Symetra Life Insurance Review 2020

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Symetra life insurance has called Bellevue, Washington home for the past 60 years. They offer retirement, benefits, and insurance products in offices located in seventeen cities throughout the U.S. Their parent company is called Sumitomo Life, which is one of the largest life insurance companies in Japan. Taken together, they hold over $300 billion dollars in assets, and on its own, Symetra Life insurance holds over $55 billion in assets. They sell products in 49 states, every state except New York.

Pros and Cons of Symetra Life Insurance

– Excellent financial strength
– Many riders offer flexibility
– Good customer service ratings
– No whole life insurance option
– No online quotes
– Policies are sold through agents
(this could be a pro, if you like working with agents)

>>MORE: The Best Life Insurance Companies (Compare 30+ life insurance companies)

Products Offered by Symetra Life Insurance

Symetra offers term and permanent insurance. Term insurance is available in terms of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. All of Symetra’s term policies can be converted to permanent life insurance later if you choose to do so. Coverage is available for customers between 20 and 80 years old, with a $250,000 minimum. Term insurance could be for you if you only need insurance for a certain amount of time, such as when your children are small, and you still have a mortgage. It’s less expensive than other types of insurance. 

Symetra also offers four types of permanent insurance: two Universal life policies and two indexed universal life policies:

  • Symetra Accumulator IUL
  • Symetra Protector IUL
  • Symetra UL-G Universal Life insurance
  • Symetra CAUL Universal life insurance

All of these policies offer cash value accumulation and tax-free death benefit. Indexed universal life insurance bases the amount of interest you earn on an index of market performance, usually S&P 500 index. Universal life insurance offers flexible premiums and cash growth. 

>>MORE: Compare Whole Life Insurance with Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Symetra also offers riders that you can use to add flexibility to your policy. 

  • Chronic illness rider
  • Terminal illness rider
  • No lapse guarantee
  • Charitable giving benefit
  • Accidental death benefit. Learn more about accidental death life insurance
  • Additional term rider
  • Overloan protection
  • Supplemental protection rider
  • Surrender Value enhancement rider. Learn more about surrender value of life insurance
  • Accelerated death benefit for chronic illness plus rider

If you qualify for their GoodLife Rewards program, you can save money on your policy. 

In addition to life insurance, Symetra also sells annuities, group life and disability insurance, employee benefits, supplemental health insurance, and stop-loss insurance. Stop-loss insurance provides protection against catastrophic claims for business owners who self-fund employee health care plans.  

It’s difficult to assess what the premiums are like at Symetra, because there is no online quoting available. They sell all of their financial products through agents. Usually this means the rates might be a bit higher than selling directly to the consumers, because the agent’s commissions and fees will affect the price. You could argue that working with an agent gives you a nice personal experience and a good agent can provide excellent advice, which is true. But if you just want a quick quote, you’ll be out of luck. 

Financial Strength Rating of Symetra Life Insurance

According to A.M. Best, Symetra earns an A (Excellent) for financial strength and definitely has the financial reserves it needs to meet its financial obligations.

>>MORE: Ten Largest Life Insurance Companies

Customer Satisfaction Rating of Symetra Life Insurance

Symetra is not ranked by J.D. Power’s life insurance study, so we will have to consider other sources. 

Symetra is not accredited by the BBB, although they earn an A+. To be accredited by the Better Business Bureau you need to pay membership dues and prove your business conforms to standards set forth by the BBB. 

There are thirteen complaints listed in the past three years, and nine one-star reviews. All thirteen complaints were with a product or a service. If you read through the complaints, they run the gamut from problems with annuities to disability insurance to life insurance. Even if these complaints and reviews are by different people, twenty-two bad experiences is quite low. 

Consumer Complaints Rating of Symetra Life Insurance

The NAIC calculates a complaint ratio for every insurance company. The median average is a ratio of 1.0, meaning the company receives an average number of complaints. Symetra scored .04, which means they have fewer complaints than expected. 

Digital Experience Rating of Symetra Life Insurance

A brief look at Symetra’s website will confirm that there is no online quoting. Symetra sells insurance and other financial products through agents, so if you want a quote, you’ll have to call them, and they will find you a local agent. To file a claim, you must call the Individual Claims Department. 

There is a 1-800 number, for general support. You can also send an email. If you are already a customer, you can pay your bill online. That’s where the digital experience ends. Customer service is available to you Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT or 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET. 

To change your beneficiary, you must complete a form and mail it in. 

There is no helpful chatbot, and no mobile app. You can find and connect with Symetra on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, but overall the digital experience is limited. 

Last Thoughts

If you like working with insurance agents, or at least don’t mind it, Symetra seems to have good customer service and they offer some sound financial products. Indexed universal life policies are a good way to both build cash value and leave a tax-free death benefit to your heirs. If cost is a concern, you might want to shop around before you go with Symetra, as other companies may have better rates. Also, keep in mind the digital experience is limited. Even to file a claim, you have to call a 1-800 number. But if you don’t mind agents and you’re not committed to online access, Symetra could work for you.

Thang Truong
Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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