Top 10 Best Life Insurance Companies In The United States
Top 10 Best Life Insurance Companies In The United States
Table of Content

The United States is the most expensive country in the world for healthcare. Americans spent $9,892 per capita on health care in 2016, the highest average in the world. International students should always have a health insurance plan while in the US.

Different types of life insurance in the US

There are two main types of life insurance available, as well as some additional, more specialized options:

→ Whole life insurance

→ Term life insurance

Term life insurance is typically much more affordable than permanent life insurance because it is only active within a set period and does not generate any cash value. Some types of term life insurance also maintain constant premiums throughout the policy’s life.

Despite the comparatively cheap premiums associated with term life insurance, there are a couple of drawbacks. For one, there is no savings component with term life policies. A savings or cash value component enables policyholders to add value to their policy over the course of their premium payments to cover extra expenses before death. If you decide you’d like access to a saving component, you’ll need to purchase a permanent insurance policy.

Whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance. The agreed-upon death benefit is paid out to beneficiaries in exchange for a constant, regularly-paid premium paid by the policyholder over the policy’s life. Whole life insurance also invests the money of the policyholder while they are still paying premiums. This investment serves as a savings account from which the policyholder can withdraw or borrow funds for various expenses.

Top 10 Best Life Insurance Companies In The United States: Cheapest Quotes and Good Services

1. Prudential: Best Overall

Photo: topcv
Photo: topcv

Life insurance is issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Pruco Life Insurance Company (except in NY), and Pruco Life Insurance Company of New Jersey (in NY). Securities are offered through Pruco Securities, LLC.

Prudential is a great option because of its financial strength and legacy. The insurer has been providing clients with insurance services for over 170 years. The company is highly rated by the top ratings agencies.

Types of life insurance policies offered

The Prudential Insurance Company offers two main types of life insurance: universal life and term life. Here’s a closer look at the products available in each category.

Universal life insurance

Unlike term insurance, which insures you for a set period of time, universal life insurance is permanent. It has an investment element to it — besides the death benefit your loved ones will receive, a portion of your monthly premium is invested and goes in a savings account that grows by earning interest or being invested. It comes with tax benefits, and you can access the cash balance.

Universal life insurance could be a good option if you’re interested in providing loved ones with financial security when you pass while setting money aside for yourself for retirement. The Prudential Life Insurance Company has three universal life products:

Universal life insurance: Prudential has three options of universal life insurance with an interest-bearing cash account — PruLife® Universal Protector, PruLife Essential UL®, and PruLife® SUL Protector.

Indexed universal life insurance: Prudential’s universal policies in this category grow at the pace of the S&P 500 — PruLife® Founders Plus UL, PruLife Index Advantage UL®, and PruLife® Survivorship Index UL.

Variable universal life insurance: This type adds an underlying investment option for greater growth of your cash account. You choose the type of investment you’d like to make with your cash contributions, which will be kept separate from the death benefit amount — VUL Protector®, PruLife® Custom Premier II, and PruLife® SVUL ProtectorSM.

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is simpler than universal life. You can buy a policy that will cover you for a certain number of years and pay your loved ones a tax-free benefit if you pass away during the term. Your premium is fixed for the set period of time so you know what to expect. Prudential offers four-term life products:

Term Essential®: This is Prudential’s basic term life insurance product.

Term Elite®: This term insurance can be converted to a permanent policy in the future.

SimplyTerm: This is an affordable policy that can be purchased online for up to $500,000 for terms of 10, 20, or 30 years. It is not available in all states.

PruTermSM One: This is a short-term, year-to-year renewable coverage.

2. State Farm Life Insurance: Best Instant Issue

Photo: businessinsider
Photo: businessinsider

State Farm is another insurance company with a long and storied history. Founded in 1922 by a retired farmer, State Farm has grown from humble beginnings to offer a broad range of insurance products today. At the moment, State Farm comes in at number 39 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies.

This company also boasts an A++ rating for financial strength from AM Best, which is the highest rating possible.

Also, note that State Farm secured the highest ranking in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, which compared the experiences of life insurance and annuity customers nationwide.

Types of life insurance policies offered

State Farm sells term life, whole life and universal life insurance policies to individuals. All of State Farm’s term products can be converted to permanent coverage, regardless of changes to your health. Availability and policy details vary among states.

