Individual life insurance
frequently asked questions
How do I update my address?
The policy owner can change the address of record. If there is a separate premium payer, that individual can change the payer’s address of record. We accept address changes by phone at 1-800-796-3872 or in writing via fax or U.S. Mail. If requesting your address change in writing, use the Address Change Request form. If the policy owner is a corporation, please provide a written request on company letterhead. Fax or mail your change request to us using the contact information on the form.
How do I change my beneficiary?
To change the primary or contingent beneficiaries for your life insurance policy, please complete the Beneficiary Change Request form. Here are some helpful tips:
- Only the policy owner has the power to change the beneficiary.
- Primary beneficiaries are first in line to receive life insurance proceeds. If you designate multiple primary beneficiaries, please ensure the percentages total 100%.
- If one or more primary beneficiaries predecease the insured person, we will pay proceeds to any remaining primary beneficiaries.
- If you are changing the primary beneficiary from your spouse and you live in a community property state, we require your spouse to sign the form where indicated.
- If all primary beneficiaries predecease the insured person, we will pay proceeds to all living contingent beneficiaries. If you designate multiple contingent beneficiaries, please ensure the percentages total 100%.
- If the owner of the policy is a trust and the trustee is changing the primary beneficiary to a person other than the trust, the trustee should consult with a tax or legal advisor for guidance due to potential unintended tax consequences.
- If the owner is naming an established trust as a beneficiary, please complete and submit a Trustee Certification Form.
- If an attorney-in-fact under a power of attorney is making a beneficiary change, a copy of the Power of Attorney document and Attorney-in-Fact affidavit form must be on file or submitted with the change.
Any requests received in good order will revoke all prior beneficiary designations.
What payment methods do you accept for my premiums?
Today, we accept life insurance payments through the following methods:
- Personal check.
- Bill-payer service through your financial institution.
- Recurring electronic funds transfer (EFT) from your bank account. Use the Premium Billing Change Request form to enroll. Please fax or mail it to us using the contact information on the form.
Online premium payments will become available in spring 2018.
How do I change the billing or bank info on my life insurance policy?
You can make some billing changes by phone, including:
- Removing the policy from electronic funds transfer (EFT).
- Placing the policy back on EFT from the same bank account.
- Changing the policy to direct paper billing via U.S. Mail.
- Changing the frequency of the billing (e.g., quarterly, annually).
- Changing the day of the month on which the EFT is drafted.
- Changing the billed amount (for flexible-premium policies only).
The following changes can be requested using the Premium Billing Change Request form. Please fax or mail it to us using the contact information on the form.
- Change your policy to EFT for the first time.
- Change the bank account on file for EFT.
- Set up EFT for loan payments.
- Change payer’s address or add a payer.
Why did I receive a “Cash Value Insufficient” notice?
One advantage of universal life policies is the inherent flexibility of their premiums. However, if you stop paying premiums for a period of time, skip premiums, or do not pay as originally illustrated, the increasing cost of insurance can erode the policy’s cash value and create a shortage that puts your policy in danger of lapsing. This is often the reason you may receive a Cash Value Insufficient Notice. Additionally, if your policy has a lapse protection benefit, it is important to pay the premiums as originally illustrated so your policy performs as intended.
For assistance or questions, please contact Symetra Customer Service at 1-800-796-3872.
I have term life insurance. When does my term period end?
You will find your policy’s level term period in your policy on the summary page or the Policy Cost and Benefit Information statement. Many policies automatically become “Annual Renewable Term” at the end of the level term period, at which time premiums increase each year based on the insured person’s attained age. This occurs until the policy reaches maturity. A letter is mailed 28 days prior to the expiration of the level term period to notify the policy owner of the new higher annual premium. You will find the schedule of annual renewable term rates in the policy under Schedule of Premiums.
How do I access my policy online for the first time?
Follow these steps:
1. Visit Symetra.com.
2. Click on the "My Account" button at the top of the screen.
3. Click on the New User Registration button on the right-hand side of the screen.
4. From the Type of User drop-down box, select “I’m a customer”.
5. Enter your policy number and continue through the prompts to set up the online account.
Through this process, you will establish a user name and password that you will use each time you log on.
Can I take money out of my policy? What are my options?
In general, term policies do not build cash value and do not offer access to funds. Universal life (UL), variable universal life (VUL), and whole life policies have the potential to build cash value, and may offer the policy owner access to funds in one of the following ways:
- Loans: You must maintain funds sufficient to cover at least three months of the cost of insurance. If a loan is taken out against the policy, interest is charged in advance and a loan interest notice will be mailed each year on the policy anniversary. You may not have to repay the loan, but any outstanding loan on a policy will be deducted from the death benefit, and any accumulating loan interest may erode the cash value and put the coverage at risk of lapsing.
- Withdrawals/partial surrenders (UL and VUL only): Your death benefit may be permanently reduced by the amount of the withdrawal. Withdrawals reduce your policy value and the duration of any guarantee period. If applicable to your policy, we may charge a processing fee for withdrawals.
To request a loan or withdrawal, download the Loan or Partial Surrender Request form. Please fax or mail it to us using the contact information on the form.
How can I get a copy of my policy?
The owner of the policy can request a duplicate policy (if available) or certificate of insurance for a $25 fee (except in California, where we waive the fee once per year). Use the Lost Policy Affidavit/Certificate of Insurance Request form. Please fax or mail it to us using the contact information on the form.
The policy owner passed away. How do I change the ownership on the policy?
If the owner resided in a community property state and the spouse is to become the new owner, only a death certificate and Ownership Change Request form are required. If the death did not occur in a community property state, we require the following:
- Ownership Change Request form.
- Death certificate
- Letter of testamentary, if the will went through probate and the names of the executor of the estate is listed OR a small estate affidavit. You will find the process and forms for obtaining a small estate affidavit online by searching “small estate affidavit” for the state in which the policy owner resided.
You can download the Ownership Change Request form. Please fax or mail it to us using the contact information on the form.
The insured person passed away. How do I file a claim for the death benefit?
If you need to file a claim or have questions about a claim, please contact our Individual Claims Department at 1-800-796-3872. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT.
How can I surrender a policy?
A written request from the policy owner(s) is required to surrender a policy. We also require the signatures of any irrevocable beneficiaries and collateral assignees, if applicable. The owner’s signature must be verified. We may require notarization of the owner’s signature has changed. To request a surrender form, please contact us at 1-800-796-3872.