Best Life Insurance Companies in 2020

November 7, 2020

Choosing the best life insurance coverage can be difficult, mainly because the customer is required to navigate through a large selection of insurance products. 

It goes without saying that when considering buying life insurance, you would want to go with the best life insurance provider possible. This is mainly because getting the best life insurance policy will ensure that you are able to get the coverage and protection you need. 

This gives rise to the next question of “Who has the best life insurance policy?” In his review, we are going to answer all of your questions regarding who has the best life insurance policy, including the best life insurance for seniors, the best life insurance companies for claims handling, and in the end, you will also get to find out the top 10 life insurance companies that you can choose. 

We have done all the heavy lifting for you when it comes to finding the top-rated insurance companies, so you don’t have to. While compiling this list, we gauged the various metrics and factors that separate the top life insurance companies in the USA from the rest. We have scoured the internet to find everything we possibly can about the best life insurance companies that you can rely to pay out your claims. 

We have factored in cost, competitiveness, consumer ratings, stability in pricing, financial strength, and the historical performance of each of the life insurance providers on this list so that you can get the complete picture of the options that are available to you. 

Product
Rating
Key Features
Website
1
OVERALL RATING
4.5
Expert Review
  • Excellent Financial Strength
  • Cash-surrender and partial-surrender options
  • Return of premium options
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
2
OVERALL RATING
4.5
Expert Review
  • Guaranteed acceptance
  • No changes to the premium
  • Offers great value for money
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
3
OVERALL RATING
4.5
Expert Review
  • Quick application and approval
  • Fastest approval for healthy applicants
  • Highly competitive rates
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
4
OVERALL RATING
4.5
Expert Review
  • Wide variety of products
  • Conversion privileges
  • Term policies can be issued at age 15
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
5
OVERALL RATING
4.5
Expert Review
  • Flexible policies
  • A wide array of products
  • Easy application process
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
6
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • High financial ratings
  • Annual policy renewal
  • Flexible policy terms
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
7
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • Flexible terms
  • Affordable premiums
  • Enticing college savings
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
8
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • High rankings in individual insurance products
  • Full range of insurance products
  • Top financial strength
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
9
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • Plenty of options
  • Coverage for smokers
  • Term life policies available for up to 40 years
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
10
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • Excellent customer service
  • Plenty of options
  • Offers one-of-a-kind survivorship insurance
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
11
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • Plenty of options
  • Term life policies
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
12
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • Easy online application process
  • No medical exam required
  • Guaranteed term life issued
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
13
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • Ideal for military families
  • Competitive rates
  • Easy application process
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
14
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • Competitive rates
  • Easy application process
  • No medical exam required
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
15
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • Wide range of products available
  • Many standalone insurance products
  • Exclusive for 80 years old and older applicants
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
16
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • Easy application process
  • Flexible options
  • Affordable life insurance
PRICE: $
Get a Deal

Best Life Insurance Company Reviews

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company is a well-known name when it comes to affordable and reliable life insurance policies. With 10.3% of market share in 2019, Northwestern Mutual is the largest life insurance company in the U.S. 

Through the years, the number of positive Northwestern mutual life insurance reviews has increased significantly, which is the only testament to their commitment towards delivering the best insurance products and customer satisfaction.

PROS:
  • .03 NAIC customer complaint ratio
  • A++ AM Best financial score strength
  • Return of premium options
  • Cash-surrender and partial-surrender options
CONS:
  • No online quote tool
  • Limited to annual renewals
  • Fairly limited online resources

AARP life insurance is another big name in the insurance industry. AARP life insurance rates are considered to be amongst the best in the industry. While the insurance provider offers many products, AARP life insurance for seniors is considered to be one of the best in its class. 

This should come as no surprise since AARP is the nation’s largest non-profit dedicated to empowering Americans over 50 to choose how they live as they age. Another reason why this provider is a favorite for seniors is because of the AARP life insurance rates for seniors, which are some of the most affordable. The organization endorses a whole life insurance option through New York Life Insurance Company.

