Provider Reviews: Symetra Life Insurance

Symetra Life Insurance Company is a well-established insurance provider based in Bellevue, Washington, USA. The company offers a range of life insurance and retirement products, including term life, indexed universal life, and variable universal life insurance policies.

We’ll get into all of the details of their offerings, but first let’s look at a brief history of the company over all.

History and Background

Symetra Life Insurance Company has a long and storied history that dates back to the early 1950s.

Originally founded in 1957, Symetra was first known as the First National Life Insurance Company of America. Symetra established their headquarters in New York City as a subsidiary of First National City Bank. The company focused on providing life insurance products and annuities.

In the following decades, the company experienced steady growth and expanded its presence in the insurance industry. It operated under various names, including “The First National Life Insurance Company of New York” and “First Life America Corporation.”

In 1998, the company rebranded as Symetra Financial Corporation, adopting the name “Symetra” to better represent its focus on providing integrated financial products and services.

In 2004, Symetra completed an initial public offering (IPO) and became a publicly traded company under the ticker symbol “SYA” on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO allowed Symetra to gain more financial independence and flexibility in its operations.

Over the years, Symetra expanded its product offerings beyond life insurance and annuities. It ventured into employee benefits, retirement plans, and group insurance products.

In 2015, Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, a leading Japanese insurer, announced its acquisition of Symetra. Sumitomo completed the deal later that year and added Symetra as a subsidiary of Sumitomo Life.

After the acquisition, Symetra continued to operate as a separate entity, maintaining its brand and management team. The backing of Sumitomo Life provided Symetra with additional financial strength and global support.

3rd party Ratings of Symetra Life Insurance

Knowing the history of a company can give you confidence in their experience, longevity, and reputation. Also important to consider is any ratings from reputable credit rating agencies. Good news here is that Symetra has excellent ratings.

  • A.M Best rates Symetra as an A (Excellent) rating for Financial Strength and “a+” (Excellent) for Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings. This signifies that the company has a strong ability to meet its ongoing insurance obligations.
  • Standard & Poor (S&P) rates Symetra Life Insurance as A (Strong). Similar to A.M. Best, this indicates the company’s ability to meet its financial obligations.
  • Moody rates Symetra with a rating of A1. This reflects the company’s strong financial position and low credit risk.
  • Forbes awarded Symetra Best for Term Life Insurance Rates in 2023

Term Life Insurance

Symetra offers term life insurance policies that provide coverage for a specific period, typically ranging from 10 to 30 years. Term life insurance is generally more affordable than permanent life insurance and is suitable for individuals who need coverage for a limited time, such as to protect their family during their working years or while paying off a mortgage.

Symetra 2 key term life insurance products are Symetra SwiftTerm and Symetra Term.

Symetra SwiftTerm

SwiftTerm is named as such because the application process is online and you can be approved in as little as 18 minutes. You can accept the offer, pay online and your coverage starts right away. That’s fast!

Available term periods are 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. The premiums are level, which means Symetra guarantees the rates will not change for the coverage period. Rate classes for both males and females are available from age 20 all the way up to 60 years old. They offer a wide range of policy sizes from $100,000 all the way up to $3,000,000.

When the term period ends, the Symetra SwiftTerm policy automatically renews at annually increasing premiums until age 95, unless it is canceled.

Symetra Term

Symetra Term is a life insurance policy providing financial protection for your family or business. If you die during the term of the policy, Symetra will pay a death benefit to your designated beneficiary in a lump sum or in monthly payments.

Available term periods are 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. The premiums are level, which means Symetra guarantees to not change the rates for the coverage period. There are 6 available rate classes for both males and females, age 20 all the way up to 80 years old. They offer a minimum policy size of $250,000 and up.

After the initial term expires, the policy automatically renews at annually increasing premiums until age 95, unless canceled by the policy owner. Key benefits include advance death benefits access for terminal illnesses and the option to convert to permanent coverage if circumstances change. There are some limitations to this conversion. Policyholders can request conversions prior to the end of the 10th policy anniversary, or the policy anniversary following the insured’s 70th birthday, whichever is earlier.

Optional riders include:

  • Insured Children’s Term Insurance Rider: This provides $1,000 to $10,000 of life insurance coverage on dependent children ages 15 days through 17 years. Benefit is paid if death occurs prior to age 25.
  • Waiver of Premium Rider: Waives premiums for policies with a death benefit of $5 million or less, and continues coverage if insured is totally disabled for a consecutive period of at least six months.
  • Accidental Death Benefit Rider: If the insured’s death is accidental, this waiver provides an additional death benefit of three times the policy’s face amount up to $250,000, whichever is less.
  • Additional Term Insurance Rider. This waiver adds level term life insurance coverage for a family member or business partner, with face amounts starting at $100,000. The rider must be for the same term coverage period as the primary insured’s term.

Permanent Life Insurance

Symetra provides several permanent life insurance products. Permanent life insurance offers lifetime coverage along with a cash value component.

Indexed Universal Life (IUL) Insurance

Symetra is known for its indexed universal life insurance policies. IUL policies offer the potential for cash value growth tied to the performance of a selected market index, such as the S&P 500. These policies often include downside protection, ensuring that the cash value does not decline due to market losses.

Symetra Accumulator Ascent IUL is an indexed universal life insurance product designed for permanent coverage to protect your loved ones or business, and provide supplemental retirement income if needed. It is a flexible-premium adjustable life insurance policy with index-lined interest options. Available to individuals aged 20-85, the coverage period is the insured’s lifetime with premiums payable up to age 120. Minimum policy size is $100,000 with 6 rate classes. Their exclusive index strategies lock in any interest earned and protect against losses in negative markets. With 3 death benefit options, the policy is available in all states except New York.