Term life insurance

$50,000 of coverage is available for people between 16 and 45, lasting until age 50 or 10 years after the policy is issued, whichever is later. State Farm’s instant answer life insurance doesn’t require a medical exam. However, you have to complete a health questionnaire, and your answers may disqualify you from coverage.

Permanent life insurance

Whole life insurance policies include standard whole life, limited-pay whole life, single-premium whole life, and final expense. The company’s standard whole life policy has level premiums. Its limited-pay and single-premium policies allow you to front-load the cost of the insurance so you don’t need to pay during retirement. Final expense policies, available to applicants 50 to 80 years old (50 to 75 in New York), come with $10,000 of coverage.

Universal life insurance options include survivorship and joint universal policies. These types of policies cover two individuals, typically spouses. The company’s standard universal policy offers flexible coverage and payment options.

3. Nationwide Life Insurance: Best for High Customer Satisfaction

Photo: thelisgroup
Photo: thelisgroup

Nationwide stands out for its acclaim from third parties. The company has an A+ A.M. Best financial strength rating and a high (third place) ranking in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. customer satisfaction ratings. In the past year, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has received only a single complaint against Nationwide for its individual life insurance, which underlines the company’s strong record for customer service.

As with most of its competitors, policies from Nationwide can be customized with riders like accelerated death benefit, premium waiver, and children’s term insurance. Nationwide doesn’t charge a fee or require a medical exam for policy conversions.

Nationwide universal life policies offer two hybrid universal/long-term care riders or linked benefits: Long-term care (LTC) and CareMatters. LTC covers the cost of long term care while giving the insured flexibility on how to receive their benefits. CareMatters covers the cost of an informal caregiver, and guarantees a monthly cash benefit payment.

Types of life insurance policies offered

  • Term life insurance — Guarantees conversion to any permanent life insurance product up to age 65 with no five-year window.
  • Intelligent underwriting program — Accelerated underwriting for ages 60 and under with coverage up to $250,000.
  • Express issue — A simplified issue no medical exam life insurance policy for under $100,000 in coverage for ages 70 and under.
  • Care Matters — A hybrid long-term care life insurance product.

Read More: Most Weirdest Insurance Policies Around The World

4. Northwestern Mutual: Best Whole Life

Photo: poblocki
Photo: poblocki

Northwestern Mutual has been in business since 1857, and it has solid ratings that show its commitment to offering quality products and services. Not only does Northwestern Mutual boast an A++ rating from AM Best and an AA+ rating from S&P Global, but it also earned high marks for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study.611

Northwestern Mutual offers term life insurance coverage, whole life insurance coverage, and universal life insurance coverage. However, due to the fact it employs financial advisors who oversee your full financial picture, you will need to go through a complete financial review to get a quote.

This means you’ll need to work with one of Northwestern Mutual's financial advisors and provide more information on your finances and your life. This can be a major benefit if you need some help with comprehensive financial planning and want to make your whole life insurance a part of your overall financial picture.

Types of life insurance policies offered

  • Term life — Covers you for a set amount of time such as 10, 15, or 20 years, and once that term ends, so does your policy.
  • Whole life — Offers a death benefit and cash value that lasts your lifetime no matter which way the markets go.
  • Universal life — Offers a death benefit and cash value based on interest rates and lasts your lifetime.
  • Variable universal life — Offers a death benefit and cash value invested in the markets so you can have the chance to boost its growth over time. Also lasts your lifetime.
  • Long-term care insurance — Covers cost like in-home care, assisted living, and nursing home care, not usually covered by insurance.

5. Mutual of Omaha: Best for No Medical Exams

Photo: apnews
Photo: apnews

Mutual of Omaha is a life insurance company that offers guaranteed whole life policies. These life insurance plans are similar to standard whole life but do not require you to take a medical exam. However, the policies have much smaller death benefits — Mutual of Omaha offers coverage amounts of less than $25,000. For this reason, guaranteed whole life is often used by older individuals to help pay for funeral expenses.

Compared to other guaranteed life insurance quotes, Mutual of Omaha has some of the best rates available in the industry. This, coupled with better-than-average complaint numbers and a strong financial rating, makes the life insurance provider a great option for any final expense insurance needs.

