Costco Life Insurance Review 2021

Costco has been around for almost 40 years. Read this Costco life insurance review to find out if it is the right insurer for you.

August 16, 2021
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9
min read

Many people may know Costco as a wholesale retailer that offers great value. But did you know they offer life insurance policies as well? Costco now offer term life insurance plans backed by Manulife, one of Canada’s largest insurers. As with their other life insurance products, their biggest selling point is affordability. Costco claims its members can save anywhere between 10% and 35% on life insurance, depending on their membership plan and life insurance coverage requirements. But are they as affordable as they claim? Read our detailed Costco Life Insurance review to find out more.

Pros Cons
Affordability (Costco members receive a discount of at least 10% and up to 30%) Limited term life plans
Executive members get an additional discount of 5% Does not offer whole life or universal life insurance
30-day free-look period Might be costly for those with pre-existing health conditions
Policies backed by Manulife, one of the largest life insurance companies in Canada

Who are Costco Life Insurance?

Set up in 1983, Costco is a multi-million-dollar, membership-based retail giant operating across eight countries, including Canada. In Canada alone, Costco has warehouses in more than one-hundred locations. They offer two membership plans to Canadians — Gold Star and Gold Star Executive.

In addition to selling a large array of physical goods, Costco now also offer life insurance in partnership with Manulife, one of Canada’s oldest and best life insurance companies.

Costco Insurance Facts & Financial Information

Washington USA
  • Founded: 1983
  • Head Offices: Washington, USA
  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: - N/A
  • Financial Assets: - N/A
  • Insurance Premiums: - N/A

Costco Life Insurance Review

We could not find any reviews online for Costco Life Insurance. It is likely this is because they have only been offering life insurance through Manulife for a few years, which means most policies have not, as yet, paid out.

By contrast, Manulife is an old name in the life insurance industry. While they do not have Google reviews, their overall score on Insureye is not overly impressive. Manulife received only 1.6 stars out of 5. That said, we recommend you take online reviews with a grain of salt. People are more likely to leave a bad review when they have a poor experience than a glowing review when things go smoothly.

Products and Features

Life Insurance Broker Selling Products

Costco’s life insurance product line is limited, consisting of two term life plans. Furthermore, there is not an option to buy a whole life or universal life policy.

Term life insurance is regarded as the purest form of life insurance. It lasts for a specific period and does not include an investment component. The life insurance company pays the death benefit if you die within the policy term. Once the term ends, the life insurance coverage expires.

Term Life Insurance

Buying a life insurance policy through Costco does not mean you will get a Costco-branded plan. When you click on the Term Life Insurance tab on Costco’s website, you are prompted to apply through Manulife — Which as we mentioned earlier, is one of Canada’s largest life insurance companies.

Costco neither has an underwriting process nor sells their term life insurance directly. They provide life insurance coverage through Manulife.

If you buy a Manulife term life policy through Costco, you can pick between a 5- or a 10-year term. The maximum coverage amount available is $1 million.

10 Year Term Life Insurance

As the name suggests, this plan provides protection for 10 years. Your family will receive the payout if you pass away during the policy term. You can renew the policy at an increased rate after every 10 years until the age of 80 years.

Features:

  • The initial coverage is for 10 years
  • The plan automatically renews after every 10 years, at a higher premium, until the age of 80 years
  • Available to applicants between the ages of 18 and 70 years
  • Coverage amount available is from $50,000 - $1 million
  • Guaranteed level premium. That is, the insurance premium will remain the same during the policy term, which is 10 years in this case
  • Guaranteed death benefit. The life insurance amount will remain the same throughout
  • Applicants under 50 years of age do not need to take a medical exam to qualify
  • Includes a 30-day free-look period. If you cancel your policy within 30 days of the issue date, you will receive a full refund
  • Applicants between the ages of 51 and 55 can get no-medical coverage of up to $250,000
  • Costco Life Insurance members get a discount of 25% on death benefit of $250,000 or more. When the coverage is for $500,000 or more, you get a discount of 30%
  • Executive members receive an additional 5% discount over and above the standard discount
Benefits Included:
  • Job Loss Waiver of Premium: In the event, you or your spouse are laid off from work while this policy is active, the insurer will waive premium payments for up to 9 months while you or your spouse look for another job. This benefit comes into effect only if you or your spouse are under the age of 70.
  • Accidental Death Benefit: Your family will receive an additional cash payment — 25% of the life insurance amount or 250,000, whichever is less — if you die from injuries sustained in a covered accident before the age of 75.
  • Cash Advance: If you receive a terminal illness diagnosis and are expected to live fewer than 12 months, the life insurance company will issue a cash advance of 50% of your benefit amount or $100,000, whichever is less. This benefit kicks in only after 2 years of uninterrupted coverage until the age of 73 years

5 Year Term Life Insurance

With this plan, the coverage lasts for 5 years. At the end of the policy term, the plan automatically renews, at a higher rate.

