Many of us have heard the Alex Trebek insurance commercial more than a few times. Now you’re wondering if it is really a good policy.
As the host of Jeopardy for many years, plenty of consumers see him as someone who is articulate and probably trustworthy.
Maybe you agree?
While that all sounds nice, it is important to note that Mr.Trebek was not an insurance person, but a paid spokesman for Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company.
Consumers need to proceed with caution with this particular life insurance product. It is not for the average consumer frankly.
If you have been in search of a Colonial Penn Guaranteed Acceptance insurance review, you’ve come to the right place. Just don’t be surprised if I bring the heat!!
Before we get to far, I would like to make in known:
In no way do we wish to put down Mr. Trebek. He suffered with a terrible form of cancer and never quit. He brought a lot of people a fun, educating game show for years and it is sad to know he won’t be returning.
With that said let’s continue…
FYI, I talk to numerous people 55 and up 5 1/2 days a week. Most people are shocked when I explain why they don’t want to own a policy like this unless they have no alternatives. They just did not realize the actual cost and limitations based on the advertisement.
The problem here, we have a sponsored celebrity endorsing a big name “end all be all” burial insurance product.
Thing key point to remember, Alex Trebek, who has the respect of many people, was also a well compensated endorser of this insurance company. He is not carrying a life insurance license or maintaining continual education for the industry as a whole.
We are not talking trivia when it comes to life insurance. It is a very important decision.
Without having a background in life insurance and a thorough insurance education, his judgement of what the average senior needs for life insurance is really limited.
It is fair to suggest he probably has been well paid over the years so his resources and his financial situation is likely different than most people on a fixed and or limited income.
With that said, do you believe he knows that much more about life insurance and your needs versus the person down the street?
I’ll let you make your own assessment there.
Before I get into the meat of this post, it is advised to get a quote from our free, instant quoting tool on this page. Find out what the competition is charging it policyholders. No one wants to overpay for insurance. Simply judge your health compared to your peers and less than a minute you will know what all the top life insurance companies will charge you compared to the policy marketed by the late Mr. Trebek.
Alex Trebek Insurance – The Colonial Penn Mainstay
If you had not already made the connection, the trivia game show host himself is the celebrity that drives a lot of people to consider Colonial Penn life insurance for senior burial insurance planning.
No, he does not run the insurance company nor does he provide the insurance products to you. He also has nothing to do with paying claims.
The Alex Trebek insurance endorsement is specific to one life insurance product from Colonial Penn insurance.
Colonial Penn is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The company has a long history of selecting celebrities to endorse their life insurance product. We all know Ed McMahon, Joe Theismann and even Jerry Lewis. They were all paid endorsers. They were probably not working out of the goodness of their heart, right?
As of now, when we hear an Alex Trebek life insurance commercial, it is a promotion of a single Colonial Penn whole life insurance product.
How much is Alex Trebek actually paid?
I do not have an answer for that, but I can assure you, all the CP policyowners are paying for it. It is a huge Colonial Penn marketing expense. Insurance companies figure costs like this into policy expenses which translates to higher premiums.
The insurance Alex Trebek refers to is a guaranteed issue whole life insurance product. This type of policy is available from a number of life insurance companies and not proprietary to Colonial Penn.
It is a pure, high risk life insurance product for those who cannot qualify medically for better coverage such as someone who may be suffering a terminal illness.
If your thinking…I didn’t know that fact, read on.
Life Insurance Advertised By Alex Trebek For Colonial Penn
Television has been the common marketing avenue of Colonial Penn for years. The average person over 50 will also be ambushed with junk mail advertising as well.
A lot of people, young to old have seen the Alex Trebek life insurance commercial for life insurance offered by Colonial Penn.
The focus of these advertisements has been to promote a Colonial Penn whole life insurance policy that offers guaranteed acceptance, a “rate lock” and premiums that will never go up and a death benefit which will never go down.
This product, titled Colonial Penn Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life is nothing unique. It is simply high risk life insurance on steroids.
It does not ask any health questions for starters.
That sounds pretty good right? Nice and easy.
That is going to cost the consumer dearly. It could also hurt the policy beneficiary.
You must understand that life insurance companies cannot evaluate the risk level of a person without asking health questions. What do you think they do in response to offset the risk of not having a clear picture of whom is requesting life or burial insurance from them?
You got it. They jack those rates up for starters…
They also insert a veiled 2 year limited benefit period for natural death into the policy.
Here is what you need to understand about that.
For the first 2 years of approved coverage with “Alex Trebek Life Insurance,” there is no real death benefit for end of life due to cancer, stroke, heart attack…any “natural” cause. Now, a car wreck for example would be covered in full to the limits of purchased coverage as it is an accident.
