Transamerica Burial Insurance Review

Written on July 23, 2016 by Choice Mutual

Transamerica Burial Insurance Review

We highly recommend you let us help you decide which burial insurance company is truly your best choice. With our vast experience, we will quickly and accurately identify which burial insurance company will view your individual health most favorably. We can help you much faster, and ensure you get the best plan for you and your family. Please fill out the quote form, and we will contact you immediately. On the other hand, you can call us at 1-800-644-2926.

Are you considering burial insurance from Transamerica? If so, this Transamerica burial insurance review will aid you in your research process. For your benefit, we have a Transamerica burial insurance reviewcomplete outline and explanation of their entire burial insurance program. All things considered, Transamerica’s burial insurance might a great option for you. However, they may not. We hope this Transamerica burial insurance review helps you make the right decision for you and your family.

Please feel free to check out our other burial insurance company reviews. For example, check out our analysis of the best burial insurance companies from 2016. We are experts in this business, so we know how to completely break down a final expense insurance plan. Our objective is to give you an unbiased professional take on different burial insurance plans. In particular, we go in depth about the underwriting aspect of burial insurance plan. Nowhere else can you find such exhaustive reviews.

First of all, we have a quick review if you are just looking for an overview on their burial insurance program. We also have a full review that goes much more in depth. If you are looking for a basic opinon on their final expense, the quick review will probably suffice. On the other hand, if you are looking to go over their plan with a fine tooth comb, the full review is what you want.

 

Our Quick Transamerica Burial Insurance Review

There is no question about it. Transamerica is a big well known insurance company. They operate throughout the entire USA, and they are very well known. They have a solid burial insurance offering at competitive prices. On top of that, their underwriting is rather lax. Usually, they have a plan that can cover most people. Typically, you can secure coverage with them without any sort of waiting period.

In spite of their popularity and size, Transamerica has the most complicated final expense plan on the market.  Their underwriting often confuses seasoned agents. Quite frankly, their application process can be a total bear.

First and foremost, you should never take their graded plan. It’s far too expensive, and you can easily get a better deal elsewhere.The prices on their preferred plan are very comparable to other burial insurance companies. If you can qualify, its a decent burial insurance plan in line with what a lot of other final expense companies charge. Their standard plan offers immediate first day coverage in spite of some more serious health issues it covers. However, the price on their standard plan is rather steep.

At the end of the day, you can very likely get a better deal elsewhere, and without the hassle!

 

Company Background

Transamerica was started back in 1904 as a financial services company. Fast forward to 2016, and they have expanded greatly. Presently, they deal in insurance, banking, movies, airlines, and the car rental business. Most people are familiar with their trademark pyramid logo. Transamerica’s Pyramid is actually located in heart of San Francisco.

Any respectable Transamerica burial insurance review will certainly mentioned their firm financial rating. Most notably, Transamerica currently has the highest A.M. Best rating of A+. In addition, many other highly reputable financial rating companies have given Transamerica very high marks. Namely, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch are some of the other renown agencies that have given Transamerica strong reviews.

In the end, Transamerica is a well established, highly rated, insurance company that can be trusted to be there for you and your family whenever you should need them. Please note, Transamerica sells dozens of different types of insurance. With that, this article will only be discussing their burial insurance program.

Transamerica burial insurance review

The Full Transamerica Review

Here you will find our complete review of their burial insurance program. They have different plans you can qualify for depending on your health. You will find every details about all policy options, limitation, underwriting, and our general thoughts on each plan.

 

Transamerica Review- “Solutions Final Expense”

Choice Mutual Grade= B

Quick facts about these plans

  • Coverage never expires
  • 3 plan options- Two with immediate coverage
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Benefits can’t decrease

 

3 different final expense plans

Transamerica essentially has three different plans available depending on your health. Two of their plans go by the name Immediate Solution. However, this plan has two pricing options. There is a preferred immediate solution, and a standard immediate solution. The preferred plan is the cheaper of the two. Lastly, their Easy Solution plan is their third and final option. The Easy Solution is the most expensive of all three. Overall, your health will ultimately decide which plan you qualify for, if any. This burial insurance by Transamerica is available in just about every U.S. state. There are a few select states where some of their plans and riders are not available.

 

How this burial insurance works

Regardless of which plan you qualify for, Transamerica’s burial insurance is incredibly easy to comprehend. For starters, it’s whole life insurance. For this reason, your policy cannot ever expire no matter how long you live. Your payment and the benefits are locked in for life. You will never see the payment rise, or the benefits fall. Think of it this way. Your final expense plan will never change or go away. It will always be there to provide the funds necessary to cover your funeral expenses.

