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Best Life Insurance Companies for 2024

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Updated April 11, 2024

You have many choices when it comes to life insurance. These range from companies already around when Abraham Lincoln was president to modern day insuretechs built on 21st Century digital technology.

Sorting through your options can be a challenge. We’ve reviewed a variety of life insurers to help you make a more informed decision.

Best life insurance companies compared

Policy typesA.M. BestJ.D. PowerTrustpilotApply online
Term, Whole
A
NA
4.8
Yes
Term
A+
NA
4.7
Yes
Term
A+
NA
4.8
Yes
Term, Whole, Universal, Guaranteed Issue Whole, Quality of Life, Final Expense, Accidental Death & Dismemberment
A
19th (744)
1.4
Yes
Term, Whole
A+
NA
4.4
Yes (Term only)
Term, Whole, Universal, Children’s
A+
3rd (801)
1.5 (39)
Yes (Children’s only)
Northwestern Mutual
Term, Whole, Universal, Variable universal
A++
4th (794)
3.2 (1)
No
State Farm
Term, Whole, Universal
A++
1st (839)
NA
No
USAA
Term, Whole, Universal, Variable universal
A++
NA
1.3
No

Our recommendations for the best life insurance companies

Best for guaranteed rate life insurance: Ethos Life Insurance

Ethos Life Insurance

Ethos Life Insurance Impact

Ethos Life Insurance Impact

Policy types
Term, Whole
AM Best
A
JD Power
N/A
Trustpilot
4.8
Apply online
Yes

Pros:

  • Apply online.
  • Toll-free phone support.
  • 30-day “free look” cancellation.

Cons:

  • AM Best A rating is slightly lower than other insurers in our review.
  • Term life limits top out at $2 million.

Why we picked it: Ethos Life Insurance offers guaranteed rate whole life insurance for those aged 66 to 85. Up to $30,000 coverage is available with no medical exam. Just answer a few health questions online. The company also offers term life insurance with coverage ranging from $100k to $2 million.

Ethos Life is underwritten by Legal and General America, which has an A rating from A.M. Best. The company was not included in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, but it does have 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.

Best for young families: Fabric by Gerber Life

Fabric

Fabric Life Insurance

Fabric Life Insurance

Policy types
Term
AM Best
A+
JD Power
N/A
Trustpilot
4.7
Apply online
Yes

Pros:

  • Can apply online. 
  • Has a strong digital experience.
  • Helpful financial planning features for young families.

Cons:

  • Can only insure one person per policy.
  • Does not offer a permanent life insurance option.

Why we picked it: Fabric by Gerber Life sells term life insurance with available coverage ranging from $100,000 to $5 million and terms up to 30 years. The company offers additional features to help young parents plan their financial future, including tools to set up a will or flexible investment options.

Fabric by Gerber Life is underwritten by Western-Southern Life Insurance Company, which has an A+ rating from A.M. Best. The company has 4.8 out of 5 stars at TrustPilot, but was not included in J.D. Power's 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study.

RELATED: Fabric Life Insurance Review

Best for flexible term life: Ladder Life

Ladder Insurance

Ladder Life Insurance

Ladder Life Insurance

Policy types
Term
AM Best
A+
JD Power
N/A
Trustpilot
4.8
Apply online
Yes

Pros:

  • Adjustable term life coverage.
  • No medical exam for policies under $3 million.

Cons:

  • Maximum age is 60.
  • Can only insure one person per policy.
  • Does not offer a permanent life insurance option.
  • Maximum age is 60.
  • Can only insure one person per policy.
  • Does not offer a permanent life insurance option.

Why we picked it: Ladder Life offers something it claims to be unique in the insurance industry: a term life product that allows you to change the coverage amount as your needs change. For example, you buy a $3 million policy with a 30-year term and 10 years later, decide you no longer need that much coverage. Ladder Life allows you to lower the coverage amount to, say, $1 million.

