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Transamerica Life Insurance Review

Transamerica Life Insurance Company and Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company (collectively known as “Transamerica”) represent premier names in the life insurance industry. Transamerica pioneered term life insurance, and served as the west coast’s first major life insurance carrier.

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The company was acquired in 1999 by AEGON N.V., an international company that does business in over 40 different countries worldwide. Today, Transamerica works through AEGON to help over 40 million customers with their life insurance pension and asset management needs. After the acquisition, Transamerica became the third-largest provider of life insurance in the U.S.

Transamerica History

Transamerica came to life in 1906 based on the vision of a young businessman named A.P. Giannini. In its first phase of life, Transamerica was the parent company of Giannini’s Bank of Italy, which ultimately became Bank of America. Giannini then developed Transamerica to achieve a larger goal of bringing a broad set of financial products and services to his customers, and in 1930, Transamerica acquired Occidental Life Insurance Company. Occidental had been selling life insurance successfully on the west coast since 1906. This acquisition laid the foundation for the development of today’s strong company.

Congress passed a law in 1956 that prohibited companies from owning bank and non-bank entities at the sane time. Transamerica chose to divest its bank operations, and kept its life insurance and related businesses. As Transamerica grew it developed and acquired new businesses, some of which proved profitable and others, not as much. The company began a period of restructuring during the 1980s to 1990s, divesting approximately $1.5 billion of operations that strayed from the company’s newly-defined core business. Additionally, over $1.7 billion of acquisitions were made in other businesses that fit the new company structure. Transamerica continued to evolve and started looking for strategic business partners, with a subsequent acquisition by a Dutch insurance company, AEGON N.V.

Transamerica Financial Ratings

Transamerica manages its business with a focus on bringing quality service and products to its customers. The company has consistently earned high ratings from all four of the major rating agencies. As of December, 2010, the company was rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, AA- (Very Strong) by Standard &Poor’s, A1 (Good) by Moody’s and AA- (Very Strong) by Fitch. Transamerica Life Insurance Company and Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company have combined capital and surplus funds of approximately $6.9 billion.

Products

Transamerica offers a range of life insurance products to address the unique needs of just about every family or individual no matter what life stage they are in. The company offers the following types of life insurance:

  • Universal Life
  • Variable universal life
  • Term life
  • Survivorship life
  • Whole life

Additionally, Transamerica offers group insurance and reinsurance. The company offers a portfolio of other products, including:

  • Annuities
  • Mutual funds
  • 401(k) plans
  • Retirement management services
  • Estate planning
  • and more

Transamerica in the Community

Transamerica sponsors an annual award that rewards those who perform with excellence in an environment where others just show up. The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award is given each year to the NCAA’s top-ranking senior football quarterback. The award recognizes players who work hard, exhibit persistence and determination, and push to give their best. Past players who have received the award include NFL players Matt Leinart, Matt Ryan, Colt McCoy and Peyton Manning.

Transamerica Customer Service Review

Transamerica provides consistently excellent service to its customers, and the company has won the DALBAR award for 11 consecutive years for its excellence in servicing its mutual fund customers. The company’s customer service representatives won based on assessments of their attitude, expertise and accommodation of customers’ needs.

Transamerica offers its consumers a host of information and services on its website. The company provides consumers with primers on the different types of life insurance, including the “Life Insurance Basics” section on its website. They also make it easy to get a free quote for term life insurance with an online form. Customers who are currently enrolled with any of Transamerica’s products can be maintained online, and local agents can be found with the website’s locater function.

The Transamerica Pyramid

Transamerica originally located its headquarters in a building that stands out as the tallest structure silhouetted in the San Francisco skyline. The Transamerica Pyramid symbolizes the company’s strength and innovation, and the uniquely-shaped building enjoys worldwide recognition. With construction beginning in 1970, the building has 48 floors and 853 feet of overall building height with a 212-foot top in the shape of a spire. The building, designed by William L. Pereira & Associates, has an external veneer of white, pre-cast quartz aggregate. It houses over 1,500 employees working for more than 50 different firms. The building is part of the Transamerica campus, which encompasses almost an entire city block. Transamerica has relocated its headquarters to a location across the street from the pyramid. The pyramid is featured in Transamerica’s trademarked logos and is used to identify all of the company’s products and marketing materials.

Buying the Best Life Insurance

Purchasing some form of life insurance is one of the best things a family can do to protect its financial future. The two basic types of life insurance, term and permanent, each have their pros and cons. Transamerica and other insurance companies offer information on the features of the different policy types and some also offer calculators to help consumers figure out how much life insurance coverage they need. Shopping around on the internet helps provide consumers with a good amount of information to purchase the right type of policy for their needs. Buying life insurance when you are young and healthy is the best option, and term insurance is inexpensive enough to fit just about any budget.

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