Columbian Life Insurance Company Review

Columbian Life shines when it comes to whole life insurance policies, for both younger and older individuals.
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Columbian Life Insurance Company

Written by Brian Greenberg
CEO / Founder & Licensed Insurance Agent

Last updated: July 18th, 2022

Reviewed by Grant Desselle
Licensed Insurance Agent

Our take

Columbian Life’s parent company, Columbian Mutual Life Insurance Company, has a proud history. Founded in 1882, they now operate in all 50 states. In 2011 they merged with Unity Mutual Life Insurance Company, and Columbian Mutual Life was born.
Columbian may especially appeal to seniors and those facing retirement. Columbian offers final expense insurance that can be used for end-of-life expenses and medical bills, as well as preneed insurance that can be used to cover the cost of funeral obligations.
Younger applicants can also benefit from their guaranteed-acceptance policies that ensure coverage as young as 25. The company’s rates tend to be slightly higher, but their riders add considerable value.

Columbian Life Insurance Company Details
A.M Best Rating B++
S&P Rating BB+
BBB Rating A+
Customer Service Phone 800-423-9765
Address Columbian Life Insurance Company
P.O. Box 1381
Binghamton, NY 13902-1381
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What we like

Solid Selection of Options

Columbian offers customers a solid range of products, including term, whole, final expense, and a preneed policy.

Preneed Policy

Columbian’s preneed policy offers peace of mind that the policyholder’s funeral expenses are covered.

Guaranteed Acceptance at Age 25

Applicants may receive an insurance plan as early as age 25 with no medical exam required.

What we don’t like

Higher Rates Than Competitors

Columbian’s rates aren’t the most competitive, and many applicants may not need the riders offered on Columbian’s policies.

No Online Options

Applicants must obtain insurance through one of Columbian’s agents.

Recently Downgraded in Financial Rating

Within the last several years, Columbian’s financial rating has fallen. This makes them slightly less trustworthy than other insurance companies.


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Columbian offers solid choices of policies, and the included riders make their term life insurance a great overall value.


SafeShield Simplified Issue Term

SafeShield Details
Length of Coverage 10, 15, 20, and 30-year periods
Minimum Coverage: $25,000
Maximum Coverage: $250,000
Estimated Time to Approval: 1 week or less
Product Features:
  • Safeshield Plus Adds Additional Benefit
  • Riders included for free

LifeVue provides term life insurance for those who wish to forgo a medical exam. Coverage ranges from $50,000 to a max of $500,000, though this drops to $300k for applicants in their 50s, and $200k for applicants over 60.

Classic Term

Classic Term Details
Length of Coverage 10 and 15 -year periods
Minimum Coverage: $50,000
Maximum Coverage: $500,000
Estimated Time to Approval: One Day
Product Features:
  • Simple
  • Cost-efficient
  • Level premiums
Brochure: Elite Term Brochure

SafeShield is Columbian’s term life option, offering 15, 20, or 30-year periods. Coverage ranges from $25,000 to $250,000.

SafeShield Plus Includes Additional Savings

The SafeShield Plus option is available in 20 or 30-year periods, with the added benefit of returning 50% of all policy premiums at the end of the initial term.

Riders Included at No Additional Cost

This policy may be modified with the addition of riders, and some are included at no additional cost. These include:

  • Unemployment premium waiver
  • Living benefit rider
  • Accelerated death benefit rider

This provides flexible options without adding to your premiums.

Riders Included at No Additional Cost

This is a whole life insurance policy designed for those who have difficulty meeting the requirements of other policies. No medical exam is required, though the policy is not intended for those who are terminally ill or are confined to a long-term care facility.

Coverage amounts depend on age:

  • Ages 25-44: $5,000 to $10,000
  • Ages 45-80: $2,500 to $25,000

This policy offers a return of premium plus 6% interest in the event of accidental death in the first 3 years. After this period, the full death benefit amount is available.

Life’s Solutions Whole Life

This whole life policy comes with level premiums, a level death benefit, and guaranteed cash values. Coverage ranges from $20,000 to $500,000.