Symetra Protector IUL is a flexible-premium adjustable life insurance policy designed to provide guaranteed death benefit protection and growth potential based on the performance of one or more market indexes. This policy is available to anyone ages 20-85 years of age and the coverage period is customizable. The coverage period is either for a specific time period up to the insured is 120 years of age. The minimum policy size is $100,000 with 6 rate classes ranging from Super Preferred Non-Nicotine down to Standard Nicotine. Similar to the Accumulator Ascent IUL above, there are 3 death benefit options and the policy is available in all states except New York.

Symetra Protector IUL has an exclusive index strategy designed to provide the policy holders with even stronger growth potential and market volatility control These strategies lock-in any interest earnings and help protect policy cash value from market downturns.

IUL Riders

Both Symetra IULs have the same riders available:

  • Accelerated Death Benefit for Chronic Illness – provides up to 50% of the policy’s death benefit if your doctor certifies the insured cannot perform at least two of six activities of daily living for a period of at least 90 days, or has a severe cognitive impairment. This rider has a $500,000 benefit maximum.
  • Accelerated Death Benefit for Chronic Care Advantage – provides 50% of 100% of the death benefit with a monthly payout of either 2% or 4% if the insured’s doctor certifies they are chronically ill and cannot perform at least two of six activities of daily living for a period of at least 90 days, or has a severe cognitive impairment. This rider requires an annual recertification to continue receiving the benefit.
  • Accelerated Death Benefit for Terminal Illness – provides up to 75% of the policy’s death benefit if a doctor certifies the insured is terminally ill with less than 12 months to live. With a $500,000 maximum benefit, Symetra pays a lump sum with no surrender charges.
  • Charitable Giving Benefit – this rider is available at application for no additional cost. It provides an additional benefit of 1% of the base policy specified value, up to $100,000 to be given to the qualified charity of the policy owner’s choice upon the death of the insured.
  • Overloan Lapse Protection – this rider protects the policy from lapsing and potentially losing its favorable life insurance tax treatment when an outstanding loan balance nears the policy value. It provides a guaranteed paid-up benefit.
  • Surrender Value Enhancement (SVE) – this rider reduces the policy’s surrender charges in the early years.

Variable Universal Life (VUL) Insurance

Symetra also offers variable universal life insurance, which combines the features of universal life insurance with investment options. Policyholders have the opportunity to invest in various sub-accounts, similar to mutual funds. This can impact the policy’s cash value and death benefit.

Symetra Accumulator VUL is a straightforward VUL offering death benefit protection and the potential to help build wealth for future goals.  Subaccounts are managed by professional money managers, each with a focus on specific investment objectives or that track and attempt to replicate the performance of specific market indexes.

This policy is available to all ages up to age 85, though issue ages varies by the six different rate classes. The coverage period is the insured’s lifetime with a minimum policy size of $100,000.

Similar to Symetra’s IULs, available riders include:

  • Overloan Lapse Protection
  • Accelerated Death Benefit for Chronic Illness
  • Accelerated Death Benefit for Terminal Illness
  • Accelerated Death Benefit for Chronic Illness Plus
  • Charitable Giving Benefit

Symetra Accumulator VUL also includes a Waiver of Monthly Deductions Rider. This rider is only available at the time of issues. It will waive monthly deductions for the policy while the insured is totally disabled and unable to substantially perform all the duties of their occupation as defined within the rider.

Other Life Insurance Providers:
Allianz  |  AMA Life Insurance  |  Banner Life  |  Genworth  |   John Hancock  |  Kansas City Life  |  Mutual Life  |  Nationwide  |  Pacific Life  |  Principal Life

What do Beneficiaries Need to do To Collect Benefits?

Life insurance is one of those things that you hope to never have to use. But sometimes the unexpected happens and you may need to file a claim and collect benefits at some point. Symetra makes it easy for their policyholders. Simply contact Symetra at 1-800-796-3872, extension 21012 to let them know of the passing of the insured. Symetra will provide the beneficiary with a claims packet that includes an instruction letter outling the process. It will also include forms to complete and a list of documents required for the claim to be processed. The packet will also include information on the available settlement options.

Within your packet will be a pre-paid envelope that is already addressed to the claims department at Symetra. Once you have gathered all of the necessary documents and completed all the forms, simply drop the pre-paid envelope in the mail with all of the requirement documents. Symetra will process and administer the claim. If there are any questions, they will contact you directly.

How can I find out more information about Symetra products?

Life insurance is a crucial financial tool for doctors and other professionals. It provides peace of mind and protection for their loved ones and financial interests. The specific life insurance needs will vary based on individual circumstances. This means it’s essential for physicians and other professionals to assess their unique requirements and consult with a financial advisor or insurance professional to choose the most suitable policy.

Physicians Thrive recognizes the complexities of insurance, which can be overwhelming. That’s why we provide comprehensive financial planning services exclusively designed for physicians. Our team of specialists will guide you in exploring various options, including Symetra and more, to secure the ideal policy that aligns with your individual requirements. Reach out to us today for more details on how we can safeguard your financial future effectively.

Don’t Wait, Protect Your Income Now

While preparing for the future, don’t forget to address your needs right now. Alongside life insurance, it’s crucial to safeguard your income with disability insurance. Startling statistics reveal that 1 in 4 individuals in their 20s may encounter a disability preventing them from working for a year or more before retirement. Without disability coverage, you jeopardize your income and may be forced to accept lower-paying positions.

For more information on contract review, financial planning, disability or life insurance, contact Physicians Thrive now.

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