Choice Mutual Rating

Choice Mutual's ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Alex Trebek commercials aren’t airing anymore since his death, but you can still find his face on some Colonial Penn advertisements.

In short, Colonial Penn coverage is expensive and has a 2-year waiting period for most applicants.

That’s a shocking claim, but it’s true.

In this Alex Trebek review, you’ll learn how each policy works, see the prices, and how you can find better coverage at a lower cost.


How Does Alex Trebek Life Insurance Work?

Alex Trebek was a paid spokesman for Colonial Penn Life Insurance. Since his death, Jonathan Lawson of Colonial Penn has become the leading actor in their commercials.

Colonial Penn primarily promotes guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance that costs only $9.95 per unit.

They also have a simplified-issue whole life policy, but it requires you to answer health questions to qualify.

None of their policies require an exam, and you can buy over the phone or through the mail.


Guaranteed Acceptance (No Health Questions)

The most popular Alex Trebek insurance plan is the guaranteed acceptance option that does not require you to answer medical questions. Simply put, you are guaranteed to be approved.

Because coverage is guaranteed, there is a two-year waiting period. During the waiting period, Colonial Penn will not pay out a death benefit for any non-accidental death.

Instead, they refund 108% of your premiums. After two years, the full death benefit is payable for any reason moving forward.

It’s a whole life policy, so how it works is very basic. The premiums cannot increase, and it cannot expire due to age. Coverage is guaranteed never to decrease, and it builds cash value.

This plan is only available to seniors 50-85 (in NY, 75 is the maximum age) and is sold using a unit system.

You might be thinking- What is a unit?

A Colonial Penn unit refers to a set amount of life insurance a person is insured for at a fixed cost. No matter what, a single unit costs everyone just $9.95 per month. The amount of insurance you get per unit is what varies based on your age and gender.

It’s an odd way to price insurance.

No other life insurance companies prices coverage with a unit system.

Here’s an example to illustrate how their unit system works.

An 80-year-old male will pay $9.95 per month for one unit (everyone pays $9.95). That one unit will provide him with $426 of life insurance.

If he wanted five units, he would pay $49.75 per month (5 x $9.95), and he would have a total of $2,130 in life insurance ($426 x 5) from those five units.

The other thing to remember about this particular Alex Trebek insurance program is that 15 units are the most you can buy.


Colonial Penn rate chart

Choose your gender and age to see the total monthly cost and how much insurance you’ll get per number of units.

Coverage-Per-Unit Cost Calculator
Number of Units Coverage Amount Monthly Cost
1 $ $9.95
2 $ $19.90
3 $ $29.85
4 $ $39.80
5 $ $49.75
6 $ $59.70
7 $ $69.65
8 $ $79.60
9 $ $89.55
10 $ $99.50
11 $ $109.45
12 $ $119.40
13 $ $129.35
14 $ $139.30
15 $ $149.25

Or you can use this chart to see how little final expense insurance coverage you get from each Alex Trebek Colonial Penn insurance unit.


AGE1 Male Unit ($9.95)1 Female Unit ($9.95)
50$1,669 in coverage$2,000 in coverage
51$1,620 in coverage$1,942 in coverage
52$1,565 in coverage$1,890 in coverage
53$1,515 in coverage$1,845 in coverage
54$1,460 in coverage$1,802 in coverage
55$1,420 in coverage$1,761 in coverage
56$1,370 in coverage$1,719 in coverage
57$1,313 in coverage$1,669 in coverage
58$1,258 in coverage$1,620 in coverage
59$1,200 in coverage$1,565 in coverage
60$1,167 in coverage$1,515 in coverage
61$1,112 in coverage$1,460 in coverage
62$1,057 in coverage$1,420 in coverage
63$1,000 in coverage$1,370 in coverage
64$949 in coverage$1,313 in coverage
65$896 in coverage$1,258 in coverage
66$846 in coverage$1,200 in coverage
67$802 in coverage$1,167 in coverage
68$762 in coverage$1,112 in coverage
69$724 in coverage$1,057 in coverage
70$689 in coverage$1,000 in coverage
71$657 in coverage$949 in coverage
72$627 in coverage$896 in coverage
73$608 in coverage$846 in coverage
74$578 in coverage$802 in coverage
75$549 in coverage$762 in coverage
76$521 in coverage$724 in coverage
77$493 in coverage$689 in coverage
78$468 in coverage$657 in coverage
79$441 in coverage$627 in coverage
80$426 in coverage$608 in coverage
81$424 in coverage$578 in coverage
82$423 in coverage$549 in coverage
83$421 in coverage$521 in coverage
84$420 in coverage$493 in coverage
85$418 in coverage$468 in coverage


Alex Trebek Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance from Alex Trebek is a simplified issue policy because it doesn’t require a medical exam.