PROS:
  • Guaranteed acceptance
  • Extremely low rates
  • No changes to the premium
  • Offers great value for money
CONS:
  • No guaranteeing rates won't go up
  • May reject a person having certain diseases

Haven life insurance is considered your best option for term insurance policies. The Haven Life insurance company has been offering premium quality insurance products for many years and is considered to have some of the best products in the insurance industry with fast processing.

 

PROS:
  • Quick application and approval
  • No medical exam required
  • Fastest approval for healthy applicants
  • Highly competitive rates
CONS:
  • No permanent life insurance offered
  • May reject those with pre-existing conditions
  • Not allowed to replace an existing policy
  • Not available for people over 65

Another name that you might have noticed in the best life insurance list is New York life insurance, and for good reason. The New York Life Insurance Company has been offering premium insurance products for years and offers some of the best insurance policies at the most affordable rates.

PROS:
  • Variety of products
  • Conversion privileges
  • Term policies can be issued at age 15
CONS:
  • No 30-year term offering
  • Custom whole-life policy

Pacific Life Insurance Company is an A+ rated (superior) company that reportedly offers the best IUL products in the industry. Since the insurance provider has customer service at the top of their priority, they offer an easy way for customers to get universal life insurance quotes. The 150-year history of Pacific Life ensures the best products and rates in town. 

PROS:
  • Flexible policies
  • A wide array of products
  • Easy application process
  • Convertible policies
CONS:
  • Can't cancel policies online
  • Average application approval
  • Not the cheapest rates

Mutual of Omaha life insurance is another great option if you are looking for a reliable insurance provider. This is easily one of the best life insurance no medical exam policies that you can invest in. The best part about this insurance provider is that you can easily get life insurance over 50 no-medical exam policy, just like any other policy. Mutual of Omaha provides term life insurance as well as whole life insurance policies. With this, there is no medical exam for any applicants who qualify. What this means is that you’ll be able to fill a questionnaire right from the comfort of your own home, with no invasive health exam, and get coverage when you pay your first month’s premiums.

PROS:
  • Plenty of options
  • High financial ratings
  • Annual policy renewal
  • Flexible policy terms
CONS:
  • Steep prices
  • Slow processing time

Gerber life insurance is considered to be the best in class for college students. The Gerber life grow up plan has garnered much attention for its flexible rates and best value for money.

PROS:
  • Flexible terms
  • Affordable premiums
  • Enticing college savings
CONS:
  • Insufficient maximum death benefit
  • Anemic returns

For those who are looking to cover their entire family under a single policy, the State Farm life insurance policy should be right up your alley. The State Farm life insurance term has consistently received high ratings, which is a testament to the high level of quality that it offers its customers.

PROS:
  • High rankings in individual insurance products
  • Full range of insurance products
  • Top financial strength
CONS:
  • Changes need to be made in person
  • Customer service could be a lot better
  • No variable life insurance policy

Banner’s product list includes term life, universal life, and whole life, as well as a range of life insurance riders. Banner life insurance is a trusted name in the insurance industry. Banner life insurance is sold under the Legal & General brand and is available in Washington, D.C., and all states except New York.

PROS:
  • Plenty of options
  • Coverage for smokers
  • High financial rating
  • Term life policies available for up to 40 years
CONS:
  • Whole or variable life insurance
  • Not applicable for DUI or reckless driving violations
  • Does not cover substance abuse
  • Eastern time customer service hours

Guardian life insurance is a popular name in the insurance niche. This New York City-based mutual company was founded in 1860 and has been providing excellent insurance products with lots of options, so it’s easy to find one that suits your needs.

What sets Guardian Life Insurance Company apart from many other universal life insurance providers is the guaranteed interest rate option on the universal life plan, which allows you to choose an option with fewer risks than competitors that offer no guarantees on the investment portion of the plan. Guardian’s guaranteed interest rate is why we named the company our runner-up.

