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Transamerica, Progressive and Banner Life Term Life Insurance Policies

By Mike Heuer


The Transamerica insurance company was founded in 1904 as a holding company and became a life insurance provider in 1939 after acquiring the Occidental Life Insurance Co. ranks among the top life insurers in the United States. It is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and now is a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Aegon group, which purchased the insurer in 1999.

Transamerica offers term life and whole life insurance products in every state. Transamerica term life insurance plans remain in force for 10, 20 or 30 years and usually have level premiums. Term life policies do not pay a death benefit in most cases as studies show as few as 1 percent of term life plans actually wind up paying a benefit. That clearly is good news for the person insurance by the plan, also known as the “named insured.”

The Banner Life company initially was founded in 1949 as the Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO) as part of the Government Employees Group of insurance firms, which started as property and casualty insurer GELICO. The Legal & General Group purchased the life insurer from the Government Employees Group in 1981 and changed the name to Banner Life in 1983.

Banner Life is the parent company of subsidiary William Penn Life Insurance Co. of New York, which the firm bought in 1989. Banner Life term life insurance plans are underwritten by Banner Life and the William Penn Life Insurance Co., which are sold through a network of independent agents across the country.

Banner Life offers a variety of term life insurance products lasting for 10, 15, 20 and 30 years’ duration. Its various OPTerm life insurance plans can be renewed and converted to whole life if the policyholder so chooses and has level premiums throughout the term. If renewed, premiums will rise each year after the initial term for which coverage originally was sought, and the go up even more if converted to whole life insurance products.

Banner Life’s Life Value Term policies last for either 20 or 30 years with guaranteed premium rates that rise each year the policies are in force. There are no medical exams required for any of Banner Life’s term life plans, but one likely is required if converting to whole life insurance. Because Banner Life’s term policies have rising premiums if choosing to renew them, it is possible to find more affordable term life rates for the same amount of coverage.

The Progressive Insurance Co. is one of the largest underwriters of auto insurance in the United States, but Progressive term life insurance and whole life insurance products are sold across the United States. The insurer was founded in 1937 as a mutual insurance company to insure autos and other vehicles. It reorganized into the Progressive Corp. during the 1960s.

Although begun as an auto insurance underwriter and vehicle insurance remains its primary objective, Progessive term life insurance and whole life policies are underwritten and sold by subsidiary Efinancial.