Transamerica Review – Products, Pricing, and Customer Service

transamerica review 2018

Last Updated: 1/08/2018

AM Best Grade: A+ (Superior) 5 stars

Address: 4333 Edgewood Road, Cedar Rapids, IA 52499

Phone: (319) 355-8511


Also Known As: Transamerica Corporation

The Transamerica Corporation is an American holding company that encompasses various life insurance companies and investment firms in the United States and the Netherlands. The company is a sponsor of four professional golfers (two of which are PGA Tour members, and one member of the Champions and LPGA Tours), and funds the Aegon Transamerica Foundation as well as the Transamerica Institute.

Quick Review Guide:

  1. Company History
  2. Insurance Products
  3. Product Pricing
  4. Underwriting Niches
  5. Customer Service & Approval Process
  6. Financial Stability & Ratings
  7. Why We Like Transamerica


Company History

Transamerica (then known as Bank of Italy) was founded in October 1904 by a man named A.P. Giannini in San Francisco. The company name changed in 1928 when Giannini put the banks into a holding company, and renamed it Transamerica Corporation. Over time, the company acquired companies such as Occidental Life Insurance Company, United Artists, Transamerica Airlines, and Budget Rent a Car. In the 1980s, Transamerica decided to solely focus on financial services, and divided the company into three sections: insurance, investments, and retirement. The company is licensed in all states (except New York) and the District of Columbia.

Insurance Products

Transamerica offers a variety of life insurance products, which consist of:

  • Term Life Insurance
  • Whole Life Insurance
  • Universal Life Insurance (through employers only)
    • Variable Universal Life
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Accidental Death Insurance
  • Final Expense Life Insurance

Typically, term life insurance is the most affordable out of the bunch due to its lower premium rates. Transamerica offers two different policies: Trendsetter Super Series and Trendsetter LB. Some similarities include that both offer up to $1,000,000 in coverage, don’t require a medical exam up to a certain amount of coverage (up to $99,999 for Super and up to $249,999 for LB) and have a low minimum face amount requirement of just $25,000.

Trendsetter Super Series is a convertible term life policy. The amount of coverage you choose stays the same throughout the entire term period. When you reach the end of your initial term, you have the option to convert the policy to a universal life policy without having to go through another medical exam (based on your health questions when you apply). This policy offers 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year terms.

Trendsetter LB is also a convertible term life policy, and offers living benefits in addition to death benefit protection. This means that you are provided early access to your policy’s death benefit if you were to acquire a chronic, critical or terminal illness. Access to this money could help you to pay off some of your medical bills associated with the illness. This policy offers 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year terms.

Both Trendsetter policies have rider options. Riders are simply products that can be added to your policy (often at an additional cost). These riders include:

Children’s Insurance Rider: You can obtain life insurance for all your children (ages 15 days-18 years old) with this rider in increments of $1,000. The maximum you can get is either $99,000 or the base policy coverage (whichever is less).

Accidental Indemnity Rider: If you die due to an accidental bodily injury, this rider provides an additional death benefit; it provides double the additional amount if the injury occurs while the you are a fare-paying passenger on a common carrier.

Return of Premium Rider: On 20- and 30-year terms, this rider allows the you to receive 100% of eligible premiums at the end of your term.  

Waiver of Premium Rider: If you become totally disabled, your premiums are waived after a 6-month waiting period.

Monthly Disability Income Rider: Available only with Trendsetter LB, this rider allows a monthly benefit payment up to $2,000 or 2% (whichever is less) of your base policy amount if you become disabled.

If you wanted to go the permanent route, Transamerica offers whole and universal life insurance. Both provide permanent coverage, but whole life has fixed premiums (meaning you pay the same every year), while universal life has some flexibility on how much the policy owner pays as well as the frequency of the payments – as long as there is enough value in the policy to cover monthly deductions. Both contain cash values, which can accumulate until funds are withdrawn.

Product Pricing

For a non-smoking, 30-year-old female Californian in the “preferred” risk class, Transamerica offers a 20-year term ($500,000 in coverage) for $22.79 a month. This is definitely on the more inexpensive side of the life insurance spectrum, making Transamerica a very affordable company to work with.  

Of course, not everyone is going to fit into a certain category exactly. If you are unsure of which health category you fall into, and maybe participate in a dangerous hobby or have a specific medical condition, contact one of our licensed agents today to get a free quote, and determine if Transamerica is the best life insurance company for you.

