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Top 10 Life Insurance Companies

author
Laura McCarthy
Last Updated:
  • 200
    Hours of Research
  • 33+
    Sources Used
  • 14
    Companies Vetted
  • 8
    Features Reviewed
  • 10
    Top Picks

A life insurance plan is the best way to ensure that your family has a financially stable future in the event of your absence. We've carefully considered the industry's top plans to help you make the best choice for your family and their future.

Providers

1.

Bestow

  • Best for:

    10 and 20 year policies

    Bestow

  • Best for convenience

    1
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    • $50k-$1 Million in Coverage

    • As Low as $8 Monthly

    • 10 and 20 year policies

    Bestow presents a new way to buy life insurance. Typically, term life insurance policies require an online or in-person application and a medical exam followed by a few weeks of waiting for confirmation. Bestow's 100% online process doesn't require a medical exam and determines eligibility in about 10 minutes, employing an algorithm instead of a human underwriter to assess eligibility and accelerate the underwriting process.

    Its online application collects personal data such as Social Security number and contact information, which it uses to access publicly available data about the applicant. The provider also collects health data such as prescription drug use through sources like MIB Group, a not-for-profit corporation that provides underwriting services in the United States and Canada. Applicants also provide information about citizenship, lifestyle, medical history and hobbies.

    If the system approves the application, the applicant reviews coverage levels and rates, then purchases a policy with a credit card. Coverage begins immediately. Bestow is a great choice for people who are young, in good health and need coverage quickly. The 100% online application, eligibility and purchasing process allows for qualification and purchase in minutes instead of weeks. There is no medical exam required and its policies have a fixed monthly premium.

    Bestow life insurance is not a good choice for people who want lots of policy options or for those in their late 40s or early 50s who have a history of health problems or need a 20-year term policy to cover them until retirement.

    Pros

    • No medical exam required

    • Online applications with instant decisions

    • Agents don't work on commission

    Cons

    • Lower coverage limits

    • Limited product offering

    • Age restrictions. You can't apply for a 20-year Bestow policy if you're older than 45. For its 10-year term product, you can't be older than 55

    Bestow

    2.

    Principal Financial

  • Best for:

    Multiple term conversion options

    Principal Financial

  • Best for convenience

    2
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    • Many permanent coverage options to choose from

    • Multiple term conversion options

    • Many riders to choose from

    Principal offers some of the best rates in life insurance, as well as competitive underwriting for common and complicated health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and cancer. Principal has some of the most competitive rates at every age bracket in the industry, as well as favorable underwriting for a range of common medical conditions, including asthma, diabetes, sleep apnea, and a personal or family history of cancer.

    Principal earns high scores from the major credit rating agencies, including A.M. Best and Standard and Poor's. If you're worried about their ability to pay out death benefits to beneficiaries in the future, don't be!

    Compared to other carriers, Principal offers fewer term length options and riders. However, they do offer the most common riders, like an accelerated death benefit rider at no extra cost.

    Principal customers can change their payment information and address online, but will need to make a phone call to cancel their policy and mail in paperwork to change the policy's beneficiary.

    Most Principal Term applicants will undergo full underwriting. That entails answering questions about medical and prescription histories over the phone and scheduling a medical exam. The phone interview and medical exam are then reviewed by the underwriter to determine the exact details of your policy. In some cases, applicants may qualify for accelerated underwriting, which lets you skip the medical exam. To qualify, you must be a non-smoker in good health with a low-risk lifestyle.

    Pros

    • Many permanent coverage options to choose from

    • Many riders to choose from

    • Multiple term conversion options

    Cons

    • Whole life policies not offered

    Principal Financial

    3.

    Sproutt

  • Best for:

    Sproutt

  • Best for convenience

    3
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    • No Medical Exam for Qualified Applicants

    • Diverse policy options

    • Connects you with top-rated life insurance carriers

    Sproutt

    Pros

    • No Medical Exam for Qualified Applicants

    • Diverse policy options

    • Connects you with top-rated life insurance carriers

    Cons

    Sproutt

    4.

    Haven Life

  • Best for:

    No Medical Exam Needed

    Haven Life

  • Best for convenience

    4
    Visit Site
    • Up to $2 Million in Immediate Coverage

    • No Medical Exam Needed

    • 5x-20x less than permanent life insurance

    Haven Life is an online life insurance agency that offers term life insurance only. You can apply for coverage entirely online and receive a near-immediate decision, as long as you're under the age of 45 and need less than $1 million in coverage. Haven Life accepts applicants with some common pre-existing chronic conditions, such as diabetes, though those who are healthy and relatively young will get the most competitive quotes. Should you need to work with its team or ask questions, Haven Life's customer service is particularly well-rated.

