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Ladder Life Insurance Review 2024

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Updated May 6, 2024

Buying life insurance can seem like a daunting task. There are many providers to sort through, and many types of coverage—some with complicated cash value and other features. The costs can be intimidating. And of course, buying life insurance prompts you to confront your own mortality—hardly a joyful thought.

A new type of insurance company is aiming to address these dynamics. Referred to as “insuretechs,” they’re using modern technology to simplify the buying process and even help make life insurance a little more affordable. Ladder is one such company.

Ladder Insurance

Ladder Life Insurance

Ladder Life Insurance

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

TIME’s Take

Those looking for simplicity and flexibility in a life insurance policy should take particular note of Ladder. The company offers term life coverage up to $8 million and the ability to adjust coverage levels up and down as needs change. The company sells policies exclusively online.

Who is Ladder for?

Ladder could be a good choice for young parents looking for straightforward and affordable term life coverage to provide a financial safety net for their young families. Being able to choose terms up to 30 years and coverage up to $8 million means most policyholders can get the insurance they need. What’s more, policyholders can choose to adjust their coverage amounts as their needs change. Ladder also appeals to those looking for ease of use: All policy sales are online, and policies up to $3 million do not require a medical exam.

Ladder does not offer permanent life insurance, such as whole life. Nor does it offer policies designed for seniors, such as guaranteed rate whole life with lower coverage levels.

Ladder overview

Ladder offers term life insurance for people aged 20 to 60, with policies that offer up to $8 million in coverage. The company offers policies online, promising coverage in minutes to many applicants. To reach the customer service team, the website suggests using its chat feature or calling the company’s toll-free phone number, 1-844-533-7206.

We love the simplicity Ladder brings to the table. But at times, the Ladder website feels too simple. It’s difficult to locate many key policy details that an insurance shopper may want to know. Ultimately, we found a lot of our basic policy information by digging through the website’s FAQ feature.

Ladder history

Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Ladder offers scant information about its company history on its website. According to a review by USNews.com, the company started selling in California in 2017 and now sells policies in all 50 U.S. states.

The company leverages technology to deliver on three promises: speed, ease, and affordability. The Ladder website notes that the company founder, Jamie Hale, lost his father at age 11 and saw how life insurance can help a family in tough times. That experience evolved into his life’s mission of “help[ing] others set their families up for success the way his father did for him.”

Ladder policy details

Ladder does avoid overwhelming you with choices. The company offers a single life insurance policy: term life with coverage amounts ranging from $100,000 to $8 million, for people aged 20 to 60. A medical exam is needed only if the coverage amount is above $3 million. 

Terms are available up to 30 years, depending on the policyholder’s age: Whereas a 40-year-old can qualify for a 30-year term, a 60-year-old can qualify only for a 10-year term.

Ladder policies are individual, so a spouse would have to get their own policy to be covered. Coverage riders are not offered.

Ladder claims to be the only company offering term life with flexible coverage amounts. The company refers to this as “laddering.” Essentially, as your needs change, you can change your coverage amount (your premium will adjust as well). 

Let’s say, for example, a 30-year-old buys a $1 million life insurance policy with a 30-year term. Fifteen years later, after paying off their mortgage early, they decide $1 million of that coverage is no longer needed. Ladder would allow the policyholder to adjust the policy—“laddering down,” in the company’s terminology—to a level that suits their current need.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Term life available up to $8 million
  • No medical exam if coverage up to $3 million
  • Ability to “ladder,” or adjust coverage as needs change
  • Online approval in minutes for most people

Cons:

  • Does not offer whole or universal life
  • Detailed policy information somewhat difficult to find on website
  • Does not offer any riders

Ladder life insurance cost

A recent study by Insure.com looked at the monthly costs of a Ladder 20-year term life policy.

