Best life insurance companies of 2023
For example, a healthy 35-year-old female could potentially qualify for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a face value of $250,000. The premium? Around $18 a month.Choosing between the best life insurance companies can be a bit overwhelming. This story simplifies the process. Read on to discover the life insurance companies we recommend, and why. There’s also more about what life insurance is and how it works.
Our Top Picks for Best Life Insurance Companies
Best Life Insurance Companies Reviews
Why we chose it: Bestow has a quick and easy online application process. It also offers a high maximum death benefit — which is not always the case for no-exam policies. Since there’s no need for a medical exam in the underwriting process, you’ll save the time and potential cost of a doctor’s visit.
ProsNo medical exam needed, yet a death benefit of up to $1.5 millionComplete the application onlineTerms between 10 to 30 yearsConsNo insurance ridersOnly offers term life insuranceDoesn’t accept applicants over the age of 59Unavailable in certain states
Keep in mind that Bestow only offers term life insurance — a policy that has a specific end date — instead of permanent life insurance. However, its maximum death benefit is much more generous compared to its no-exam competitors. If approved, you could potentially receive coverage of up to $1.5 million.To determine your premium and maximum available benefit, Bestow will ask you to answer a few simple health questions — for example, whether you’ve used nicotine products in the last 12 months.After you complete the questionnaire (which should only take a few minutes), Bestow provides you with a free quote so you can see what coverage is available for your circumstances. If you have any questions about life insurance, Bestow also boasts an extensive library of educational articles that may help answer them.
Why we chose it: Some life insurers offer limited coverage options for seniors or don’t cover them at all. Ethos, however, guarantees to accommodate older adults, even those who may have struggled to get coverage in the past.
ProsBoth term life and permanent life policies are availableOffers guaranteed issue policiesQuick and simple application processMost policies include accelerated death benefitsConsLimited information about ridersFew options for permanent life insurance
Ethos claims you’re guaranteed to be approved for life insurance coverage if you’re between the ages of 66 and 85 — regardless of your health conditions and medical history. By answering a few questions online, you can receive a quote for guaranteed coverage, and within minutes, Ethos claims.
Ethos also offers an accelerated death benefit rider on most of its policies that lets you access part of your death benefit if you become terminally ill.Overall, if you’re a senior citizen who’s unable to qualify for life insurance elsewhere due to age and health issues, Ethos is an option to consider.
Why we chose it: Policygenius allows you to compare policies side-by-side and get quotes from multiple insurers in just a few steps. You can get quotes from several insurers by filling out a single form — which can save you a lot of time and effort.
ProsProvides quotes from several insurersMultiple types of insurance and coverage options availableLicensed agents available via phone and live chatConsOnline quotes aren’t offered by some insurers on the platformCan take longer to finalize a rate after an initial quote
Online marketplace Policygenius works with life insurance companies such as AIG, Brighthouse Financial, Lincoln Financial Group, Pacific Life, Prudential and TransAmerica. Most of them have received high financial strength ratings from firms like Moody’s and A.M. Best.Unlike some other online insurance brokers that offer no human interaction, Policygenius’s fully licensed agents are available via phone and live chat to answer your questions and help you find the right policy for your situation.If you prefer to do your own research, Policygenius also has a comprehensive educational resource library for anyone who wants to learn more about life insurance.Policygenius also sells other insurance types. That potentially makes it a good one-stop option to buy multiple policies for differing needs.— and not necessarily all issued by the same insurance company.
Why we chose it: Haven Life offers an impressive range of term options (10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years) along with coverage amounts of up to $3 million. That helps make the company the best term life insurance provider out of those we researched.
ProsTwo term policy types: Haven Simple and Haven TermDeath benefit of up to $3 millionThe Haven Term policy offers access to a digital will and a fitness appConsMedical exam required for death benefits over $500,000Some policies are not available in certain statesTerm life coverage cannot be converted to whole life
Haven Life offers two kinds of term life insurance. Haven Simple requires no medical exam. Coverage is for up to $500,000, but only people between the ages of 20 to 55 may qualify. This policy also comes with additional features such as an accelerated death benefit and level premiums — which means premiums will not increase as you age.Haven Term requires a medical exam. If you’re under the age of 65, you can potentially qualify for a coverage amount of up to $3 million. Once approved, you’ll also have access to Haven Life Plus, an online service that allows you to create a digital will and access a membership-based fitness app.