PROS:
  • Excellent customer service
  • Plenty of options
  • Solid financial strength
  • Offers one-of-a-kind survivorship insurance
CONS:
  • Pricey
  • Long application time
  • Term policy only last 30 years

Penn Mutual life insurance comes highly rated as one of the best options available. One of the reasons for this is that the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company is a reputable insurer that has been operating in the insurance niche for many years. 

PROS:
  • Plenty of options
  • Term life policies
  • Flexibility
  • Possibility of earning dividends
CONS:
  • Slow processing time
  • Lacking customer service
  • Expensive premiums

We live in a digital age, and as a result, one of the things that people consider when signing up for an insurance policy is convenience. With the Ethos life insurance policy, you don’t need to worry about that, since the insurer has gone through great lengths to ensure you have a smooth sign-up experience. We have read many positive Ethos Life insurance reviews, which is just one factor in the high Ethos life insurance rating. What sets this insurance provider apart from the rest is that it offers a term life insurance online quote in less than 10 minutes.

PROS:
  • Plenty of options
  • Guaranteed term life issued
  • Easy online application process
  • No medical exam required
CONS:
  • Only represents two companies
  • Age restrictions
  • May require a medical exam

USAA life insurance company is a trusted name when it comes to getting comprehensive insurance coverage for the military and veterans. You can also easily get USAA life insurance for your spouse with ease. Another factor that separates this provider apart from the rest is the USAA life insurance eligibility, which is an added advantage. Military families can avail of permanent and term life insurance products.

PROS:
  • Ideal for military families
  • Competitive rates
  • Easy application process
CONS:
  • Medical exam required
  • Captive insurance agency
  • Strict underwriting regulations

Bestow is a well-known name in the life insurance niche. Bestow life insurance review shows that the company has generally a high rating. Bestow is an online life insurance company that offers a short term and long term plan option. In a short period of time, Bestow life insurance has garnered a lot of attention because of its flexible policies.

It uses technology to make the paperwork of getting term life insurance easy. It also eliminates the need for doctor visits. Another major factor that sets Bestow life insurance apart is that they currently offer a 10-year level term policy and a 20-year level term policy.

PROS:
  • Competitive rates
  • Flexible terms
  • Easy application process
  • No medical exam required
CONS:
  • Only serves North America
  • Age restrictions
  • Single option
  • No permanent life insurance

If you are looking for life insurance for over 80, then the Transamerica term life insurance for seniors is just what you need. The Transamerica Life Insurance Company is no stranger to the insurance niche. The company was established a century ago and has maintained a consistent level of quality that has separated them from many other insurance providers. Transamerica offers nearly all policy types to applicants as old as 85 without breaking the bank. In our review, Transamerica stands apart for seniors over age 80.

PROS:
  • Exclusive for 80 years old and older applicants
  • Wide range of products available
  • Many standalone insurance products
  • Receive a term policy online
CONS:
  • Below average customer service
  • Essential a final expense policy

The Carnegie Foundation founded the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of American (TIAA) in 1918 to provide educators with life insurance and guaranteed retirement income. TIAA enjoys great financial ratings and offers plenty of options. TIAA provides excellent service, and millions of people have placed their trust in them. 

PROS:
  • Plenty of options
  • Easy application process
  • Flexible options
  • Affordable life insurance
CONS:
  • No new life insurance policies being issued
  • Specialized membership

Life Insurance Terminology

When it comes to life insurance, the more you know, the better. The following are some important life insurance terminology that you need to get familiar with before signing up for insurance coverage. 

