The Truth About Globe Life Insurance

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When you buy life insurance, you are signing a contract with the life insurance company whereby they pay your beneficiaries upon your death. There are two main categories of life insurance:  temporary and permanent.

A temporary policy is referred to as term insurance and covers the insured for a set period of time. Permanent insurance types, like whole or universal life, will cover the insured as long as they live.

Here, you will discover why you may want to skip Globe Life Insurance as your insurance carrier.

It’s important to do your research when buying life insurance. You need to assure the company is legitimate and likely to stay in business for your lifetime. You need to understand the different types of insurance, so you pick the right one for you and your family.

It’s important to understand and compare rates throughout the term of the policy, so you are well aware what your financial burden will be. This review concentrates on the products of Globe LifeInc., but will include information you can use to evaluate any life insurance product on the market.

Who is Globe Life?

Globe Life and Accident Insurance was formed in 1951 under the ownership of Torchmark Corporation. Theychanged their name to Globe Life Inc. on August 8, 2019, and are now headquartered at McKinney, TX.

Their website claims root back to 1900. Today they have 4.2 million policies issued for a total of $82 billion. They are rated Aby AM Best, A+ by Fitch and Baa1 by Moody’s

Globe sells three types of insurance:  1) term life for adults, 2) whole life for adults, and 3) whole life for children. These can be supplemented by an Accidental Benefit policy. 

Accidental Benefit coverage isn’t precisely life insurance, because it only covers death or severe injuries resulting from an accident. Death/injury because of illness or natural causes would not result in a benefit payout. Descriptions and reviews of each typeof Globe’s insurance are below.

Who Qualifies for a Globe Life Policy?

None of Globe Life’s policies require a physical exam. Instead, they ask a series of medical question which may vary by state.  Here are some that can be expected:

  • Are you disabled, in a nursing home or require a wheelchair? (A ‘yes’ is an automatic decline.)
  • Have you have been diagnosed or treated for several specific serious illnesses in the past 3 years? (A ‘yes’ is an automatic decline.)
  • Do you have any chronic illnesses or conditions that require regular medical treatment or may result in future surgery?
  • Have you been convicted of a felony or had your drivers’ license suspended/revoked in the past 10 years, or are you serving time now?

If you have a ‘yes’ on the last two, it may not mean they won’t insure you. It probably does mean that the rates quoted will be higher than if all answers were ‘no.’

They can discover a lot about your medical history by knowing what prescriptions you take. They will have access to your Medical Information Bureau (MIB) file which has everything any insurance company knows about you through your applications to them. Globe, in turn, will supply any additional health information they learn from you to the MIB.

They will use all this information to determine your eligibility and pricing for insurance.

Globe Life Product Reviews

Term Life for Adults

Term life is the most inexpensive life insurance.  It accrues no cash value. It called “terminating” life, because the policy will terminate at a specific date, whether the insured has passed or not.

Put another way, the insured is betting he’ll die before a certain age and the insurer is betting, he’ll live longer.  If he lives a long life, he loses all his premiums which insurance company gains. If he dies before the specified age, his beneficiaries get the insured amount and the company pays.

This is true of all term life policies; not just Globe Life’s. If the insured is alive at the end of the term, no benefits will ever accrue, nor will the insured receive any return of premiums.Thus, term life as a product choice has limited appeal and shouldn’t be considered long-term protection.

Globe Life takes it even a step lower with their term life product ads. They consider it their premiere product and advertise it heavily with ads like “$1 buys $100,000 life insurance.” These ads are deceptive.

Yes, you get your insurance for $1, but just for that first month. After that, the price jumps by a good margin. And it continues to jump every 5 years! In fact, many people opt out before the term ends, because they can’t afford what the premiums have raised to once, they reach retirement and have fixed incomes.

