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Who is Sons of Norway?
Sons of Norway is a Minnesota-based life insurance company that has been issuing policies for over 125 years (since 1895). The Company operates in 37 states, offering various insurance and retirement products at highly competitive rates. As of mid-2022, Sons of Norway had $791 million in life insurance.
What is a fraternal insurance company?
Sons of Norway is organized as a fraternal benefit society.
A fraternal benefit society is a membership organization legally required to offer members life, health, and related insurance products.
Fraternal benefit societies must comprise members with a common bond and be organized into lodges or chapters (local membership groups).
What makes these organizations particularly unique is that they must carry out charitable and other programs for the benefit of their members and the public, and they must be not-for-profit.
What are the benefits of becoming a Sons of Norway member?
When you buy a Sons of Norway life insurance policy, you get a free membership into the society, which comes with some fun benefits. First, you get the Viking magazine along with the monthly E-Post newsletter to get the most out of the Norwegian culture. Second, you will have access to cultural resources and language lessons. Finally, you will have access to discounts on travel, clothing, food, entertainment, rental cars, and more!
Sons of Norway Life Insurance Offerings
Sons of Norway sells two permanent life insurance products: Guaranteed Issue Whole Life (GIWL) and Simplified Issue Whole Life (SIWL) insurance.
These are both no-exam policies, with rates that never increase and guaranteed cash value growth.
Sons of Norway Simplified Issue Whole Life (SIWL)
Sons of Norway’s most popular product is their SIWL insurance product.
Currently, these policies are available to ages 0-74 (0-85 as soon as Sons of Norway removes their COVID restrictions).
Life insurance coverage amounts vary by issue age. Individuals ages 0-59 can buy coverage between $25,000 to $50,000. However, individuals 60-74 have access to a wider coverage range, with policy face amounts starting at $10,000 and going to $50,000. Older individuals are more likely to purchase life insurance for final expenses, and with the average funeral costing ~$10,000, lower coverage amounts are particularly popular among seniors.
Cash Value Accumulation
Sons of Norway’s SIWL product has two ways to build “savings” – through cash value and dividends.
Cash values are guaranteed at issue and are shown to applicants before they apply (unlike most life insurance providers, which offer these only in the policy contract).
This allows you to borrow money against the policy for urgent expenses. As you continue to pay into the policy over time, your cash value builds just like it would in a savings account.
The below chart demonstrates how cash builds over time. For example, a 60-year-old applicant could borrow up to $4,969 by the time he’s 80 years old.
The second and more unique way Sons of Norway allows you to accumulate cash is through dividends. You can receive your dividends in cash, they can be used to offset your premiums (meaning, your premiums would decrease over time!), or they can be used to purchase additional insurance (called “paid-up additions”).
Sons of Norway Simplified Issue whole life policies offer two riders (benefits) which we will cover in the next section.
Sons of Norway Policy Riders
Sons of Norway offers two riders. As a reminder, a rider is an additional benefit you can add to your policy. The two riders are
- Children’s Insurance Rider
- Guaranteed Purchase Option Rider
Adding riders to your policy is a great way to get additional protection for you and your loved ones. Often they are little to no cost.
Children’s Life Insurance Rider
Sons of Norway allows you to buy additional protection for your children. If you are 18 to 55, you can purchase a policy for your child with coverage amounts ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Children’s life insurance is good until the age of 22 and can convert to a whole life policy, allowing you to add more coverage amount up to five times the original coverage amount.
Guaranteed Purchase Option Rider
Also known as GPO, this benefit allows you to add more coverage without going through any underwriting. As long as you are under 36, you can add this rider for a premium. The premium charge will end at the age of 40.
You can add insurance at ages 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, and 40. However, you can also add more insurance with marriage and the birth or adoption of a child. Each increase allows you to add coverage from $10,000 to $25,000.
So why would you leave your family with a $10,000 final expense bill?
Buying A Sons of Norway Life Insurance Policy
Here’s what you can expect when applying for a Sons of Norway life insurance policy:
Applying For A Policy
Buying insurance from Sons of Norway policy is easy. You can do this over the phone with a licensed life insurance agent or apply online.
The application broadly includes personal information, beneficiary information, health questions (if applying for Simplified Issue), and payment information. In the next section, we will cover the health questions asked on the application.
When applying for Simplified Issue Life Insurance, Sons of Norway will use third-party data to determine your approval. This includes Motor Vehicle Report, the Medical Information Bureau, and Prescription History.
You can expect the entire process to take about 25 minutes to complete.