  • Life Insurance Premiums Premiums are the payments you make to the insurance company.
  • Death Benefit Death benefit refers to the total amount of money the beneficiaries will be paid when the covered person dies.
  • Life Insurance Beneficiaries Beneficiaries are the people who receive money when the covered person dies.
  • Life Insurance Riders Riders are options you can add to a life insurance policy.
  • Waiver Of Premium It is the provision that allows an insured person not to pay premiums during a period of a disability which has lasted for a particular period for a long time, or at least 6 months. 
  • Term Conversion Rider This allows the policy owner to convert their existing term life insurance into a permanent life insurance policy without having to take a medical exam. 
  • Long-Term Care Rider This is a living benefit of a life insurance policy that allows the policyholder a portion of the policy’s death benefit for paying out of care expenses. 
  • Exclusionary Rider An exclusionary rider is an amendment that’s permitted in an individual health insurance policy, which permanently excludes coverage for a health condition or body part. 

Buying Guide on Life Insurance

When buying life insurance, it’s all about weighing the pros and cons of the life insurance provider. And of course, how much life insurance do you need? While you can use a calculator to find out how much coverage you need, it is best to weigh your options by asking yourself some important questions. 

Multiplying the annual salary by the number of years left until you retire is a good way to know how much term life insurance you need

Here are some more questions that you will need to answer:

  • What do I own?
  • Do I need any additional coverage? 
  • What’s the amount of liability I can afford?

What Does Life Insurance Cover?

So, the first question that most people ask when it is time to choose insurance coverage is, “How does life insurance work?” Does life insurance cover accidental death? Does life insurance cover cancer

Life insurance is a great way to help a person’s relations cope after one’s death. An insurance policy can help your family financially after your death, especially since your next of kin will not be able to rely on your income. 

 What does life insurance cover? The payout of the insurance policy can be used by the deceased individual’s family to pay off debts, the mortgage and cover tuition fees or everyday expenses. The payout is given to family members even if the policyholder died due to cancer, or another sickness since it is considered as a natural cause of death, or if an individual had an accidental death.

What Doesn’t Life Insurance Cover? 

Another common question that most people considering buying life insurance have is, “What does life insurance not cover?” While a life insurance policy will cover most medical conditions and scenarios, there are also a few scenarios that the regular life insurance policy does cover. 

Death due to sexually transmitted diseases such as aids or HIV, self-inflicted injuries, drug overdose, and taking part in hazardous activities are not usually covered unless covered by a rider. This is why it is so crucial for a person to find out all there is to know about the life insurance policy they are about to buy so that there are no surprises. 

When it comes to getting a payout due to suicide, it depends on a case-by-case basis, and most insurance providers also have a ‘suicide clause’ in the agreement, which sets out where you wouldn’t be covered. The rules in this clause differ from company to company, which is why you need to do your homework before signing on the dotted line.

Types of Life Insurance Policies 

There are also many types of life insurance available, which can make it harder for you to find what kind of life insurance is best for your specific needs. The following are the different types of life insurance that you can choose from with brief explanations of their coverage:

  • Permanent Life Insurance – Under this policy, if a person is still alive at the age of 100, premiums are no longer required, but the death benefit will still be distributed when the insured dies. As long as the premiums are paid, this policy offers lifetime coverage. 
  • Whole Life InsuranceWhole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance in which as long as the premiums are paid on time, the person is covered for their lifetime.
  • Universal Life Insurance – Under this policy, you pay a monthly fee that is split between one part that covers life insurance and another which goes into savings and investment. This way, the policyholder gets to choose the premium they pay. 
  • Indexed Universal Life InsuranceThis is a type of permanent life insurance that has a cash value component along with the death benefit. That money in your cash amount can earn an interest based on the stock market index used by the insurance provider. 
  • Variable Life InsuranceThis is a permanent life insurance policy that has an investment component. This gives it the potential to grow as the underlying investments in the policy’ sub-accounts grow. 
  • Term Life InsuranceAs the name implies, term life insurance offers coverage for a certain period of time that’s specified in the policy. 
  • No-Exam Life Insurance – Under this policy, the person does not have to take a medical exam before they get approval. But, the payout will be withheld if the insurer finds out you withheld information on your health.
  • Death Benefit- This is a payout that is made to the beneficiary of the policy once the insured person dies. 
  • Cash ValueThis is the portion of the policy that earns an interest that could be made available for the insurer to withdraw or borrow in emergency situations. 

