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9 Best Life Insurance Companies of October 2022

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Life insurance can help your family cover final expenses, education fees, loss of income, or any other financial need.

Below, you’ll find our selection of the best life insurance companies for October 2022. We’ve called out their distinctions, along with the various policies and premiums provided.

Our Top Picks for Best Life Insurance Companies

Best Life Insurance Companies Reviews

Why we chose it: Bestow issues term life insurance more quickly and easily than most companies, and it offers an unusually high death benefit for policies that do not require a medical examination.

  • High coverage (up to $1.5 million) without a medical exam
  • Online application and quick processing
  • Terms range from 10 to 30 years
  • Long (30-day) free look period
  • No riders available
  • Sells only one type of life insurance, term insurance
  • Must be less than 60 to qualify for coverage
  • Policies not available to residents of New York

Bestow is our choice for individuals who want to get life insurance coverage but don’t want to go through the hassle of a medical exam. The company sells term insurance policies (and only those), so you can apply online and purchase a policy without visiting a doctor or having tests such as bloodwork done. You can get up to $1.5 million in coverage, a higher maximum than other no-exam policies.

The company uses your personal information and your answers about your medical history, hobbies and lifestyle to determine your eligibility for life insurance and your rates. Bestow claims you can get a quote and purchase a policy within minutes, all online.

Bestow policies are issued by top-rated insurer North American Company for Life and Health Insurance. Additionally, life insurance from Bestow is now embedded into Lemonade’s app and website. Bestow also offers a comprehensive library of helpful information.

Read full review>>>

Why we chose it: Ethos stands out as a life insurance provider for accommodating a wide range of potential applicants, including those who may have struggled to qualify for insurance in the past – such as older individuals. Also, prospective customers can receive a quote within minutes without needing to talk to an insurance agent.

  • Sells term and permanent coverage
  • Access to a free legal will and estate plan
  • Guaranteed issue policies available
  • Quotes and application process entirely online
  • Accelerated death benefit rider included on most policies

  • Little information publicly available about optional riders
  • Limited permanent life insurance options

Ethos offers three types of underwriting:

  • Simplified issue: Simplified issue policies require you to answer questions about your health and medical history, but medical exams are not necessary.
  • Guaranteed issue: With guaranteed issue policies, you cannot be denied based on your medical history or health.
  • Fully underwritten: Fully underwritten policies require medical exams and bloodwork.

Ethos uses either simplified issue and fully underwritten methodology for its term policies, and guaranteed issue underwriting for its whole life insurance policies (no company we know of offers term policies with guaranteed coverage).

The guaranteed issue whole life policy is available to individuals between 65 and 85. Applicants can obtain instant approval for up to $25,000 of coverage, regardless of their medical history.

Most policies include an accelerated death benefit rider that allows policyholders to tap into a portion of their benefits if diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Read full review>>>

Why we chose it: As a comprehensive online life insurance marketplace, Policygenius offers one-stop access to life insurance products from a wide range of partners, including some of the best life insurance companies mentioned on our list. Unlike some other comparison sites, this one pledges not to sell your information to third parties.

  • Quickly and easily compare quotes from multiple insurers
  • Agents don’t work on commission, the company says
  • Multiple types of insurance available
  • Online quotes are not available for all providers
  • Takes more time than some other options to get a final price

Policygenius takes the top spot as the best online life insurance comparison tool and broker for its satisfying provision of one-stop shopping from a range of insurers. Policygenius’s partners include such names as AIG, Banner Life, Brighthouse, John Hancock, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Principal, Protective, Prudential, SBLI and Transamerica.

This online marketplace also offers an extensive library of educational resources for those new to life insurance, including recommendations for life insurance for people who suffer from depression and diabetes. Coupled with its broad range of coverage options such as term or permanent coverage policies, these resources make Policygenius a standout option for comparing life insurance quotes.

If you need help choosing the right policy or coverage amount, PolicyGenius’ agents can give you personalized assistance. They are paid by salary rather than commission, the company says, so they aren’t incentivized to oversell or to direct you to certain products that may earn them a higher commission.

Read full review>>>

Why we chose it: Haven Life provides an unusually wide range of term life insurance options, including plans with especially high death benefits. Additional perks such as online services to create a will are also available.