Features of Globe Term Life

  • You can choose your coverage amount – from $5000 to $100,000
  • No medical exam is required, but you must answer medical questions
  • The premium will raise every 5 years until termination
  • Unlike most life policies, smokers pay the same rate as non-smokers
  • The coverage is not guaranteed; you may be turned down
  • No waiting periods.  Once approved, you are covered at once

What to Watch for in Globe Term Life Policies

Globe doesn’t have traditional insurance agents that you can talk to and ask questions. They sell exclusively online, by direct mail and by phone. The information that is provided on their website is not complete. 

This is especially true with regard to premium costs. They may show a table of increasing costs by year, but that table may be missing the last couple price increases, so you don’t even know how much you will be paying for the benefits they promise.

Here’s an example taken from their website of monthly premium costs

As you can see this will not be reasonable premiums for someone on a fixed income, which most 81+ year olds are.This means that Globe Life Term premiums go up much faster than most seniors’ incomes. Those who live too long lose all coverage when most needed. This isn’t tenable.

What’s more, with the Globe Life term insurance the application age range is 18-79 for an age 90 term policy, for example. So the insured is ineligible for a new policy once his term has expired. 

He/she has paid excessive premiums for years with no benefit received, and loved ones end up paying all final expenses themselves.

Other companies offer similar products for lower premium prices that are guaranteed level. Be sure to get a quote and do your due diligence – shop around. Make sure you have all the information on premiums for the entire term of the policy. Never buy something you don’t know the price of!

Whole Life for Adults

Globe’s whole life for adults is regarded as a “final expense” policy. In other words, it is designed to pay for funeral costs, outstanding debts, and other end-of-life expenses so that financial burden doesn’t fall to loved ones.

It is the permanent type of life insurance, so will stay in force until the death of the insured. Whole life is sometimes referred to as “straight” or “ordinary” life.

Features of Globe Whole Life

  • You can choose your coverage amount – from $5000 to $50,000
  • Whole life policies have a growing cash value that can be redeemed
  • No medical exam is required, but you must answer medical questions
  • Unlike the term life product, Globe Whole Life premiums do not raise over time
  • No waiting periods

What to Watch for in Globe Whole Life Policies

Globe tends to be priced higher than other companies’ whole life products. Premiums can be as much as 40% more than products that have better guarantees. Compare benefits and prices, and you’re sure to find what you need at a lesser cost than Globe offers.

Whole Life for Children

Whole life policies for children are much like those described above for adults, but the purpose for buying is different. These policies will assure low rates throughout the child’s life simply by starting young. Plus it’s building cash value every day of the child’s life. But most such policies offer even more.

The death benefit itself is not a big worry at this stage in life. Instead, buyers want to be sure their child continues to be insurable his entire life at reasonable costs. For example, suppose in later life the former child develops diabetes.

Other whole life policies designed for children have will guarantee insurability throughout the child’s life regardless of the diabetes. Without such a long-standing policy, this pre-existing condition would increase the cost of obtaining life insurance or even make it impossible.

With it however, as the insured child ages, he/she will be able to purchase added insurance without further proof of insurability.

This is not true with Globe’s Whole Life for Children. They offer no such guarantee. In essence, you are paying for the death benefits alone for a child. Does this make sense in your specific case? Maybe, but less expensive options are easy to find.

Globe Life Accidental Benefits Insurance

Not one of Globe’s three main products, Accidental Benefits policies may be a hangover from their early days when “Accident Insurance” was part of their name.

Like their other policies, their advertising centers around “$1 buys $250,000” of accident insurance. Also like the others, the price rises after the first month. Not lying, but sneaky.

These types of policies were more commonly known as “accidental death.” Now they have expanded to cover severe injuries, such as dismemberment or paralysis. Globe does cover these with limits.

Features of Globe Life Accidental Benefits

  • Application age is between 18 and 69
  • No medical exam or medical questions to answer
  • Everyone is accepted
  • Premiums will never raise
  • The benefit itself is adjusted for inflation 5% per year, max 5 years or age 70
  • Pays an extra 10% if insured was wearing a seatbelt
  • Dismemberment and paralysis are covered
  • They have a Family Plan that provides more benefits at a higher cost

Take care to thoroughly understand the terms of payout with any Accidental Benefits policy. For example, suppose the insured dies in the hospital weeks after the accident? Some policies cover this; others do not.