Let’s throw out the fancy celebrity glitz and take a real look at what Mr. Trebek and Colonial Penn is trying to sell you.
So What Is The Alex Trebek Life Insurance Ad About?
Colonial Penn Life Insurance offers 3 different life policies. All 3 of these are marketed to senior citizens in general. The “Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance” is Alex Trebek’s endorsed product you hear so much about. The Col Penn Guaranteed Acceptance insurance is a lifelong, whole life policy with critical caveats.
It is important you understand these clearly before ever purchasing any guaranteed issue life insurance. This could end poorly for your loved ones or any other goal you had in mind before you purchased.
We’re going to stay focused on the Alex Trebek insurance product as that is what most seniors are curious about here.
I’m going to forgo the term life insurance product which is low quality anyway and the Colonial Penn standard whole life product which has tough underwriting and it only available to seniors up to age 75.
No medical exams, no health questions. Your acceptance: guaranteed.
The above quote was taken directly from colonialpenn.com.
However, the truth is, Alex Trebek life insurance is simply a whole life insurance policy with carefully, glossed over limitations and high premiums.
It is also supposed to be “affordable.”
After all, $9.95 gets you this product, right?
Wrong!! If you are wondering if the price per month was not accurate, you were just not aware of of how Colonial Penn prices their Guaranteed Acceptance life insurance. We will get to that specifically later in the article.
If you watched the video above, you may have noticed that the cost has increased nearly 50% in the last 20 years or so. Coverage was once $6.95 per unit.
While funerals have gone up in price over the years, I can tell you that in the late 90’s, the average, burial policy I sold was about $7000. Twenty years ago my licenses limited me to Michigan and Indiana, but that was pretty typical in the burial insurance business. Nowadays, it is about $8300 on National average for a full funeral.
Why such a big increase in cost for insurance?
People are living longer than ever before.
Ed McMahon used to advertise $6.95 per unit for Colonial Penn and their Guaranteed Acceptance coverage. Today, the Alex Trebek commercial for life insurance comes in at $9.95 per unit. Same product as well folks.
That my friend, is a huge increase in cost for life insurance especially with people living longer than ever!!
If you want to have a significant death benefit for your loved ones, $9.95 per month isn’t going to help out very much. That is a very small policy if you are planning for final expenses.
Remember, you are paying for permanent, lifelong coverage with this product. This is not term life insurance which expires often by age 80.
How Does Colonial Penn Price Life Insurance Advertised By Alex Trebek?
For $9.95 a month what you can purchase is one “unit” of the Colonial Penn Life Insurance Guaranteed Acceptance offering, the Alex Trebek insurance endorsement.
How Much is a Unit of Colonial Penn Life Insurance Anyway?
This is the problem with Colonial Penn “units.” $9.95 sounds quite enticing but…
One unit does not buy enough insurance to scratch the cost of a cremation let alone a full funeral.
The first key point to remember is that you are buying units, not a death benefit amount. The more units you purchase the larger the value of your policy.
You need to know the value of the units. This is variable.
Stay with me here. I will elaborate on “units” in just a bit.
Units are not typical in the life insurance business.
We work with dozens of the top carriers so I can attest to this fact.
With Colonial Penn Guaranteed Acceptance insurance, you can purchase more units than one, which I would recommend.
Consumers age 50-85 are allowed to buy up to 8 units so the maximum premium you would have per month is just under $80.
Now some folks look at that and say, sounds like a good price.
Not really. Run a quote on the final expense quote tool on this page. You will see why quite quickly. Take a look at the competition out there. Be prepared to be shocked!!
Now, here is the kicker.
As mentioned earlier, you are buying a unit of insurance not a death benefit amount. Selling life insurance in “units” is not common in the industry at all.
With the Alex Trebek, Guaranteed Acceptance insurance ad, the older you are, the less insurance you get for each $9.95 unit you buy.
So a 75 year old is going to be penalized regardless of excellent health over a 65 year old who may have congestive heart failure and type 1 diabetes with complications. At 65, the value of each unit is much higher which translates into more death benefits than the healthy individual. In fact, there is no way for a good health 75 year old to obtain the same amount of financial coverage if both purchased the maximum number of units. This can pose a major problem for some families for being underinsured.
What to understand about Colonial Penn Insurance units…
The minimum value of one “unit” is currently $400 while the maximum is $2100. That is why the maximum policy value is $17,000. Again, it depends on the value of each “unit” at application. If you are age 80 the value of the unit is very low compared to age 55. Take a at the Colonial Penn life insurance rates for this product in the tables below for specifics. We have provided rates by gender and age.