 

Direct Express billing

There are very few final expense companies that will allow you to pay with a direct express card. Social Security gives recipients the option to have their monies deposited directly into a bank account, or they can have their funds loaded on a special government issued debit card (Direct Express).

Transamerica Burial Insurance ReviewIf you are a direct express cardholder, it can make finding burial insurance difficult. To clarify, the overwhelming majority of insurance companies require a bank draft for monthly payments. It has to be through a checking or savings account. Quite frankly, any other payment method historically result in a net loss for insurance companies. this is why it can be difficult to find quality life insurance when you don’t have a bank account.

If you only have a direct express card and no bank account, Transamerica could very well be your saving grace. This is another carrier that allows you to pay with a direct express card. However, they charge a premium to do so. Just remember, both of these companies will only accept the government issued direct express card. They will not accept other debit cards in any way.

 

How they underwrite

To determine your eligibility, Transamerica will collect at least three pieces of information from you. First of all, they will ask you the health questions. Secondly, the will review your prescription history. Lastly, they will take a look at your MIB file for any relevant records.

Most final expense companies utilize a personal health interview as part of their application process. In contrast, Transamerica can order a personal health interview, but it’s random. You have no way to know who they will call. The interview typically takes 10-12 minutes.

It is possible for Transamerica to request an APS from your doctor. An APS is an attending physician’s statement. In short, it’s a letter from your doctor clarifying something about your health. There is no way of knowing if and when Transamerica will order an APS. If they do, they will handle everything. Unfortunately, when this happens, it makes the overall application process very long.

 

No height & weight chart

By far, most burial insurance companies will ask you for your height and your weight, but Transamerica is not one of them. Most insurers have strict guidelines in regards to your height to weight ratio. If you are too heavy for your height, it could cause your premiums to be higher. Conversely, Transamerica has no build chart, so they do not care what your height and weight are. This is rather unique in this industry. Royal Neighbors & Aetna are both companies that also have no build charts.

 

No medical exam burial insurance

As is the case with every final expense plan, there is no physical or medical exam. You will not have to see your doctor or have a paramedic come to your home. You should take caution if someone is advising you to take a physical or medical exam. If so, it’s almost certainly not burial insurance.

 

Health questions are the 1st step to final expense

For final expense with underwriting, the health questions are your very first step. Above all else, they are the most important part of the overall application process. Transamerica has their health questionnaire divided into three sections. The first set of questions they will ask you are their knockout conditions. If you say yes to any of the knockout questions, you are not eligible for any of their three plans. In addition, if they find medications for any knockout conditions, they will decline you.

 

Here are the knockout conditions:

  1. Are you hospitalized, bedridden, residing in a nursing home, assisted or long term care facility, receiving hospice or home health care, or has the proposed Insured been advised by a licensed member of the medical profession or is the proposed Insured planning to have inpatient surgery within the next 2 years?
  2. Has the proposed Insured ever:
    • Been diagnosed with, been treated for or advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive treatment for Alzheimer’s, dementia, memory loss, organic brain disease, mental incapacity, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), Down’s Syndrome, Huntington’s disease, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy or been diagnosed by a medical professional as having a terminal medical condition that is expected to result in death within the next 18 months?
    • Tested positive for exposure to the HIV infection or been diagnosed by a licensed member of the medical profession as having ARC or AIDS caused by the HIV infection or other sickness or condition derived from such infection?
    • Been in a diabetic coma or been advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to have an amputation due to disease or disorder?
    • Received or been advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive an organ transplant other than corneal?
  3. Within the past 2 years has the proposed Insured:
    • Been diagnosed with, been treated for or advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive treatment for cancer (other than basal cell carcinoma)?
    • Undergone testing by a medical professional for which the results have not been received or been advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to have any surgical operation, diagnostic testing other than for routine screening purposes, treatment, hospitalization or other procedure which has not been done?

 

Don’t worry if any of these conditions apply to you

To begin with, some of these conditions are freely accepted by other burial insurance companies. However, there are some conditions in here where no underwritten final expense plan will accept you. In that case, we can still help you secure a new burial insurance plan by placing you with Gerber. Gerber Life has a guaranteed acceptance burial insurance policy. Basically, they do not ask you health questions or check your medical history in any way. For this reason, they institute a mandatory two year waiting period. Another key point, guaranteed issue is usually more expensive than underwritten final expense plans. Honestly, you normally only resort to a guaranteed issue policy as a last route. There is literally never a circumstance where Choice Mutual cannot help you get a new final expense policy.

