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Colonial Penn life insurance review 2024

Updated Apr 19, 2024
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At a glance

Bankrate's take

Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company offers whole life insurance, including a guaranteed issue policy option, and focuses primarily on serving customers over 50. The carrier may not be the right choice for younger shoppers looking for a variety of policy options.

  • Offers guaranteed acceptance life insurance
  • Colonial Penn’s simplified issue product LifeChoice is only available in New York
  • Primarily focused on insuring customers over 50
  • The company has received a large amount of complaints over the past three years as evident by its NAIC Complaint Index

Colonial Penn life insurance

Colonial Penn life insurance may be an option worth considering, according to Bankrate’s analysis, especially for shoppers over age 50 looking for life insurance.

Colonial Penn primarily offers guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance. If you’re looking for term life insurance or other types of life insurance, you may have to turn elsewhere.

  • Guaranteed Whole Life: Colonial Penn offers guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance, which is a type of permanent life insurance policy that doesn’t require any medical questions or exams. This policy remains in place for life, as long as premiums are paid, and features fixed rates. 
    • Coverage is offered to those aged 50-80 in most states.
    • Benefit amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000. This coverage limit is considerably low, so whether or not Colonial Penn is the right company for you depends on how much coverage you need. For Colonial Penn’s guaranteed acceptance policies, the maximum coverage amount depends on your age and state.
    • The guaranteed acceptance policy includes a limited benefit period of two years starting from policy activation. If the insured dies from non-accidental causes within these first two years, beneficiaries will only receive a portion of the benefit, depending on which state they live in, but not the full death benefit amount.
  • Simplified Whole Life: For applicants in the state of New York, Colonial Penn also offers a simplified issue whole life product called LifeChoice. While it doesn’t require a medical exam, a short medical questionnaire is required to determine eligibility. This policy remains in place for life, as long as premiums are paid, and features fixed rates.
    • Males ages 50–73 and females ages 50–75 residing in NY are eligible to apply for coverage.
    • Benefit amounts are available up to $25,000.

Pros and cons of Colonial Penn life insurance

As with all carriers, there are potential perks and drawbacks to consider with Colonial Penn life insurance. Here are some of the key points our insurance editorial team identified.

Green circle with a checkmark inside


  • Offers no-medical-exam life insurance options
  • Rated A (Excellent) by AM Best for financial strength
  • Customer service is available in Spanish and English
Red circle with an X inside


  • Policy types are very limited
  • More complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners than other companies of its size
  • Low coverage limits with all policy types

Colonial Penn life insurance riders

Colonial Penn’s life insurance rider options are sparse, but you may be able to include endorsements such as:

  • Accidental death benefit rider: This rider provides additional coverage ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 if the insured dies due to a covered accident​​.
  • Accelerated death benefit rider: This option allows policyholders to access a portion of their benefit early if diagnosed with a qualifying illness. Colonial Penn offers three early payout options for this rider: heart attack and stroke, cancer or terminal illness. When combined with its permanent whole life policies, this rider is known as its Living Insurance product​.

Colonial Penn customer satisfaction

Getting a good rate is only one consideration when shopping for life insurance, especially when you consider that life insurance quotes do not vary as much between carriers as home or auto coverage. Third-party ratings can give you an idea of whether insurers have historically had the financial strength to meet their claims obligations or whether their customer service is up to par. Reviewing J.D. Power studies and AM Best ratings may be a good place to start.

Colonial Penn was not included in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Individual Life Insurance & Annuity Studies or the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Group Life Insurance Study, but its parent company (CNO Financial) AM Best rating is promising, rated an A (Excellent). AM Best measures a company’s financial strength, and a high rating indicates a historical ability to meet financial claim obligations.

Colonial Penn insurance customer complaints

Aside from financial strength, Bankrate also looked at customer complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Among other duties, the NAIC tracks the number of complaints filed against an insurance company and gives that company a complaint index score based on its market share. The NAIC uses 1.00 as its baseline index and tracks complaints by product type. This means that an insurer with a complaint index lower than 1.00 receives fewer complaints than expected for its size and vice versa.

Colonial Penn's NAIC Complaint Indexes for its life insurance product are not good. In 2021 and 2022 Colonial Penn received over 20 times the number of complaints than expected for a company of its size. 2023 showed some signs of relief, but the company still fielded over seven times the average amount of complaints. Based on this information, you may want to speak with existing policyholders about their experience before committing to a policy with Colonial Penn.

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Compare Colonial Penn with other insurers

This Colonial Penn life Insurance review may have you wondering if this is the company for you. If you’re looking for a type of life insurance policy that Colonial Penn doesn’t offer, then you may want to compare quotes and coverage options from some (or all) of the companies below.

Colonial Penn vs. State Farm

While Colonial Penn does not offer term life insurance, State Farm won a 2024 Bankrate Award for the Best Term Life Insurer and Best Universal Life Insurer. The provider also sells universal and whole life insurance, along with auto, business, health and home insurance products. State Farm offers a 24/7 payment line, a network of local agents and an easy-to-use mobile app.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Colonial Penn vs. MassMutual

MassMutual earned a 2024 Bankrate Award for Best Whole Life Insurer. The company earned this title in part due to its high AM Best financial strength score, high coverage capacity and numerous whole life policy riders. The carrier also sells term life insurance, along with universal and variable life policies, which Colonial Penn does not offer. If you’re looking for a whole life insurance provider with a high coverage capacity, you may want to check out MassMutual.

