Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Company Review

Although perhaps best known as the title sponsor of the long-running Wild Kingdom television series, one would be hard pressed to find a purer life and health insurance company than Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance. As a company utterly uninterested with the lure of selling such things as auto and home insurance, Mutual of Omaha has been all life and health insurance, all the time, for over a century.

Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance currently holds an A+ (superior) rating from A. M. Best for financial strength. The company has also recently obtained an Aa3 (excellent) rating from Moody’s Investors Service and an AA- (very strong) rating from Standard and Poor’s.

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History and Structure

Originally founded as a health insurer in 1909 in Omaha, Nebraska, as Mutual Benefit Health and Accident Association, Mutual of Omaha’s history almost ended shortly after it began. By the time the company obtained the necessary applications to be licensed by the State of Nebraska, it was already on shaky ground. However, smart leadership, innovative marketing and aggressive expansion allowed the company to get over the hump. By 1926 when the company sold its first life insurance policy, it was clear it would be around for the long haul. The company assumed its current name in 1962.

In 1963 Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom debuted on American television. By far the company’s most successful marketing vehicle, the critically acclaimed series remained on television until 1988 in its original run.

Mutual of Omaha Life insurance remains based in Omaha. It has added extensively to its offices in the city over the years. The company has also made efforts to keep relevant with its marketing, becoming the primary corporate sponsor of the United States swim team in 2001 and launching a new version of Wild Kingdom on the Animal Planet cable television network the following year.

As its name suggests, Mutual of Omaha is a mutual insurance company owned by policyholders. Mutual of Omaha employs an independent agent force. Life insurance is underwritten for the company by the Hauppauge-based Companion Life Insurance Company in New York state and by United of Omaha Life Insurance Company elsewhere. The company’s broker/dealer for variable products is Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc.

Term Life

The following product discussions are intended to be a generic representation of the policies Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance offers. Not all products may be available in every state as described. In addition policy features and underwriting requirements may change without notice. Consult with a Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance agent for the most up-to-date information.

Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance offers three term insurance products. All three policies include an accelerated death benefit rider. The Term Life Express is a non-convertible term life product available for terms of 15, 20 or 30 years. It features a $50,000 minimum death benefit but is capped at $400,000 maximum. A return of premium (ROP) rider, which pays all premiums back to the insured without interest should he or she outlive the term, is also available.

The Term Life Complete is convertible to a permanent life policy within five years of policy issuance. Like the Term Life Express, it is available for terms of 15, 20 or 30 years and features an optional ROP rider. The Term Life Complete has a $100,000 death benefit minimum, but no maximum. The New York state variation of the policy available from Companion Life Insurance Company is available with a $50,000 minimum death benefit, but without the ROP rider option.

The Term Life Answers is Mutual of Omaha’s basic term insurance product. It is convertible to a permanent policy at any time and offers terms of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. The ROP rider is not available on the Term Life Answers product.

Whole Life

Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance’s whole life products are modest permanent insurance plans directed towards two disparate markets. The Whole Life Guaranteed whole life policy is a no-physical product available in face amounts ranging from $3,000 to $25,000 and is suitable as a policy for paying final expenses. The policy is available up to age 85 in most states. The Whole Life Express is a very similar product offering coverage between $5,000 and $50,000.

The Children’s Whole Life policy is available for individuals aged 14 days until age 25. Although such a low minimum age may seem odd at first, it is standard practice in the life insurance industry when dealing with life insurance for children. Children’s life insurance policies routinely exclude newborns because infant mortality is considered to be much more likely in the first few weeks of life.

The Children’s Whole Life policy offers $150,000 in guaranteed insurability for the child once he or she grows up. This allows the insured to obtain this coverage without additional underwriting if so desired.

Universal Life

Fixed universal life products offered by Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance are the company’s flagship permanent insurance options. The express issue Guaranteed Universal Life Express offers UL coverage of up to $250,000 with simplified underwriting. The AccumUL Plus and Guaranteed Universal Life Complete are more traditionally underwritten ULs available up to age 85 and without death benefit maximums. The AccumUL Plus is also available as a children’s life insurance policy. Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance also offers a variable universal life (VUL) product.

Annuities and Other Products

Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance features five fixed annuity plans, two immediate annuities that are designed to enter the distribution phase immediately and three deferred annuities that can be used as retirement plans. One of the deferred annuity products, the Living Care Annuity, can be used as both a retirement plan and as a form of long-term care (LTC) insurance. The company also offers variable annuities.

Although Mutual of Omaha is noted as a life insurance company, it started as a health insurer and continues to offer a wide range of health insurance products. These include Medicare supplement insurance, LTC insurance and disability insurance. The company also offers group life, health, disability and even dental insurance.

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