ING (Voya) Life Insurance – Company History and Ratings
When picking the right life insurance, it helps to understand as much about the company as possible. Check out our ING (Voya) life insurance review.
Life insurance is one of the most vital and valuable things that you can buy for yourself and your family. Before purchasing a policy, however, you need to be sure that you’re making the right decision and working with the best company.
So, with that in mind, we want to review ING life insurance. However, technically speaking, you can’t buy a policy from ING – in 2014, the company switched over to Voya Financial. Voya also decided to focus more on financial and retirement products, such as IRAs and savings plans.
That being said, you can still buy life insurance and other coverage through an employer, so this review will focus on those products. Here is what you need to know.
ING (Voya) Life Insurance – Company History and Ratings
Before we dive into the types of coverage you can receive, it’s crucial to know more about the company. Voya itself was first founded in 1991 as a subsidiary of ING, but its parent company has been around for hundreds of years.
ING Bank originated in the Netherlands way back in 1743 under the name of Kooger Doodendos. It was a highly successful financial institution in the country, but it didn’t start operations in the U.S. until the 1970s.
By then, the name ING was already established, which stands for the International Netherlands Group. The orange lion logo was a reference to the House of Orange-Nassau, a Dutch royal family.
In 1991, ING merged with Nationale-Nederlanden and NMB Postbank Group, and Voya Financial was born from that merger. Between 2011 and 2014, ING slowly became Voya, with the official switchover happening in mid-2014.
Currently, Voya handles over $169 billion in assets, which gives the company a stable outlook and puts it in good standing. Independent credit monitoring agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor have rated Voya reasonably well. Here is a quick breakdown of the company’s rank for each organization.
- Moody’s: A2 (Sixth best rating available)
- Standard & Poor: A+ (Sixth best rating)
- Fitch: A (Sixth best rating)
- AM Best: No rating, but a stable outlook
As you can see, Voya is consistently considered a sixth-best financial institution. However, when it comes to insurance, these ratings are sufficient. If you’re relying on Voya for retirement and financial planning, these scores are certainly not the top in the industry.
Overall, you can feel confident that Voya Financial will be able to honor any life insurance claims. With a stable outlook and year-over-year increases in earnings, the company is doing pretty well in the global market.
What Kind of Life Insurance Does ING/Voya Financial Offer?
As we mentioned, Voya Financial only offers life insurance coverage as part of an employer-sponsored plan. This means you can’t buy an individual policy for any of these products. That alone is a disadvantage because you won’t have control over whether you can access any of these policies.
That being said, if your employer is looking at insurance through Voya, it’s critical to understand which options are available and how they compare to others within the industry. So, with that in mind, let’s break down the six products that Voya has to offer.
Critical Illness Insurance
Typically, life insurance is designed to pay out upon your death. However, if you were diagnosed with a debilitating or life-threatening disease (like cancer), it can sometimes be beneficial to get an insurance payout to cover medical bills and treatments.
Critical illness insurance is not meant as an alternative to health insurance, nor will it satisfy the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. This coverage has a limited benefit option, so don’t expect it to cover everything.
Here are some crucial points to consider with this plan.
- Benefits are paid as a lump sum, not in installments.
- Can be offered as group coverage or individual (although both are still through work)
- Benefits are not earmarked for medical bills specifically. You can use the funds for other items like groceries and utilities.
- You can have Critical Illness Insurance and other coverage through Voya. Payout of these benefits won’t negate any additional life insurance policy.
- In some situations, you may be able to transfer coverage to another employer.
- No medical exam is required to qualify.
- Some employers may extend this plan to cover spouses and/or children.
As Voya points out, Critical Illness Insurance is ideal for those who have high health insurance premiums or a complicated family medical history. For example, if heart disease or Alzheimer’s runs in your family, it can be a good idea to get this kind of insurance. Also, being able to cover spouses, domestic partners, and children can provide extra peace of mind.
Many life insurance policies allow you to add various riders to them. Sometimes, these riders cost extra, but some can be included for no additional charge. Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) is a typical rider. Accident insurance through Voya Financial, however, is not the same thing.
First of all, this plan can cover a broader range of injuries, including burns, cuts, fractures, concussions, and dislocated joints. By comparison, AD&D typically only pays out if you lose one or more eyes, hands, feet, or limbs.
What’s also remarkable about Voya’s Accident Insurance is that it can help cover related medical costs, such as follow-up visits to the hospital, ambulance rides, and more. It can even help pay for physical therapy if you should need it. Each employer will have unique qualifications and limitations, so if this coverage is available, you’ll want to read up on it further.
As with other plan options offered by Voya, there is a chance you can transfer this coverage to a new employer, as well as cover spouses and children. Again, these conditions are determined by your current job, so there are no guarantees.
