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

Colonial Penn life insurance is a legitimate company, but they are objectively one of the worst companies you can buy from.

You can get far more coverage at a lower price from dozens of other life insurance companies.

How Do Colonial Penn Units Work?

A unit of Colonial Penn coverage always costs $9.95 monthly for all ages and genders. The question you must ask yourself is- how much coverage do you get per unit?

The death benefit per unit varies based on your DOB, state (except Montana), and gender.

Use the Colonial Penn life insurance calculator or rate table below to see how much coverage you get using their unit system.


Colonial Penn Rate Chart

Choose your age and gender to see the total monthly cost and how much life 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

The table below illustrates exactly how much coverage a single unit provides based on age and gender.

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


Pros & Cons Of Colonial Penn Life Insurance

The Good
  • No medical exam required
  • Guaranteed acceptance life insurance option
  • Seniors up to age 85 can apply
  • Coverage is available in all states
  • Strong financial rating (A- A.M. Best rating)
  • 100% online application
  • Accelerated death benefit rider options for cancer, heart attack, or stroke
  • You can pay via bank draft, credit card, or mail in monthly payments
The Bad
  • Highly deceptive ads
  • Extremely overpriced coverage relative to other carriers
  • All seniors age 75 or older have a waiting period
  • No options below age 40 or above 85
  • Strict underwriting for their whole life coverage that has health questions that tends to deny common health issues
  • A confusing unit system that makes it hard to understand how much coverage you’re getting
  • Lots of negative reviews online from previous customers
  • $50,000 is the most insurance you can buy
  • No term or universal life insurance


How Does The $9.95 Guaranteed Acceptance Plan Work?

The Colonial Penn life insurance plan for $9.95 per month is a guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance policy with a waiting period of two years.

It’s permanent life insurance with a premium that will never increase and builds cash value.

There are no health questions or exams to determine your eligibility (approval is guaranteed).

If you die during the first two years, your beneficiaries will only receive a refund of the premiums plus a small interest amount. You must live for at least 24 months before your loved ones get the full death benefit payout.

Strangely, they sell this coverage using a unit system. As mentioned above, each unit provides a particular amount of life insurance and always costs $9.95 per month.

Most people mistakenly assume that you’ll get $10,000-$20,000 in coverage for $9.95, but nothing could be further from the truth.

$9.95 Plan Product Details
Policy TypeWhole Life Insurance
Policy DurationLifetime
Fixed PremiumsYes
Underwriting ClassGuaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance
Health QuestionsNo
Medical ExamNo
2-Year Waiting PeriodYes
States AvailableAll States
New Applicant Age Range50-85
(50-75 in New York)
Coverage Options1-15 Units
Cost$9.95 Per Unit
(regardless of age or gender)


Alternate Colonial Penn Whole Life Insurance Option

They don’t advertise it, but Colonial Penn offers another permanent whole life funeral insurance policy for seniors outside their $9.95 plan.

As you can see from their products page, this whole life policy is much different.

In short, this policy isn’t sold by the unit and has an underwriting component. It’s not a guaranteed issue plan, so you’ll have to qualify medically.

No medical exam is required, but you must answer these health questions.

If you’re approved, there is no waiting period.

The underwriting on this plan is rather strict, so unless you’re in picture-perfect health, don’t expect to qualify.

Even if they do accept you, the prices aren’t very competitive.

For example, A 66-year-old male would pay $70.15 per month for $10,000 in coverage for this Colonial Penn whole life plan.

In comparison, Mutual of Omaha would charge only $59.85 per month.

Below is a table that compares the pros and cons of Colonial Penn insurance.

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


Living Insurance® from Colonial Penn

When you apply for their whole life product with health questions, they allow you to add two different “living benefit” riders.

These riders cost extra, and you can only choose one. You cannot have both added to your policy.

  • Critical Illness: This allows you to access up to 50% of your death benefit if you suffer a heart attack, stroke, or are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Cancer: Allows you to receive up to 50% of your death benefit if you are diagnosed with cancer (not all forms) or a terminal illness.