 

Transamerica  “Easy Solution” (Graded) Plan

Choice Mutual Grade= F

Quick facts about this plan

  • Coverage never expires
  • Comes with a waiting period
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Benefits can’t decrease

First, their Easy Solutions Plan also goes by the name “Their Graded Plan”. You will see us use both names often. With that statement, you cannot have any of the knockout conditions to be eligible for this plan. Just below you will see the next set of health related questions. They call this set the C4 questions.

As we previously mentioned, Transamerica has the most complicated underwriting in the final expense business. Having said that, you cannot say yes to more than one of these questions.

If you say yes to one of the C4 questions, they will approve you for this Easy Solution Plan. However, if you say yes to two or more of the C4 questions, you are not eligible for ANY coverage.

Here are the C4 questions:

  1. Has the proposed Insured been diagnosed by a licensed member of the medical profession with diabetes (other than gestational diabetes) before the age of 18?
  2. Within the past 4 years has the proposed Insured been diagnosed with, been treated for or advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive treatment for cancer (other than basal cell carcinoma)?
  3. Within the past 1 year has the proposed Insured:
    • Used illegal drugs or been diagnosed with, been treated for or been advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive treatment for alcoholism, alcohol use/abuse, drug use/abuse, (including prescription drugs), or muscular dystrophy?
    • Been diagnosed or treated by a licensed member of the medical profession for more than 12 seizures or been diagnosed with, been treated for or advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive treatment for congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, hepatitis B or C or other liver disease
    • Been diagnosed with, been treated for or advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive treatment for aneurysm or angina; or been advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to have heart surgery of any kind including bypass surgery, angioplasty, stent implant or pacemaker implant?
    • Been diagnosed or treated by a licensed member of the medical profession for a heart attack, stroke (CVA) or transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
    • Used oxygen to assist in breathing (including Sleep Apnea); received kidney dialysis; or been diagnosed with, been treated for or advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive treatment for kidney failure due to a disease or disorder?
  4. Within the past 2 years has the proposed Insured used a wheelchair or electric scooter? If answering yes to this question and the reason(s) for the wheelchair or scooter use was/is for a reason that is expected to resolve, please provide details on the Supplemental Information to the Application for Life Insurance?

 

Standard final expense waiting period

This graded plan comes with a fairly usual waiting period. The waiting period lasts exactly two years. During this time, Transamerica will not pay the death benefit if you pass away. If you do pass away during the waiting period, they will refund all of your premiums plus an additional 10%. However, if you should pass away during the first two years due to an accident, they will pay out the full death benefit. Again, that only applies if you die due to an accident.

 

Burial Insurance Face Amounts & Availability By Age

This plan is available to you as long as you are between 18 and 80. The minimum face amount you can purchase is $1,000 (5K in PA). On the flip side, you can purchase a maximum of $25,000.

 

Who is this final expense plan good for?

The cold hard truth is that nobody should ever buy this graded plan. In short, it’s way too expensive and many other companies willingly accept a lot of these conditions. To emphasize, Transamerica will give you a waiting period when other companies will give you day one coverage for a variety of these conditions.

Despite this scathing opinion of this plan, it does have one cool unique feature. Their Easy Solution plan charges the same for smokers and non smokers. Honestly, this is quite rare. However, this doesn’t make this plan worthwhile at all. You can still pay much less with other burial insurance plans, and likely avoid a waiting period.

 

The “Standard Immediate Solution” policy from Transamerica

Choice Mutual Grade= D

Quick facts about this plan

  • Coverage never expires
  • No waiting period
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Benefits can’t decrease

Not surprisingly, you must be able to clear both the knockout graded questions to be eligible for this plan. You can’t say yes to any of those questions or have any prescriptions consistent with those health conditions. Just below you will see the next set of health questions. They call these the C3 health questions. With these, you can only say yes to one C3 question and be eligible for their Standard Immediate Solution Plan.

However, if you say yes to more than two or more C3 questions, they will approve you for their Easy Solution Graded Plan. Remember, we spoke about that plan above. Read through the C3 questions. If you say yes to more than one of these questions, Transamerica will approve you for their graded plan. In that case, look elsewhere for burial insurance because their graded plan is really bad. But again, if you only to one of these questions, you do qualify for their Standard Immediate Solution Plan.

