Shelter Life Insurance Review


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Updated: May 22, 2024

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MoneyGeek’s Take: Is Shelter Right for You?

Shelter’s life insurance products are worth considering if you are a resident of the 15 states where it operates. This insurance carrier offers term, whole life and universal life insurance policies that are customizable with additional riders. Shelter has policy options that are suitable for young, middle-aged and elderly individuals at various coverage amounts and premiums.

This provider caters mainly to healthy individuals. It also has policies that don’t require you to take a medical exam. You could also qualify for a discount if you bundle your Shelter life insurance with your auto insurance policy.

You must look elsewhere if you live in a state where Shelter doesn’t provide life insurance. We also suggest checking other providers if you prefer to have a wider range of options for coverages and riders or if you have a medical condition. You may refer to our list of the best life insurance companies for a quick review of our recommendations.

Go over our review of Shelter Life Insurance to learn more about this company and its products and services. We’ve sifted through the data to give you the most important information that can help you decide whether this carrier matches your life insurance needs.

At a Glance: Shelter Life Insurance

Shelter

pros

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Has a plan that does not require a health screening

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Has multiple term life, whole life and universal life insurance policy options

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Offers discounts

cons

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Available in only 15 states

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Limited coverage amounts and riders

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Doesn’t offer final expense insurance

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Shelter Life Insurance started in 1946 as MFA Mutual Insurance. Over the years, the company expanded its operations and added more products. Based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Shelter has a complaint index of 0.00, meaning it received no confirmed customer complaints in 2022 and 2021.

Shelter offers several term life insurance, whole life insurance and universal life insurance policies, but some have limited coverage amounts. Another downside is that its policies can be purchased in only 15 states, and few riders are available.

The following term life insurance policies are available.

  • EZ Term Life Insurance: Functions as an affordable “starter insurance” option for younger buyers. You’ll receive $50,000 in coverage until age 40 at a fixed premium.
  • Level Term Life Insurance: Gives term coverage for 10, 20 or 30 years with the premium remaining the same for the duration. It has a guaranteed death benefit of $100,000 or more, and premiums and benefits are renewable until age 95.
  • Shelter Express Term Life Insurance: Caters to individuals between the ages of 18 and 60 who don’t have health issues but prefer not to undergo a medical exam. Choose from three coverage amounts ($50,000, $75,000 or $100,000) at premiums that are locked in for 30 years or until you reach age 65, whichever comes first.

Below are Shelter’s whole life insurance products.

  • Secure Whole Life Insurance: The cheapest whole life insurance offering, but it doesn’t earn dividends.
  • Whole Life Insurance: Gives the most cash value over the term of your policy and may pay a yearly dividend.
  • 20-Pay Whole Life Insurance: Pay off the policy over a 20-year period, with cash value accumulation.

Compare Life Insurance Rates

Ensure you’re getting the best rate for your life insurance. Compare quotes from top providers to find the most affordable life insurance coverage for your needs.

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Key Takeaways

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Shelter offers term life insurance, whole life insurance and universal life insurance.

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Shelter’s term life insurance policies are more affordable than whole life and universal life insurance policies because they don't accumulate cash value, but the policy might not be renewable after a certain age.

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Shelter’s permanent life insurance products (whole life and universal life insurance) provide lifetime coverage and cash value accumulation.

Shelter Policy Options Explained

The 2022 Insurance Barometer Study conducted by the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) revealed that most Americans consider life insurance as a key element in feeling financially secure — with those who have overlapping coverage sources (such as from multiple policies) reporting the highest level of security. Around 68% of U.S. adults reported feeling less vulnerable to financial challenges after purchasing life insurance, while 44% foresee experiencing significant hardship within six months if they don’t have life insurance. Shelter offers several types of life insurance policies that cater to different buyer profiles, each one serving to protect your loved ones from an economic burden, especially if you’re the principal income earner in the family.

Term Life Insurance Options From Shelter

Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific period at a fixed premium. This is typically more affordable than permanent life insurance policies because it doesn’t accumulate cash value, and the death benefit may be tax-free. Keep in mind that this type of policy might not be renewable after a certain age. Benefits are only paid to beneficiaries if the insured passes away within the time frame of the policy or by a certain age.

Shelter offers three types of term life insurance: EZ Term Life Insurance, Level Term Life Insurance and Shelter Express Term Life Insurance.

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    EZ Term Life Insurance

    This is an affordable “starter insurance” option that primarily caters to younger buyers who have lower coverage needs. With this policy, you’ll receive $50,000 coverage until age 40, which, upon your death, your beneficiary may use, for example, to pay student loans, credit card debt and other financial obligations without having to worry about rate changes throughout the life of the policy. Another great thing is it can be converted to a permanent policy without the hassle of providing proof of good health. But make sure to submit the necessary paperwork before you hit 40 to qualify.

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    Level Term Life Insurance

    This is the ideal choice for many young individuals who are just starting out having a family. A Level Term policy is for 10, 20 or 30 years. This policy gives a guaranteed death benefit of $100,000 or more to your beneficiaries, which can help your beneficiaries with their daily living expenses or to pay any financial obligations you’ve left behind, like mortgages and credit card debt. But you have to make sure that you pay your premiums by their due dates. The policy is renewable until age 95, but the premium will adjust annually based on your age. Shelter’s Level Term Life Insurance can be converted to a permanent policy without the need to provide proof of good health.