For Simplified Issue, remember that Sons of Norway does decline applicants who have been declined or offered a high substandard by another insurance carrier. It’s best to apply for Guaranteed Issue.
Underwriting: Medical Questions
Below are the 10 medical questions on Sons of Norway’s Simplified Issue Whole Life insurance application.
(As mentioned above, no underwriting is done for GIWL, so there are no medical questions.)
- Are you taking any prescribed medications (please include a description of “why prescribed” in section 7)?In the last 5 years, have you been treated, examined, or advised by a member of the medical profession for any of the following:
- high blood pressure, diabetes, or high blood sugar?
- atrial fibrillation, cardiac pacemaker, heart attack, heart valve disorder/replacement, cardiac bypass surgery, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease (CAD)
- cirrhosis, hepatitis (chronic or type B or C), cancer, tumor, or disorder of the lymph nodes?
- Alcohol abuse and/or addiction, drug abuse and/or addiction, chronic pain, or patient in pain clinic?
- Cognitive or mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, Down’s syndrome, psychotic disorders, anxiety, or depression?
- Disorder of the nervous system such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Parkinson’s?
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD
- Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis?
What to Expect After Submission
After applying, you can expect an approval decision within 24 hours. Once approved, your first payment will be drafted on the same day.
Sons of Norway only accepts EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) payments. You must submit your checking information at the time of application.
You will have 30 days from submission to decide if you would like to keep your policy or cancel with a money-back guarantee.
Sons of Norway Pros and Cons
Advantages of Sons of Norway Life Insurance
- Low rates: Sons of Norway offers some of the lowest rates compared to many insurance companies. This is especially true if you are in great health. Although, Sons of Norway’s Guarantee Issue is one of the lowest if you’re looking for a whole life policy with no medical exam or health questions.
- Easy application: The application process is incredibly easy. The Simplified Issue policy has personal information, beneficiary information, payment information, and health questions. There are only 7 health questions to answer, making the application about 15 minutes to complete.
- Membership benefits: Sons of Norway is a membership organization you can use. Here are a few of the benefits: Viking magazine, and you will have access to discounts on travel, clothing, food, entertainment, rental cars, and more!
Disadvantages of Sons of Norway Life Insurance
- Restricted age eligibility: Unlike most life insurance companies, Sons of Norway still has COVID age restrictions. While individuals 75-85 can typically apply for a SIWL policy, at the moment, the maximum age has been lowered to 74 years and 364 days. On the other hand, Aetna offers immediate coverage to individuals as old as 89
- Limited riders: Sons of Norway’s life insurance policies have limited riders. Their Guaranteed Issue whole life coverage has no riders, while their Simplified Issue option has only two (a Children’s Insurance Rider and a Guaranteed Purchase Option (GPO). However, even the riders in themselves are limited. The GPO Option is available only to applicants under 38, while the Children’s Insurance Rider is available only to those under 55.
- High coverage minimums: Sons of Norway has the highest minimum coverage for individuals under 60. For this demographic, the smallest policy you can buy is $25,000. For people looking to buy insurance for final expenses, this coverage is unnecessary and often too costly for their budgets.
Sons of Norway Life Insurance FAQs
How much does it cost to join Sons of Norway?
It costs $60 to join Sons of Norway if you do NOT purchase a Sons of Norway life insurance policy. However, if you are a policyholder, you can get a membership for free!
What do the Sons of Norway do?
Sons of Norway is a fraternal life insurance company with ~60,000 members across 37 states. It sells life insurance, annuities, and other financial protection products. It has $743 million in life insurance in force and is the fastest-growing fraternal insurance company in the U.S.
Where are the Sons of Norway located?
Sons of Norway is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The address is 1455 W. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408-2666. You can call toll-free at 800-945-8851.
Do you have to be Norwegian to join Sons of Norway?
What is great about the Sons of Norway is that anyone can become a member. Norwegian ancestry is not required. And the benefits are great as well. Sons of Norway provides a variety of benefits that provide plenty of value. First, you get the Viking magazine along with the monthly E-Post newsletter. Second, you will have access to cultural resources and language lessons. Finally, you will have access to discounts on travel, clothing, food, entertainment, rental cars, and more!
When was Sons of Norway founded?
Sons of Norway is a fraternal benefit society formed in 1895. This society aimed to protect its members and their families from financial difficulties. And this goal continues to hold today. Sons of Norway offers their members various insurance and retirement products at highly competitive rates.
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No-BullshitBurial Insurance Age Gender M F State Select AK AL AZ AR CA CO CT...