AgeSmokerGender$500,000 coverage$1 million coverage
25
No
Male
$21
$35
25
No
Female
$18
$29
25
Yes
Male
$65
$119
25
Yes
Female
$41
$71
35
No
Male
$22
$37
35
No
Female
$19
$32
35
Yes
Male
$94
$173
35
Yes
Female
$74
$137
45
No
Male
$58
$104
45
No
Female
$46
$80
45
Yes
Male
$208
$397
45
Yes
Female
$164
$310

These are sample rates. Life insurance premiums can vary based on multiple factors, including age, health and pre-existing medical conditions, tobacco use, and occupation. To verify your cost of coverage, contact the insurer for a policy quote.

How does Ladder compare to other brands?

Here is how Ladder compares to Fabric by Gerber Life, another insurer offering online sales of term life coverage.

LadderFabric Life
Policy types
Term
Term
Coverage minimum
$100,000
$100,000
Coverage maximum
$8 million
$5 million
Available riders
None
Accelerated death benefit included with every policy
A.M. Best
Varies
A+(1)
Trustpilot stars
4.8
4.8

(1)Rating for underwriting company, Western and Southern Life
(2)Rating for underwriting company, Mass Mutual

Policy types

Similar to its competitors, Ladder offers only term life coverage. None of these companies offer permanent life insurance, such as whole life, or guaranteed acceptance whole life.

Coverage levels

Ladder offers coverage ranging from $100,000 to $8 million. Its maximum coverage is higher than that offered by its competitors.

Financial strength

Ladder  distributes term life insurance products issued by multiple highly rated insurers.

One of the insurers is its affiliate, Ladder Life Insurance Company. Ladder Life Insurance Company has earned a Financial Stability Rating® (FSR) of A (Exceptional) from Demotech, Inc. FSRs are a leading indicator of financial stability, providing an objective baseline of the future solvency. The most current FSRs must be verified by visiting www.demotech.com.

Ladder’s competitors have AM Best ratings of A+ and higher. 

Customer satisfaction

Ladder and its competitors all perform well on Trustpilot, with each company scoring 4.5 or more out of 5.0 stars. Ladder’s current score is 4.8 stars. 

Riders

Ladder does not offer any policy riders. Its competitors both offer an accelerated death benefit rider. 

Methodology

We evaluate life insurance providers based on types of coverage and available coverage amounts, how to buy, financial strength, and customer satisfaction. Our objective is to provide a high-level overview of Ladder to help readers make a more informed insurance buying decision.

The Ladder website was our primary source for information about the company, including details about coverages, riders, and the company’s financial strength ratings. Information about pricing is from a recent review by Insure.com. Competitor information came from those companies’ websites. We referenced Trustpilot to evaluate companies’ customer satisfaction. All online sources were accessed between Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, 2023.

Bottom line

Ladder promises speed, ease, and affordability. It delivers with a website offering term life coverage for families and online approval for coverage amounts up to $3 million. If you’re in the market for term life coverage to serve as a financial safety net for your family, Ladder is a company worth checking out.

Ladder Insurance

Ladder Life Insurance

Ladder Life Insurance

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

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How do I buy life insurance from Ladder?

Ladder sells policies exclusively online—it does not work with agents. Coverage amounts under $3 million are typically approved in minutes, while those over that amount will require a medical exam.

How do I file a claim with Ladder?

Beneficiaries can start the claim process by filling out an online form at the Ladder website, or by sending an email to claimhelp@ladderlife.com.

Is Ladder a sustainable company?

It’s difficult to get a good gauge of Ladder’s sustainability credentials, though CEO Jamie Hale has written about environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues on the company blog. As the sales operation is 100% digital, you might expect Ladder to have lower overhead and use fewer resources. The company announced in 2022 that it partnered with a non-profit organization that will plant a tree for every new Ladder customer. Ladder has also donated meals to Feeding America.

Ladder Insurance Services, LLC (CA license # OK22568; AR license # 3000140372) distributes term life insurance products issued by multiple insurers – for further details see ladderlife.com. All insurance products are governed by the terms set forth in the applicable insurance policy. Each insurer has financial responsibility for its own products. 240327-3476451

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

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