For many seniors, the guaranteed acceptance whole life policy advertised will not provide enough funding for a simple funeral.
What you need to remember about the Guaranteed Acceptance program from is that it is for high risk life insurance applicants.
They don’t tell you that do they?
Just because you are a senior does not mean that you are one of these candidates. In fact, here at out agency, roughly 90% of seniors are not!
Yes, the other 10% of seniors life insurance policy holders have some very serious medical issues which impair them whereby they cannot medically qualify for standard, no exam senior whole life insurance, which is much more affordable and does not have all the limitations.
Keep in mind, people age 55-90+ are the vast majority of our clientele at Maple Valley Insurance Group. We are not working with people in perfect health for the most part.
Guaranteed Acceptance coverage from any life insurance company that offers it, will take high risk individuals.
Because they do not ask any health questions. Health questions will eliminate a select number applicants who are in poor health for their age that can’t qualify for medically underwritten, full and immediate benefit insurance.
Sorry, the Alex Trebek insurance ad is not demonstrating anything special.
Specifically, this advertisement is for a final expense, whole life insurance policy designed primarily for seniors who cannot qualify for standard, senior no exam, whole life insurance.
Does Colonial Penn life insurance accept all seniors on this plan?
Yes, as long as the insured is legally competent and can consent to coverage. Power of attorney is acceptable by the way.
Colonial Penn Insurance company is banking on you not knowing your options to save money and that you will be drawn in to purchase the Guaranteed Acceptance life insurance plan even if you can medically qualify for better coverage. Why do you think the Alex Trebek insurance ad was created?
Why do you think you need high risk life insurance?
Ironically, Colonial Penn has 2 other senior products, but those aren’t mentioned during the ad.
Reviews Of Colonial Penn’s Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance
While there is no short supply of Alex Trebek life insurance reviews out there, here is the straight scoop you need to be absolutely clear on when comparing any life insurance product to another. Understand any and all limitations built into the policy.
The Pro’s Of The Alex Trebek Life Insurance Program
- This is permanent, whole life insurance that will never go up in cost nor down in death benefits. Lifetime coverage.
- Better than having no life insurance protection at all.
- First day coverage for accidental death…such as a car accident.
The Con’s With The Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance?
Guaranteed Acceptance coverage hands you a three fold penalty.
- Much higher premiums
- Limited benefits the first 2 years of ownership for natural death
- Limited maximum death benefit (face amounts). May not be adequate for many seniors final expense needs
Did you know these 3 key points?
With ANY guaranteed acceptance/issue life insurance, the first 2-3 years, the insured person is not covered with full benefits for natural death. With Colonial Penn, your family would only receive all premiums plus compound interest the first 2 years for a natural cause of death.
Many people miss that major detail. This is the highest risk the average elderly person faces.
Natural death…it is inevitable is it not?
Do we put are loved ones at risk because a high paid celebrity is touting an insurance product?
No life insurance company offers individual life insurance with no health questions and no medication examination without a mandatory waiting/limited benefit period. They must charge higher premiums and have a limited benefit period to offset their pure risk of loss.
Understanding A Guaranteed Issue Policy And The Fine Print
Insurance companies like Colonial Penn can’t approve applicants halfway in the casket or urn with full life insurance benefits. They’d be unable to pay all the claims real quick.
Remember, life insurance is a giant money pool each policyholder pays into. Imagine several people paying one months premium for a $10,000 death benefit. Colonial Penn would be sunk real quick with a policy like that.
You see, life insurance is all statistics. A certain number of people in the policy will make it beyond 2, 5 even 10 years or more. Colonial Penn knows what they need to charge you to make a profit with the risk profile they are willing to accept.
If you have decent to excellent health as a senior, they really love!! It helps them make a lot more money.
Understand this…all limitations are applied to anyone who buys this type of policy. Not just the folks in very high risk health situations.
The Colonial Penn commercial has a certain “magic” about it that washes away the reality of their “guaranteed acceptance” life insurance plan.
The truth is, coverage is determined strictly by the terms written in that life insurance contract. Whether the commercial was misinterpreted does not change what the legal, binding policy contains. Colonial Penn will not be making any exceptions.
Yes, Alex Trebek insurance may seem like it is designed for all seniors…and it is as it accepts the healthy with the very unhealthy.
The biggest problem… your family may never see the benefits you thought they would get. The first 2 years won’t cover the cost of anyone’s burial costs.
That 2 year waiting period is a red flag ladies and gentleman!!
