Best Life Insurance Companies

Best Life Insurance Companies 2023

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Life insurance is a great way to protect your family or leave a legacy. It can cover funeral expenses, medical bills, or long-term costs like mortgage payments while your estate is sorted out. But the path to getting life insurance can vary. We explored options for young and healthy individuals looking for quick coverage online, and for those over 50 or in poor health who need to work with an agent to get the coverage they need.

Best Life Insurance Companies

BEST OVERALLNationwide

Investopedia’s Rating

4.7


Nationwide
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

GET A QUOTE

For the most personalized quote experience, call Nationwide directly at 844-457-7984.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Ranked second in J.D. Power’s 2021 customer satisfaction study
  • Drew few customer complaints
  • Living benefits included on most policies
  • Allows credit card payments

Cons

  • No live chat available
  • Online quotes are only available for term coverage

Why We Chose It

Nationwide is a financially stable life insurance company that’s been in business for nearly a century. It offers a wide range of polices that may be available without a medical exam and with fast approval. It’s also our top pick for best whole life insurance companiesbest no-medical-exam life insurance companies, and best life insurance companies for people over 50.

The company garnered an A+ (Superior) financial stability rating from AM Best, received very few customer complaints over the past three years, and was the second-ranked out of 21 life insurers for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s U.S. Individual Life Insurance study.123 It also boasts a wide range of policy types and riders, no-exam life insurance for healthy applicants, and most policies include three accelerated death benefit riders at no upfront cost for chronic, critical, and terminal illnesses. Its host of exceptional features puts it squarely at the top of our best life insurance companies list. 

Read the Full Nationwide Life Insurance Review

RUNNER-UP, BEST OVERALLMassMutual

Investopedia’s Rating

4.6


MassMutual
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A++
  • Accepts Credit Cards: No

GET A QUOTE

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Rated A++ for financial stability
  • Long history of paying dividends
  • Very few complaints
  • Liberal term conversion options

Cons

  • Few accelerated benefit riders included at no cost
  • Doesn’t accept credit card payments

Why We Chose It


MassMutual stands out for a number of reasons. It has an A++ (Superior) financial rating from AM Best.4 This is the highest rating a company can receive and indicates a “superior” ability to pay claims. MassMutual’s dividend-paying history also adds to its clout: Every year since 1869, eligible policyholders have received life insurance dividends. Plus, the company has received very few complaints over the past three years, according to the NAIC, and offers a wide range of policy types.5

It’s worth noting that owners of MassMutual term policies can convert to any of MassMutual’s permanent policies. This is important because some companies limit the types of policies you can convert your term policy into. (Convertible term life insurance allows you to exchange some or all of your term coverage for permanent without having to re-qualify for life insurance.)

Read the Full MassMutual Life Insurance Review

BEST USER EXPERIENCEHaven Life

Investopedia’s Rating

4.6


Haven Life
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A++
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

GET A QUOTE

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easy to navigate website
  • Online application
  • Same day decision
  • A++ financial strength
  • Excellent pricing

Cons

  • Only life insurance available is term
  • Term policies are non-convertible
  • Limited riders

Why We Chose It

Haven Life’s website is what all other life insurance websites should aspire to be. The quote and application processes are seamless and entirely online. You don’t have to provide any personal information until you decide to apply, and brief educational blurbs are well-placed to guide and address any questions you may have. But if you still need help, an agent is just a click away via live chat; or you can choose to call in instead.

Plus, Haven has the lowest term pricing of the companies we reviewed, along with Protective and Banner. And if you opt for a no-medical-exam life insurance policy, you may be approved the same day. For these reasons, Haven places prominently in our review of the best term life insurance companies and best life insurance companies for young adults. The only strike against Haven Life is that its term policies are not convertible to permanent coverage—an option that 89% of the term life insurance companies we reviewed offer.

Read the Full Haven Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR TERM LIFE INSURANCEProtective

Investopedia’s Rating

4.6


Protective Life
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

GET A QUOTE

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Tied for least expensive term policies
  • Offers term coverage for up to 40 years
  • Allows credit card payments
  • Offers no-medical-exam coverage

Cons

  • Ranked 16 out of 21 companies for customer satisfaction

Why We Chose It

Protective ties with Haven Life and Banner for the cheapest term life insurance of all the companies we reviewed. Its excellent pricing and policy options make it our pick for best term life insurance companymost affordable life insurance company, and best life insurance companies for young adults.