  • Offers two types of term policies: Haven Term and Simplified Issue
  • Haven Simplified Issue doesn’t require a medical exam
  • Up to $3 million in term coverage
  • Haven Term includes Haven Plus with perks and discounts
  • Medical exams required for over $500,000 of coverage
  • Simplified issue policy not available in CA, DE, SD, ND or NY
  • Haven Plus not available in FL, NY, ND, SD, and WA
  • Policies cannot replace another life insurance policy

Haven Life gets our nod for the best term insurance coverage because of its impressive array (10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year) of policy terms, along with coverage amounts that range from $100,000 to $3 million.

Haven Life offers two types of term life insurance policies: Haven Term and Haven Simple. Haven Term includes Haven Life Plus, a rider that provides access to an online service to develop a will or trust, fitness and sleep tracking apps and an online storage vault for important documents.

Applicants who are younger than 64 can get up to $3 million of coverage through Haven Term. Haven Simple is only available for applicants aged 20-55 and includes the Accelerated Death Benefit rider.

Read full review>>>

Why we chose it: True to its name, Ladder’s appeal is its adjustability. As your needs change, you can decrease or apply to increase your coverage. Also, its premiums start at only $5 a month, so you can purchase a policy even if you’re on a tight budget.

  • Term coverage can be adjusted over time
  • $100,000 to $3 million in term coverage available
  • 30-day free look period, rather than the 10-day norm
  • No medical exams for up to $3 million in coverage
  • Plans limited to people between 20 and 60
  • Only term coverage is available
  • No optional riders

Despite writing only term policies for relatively young applicants, Ladder is the best life insurance company with a flexible option we’ve found. It uses a simple three-step online application and offers affordable policies that start at $5/month. The company also doesn’t charge any cancellation fees, which means you can cancel your coverage at any time, with no strings attached.

Another appealing feature for Ladder is that, unlike other insurers, it allows policyholders to change their coverage amount online at any time — with corresponding changes in premiums, of course. This perk can help policyholders maintain an affordable policy at all times, and might be especially attractive to those worried about possible changes in their financial circumstances down the road.

*Based on a 20-year-old female rated Preferred-Plus for a $100k policy with a 10-year term.

Read full review>>>

Why we chose it: If a satisfying consumer experience is paramount for you, State Farm should be a leading option. It has an excellent reputation for customer service, along with an outstanding record for financial stability.

  • Top-ranked company for customer satisfaction
  • Low number of customer complaints
  • Multiple policy options
  • Simplified-issue (no exam) policies available
  • Online quotes not available for all policy options
  • Most policies require medical exams
  • No discounts if bundled with homeowners or auto insurance

State Farm is a leading insurance company and our pick for the best insurer for customer satisfaction and reliability. In 2021, it was ranked by J.D. Power as the top life insurance company based on consumer responses. It beat out 21 other life insurance companies based on its product offerings, communication, pricing and customer interactions.

The company has an A++ (superior) rating from AM Best — the highest rating possible — indicating that it’s very financially stable. And, State Farm received fewer complaints than is expected for a company of its size.

State Farm sells term, whole and universal life insurance policies. Although most of its plans require medical exams, it does have some simplified-issue options.

Read full review>>>

Why we chose it: New York Life insurance options include both term and permanent life insurance policies. Its term policies include a conversion option if you decide you want permanent coverage later on. It also underwrites AARP’s life insurance program.

  • Multiple term, whole and universal life policies available
  • Several optional riders can be added to policies
  • Highly rated company
  • Potential to earn dividends
  • Must work with an agent
  • No online quotes available

While it also sells term life insurance, New York Life is the best company for people seeking a permanent life insurance policy – including those of the whole life type. (Permanent life insurance is more costly but accumulates a cash value in addition to its death benefit.) The company offers multiple permanent options, including universal and variable universal life insurance plans. It also has several optional riders you can add to plans to customize your coverage.

New York Life has a strong reputation, and, because it’s a mutual insurance company, its policyholders own part of the company’s shares. Depending on the type of policy you have, you may be eligible to receive dividends.

However, New York Life doesn’t allow customers to get quotes online. For details on its policies and rates, you have to work with an agent.