The policy’s premiums are payable up to age 90, but Columbian’s insurance agents can help customers leverage their cash value to pay their policy in full within 20 years.

This policy can also be modified with a number of riders, though none are included at the policy’s initial base price

Simple Security Whole Life

This whole life plan is designed for customers who buy smaller amounts of insurance and may need to pay their premiums directly to an agent. Premiums are payable for the lifetime of the policyholder. Coverage ranges from $2,500 to $15,000, though the minimum coverage is $5,000 for applicants under age 50. As with other policies, a variety of riders can be attached, though none are included with the base price.

Dignified Choice Final Expense

This final expense insurance policy covers the policyholder’s medical bills, credit card debt, and other end-of-life obligations. Applicants can expect their eligibility to vary based on the answers they provide on their application.

In addition to the available riders, the Dignified Choice plan comes with several guarantees:

  • Premium Guarantee
  • Premiums stay level regardless of age or health
  • Death Benefit Guarantee
  • Death benefit will never decrease
  • Guaranteed Cash Values
  • Policy is guaranteed to build cash values that can be borrowed against
  • Guaranteed Non-Cancellable
  • Policy will never be canceled as long as premiums are paid

This provides peace of mind when considering end-of-life expenses and eases the burden of an otherwise stressful time.


Columbian’s preneed coverage is a specialized type of final expense insurance in which the policyholder prepays for funeral expenses with either a lump-sum payment or monthly payments spread out over a period of 10 years or fewer.

Participating funeral homes may agree to accept the policy benefit amount today. That means that even if the funeral home’s rates increase with time, your funeral is paid for based on this prearranged agreement. This also means that if you have other life insurance policies in place, those funds will not be needed for your funeral. If you move, the policy can be used to fund a funeral in your new hometown.

Policy benefits

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Columbian includes many riders for free with their term life option, and many more can be added to customize their other policies


Riders Included with SimpleShield Term Life

If you purchase term life insurance with Columbian’s SimpleShield policy, the following riders are available at no additional cost:

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

Policyholders can receive a 50% advance on their death benefit if diagnosed with a terminal condition and are expected to live no longer than 12 months.

Living Benefit Rider

Policyholders can receive up to 95% of the death benefit if diagnosed with a terminal illness, or with a qualifying critical/chronic illness.

Unemployment Premium Waiver

If the policyholder becomes unemployed, premium payments are temporarily waived. This rider goes into effect after the second policy year, and applies to those who collect unemployment benefits for four consecutive weeks or more.

Riders Available at Additional Cost

The above riders are generally applicable to other policies, though at an additional cost. Other common riders may include the following:

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

In the event of an accidental death, this rider increases the death benefit, though the amount depends on the type of policy the rider is applied to.

Children’s Insurance Rider

This rider provides $1,000 to $15,000 of level term insurance for children or grandchildren. Policyholders can attach as many as 20 riders on their policy, making this ideal for grandparents or even great-grandparents.

Guaranteed Purchase Option

This rider lets the insured purchase increased coverage without an additional medical exam.


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While riders add value, some customers may wish to look elsewhere. Overall, Columbian doesn’t offer the most affordable life insurance coverage on the market. However, some customers may appreciate the value of the riders that they offer, and the preneed coverage is a relatively unique form of final expense insurance.

Riders Add Value

Some customers may be willing to expend the additional money given the flexibility of the riders provided.

No Online Quotes

Columbian offers no online quotes, preferring customers purchase their policy through one of their agents. Third-party websites consistently report that Columbian’s insurance policies tend to be higher than industry averages.


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Columbian Insurance has been downgraded in recent years, making them slightly less trustworthy than their competitors.

Financial ratings

  • A.M. Best: B++ (superior)
  • S&P: BB+
  • BBB: A+

Customer reviews

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Columbian suffers from an above-average number of customer complaints.

Customer ratings
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has granted Columbian a score of 1.09, meaning they have received slightly more customer complaints than average when compared to other companies their size.

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