Sentinel Security Life Insurance Review

With a guaranteed issue policy and the promise of immediate coverage, Sentinel remains a solid choice for those who are seeking to cover final expenses.
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Author: Ben Peetermans
Last updated: June 17, 2021

Our take

Originally, Sentinel Security Life was founded by a group of funeral directors who sought to reduce financial burdens on families who were left with their loved ones’ final expenses. In 1948, Sentinel Mutual Insurance Company was born, focusing on local families in their home state of Utah.

In 1957, the company’s name shifted to Sentinel Security Life. While they began to add additional financial products, their focus on final expense coverage remained the same. Though headquartered in Utah, they now provide near-nationwide coverage through local, independent agents.

Sentinel’s life insurance products are limited to whole life insurance policies, which are primarily marketed as forms of final expense insurance coverage. Those who are looking for term life insurance or other forms of permanent insurance (e.g., universal life insurance) should look elsewhere.

A.M Best RatingB++
S&P RatingNot Yet Rated
BBB RatingA+
Customer Service Phone800-247-1423
Websitewww.sslco.com
AddressSentinel Security Life
1405 W 2200 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84119

What we like

No Medical Exam

Applicants will need to answer some basic medical questions, but an actual medical exam is not required for any of their policies.

Guaranteed Coverage

Sentinel offers a guaranteed issue option through their New Vantage III product. Though it is more expensive than other options, it could be a great choice for those who are struggling to get approved through other companies.

Immediate Coverage

While the application process requires that you meet with an agent, once you are approved, your coverage will begin immediately.

What we don’t like

Limited Product Availability

Sentinel focuses on whole life insurance to the exclusion of all other types of policies.

No Online Quotes

The company’s website offers no online quotes, preferring applicants to speak directly with a local agent.

Relies on Agents for Application Process

Sentinel’s reliance on local agents makes the application process less convenient when compared to other providers who offer an online application tool.

Sentinel Security Life Insurance Products

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3.0/5
Their product line is extremely limited, but we appreciate their three options of final expense policies.

Sentinel does not offer term life insurance or universal life insurance products. Instead, they offer a three-tiered whole life product known as their New Vantage series. We’ll explore what the plans offer, then explain the differences between each plan.

What’s Included

Each of these whole life insurance policies offers the same basic constellation of benefits:

Cash Value Accumulation

Whole life policies build cash value over time, which can usually be borrowed against, making the plan ideal for covering late-life expenses.

Level Premiums

Policyholders can enjoy stable premiums that won’t increase with time or age.

No Medical Exam

No medical exam is necessary for approval, though the specific type of plan depends on how you answer some basic health questions.

Pre-Need Option

Policyholders have the option of assigning funds to a particular funeral home—a form of “pre-need” coverage that can ensure that your funeral and related expenses are addressed.

New Vantage I

The New Vantage I plan is Sentinel’s most affordable life insurance policy. This plan is designed for those who are in good health at the time of application.

Death benefits are available from the time of approval, which is typically immediate.

New Vantage II

The New Vantage II policy is intended for those who have moderate and well-managed health conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes or blood pressure issues.

The New Vantage II plan provides graded benefits, which means that the death benefit will not be immediately available. If the policyholder dies within the first two years of coverage, beneficiaries receive only a portion of the benefit:

  • First Year: Beneficiaries receive 30% of the policy’s value
  • Second Year: Beneficiaries receive 70% of the policy’s value
  • Third Year: Beneficiaries receive the full death benefit

This payout structure isn’t unusual for policies of this type, and unless you’re terminally ill, this two-year graded period shouldn’t be a major concern.

New Vantage III

Applicants in poor health will not be denied a policy, but they will only be eligible for the New Vantage III plan. As with the previous option, this plan has a two-year graded period, but will only provide the beneficiary a refund of the premiums paid, plus 10% interest.

Final Expense Plans

5Star also markets final expense plans to the senior market. Final expense plans are technically a form of whole life insurance, though the death benefit tends to be a bit lower, designed to cover medical bills, funeral bills, outstanding debts, and any other end-of-life expenses.
5Star’s final expense plans are provided with common benefits and requirements. This policy is available to applicants between the ages of 50 and 85, and the benefit ranges from $5,000 to $25,000. Premiums stay level for the duration of the policy.
As with other life insurance providers, 5Star offers two options for their final expense coverage, depending on your answers to a few basic health questions.

Silver Premier Preferred

This policy provides the full death benefit starting from the date of issue. In many cases, approval can be instantaneous, and applicants can be approved over the phone.

Silver Premier Graded

A graded policy does not provide your full death benefit until the third policy year. For the first two years, beneficiaries would be entitled to a rising percentage of the death benefit: 30% during year one, and 70% during year two. An accidental death would result in the full death benefit regardless of the policy year.

Policy benefits

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3.5/5
Sentinel provides a limited number of standard riders, though some may appreciate the company’s other financial products.

Riders

Sentinel Security doesn’t provide an extensive array of riders, but customers can still expect to find standard offers that include:

Waiver of Premium Rider

If the policyholder becomes disabled, the policy premiums are waived for a predetermined period of time without the threat of loss of coverage.

Children’s Protection Rider

Children of eligible ages can be covered by the policyholder’s plan. These amounts tend to be small, but they can provide a payout in the unfortunate event of a child’s death.

Accidental Death Insurance Rider

This rider offers an additional payout if the policyholder dies as the result of an accident. This rider is best suited for those in high-risk professions or for people who enjoy dangerous hobbies.

Other Products

Sentinel does offer other products that may benefit the senior community, including:

Medicare Supplement

Medicare Supplement plans allow individuals to supplement their existing Medicare coverage by paying for medical expenses including prescription drugs and hospital stays.

Hospital Advantage

The Hospital Advantage plan supplements health insurance coverage and is potentially ideal for those who have high deductibles or policies that don’t cover certain conditions.

Annuities

Sentinel also offers annuities that may be of interest to the retirement community—or anyone seeking to plan for their financial future.

Cost

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3.5/5
Simple-issue products tend to be more expensive, so customers may find better value through traditional-issue policies

Sentinel offers no online quotes, nor can quotes be obtained from third-party websites. Their reliance on agents makes it difficult to compare rates from other insurance providers.

With that being said, their most affordable policy will be their New Vantage I product, which is available to the healthiest applicants. Applicants can expect to see their rates increase with other policies, which are offered to those who have varying degrees of health issues.

These policies are solid options for final expense insurance, but they are hardly unique in today’s market. Applicants may wish to explore their options, especially if they are in sufficient health to qualify for the best policies and rates.

Performance

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3.5/5
The company enjoys solid financial ratings, though they are hardly the best in the industry today.

Financial ratings

Sentinel Security enjoys some reasonably positive ratings based on third-party reviews:

  • A.M. Best Rating: B++
  • BBB: A+

Additionally, they have been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 1979. Together, these ratings indicate solid—though not stellar—financial performance, providing a sense of consumer confidence and trust.

Customer reviews

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4.0/5
Sentinel enjoys overall positive customer reviews based on current data.

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About the author
Ben Peetermans author
Ben Peetermans
Life Insurance Expert
Ben Peetermans is a life insurance editor. He enjoys blogging about various topics, including finance. He has been writing about insurance since 2015. Ben has been featured in various press outlets including FOX, CBS, and NBC.