Transamerica Living Benefits LB Overview

Term Lengths:
Guaranteed Level Premium Term (10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years)
Death Benefit Amounts:
Minimum Face Amount: $25,000
Maximum Face Amount: $2,000,000
Issue Ages:
10-Year: 23-60 ($25,000-$99,999)
18-80 ($100,000-$2,000,000)
15-Year: 23-60 ($25,000-$99,999)
15-Year: 18-75 ($100,000-$2,000,000) 18-73 Tobacco
20-Year: 23-60 ($25,000-$99,999)
20-Year: 18-70 ($100,000-$2,000,000) 18-65 Tobacco
25-Year: 23-60 ($25,000-$99,999) 23-49 Tobacco
25-Year: 18-63 ($100,000-$249,999) 18-57 Tobacco
25-Year: 18-65 ($250,00-$2,000,000) 18-60 Tobacco
30-Year: 23-50 ($25,000-$99,999) 23-40 Tobacco
30-Year: 18-57 ($100,000-$249,999) 18-46 Tobacco
30-Year: 18-58 ($250,00-$2,000,000) 18-53 Tobacco
Non-Medical Exam Option:
$25,000 to $249,999 (Ages 18-60 / Standard Risk Class)
$100,000 to $249,999 (Ages 18-55 / Preferred Risk Class)
$250,000 to $1,000,000 (Ages 18-55 / All Risk Classes)
$250,000 to $2,000,000 (Ages 18-45 / All Risk Classes)
Policy Riders:
Accidental Death Benefit Rider
Children's Benefit Rider
Living Benefit Riders (Chronic, Critical & Terminal Illness)
Monthly Disability Income Rider
Disability Waiver of Premium Rider
Conversion Option:
Convertible to age 70 (Age 75 if approved preferred plus)

What makes Transamerica Living Benefits unique?

Term life insurance is the least complicated form of life insurance. You choose a term length and a death benefit amount that meets your financial obligations. If approved, all that’s required from you is your premium payments to maintain your life insurance coverage.

In return, the life insurance policy provides a death benefit payable to the policyholder’s beneficiary should the insured pass away during the term contract duration. The Trendsetter LB plan provides a death benefit if the policyholder dies during the term contract and offers expanded living benefits.

Transamerica is one of the first life insurance companies to offer a traditional term life insurance policy with three living benefit features built directly into the coverage at no additional costs.

Having these riders can allow for the death benefit to be used while you’re alive if you become critically or chronically ill and cannot work. It is truly a life insurance policy that protects against financial hardship due to serious medical illness.

How do Transamerica's living benefits work?

Transamerica Living Benefits provides financial protection in two completely different ways.

First and foremost, this life insurance plan offers financial protection in the form of a death benefit that is payable to your beneficiary after your passing. The funds received from a death benefit can help your loved ones maintain their current living standard without worrying about exhausting their savings.

The life insurance policy provides financial protection through the features of living benefits offered within the coverage at no additional cost. If you become ill with a qualifying chronic, critical, or terminal illness, you can request early access to your death benefit to help you financially.

Accessing your death benefit due to a living benefits claim will require one of the following medical conditions to occur before a claim request can be granted.

  • Chronic Illness: A qualifying chronic illness would require you not to be able to perform two of the six Activities of Daily Living (bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring) without assistance, or you’re severely cognitively impaired for a period of at least 90 days.
  • Critical Illness: A qualifying critical illness would require you to be diagnosed with a health condition such as a heart attack, stroke, cancer, end-stage renal failure, ALS, a major organ transplant, blindness, or paralysis resulting from specific underlying conditions.
  • Terminal Illness: A qualifying terminal illness would require you to be diagnosed by a licensed medical professional to have a life expectancy of 12 months or less to live.

How much of the death benefit can you receive?

The maximum amount of money that may be accelerated from the death benefit due to a qualifying chronic or critical illness is up to 90% of the full death benefit amount. The terminal illness benefit allows for 100% of the death benefit to be accelerated. 

It is important to understand that although a maximum benefit amount of 90% can be accelerated from the death benefit due to a qualifying chronic or critical illness, that doesn’t mean you will receive that amount.

When you submit a claim to request acceleration of the death benefit for a cash payment, the insurance company evaluates it to determine the percentage they will pay out, up to 90% of the death benefit.

The insurance company will consider several factors to determine a payout percentage, including the type of illness and the expected life expectancy following the illness.

If the illness is unlikely to greatly affect your life expectancy, the payout could range from 10-30% of the death benefit. If your life expectancy is expected to be moderately affected, your payout could be 30-60%. A medical condition that would likely shorten your life expectancy significantly would result in a higher payout that could be 60-90%.

When determining a potential percentage payout, the insurance company will also consider the time and premium payments left until your coverage expires.