Protective offers 40-year term policies, which is uncommon in the industry—most companies cap terms at 30 years—and it received fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size over the past three years.6 The company also offers generous child riders on its policies, which makes it a good life insurance company for children.

However, Protective ranked lower than the industry average in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, coming in at #16 out of 21 companies.7

Read the Full Protective Life Insurance Review

TIED FOR CHEAPEST TERMBanner

Investopedia’s Rating

4.2


Legal & General
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: No
See also  Pros and Cons of Whole Life Insurance

GET A QUOTE

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Term coverage is very affordable
  • 40-year terms available
  • Generous term conversion period
  • Online application available
  • Very few customer complaints

Cons

  • Few policy types available
  • Limited riders

Why We Chose It

Banner, along with Protective and Haven, is an excellent choice if you’re looking for the cheapest term life insurance. Banner is also one of only two companies that offers 40-year term policies (Protective is the other). Additionally, Banner boasts generous term conversion options—you can convert your term policy through the end of the level-premium period or until you turn 70, whichever happens first. This is important because some companies limit the conversion period to the first 10 years of the policy.

While there’s a lot to like about Banner, it doesn’t offer many policy options—just term and universal life policies. It also doesn’t offer as many riders to customize policies as some of its competitors.

Read the Full Banner Life Insurance Company Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR LIVING BENEFITSMutual of Omaha

Investopedia’s Rating

4.4


Mutual of Omaha
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

GET A QUOTE

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Many plans with living benefits
  • Wide range of riders available
  • Guaranteed issue options
  • Return of premium term available

Cons

  • Online applications unavailable for term policies

Why We Chose It

At no upfront cost, Mutual of Omaha includes three accelerated benefit riders on its Term Life Express and IUL Express policies (for critical, chronic, and terminal illnesses), and most other policies include two of these benefits. These attributes make it our choice for the best life insurance company for living benefits. Accelerated benefit riders add flexibility to a life insurance policy by letting you tap the death benefit early if you have a qualifying illness.

Plus the company offers at least two uncommon features: a disability income rider and a return of premium benefit on select term policies (both for an extra cost). With return of premium (ROP) term life insurance, you can receive up to 100% of premiums back if you outlive the term. Only 11 of the 91 life insurance companies we reviewed make this type of coverage available. Mutual of Omaha is also our top pick for the best burial insurance companies.

Read the Full Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Review

MOST UNIVERSAL LIFE OPTIONSLincoln Financial

Investopedia’s Rating

4.3


Lincoln Financial Group
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: No

GET A QUOTE

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Wide range of policy types
  • Competitively priced term policies
  • Fewer complaints than expected
  • Available living benefit riders

Cons

  • Quotes aren’t available on the website
  • No whole life available

Why We Chose It

A wide range of policies, including indexed universal and variable universal life insurance, make Lincoln Financial attractive to those who want to invest their cash value or are seeking affordable term coverage. In addition to regular universal life (UL) coverage, the company offers variable UL and indexed UL policies, which allow your cash value to participate in stock market gains. It also offers living benefits riders that are available with many policies.

While the quotes we collected for term coverage are very competitive, especially for healthy older applicants, you can’t get a term quote on the website. And if you’re interested in a whole life policy, you’ll need to look at a different insurance company.

Read the Full Lincoln Financial Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR POLICY CUSTOMIZATIONTransamerica

Investopedia’s Rating

4.2


Transamerica
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

GET A QUOTE

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Multiple no-medical-exam policy options
  • Living benefits included on some policies at no upfront cost
  • Wide range of riders available

Cons

  • More complaints than expected
  • Ranks poorly for customer satisfaction

Why We Chose It

Transamerica has been around since 1906. It offers a respectable number of policy types and boasts a wide range of riders. In particular, the company includes three living benefit riders for critical, chronic, and terminal illnesses included at no upfront cost on some policies. It also offers a disability income rider, which is uncommon among the insurers we reviewed. Transamerica offers several options for policies without a medical exam too.