Underwriting Niches

Transamerica underwritingTransamerica provides applicants with some underwriting niches that may be much more affordable than their competitors’ rates. Here are some of the niches that Transamerica are more accepting of:

Blood Pressure

You can qualify for “preferred plus” rates with Transamerica if you have blood pressure levels of 135/85 or lower under the age of 70, and levels of 145/85 if you are 71 or older. If you have high blood pressure, you can still qualify for standard as long as the condition is controlled with one or two medications.

Common Blood Pressure Medications Include:

  • Amlodipine
  • Atenolol
  • Avapro
  • Benicar
  • Bystolic
  • Carvedilol
  • Clonidine
  • Cozaar
  • Diovan
  • Enalapril
  • Exforge
  • Furosemide
  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Hyzaar
  • Lasix
  • Lisinopril
  • Losartan
  • Lotrel
  • Metoprolol
  • Micardis
  • Norvasc
  • Propranolol
  • Spironolactone
  • Tekturna
  • Toprol
  • Verapamil

Tobacco Use

If you have been tobacco free for the past two years, you qualify for “preferred non-smoker”. Many companies won’t allow you to qualify for non-smoker until the 5-year mark, so this could be a good option if you used to smoke.


While most companies won’t give “preferred” rates to someone with an HDL ratio over 4.5, Transamerica allows a ratio up to 5.0. If you’re over 71, they give even more leniency, allowing a ratio up to 5.5.

Leniency to those over 70

In general, Transamerica is much more lenient to the underwriting of clients ages 71 or older. So if you fall into this category but have a few medical conditions, you may still qualify for great rates.

Mild Sleep Apnea Leniency

If you have a mild sleep apnea that does not require a CPAP machine, Transamerica can offer you a “standard” rate without having to undergo a medical exam. Generally with sleep apnea, a no exam policy is not even an option! Therefore, Transamerica may be your best bet if you suffer from this mild sleep disorder.

Customer Service & Approval Process

With positive ratings from independent rating companies like A.M. Best and Moody’s, it makes sense that Transamerica would have multiple positive customer service reviews as well. Here are two reviews that we found:

“My mom passed Sept 19. I submitted a death claim Oct 24th. Both customer service and claims were very helpful and said it would take 7-10 business days to review. I sent in the requested forms they asked for and today I received a check!!…My experience was amazing. They really came through at my roughest time of my life and I recommend them to everyone….I truly thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

“I purchased insurance for a cruise. Four weeks before I was to depart, I had to cancel the trip due to a sudden medical condition. I expected to be given a hard time, or some delaying tactics from the company. But that didn’t happen. Six days after they received my filed application, I had the check in my hand. I never expected such prompt service. What more can one ask of an insurance company? Very pleased with the service and with the customer service reps who helped me on the phone.”

Regarding the approval process, it is reported that the average underwriting process can take three to four weeks. If you qualify for the no exam policy however (and no medical records are requested), the process may be completed in just a week’s time.

Financial Strength and Ratings

Transamerica’s main focus nowadays is strengthening their reputation with their parent company, Aegon N.V. Combining Transamerica’s future-focused business practices and their relationship with Aegon N.V., the company has a strong balance sheet, sufficient liquidity, and a healthy cash flow. In layman’s terms, the company is very financially stable, and you’re in good hands.

As of December 31, 2016, the company has $1 billion of life insurance in force, about $132 billion in assets, and over $6 billion in total capital and surplus (excluding asset valuation reserve).

Transamerica’s Financial Stability Ratings:

  • A.M. Best: A+ (Superior)
  • Fitch: A+ (Strong)
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA- (Very Strong)
  • Moody’s: A1 (Good)

Why We Like Transamerica

Why we like transamericaAt Term Life Advice, we represent over 60 companies; each company is selectively chosen to ensure that we provide the best options possible. In this article, we’ve explained the great amount of financial stability Transamerica has, as well as some other unique advantages. Let’s look at what else makes them a good choice:

  • Multiple underwriting leniencies
  • Competitive pricing
  • Over a 110-year history of excellence
  • Term life, universal life, final expense life, and long-term care insurance options
  • Additional policy benefits/riders
  • Great customer service

Term Life Advice is an owner-operated life insurance agency that works directly with highly-rated life insurance companies including Transamerica. This could be the perfect company for you; but it is always best to shop around and compare rates to make sure that you and your new life insurance company are fully compatible.

If you’d like to get an accurate quote based on your age and health, or to determine if New York Life is your best choice for coverage, give us a call today toll-free at: 855-902-6494. Our services are free, and our agency can quickly compare your options and rates by asking you a few questions about your health and lifestyle.

You can also request a free instant quote online below to instantly compare rates from more than 60 highly-rated life insurance companies in less than a minute.