  • Chronic Illness: The maximum amount that can be accelerated in any 12 month period is 24% (annually) up to a total of 90% of the death benefit.
  • Critical Illness: The maximum amount that can be accelerated at any given time is 90% of the death benefit payable in one lump sum payment.
  • Terminal Illness: The maximum amount that can be accelerated at any given time is 100% of the death benefit payable in one lump sum payment.

Who is eligible to apply for coverage?

Transamerica Living Benefits term life insurance is available to applicants between the ages of 18 and 80. Both non-tobacco and tobacco users are also eligible to apply. 

While Transamerica offers life insurance products in all 50 states, the Trendsetter LB is not available to residents of New York.

What are the minimum and maximum coverage amounts?

Coverage amounts range from as low as $25,000 up to as high as $2 million in coverage. As with any life insurance policy, premiums will become more expensive the higher the amount of coverage being applied for is.

What are the available term contract lengths?

Transamerica Trendsetter LB comes in 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year contract durations. Your premium is guaranteed to remain the same price throughout the entire contract length your choose.

  • Trendsetter LB 10 = 10 years of fixed premiums
  • Trendsetter LB 15 = 15 years of fixed premiums
  • Trendsetter LB 20 = 20 years of fixed premiums
  • Trendsetter LB 25 = 25 years of fixed premiums
  • Trendsetter LB 30 = 30 years of fixed premiums

The range of available term contract lengths is on par with industry standards and will be suitable for most people seeking life insurance.

They have a good variety of contract lengths in 5-year increments, making it easy to purchase the amount of coverage you need without paying for coverage any longer than you need.

Available Policy Riders

Transamerica offers several optional riders to enhance your term life insurance coverage:

  • Accident Indemnity Rider: Pays an additional death benefit if the insured dies within 180 days of an accidental bodily injury before age 70. (Additional cost)
  • Child Protection Rider: Provides death benefit coverage for insured children under the adult’s policy. Coverage is available in units of $1,000, with a range of 1-99 units. Children aged 15 days to 18 years old are eligible, and coverage expires when the child turns 25 or when the adult’s policy terminates. (Additional cost)
  • Living Benefit Coverage: Allows acceleration of the death benefit when diagnosed with a qualifying terminal medical condition, chronic illness, or critical condition. (Included at no additional cost)
  • Monthly Disability Income Rider: Provides a monthly income of $300-$2,000 (or 2% of the initial death benefit) for up to 24 months if the insured becomes totally disabled. The income cannot exceed 66% of the insured’s gross monthly income. (Additional cost)
  • Waiver of Premium Rider: Waives premiums if the insured becomes disabled. After a six-month waiting period of continuous disability, premiums are waived retroactively from the beginning of the disability until the insured reaches age 65. (Additional cost)

These riders provide flexibility and additional protection, making Transamerica’s Trendsetter Living Benefits term life insurance a comprehensive coverage option.

Conversion Option

Trendsetter LB is convertible to one of Transamerica’s permanent life insurance plans as long as it is requested no later than the earlier of the end of the initial level premium period of the insured’s 70th birthday (75th if your plan was approved as preferred plus risk classification).

Income Protection Option - IPO

Transamerica Living Benefits offers a unique optional policy benefit that allows you to structure how your death benefit will be paid to your beneficiary. Usually, a death benefit is paid in one lump sum once your beneficiary has submitted a death claim. 

With the Transamerica Income Protection Option or IPO for short, you can choose to have the insurance company make payments to the beneficiary in installments rather than one single payment. This option is known as a Fixed Settlement Endorsement and is not offered by every company.

If you choose to structure your death benefit payout, you can select from a few different payout options that include the following:

  • An initial lump sum will be paid at the insured’s death
  • Monthly payments paid out for a specified amount and for a specified period of time 
  • A final lump sum payment after a period of monthly payments

Structuring your death benefit payout can be a good option if you’re worried about your beneficiary having issues with money management after your passing. It does not cost any extra to add this benefit option, but it has to be elected when you apply for coverage.

Transamerica Living Benefits LB Frequently Asked Questions

Transamerica Living Benefits is a popular term life insurance option, and because it’s a little different than the traditional term insurance plans, you are likely to have some questions. 

Our job is to help you with those questions, so we have put together a large list of some of the most frequently asked questions about Transamerica’s life insurance coverage.

How do you apply for coverage?

Applying for a Trendsetter LB term life insurance policy can be done either through a paper application or electronically online. 

Through our online quote calculator, you can view coverage rates and even complete a step-by-step online application with an e-signature process. This will eliminate the need for you having to print any paper forms as everything can be entirely complete online.