Why we chose it: Ladder’s unique calling card is flexible insurance that allows you to decrease or increase coverage as your needs change. It’s an excellent choice for people who want the freedom to make changes to their insurance without having to switch companies.
ProsAllows policyholders to adjust coverage whenever they wantNo medical exam needed for coverage up to $3 millionConsDoesn’t accept anyone under 20 or over 60 years oldPermanent life insurance policies not availableNo insurance riders
Besides offering great flexibility, the most affordable Ladder policy starts at just $5 a month; that makes the company a worthy option for budget-conscious customers.The process of applying for more coverage and increasing your monthly premium is referred to as “laddering up.” Decreasing your coverage is called “laddering down.” Both steps are quick and easy to do on Ladder’s website, which auto-fills most of your information.There’s no limit to how many times you can ladder up or down. You can also cancel coverage at any time, with no further obligations.
Why we chose it: State Farm should be a top choice if customer satisfaction is a high priority for you in buying life insurance. In 2021, the company was the highest-ranking life insurance provider in J.D. Power’s customer-service ranking, which is based on customer responses.
ProsTop rankings in customer satisfaction and financial stabilityOffers a wide range of product offeringsSome policies don’t require medical examsConsOnline quotes aren’t available for every policy optionNo bundling discounts
State Farm has long been known for its excellent customer service. Its top ranking for serving customers in the most recent J.D. Power life insurance study only underlines that reputation. Besides this accomplishment, the company has received high marks for financial stability as well, securing an A++ (superior) rating from A.M. Best.In addition to impressive financial strength and customer satisfaction, State Farm also offers a wide variety of insurance products, including term, whole and universal life policies.
Why we chose it: New York Life offers numerous life insurance options of the permanent type – that is, that do not expire and include an investment component. The company also offers supplemental insurance options — such as long-term care insurance — to make sure your needs are covered in retirement.
ProsMultiple types of policies and riders availablePolicyholders are company owners and can earn dividendsConsMust go through a local agent to purchase policiesNo online quotes available
Another appealing feature to New York Life is its flexible approach to policy conversion. If your financial situation changes and you need permanent coverage, you can convert your term life coverage to a whole life policy with little effort.Also, because New York Life is a mutual insurance company, policyholders are also shareholders. That allows customers to potentially receive dividends from that ownership interest.Keep in mind, though, that if you’d like to purchase a New York Life policy, you’ll have to go through a local agent instead of directly purchasing it online.
Why we chose it: Unlike most other companies that issue multiple types of insurance, Nationwide offers bundling discounts that apply to life insurance. And if you already have a mortgage or savings account with Nationwide, you could receive a 15% discount on your life insurance policy.
ProsBundle life insurance with homeowners or auto insurance for a discountOffers a wide range of optional ridersConsMedical exams required for all policiesNot many policies can be purchased directly online
Besides offering several discount options, Nationwide also allows you to tailor your term or permanent life insurance coverage through optional riders.Moreover, the company has been recognized by AM Best and J.D. Power for its outstanding financial stability and high customer satisfaction ratings. That makes it a great choice for budget-conscious customers looking for a reliable insurer.
Why we chose it: When it comes to finding the right life insurance policy, customization is key for some people. With a more extensive array of rider options than almost any other carrier, Northwestern Mutual earns our nod for providing the best customized coverage.
ProsMany optional ridersPossibility of earning dividendsGreat reputation based on third-party reviewsConsMust work with agentsMedical exams are needed for most policiesMight not be able to get quotes online for all plans
Some of Northwestern Mutual’s policies include the option to add a waiver-of-premium rider, which allows you to stop paying premiums if you become disabled. There’s also an additional purchase benefit that allows you to increase your death benefit at future dates without having to reapply for coverage.Because Northwestern is a mutual company, it generally pays dividends to its policyholders. This means you could receive a return on a portion of the premiums you’ve paid.