    Haven Life's term life insurance is algorithmically underwritten. If you're under the age of 45, you need less than $1 million in coverage and the algorithm doesn't detect any concerns in your application, you can apply for coverage and get approval in less than an hour. In addition, the entire application process occurs online, unless a concern is detected and you're asked to take a medical exam.

    Not all applicants will avoid the medical exam, and the algorithm will decline those with certain higher-risk pre-existing conditions, but this is still an incredible convenience since the process typically takes weeks with traditional insurers. Since the policy is fully underwritten, rates are much lower than you'd receive with most no-exam life insurance policies.

    If you are asked to take a medical exam, you may still be approved for temporary coverage, although this option isn't always available. Those who do receive temporary coverage will have life insurance in place and will have their premiums finalized after the exam (so long as their application is approved post-exam).

    Haven Life's term life insurance rates aren't the lowest available, but they are consistently better than average when compared to those of the top insurers, even for smokers and seniors. In addition, because Haven Life's policies are fully underwritten, those who qualify for coverage without an exam will pay significantly lower rates than for the typical no-exam policy.

    Pros

    • Competitive rates for most profiles, including smokers

    • Great customer service

    • Fast approval for healthy applicants under the age of 45

    Cons

    • Bad for Consumers over the age of 65

    • Not suited for those who need more than $2 million in coverage

    Haven Life

    5.

    AIG Direct

  • Best for:

    Policies start at $14/month

    AIG Direct

  • Best for convenience

    5
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    • Save 70% on your lifetime policy

    • 10 to 30-year policies

    • Policies start at $14/month

    AIG is a great life insurance company that excels in providing a variety of customizable policies to fit nearly every financial situation. While AIG's life insurance rates aren't the absolute cheapest, the company's flexible product selection is what sets it apart. From term life insurance policies that can be combined and adjusted to reflect your financial obligations, to guaranteed universal policies that can be used for income in your senior years, AIG has unique coverage options that are focused on addressing client needs. The only real downside to AIG is that its customer service and claims reviews don't hold up to those of other top insurers, which is a concern when purchasing a permanent life insurance policy.

    Since AIG term insurance comes with flexible term lengths and coverage amounts, the company allows you to "ladder" life insurance policies to meet your financial situation. With laddering, you can essentially determine the exact periods and amount of life insurance you need and combine policies to fit that situation. For example, say you have a 30-year mortgage for $500,000 that you'd want your family to be able to pay off if you passed away, and you also have a child that you want to send to college in 16 years. You could purchase a 30-year term life insurance policy from American General to cover your mortgage and ladder it with 16 years of coverage for the amount you'd expect to pay for your child's education.

    AIG's term life insurance is also convertible until you reach age 70. This means you can convert the policy to a whole or universal life insurance policy with AIG if, for example, you're diagnosed with an illness that would make it difficult to find affordable permanent coverage. Since there's no requirement to demonstrate insurability before you convert to a permanent life insurance policy, you would be accepted.

    Pros

    • Variety of ways to access the money in your policy while still alive and healthy

    • People that are undecided between term and permanent coverage, or want a "return of premium" option

    • Great term life insurance rates

    Cons

    • Very limited selection of no-exam policies

    • Just fair customer service ratings

    AIG Direct

    6.

    HealthIQ

  • Best for:

    HealthIQ

  • Best for convenience

    6
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    • Plans catered to your lifestyle choices

    • 10 to 30-year plans

    • Potential for a 25% discount based on activity status

    Health IQ is a bit different than most of the life insurance agencies consumers are used to working with.

    They focus on offering coverage for people with excellent health and very active lifestyles at lower rates. Specifically, they target long-distance runners, cyclists, and swimmers. Active lifestyles and excellent scores on the Health IQ quiz can give you a great chance at obtaining approval, low rates, and even discounts on your life insurance. Over the course of 20-30 years on term or whole life products, this could save substantial money.

    Health IQ is much different when it comes to approvals on your life insurance policies.

    Instead of the typical underwriting process that other life insurance companies employ for approvals, Health IQ starts with a health quiz, then requires you to undergo a wide range of tests and factors to be approved for coverage.

    These include your diet and health literacy, as well as your overall physical activity and lifestyle. You can actually perform healthy activities like running an 8-minute mile or perform in a swim competition to get lower rates. This is how Health IQ determines your overall risk. While Health IQ is clearly a great choice for healthy and active individuals, you can certainly do yourself a favor by comparing rates with several other life insurance companies before making your final decision.

    Ultimately, comparing rates with multiple life insurance companies is the best way to guarantee you are giving yourself the best chance at being approved for coverage and the best chance to get the lowest rates.

    Pros

    • Great rates for people with healthy lifestyles

    • Low rates for people with well-managed type 2 diabetes

    • Discounts available for people in excellent health

    Cons

    • Not great for high-risk or unhealthy individuals

    • No 1-on-1 life insurance agent experience

    HealthIQ

    7.