Types of life insurance policies offered

Life insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all product. There are a variety of ways to plan your legacy. Mutual of Omaha provides three main types of life insurance:

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is the simplest and most affordable type of life insurance policy to sign up for. Mutual of Omaha provides coverage for term lengths of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. You’ll be able to buy a policy with a payout benefit of at least $100,000 or more. Term policies can be converted into permanent life insurance at any time before the policy expires.

Guaranteed whole life insurance

Guaranteed whole life insurance is a form of permanent coverage that builds cash value from fixed premiums, while also offering a death benefit and assistance with final expenses. Moreover, a medical exam is not needed. For those on a fixed income or those who simply want peace of mind, guaranteed whole life insurance may provide a good option.

Mutual of Omaha offers guaranteed whole life insurance coverage to adults between the ages of 45 and 85, or those ages 50-75 for New York residents. Benefits range from $2,000 to $25,000, or $5,000 to $25,000 in Washington.

Universal life insurance

The last type of life insurance available through Mutual of Omaha is universal life insurance. It provides you with a lifetime of coverage — as long as you continue to pay your premiums, you’ll be covered. The most popular of the company’s universal life products is Income Advantage, an indexed universal life policy tied to an index fund that tracks the S&P 500’s performance, for the chance to earn more on your cash value funds.

6. New York Life: Best Term Policies

Photo: forbes
Photo: forbes

New York Life offers a good selection of both term and permanent life insurance options, and its term policies include a conversion option. You can also customize term coverage with options like the Spouse Paid Up rider. With this rider, if you die, your spouse can use the death benefit payout to purchase their own insurance coverage without taking a medical exam.

New York Life also underwrites the AARP Life Insurance Program, which offers both term and permanent group coverage without a physical exam. Some of the program’s policies feature guaranteed life insurance rates, while others offer level premiums.

New York Life has a good selection of both term and permanent life insurance options, and its term policy includes a conversion option. It also underwrites AARP’s life insurance program.

Types of life insurance policies offered

  • Term life — Covers you for a set amount of time such as 10, 15, or 20 years, and once that term ends, so does your policy.
  • Whole life — Offers a death benefit and cash value that lasts your lifetime no matter which way the markets go.
  • Universal life — Offers a death benefit and cash value based on interest rates and lasts your lifetime.
  • Variable universal life — Offers a death benefit and cash value invested in the markets so you can have the chance to boost its growth over time. Also lasts your lifetime.
  • Long-term care insurance — Covers cost like in-home care, assisted living, and nursing home care, not usually covered by insurance.
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7. Ladder - Best for Cheap Life Insurance

Photo: lifeinsuranceinternational
Photo: lifeinsuranceinternational

The amount of life insurance you need changes over time — unlike most insurers, Ladder Life Insurance allows you to easily increase or decrease your policy limits. This means you don't have to pay for unnecessary coverage now if you expect your financial situation to change later — for example, when you have kids or buy a house.

Though Ladder Life's rates aren't the lowest, the company is quite competitive, often with below-average premiums. Its term life policies can be purchased for periods of 10 to 30 years, and Ladder lets you purchase up to $8 million in coverage. This is the highest coverage limit we came across for a completely online insurer.

Types of life insurance policies offered

Term Life

Ladder offers term life insurance that lasts between 10 and 30 years. Policies are offered in 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year term options, up to a maximum covered age of 70. Coverage limits range from $100,000 to $8 million, and coverage can be increased or decreased as needed throughout the course of the policy term. A paramedical exam may or may not be necessary when applying for coverage through Ladder, depending on your health history, age, and other key factors.

8. Bestow - Best No-Exam Life Insurance

Photo: lendstart
Photo: lendstart

Bestow is the best option for no-exam life insurance for reasons that include its speed and convenience in issuing policies. Its application process is fully online and uses your identifying information and questions about your medical history, hobbies, and lifestyle to help determine your premiums. You can obtain a quote, purchase insurance, and obtain coverage on the same day without any physical paperwork.

Its policies are issued by top-rated insurer North American Company for Life and Health Insurance. The company also offers a comprehensive library of helpful information.

Types of life insurance policies offered

Bestow does not offer permanent life insurance. It only offers a term life insurance policy with a term of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years. Coverage options are limited to a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $1.5 million.

Coverage options are limited to applicants between the ages of 18 and 60 in good health. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer in the last 10 years, you will not be approved. BMI and certain risk factors could also disqualify you from coverage with this online life insurance company. Smokers can qualify for a term life insurance policy but may be subject to higher monthly premiums.

