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MoneyGeek’s Take: Is Penn Mutual Right for You?

Penn Mutual has a strong reputation for resolving customer complaints and offers a decent amount of coverage options. The company offers policies for the average consumer and also caters to young adults and people with disabilities.

Penn Mutual doesn't offer specific final expense plans, so if this is the type of coverage you're looking for, you may find more suitable policies with insurers such as AARP, State Farm or AIG.

Use MoneyGeek’s guide to help you weigh your options and determine if Penn Mutual is a good choice for you and your loved ones.

At a Glance: Penn Mutual Life Insurance

Penn Mutual


Services all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Self-service online portal available to policyholders

Very low consumer complaint index


Limited plan information available on website

Doesn't offer online quotes

Doesn’t disclose coverage caps


Penn Mutual has been in the life insurance business for more than 175 years and has received at least an A rating from AM Best for 96 consecutive years. In 2018, the company launched an online platform, the Accelerated Client Experience (ACE), to streamline applications for financial professionals and their clients. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Penn Mutual has a complaint index of 0.05, meaning that the company receives significantly fewer complaints than the national average.

Penn Mutual offers the following types of insurance:

  • Term life insurance
  • Whole life insurance
  • Universal life insurance

The company also offers variable, fixed and indexed annuities, plus a wide selection of variable life products. Another benefit of this carrier is that it provides many different kinds of riders that can help you customize your policy according to what you need. Penn Mutual doesn’t publicly disclose any eligibility requirements, so you’ll need to contact a representative to learn more about rates and coverage limits.

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Key Takeaways

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Penn Mutual's shortest available term for term life insurance is just one year.

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The company provides eight universal life insurance options, so you’re likely to find an ideal match.

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Offers many riders, including accelerated death benefit and chronic illness benefit.

Penn Mutual Policy Options Explained

In 2022, the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) conducted an Insurance Barometer Study and found that after the pandemic, roughly 31% of U.S. adults are more inclined to purchase life insurance. If you find yourself in the market for a new policy, this review will help you determine if Penn Mutual's plans fit your needs.

Term Life Insurance Options From Penn Mutual

Term life insurance is designed for short-term coverage and can cover you for anywhere between 5 and 30 years. Premiums are usually cheaper if you secure a policy in your 20s or 30s. Beneficiaries can use the payout for educational costs, rent or similar expenses if the policyholder passes during the term.

Penn Mutual offers the following options for term life insurance:

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    Guaranteed Convertible Term

    Provides coverage for a 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year term and allows you to convert it to a permanent life insurance policy if needed, as long as you're under 70. You can add four riders (accidental death benefit, children's term insurance, disability waiver of premium and disability waiver of premium with automatic conversion) if you want to further customize your policy.

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    Protection Non-Convertible Term

    This is a basic term life insurance policy that offers the same term selections as the Guaranteed Convertible Term plan but cannot be converted to permanent insurance. Consumers can benefit from this plan's temporary death benefit protection and other optional riders.

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    One-Year Term

    This product is nonrenewable and best suits those who only need a small amount of coverage. Anyone up to age 100 can get this policy type, and they are ensured temporary death benefit protection. Those under the age of 84 have the option of switching to permanent life insurance.

Term life insurance best suits those who need a budget-friendly life insurance option. It’s relatively affordable and protects you for any short-term needs.

Whole Life Insurance Options From Penn Mutual

Whole life insurance provides lifelong coverage plus a cash value component that can be used for living benefits such as a down payment or home renovation. Policyholders may also earn yearly dividends depending on the company and plan.

Penn Mutual offers the following whole life options:

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    Guaranteed Whole Life II

    The product offers flexible policies with a fixed death benefit until the age of 121. This coverage type comes with 13 add-on rider options, plus three automatically included riders: accelerated death benefit, chronic illness accelerated benefit and supplemental exchange.

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    Survivorship Whole Life

    This plan is designed for two people, such as spouses or business partners. It works like a traditional whole life policy, except that the death benefit is paid out to beneficiaries when the second policyholder dies. This policy is much more affordable than the combined cost of two similar individual policies. It is ideal for people who are looking to provide for their beneficiaries but would still be able to support themselves if their spouse or partner passed away.

One of the main perks of whole life insurance is its living benefits — policyholders can usually use cash value and dividends to finance lifelong dependents and other needs. Permanent insurance is designed for long-term use and can also support end-of-life costs.

Universal Life Insurance Options From Penn Mutual

Compared to whole life insurance, universal life insurance typically provides more flexibility since you can adjust your coverage and premiums if needed. Universal life policies also build cash value that you can access while still alive to cover expenses like a child's education or medical costs.

Penn Mutual has multiple policy types within its universal life product:

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    Accumulation Indexed Universal Life

    This plan allows you to put the cash value of your policy into your choice of indexed accounts that earn interest based on the performance of market indexes. Since your policy isn't actually invested in the market, you're protected against the risk of losing value. This policy also includes an enhancement feature that guarantees a yearly positive credit.

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    Survivorship Indexed Universal Life

    This plan works like the indexed universal life plan but is designed for two people. Like the survivorship whole life policy, this plan pays out a death benefit when both policyholders pass away.

