Frequently Asked Questions | TransamericaDirect.com

FAQs

Life Insurance Basics

What's the difference between term and permanent life insurance?

A term life policy insures you for a specified length of time, whereas permanent life insurance lasts your whole life—as long as you live. In addition to paying a death benefit, permanent (also called whole life) insurance can build cash value.

What is cash value?

With permanent life insurance products like whole life and universal life, a small part of your monthly payment goes into a special cash reserve, which builds up over time. The current amount in that account is your cash value.

Can I borrow against my cash value?

You can borrow some or all of your cash value. While you don’t have to repay it, the money is considered a loan, so interest will be deducted. Outstanding cash value loans are deducted from your final payout.

How is the death benefit paid out?

You can specify how your death benefit is paid to your benficiary. A lump sum payout is the most widely used. While a lump sum payout is the most popular, there are other options, depending on the company and plan. For instance, some options let you choose to provide your family with an income stream of monthly payments.

Learn more about life insurance basics.

Trendsetter® Super

Is this term or whole life insurance?

The Trendsetter® Super Series are term life policies. They offer a number of term options - 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years.

Will my premium and coverage change over time?

No. With Trendsetter® Super, we guarantee the amount of coverage and premiums you pay will remain the same over the term option you choose, whether it's 10, 15, 20, 25 or even 30 years.

What can this type of insurance do for me?

This term life insurance plan offers high amounts of term coverage with very competitive rates, providing the most coverage for your term life dollar. The benefits from your policy can help meet your family's needs, whether it's paying the mortgage, college tuition for your children, final expenses or to simply assist with basic everyday living.

How much coverage can I get?

Coverage amounts are available from $25,000 to $2,000,000+. The amount you select will remain level during the length of the term. You also have the option of converting your policy to permanent life insurance protection. If you convert, your rates will be based on your age at the time of conversion and the amount of coverage you choose.

Who is eligible to apply?

If you're between the ages of 18 and 80, you can apply. Trendsetter® Super is available for sale through the Transamerica Direct website in all states except AL, GA, MD, NY, OR, WV.

Can my spouse apply too?

Yes, as long as he or she is also between the ages of 18 and 80. You and your spouse must apply separately and will receive separate policies.

Do I have to take a medical exam?

In some instances, a medical exam may be required. If one is required, it will be at our expense and your convenience.

What if I am diagnosed with a terminal illness?

Trendsetter®Super includes an Accelerated Death Benefit at no charge. This allows for an early cash payout in certain terminal illness situations, providing financial support for your family at a critical time. (Not available in IL, NJ, SC, and VT.)

What happens if I change jobs or retire while covered?

As long as the premiums are paid, these policies provide continuous coverage for the life of the term, even if you change jobs or retire.

If I'm not satisfied with this coverage, can I get a refund?

Yes. You have 10 to 30 days from the date you first receive your policy to get a full refund, depending upon the state you live in. Your policy will contain complete details.

Learn more about Trendsetter® Super.

Simple Term

What kind of Life Insurance is this?

This is a term life insurance plan. It provides protection for a specified length of time, in this case, from ages 18 to 69. If you die within that time period, a death benefit is paid to your beneficiary.

How much coverage can I get?

Coverage amounts for this term option are $25,000, $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000.

How much coverage do I need?

Every family is unique and has different needs when it comes to life insurance. Our Coverage Amount tool can help you determine what’s best for your family. Get started now.

Do I have to take a medical exam?

A medical exam is not required for coverage. Acceptance is based on a few health-related questions.

Who is eligible to apply?

You and your spouse are eligible to apply from ages 18-64, and coverage is renewable to age 69. Simple Term Life Insurance is available for sale in the following states: AK, AR, FL, ID, KS, KY, LA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, ND, NH, OH, OK, SC, SD, VT and WI.

Can I convert to a permanent life insurance policy?

Yes, you can. You can convert this term life plan to a permanent life policy before you reach age 69 (subject to individual permanent life insurance availability at time of conversion). This may also be done without a medical exam. The new premium will be based on your age and class at the time you convert to the permanent life plan.

What happens if I change jobs or retire while covered?

This insurance provides continuous coverage to age 69, even if you change jobs or retire, as long as premiums are paid.

Will my premiums increase?

Your monthly payments are guaranteed to stay the same for the first year. After that, rates increase upon entry into each age band (18-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-68). Rates within each age band can be changed only if they are changed by class for all persons insured. However, your rates will never exceed the guaranteed maximum annual premiums shown on your policy.

What if I am diagnosed with a terminal illness?

Your plan comes with an Accelerated Death Benefit if you are diagnosed as having 12 months or less to live. You may choose to receive up to 50% of your life insurance benefit that you have selected. This is called the Available Proceeds. After this option is used, your life insurance benefit is reduced by the amount selected. (Payment of this benefit is subject to the following conditions: 1. We must receive a Physician's statement which (a) gives the diagnosis of your medical condition; and (b) states that because of the nature and severity of the non-correctable condition, your life expectancy is no more than 12 months; 2. The initial diagnosis of the medical condition must be made on or after the Effective Date of this Policy and while it is in force.)

Am I able to get a refund if I’m not satisfied?

Yes, there is a 30-day (31-day in SC) review period once you receive your policy. If you are not completely satisfied, you can cancel the coverage and all premiums will be refunded to you, no questions asked.

