Jackson National Life Insurance Company Review
Jackson National Life Insurance is a relative newcomer to the insurance industry, first opening for business in 1961. The small and innovative company drew recognition for an early version of universal life insurance – a ‘flexible premium annuity’ product which was the first of its type on the market.
The company, named after President Andrew Jackson, grew tremendously during the 1980’s. Jackson grew from $50 Million in sales during 1982 to $1 Billion in sales during 1987. Now the company has over three million policies and is the 16th largest U.S. life insurance company.
Financial Strength and Ratings
Jackson has earned ‘very good’ overall ratings and even a ‘superior’ rating from the independent rating agencies. The superior rating of ‘A+’ came from AM Best, the second highest rating of sixteen categories. Both Fitch and Standard & Poor’s give them an ‘AA’ which is a very strong rating in both cases. Moody’s rates Jackson with an ‘A1’ or good rating for their financial strength and ability to pay claims.
Protector Term Life Insurance
Jackson currently offers level premium term insurance in periods of ten, fifteen, and twenty years. They allow for conversion to permanent insurance as well as guarantee renewability up to age ninety five.
This traditional style term policy offers the full complement of optional features and riders. Waiver of premium is available, helping policy owners keep coverage during periods of disability. There is also child insurance to add protection for kids at an economical rate.
There is also a Terminal Illness Benefit, which is an advance of the death benefit in the event of a terminal diagnosis. Jackson will pay 100% of the death benefit to the policy owner while he or she is still alive, which can provide significant financial assistance with medical costs and care and improve quality of life.
Two Universal Life Policies – One Standout
The Jackson Generations UL is a protection focused policy that offers guaranteed coverage from twenty years up to lifetime protection. The policy provides a 3% guaranteed minimum interest rate and also has a ‘catch up feature’ that allows policy owners to miss premium payments and catch them up later.
The standout of the two policies is the Jackson Accumulator, a UL designed with a focus on accumulation of cash value. This provides more potential cash value for later in life as well as reduces the amount of insurance needed as the policy ages.
This policy offers a guaranteed 4% minimum interest rate and does so with an impressive portfolio of high quality fixed securities which normally translate to lower rates. There is also an attractive feature of ‘zero net cost loans’ after the policy owner keeps the insurance for five years. Both universal life policies offer the full complement of normal riders and optional features. These additional policy features can provide a customized policy at an added cost.
Jackson Variable Universal Life Insurance
There are currently three different variable policies offered from Jackson. The Perspective Investor VUL is a traditional style VUL focused on accumulation. Attractive loan provisions like ‘zero net cost’ loans make it a great choice for families desiring an alternative retirement income source.
The Jackson Ultimate Investor VUL is a very flexible product and includes seventy professionally managed investment options. This policy has NO Surrender charges and has a unique tiered sales charge structure. This policy has been designed to balance protection and cash value access.
The Advisor VUL is designed for investors that work with a fee based advisor. The policy has no sales charges or surrender charges. This VUL does offer efficient death benefit protection and access to cash value accumulation.
Policy Customization: Riders and Optional Features
Jackson offers a number of riders and add-ons to customize policies. In addition to the option for insuring a spouse or children, there is also a protector term rider which provides convertible term for the base insured.
There is an ‘overloan’ protection called the Jackson Policy Preserver. This rider will protect against lapse due to loans against the cash value. Additionally, Jackson offers a Terminal Illness Benefit Rider which will pay 100% of the death benefit to the insured while they are alive and living with a terminal diagnosis.
Summary for Jackson National Life Insurance
Overall, the company and its life insurance offerings are very good. An index style VUL is clearly missing, however the range of high quality offerings within the variable policies may satisfy many index fans. Additionally, the universal policy with a 4% guarantee is a great alternative for risk averse insurance shoppers.
The company is very financially strong and carries a solid portfolio of fixed securities. The standout policies are the Accumulator UL and the Advisor VUL. Both are excellent choices and have significant advantages over other similar policies offered by Jackson.
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