Read full review>>>

Why we chose it: It’s relatively rare to get a break on your life insurance rates by bundling it with other types of coverage a company offers, but Nationwide offers such discounts. It writes term, whole life and universal policies, and has strong ratings for customer satisfaction and financial stability.

  • Discounts available when bundled with homeowners or auto insurance
  • Multiple insurance plans and optional riders
  • All policies require medical exams
  • Most policies must be purchased through agents

Nationwide is a leading insurance company that is well-regarded by third parties like AM Best, which rates financial stability, and J.D. Power, which scores customer satisfaction. It offers multiple life insurance options, including term, whole and universal life coverage. It also has several optional riders you can use to adjust your policy to your needs.

Although Nationwide’s policies usually have to be purchased through an agent, the company does have a major perk over other companies: it offers a multi-policy discount when you bundle life insurance with homeowners and auto insurance, making your premiums more affordable.

Read full review>>>

Why we chose it: Insurance riders allow you to get coverage for loved ones, access your benefits under special circumstances or even waive your premiums if you become ill. Northwestern Mutual has more optional riders available than most insurers, allowing you to customize your policy as you like.

  • Lengthy list of optional riders
  • Multiple policy options
  • Potential to earn dividends
  • Highly rated by third parties
  • Policies must be purchased through agents
  • Medical exams required for most
  • Limited online quote tools

Like most insurers, Northwestern Mutual offers a broad range of life insurance types, including term, whole, universal and variable universal life insurance. Its distinction in its long list of riders that, when added to your policy, allow you to extend and customize your coverage to meet your unique needs.

As a mutual company, Northwestern Mutual also pays dividends to policyholders. If you purchase insurance through the company, you could be eligible for annual dividend payments.

Northwestern Mutual is a reputable company that is usually listed at the top of industry rankings. It was third out of 21 companies in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, and it’s historically received fewer complaints than is typical for a company of its size.

Read full review>>>

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Other life insurance companies we considered

We evaluated life insurance companies based on customer service, product offering, simplicity of underwriting, ability to pay claims on time and high ratings.

The following companies have competitive offerings but are not part of our top picks because they did not excel in any of our requirements.

Lemonade

Lemonade offers term life insurance with no medical exam. Customers can complete the full online application in around five minutes and purchase 10- to 30- year term policies with up to 1.5 million in coverage. Policyholders must download Lemonade’s mobile app to manage their policy, submit claims and access customer service.

The company is not part of our top insurers because of its limited insurance offerings and lack of information about riders and policies on its website.

  • Premiums start from $9/mo
  • Completely online application
  • Full refund if you cancel within the first 30 days
  • Only people aged 18-60 can apply
  • Term life is not available in NY
  • If you have heart disease or cancer it’s unlikely that you’ll be approved by this insurer

Sproutt

Sproutt is a life insurance broker that connects customers with companies offering no-exam, guaranteed issue, universal and whole life policies. The company uses the “five pillars for better living” — movement, sleep, nutrition, balance and emotional health — to provide personalized policies and match customers with an insurance broker.

Sproutt didn’t make it to our top list because its Quality of Life underwriting tends to benefit a healthy, younger population (30 to 45-year-olds). Also, the company’s website lacks information about insurance coverage, riders and term options.

  • Options available for those who identify as non-binary
  • Uses technology to match people with the right policy coverage
  • Uses Quality of Life Index to underwrite policies
  • No phone assistance over the weekend
  • Coverage may be denied if you’re in poor health or have a high BMI
  • No-exam policies may be denied if you’ve filed for bankruptcy

Health IQ

Health IQ partners with over 25 national insurers to offer term life insurance for individuals with a healthy lifestyle. Customers can obtain online quotes but have to purchase coverage through an agent. Terms, policies and riders vary by insurance provider. This company is not part of our main list because of its limited online service and lack of information on its website.

  • Compare rates from 30 different carriers
  • Licensed agents guide you through the process
  • Offers membership rewards program
  • Online quotes require that users agree to calls from agents
  • Must have a healthy lifestyle or pass a quiz to qualify for better rates

MassMutual

MassMutual’s insurance portfolio includes term and permanent life insurance, including a term life policy that can be purchased online. Customers can also convert their term life insurance to a permanent policy without a medical exam.