Other Life Insurance Companies We Considered
In our analysis, the best life insurance companies are those with great customer service ratings, are financially stable, offer a wide variety of products, pay claims on time and have a straightforward underwriting process.We considered the companies below when conducting our research. However, we ultimately decided not to include them in our top picks. Overall, they didn’t quite match the advantages of the companies on our list. But they may be worth exploring, especially if their listed pros have appeal for you.
ProsThe most affordable premium starts at $9/monthNo medical exam requiredOffers a 30-day money-back guaranteeAllows you to apply onlineConsOnly people aged 18 to 60 can applyNot available in all states
ProsOptions available for people who identify as non-binaryLive agents available via phoneUses Quality of Life Index in the underwriting processConsNot the best for unhealthy peopleNo-exam life insurance applicants could be denied if they filed for bankruptcy
ProsLicensed insurance agents assist with the applicationHas membership rewards programsWorks with over 30 life insurance companiesConsNot the best for high-risk or unhealthy individualsNeed to pass a quiz to unlock the lowest premiumsCon Item 3Con Item 4
ProsOffers a wide range of policiesFew customer complaintsYou may not need a medical exam if you’re young and healthyConsFew policy ridersDoesn’t accept credit cardsSome policies don’t have conversion options
ProsOffers unusual coverage options, such as survivorship insuranceProvides policies for people with HIVDoesn’t have many customer complaintsConsMust apply for and cancel policies through an agentHas relatively basic term life options
ProsOffers a military severe injury benefit rider on some policiesOffers policies for military members, veterans, and their familiesOption to add coverage after a major life eventConsNot available in all statesMedical exam required
Mutual of Omaha
ProsOffers free quotes onlineWhole life insurance that doesn’t require a medical examProvides a wide range of ridersConsPricier premiums for healthy individuals compared to competitorsLimited options for New York residentsOnline application unavailable for term life policies
ProsQuick online approval for simplified coverageHigh third-party and financial ratingsConsQuotes not available for all insurance policiesMonthly premiums are higher than those charged by competitorsLimited policy information on the website
ProsOffers both term and whole life optionsOnline Life Insurance calculator to help determine your policy needsProvides information on tax-savings strategiesConsNot accredited by the BBBMany negative consumer reviews
Life Insurance Guide
What should you look for in a life insurance company?
When it comes to choosing the best life insurance plan and carrier for you, there are a few key steps to take.
Research your options
Look into the company to make sure it’s financially stable. You want to be sure the insurer you choose will be able to pay your beneficiaries in the event of your death. To do so, you can check the financial strength ratings of the company with organizations like Fitch, Standard & Poor’s and AM Best.
Once you know the type of coverage you want, get life insurance quotes from different providers to find the best rate. Keep in mind that lower life insurance rates don’t always mean you’re getting the right coverage for your needs, so make sure you understand the terms of your policy. And if you want to compare quotes but don’t have time to do the legwork, an independent agent or life insurance broker could be an option.
Regardless of the policy type you purchase, remember that the younger (and the healthier) you are when you purchase life insurance, the lower your premiums will be. This can save you a good chunk of change in the long run.
What are the different types of life insurance?
Term life insurance
An insurance policy that provides coverage for a set period of time, usually 10, 20 or 30 years.
Whole life insurance
A type of permanent life insurance policy that covers the policyholder for their lifetime. It includes a guaranteed cash value component in addition to the death benefit.
Universal life insurance
Another type of permanent life insurance that includes a death benefit and a cash value component. However, the cash value feature in universal life insurance policies is subject to market fluctuations and therefore isn’t guaranteed.
Compare coverage types
Consider the different types of life insurance policies and optional riders available.
Term life insurance, for example, provides protection for a set number of years, while permanent life insurance policies offer lifelong protection. Depending on your age, health and income, one may make more financial sense than the other.
If you’re young and relatively healthy but don’t have much disposable income, term life insurance — the more affordable option — might make more sense. But if you have enough disposable income and want long-term coverage that lasts throughout your golden years, a permanent policy — such as whole life insurance — might be for you.
Here’s a comparison of the term life compared with two leading types of permanent insurance – whole life and universal life.
