Choice Mutual Rating
1.0

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

Getting insurance for $9.95 per month sounds like a great bargain.

But when you discover just how little coverage you get for $9.95, you quickly realize that it isn’t such a good deal.

See a complete list of all the pros and cons of Colonial Penn insurance, and decide for yourself if Colonial Penn is worth it.

 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Colonial Penn Life Insurance?

Colonial Penn advertisements give the impression that their coverage is the best and most affordable life insurance for seniors.

The truth is that their policies have substantial drawbacks that do not outweigh what is good about them.

Below is a complete list of their pros and cons.

The Bad
  • Very small amount of coverage for $9.95: Yes, everyone pays $9.95 monthly for a single unit, but the catch is that you get virtually no coverage for the dollar spent. For example, a 70-year-old male would only get $689 of life insurance for $9.95.
  • Units have a 2-year waiting period: Because their coverage is guaranteed acceptance, there is a two-year waiting period. Non-accidental death during the first two years will only result in a refund of your premiums plus roughly 8% interest.
  • Deceptive advertising: The ads Colonial Penn produces give most people the impression that they will get $10,000-$25,000 in coverage for $9.95, which obviously isn’t the case.
  • Lots of consumer complaints: Hundreds (possibly thousands) of consumers have filed complaints with the BBB, consumeraffairs.com, and with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
  • No options below 40: If you’re 39 or younger, they have no coverage they can offer you.
  • No options above 85: If you’re 86 or older, they have no coverage they can offer you.
  • Confusing unit system: The selling of coverage by the unit is confusing to most seniors. Few people realize that how much coverage you get per unit varies based on age and gender.
  • Expensive compared to other providers: If you break down the cost of their insurance on a per $1,000 basis, you quickly realize that Colonial Penn is one of the most expensive companies on the market.
  • $50,000 is the most you can buy: If you’re looking for coverage beyond $50,000, Colonial Penn cannot help you.
  • No waiting period is very hard to get: Colonial Penn does offer whole life final expense insurance with no waiting period. However, the underwriting is rather strict, and most seniors simply won’t qualify.
  • Seniors 75+ all have a waiting period: Even if you’re in perfect health, everyone 75 and older will have a two-year waiting period.
  • Healthy applicants are often routed to their unit coverage: Colonial Penn primarily pushes their guaranteed acceptance coverage even to seniors who are in really good health. Some of those folks could have qualified for their less expensive whole life coverage with no waiting period.
The Good
  • No exam or health questions: Your approval is guaranteed regardless of age or health history.
  • Online quotes and application: Their online application will show you prices and allow you to formally apply.
  • Seniors up to 85 are eligible: Colonial Penn will issue a new policy to someone as old as 85.
  • Strong financial ratings: Colonial Penn currently has an A- (Excellent) rating with A.M. Best.
  • Coverage available nationwide: Their products are available in all 50 states, including Washington, DC.
  • Multiple payment options: You can pay via credit card, bank draft, or mail in a check or money order.
  • Free living benefit riders: Some of their policies include a terminal illness rider (at no charge) that enables you to access funds while you’re alive if you have a terminal illness.
  • Well-known & established company: Colonial Penn has been in business since 1968 and is a nationally recognized name.
  • Permanent whole life insurance: Their policies are whole life insurance which lasts forever and has a fixed cost.
  • Spanish-speaking employees: If you speak Spanish, they have staff who can assist you.
  • 30-day money back guarantee: If you’re not satisfied for any reason, you can return the policy within 30 days and get a full refund.
  • Builds cash value: Cash value will accrue over time since their coverage is whole life insurance.

 

How Does The $9.95 Plan Work?

Colonial Penn’s $9.95 plan is a guaranteed acceptance whole life policy.

You don’t have to answer health questions or take an exam. Regardless of your health, you will be approved.

Because it’s a guaranteed issue policy, there is a 24-month waiting period. If you die during the waiting period, Colonial Penn will only refund your premiums in addition to a small amount of interest (8-10%).

Because the policy is whole life, the rates will not change, and the coverage will neither decrease nor expire at any age.

The strangest element of the $9.95 plan is the pricing.

They sell the coverage by the “unit,” which is odd because no other burial insurance company does this.

No matter your age or gender, everyone pays $9.95 per month.

What varies is how much coverage you get per unit.

That’s the small detail Jonathan Lawson (the guy in their TV ads) eludes to when you see their commercials.

The older you are, the less coverage you get per unit.

Below is a rate chart that shows you exactly how much coverage you’ll get per unit based on your age and gender.

 

Colonial Penn Life Insurance Rate Chart

If you select your age and gender in the tool below, you’ll see how much coverage you’ll get for 1-15 units.

Coverage-Per-Unit Cost Calculator
Age
Gender
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

 

This table defines how much life insurance you get from one unit 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

 

5 Final Expense Insurance Companies That Are Better Than Colonial Penn

Objectively speaking, Colonial Penn is much more expensive than other burial insurance companies.

Plus, multiple other insurance providers offer burial insurance with no waiting period.

Below are five companies (and there are many others) that offer lower final expense rates, fewer complaints, and coverage that fully protects you from day one.

 

1) Mutual of Omaha

Founding Year: 1909
A.M. Best
A+
Superior
BBB
A+
99-100

 

Living Promise final expense insurance from Mutual of Omaha offers low prices, quick approvals, and coverage with no waiting period.