Term vs Whole Life Insurance 

A term life insurance is a pure insurance policy as compared to the whole life, which adds a cash value component that the policy owner can tap during their lifetime. While a term policy will only protect you for a limited number of years, a whole life policy will offer you life-long protection, just as long as the policy owner can make their premium payments on time.

How Does Life Insurance Work

A life insurance policy is an agreement that an individual gets into with an insurance provider where the individual pays an amount that’s agreed upon by both parties, to the insurer. These payments may be made on a monthly or annual basis. 

The life insurance policy will then pay out an amount to the policy holder’s next of kin after their death. In short, a life insurance policy provides financial assistance to the loved ones of the policyholder after they are deceased. 

How No-Exam Life Insurance Works? 

For the no-exam life insurance policies, an individual does not have to take a medical examination before getting approved. There are 3 main types of life insurance policies that do not require a medical exam. 

The following are some key differences between them. So, if you’re considering a no-exam policy, be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

  • Accelerated underwriting – The application process can be quick if no exam is required
  • Simplified issue – The process is very simple here. You fill out a short questionnaire about your health. But, the coverage decision will be decided by the insurance provider. 
  • Guaranteed issue – require a medical exam or questions, and you can’t be turned down. This type of policy targets older individuals to help cover the cost of expenses such as burial, etc.

Reasons to Buy Life Insurance

So, what are the reasons to buy life insurance? Well, some of the top reasons to buy life insurance are that it helps your family once you’re gone, and can help you if you have been disabled. But, here are some more reasons to buy life insurance in your 50s

  • You’re having a baby
  • You’re getting married
  • You financially support aging parents
  • You have debts
  • High-risk job
  • Extreme hobbies
  • You are self-employed

How Are Rates Determined?

One important factor that determines which policy you select is the life insurance rates. Term life insurance rates vary depending on the insurance provider and also individual cases. 

The same can be said for whole life insurance rates. But, if you really want to get the best life insurance rates, you will have to make sure you follow the requirements of the insurer. 

When it comes to life insurance, the premium that the policyholder is expected to pay will depend on various factors such as the individual’s age, the sum assured, their medical history, lifestyle, gender, and even occupation. 

All of these factors will be closely scrutinized by the insurance company before fixing your premium. In short, the premium will be based on the amount of risk you put the insurer through. 

For instance, if you are a smoker, then your insurance premium will automatically go up. Even if you have an underlying medical condition, it can result in having to pay a higher premium. But, premiums are always decided on an individual basis by the insurance provider.

How Fast Can I Get Life Insurance? 

Sometimes it happens that circumstances suggest we need to get life insurance very fast. But still, before you go to buy life insurance online, there are some things that you should know. For instance, how long will it take for you to get approval, and what are the options of fast life insurance policies

For those who are in good health with no underlying medical conditions, the process can be quicker, depending on your insurance provider. 

A waiting period is an initial period, during which no benefit is paid for certain procedures. This rule may also be applicable to additional benefits when you change (upgrade) your health insurance policy. In most life insurance policies, there is a waiting period of at least 24 months before they pay a death benefit. 

What Are the Expected Costs of Life Insurance? 

One of the reasons why many people do not opt for life insurance is because of the wrongly assumed heavy life insurance costs. It is important to note that life insurance does not have to be expensive. If you are wondering about what are the average life insurance costs per month, this should answer your question. 

For a healthy person between the ages of 18 and 70, a life insurance policy will cost an average of $67.88 a month for a 20-year, $250,000 policy. You can get a free life insurance quote to find out the exact life insurance rate. The exact amount you’ll pay will come down to factors such as age, health, and lifestyle.

If you’re wondering “what’s the average life insurance cost by age,” then you can expect to pay between $24 to $26 a month if you’re 35 years of age. Between $34 and $40 a month if you’re 40 years of age, and between $48 and $61 a month if you’re 45 years old. 