Term life insurance
Whole life insurance
Universal life insurance
Types of term life insurance:
Types of whole life insurance:
Types of universal life insurance:
When should you consider buying life insurance?
Most often, the impetus for buying life insurance is to provide financial protection for someone you care about who will survive you.
Many financial advisors recommend buying life insurance when you are young and healthy because coverage costs less. But changes in your life circumstances may make buying life insurance an important move at any time in your life.
What should life insurance cover?
If you’re the primary breadwinner in your family, life insurance can contribute in several ways to the financial stability of your family.
The proceeds from a policy can serve as income replacement or an inheritance for your family. Your dependents could use the death benefit to pay for day-to-day expenses, medical bills, childcare costs, utilities, education and other expenses related to maintaining their quality of life.
The payout from a policy can also pay outstanding debts and cover your final expenses. The latter expenditure can be substantial. According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the average cost of a funeral in 2021 was approximately $7,848.
How much does life insurance cost?
There’s no short answer to that question. The cost of coverage varies from insurer to insurer. Other choices you make, such as your coverage limits and, in the case of term life insurance, the term of your policy (usually 10 to 30 years) also influence premium prices. Your age and health history at the time of application are a key determinant of your premiums.
Generally, term life insurance is less expensive than whole life insurance. That’s because term life policies have no value at the end of their term. Whole life policies, too, have a death benefit but also accrue a cash value that, if you wish, you can eventually tap into while you are living.
Life Insurance FAQs
How much life insurance do you need?
The amount of coverage you need depends in large part on how much it will cost to give your loved ones the lifestyle you want them to have after your death.
One thing to consider when choosing your coverage limit is how many people you want or need to provide for with the proceeds of a policy. Your spouse alone? Your children? Your grandchildren? The more people you want taken care of, the more coverage you will need.
Then there’s the kind of lifestyle you want to ensure for your loved ones. Do you want your spouse to have the option to stay home with your kids, without working, until or even after they reach school age? You’ll have to account for the loss of their income in your calculations.
Do you want to provide private schooling or higher education for your children? What about summer camp, music lessons or a substantial gift when they graduate from college? The more priorities you have, the more you will need to provide for those who survive you.
It’s difficult to anticipate all of the expenses your family will have after your death. We recommend you speak with a financial advisor who has expertise in life insurance to find the answer to this question.
How many life insurance policies can you have?
You can purchase as many life insurance policies as you wish — and can reasonably afford. Many financial advisors will suggest you purchase more than one as part of a comprehensive estate planning strategy.
Each type of life insurance can offer its own benefits. If you’re a parent of minor children, term life insurance is pretty much a must. But you may also want to purchase a whole life policy. Although it’s expensive, and so not recommended by all advisers, whole life insurance is considered a long-term investment.
Why should you consider having life insurance?
Just as health insurance protects you from the financial burden of hefty medical care costs, life insurance financially protects your loved ones in the event of your death. A life insurance death benefit can help your dependents cover financial obligations such as monthly bills, outstanding debts, medical care, education expenses, childcare costs and funeral expenses, among others.
How to buy life insurance
When, the first and most important step to buying life insurance is to figure out how much financial protection your loved ones need — if any.
To calculate that figure, add up all of the expenses your dependents would have to cover if you died. Take into account rent or mortgage payments, health insurance premiums, childcare costs and any outstanding debt.
From that total, subtract the sources of income your loved ones may have access to after your death – including their own earnings.
Once you’ve run the numbers, pick the type of life insurance policy that can meet those needs and choose a life insurance provider. Rember to get quotes from several different companies to get the best price.
How to select a reliable life insurance company
When choosing a life insurance provider, consider the company’s financial stability and the types of life insurance policies it offers. Once you’ve done that, determine the level of coverage you need. Lastly, experts recommend you compare quotes from multiple insurers to save on premiums. When in doubt, seek out a financial advisor or a life insurance broker/agent who can help you make a better-informed decision.
Life Insurance Glossary
How We Found the Best Life Insurance Companies
Our methodology for choosing the best life insurance companies involved assessing insurers based on the following:
Summary of the Best Life Insurance Companies
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