If you need life insurance for a senior over 80, they are one of the best options to consider.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 45-85
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $2,000-$40,000
States Available: All States (except New York)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: Accidental Death (2X the payout for accidental death)
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Mutual of Omaha products (you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: 10 Minutes to 3 Business Days
Common health conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Aneurysm
Arthritis
Asthma
Blindness
Blood clots > 2 years ago
Blood thinners
Cancer > 4 years ago
Circulatory surgery > 2 years ago
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 2)
Diverticulitis
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 2 years ago
Heart surgery > 2 years ago
Hepatitis A or B
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Scleroderma
Seizures
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA > 2 years ago
Tumors (non-cancerous)

 

2) Aetna

Founding Year: 1853
A.M. Best
A
Excellent
BBB
A+
98-100
Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

 

Most people know Aetna for their health insurance products, but they also offer senior burial life insurance.

Amazingly, they offer life insurance to seniors over 85. Most life insurance companies will not insure folks 86 and older.

Overall, their rates are competitive, and they offer coverage with no waiting period, even if you have severe chronic illnesses.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 40-89
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $2,000-$50,000
(varies by age)
States Available: All States (except New York)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: Accidental Death
(2X the payout for accidental death)
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Aetna products
(you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: 5 Minutes-3 Business Days
Common conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Afib
Aneurysm (if surgically repaired)
Arthritis
Asthma
Bipolar disorder
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Cancer > 2 years ago
Chronic bronchitis
Circulatory surgery > 2 years ago
COPD
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
Diabetic coma > 2 years ago
Diverticulitis
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Graves’ disease
Heart attack > 1 year ago
Heart surgery > 1 year ago
Hepatitis > 2 years ago
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Insulin shock > 2 years ago
Lupus
Multiple sclerosis
Obesity
Over 85 life insurance
Pacemaker (installed > 1 year ago)
Parkinson’s disease
Sarcoidosis
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Seizures
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA > 1 year ago
Tumors (noncancerous)

 

3) Royal Neighbors of America

Founding Year: 1895
A.M. Best
A
Excellent
BBB
A+
98-100
Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

 

Believe it or not, Royal Neighbors of America was the first life insurance company to offer life insurance to women and children in the USA.

They offer the best final expense insurance for diabetics and many other health conditions. Royal Neighbors is likely your best option if you have many severe medical conditions.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 50-80
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $7,000-$30,000
States Available: All States
(except AK, AL, HI, LA, MA, NH, NY)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: None
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Royal Neighbors products
(you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: 10 Minutes
Common conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Afib
Aneurysm
Arthritis
Asthma
Bipolar disorder
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Cancer > 2 years ago
Circulatory surgery > 2 years ago
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
Diabetic neuropathy
Diverticulitis
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 2 years ago
Heart surgery > 2 years ago
Hepatitis > 2 years ago
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Home health care
Multiple instances of cancer
Pacemaker (installed > 2 years ago)
Retinopathy
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Severely overweight
Sleep apnea
Tia mini-strokes
Tumors

 

4) American Amicable

Founding Year: 1910
A.M. Best
A
Excellent
BBB
A+
97-100
Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

 

American Amicable is unique because they offer up to $50,000 in whole life coverage. Most final expense companies cap out at $25,000-$40,000.

They have some of the lowest prices on the market for people who smoke cigarettes. If you smoke cigars occasionally, they will offer you a non-tobacco price which is a considerable saving.

Additionally, they are very accommodating to people who have been denied life insurance due to prescription history.

Whether you need life insurance for a parent, grandparent, or yourself, they are a company that should be on your shortlist.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 50-85
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $2,500-$50,000 (varies by age)
States Available: All States (except CT, ME, MT, NH, NY, VT)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: None
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell American Amicable products
(you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: 15 minutes
Common conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Afib
Aneurysm > 3 years ago
Arthritis
Asthma
Bipolar disorder
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Cancer > 3 years ago
Circulatory surgery > 3 years ago
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 2)
Diverticulitis
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 3 years ago
Heart surgery > 3 years ago
Hepatitis > 3 years ago
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Pacemaker (installed > 3 years ago)
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Sickle cell anemia
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA > 3 years ago
Tumors (non-cancerous)

 

5) Transamerica

Founding Year: 1904
A.M. Best
A
Excellent
BBB
B
84-100
Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

 

Unlike the AARP life insurance program, Transamerica will approve applicants for no waiting period coverage even if they have chronic conditions such as COPD or kidney disease.

Their prices are very competitive, even for smokers. Another unique feature of Transamerica is that they will offer as low as $1,000 in coverage.

So if you only need to cover the cost of a cremation or you deal with serious medical issues, Transamerica is a great company to consider.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 45-85
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $1,000-$50,000 (varies by age)
States Available: All States
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: Accidental Death (2X the payout for accidental death)
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Transamerica products (you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: 15 Minutes- 5 Business Days
Common conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Afib
Angina (chest pains)
Aneurysm (if surgically repaired)
Arthritis
Asthma
Bipolar disorder
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Cancer > 4 years ago
Chronic bronchitis
Circulatory surgery > 1 year ago
COPD
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 2)
Diverticulitis
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 1 year ago
Heart surgery > 1 year ago
Hepatitis
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Kidney disease (no dialysis)
Lupus
Multiple sclerosis
Pacemaker (installed > 1 year ago)
Parkinson’s disease
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Seizures
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA > 1 year ago
Tumors

 

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.

Price
1.0
Policy rates relative to other carriers
Financial Strength
5.0
Credit ratings from A.M. Best
Customer Reviews
1.0
Consumer feedback from third-party websites like Facebook, Yelp, and Trustpilot
NAIC Complaint Ratio
1.0
Up-to-date complaint score from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Advertising Practices
1.0
Accuracy and trustworthiness of marketing
Available Products
2.5
Number of policy types, including no-exam options