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    Shelter Express Term Life Insurance

    Consider this type of policy if you’re looking to purchase term life insurance without going through a medical check. To qualify, you must be between the ages of 18 and 60 without any health issues and don’t engage in hazardous occupations and hobbies. You can choose from three coverage amounts: $50,000, $75,000 and $100,000. Premiums are fixed for 30 years or until you reach 65, whichever comes first. If you always pay your premiums on time, you’ll receive a guaranteed death benefit until age 95.

Term life insurance is a great option for young people who have a limited budget but want coverage. You need to be in good health since policy buyers are usually required to undergo a medical exam. Some policies are convertible to permanent life insurance later on without proof of good health. This is the perfect affordable solution if you only need coverage for a specific period of time, such as while paying your mortgage.

Whole Life Insurance Options From Shelter

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that provides coverage throughout your lifetime. The most noteworthy perk that comes along with this type of policy is its ability to accumulate cash value. You may access the funds to cover virtually any need through partial withdrawals or loans. But this reduces the amount payable to your beneficiaries unless you return the money to your policy account.

Shelter has three options for whole life insurance:

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    Secure Whole Life Insurance

    This is Shelter’s cheapest whole life insurance offering, but it doesn’t earn dividends.

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    Whole Life Insurance

    Choose this type of insurance if you’re looking to maximize the earning potential of your policy. You’ll get the most cash value over the term of your policy and may earn annual dividends, which can give you ready access to extra funds.

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    20-Pay Whole Life Insurance

    This has you pay off your policy within 20 years, which is great if you start the policy at a young age since you won’t have the added expense in later years or during retirement. Your policy may also earn extra cash for you through annual dividends.

Whole life insurance is best if you’re looking for lifetime coverage and want to lock in lower premiums while you’re still young and healthy. It’s also the ideal option if you want to earn passive income on your policy through cash value and dividends that you can use as an additional source of income at retirement.

Universal Life Insurance Options From Shelter

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    Shelter’s universal life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance that protects you throughout your lifetime while allowing you the flexibility to adjust your premiums as your circumstances change. You’re also given a choice to either maintain your initial death benefit level or increase it as the cash value of your policy grows.

Universal life insurance is ideal for individuals who want greater flexibility on their policy in terms of premiums and coverage. It’s also best for those who want to build larger cash value growth, which could serve as a form of investment that they could tap into to fund a future goal.

Compare Life Insurance Rates

Ensure you’re getting the best rate for your life insurance. Compare quotes from top providers to find the most affordable life insurance coverage for your needs.

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Insurance Rates

Shelter’s Life Insurance Riders

You may be able to customize your Shelter life insurance policy with one or more of the following riders at an additional cost to your policy.

Rider
Description

Waiver of Premium Rider

Your premium will be waived after 180 days of total disability, allowing you to keep
your policy active.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

With this rider, the death benefit may increase for your loved ones if you pass away due to
an accident.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider

This allows you to purchase additional life insurance at specific intervals without
presenting any proof of good health.

Paid-Up Additional Insurance Rider

This lets you buy additional life insurance while you’re still paying your premium, but
you’re required to have proof of good health. You may enjoy a higher death benefit
and cash surrender value (if you choose to cancel your policy) and earn dividends.

How to Get Shelter Life Insurance

Let’s cover the basic steps in purchasing life insurance from Shelter and what to do if you’re denied coverage.

How to Buy Life Insurance From Shelter

1
Do Your Research

Determine how much life insurance you need and study which of the available policies match your needs. Shelter Life Insurance has free online resources that’ll help you get a quote and find an agent in your area.

2
Compare Quotes

Your age, gender, medical history, smoking status, lifestyle and overall health have an impact on your premium. But comparing multiple quotes can help you find the plan that gives you the most coverage at the lowest possible rate.

3
Health Check

Most carriers require a medical exam and a health interview as part of their risk assessment, including Shelter for certain policies. The information that you provide will serve as the basis for approving your policy.

4
Approval

Shelter will send you a copy of the proposed policy once it approves your application. Make sure to go over every detail of the policy with your agent so all points are clear to you before finalizing your insurance purchase.

What to Do if Shelter Insurance Denies You Coverage

1
Contact Your Broker

Speak directly with your broker to ask the exact reason why you were denied coverage. This will give you a clear understanding of which areas you need to improve on in your policy application.

2
Lifestyle Changes

Some lifestyle modifications might help to improve your overall health. If you’re in good health, you’ll have better chances of getting approved and at better rates.

3
Explore Other Options

Study other insurance products that you could easily qualify for that don't require a medical exam, if that is why you were declined. For instance, carriers typically accept all applications for guaranteed issue life insurance policies, but these plans only offer limited coverage and can be quite expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shelter Life Insurance

Here are our answers to the questions that most buyers have when considering Shelter as their life insurance provider.

Can you borrow from your Shelter life insurance policy?
What’s the maximum amount of life insurance coverage available from Shelter?
Do life insurance policies from Shelter pay dividends?
Can you get life insurance from Shelter if you have cancer?
Do life insurance policies from Shelter cover death by drug overdose?
Do life insurance policies from Shelter cover death by suicide?
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