Pros and Cons of Choosing a Globe Life Policy

Pro:  Globe Life is a solid company with good ratings. History shows they pay their claims, and all indications suggest they will continue to do so.

Pro: You can opt out of any Globe Life policy without penalty within 30 days.

Con: Globe Life has deplorable customer service ratings. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) showed their complaint index was 7.19 in 2019 compared to an average of 1.0 for other life insurance companies. 

Most complaints centered on inadequate response time, problems with delayed benefit payouts, and trouble changing or canceling a policy. Filing a complaint with the NAIC is not a simple process, and many aren’t even aware it’s available. Policy holders would have to be quite upset to complain to the NAIC.

Con:  Globe Life’s advertising is deceptive. They have a big presence on television, radio and print media with their “$1 Buys . . .” campaigns. They don’t reveal what your true cost is up front.

You have to search for it. Once consumers hit their next months’ premiumsor their first premium hike, they start to understand the true cost of their policies.  Some will opt out and find the same or better benefits in a competitor’s product at a similar or lower price.

This is not necessarily anything Globe wants to fix. After all, they have received a few months’ or even years’ premiums and have had to pay out no benefit at all! Income from premiums with little associated cost means big profits for Globe.

Con:  Much of their information is purposefully difficult to find. Globe Life does a great deal of direct mail advertising, often utilizing their “$1 buys…” campaigns.

These are come-ons for their Term Life product which is not ideal for most. You have to study the fine print on these mailers to determine what is actually being sold. The same is true of their website.

Con:  Globe’s Term Life premiums are not guaranteed level.  They will be raised every five years starting the first year after acceptance you age is a multiple of 5 plus 1 – ages 46, 51, etc.

You can find other term products that DO have guaranteed leveling. Globe’s prices start out higher than some of their competitors and end up much, much higher.

Con:  Globe doesn’t hire insurance agents to sell their products. They consider this an extra expense that they can eliminate to offer lower prices.

But an agent would have answers to your questions; the website or direct mailer may or may not. In fact, those advertising vehicles leave some of their pricing out – saving it as an unwelcome surprise for your elder years!

Con:  Globe Life’s policies have limited death benefits. Depending on the state in which you reside, this could be $50,000 or $100,000. You cannot purchase add-on insurance either, so those with higher coverage needs will not be satisfied with a Globe Life policy.

Con:  Globe Life’s products are not price competitive. Dozens of life insurance companies offer the same or better benefits at lower costs. This is especially true of term life.

The reason this is such an important product to Globe is that they hide the fact that it’s term insurance in the fine print. The consumer doing comparison shopping will see these lower rates and jump before realizing they’re comparing apples and oranges (term and whole life).

Con:  Like a good insurance agent, Globe Life’s website will try to up sell you.

If you are interested in Term Life and start their online application process, you’ll be presented with opportunities to purchase Whole Life for Children or Accidental Benefit coverage along the way. This can be annoying and confusing, causing some to buy more than they intended.

Conclusion:  Not Recommended

The cons above outweigh the pros. The bottom line is, there are better, less expensive products than those of Globe Life Inc. offered by companies rated as highly, but with effective and responsive Customer Support operations.

Do the research.  Make sure you know the exact cost of your premiums throughout the term of the policy, temporary or permanent. Understand how this relates to your expected income levels at all thestages in your life.

Then, once you’ve chosen your life insurance, it’s important to review it every few years to make sure it still reflects your wishes as your life circumstances change.

About Al Kushner
Al Kushner
He is a recognized financial educator, best-selling author, speaker, underwriting specialist and the founder & CEO of Superior Mutual, an independent insurance agency. He has helped families and individuals preserve, protect, and pass on a legacy since 1986. His mission is helping hard working seniors keep more of what they have worked a lifetime to save.
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