Ladder Life is underwritten by Allianz Life, a leading provider of life insurance and annuities. Allianz has an A+ A.M. Best rating. Ladder Life’s Trustpilot rating is 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Best for breadth of life insurance choices: AIG Direct

AIG

AIG Life Insurance

AIG Life Insurance

Policy types
Term, Whole, Universal, Guaranteed Issue Whole, Quality of Life, Final Expense, Accidental Death & Dismemberment
AM Best
A
JD Power
19th (744)
Trustpilot
1.4
Apply online
Yes

Pros:

  • Multiple types of policies are available, including term and permanent options.
  • Self-fulfilling-life option makes it easy and convenient to get insured.

Cons:

  • JD Power ranking is below the industry average.
  • Guaranteed issue policies max out at only $25,000.

Why we picked it: AIG Direct offers a wide range of life insurance options, including term, whole, universal, guaranteed issue whole, quality of life (which provides accelerated death benefits), final expense, and accidental death and dismemberment. An additional option, which the company calls self-fulfilling life, offers a completely “DIY” policy purchase experience for term and guaranteed issue whole life coverage. With such a breadth of options, you’re virtually assured you can get the coverage you need.

Based in New York, AIG Direct offers property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and other financial products to customers in 70 countries. The company ranked 19th (below the industry average) in the JD Power 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. It also currently has a Trustpilot review of just 1.4 out of 5 stars, though this is based on only 100 reviews. The AIG Life and Retirement Group has an A rating from AM Best.

Best for beneficiary features: Amica

Amica

Amica Life Insurance

Amica Life Insurance

Policy types
**Term, Whole**
AM Best
A+
JD Power
N/A
Trustpilot
4.4
Apply online
Yes (Term only)

Pros:

  • Value added features for beneficiaries through Empathy partnership
  • Offers an easy-to-use calculator to estimate your life insurance needs

Cons:

  • Does not offer universal life

Why we picked it: Anyone who’s lost a parent, spouse, or other loved one knows that receiving a timely life insurance payout is only part of the puzzle. There’s also the need to arrange funeral services and a burial or cremation, write an obituary, sort through the loved one’s estate, and deal with the probate process. These added responsibilities could be tough for anyone—and overwhelming for someone who’s also dealing with the grief of the loss of a loved one.

Amica clearly gets this. To help, it’s partnered with Empathy, an app-based system that offers personalized action plans for beneficiaries, assistance in navigating the estate process, access to grief specialists, and more.

Amica was not included in J.D. Power’s most recent study of the life insurance market. It’s worth noting, however, that the company typically performs very well in J.D. Power’s studies of auto and homeowners insurance claims satisfaction.

Best for children’s life insurance: Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Policy types
Term, Whole, Universal, Children’s
AM Best
A+
JD Power
3rd (801)
Trustpilot
1.5 (39)
Apply online
Yes (Children’s only)

Pros:

  • Term life policy can be converted to whole life.
  • No medical exam required for whole life.
  • Accelerated death benefit available for universal life.

Cons:

  • Online quotes and applications are only available for children’s policies.
  • Maximum $25,000 whole life coverage.

Why we picked it: Mutual of Omaha offers term, universal, and whole life insurance, including a whole life policy designed for children. The latter provides up to $50,000 of coverage for children as young as 14 days, with locked-in premiums and coverage that lasts for the child’s entire lifetime. You can apply for a children’s policy via the company’s website.

Mutual of Omaha has an A+ rating from A.M. Best and was ranked third in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. The company has a lower Trustpilot rating—1.5 out of 5 stars—though this is based on only 39 reviews.

Best overall: Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

Policy types
Term, Whole, Universal, Variable universal
AM Best
A++
JD Power
4th (794)
Trustpilot
1.5 (39)
Apply online
No

Pros:

  • Breadth of life insurance products.
  • Offers riders for waiver of premium and accelerated death benefit.

Cons:

  • Online quotes and policy applications are not available.
  • Does not offer a no-medical-exam policy for individuals.

Why we picked it: Northwestern Mutual offers a full range of life insurance policy types, including term, whole, universal, and variable universal life. Available coverage starts at $100,000 for term, $50,000 for whole, and $500,000 for universal. Maximum coverages aren’t published on the company’s website.

Northwestern Mutual is not only one of the country’s oldest insurance companies, but it’s currently the largest life insurer in the U.S. It has an A + + rating from A.M. Best. The company has 3.2 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, though this is based on just one review. It’s the fourth-ranked company in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, scoring well above the industry average.

