Reviews for colonial penn life insurance

Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The company has written life insurance policies for more than 60 years and was one of the first to offer guaranteed acceptance life insurance. Colonial Penn now offers renewable term and whole life insurance, as well. To help determine if Colonial Penn may be the best life insurance company for your needs, consider the following pros and cons:

Perks Drawbacks
Customer service available in Spanish and English Doesn’t offer universal life insurance or variable universal life
Offers supplemental health insurance More complaints than the expected baseline were filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
Rated A (Excellent) by AM Best for financial strength Low coverage limit of only $50,000 for permanent life insurance
Offers guaranteed acceptance life insurance

Colonial Penn’s life insurance offerings are comparable to some other life insurers, although it does not offer a range of permanent and universal life insurance options. Colonial Penn’s selection is limited to guaranteed acceptance, renewable term and whole life insurance. However, if you’re looking for these types of life insurance, Colonial Penn may be a competitive option.

The company began writing life insurance policies more than 60 years ago and currently has more than 760,000 life insurance policies in force. It was the first company to offer guaranteed acceptance life insurance in 1968, making it a veteran company in the life insurance space. The company writes life insurance policies in 49 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C. However, keep in mind that Colonial Penn agents work remotely, so they may not be directly available in your local area or state.

Colonial Penn life insurance coverage types

Colonial Penn Life Insurance only offers renewable term life, guaranteed acceptance life insurance and whole life insurance, which may make it a competitive option for shoppers over age 50 who are looking for life insurance. Whole life policies are available to those between the ages of 40 and 75 in most states, with the maximum coverage amount being $50,000. Colonial Penn’s whole life coverage limit is considerably low compared to some other life insurance companies.

For Colonial Penn’s guaranteed acceptance policies, the maximum coverage amount depends on your age and state. If you’re wondering how much life insurance you need, a life insurance calculator may help you figure out an amount best fit to your financial goals.

Colonial Penn Life Insurance policyholders have the option to add an accelerated death benefit rider, which will pay out up to 50% of your death benefit while still living if you are diagnosed with a covered illness, such as a heart attack, stroke, cancer or chronic illness.

For a closer look, Colonial Penn offers the following coverage types:

  • Term: Colonial Penn offers renewable term life insurance with coverage up to $50,000 for those between the ages of 18 and 75, renewable up to age 90. The policy is available everywhere except for Montana, New York and the Virgin Islands. Term life insurance only lasts for the set length of the term, making it a good option to consider for those who are worried about short-term financial obligations like caring for a young child. There is also no medical exam requirement, meaning individuals who have difficulty qualifying for traditional life insurance may find Colonial Penn’s renewable term offering a viable option.
  • Permanent: Colonial Penn offers whole life insurance, which is a type of policy that remains in effect for the duration of your life, or as long as you pay your premiums. Whole life insurance also comes with a cash value account designed to accumulate interest and returns, which you may be able to use to pay your premiums or borrow against. Colonial Penn’s whole life insurance policy has a maximum coverage capacity of just $50,000. This policy requires the insured to answer health questions, but not complete a medical exam. It may be a good fit for those who want lifelong coverage with a low death benefit and a cash value account, without a required medical exam.
    • Guaranteed: Guaranteed acceptance life insurance is another permanent policy type available through Colonial Penn, which may be a good choice for individuals with health issues that prevent them from passing a traditional life insurance policy’s medical exam screening process. Guaranteed acceptance life insurance policies don’t require a medical exam for an applicant to be approved. However, premiums are typically high and have a comparatively low death benefit.

Colonial Penn life services

Colonial Penn doesn’t offer any non-insurance-related services such as financial advising or estate planning. However, the company does offer supplemental health insurance that can be applied towards large medical bills in tandem with your existing health insurance.

Other Colonial Penn perks worth considering

Colonial Penn does not offer policy management through a mobile app, but the following perks may be of interest.

  • Supplemental health insurance: In addition to life insurance, Colonial Penn offers supplemental health insurance if you want to have extra financial protection against large medical bills.
  • Instant chat feature: The company’s website features a chat box where you can ask questions and receive answers from a real agent in as little as a few seconds.
  • Living Insurance endorsement: Living Insurance is an accelerated death benefit, which means you can take out up to 50% of your death benefit before you pass away if you’re diagnosed with a covered illness. Approved illnesses typically include heart attacks, strokes, cancer or certain chronic illnesses. You can contact a Colonial Penn agent regarding the specific details of your situation to determine your eligibility.