A quick recommendation, since this term insurance plan focuses on providing both living benefits and death benefit protection when choosing an amount of coverage, be sure to also factor in potential expenses caused by any unforeseen medical condition in addition to money your loved ones would need after your passing.

For example, you might have a health insurance plan, but how much would your plan pick up the total costs from an illness? What non-medical expenses would occur?

Here is a list of factors you should consider when choosing a death benefit amount:

  • Unexpected costs
  • Loss of income
  • Hospital bills
  • Medical treatments
  • Child care
  • Education
  • Loans
  • Transportation
  • Clothing
  • Housing 
  • Food

Choosing a death benefit is a process that takes careful planning. If you need assistance, be sure to reach out for some guidance.

What information is used to determine eligibility?

Trendsetter LB is a fully underwritten term life insurance plan. Your application will be submitted to an underwriter and reviewed to determine your eligibility and final price for coverage.

Underwriting will use the same underwriting standards used by most life insurance companies to determine eligibility and assignment of a final health risk classification of Preferred Plus, Preferred, Standard Plus, or Standard.

The following information to determine your eligibility and final health risk classification:

  • ApplicationPersonal information
  • Medical ExamHealth questions, labs, blood pressure, height, and weight
  • Attending Physicians Statement (APS)only if needed 
  • Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)Provides insight on your driving history
  • Prescription Records (Rx)Notifies underwriting of any prescribed medication and dates of refills 

If you have a history of health conditions it should not discourage you from applying but there are some medical conditions that are automatically not eligible for living benefit coverage. A few of these risks include:

  • Alcohol abuse or any drug use within three years
  • Cancer (other than non-melanoma skin cancer)
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes with insulin use
  • Inability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s)
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pregnancy – current through three months postpartum
  • Stroke or TIA
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

If you have a health condition history and are unsure if you would qualify for a Transamerica Trendsetter LB policy, be sure to contact us. We will put you in touch with our internal underwriting department to determine the potential of your eligibility.

Will a medical exam be required?

When applying for a Transamerica Living Benefits term life policy, you may or may not need to take a medical exam. It depends on your age, the amount of coverage you’re seeking, and your overall health history. If you fall within the following age and coverage criteria, you may be eligible for no medical exam underwriting:

  • Ages 18-60, coverage amounts from $25,000 to $249,999 (Standard Risk Class)
  • Ages 18-55, coverage amounts from $100,000 to $249,999 (Preferred Risk Class)
  • Ages 18-55, coverage amounts from $250,000 to $1,000,000 (All Risk Classes)
  • Ages 18-45, coverage amounts from $250,000 to $2,000,000 (All Risk Classes)

If you qualify for the no-exam option, you’ll need to fill out a detailed health questionnaire instead. The insurance company’s underwriters will review your answers to decide whether to approve your application without a medical exam.

If a medical exam is needed, Transamerica will set one up for you at no cost. The exam is pretty simple and is done by an approved third-party company. During the exam, you can expect:

  • Questions about your medical history
  • Basic measurements like height, weight, blood pressure, and pulse
  • Collection of blood and urine samples
  • Possibly an ECG (electrocardiogram)

The examiner will send the results to Transamerica’s underwriters for review. You can also get a copy of the lab results for your own records.

How quickly can you be approved for coverage?

In the modern life insurance industry, technology has enabled coverage to be approved quickly. For many companies, the turnaround time can be within 24-72 hours of applying.

However, Transamerica Living Benefits coverage approval times lag far behind industry standards. The average approval time takes 1-2 weeks at best. A medical exam or the underwriter’s request for medical records can further delay approval times.

Is Transamerica Living Benefits term life insurance affordable?

The cost of your life insurance policy with Transamerica will fluctuate based on the contract length, death benefit, any added policy riders, and your final health risk classification.

Compared to its competitors, Transamerica’s Living Benefits term insurance plan is priced higher. However, most of its competitors do not offer the same living benefit features that Transamerica has built into its term insurance plan. 

If you want these same features, you will likely need to pay extra in the form of a rider, and that is if you can find a company that can offer all three living benefit options.