Hospital Confinement Indemnity Insurance
Unfortunately, an extended stay at the hospital in the U.S. can be a costly proposition. Each day you spend inside can rack up thousands of dollars in bills, which health insurance may not cover all the way. To help fill in these gaps, Voya offers Hospital Confinement Indemnity Insurance.
To qualify for this benefit, specific conditions have to be met, such as:
- The length of your stay will determine payouts. For example, your policy might only cover visits that last longer than three days (or more).
- You have to be confined to the hospital, which means you’re not allowed to leave and continue treatment at home.
- Benefits only work for hospitals and clinics, not hospice care, rehabilitation clinic, nursing facility, or educational facility. Be sure to check all restrictions before signing up for this insurance.
If you meet these conditions, however, the benefits are quite flexible. First, this coverage is considered “guaranteed-issue,” which means there is no medical exam to qualify.
Second, the funds can be used for non-medical expenses, such as room and board for family members, meals, and other items. Finally, the coverage can sometimes kick in to help pay for treatments that might not be covered by your health insurance.
Overall, if you’re worried about the cost of an extended hospital stay, this policy can be a smart decision. Also, if you’re able to cover your spouse and children, that’s always a good idea.
Disability Income Insurance
In a perfect world, you would be able to have a fully-stocked emergency fund. This way, if you ever become temporarily or permanently disabled, you would have cash on hand to cover bills and expenses until you were back on your feet. The reality for many individuals, however, is far from perfect.
So, Disability Income Insurance through Voya Financial is designed to help bridge that gap. What’s excellent about this coverage is that it can kick in for any disability that prevents you from working.
Whether it’s a sprained foot, a pregnancy, or something more serious, benefits can start flowing immediately. Also, you receive payments directly, not through your employer.
Another remarkable feature of this insurance is that it can cover partial disabilities as well. So, if you can work in a limited capacity, you may still be eligible for benefits. Also, rehabilitation and retraining programs are options with no additional costs.
In many cases, Disability Income Insurance doesn’t require a medical exam, but some employers may need it. Usually, if an individual has a family history of disability or illness, the employer will want to mitigate any potential losses.
Whole Life Insurance
If you’re familiar with whole life insurance already, then you’ll understand how this policy works. Rather than offering coverage for a specific period (like term insurance), whole life insurance lasts for as long as you make monthly payments.
What makes this kind of plan enticing is that it can also be a reliable tool for retirement. Because coverage lasts forever (or until you terminate the policy), it accrues a cash value. You can leverage this cash value in a variety of ways, including:
- Tax-Free Loans – You can borrow against the policy’s value for specific items, such as buying a house or paying off medical bills.
- Retirement Annuities – Receive payments monthly from the cash value during your Golden Years.
- Pay Off Premiums – Use the cash value to pay for the plan until it runs out.
- Increase the Death Benefit – Usually, the cash value is not paid to beneficiaries. However, some programs may allow you to roll the cash into a higher death benefit.
With whole life insurance from Voya Financial, premiums won’t increase for as long as you have the plan. Other insurers will typically increase rates based on age and health, so this is a nice perk. That being said, since the policy is through your employer, you’ll have to get additional life insurance for retirement.
Term Life Insurance
Finally, Voya Financial offers basic term life insurance plans. These are the most fundamental options available. If you’re not familiar with how term insurance works, it’s really simple.
- First, you pick the amount of coverage you want (i.e., a death benefit of $50,000). You can also sometimes choose riders like AD&D or terminal illness coverage (Voya offers the latter).
- Second, you determine the length of your policy. Most term plans have a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 30. You can often renew your coverage at the end of the term, but your rates will be higher as a result.
- Finally, if you die within that term, your beneficiaries receive payment. If you don’t die before the policy matures (ends), they get nothing.
Overall, Voya’s term insurance is standard, although your employer determines the maximum coverage available. One thing to keep in mind is that group insurance typically has lower maximums since more people are on the plan. So, if you want high-end coverage for your spouse and/or children, you might have to seek an individual plan elsewhere.
Another point to consider is that group policies often don’t require a medical exam. If you have a “knockout” illness or family history, then this coverage will likely be your best option. Otherwise, you could be paying way more in premiums for an individual plan.
ING (Voya) Life Insurance Review – Is it Worth It?
Because these policies are not offered outside of work, it’s hard to say whether they’re worth the cost. If you do work for a company that uses Voya insurance, these plans do have some excellent perks and benefits. However, before signing up, consider these factors.
- Do you need this type of coverage?
- How much would a similar plan be outside of work?
- What happens if you switch jobs? Can your benefits go with you?
- Can you cover your spouse as well?
For the most part, we highly recommend buying life insurance as an individual because you have much more control over your policy. However, group insurance is always good as a backup, or if you’d otherwise be paying high premiums.
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