Now, I’ve covered one of the problems with the Colonial Penn, Alex Trebek insurance Ad.
The next one really affects those seniors on a fixed income and/or are money conscious.
Have I got you curious?
Colonial Penn Life Insurance Rates By Age -Alex Trebek Insurance Advertisement
Female Maximum Benefits For Colonial Penn Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance
|AGE||2 Units/$19.90||4 Units/$39.80||6 Units/$59.70||8 Units/$79.60|
Male Maximum Benefits For Colonial Penn Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance
|AGE||2 Units/$19.90||4 Units/$39.80||6 Units/$59.70||8 Units/$79.60|
Did you see the actual cost of insurance in the above chart. If so, you may have noticed that unless your quite closer to 50 particularly if you are man, that insurance is not cheap and the amount of coverage you get for your monthly premium is low. In fact, by the time you are in your mid 70’s and buy this product, you will not have enough to simply cover the cost of a funeral and burial.
Now why is this? Let’s take a look at why this simply is not anything special at all.
Colonial Penn uses a non standard way of calculating their premiums. I don’t care for it and I think it is meant to confuse seniors into thinking that coverage is very affordable. When I give you the competitors rate for the exact same kind of guaranteed acceptance life insurance, you will see if is not so “affordable” at all.
You purchase the Alex Trebek insurance by purchasing “units” of coverage. Regardless of age, the maximum number or units you can buy is 8. Here is the problem. The order you are at the time of application with this Colonial Penn product, the lower the value of 1 unit is. That is why the rate charts above show diminishing amounts of insurance as you age. Men are hit considerably harder than women because women tend to live longer. That is a fact.
Now, for those people that may need this type of insurance, I ran a quick quote of the top guaranteed acceptance companies across the country. Take a look at an apples to apples comparison to the Alex Trebek life insurance above.
About 90% of you reading this article will more than likely be able to qualify for the full, immediate benefit life insurance and save a lot of money just by answering less than a few health questions. Use the Life Insurance Quoting Tool on the Right hand side of you screen. Be sure to select “Excellent Health.” Yes, this tool is designed for those in less than perfect health. Seniors are the typical buyers of burial insurance. Most of you will see much lower cost for permanent, whole life insurance with full protection from day 1 of acceptance. The 10% remaining still have more affordable options than Colonial Penn guaranteed acceptance insurance.
Do you have any objection to saving a lot of money and being able to obtain the correct amount of life insurance for your needs?
Remember, this is better not only for you but your family who will be getting the full death benefit if you pass on in the next 2 years.
Don’t waste your time searching for an insurance plan on TV or in your mailbox. You could be taken advantage of because there is not an independent professional to sort out the good from the bad on your behalf.
Misunderstanding life insurance policy limitations and features combined with the overall costs of ownership are the common mistakes of consumers.
“Life insurance” is not life insurance folks. Having a real professional costs you nothing. It puts you in front of the most effective and affordable final expense plans you can buy. Make sure you have the right product ladies and gentleman.
You can spend weeks calling around different insurance companies and never find the best rates let alone one that you qualify for healthwise. With that said, a good professional agent can quickly give you the same rates you spent weeks or months on and identify which company and product would be best for your needs.
If you decide to buy insurance from an independent agent or broker, the insurance company will pay for their services. Calling Colonial Penn or any other carrier directly versus an independent agent saves you nothing. Your cost does not change whether you have a “middle man” or not. This is the law by the way. Rates are approved by the state, not the insurance company or agent. So, the middle man/advocate is saving you good money by recommending the right coverage for you.
Something to be aware of…
While all insurance companies have a certain amount of complaints against them, Colonial Penn life insurance has a higher than average number complaints against it.
Lot’s of upset families that did not know the Alex Trebek insurance offering has significant limitations built in.
The limitations are disclosed if you take a close look at the ad and website, but carefully placed to be casually overlooked by those who are focused on the celebrity endorser who’s selling you on the coverage.
I see no dishonesty, but the responsibility is completely shifted onto a trusting senior who just wants affordable peace of mind.
Life Insurance With Alex Trebek: Our Rating
Something I didn’t address thoroughly above was the term “rate lock” that is promoted in all the commercials.
With whole life insurance, rate locks are standard. That is built into the design of the policy. Ultimately, the rate lock Mr. Trebek mentions is a marketing term that is already built into whole life insurance policy for seniors anyway.
The 30 day money back guarantee, well that comes from the state bureau of insurance. Most states require life insurance companies to have a free look, 30 day period to evaluate the policy to decide if they want a refund or not. All insurance companies must follow the free look provision laws.