While no exam is required, you must fill out a health questionnaire.

Unlike their $9.95 policy, it has no waiting period if you qualify for this plan. Also, the rates are much lower.

This plan may sound well and good (it’s WAY better than their $9.95 gimmick plan), but it’s sadly out of reach for most applicants.

The underwriting on this Alex Trebek whole life policy is stringent.

Seniors with everyday health issues often fail to qualify. Essentially, you have to be in pristine health for them to approve you for this coverage.

Below is a chart that outlines the difference between their guaranteed issue and simplified issue whole life policies.


FeaturesGuaranteed Acceptance
Whole Life ($9.95/Unit)
Whole Life
With Health Questions
New Applicant
Age Range
Coverage Options1-15 Units$10,000 - $50,000
Has Health QuestionsNoYes
2-Year Waiting PeriodYesNo
Medical Exam RequiredNoNo


No Term Life Insurance

At one point, Colonial Penn did offer term life insurance. However, they discontinued that product and only sell whole life insurance currently.

That’s actually a good thing because buying term insurance to cover funeral costs is seldom a good idea.

Most term insurance plans expire around age 80. If you outlive a term policy (which most people do), you would no longer have life insurance to cover your final expenses.

And while you can get life insurance in your 80s, it can get expensive and potentially have a waiting period.


How Does The Alex Trebek Rate Lock Work?

When Alex Trebek mentions the “rate lock,” he refers to their whole life insurance.

All whole life insurance from every company has a locked-in rate.

Colonial Penn isn’t unique in this benefit. No matter whom you buy whole life insurance from, the rate will always be the same for life.

Modified premium whole life insurance no longer exists.


How To Find Better Coverage Compared To The Life Insurance Advertised By Alex Trebek

If you buy Alex Trebek coverage, you will undoubtedly pay more than you could elsewhere.

A basic Colonial Penn rate chart clearly illustrates how expensive they are.

Additionally, you’ll likely have an unnecessary 2-year waiting period.

To find the best funeral insurance coverage, you must work with an independent insurance agency representing at least ten or more insurance companies.

Their job is nothing more than to compare offers from multiple providers to match you with the best one.

Do you like “shopping around” before you buy a product or service?

If so, working with an independent agency is doing just that. The only difference is they do the shopping for you.

And remember, it costs you nothing to work with an agency. Plus, the insurance doesn’t cost more.

Ensure you’re dealing with an agency with ample experience and an excellent online reputation.

Also, make sure they represent ten or more life insurance companies.

Then tell them what you’re looking for and let them go to work.

We here at Choice Mutual can help you. We have over 15 different carriers we work with, are honest, and have hundreds of positive online reviews.

Final expense insurance for seniors is our specialty.

Below are some actual reviews from our customers.


Call us at 1-800-644-2926, and one of our friendly agents will answer your questions and find you the best burial insurance policy on the market.


The Bottom Line

1.0/5 rating
Colonial Penn earned 1 star out of 5 for overall performance. Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and financial strength ratings.

Learn about our rating methodology.

Policy rates relative to other carriers
Financial Strength
Credit ratings from A.M. Best
Customer Reviews
Consumer feedback from third-party websites like Facebook, Yelp, and Trustpilot
NAIC Complaint Ratio
Up-to-date complaint score from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Advertising Practices
Accuracy and trustworthiness of marketing
Available Products
Number of policy types, including no-exam options


Frequently Asked Questions

Alex Trebek was a paid spokesman who promoted Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company in their advertisements. Sadly, he passed away on 11/8/2020. Since then, Meredith Viera has taken over his position as the company’s face in their advertising.

The coverage per unit varies based on your age and gender. For example, a 60-year female gets $1,621 of life insurance per $9.95 unit. At the same time, a 75-year-old female gets just $792 in coverage. Essentially, the older you are, the less coverage each unit provides.

Colonial Penn is a financially sound insurance company with an A- rating with A.M. Best. However, its products are inferior to other providers. Colonial Penn is often more expensive and unnecessarily subjects applicants to 2-year waiting periods that could have been avoided elsewhere.