    Northwestern Mutual

  • Best for:

    Northwestern Mutual

  • Best for convenience

    7
    Visit Site
    • Combine Term & Permanent Policies

    • Dividend Eligibility

    • Wide Variety of Coverage

    Northwestern Mutual is a reputable insurer, whether you're looking for term or cash value life insurance. Northwestern Mutual's term policies have competitive rates, particularly if you're older or a smoker, and the company's permanent life insurance policies have many payment options. In addition, its CompLife product allows you to combine term and whole life insurance coverage to fit your financial situation, as your life insurance needs may change with time.

    However, Northwestern Mutual doesn't offer no-medical-exam life insurance policies or a wide variety of term lengths. So, if you have significant pre-existing conditions or are looking for term coverage for a particular amount of time, you may want to consider a different insurer.

    Northwestern Mutual is a suitable choice if you're looking for one of the best life insurance companies for financial strength ratings and a reputation for few customer complaints. Their A++, or Superior, A.M. Best rating indicates Northwestern Mutual's ability to pay claims.

    Northwestern Mutual does have some negative customer reviews which are primarily focused on its agents' tendency to push permanent life insurance to consumers over term coverage. Permanent life insurance policies, particularly those that build cash value, only make sense in certain situations, but agents make higher commissions by selling them. If you're considering Northwestern Mutual, you should research the coverage you need before meeting with a representative.

    Pros

    • Low term life insurance rates for seniors and smokers

    • Outstanding financial strength and customer experience ratings

    • Options to combine term and permanent coverage

    Cons

    • Limited options for term life insurance policy lengths

    • No simplified issue policies for those with severe pre-existing conditions or that want coverage quickly

    Northwestern Mutual

    8.

    Guardian

  • Best for:

    Guardian

  • Best for convenience

    8
    Visit Site
    • Overall customer satisfaction score is above average

    • Offers a full menu of term and permanent life insurance

    • Some policies make you eligible for dividends

    The Guardian Life Insurance Company is an innovator with high-risk life insurance for those who are not in perfect health or have a major medical condition such as HIV. Guardian Life boasts more than a century in the life insurance business, with easy to understand policy options and reasonable rates. For those concerned about health exams and life insurance, read on to learn more about how Guardian Life can help you.

    Guardian Life offers some good features on their whole and universal life policies, including some interesting riders. Their term life is average, so if you are in good health, you may want to check a few other companies before you make a decision. However, they are the only insurer we reviewed that highlighted their ability to insure people with HIV, suggesting they are not afraid to insure those with major health concerns.

    Guardian is a top mutual insurer and has a good history of paying out dividends to eligible policyholders.

    Pros

    • Guardian customers with whole life insurance policies are eligible to receive dividends

    Cons

    • Guardian's website, though informative about life insurance in general, provides few specific details about its actual policies

    Guardian

    9.

    MassMutual

  • Best for:

    MassMutual

  • Best for convenience

    9
    Visit Site
    • Get Immediate Coverage Online

    • Full Range of Financial Services

    • Potential to Earn Dividends

    Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance is a strong insurer whether you are shopping for basic term insurance or looking for lifelong coverage through a permanent insurance policy. The company has competitive rates for standard applicants, but you may be able to find better quotes elsewhere if you smoke or are a senior. And if you have a preexisting condition and are looking for a guaranteed acceptance or no medical exam policy, then MassMutual would be a great choice, as it offers plans with these benefits. Customer reviews and ratings are above average—MassMutual cares about settling complaints and catering to its policyholders.

    Policy offerings include term, whole and universal life insurance. All life insurance products through MassMutual have standard rider add-ons, such as waiver of premium and accelerated death benefit, at no additional cost—similar to other major insurers. The company also allows you to change your beneficiary at any time by filling out a change of beneficiary form. Once the form is completed, you would need to prove the existence of insurable interest.

    MassMutual is a great choice for life insurance if you are looking for a financially stable provider. Financial strength ratings for MassMutual are overall good with an A.M. Best rating of A++ (Superior) and Standard & Poor's AA+ (Very Strong). These ratings indicate that MassMutual is positioned well to pay claims and is financially healthy.

    MassMutual has received average grades and reviews from some of the largest rating companies. This includes the Better Business Bureau, which has not given MassMutual accreditation status and instead a rating of B. This is due to some negative customer reviews for its policy service and claims department. Additionally, MassMutual has an NAIC complaint ratio of 0.06. The median complaint is a 1.00, and having this low of a ratio implies that MassMutual is conscious about responding to customer issues.

    Pros

    • No medical exam and guaranteed acceptance policies

    • Online application and acceptance for Direct Term and Simplified Whole life insurance policies

    • Company has excellent financial stability

    Cons

    • Not ideal for Smoker and senior life insurance rates

    MassMutual

    10.