Essentially, they provide an additional layer of protection if you’re ever diagnosed with a chronic illness or major health event.

If you opt to purchase their whole life policy with health questions, adding one of these riders would be a good idea.


Colonial Penn Does Not Offer Term Life Insurance

Although some websites claim that Colonial Penn offers term life insurance, they do not.

If you look at their products page, term life insurance is nowhere to be found.

At present, whole life insurance is the only type of policy they offer.


Colonial Penn Customer Complaints

Over the years, they have racked up quite a few Colonial Penn life insurance complaints.

For example, there were 268 complaints registered with the Better Business Bureau over the prior three years.

Their number of complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners paints a similar picture.

Their 2021 NAIC complaint ratio for individual life insurance products was 23.29, nearly 23 times higher than the average life insurance company.

When an insurance company makes it appear that everyone can get $10,000 in life insurance coverage for $9.95 per month, it’s no surprise that many angry customers file grievances.


Third-Party Financial Strength Ratings

Colonial Penn has an A- (Excellent) rating with AM Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings. Moody’s has their rating at A3.

The one rating organization where they shine is the Better Business Bureau. Despite a high number of complaints, they currently have an A+ rating with the BBB.


Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company Background

AARP’s co-founder Leonard Davis founded Colonial Penn Life Insurance company in 1968.

Colonial Penn is owned by the parent company CNO Financial Group, which is based out of Carmel, Indiana.

They were one of the first insurers to offer guaranteed acceptance policies. They have even sold Medicare supplemental plans in the past.

For many years, Alex Trebek was the face of Penn Life Insurance Company. He was their paid endorser until his death on November 8, 2020.

They now feature Colonial Penn sales manager Jonathan Lawson as the pitchman in their commercials.

Most of their licensed insurance agents work from the home office in downtown Philadephia Pennsylvania. However, some of their agents work from home.

  • Website:
  • Address: 399 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19181
  • Phone number (all states except NY): 1-877-877-8052
  • Phone number for New York residents: 1-800-323-4542


How To Find Better Options Than Colonial Penn Final Expense Insurance

If you are looking for life insurance for a senior, you can 100% get a much lower price elsewhere.

In addition, you can likely get coverage with no waiting period.

The biggest issue with Alex Trebek’s life insurance is that you’re dealing with a captive insurance company.

When you speak to a Colonial Penn agent, they cannot shop around and show you another final expense insurance company that could potentially give you a better deal.

The trick to finding the best and most affordable burial life insurance (or any other type of life insurance) is to work with an independent insurance agency. Only an independent agency can compare offers from multiple providers.

An independent broker such as Choice Mutual will shop the market for you to determine which insurance carrier has the best price and coverage based on your unique situation.

Believe it or not, it does not cost you a fee to work with an independent agency, and the insurance itself isn’t more expensive.

Working with an independent agency can save you as much as 70% on your life insurance (this is not an exaggeration).

You can call us at 1-800-644-2926, and we can assist you. You can also use this pricing tool to compare life insurance quotes from all the top companies in your state.

We’re independent and have over 15 different A-rated companies that we will shop for you. Final expense life insurance is our specialty. It’s all we do.

Below are genuine reviews from past customers who allowed us to serve them.




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

One unit of Colonial Penn Life insurance costs $9.95 per month, regardless of your age or gender.

Colonial Penn life insurance plans are generally not a good deal compared to other providers. For starters, most Colonial Penn clients have a 2-year waiting period that could have been avoided elsewhere. That aside, their prices are much higher than many other companies.

Colonial Penn currently only sells whole life insurance. They used to offer term life insurance, but they discontinued it.

Everyone, regardless of their age and gender, pays just $9.95 for their guaranteed acceptance coverage. The most you can buy is 15 units. The amount of life insurance provided by a single unit depends on your exact age and gender.

Colonial Penn burial insurance is generally their guaranteed acceptance 995 plan. You cannot be denied due to pre-existing conditions, and everyone pays just $9.95 per unit. How much coverage you get for a single unit depends on your gender and age.