Transamerica Living Benefits Sample Rates

AgeGenderTrendsetter LB 10Trendsetter LB 20Trendsetter LB 30
Age 30Male$14.62 / monthly$24.94 / monthly$36.12 / monthly
Age 30Female$12.90 / monthly$20.64 / monthly$30.10 / monthly
Age 35Male$16.77 / monthly$33.11 / monthly$49.02 / monthly
Age 35Female$14.62 / monthly$27.52 / monthly$41.28 / monthly
Age 40Male$25.37 / monthly$47.30 / monthly$73.10 / monthly
Age 40Female$21.50 / monthly$38.70 / monthly$60.20 / monthly
Age 45Male$36.12 / monthly$69.23 / monthly$111.80 / monthly
Age 45Female$28.81 / monthly$53.75 / monthly$90.73 / monthly
Age 50Male$57.19 / monthly$104.92 / monthly$183.61 / monthly
Age 50Female$45.15 / monthly$80.41 / monthly$150.07 / monthly
Age 55Male$98.47 / monthly$163.83 / monthly$313.04 / monthly
Age 55Female$71.81 / monthly$127.71 / monthly$266.17 / monthly
Age 60Male$159.53 / monthly$266.60 / monthlyNA
Age 60Female$124.27 / monthly$215.00 / monthlyNA
Age 65Male$279.07 / monthly$486.33 / monthlyNA
Age 65Female$220.59 / monthly$394.74 / monthlyNA

*Preferred Plus Non-Nicotine underwriting classification. Monthly male/female premium rates are current as of 3/13/2024, representing the cost of a $500,000 Transamerica Living Benefits Term Life Insurance 10, 20, and 30-year policy.

What if you don't want to use your living benefits?

If you experience a medical illness that would otherwise qualify for an acceleration of your death benefit, you are not required to do so. It is completely your choice whether or not to file a claim for a potential cash payout.

You are also not required to accept a payment after the insurance company has evaluated your claim and has determined the percentage they are allowing for a payout. Benefit amounts may also be reduced to a lower amount if you would prefer to leave more death benefit to your beneficiary.

Because the maximum benefit payout for chronic and critical illness is 90%, there will always be a 10% death benefit that will be available to your beneficiary.

What happens when coverage ends?

Once your level premium period ends, you can allow the coverage to lapse and terminate if you no longer need life insurance protection. Trendsetter LB is renewable to age 105, but it will have an increasing annual cost that can become very high after the level premium contract period has ended.

You may also choose to purchase a new term policy for the period you need coverage, but keep in mind the premiums will likely be higher since you are applying at an older age. If you had any new conditions arise, that may also affect your rates and ability to qualify.

Another option is to convert your policy to a whole life policy. You can do this anytime before your 70th birthday or the end of the term, whichever is first. Any policyholders approved at the preferred plus health risk classification will have until the end of the term or their 75th birthday.

Pros & Cons of Transamerica Living Benefits (LB) Term Life Insurance

There is a lot to like about Transamerica and its Trendsetter Living Benefits term life insurance coverage but with most great things, there are some cons.

Here we will list everything we like and dislike in a list of pros and cons about the life insurance coverage.

Transamerica Living Benefits Pros

  • Your life insurance coverage is issued and backed by a well established and highly rated life insurance company.
  • Three built-in policy riders (chronic, critical, and terminal illness) provide financial protection against unexpected illnesses.
  • You don’t have to be in excellent health for a non-medical exam underwriting.
  • Optional policy riders including the rare monthly disability income rider (MDI).
  • Unique Income Protection Option used to structure death benefit payout.
  • Convertible to permanent life insurance up to age 70/75.
  • Priced fairly against competitors that cannot offer similar coverage.

Transamerica Living Benefits Cons

  • Rates tend to be on the more expensive side.
  • Slower approval process than the industry average.
  • It is not the greatest non-medical option for healthy applicants.

How to get a Transamerica Living Benefit Quote

You have a few options for receiving a Transamerica Living Benefits Term Life Insurance quote. The first is to contact Transamerica directly, where you can work with one of their representatives to help determine coverage needs, receive an official quote, and start the application process. While this may seem like the most straightforward approach, it’s important to note that working with a licensed independent agent or agency can often be more beneficial.

Independent agencies like No Medical Exam Quotes are generally contracted with multiple life insurance providers. This allows us to offer a wide range of options and help you compare quotes from various companies. For example, with our online quote tool, you can get quotes for Transamerica Living Benefits and explore other providers that offer similar living benefits riders, potentially at a lower cost.

At No Medical Exam Quotes, we partner with Transamerica Life Insurance and more than two dozen other top-rated life insurance providers to help you find the best life insurance for you and your family. Our online quote tool makes it easy to compare Transamerica Living Benefit quotes alongside other options instantly. If you find a plan that suits your needs, you can complete the application online from the comfort of your home.

Of course, if you need assistance at any point during the process, our team is always ready to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us for personalized guidance and support.

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Picture of Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert
Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert

Jeffrey Manola is the founder of No Medical Exam Quotes, an online insurance agency that strongly focuses on helping people shop for the perfect life insurance policy. He is a licensed life insurance expert and content creator for the website.

Before becoming a life insurance agent, he served in the United States Marine Corps, transitioning from serving his country to helping families find affordable life insurance coverage beginning in 2009. Since starting a career as a licensed life insurance agent, Jeffrey has helped thousands of families with their life insurance needs.

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