The company has an A (Excellent) Financial Strength Rating from AM Best, which is good, but it’s also the lowest-rated insurer in this list.8 Plus, Transamerica scored well below average in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Life Insurance Study and received more complaints than expected, based on the NAIC Complaint Index.79

Read the Full Transamerica Life Insurance Review

BEST EDUCATIONAL RESOURCESPrudential

Investopedia’s Rating

4.0


Prudential
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: No

GET A QUOTE

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Vast library of educational resources
  • Few customer complaints
  • Generous term conversion options
  • Living benefit riders included

Cons

  • Personal information required for online term quote
  • Poor J.D. Power ranking for customer satisfaction

Why We Chose It

Not only does Prudential offer a wide range of policy types, such as variable universal life (VUL) insurance and indexed universal life (IUL) insurance, but it also provides the educational resources to understand them. Prudential’s website does an excellent job explaining insurance in general, plus policy types, riders, and age-appropriate solutions.

The company also impresses with its A+ (Superior) AM Best rating and its track record of consumer complaints—it had fewer than expected over the last three years, according to the NAIC (Pruco and Prudential).10 Plus, it includes living benefit riders for terminal illness and nursing home care with most policies. However, the company fell short in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. It ranked 15th out of 21 life insurers for customer satisfaction.7

Read the Full Prudential Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR SENIORSNew York Life

Investopedia’s Rating

3.9


New York Life
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A++
  • Accepts Credit Cards: No

GET A QUOTE

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • A++ (Superior) AM Best rating
  • Long history of paying dividends
  • Some policies available to applicants up to 90 years old
  • Broad selection of riders

Cons

  • Very limited policy details on the website
  • Can’t get much information without contacting an agent
  • Online quotes and applications not available
See also  Best Private Health Insurance Companies

Why We Chose It

New York Life, founded in 1845, is the oldest company in this list and has paid dividends for 168 consecutive years. It earns an A++ (Superior) AM Best rating and receives very few customer complaints.1112It also issues whole life policies to eligible 90-year-old applicants. Its stellar reputation and financial stability are two more reasons it’s a top-ranked company for best life insurance for seniors and best whole life insurance companies.

New York Life offers term, whole life, and universal life policies, including VUL, plus a diverse mix of riders and options for plan customization. Among these is a living benefits rider and a Spouse’s Paid-Up Purchase Option (SPPO). Unfortunately, it’s difficult to locate policy-specific information on the website. If you have questions or want a quote, you’ll need to provide your name and number and wait for an agent to contact you. 

Read the Full New York Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR MILITARYUSAA

Investopedia’s Rating

4.4


USAA
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A++
  • Accepts Credit Cards: No

GET A QUOTE

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Severe injury benefits
  • Add to your term coverage without needing to take another exam
  • Included term conversion rider
  • A++ AM Best rating

Cons

  • Doesn’t take credit card payments
  • No-exam coverage options are limited

Why We Chose It

What makes USAA a solid choice for military families are its military-specific riders. Level Term V policies include a severe injury rider that pays out $25,000 for specific injuries incurred during military service. USAA also offers guaranteed insurability riders at no additional cost that give you the option to increase coverage after leaving the military (and without having to prove insurability) or if you experience certain life events, like having a child. Level Term V policies also include a conversion option that allows you to convert to permanent coverage without a medical exam or questions after you’ve had your term policy for at least one year.

Drawbacks are that USAA life insurance does not accept credit cards payments and has limited no-medical-exam options. USAA sells Mutual of Omaha’s guaranteed issue whole life policies that have a minimum age of 45 and a coverage maximum of just $25,000.