Here are the C3 health questions:

  1. Within the past 2 years has the proposed Insured:
    • Been diagnosed with, been treated for or advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive treatment for angina (chest pain); aneurysm; vascular, circulatory or blood disorder; heart surgery of any kind including bypass surgery, angioplasty, stent implant or pacemaker implant; or irregular heart rhythm such as atrial fibrillation?
    • Been diagnosed with or been treated by a licensed member of the medical profession for a heart attack, stroke (CVA) or transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
    • Been diagnosed or treated by a licensed member of the medical profession for more than 12 seizures; used insulin or been diagnosed with, been treated for or advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive treatment for congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, hepatitis B or C or other liver disease?
    • Used illegal drugs or been diagnosed with, been treated for or been advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive treatment for alcoholism, alcohol use/abuse, drug use/abuse (including prescription drugs)?
  2. Within the past 4 years has the proposed Insured been diagnosed with, been treated for or advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive treatment for kidney disease?
  3. Has the proposed Insured ever been diagnosed with, been treated for or advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to receive treatment for Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including emphysema, chronic asthma, black lung or other chronic respiratory disease?

 

Immediate coverage burial insurance

As the title says, this plan comes with full first day protection. There is absolutely no waiting period with their Standard Immediate Solutions Plan.

 

Age and face value limits

First of all, you can be anywhere between 45 & 85 and be eligible to apply for this plan. Technically, this plan is available to you if you are younger than 45, but the underwriting is different. We are just not going to go into the underwriting for those who are 44 and younger. Most people we deal with are 45 and older, so we want to make sure the content is relevant to them.

Just like with the Easy Solution Plan, you can purchase as little as $1,000 in coverage ($5k in WA). On the contrary, your age influences your maximum face amount options. Below is a small grid showing you your maximum face amount options for their Standard Immediate Solutions Burial Insurance Plan.

AGE 0-55 AGE 56-65 AGE 66-75 AGE 76-85
$55,000 $40,000 $30,000 $25,000

 

Great riders with this final expense policy

First of all, their Standard Plan comes with some built in riders. These riders come with the policy, and do not cost extra. Furthermore, you can add on some cool riders for additional protection. Yet, the optional riders do carry an additional fee. However, the cost is very minimal. Please remember, NONE of these riders are not available to you if you qualify for their Graded Plan.

 

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

This rider will give you access to your death benefit early. To qualify, you must satisfy at least one of the following conditions. First, you reasonably expect to die within 12 months. Second, you require extraordinary medical intervention necessary to save your life. Third, you require continuous confinement to an eligible institution, and you expect to remain there forever. Lastly, you expect a dramatically limited life span of 12 months or less in the absence of extensive medical treatment.

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider with Nursing Home Option

This rider will also allow you access your death benefit while living. Basically, you have to be continually housed in a nursing home for 90 days. Additionally, a physician must certify that you will remain there until death.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

To begin with, you must be 70 or younger to be eligible for this rider. In essence, this rider will payout an additional death benefit if the cause of death is specifically from an accident.

Children’s and Grandchildren’s Benefit Rider

This rider provides level term coverage for covered children/grandchildren. You must be 75 or younger to be eligible for this rider. The rider will cover up to nine children/grandchildren. This means that this one rider can cover all nine kids. The maximum face amount for the children/grandchildren coverage is $5,000 or the face amount of the base policy. It goes by whichever is smaller. The children must be between 15 days and 17 years at the time in order for the rider to cover them. Lastly, the children/grandchildren may convert their coverage to their own policy at any point before they turn 23. They can only convert to a face amount equal to or less than the rider’s coverage amount.

 

10 pay option

Transamerica will give you the option to pay off your burial insurance plan in exactly 10 years. This is actually something that is quite rare in the final expense industry. Here is how the 10 pay option works if you choose to go this route.

Your monthly payment will be almost double the normal payment amount, but you will only pay for 120 months. After the 10 years is up, your payments stop, but your coverage remains for the rest of your life. Actually, if you live to be 121, they are just going to cut you a check at that time for your benefit amount.

Make sure your budget comfortably allows for the ballooned payment that comes along with the 10 pay option. If you can afford it, you could save a decent amount of money in the long run. However, if your budget is tight, it’s probably better to just stick with the normal payment option that has a much cheaper  monthly price.

 

Only 1 Health scenario where this funeral insurance is a good option

Their Standard Immediate Solution Plan offers immediate protection where other companies would impose a waiting period of some kind. In our opinion, there really is only one conditions where this plan could be your best option.

However, just a heads up; this plan is not cheap. It’s pricing is rather high. In the end, you will have to choose what’s most important to you. Basically, you have two options. On one hand, this plan offers immediate full coverage with a hefty premium. On the other hand, elsewhere you could have a full or partial waiting period and pay much less. You have to decide which is most valuable to you and your family.