Though you can choose your term coverage options and death benefits, there are no riders to personalize your term life insurance policy with Bestow. If you live in a New York ZIP code, you cannot apply for life insurance with Bestow at this time.

9. USAA: Best for Military

Photo: creditsesame
Photo: creditsesame

USAA isn’t part of our main list because it’s only available for military members and their families. Though it isn't included in JD Power’s latest study of customer satisfaction or rated by rating agencies, the company has a strong record in this regard, including favorable complaints records with insurance regulators.

Types of life insurance policies offered

Term life insurance

Level term life insurance policies are available for lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years for coverage limits of $100,000 to $10 million. Depending on the state, you may receive additional benefits, including:

  • Coverage while in war, which is often excluded from policies.
  • A $25,000 payment if you suffer a severe injury while on active duty, including paralysis, loss of vision or severe burns.
  • Guaranteed coverage after leaving the military.
  • An option to add $100,000 in coverage if you have a baby, get married or buy a house between the ages of 18 and 35.
  • The option to convert to a permanent policy.
  • The option to replace your servicemembers’ group life insurance (SGLI) with a USAA term life policy if you leave the military.

Permanent life insurance

Simplified whole life insurance policies are available for coverage limits up to $10 million. You have the option to make payments for 20 years, until age 65 or for the full duration of the policy. You can also increase coverage after certain life events, up to a total of six times, with a free life event option rider.

Universal life insurance policies come with flexible payment options and with a guaranteed interest rate of 2%. Universal life policies are not available in New York.

Guaranteed Issue life insurance policies are available to applicants 45 to 85 (50-75 in New York) in all states except Connecticut and Montana. These policies are issued by Mutual of Omaha and do not require a medical exam or health questionnaire to qualify for coverage. Face amounts range from $2,000 to $25,000. Often called final expenses life insurance, these small policies can help cover burial or funeral costs.

10. Haven Life - Best Term Life Insurance

Photo: havenlife
Photo: havenlife

Haven Life Insurance provides the best term life insurance quotes for a wide variety of customer profiles and allows you to complete the entire quote and application online.

You can even pay for your policy with a credit card, which is rare for life insurance. In addition, Haven Life offers some of the fastest approvals. Although some policies are fully underwritten with a medical exam, many customers will get a same-day determination.

Term policies can be purchased from Haven Life for periods ranging from 10 years to 30 years, and the company offers up to $2 million in coverage. Though Haven Life's set of optional features, also known as riders, is somewhat limited, it has all the standards you'd expect from an insurer, such as an accelerated death benefit rider and a waiver of premium rider.

Types of life insurance policies offered

Haven Term life insurance policies include the following features:

  • Offered in 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms
  • Guaranteed to have level monthly premiums
  • Available with coverages from $100,000 to $3 million
  • Available for customers ages 18 to 64
  • Applicants ages 60 to 64 are eligible for up to $1 million in coverage
  • Only available online

Haven Term policies are not available in Florida, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Washington.

Haven Simple life insurance policies include the following features:

  • Offered in 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms
  • Guaranteed to have level monthly premiums
  • Available with coverages from $25,000 to $500,000
  • Available for customers ages 18 to 64
  • Does not require a medical exam
  • Only available online

Haven Simple policies are not available in California, Delaware, New York, North Dakota, or South Dakota.

How to choose the best life insurance company

When shopping for life insurance, the best strategy is to consider the type and length of coverage you need, policy costs, and customer reviews. You should also compare quotes from several providers so you can find the best insurance company for your needs and budget.

Policy details and options

Before you compare quotes, you need to determine how much coverage you will need and for how long.

Deciding whether to purchase term or permanent life insurance will depend on how long you need coverage.

Term life insurance is the cheapest life insurance option available because it provides coverage for a limited period of time. Other forms of life insurance, like whole and universal policies, tend to be more expensive since these plans are designed to provide life insurance coverage for your entire life and often include extras like cash value accounts.

Customer reviews

Finding the cheapest life insurance rates is important, but choosing a company that provides an excellent customer experience can be equally important. Life insurance is a personal product, and getting relevant information about your policy is essential to understanding the details of your plan. You can find information about the experience of dealing with a life insurance company through customer reviews.

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