Read the Full USAA Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR FINANCIAL STABILITYNorthwestern Mutual

Investopedia’s Rating

3.6


Northwestern Mutual
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A++
  • Accepts Credit Cards: No

GET A QUOTE

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Highest financial strength ratings
  • Ranked #1 for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power
  • Long dividend-paying history
  • Exceptionally few customer complaints

Cons

  • Must work with a financial advisor to get policy information
  • Digital experience lacking

Why We Chose It

Northwestern Mutual ticks all the boxes for financial stability: it boasts the highest financial strength ratings from AM Best (A++), Moody’s (Aaa), and Fitch (AAA), and it’s stood the test of time. The company has been in business since 1857, weathering numerous financial storms, and has paid eligible policyholders dividends for the past 150 years.13

These are a few of many reasons it ranked in our review of best whole life insurance companies. Plus, Northwestern Mutual received the fewest complaints (relative to its size) of all companies in this list, and the second-fewest complaints of the 91 insurance companies we reviewed. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do without an agent at Northwestern Mutual. Policy details are lacking online so you’ll need to contact the company for specifics.

Read the full Northwestern Mutual life insurance review.

Read the Full Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR DIVIDENDSPenn Mutual

Investopedia’s Rating

4.3


Penn Mutual
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

GET A QUOTE

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Strong dividend-paying history
  • High coverage no-medical-exam life insurance
  • Well-priced term policies
  • Very few customer complaints

Cons

  • Limited website information
  • Quotes not available on the website

Why We Chose It

Penn Mutual has paid dividends for 175 years and offers up to $7.5 million in coverage for no-medical-exam life insurance to eligible applicants—the highest limit we’ve seen.

Penn Mutual is a well-established insurer with superior financial strength and an impressive track record of customer satisfaction. It’s also an excellent choice for those with high-coverage needs. The company offers $7.5 million in coverage to very healthy applicants up to age 65 without a medical exam. This is the highest no-exam limit we’ve seen, and the highest age limit we’ve seen for no-exam policies, which is why it’s a top pick for:

But Penn Mutual doesn’t just cater to those looking for high coverage or permanent policies. Its quotes for term coverage were the fourth most affordable of the 32 companies we collected quotes for. That said, the company does not make term quotes available on its website. For details and to apply for any type of coverage, you’ll need to get in touch with an agent.

Read the Full Penn Mutual Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR CUSTOMER SATISFACTIONState Farm Life Insurance

Investopedia’s Rating

4.0


State Farm
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A++
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

GET A QUOTE

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Superior financial stability
  • #1 for customer satisfaction
  • Whole life policies can earn dividends
  • Bundling discounts may be available

Cons

  • Relatively expensive term coverage
  • Limited coverage for no-medical-exam life insurance

Why We Chose It

State Farm is our pick for best life insurance company for customer satisfaction because it ranked #1 in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. The study measured consumer experiences with 21 of the largest life insurance companies nationwide. Plus, it boasts an A++ (Superior) rating for financial strength from AM Best, which is the highest rating possible.1415

The company is also one of our:

If you’re looking for a whole life policy that pays dividends, State Farm offers one. Plus, you may be able to save on your premium by bundling life insurance coverage with another State Farm coverage, such as auto. However, the company’s term policies are priced high compared to our review of 32 life insurance companies offering term quotes online. And if you’re in the market for life insurance without a medical exam, you may want to look elsewhere. At present, the most coverage you can get with State Farm without a medical exam is $50,000.

See also  Life Insurance for High Net Worth Individuals

Read the Full State Farm Life Insurance Review

Compare the Best Life Insurance Companies

Overall RatingBest ForAM Best RatingAM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.Term Life Sample CostPolicy TypesAccepts Credit CardsReset All
Nationwide4.7Best OverallA+$26.25/monthFinal Expense, Indexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), WholeYesGet A QuoteHide, not for me
MassMutual4.6Runner-Up, Best OverallA++$26.97/monthTerm, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), WholeNoGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Haven Life4.6Best User ExperienceA++$22.91/monthTermYesGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Protective4.6Best for Term Life InsuranceA+$22.92/monthIndexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), WholeYesGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Banner4.2Tied for Cheapest TermA+$22.92/monthTerm, Universal (UL)NoGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Mutual of Omaha4.4Best for Living BenefitsA+$28.38/monthFinal Expense, Indexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL)YesGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Lincoln Financial4.3Most Universal Life OptionsA+$23.91/monthIndexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL)NoGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Transamerica4.2Best for Policy CustomizationA$32.09/monthFinal Expense, Indexed Universal (IUL), Term, WholeYesGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Prudential4.0Best Educational ResourcesA+$31.90/monthIndexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL)NoGet A QuoteHide, not for me
New York Life3.9Best for SeniorsA++N/ATerm, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), WholeNoGet A QuoteHide, not for me
USAA4.4Best for MilitaryA++$26.86/monthTerm, Universal (UL), WholeNoGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Northwestern Mutual3.6Best for Financial StabilityA++N/ATerm, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), WholeNoGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Penn Mutual4.3Best for DividendsA+$23.92/monthTerm, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), WholeYesGet A QuoteHide, not for me
State Farm Life Insurance4.0Best for Customer SatisfactionA++$35.24/monthFinal Expense, Term, Universal (UL), WholeYesGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Best Life Insurance Companies