Colonial Penn life insurance customer and claims satisfaction

With a financial strength rating of A (Excellent) from AM Best, Colonial Penn Life Insurance has proven its historic ability to pay out claims. However, consumers have filed more complaints than normal against Colonial Penn, according to the NAIC, which shows that a significant proportion of policyholders have had issues with the company. Colonial Penn is currently unrated by J.D. Power.

Colonial Penn social responsibility

Colonial Penn does not advertise specific corporate social responsibility initiatives on its website. However, you may be able to call the company at 1-877-877-8052 and speak to an agent to learn if the company has any initiatives on the horizon.

Not sure if Colonial Penn is right for you? Consider these alternatives

Colonial Penn Life Insurance may not be right for everyone, especially if you’re looking for universal life or variable universal life. It may also be helpful to look into the different types of life insurance and consult a life insurance guide to learn which policy or coverage types are best for your situation.

Once you’ve determined your life insurance policy needs, insurance experts typically suggest you get a life insurance quote from a few insurers. The carriers below are some of the best life insurance companies on the market and may be a helpful starting place for your search.

  • State Farm: State Farm won a Bankrate Award for the best term life insurance company. It offers a 24/7 payment line, a network of local agents and an easy-to-use mobile app. If these features are important to you or you are interested in a term life insurance policy, you may want to consider State Farm.
  • MassMutual: MassMutual earned a Bankrate Award for best whole life insurance. The company earned this title for its high AM Best financial strength score, high coverage capacity and numerous whole life policy riders. If you’re looking for a whole life insurance provider with a high coverage capacity, you may want to check out MassMutual.
  • Nationwide: Nationwide won a Bankrate Award for best universal life insurance, largely due to the company’s wide range of riders, high J.D. Power score and accessible network of local agents. The company also offers life insurance for children. If you’re interested in universal life insurance or looking for features like the ones mentioned above, you may want to check out Nationwide.

Colonial Penn offers a range of life insurance products that combine simplified underwriting with a limited death benefit. They're best suited for consumers who don't need a large payout — perhaps just enough to cover funeral expenses — and would typically have trouble buying coverage elsewhere due to age or medical history.

This company offers competitive pricing for its final-expense products, but if you're young or healthy, you should probably compare quotes from other insurers. Colonial Penn's term and whole life insurance products don't require a medical exam and have a maximum death benefit of $50,000, meaning you'll typically pay higher premiums and can't buy more coverage later on if your financial needs change.

Colonial Penn life insurance products by type

Colonial Penn specializes in life insurance products with smaller death benefits and limited underwriting. Often referred to as final-expense insurance, these products make the most sense for people who want to have coverage in place quickly.

For instance, someone in poor health may only need a small payout to cover funeral expenses, a loan or another limited financial obligation.

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Depending on your financial needs, Colonial Penn offers three types of life insurance policies:

Average Monthly Rates$12 – $56$10 – $80$30 – $133
Fixed PremiumNo, rates increase with ageYesYes
Death benefit$10,000 – $50,000$10,000 – $50,000$400 – $17,000
Medical ExamNoneNoneNone
Health surveyYesYesNo

Compare rates

You can apply for all of Colonial Penn's life insurance products online, and none require a medical exam. This is convenient for consumers who want to quickly purchase coverage. While Colonial Penn also advertises a 30-day money-back guarantee, this feature isn't unique and shouldn't be a reason you decide to purchase from them.

Most states have "free look" laws requiring insurers to provide a full refund, if requested, for 10 to 30 days after purchase.

Colonial Penn term life insurance

Colonial Penn offers a one-year level term life insurance policy, meaning you essentially start a new term each year. The term life policy also has a limited death benefit, with a maximum value of $50,000, which can be designated to either one or two beneficiaries.


Since the policy has a one-year term, the premiums you pay increase as you get older, typically in five-year increments. For example, a woman who purchases $50,000 of coverage would pay:

  • $35.21/month between the ages of 41 and 45
  • $45.21/month between the ages of 46 and 50
  • $56.46/month between the ages of 51 and 55

If you know you want coverage for a longer period of time, you'll pay a higher average premium with Colonial Penn than if you purchased a longer-term policy elsewhere (such as a 10-year or 20-year term) since your risk profile increases with age. In addition, you can find lower prices elsewhere with significantly more coverage because Colonial Penn has a limited underwriting process with no medical exam. This raises premiums, as they're unable to verify your health status.

Given these factors, if you're fairly healthy and not concerned about your ability to pass a medical exam (they're simple and only take about 30 minutes), you can save a lot of money over time by getting a fully underwritten policy elsewhere.