Learn more: MassMutual life insurance review

Colonial Penn vs. Nationwide

Nationwide offers a wide range of life insurance riders, a high J.D. Power score and accessible network of local agents. The company also writes term life, variable life and life insurance for children. Nationwide life insurance policies enable you to add a long-term care rider, which can help pay the costs of home or nursing home care.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

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Why you can trust Bankrate

Our insurance editorial team includes licensed agents with decades of combined experience, and we used our intimate knowledge of the industry to conduct this in-depth Colonial Penn insurance review.


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Is Colonial Penn a good insurance company?

Since 1972, Bankrate has been a trusted voice in the financial services industry (at that time, we were a print publication known as the Bank Rate Monitor). Fast forward to today, where our insurance editorial team uses our real-world insurance expertise to conduct unbiased reviews of the largest carriers by market share.

Colonial Penn life insurance has written life insurance policies for more than 60 years and was one of the first to offer guaranteed acceptance life insurance, making it a recognizable name in life insurance. If you’re looking for guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance, Colonial Penn may be worth considering. However, Colonial Penn life insurance may not be right for everyone, and you may need to look elsewhere if you’re looking for more traditional life insurance policies with larger death benefit amounts.

What are real-life customers saying about Colonial Penn?

To get a glimpse at what real-life customers think of Colonial Penn Life Insurance, we turned to Trustpilot and Quora for firsthand accounts. Notably, most life insurance reviews tend to focus on aspects like the application process, customer service and policy management rather than the claims process since many policyholders may not engage with the claims process directly. This is due to the likelihood of life insurance claims being handled by beneficiaries, who might not be the same person as the policyholder.

Reflecting Colonial Penn's NAIC scores, a significant portion of the online feedback skews negative. However, it's important to remember that individual experiences can vary widely. Each policyholder's situation is unique, and what might be a drawback for one might not hold the same weight for another. Specifically, Colonial Penn's guaranteed life insurance products could be a suitable option for those who might not qualify for traditionally underwritten policies due to age or health considerations. It's always a good idea to conduct your own research, reach out directly to the company for more information and consider your specific needs and circumstances before making a decision.


On Trustpilot, Colonial Penn Life Insurance users shared a mix of experiences. Overall, many customers seem not to understand how guaranteed issue policies work and become disappointed, highlighting the importance of reading your policy details and asking questions before buying.

Trustpilot user 1
Apr 20, 2021
Decided to take advantage of their…
Rating: 1 stars out of 5
“Decided to take advantage of their ‘look n' see no obligation’ offer and wish I'd researched them beforehand. Too many complaints about this company ranging from product disappointment to billing or even trying to collect on a claim. Ended up deciding not to buy from them. We were well within the 30-day review period, they'd already charged the account yet getting out of dealing with them is the pits. Fail to establish a paper trail and chances are you'll regret it. Once they have your payment method you may have a difficult time getting your money back.”


Quora users shared varied opinions on Colonial Penn Life Insurance, highlighting some concerns about the value and terms of their policies. They touched on the specifics of guaranteed issue policies, including waiting periods for benefits and the potential decrease in coverage value over time. These insights suggest a need for careful consideration and a thorough understanding of policy details before making a decision.

Quora user 1
Mar 1, 2024
Depends. Their no med/guaranteed premium...
“Depends. Their no med/guaranteed premium does not pay the first two years. If u die in that time frame your beneficiary only receives a return of premium. After year five u have paid more into the policy than the face value death benefit. If u drop it u lose the coverage. If u keep it you are being ripped off. So the only way to make it work is to die between years three and five. Otherwise, the insurance is garbage.”
via Quora

Colonial Penn company details

For those considering Colonial Penn for their insurance needs, here are some key contact details and resources to help you get started or manage your existing policies:

  • Website:
  • Customer service: 1-800-523-9100
  • Quotes: 1-877-877-8052
    • New York residents: 1-877-891-0915
  • Claims: 1-800-523-9100
    • New York residents: 1-800-323-4542
  • Mailing address: Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company, Life Claims Dept., P.O. Box 1918, Carmel, IN 46082-1918
    • New York residents: Bankers Conseco Life Insurance Company, Life Claims Dept., P.O. Box 1918, Carmel, IN 46082-1918

State availability

Colonial Penn’s life insurance policies are available in all 50 states, but policies in New York are underwritten by Intramerica Life Insurance Co. and administered by Bankers Conseco Life Insurance Co.

Colonial Penn tools and benefits

Colonial Penn does not offer policy management through a mobile app, but the following perks may be of interest.

  • Online bill pay: Through Colonial Penn’s web portal, policyholders can virtually make payments, download forms and contact customer service.
  • Online quotes and applications: Colonial Penn offers an online platform for customers to easily obtain quotes and submit insurance applications. This digital approach simplifies the process of choosing and applying for life insurance policies​​.
  • No medical exam requirement: One of the standout features of Colonial Penn's policies is that they do not require a medical exam. This is particularly beneficial for those seeking quick and hassle-free insurance approval​​.
  • 30-day free cancellation period: Colonial Penn provides a 30-day free cancellation period. This feature offers customers the flexibility to review and decide if the policy meets their needs without any financial commitment​.
  • Online policy management: Managing a policy with Colonial Penn is streamlined and user-friendly. Customers can log in to their accounts to view coverage amounts, cash value, loan information and payment history, as well as submit address changes, thereby offering a comprehensive and easy-to-navigate customer service experience.

Frequently asked questions about Colonial Penn

Written by
Ashlyn Brooks

Ashlyn Brooks is a finance writer with more than half a decade of experience, known for her knowledge in areas such as taxes, insurance, investing, retirement, finance news, and banking products.

Edited by Editor II, Insurance