Best for customer satisfaction: State Farm

State Farm

State Farm Life Insurance

State Farm Life Insurance

Policy types
Term, Whole, Universal
AM Best
A++
JD Power
1st (839)
Trustpilot
N/A
Apply online
No

Pros:

  • Highest ranking company by JD Power.
  • Broad network of agents.

Cons:

  • Term life maximum limit is $250,000.

Why we picked it: State Farm ranks number one in the JD Power 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. The company is represented by 19,000 agents focusing solely on selling State Farm products. So there's likely an expert you can rely on for help with a State Farm policy close to where you live.

State Farm offers term, whole, and universal life. Its A.M. Best A++ rating is an assurance of the company's financial strength. State Farm does not have a Trustpilot rating.

Best for U.S. military: USAA

USAA

USAA Life Insurance

USAA Life Insurance

Policy types
Term, Whole, Universal, Variable universal
AM Best
A++
JD Power
N/A
Trustpilot
1.3
Apply online
No

Pros:

  • Broad range of life insurance offerings.
  • Coverage up to $10 million.

Cons:

  • Only available by phone.
  • Only available to U.S. military and their families.

Why we picked it: USAA provides insurance and other financial services exclusively to members of the U.S. military, military retirees, and their families. The company's life insurance offerings include term, whole, universal, and variable universal. Coverage up to $10 million is available for both term and whole life.

USAA was not included in J.D. Power’s Power 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. But the company’s reputation for customer service is well known. In fact, its approach to customer service is studied across industries.

Best term life insurance companies for 2024

A term life insurance policy is designed to stay in force for a set number of years, typically 10, 20, or 30. You choose the term when you buy the policy. A longer-term policy will cost more than one with a shorter term. You also choose the amount of your death benefit. The higher your death benefit, the more you can expect to pay for the policy. Term life typically costs less than other types of life insurance, but it offers fewer features.

Many companies offer term life insurance. Fabric by Gerber Life offers coverage up to $10 million and 30 years. Ladder Life offers $3 million in coverage that you can adjust if your needs change.

Best whole life companies for 2024

A whole life policy is designed to stay in force until your death. These policies also include a cash value feature. Cash value is a savings component that earns interest throughout the policy's life. You may be able to access this money either by taking out a loan against the policy or through a withdrawal.

Well-known insurance brands such as Ethos Life Insurance, Northwestern Mutual, State Farm offer whole life insurance. You can also buy whole life insurance for a child through companies such as Mutual of Omaha.

Best nonmedical exam life insurance companies for 2024

Most life insurance policies require a medical exam when you apply for coverage. This allows the insurer to verify the state of your health. A no-medical-exam policy skips this step, though the insurer may still ask you to complete a questionnaire about your health and medical history. No-medical-exam policies typically have limited coverage and may come at a higher cost than a comparable standard policy.

Ethos Life offers no-medical-exam whole life insurance for those aged 66 to 85.

Methodology

We evaluated eight U.S. life insurance companies, including well-established brands and newer providers. Our evaluation accounted for third-party ratings and rankings, including the following:

  • A.M. Best is an independent, trusted provider of analytics and ratings specializing in the global insurance industry. Its ratings indicate an insurance company’s financial strength and ability to pay claims.
  • J.D. Power is a consumer insights company that provides annual rankings of U.S. insurance companies. Our review incorporates their most recent rankings of life insurance customer satisfaction. JD Power rates companies on a 1,000-point scale, then ranks those companies according to their rating.
  • Trustpilot is an online consumer review platform whose stated mission is to “help consumers shop with confidence, and deliver rich insights to help businesses improve the experiences they offer.”

We reviewed the coverages and other features offered by each company, relying on information provided on their websites. Next, we developed several “best of” categories, placing companies where we judged appropriate.