Final Verdict

When choosing a life insurance company, it’d be hard to go wrong with any of the companies on this list. But if you’re not sure which type of policy you want, start with Nationwide. It makes the process easy with online quotes and applications, a wide range of policy types, and up to $5 million in no-med-exam coverage to eligible applicants.

Most companies on this list received at least an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best for financial strength. But if only the absolute best will do, MassMutual, Guardian, USAA, New York Life, State Farm, and Northwestern all have A++ (Superior) AM Best ratings.1612417 And most are solid choices for dividend-paying policies as well. 

If you want term life insurance, Protective or Banner are top picks. And for a policy packed with no-cost living benefits, consider Mutual of Omaha, Nationwide, or USAA (if you’re in the military)

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What Is Life Insurance?

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?

The cost of life insurance can vary widely depending on factors like your age, health, occupation, hobbies, and whether you want permanent or temporary life insurance coverage (term life insurance). That said, we collected life insurance quotes for term coverage to give you an idea what you might pay. Keep in mind that not all life insurance policies are created equally—some policies might include extra benefits that warrant a higher premium—and your quote will be different based on your unique characteristics.

Company 25 years old (average) 40 years old (average) 55 years old (average)
Nationwide $20.89 $28.88 $99.97 (Female only)
MassMutual $18.15 $29.58 $122.46
Haven Life $18.15 $25.51NA
Protective $16.06 $25.66 $107.12
Banner $16.07 $25.71 $107.91
Mutual of Omaha $19.68 $31.39 $137.39
Guardian $19.53 $31.65 $110.49
USAA $20.82 $30.09 NA
Lincoln Financial $17.25 $26.36 $114.05
Penn Mutual $16.78 $26.48 $110.38
Transamerica $16.99 $35.70 $128.68
New York Life — — —

*Quotes above are examples only and were collected for 30-year $250,000 term life insurance policies for non-smoking males and females ages 25, 40, and 55 in excellent health.

Term vs. Whole Life Insurance

Life insurance can be divided into two main types: term and permanent. Term policies only provide coverage for a certain period of time, such as 30 years. Permanent policies are sold as either universal or whole life insurance; they’re designed to offer coverage for the duration of your natural life.

Insurance companies often allow you to convert your term coverage to a permanent policy before the term expires without having to prove that you’re still insurable. But premiums will increase when recalculated according to your age at the time you convert.

Term Life Insurance

Best Term Life Insurance CompaniesInvestopedia’s RatingBest ForAM Best RatingCompare Quotes
Protective4.8Best OverallA+Compare Quotes on Policygenius
Banner4.5Lowest CostA+Compare Quotes on Policygenius
Mutual of Omaha4.1Best Living Benefits A+Compare Quotes on Policygenius
Haven Life 4.0Best for Same-Day CoverageA++Compare Quotes on Haven Life
MassMutual4.0Best for Financial StabilityA++Compare Quotes on Policygenius

Whole Life Insurance

Best Whole Life Insurance CompaniesInvestopedia’s
Rating
Best
For
AM Best RatingCompare
Quotes
Nationwide4.7Best Overall A+Compare Quotes on Policygenius
New York Life4.6Best RidersA++Compare Quotes on Policygenius
Guardian4.4Highest Issue AgeA++Compare Quotes on Policygenius
MassMutual4.3Best for Financial StabilityA++Compare Quotes on Policygenius
Penn Mutual4.3Best for DividendsA+Get a Quote
State Farm4.2Best Customer SatisfactionA++Compare Quotes on Policygenius
Northwestern Mutual4.1Fewest ComplaintsA++Compare Quotes on Policygenius

Other Types of Life Insurance

Though all life insurance can be considered either term or permanent, there are other types of permanent life insurance available.