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Colonial Penn does not offer term life insurance in Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New York or Vermont. New policies are only available until age 75 but, if you already have coverage in place with Colonial Penn, you can continue to renew annually and maintain coverage until age 90.

Colonial Penn guaranteed acceptance program

Colonial Penn's guaranteed acceptance program is a whole life insurance policy with a limited death benefit, and is often marketed to seniors who want to reduce their family's financial impact upon their death.

Unlike some final-expense insurance products that let you choose a particular payout, Colonial Penn collects your age, gender and location, then assigns you a "unit" of coverage (policyholders can purchase up to eight units). Since the price is fixed, the amount of coverage available per unit varies according to your risk profile. The minimum value of a unit of coverage is approximately $400 and the maximum is approximately $2,100, meaning the maximum death benefit you can select is around $16,800.

For example, say one unit of coverage provides a $1,621 death benefit for a 60-year-old woman. If she wants the policy to cover all of her funeral costs — which generally average $10,000 — she should purchase seven units of coverage. The policy would offer a total benefit of $11,347 to her beneficiary when she dies.

Since the guaranteed acceptance coverage is a form of whole life insurance, it accumulates a cash value that can be borrowed against at an 8% annual interest rate.


Monthly premiums are directly tied to the number of units purchased, and each unit costs $9.95 per month. You can purchase up to eight units, so the maximum monthly premium is $79.60. If you pay annually, you receive a discount equal to one month's premium, or an 8.3% discount for the year.


A guaranteed acceptance policy can only be purchased between the ages of 50 and 85, and the policy's death benefit is limited for the first two years of coverage. If you die during the first two years, unless due to an accident, your beneficiaries would receive a smaller payout (the sum of your premium payments with 7% interest compounded annually). This type of clause is regularly included by every insurer that offers guaranteed acceptance policies, as it wouldn't be economical for them to offer such a product otherwise.

Colonial Penn whole life insurance

If you're willing to answer health questions about yourself or haven't yet reached 50, Colonial Penn offers traditional whole life insurance as an alternative to the guaranteed acceptance program. Since the company can better assess your risk through health questions, this policy's death benefit can be as high as $50,000 in value. However, it's still significantly lower than what is available through other insurers.


Colonial Penn's whole life policy lets you choose the particular death benefit you want, meaning premiums vary based on your risk profile. To give you a sense of the range of monthly premiums, we've pulled sample rates for the maximum and minimum coverage amounts offered:

40-year-old man$18.71$76.04
40-year-old woman$14.36$56.79
75-year-old man$118.29$576.44
75-year-old woman$94.07$455.36

Compare rates


Colonial Penn does not offer whole life insurance in Maine, New York or Vermont, and policies can only be purchased between the ages of 40 and 75.

Colonial Penn customer reviews and complaints

Colonial Penn has a Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best, which means it has plenty of resources on hand to pay claims. Consumers also tend to give positive feedback regarding Colonial Penn's quick and simple claims process.

However, Colonial Penn receives a significant number of complaints about its aggressive sales tactics targeting the elderly. In addition, many people felt they purchased either the wrong product or didn't understand the product before buying it.

While this is true for any insurance product, if you're considering purchasing life insurance from Colonial Penn, it's incredibly important to review all documents and materials yourself before submitting an application or purchasing coverage.

Life insurance payments

Colonial Penn offers multiple payment options for all its life insurance products:

Credit cardsTypically accepts Visa, Mastercard and Discover
Electronic funds transfer (EFT)Payments are automatically deducted from your bank account. In some cases, the first payment must be made by check before EFT can be implemented.
Direct billingA bill is sent to you each payment period.

Frequently Asked Questions

For a 50-year-old man, rates for term life insurance from Colonial Penn can range from $13 to $57 per month. Guaranteed acceptance policies ran between $10 and $80 per month, while whole life insurance was the most expensive at $30 to $133. Ultimately, your own quotes will depend on your age, gender and the amount of coverage you select. Find out more about how much life insurance typically costs.

We think Colonial Penn makes the most sense if you just want a small amount of coverage for funeral costs and other end-of-life expenses rather than full coverage. Colonial Penn's low underwriting requirements are especially beneficial if you have trouble obtaining coverage elsewhere due to advanced age or a complicated medical history.

Besides Colonial Penn, we recommend checking out final-expense insurance from providers such as AAA, AIG and Gerber. These companies offer competitive rates for coverage options that are fairly similar to what Colonial Penn offers. For a more in-depth look at these providers, read our guide to final-expense insurance.