Alcohol or drug abuse 12 ≤ 24 years ago

You had issues with alcohol or drug abuse at least 13-24 months ago. To clarify, it must be at least 12 months ago, but less than 24 months. If it has been over 24 months, MANY other companies would give you a far better price. However in this date range, Transamerica can give you full first day coverage in this scenario.

 

Why is this final expense plan so lacking?

In short, you can get a much better price from other final expense companies. Given the conditions that this plan accepts, there are many other burial insurance companies that also freely accept them. However, they will charge you much less.

Our opinion of this plan might be different if we were limited to just a few burial insurance companies. However, we are not. Thus, we can honestly say you have much better options out there. You can count on Choice Mutual to find which one it is, so you and your family are better off.

 

The Transamerica “Preferred Immediate Solution” burial insurance plan

Choice Mutual Grade= B

Quick facts about this plan

  • Coverage never expires
  • No waiting period
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Benefits can’t decrease

To be eligible for this plan, you must be able to pass every health question on the application. In addition, you cannot have any medications in your prescription history that would suggest otherwise.

 

Immediate benefit final expense

Your benefit is 100% active on the first day of your policy. There is no waiting period in anyway.

 

face amount selection

The age and face amount restrictions are exactly the same as the Standard Immediate Solution Plan. There is no difference in any way. Basically, you have to be 45-85 and you can buy no less than $1,000 in protection. The maximum amount you may purchase is determined by your age. Below is the same face amount grid as posted earlier.

AGE 0-55 AGE 56-65 AGE 66-75 AGE 76-85
$55,000 $40,000 $30,000 $25,000

 

Burial insurance riders

The rider situation is identical to their Standard Immediate Solutions plan. This one also comes with some built in riders, and you have the option to add more. Again, the optional riders do cost a bit extra, but it’s not much. If riders interest you, please scroll up to the Standard Immediate Solution Plan section. You will see a complete breakdown of all the different riders.

 

10 Pay burial insurance

Again, just like with their Standard Immediate Solution Plan, you can choose to pay this plan off in exactly 10 years. However, if you do choose this option, your monthly payment will be about double the normal monthly payment.

In a nutshell, you pay your inflated monthly premium for a total of 10 years. Afterwards, you never pay again, but your benefit stays with you for the rest of your life. It’s that simple.

 

When is their Preferred Immediate Solution Final Expense a good idea?

Essentially, this is the only question that really matters. Most final expense plans are good and bad at the same time. They can’t be good for everyone. In the case of Transamerica’s Preferred Immediate Solution Plan, it’s a very good option if you can qualify for it. Below are some of the common situations where this plan would put you in a very competitively priced burial insurance plan.

  • Heart attack or Stroke over 2 years ago
  • Hypertension
  • Cholesterol
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer over 4 years ago
  • Blood thinners
  • Stent Implants over 2 years ago
  • Pacemaker installed or battery changed over 2 years ago
  • Mental health issues

It’s important to understand that all of those conditions in that list are almost never an issue with virtually any final expense company. However, if you can qualify for Transamerica’s Preferred Immediate Solution Plan, you will qualify with many other companies.

 

Why did this burial insurance plan get a “B” rating?

Although this plan has competitive pricing, we did not give this plan an A rating for a couple reasons. First of all, this company can and will order APS’s randomly. It’s extremely rare in the final expense business for the companies to order an APS. Secondly, their underwriting department tends to approve applications for a rating other than applied for far more than other burial insurance companies. Lastly, you do not immediately know if they plan to approve or decline you.

Quite frankly, all of these practices are not present with most final expense companies. Again, if you qualify for their Standard Immediate Solution Plan, you definitely easily qualify elsewhere. With that, we’ll get you a cheaper burial insurance plan. Furthermore, it will come with an immediate approval. Also, there is no chance anyone will order an APS. To be fair, this preferred plan is priced well. If you have it now, you do have a well priced competitive burial insurance. It’s not the cheapest on the market, but it’s a very fair relative to the competition.

Transamerica burial insurance review

Transamerica Summary

Transamerica is a long standing company with very high ratings. That much is certain. However, their burial insurance program just does not do well when stacked up against the competition. All around, you can get better prices from other companies and not have to deal with the hassle that Transamerica can put you through.

If you are in need of some burial insurance, we hope this Transamerica burial insurance review was of some help. We would love to help you secure the best policy for you and your family. As you can probably tell, we are experts in this space. We will save you time and money. Give us a call to see what we can do for you. Otherwise, fill out the quote form and we will call you.

About ChoiceMutual.com
About ChoiceMutual.com

Choice Mutual works with all the top burial insurance companies throughout the nation to secure you the best price possible.

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