Features

  • The initial coverage is for 5 years
  • The plan automatically renews after every 5 years, at a higher premium, until the age of 75 years
  • Available to applicants between the ages of 18 and 65 years
  • Coverage amount available is from $50,000 - $750,000
  • Guaranteed level premium. The insurance premium will not change the same during the policy term — that is, 5 years
  • Guaranteed death benefit. The life insurance amount will not change
  • Applicants under 50 years of age do not need to take a medical exam to qualify
  • Applicants between the ages of 51 and 55 can get no-medical coverage of up to $250,000
  • A 30-day free-look period. You are entitled to a full refund if you cancel the policy within the first 30 days
  • Costco Life Insurance members get a discount of 10% on benefit of $200,000 or more
  • Executive members receive an additional 5% discount over and above the standard discount

Benefits Included:

A 5-year term life insurance plan offers only one benefit, namely:

  • Cash Advance: If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of fewer than 12 months, you will receive a cash advance of 50% of your death benefit amount or $100,000, whichever is less. This benefit is available after 2 years of uninterrupted coverage until the age of 73 years

Riders offered by Costco Life Insurance

Riders are added features you can purchase for your life insurance policy to give you comprehensive, individualized coverage. Costco Life Insurance gives policyholders a choice of several riders, such as:

  • Accidental death benefit rider: Provides your loved ones with an additional payment, in addition to the benefit amount, if you die due to an accident. Purchasing an accidental benefit rider could make sense for someone who works in a potentially dangerous environment or drives more than average. However, remember to read the terms first to understand if there are any exclusions.
  • Children’s term life insurance rider: Covers the lives of your children — biological or adopted — between the ages of 15 days to 18 years. Any future children will automatically be covered. The annual premium will remain the same, regardless of how many children are covered under this rider. The coverage amount is from $1,000 - $25,000.
  • Income protection disability insurance: Life insurance protects your family from the unexpected but what protects your biggest asset — your ability to earn? This add-on provides you with an easy, economical way to protect your income if you are unable to work because of an injury or terminal illness. The life insurance company will pay a part of your income — usually not more than 60% — if you cannot work due to an injury or illness resulting in disability.
  • Job loss waiver of premium: This rider ensures your life insurance policy does not lapse if you are unable to pay premiums due to injury or illness resulting in a disability. In the event of total disability, the insurer will waive premium payments during the duration of your disability. To qualify for this rider, you must be between the ages of 18 and 55 years. This rider comes with a 6-month waiting period, meaning if you become disabled, the insurer will wait for six months before waiving the premium. This waiver of premium rider is available only with Costco’s 10-year term plan.

Why We Like Costco Insurance

  • Affordability

Your Costco Life Insurance membership can help you cut down the insurance cost substantially. For example, you can save 30% on life insurance premiums if you buy a 10-year term life insurance policy with a benefit amount of $500,000 or more. If you are an executive Costco member, your saving will increase to 35%.

  • Trusted insurance provider

Manulife is one of Canada’s largest life insurance companies, collecting roughly $40 billion in annual premiums. They are very strong financially, as is reflected by their AM Best rating of A+. It is the second-highest rating awarded by AM Best. In other words, you can rest easy knowing your investment is in safe hands.

  • 30-day free-look period

You can cancel your policy anytime within the first 30 days and receive a full refund.

  • Plenty of Add-ons available

You can customize your term life insurance coverage by adding different riders to suit your unique needs.

What We Did Not Like About Costco Insurance

  • Does not offer permanent life insurance options

Even though term life is sufficient for most people, in certain situations you may better off buying permanent life insurance. For example, applicants who have lifelong dependents or want to leave a legacy may find that permanent life insurance better suits their goal. Sadly, Costco’s product range is very limited and does not include permanent life insurance options.

  • Limited choice of term life insurance policies

With Costco, there are two term options: 5-year and 10-year. Whereas, other life insurance companies offer the options of longer terms for term life policies, like 20, 25, and even 30 years.

So, if your home loan is for 30 years, the longest Manulife’s term policy through Costco Life Insurance will expire 20 years before your mortgage does, leaving your family financially vulnerable.

  • Might not be the best option for people with an underlying health condition

A pre-existing health condition or a dangerous hobby can bump up your premium rate. However, since Costco only offers life insurance from one provider, you cannot compare quotes. As a result, you may end up paying a higher premium rate than you would otherwise.

  • Available only for Costco members

You cannot apply unless you have a Costco membership. If you are not already a Costco member, factor in the membership cost into your premium calculations if you are planning to buy life insurance through Costco.

Conclusion - Is Costco Insurance right for you?

Happy Family

Costco offers two term life insurance plans — 5-year and 10-year — to its members in partnership with Manulife. If you are a healthy individual and looking for a 5-year or 10-year term life policy, Costco may be an affordable option. If you want a longer term or a permanent life policy, you will need to look elsewhere.

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