MassMutual features a life insurance calculator to help prospective clients assess their insurance needs. This company is not part of our main list because its policies have few or no optional riders.

  • Young and/or healthy applicants may not need a medical exam
  • Offer two whole life policies with long term care riders
  • Direct Term life insurance can be purchased immediately online
  • No conversion options for some policies
  • You can only earn dividends with a whole life insurance policy
  • Few or no policy riders

Guardian Life

Guardian Life’s insurance portfolio includes term, whole and universal life policies. Those interested in a term life policy can get an online quote on Guardian Life’s website but they must contact an agent or provider to purchase any policy or get quotes for permanent life insurance.

Guardian’s below-average rating by JD Power and limited policy information and riders offerings kept it from our top list.

  • Online quotes and account management
  • Policies available for people with HIV
  • Must apply (and cancel) through an agent
  • Doesn’t offer no-exam (guaranteed issue) policies
  • Term life options are basic

USAA

USAA offers term life policies starting at $12 a month. Customers can access online quotes for term and permanent policies. Though it wasn’t included in JD Power’s latest study or rated by rating agencies, it has a low complaint ratio of 0.11 — and a strong reputation in the insurance industry. It isn’t part of our main list because it’s only available for military members and their families.

  • Military members can get coverage during war
  • Offer survivor support
  • High cap on the value of their policies
  • Medical exam required for all policies
  • Some policies unavailable in New York

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha stands out for being one of the few companies on this list that offers online quotes for both term and whole life insurance policies. However, this company didn’t make it to our main list because its premiums are higher than the industry average for applicants who are healthy and/or older. Application and processing times are also slower than other insurance providers.

  • Offers online quotes
  • Affordable underwriting for health conditions, including cancer
  • Offers a whole life insurance policy for children
  • Policies for individuals in good health are pricier than average
  • Must apply to discover whether a medical exam is required
  • Sparse website resources
  • New York residents have limited options

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual’s insurance offerings include term and whole life policies. Customers can file claims over the phone, online or through Liberty Mutual’s mobile app. This company is not part of our top life insurance companies in part because it lacks detailed information about policies and doesn’t offer a variety of term insurance options.

  • Immediate online approval for Passport Term (simplified issue insurance)
  • Continuing coverage once the term ends
  • Monthly premiums are higher than average
  • No detailed information about policies on the website

Life Insurance Guide

We created this life insurance guide to answer questions related to life insurance, its different policy types and policy options to help you select the best life insurance policy.

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a contract between a policyholder and an insurer, in which the latter guarantees to pay a sum of money to the life insurance beneficiary upon his or her death. This sum of money, known as the death benefit, is funded by premium payments made by the insured throughout their lifetime.

How does life insurance work?

Life insurance is meant to protect dependents and loved ones from financial hardship upon the death of a primary breadwinner. Yet, life insurance is not exclusively available for adults and the elderly. Many companies also offer life insurance for children, which can cover any expenses in the case of death, help with future insurability and provide economic support through the cash value component of the policy. The life insurance experts at Money have also prepared a list of the best life insurance for seniors and best life insurance for young adults.

At its most basic, life insurance has two main components, a death benefit and a premium.

  • The death benefit, also called the face value, refers to the lump sum of money the insurer agrees to pay out to named beneficiaries upon the policyholder’s death.
  • Premiums are payments made by the policyholder to the insurer in exchange for the policy. Life insurance premiums are determined by the insured’s projected life expectancy. High-risk individuals, or those who purchase larger death benefit amounts or a permanent life insurance policy, generally pay higher premiums.

Permanent and whole life insurance policies also include a cash value component that can serve two functions:

  • As a savings account in which cash accumulates on a tax-deferred basis, and which the insured can usually access during their lifetime. Some policies may restrict withdrawals, depending on how the withdrawn money will be used.
  • The cash value can also be used to cover premiums or purchase additional coverage.

It’s important to note that the cash value is a living benefit that stays with the insurance company when the policyholder dies. Any outstanding loans against it will reduce the policy’s death benefit.

What are the different types of life insurance?