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    Diversified Advantage Variable Universal Life

    Variable universal life insurance offers the most customizability when it comes to growing your policy's cash value as you decide how and where you place your investments. Penn Mutual offers 24 variable investment options for policyholders to build their portfolios. In this case, the policy is directly invested in the market, which comes with more risk. It also offers a fixed-interest account for those who want a low-risk option that provides guaranteed growth.

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    Protection Variable Universal Life

    This plan provides the benefits of a variable universal plan, i.e., the ability to invest in the market while also guaranteeing your death benefit.

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    Protection Universal Life

    With this policy, you can customize the number of years of guaranteed death benefit protection you'd like up to age 100. It can also accumulate cash value, and after year 11, Penn Mutual offers a guaranteed annual boost to enhance its growth.

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    Guaranteed Protection Universal Life

    This universal life policy has the potential to build up a small amount of cash value and includes a no-lapse guarantee up to age 121, guaranteeing a death benefit for your beneficiaries.

Consumers who need more flexibility or anticipate insurance needs changing over time might prefer universal life insurance. It’s also a good option if you want to invest the policy's cash value for the potential of larger growth.

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Penn Mutual Life Insurance Riders

Adding a rider to your policy is a quick and easy way to customize your life insurance. We highlight the different riders available for Penn Mutual's Guaranteed Whole Life II (GWL II), Survivorship Whole Life (SWL), Guaranteed Protection Universal Life (GPUL), Diversified Advantage Variable Universal Life (DAVUL) and Protection Variable Universal Life (PVUL) plans.


Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

Get a portion of the death benefit if the policyholder has a terminal illness
with a life expectancy of 12 months or less. Available for GWL II, SWL,

Accelerated Permanent Paid-Up Additions Rider

Replace your term coverage faster by purchasing extra paid-up whole life
insurance. Available for GWL II.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

Access an additional death benefit if the insured dies in a covered accident.
Available for GWL II, GPUL, DAVUL and PVUL.

Children’s Term Insurance Rider

Coverage extends to each eligible child until they reach the age of 23.
Available for GWL II, GPUL, DAVUL and PVUL.

Chronic Illness Accelerated Benefit Rider

This allows you to get a part of the policy death benefit if the policyholder
falls chronically ill. Available for GWL II, SWL, GPUL, DAVUL and PVUL.

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

Protects the policy if the policyholder becomes disabled. Available for GWL II,

Enhanced Permanent Paid-Up Additions Rider

Allows you to make additional payments to build up your policy’s cash value.
Available for GWL II and SWL.

Flexible Protection Rider

This combines term insurance with a whole life policy to build the death
benefit. Only those between the ages of 20 and 85 can access this feature.
Available for GWL II.

Guaranteed Increase Option Rider

Allows the policyholder to increase coverage at certain ages and life events
without proving insurability. Available for GPUL and DAVUL.

Guaranteed Purchase Option Rider

Allows the policyholder to purchase additional whole life coverage without
having to prove insurability. Available for GWL II.

No-Lapse Guarantee Rider

Provides protection against policy lapses. Available for PVUL.

Overloan Protection Rider

In the event that the outstanding balance of the loan exceeds 99% of the
cash value, this rider will prevent the policy from lapsing if the policy has
been in effect for at least 15 years. Available for GWL II, SWL and DAVUL.

Supplemental Exchange Rider

Allows you to replace one insured with another policyholder without needing
to purchase extra coverage. This is included with all GWL II, SWL, GPUL and
DAVUL policies.

Surrender Value Enhancement Rider

Increases the payout received if the policy is surrendered within the first
five years. Available for GWL II.

How to Get Penn Mutual Life Insurance

After weighing the perks and drawbacks of Penn Mutual life insurance, you’re ready to buy a policy. We outline each step and offer advice if your application is denied.

How to Buy Life Insurance From Penn Mutual


Do Your Research

Penn Mutual offers multiple policies under each coverage type, so we recommend comparing the pros and cons of each to help you decide the best option for you based on your current health, lifestyle, age and needs.


Compare Quotes

Reach out to an agent to get a ballpark figure for your premiums. You can also weigh different policies between providers since rates usually vary.


Health Check

You might be asked to do an in-person medical test or an interview via phone to be eligible for a policy. If not, you’ll likely skip this step entirely or just answer a few health-related questions.



Always read through the fine print of your policy, as it can be easy to miss small yet important details. If there are certain phrases or terms you don’t understand, contact your agent.

What to Do if Penn Mutual Denies You Coverage


Contact Your Broker

Knowing why your initial application didn’t go through may give you useful information as to what steps you can take to get approved. The easiest way to learn is to directly ask your agent for specific reasons.


Lifestyle Changes

Increase the likelihood of getting life insurance by working on your health. This may also help you secure a lower premium.


Explore Other Options

If any health concerns persist, consider a provider that doesn’t require a medical exam. However, prices are usually more expensive, and available policies can be limited.

Frequently Asked Questions About Penn Mutual Life Insurance

We compiled a list of frequently asked questions about Penn Mutual life insurance so you can make an informed decision.