Monumental Life Insurance Company was founded in Maryland during 1858 and originally offered life and fire insurance. Until 1935 it was known as the Mutual Life Insurance Company of Baltimore, known as the ‘Monumental City’ which inspired the new name. AEGON formed as a holding company in 1989 and included Monumental Life. The company currently offers a number of traditional insurance policy types as well as a few unique offerings suited to specific market segments.
Financial Strength and Ratings
As of the end of 2009, Monumental Life has $71 Billion of insurance in force. They are licensed for business in every state excluding New York and the District of Columbia. Standard and Poor’s rates Monumental Life as an AA-, a strong rating for financial strength. Moody’s concurs and gives them an A1 rating, putting them in the top twenty five percent of the rated companies. Regarding their ability to meet obligations and pay claims, AM Best rates Monumental as an ‘A’. Fitch rating agency gives them an ‘AA’ for their ability to satisfy outstanding commitments.
Term Insurance Policy Offerings
Monumental Life offers the standard array of term policies, though the level terms are limited to shorter periods. Value Term Policies are offered in five, seven, and twelve year level terms. All three are guaranteed renewable at the end of the term, though only the Value Term 7 is available for issue after age fifty five and up to age eighty. In addition to traditional term policies, Monumental offers a fifteen or thirty year ‘Mortgage Protection’ policy. These are policies which decrease the protection annually to mirror the diminishing outstanding balance of a mortgage. Premiums remain level throughout the term and the policy is meant to approximate a mortgage principal balance with a 10% interest rate.
Whole Life Insurance Choices
Monumental offers three whole life insurance policies, all available with lower face values beginning at $1,000. Additionally, all three policy types are available for issue to cover children as well. Two of the policies they currently offer are ‘Life Paid Up at Age 65’ and ‘Life Paid Up at Age 95. Each offers lifetime protection, the only difference being the number of years for payment of premiums. The policy paid up at sixty five is only available for issue up to age fifty five. Another choice for whole life is ‘Limited Pay Life’ which is available for issue ages 0-80 and face values of $1,000 to $25,000. The policy offers lifetime coverage and has premium payment schedules for specific periods. The policy can be paid up in ten, fifteen, or even twenty years.
Universal Life Insurance
In lieu of universal and variable life policies Monumental Life offers what they call ‘Interest Sensitive Whole Life Products.’ The two such policies utilize current or excess interest payments to boost cash value or to increase the amount of coverage over the years. The two policy types have different names but only one difference, the amount of coverage available. The ‘Dynamic 1’ policy is available up to $24,999 and the ‘DynaMax’ policy is available for face values of $25,000 and greater. Both policies have a guaranteed minimum death benefit, level premiums, and cash values. The death benefit can increase in the event that excess interest is credited and results in faster cash value growth. Access to the cash values is available through loans and withdrawals, as well as an accelerated death benefit rider in the case of terminal illness.
Monumental Life Offers Unique Policies
There are a number of unique policy offerings worth mentioning. They have been designed for specific market segments, and will serve those niches very well.The first special policy is the ‘Flex Term 65’ policy. Available for ages 18 – 55 and for $25,000 and up, this policy offers a level premium but decreasing protection ending at age 65. The policy has no cash value; however, it should offer some premium savings when compared to traditional term for some issue ages. Another policy which is the alternative to a longer term policy is the ‘Choice 12 (Rider only)’ which is an enhanced ‘Protector 12’ policy. The rider guarantees insurability for an additional 12 years and will provide the owner choices upon the end of the initial twelve year term.
The choice will be to maintain the same level of protection with a higher premium or to have decreased protection with the same premium for another term. Though there is some risk for premiums and coverage changing, the guaranteed insurability is worth considering. This is the only policy outside of whole life with which Monumental Life guarantees insurability beyond twelve years. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Monumental Life offers a policy for persons with poor health history. Though very limited in face value and protection, this is a way for these folks to get some coverage. Monumental must feel that the peace of mind and advantages provided by life insurance should be available to as many as possible.
Summary for Monumental Life
Monumental Life Insurance Company has good financial strength and ratings. Overall, the traditional policy offerings are sound and available in a range of issue amounts. Universal and variable policy choices are missing, though the unique version of interest sensitive whole life is similar to universal coverage.
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