For the next several weeks I will be occasioanally giving information on the companies that I use. Each of these companies has a strong point or they would’t be in my portfolio. Each of them has weak points and these are things I consider when I am “shopping” for my customers.

In addition the sharing some of the company underwriting strong and weak points, I will also provide a “Company Snapshot” that will give you some insight into each company’s history, ratings, financial strength, etc. I hope this information will be useful or at least give you some idea of how I choose a company when I am considering a choice for a customer.

Genworth Life and Annuity leads off. Formerly First Colony Life, a wholly owned subsidiary of GE Financial.


Genworth has, over the past 10 years or so, never fallen out of competition as far as offering some of the best rates in the industry. They are one of a handful of companies that has probably never fallen out of the top 10 during that time period. As competitive as the term insurance market has been during that period, to constantly keep a company in that position says something about how committed they are.

Genworth has always had strong underwriting in three main areas. First, their allowances for cholesterol have been the industry leader since cholesterol was invented. For their best rate class, where most companies use a guideline for total cholesterol at 205 to 220, Genworth is at 240.

Genworth has always been very fair about situational depression or anxiety issues. I’m not talking about more serious or chronic situations, but situational. Some examples of situational are when a family member dies or you lose your job and your doctor prescribes something to help you through the adjustment period. Generally, if all other risk factors are good, Genworth will be one to two rate classes better than the competition.

Another area where they are good, and in my mind, could stand to strive for greatness, is with private pilots. In general, they will offer an instrument rated pilot preferred rates. They are, on average, less abusive than most companies on VFR pilots and students, but I would like to see them step up a notch in this area.

Genworth is one of the top two companies for scuba divers. They are very friendly down to 100′ where most companies get weird on you after 60′ or 75′.

Another area where Genworth stands out is the fact that they are one of only a few of the top companies that will write term insurance below $100,000 face amount. They are also very competitive in the universal life field.

I promised that there are no perfect companies out there. Genworth is weak on their underwriting for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. They fall right into the middle of the pack, a place I avoid when working for my clients.

Bottom line. Genworth Life and Annuity is highly rated and competitive. They have carved out niches and have held their ground in those areas.