How to select the best life insurance company

With so many life insurance options, you'll want to take a deliberate approach to choosing the right company and policy for you. Follow these steps:

Determine your life insurance needs

Most people typically buy life insurance to ensure their family’s financial security following the death of a breadwinner. There are several ways to estimate your life insurance needs. A common rule of thumb is the 10X formula:

  1. Multiply your annual income by 10.
  2. Add $100,000 per child to cover the cost of college.

As an example, say your current income is $125,000 and you have two children:

$125,000 * 10 = $1,250,000

$100,000 * 2 = $200,000

$1,250,000 + $200,000 = $1,450,000

In this example, you should estimate a life insurance need of $1.45 million.

Of course, there are other reasons to buy life insurance. For example, an older person purchasing a life insurance policy to ensure their family can pay for end-of-life expenses can likely estimate much less coverage.

Decide on a policy type

Next, you’ll need to decide on a type of policy to buy. There are two main types:

Term life insurance

A term life policy expires after a set number of years (typically between 10 and 30). These policies feature lower premiums and a death benefit paid to your designated beneficiaries.

Permanent life insurance

A permanent life insurance policy stays in force until your death. In addition to a death benefit paid to your beneficiaries, these policies feature a savings/investment component called cash value, which you may be able to access while living. Common permanent life insurance policy subtypes include whole life, universal life, and variable universal life. Permanent life insurance policies tend to cost more than term life.

Comparison-shop among companies

As with virtually any other kind of insurance, life insurance policies vary in cost between insurance companies. You may find you can get a significantly lower premium just by shopping around. Be sure to check several carriers to see which costs the least, and make sure you're doing an apples-to-apples comparison of policy type and coverage amount.

An independent insurance agent specializing in life insurance can help you do this. You can also check with an online broker such as Everyday Life, which offers whole and term life insurance from multiple companies.

Consider third-party ratings and reviews

Price, of course, is just one of the factors you want to consider. You can check the A.M. Best financial strength rating for companies to understand better their ability to pay claims. J.D. Power rankings can give insight into a company's customer service capabilities.

If you're interested in a policy with a cash value feature, you may want to understand the company's investment history. The insurance company’s website or agents should be able to provide this type of information.

Apply for coverage

Once you’ve settled on a company, it’s time to apply for coverage. A growing number of companies offer online applications, while others require you to apply through an agent. Expect to answer questions about your health, medical history, family, tobacco use, and more. Unless you’re applying for a policy that does not require it, expect to take a medical exam that may include blood and urine screening.

Answer questions truthfully—insurers often use third-party services to verify information provided by applicants. Any discrepancies may jeopardize your application.

TIME Stamp: Consider our top choices for life insurance

Life insurance provides essential financial security for your family. However, with hundreds of providers, choosing the right company for your needs can be challenging. Use our reviews to gain a better understanding of what some of the top companies offer.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the best guaranteed rate life insurance for seniors?

We chose Ethos Life as the best guaranteed rate life insurance for seniors. Ethos offers no-medical-exam coverage of up to $30,000 for applicants aged 66 to 85.

What is the best life insurance for children?

Mutual of Omaha offers whole life coverage of up to $50,000 for children as young as 14 days. You can even apply for a policy online at the company website. For these and other reasons, it’s our choice for the best life insurance for children.

What is the best life insurance for military veterans?

Active and retired members of the U.S. military and their families need to look no further than USAA for their life insurance needs. This company offers insurance and other services exclusively to the military community, including whole, term, universal, and variable universal life.

What is the best life insurance for new parents?

We chose Fabric by Gerber Life as the best life insurance for young families. You can get term life coverage up to $5 million, and access tools to help you draft a will or set up a 529 savings plan for a child’s educational expenses.

Which type of insurance is better, term life or whole life?

Term life insurance policies offer lower cost and greater simplicity than whole life. But whole life policies meet many families' needs for life-long coverage and financial flexibility. Both policy types provide a death benefit that can help ensure your family’s financial security. You should consider your family's financial needs when choosing between these two types.

What kinds of death are not covered by life insurance?

Typically, a policy won’t provide coverage if the death of the policyholder is associated with any of the following conditions:

  • The policyholder lied on the policy application about their health, occupation, or participation in risky activities.
  • The policyholder's death resulted from risky activities such as BASE jumping, scuba diving, auto racing, or flying a private plane.
  • The policyholder committed suicide.
  • The policyholder was murdered by the beneficiary.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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