Again, watch the marketing glitz. Weed it out.
With all that said…
Maple Valley Insurance Group Rating of Colonial Penn Life Insurance Guaranteed Acceptance = “D”
It is not responsible of a life insurance company to recommend products built for generally poor health applicants and market it like it is the affordable final expense solution for seniors. There simply are a lot of better options out there.
The fact is, any kind of guaranteed issue life insurance, regardless of the insurance carrier simply cannot claim this.
Guaranteed acceptance/guaranteed issue whole life is the life insurance product to select after all other no exam, simplified issue whole products have been evaluated with a experienced independent agent or broker.
Buying life insurance in units?
This is not a good way to be transparent about the cost of buying a policy. This needs to changed by Colonial Penn.
This is not how life insurance is typically “priced.” It again appears to be a marketing tactic to distract you into thinking it is affordable life insurance.
Alex Trebek Life Insurance For Seniors – The Conclusion
By now you probably realize I’m not impressed with the Alex Trebek life insurance ad nor the product itself. Coverage is marketed towards trusting seniors that are looking for sound life insurance to meets the needs of their family or other loved ones. These people just want the straight scoop without all the games.
Your loved ones could end up in a financial mess because of the 2 year limitation on coverage for natural death. I’m sure you don’t want your loved ones in a mountain of debt by getting caught in limitations of coverage.
The unit system used in this Col Penn product penalizes seniors particularly in their 70’s and 80’s. They may not be able to purchase a high enough death benefit to ensure their goals are met.
Remember, the average cost of a full funeral is around $8300 nationally. Be sure to review the rate chart above and see the maximum amount of financial protection that can be obtained for your current age with CP.
Do you want to assume and pay more money for coverage because Alex Trebek is paid to endorse it?
Alex Trebek insurance is not particularly affordable whether you are doing an apples to apples comparison nor when it is compared to the recommended standard simplified issue, no exam whole life coverage we offer here.
Would you buy a policy that is probably not in your best interest… because it has a paid, Alex Trebek insurance endorsement on it?
Think about it.
Colonial Penn life insurance rates are just not very competitive nor offer the average senior the full benefits of a no exam, medically underwritten whole life policy.
What is the value of overpaying for less benefits?
Everyday I talk to new seniors who were duped into the wrong life insurance product. They bought a term policy that is/was about to expire or bought a “guaranteed acceptance” policy from one of several life insurance companies that offer them. Take a look at our article on Metlife guaranteed acceptance coverage.
Is Alex Trebek insurance a scam? Absolutely not. For a person who is in a high risk situation, while a bit expensive, it may be a sound solution. You just have to realize $9.95 is a teaser rate of 1 “unit” of life insurance. The intention is to get you to call up the insurer and just buy the policy. It does not buy very much life insurance protection, period.
For those who purchase the coverage…Colonial Penn will pay the claims according to the terms of the policy.
Determining the need for high risk life insurance should be done only with an independent life insurance specialist.
Never try to sort this out on your own or call a home office of an insurance company. You could end up ripped off and/or underinsured at the time of need. The ads you see to buy Colonial Penn, Globe Life or AARP/New York Life etc, is rarely in your best interest. They engage in a numbers game of mass marketing.
Folks, the easier life insurance is to qualify for, the higher the cost of purchasing it. Depending on the type of whole life insurance, it may increase the risk to your family not receiving the monies they may need in the death of the insured because the wrong policy was purchased.
Do you want to save money and obtain immediate, full coverage or…
would you prefer to worry for 2 years just so you don’t have to answer a few health questions?
Which one would truly give you and your family the most peace of mind?
Sure I’m bit biased myself because I have access to all the top burial insurance companies out there. As a life insurance writer and independent agent/broker I don’t have to rely on Alex Trebek insurance to meet all the needs of my clientele either.
At Maple Valley Insurance Group, we don’t put “square pegs in round holes” regardless of the celebrity marketing, nor should you.
Always have a independent, seasoned professional verify your need for any guaranteed issue life insurance before buying.
Because all life insurance companies have different health questions. There may be several companies unable to insure you for immediate, full benefits while another can give you that same coverage very affordably without needing to resort to high risk life insurance such as the Alex Trebek advertisement for senior life insurance.
Even if you have been declined elsewhere, don’t lose heart.
About 10% of our cases where guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance is necessary, we generally recommend the likes of AIG due to their superior offering and lower premiums over Colonial Penn Guaranteed Acceptance.
If you’ve found this article helpful, let us know. We welcome comments below.
Any questions you have, feel free to give us a call at 269-244-3420. We’re here to help.