Guaranteed issue policies cost the most per death benefit dollar and the death benefit is often “graded” or limited to a return of premiums for the first two to three years, depending on the company. Be sure to compare each policy’s graded benefit period and check out our review of the best burial insurance companies.

Best Burial Insurance CompaniesInvestopedia’s RatingBest ForAM Best RatingCompare Quotes
Mutual of Omaha 4.8Best OverallA+Compare Quotes on Policygenius
 SBLI 4.7Best Instant IssueA-Get a Quote
 TruStage 4.6Best for Guaranteed IssueAGet a Quote
 State Farm 4.4Best for Financial StabilityA++Get a Quote

How Does Life Insurance Work?

In exchange for premium payments, an insurance company will pay a death benefit to your beneficiaries if you pass away while the policy is “in force.” (“In force” just means that the policy is active and hasn’t been canceled). The money is received tax-free, and beneficiaries can use it for whatever purpose they choose.

How To Choose the Right Life Insurance Company for You

When choosing a life insurance company, you want to consider the company’s financial strength, customer complaints, customer satisfaction, available policy types, available and included riders, and ease of application. Doing this homework will ensure you choose a company that offers a policy that suits your needs and will be there when your family needs it. Cost is always important as well, but sometimes the cheapest coverage may not be the best.

Consider these factors when choosing your life insurance company:

  • Financial strength: Check AM Best ratings for financial stability. A++ and A+ ratings are considered “superior,” while A and A- are considered “excellent.”
  • Customer complaints: Use the NAIC complaint index to see how many complaints a company received, based on its market share. An index lower than 1 means the company received fewer complaints than expected. 
  • Customer satisfaction: Not all companies are ranked by J.D. Power, but check J.D. Power’s U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study to see if companies you’re considering are.
  • Available policy types: If you know which type of insurance you need, make sure each company you’re considering offers it.
  • Available and included riders: This is a major way that same-named policies can differ. A UL policy with one company might include accelerated death benefit riders at no cost, while a UL policy with another company may not. Research riders to know what you’re paying for.
  • Ease of application: Sometimes the biggest barrier to getting a life insurance policy is the application process. It’s often better to get some coverage in place—especially if you have dependents—than it is to find the absolute best coverage you can.

If you’re healthy, you want to choose companies that offer an accelerated underwriting process, which means they’ll ask thorough health questions on the application. Otherwise, you could end up paying more than you need to.

Methodology

In order to compile our list of the best life insurance companies, we developed a comprehensive life insurance methodology. We started off by researching what consumers want from life insurance companies, and for that, we looked to third-party consumer studies, including J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Life Insurance New Business Study and the 2021 Insurance Barometer Study, by Life Happens and LIMRA. With those findings in mind, we gathered more than 50 data points on 91 life insurance companies, including ratings for financial strength, customer satisfaction, and customer complaints, as well as information about years in business, cost, online tools, no-exam options, policy types and features, and available riders. 

Our review process gave preference to companies with superior financial stability, few customer complaints, and a robust suite of products and resources. In particular, we valued online quoting and application tools, transparent pricing, and no-exam policy options. Companies received ratings boosts if customer service was accessible via features like live chat. We ranked each company according to the following categories and weights.

  • Customer education, application, and online service features: 32%
  • Policy types, features, and riders: 29% 
  • Financial stability: 17% 
  • Customer satisfaction ratings: 15%
  • Cost: 8%

We compared individual offerings between companies by delving deeper into product specifics, including maximum coverage amounts, maximum issue ages, included riders, and product-specific application processes. We used this research to determine the best companies for different products and consumer groups, including term life insurance and seniors. 

Of the companies we considered, those with the greatest financial stability, fewest complaints, lowest cost, and most generous no-medical-exam options scored the highest across categories, as we believe these companies are best positioned to help customers secure the life insurance coverage they need and keep it long-term.


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