Guaranteed Security Life

What is modified whole life insurance?

Unlike Term insurance, whole life insurance is a plan that lasts your entire life and the policy builds cash value that you can borrow against during the policy period. Modified whole life insurance also lasts your entire life but the plan has been “modified” with a limited benefit payout for natural death during the first two years to allow us to guarantee you acceptance immediately.

This coverage has graded benefits. What does that mean?

This means that for the first two years of the policy, if you die of a non-accidental death, we pay 125% of the premiums paid if you die during the first year and 250% of the premiums paid if you die during the second year. Beginning with the third year, we will pay the full face amount shown in the Policy Schedule. This grading is what allows us to guarantee you acceptance without a medical exam. However, if you die as a result of a covered accident, your beneficiary will receive the full benefit amount because this grading does not apply to Accidental Death.

Why do I need this type of insurance?

Funeral expenses can become quite costly, on average $7,000 or more according to the National Funeral Directors Association, 2014 (www.nfda.org). Medical bills and outstanding debts only add to the stress of these costs. With acceptance that is guaranteed, this modified whole life plan offers coverage to help offset these rising final expenses.

How much coverage can I get?

Coverage amounts are available up to $20,000.

Who is eligible to apply?

If you are between the ages of 45 and 80 (55 to 80 in MD) and reside in a state in which this insurance coverage is offered, you can apply. Guaranteed Security Life Insurance is currently available in the following states: AK, FL, ID, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, NC, ND, NH, OH, OK, SC, SD, TX, UT, VT, and WI.

Do I have to take a medical exam?

There is no medical exam that is required.

Can my spouse apply too?

Yes, as long he or she is also between the ages of 45 and 80 (55 to 80 in MD). You and your spouse must apply separately and will receive separate policies.

What happens if I change jobs or retire while covered?

As long as you pay your premiums, the policy provides continuous coverage, even if you change jobs or retire.

Is there an additional benefit for accidental death?

Yes, an additional accidental death benefit (which is double the amount of coverage) is payable if death occurs within 90 days of the accident which causes the injury (180 days in UT). Please see the Accidental Death Exclusions for what is not covered.

If I'm not satisfied with this coverage, can I get a refund?

Yes, you can. You have 30 days (31 days in SC) to review your coverage. If you are not satisfied with this coverage for any reason, you may return the policy within these 30 days and get a full refund, no questions asked. The policy will be treated as if it never existed and no benefits are paid out.

Accidental Death

What is Accidental Death Insurance?

Accidental Death insurance is an economical way to help protect your loved ones from the financial upheaval an unexpected accident can bring. It provides a financial payout to your beneficiary but is different from life insurance in that it pays only if you die as a direct result of injury due to a covered accident.

I've had health problems. Can I still sign up for coverage?

Yes. Your acceptance is guaranteed regardless of your health or occupation. You will not be asked any questions about your health.

Can I sign up my spouse and children for coverage as well?

Yes. You have the option to include your whole family—your spouse and unmarried children 25 years of age or younger (not available in ID).

Will my premium increase as I get older?

Your monthly payments are guaranteed to stay the same for the first 12 months. After that, your monthly payment may change, but we will not increase your monthly payment more than once in a 12-month period. We will not increase your payments due to your age or changes to your health.

Will my benefits terminate or decrease as I get older?

As long as you keep your payments current, your coverage is guaranteed to remain level until you turn age 70, at which time your benefits will be reduced by 50%. We will not terminate your coverage due to age or health reasons.

If I'm not satisfied with this coverage, can I get a refund?

Accidental Death is risk-free. If you're not completely satisfied that the coverage meets your needs, simply return your policy documents within 30 days* of receiving them for a full refund of any payments made, no questions asked.

*31 days in South Carolina

Learn more about Accidental Death.

Application Process

How long does it take to get coverage?

With products that don't require a medical exam, or the need to send medical records, you can usually be covered in 7-14 days. When medical records are needed or a medical exam needs to be scheduled, it can take from 2-8 weeks to be covered.

Can I apply online or do I need to talk to a Transamerica agent?

For the Accidental Death product, you can apply online or talk to an agent—the choice is yours. For Trendsetter® Super, you can talk to an agent or begin the quote process online, but an agent will need to follow up with you to complete it.

Will I need to undergo a medical exam?

In some cases, you will. Each Transamerica product is different. View Our Products for details.

Can my spouse also apply?

In most cases, yes. View Our Products for details.

General

Can I convert my term life insurance policy to a whole life policy?

Yes. You can change your term policy to a whole (permanent) life insurance plan that’s available at the time of the exchange.

Can I renew my term life insurance policy at the end of its term?

In many instances, yes, though usually at different rates. You can continue your term coverage without taking another medical exam to prove your insurability.

What is a Terminal Illness Accelerated Death Benefit?

Should a physician diagnose you with a terminal illness, this gives you the option for an advanced payout of your death benefit. In some insurance products, like Trendsetter® Super, it is automatically included.

What are riders?

Riders are optional benefits that provide protection beyond what is contained in your base policy. Some examples include Waiver of Premium for Disability, Accident Indemnity and Monthly Disability Income. These optional benefits differ with each type of insurance plan.