    Legal & General

  • Best for:

    Legal & General

  • Best for convenience

    10
    Visit Site
    • Starting at $7/month Guaranteed

    • Acceptance Whole Life Wide

    • Range of Term Lengths

    Legal and General's product options shine for those who want low rates and may be older or have a pre-existing condition. These rates are offered through flexible payment options and term limits, which sets Legal and General apart from its competitors. Because of this type of underwriting, Legal and General can offer a wide variety of products to individuals who would otherwise not qualify.

    For example, one of the major highlights of this company is its age flexibility. While many other companies might reject an older individual depending on the person's age, Legal and General offers term policies for clients as old as 95, twenty years later than most competitors.

    However, There is no coverage option that does not require a medical exam. A no medical exam life insurance policy allows those who do not want to undergo a medical exam to receive coverage after just a few brief health questions or even receive guaranteed coverage. If you do not think that you will pass the medical exam, other companies may provide better options.

    Ultimately, Legal and General is an ideal option for some individuals. For those with certain pre-existing conditions and older clients, the flexibility offered by this company may make obtaining coverage more feasible. On the other hand, younger and healthier clients will also be drawn toward its lower term rates.

    After doing your research on life insurance companies, it's important to work with an independent agent or company that has access to more than one insurance carrier, to discuss your needs. This way, you will be able to make an objective comparison of the best term life insurance companies and their benefits, available policies and premium quotes.

    Pros

    • Flexible Payment Schedule

    • Avoid having to pay premiums if you suffer a total disability

    • Accelerated Death Benefity

    Cons

    • Smaller quantity of offerings

    • Longer process due to underwriting

    • No policies that don't require a medical exam

    Legal & General

    11.

    New York Life

  • Best for:

    New York Life

  • Best for convenience

    11
    Visit Site
    • Simplified choice of policies available across all three major types

    • Useful rider options are availablee

    • High coverage limits are availables

    New York Life is a mutual life insurance company that offers a wide range of whole and universal life insurance policies, with options to fit many different financial objectives and price ranges. New York Life also offers term insurance policies, but they're mostly similar to those of competitors. None extends more than 20 years if you're looking for a longer period of coverage. If you're interested in permanent life insurance from New York Life, the company has a great set of options, but we recommend carefully reviewing their agents before working with one, as customers have a range of experiences depending on the representative.

    New York Life is a legitimate company with a large number of agents, so if you're considering purchasing life insurance with them, we recommend you speak to a few agents to find one with which you're confident. Particularly if you're shopping for a permanent life insurance policy, like whole life insurance, it's important to trust that your representative will offer advice and be there if your family needs assistance.

    New York Life Insurance doesn't have a mobile app, but you can sign in to its website to make premium payments online for life insurance products. You can also use this feature to set up recurring payments from an account. Similarly, you can use its platform to update or change your beneficiaries. However, you'd need to directly call or email New York Life to cancel coverage.

    Pros

    • On term policies, the company offers conversion privileges, enabling policyholders to convert to policies that offer cash value, without having to provide evidence of insurability

    • New York Life may appeal to a younger demographic, with term policies that can be issued at age 15 and coverage values that start as low as $5,000

    • Because of its financial planning and retirement services offerings, New York Life is a one-stop shop for planning your family's financial future

    Cons

    • Term life is available with annual renewal or terms of 10 and 20 years, but there are no 30-year term offerings

    • New York Life markets its custom whole life policy as an exclusive and unique product, but it really is just a paid-up whole life policy with extra flexibility

    • While the website is optimized for mobile devices, the New York Life mobile app doesn't have any functionality other than providing news articles and marketing pieces

    New York Life

    Compare Best Services 1. BestowBestow 10 and 20 year policies View Plans 2. Principal FinancialPrincipal Financial Multiple term conversion options View Plans 3. SprouttSproutt View Plans 4. Haven LifeHaven Life No Medical Exam Needed View Plans 5. AIG DirectAIG Direct Policies start at $14/month View Plans 6. HealthIQHealthIQ View Plans 7. Northwestern MutualNorthwestern Mutual View Plans 8. Guardian Guardian View Plans 9. MassMutualMassMutual View Plans 10. Legal & GeneralLegal & General View Plans 11. New York LifeNew York Life View Plans
    Reviews 1032 reviews 973 reviews 742 reviews 823 reviews 823 reviews 723 reviews 623 reviews 601 reviews 601 reviews 601 reviews 578 reviews
    Online Quote Process Easy Easy Easy Easy Medium Difficulty Medium Difficulty Difficult Difficult Difficult Difficult
    Customer Support Above Average Above Average Above Average Average Slightly Below Average Average Average Average Below Average Below Average

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