As you can see, the premium goes higher as you get older. That said, any age below 55 is a good age to get an insurance policy. 

Tips to Reduce the Cost of Life Insurance? 

The following are some of the things that you can do if you are looking to reduce the cost of your life insurance monthly payments. 

  • Adopt a healthier lifestyle
  • Stop smoking
  • Buy life insurance when you’re young
  • Understand your needs
  • Switch from permanent to term life insurance policy 

How to Apply For Life Insurance? 

Once you know your requirements and have decided on the type of insurance policy that will suit you best, it’s time to go ahead with the application process. Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing intimidating about filling a life insurance application

All you will have to do is download the form from the insurance provider’s website or visit their office. You will then need to give truthful answers to all of the life insurance application questions. The life insurance application form will then be submitted to the insurance provider who will review your application.

It is important that you not leave any questions unanswered, and more importantly, try to avoid lying on the life insurance application. Some of the common questions that individuals have to answer include;

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Date of birth
  • Lifestyle habits (i.e., smoking, drinking, exercise)
  • Financial information, including your annual income and net worth

If required, the applicant will also need to pass a life insurance exam, which is basically a medical exam to determine any underlying medical conditions that the insurance provider should be aware of.

How to Choose a Life Insurance Beneficiary

Choosing a beneficiary for your life insurance policy is going to be a big deal, especially because this life insurance beneficiary is going to get the payment should you die. There are certain life insurance beneficiary rules provided by the insurer that need to be followed. 

The best tips to choose a life insurance beneficiary are as follows: 

  • Determine who you would want the money to go to
  • Find out your best options
  • Consider the beneficiary’s circumstances
  • Don’t forget to name a second beneficiary
  • Review the policy
  • Try to understand the policy terms and whether it will really be of use to the beneficiary

Normally, the policyholder can designate one or more of the following examples as a beneficiary:

  • One person
  • Two or more people 
  • The trustee of a trust you’ve established
  • A non-profit or charity
  • Your estate

It should be noted here that if you fail to name a beneficiary, your life insurance benefit will either go to your surviving spouse, or it will be added to your estate. 

Is Paying for Life Insurance Worth It? 

Paying for life insurance is worth it, provided you have signed up for the right policy that suits your needs. So, what are some of the whole life insurance pros and cons that you should be aware of? Let’s find out: 

Whole Life Insurance Pros and Cons    

Pros Cons
Permanency Higher cost
Tax Lower death benefit 
Potential loan collateral No investment control
Predictability

 

Indexed Universal Life Insurance Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Potential for higher returns No guarantees
Flexibility  Cap on returns 
Capital gains (tax-free)

 

Universal Life Insurance Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Better flexibility No guaranteed level premium 
Cash value grows at a variable interest rate Variable rates
Opportunity to increase cash value  Positive cash value required

 

FAQs

What is the best type of life insurance to buy?

Whole life insurance is considered to be the best type of life insurance for many individuals, mainly because there is no variable premium involved, and you get a guaranteed rate of return on the policy’s cash value.

What kinds of death are not covered by life insurance?

Some life insurance policies allow for the payment of benefits in the event of a suicide or murder of the policyholder. Other kinds of death that might not be covered by your life insurance policy include death due to driving recklessly, committing a crime, or due to a pre-existing medical condition that was not disclosed to the insurer during the application process.

Can I buy life insurance on someone else?

Yes. You can buy life insurance on someone else only if you have insurable interest and the individual’s consent.

What happens if my life insurance company goes bankrupt?

All policies are transferred to a solvent life insurance company. Depending on which state you live in, the Guaranty Association provides limited coverage to the company’s policyholders.

Is Life Insurance Taxable?

While the payouts your beneficiary receives upon your death are not taxable, any interest you receive is taxable, and you should report it as interest received.

Does life insurance cover drug overdose?

Most policies will not cover an overdose where the victim knowingly used illegal drugs.