  • What is term life insurance? This lasts for a predetermined period (commonly 10, 15 or 20 years), and then it expires
  • What is whole life insurance? A policy that covers the insured for the duration of their life as long as the premiums are paid. It includes a guaranteed cash value component, and fixed monthly premiums
  • What is universal life insurance? Similar to whole life, this protects the insured for the duration and their life as long as premiums are paid, and it includes a cash value component. The cash value component in this policy is not guaranteed and it will fluctuate with the market
  • What is no-exam life insurance? A policy that doesn’t require a medical exam for approval. It is a good option for those with pre-existing medical conditions who will have a hard time getting approved for a policy with traditional underwriting.
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What is the difference between term, whole and universal life insurance policies?

Term Life Whole Life Universal Life
There are two main types: level term and convertible term There are four main types of universal life insurance: traditional or non-guaranteed, indexed, and variable life There are four main types: traditional or non-guaranteed, indexed and variable life
The death benefit is paid to your designated beneficiaries as a lump sum, in installments or as an annuity Policyholders can access the savings component during their lifetime and receive annual dividend payments on the policy Premium payments and cash value influence the value of the policy. It doesn’t receive annual dividend payments
A lump sum payout means that your beneficiary receives the whole benefit at once. To annuitize, the payment is spread out into fixed installments Policyholders can make payments over the premium and accumulate more Allows policyholders to increase or decrease the death benefit amount, within limits

Both whole and universal are considered permanent life insurance policies, meaning they can last a person’s lifetime. If you’re not sure which is best for you, check out our in-depth analysis on term vs whole life insurance.

Most Common Causes of Death

The life expectancy of a person born in 2020 was 77 years, with a difference in life expectancy between men and women of 5.7 years. Men tend to die earlier than women, which might explain, why on average, life insurance for men is more expensive.

When it comes to coverage, there are several factors that impact your premiums or even your insurability. A history of medical conditions can increase your premiums, especially serious illnesses like heart disease or cancer. A family history of illnesses might also increase the cost of your coverage.

Insurance is all about the likelihood of a covered event taking place, so a family history that includes some of the most common causes of death could prompt insurers to take a closer look to determine whether or not to provide coverage.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease and cancer were the first and second most common causes of death in the U.S. in 2020. The following table shows the other most common causes of death.

Cause of Death Deaths per 100,000 US Standard Population
Heart disease 168.2
Cancer 144.1
COVID-19 85
Unintentional injuries 57.6
Stroke 38.8
Chronic lower respiratory diseases 36.4
Alzheimer’s disease 32.4
Diabetes 24.8
Influenza and pneumonia 13
Kidney disease 12.7

Life Insurance Glossary

Common Life Insurance Terms
Underwriting Insurance companies use underwriting guidelines to determine how much your policy will cost based on your health issues and family history, among other factors. They do so by classifying policyholders into risk pools. The higher the risk, the higher the premium.
Beneficiary The person, organization or charity that receives the life insurance payout (death benefit)
Rider Coverage add-ons to your policy at an increased price, such as an accelerated death benefit, accidental death benefit, chronic illness, long-term care, or return of premium.
Disclaimer When a beneficiary declines to receive or fails to claim the proceeds of a policy. In such cases, the death benefit goes to the remaining beneficiaries. If there are no other beneficiaries, the death benefit goes to the insured’s estate.
Death Benefit The amount the beneficiaries receive from a life insurance policy, as long as the insured died when the policy was in effect.
Contestability Period The first two years of your policy. The life insurance company can review your policy during this period of time and refuse to pay a claim if they find out the insured has committed fraud.
Cost of Insurance (COI) Part of Universal Life Insurance policies, COI is the minimum premium amount that must be paid to keep the policy active and includes mortality costs, administrative fees, and other expenses.

Latest News on Life Insurance

Cash value earnings in a whole life insurance policy can be used to pay for college tuition, supplement retirement income, or for a down mortgage payment. If you’re interested in having cash value in your life insurance policy check our selection of the best whole life insurance companies of 2022.

Are you interested in coverage to help reimburse your care needs during the last years of your life? Long-term care insurance can pay for it. Check out our selection of the best long-term care insurance and find out if and when you should purchase one of these policies.

Life Insurance Companies FAQ

How much life insurance do I need?

There’s no such thing as a hard and fast rule for figuring out a price tag on your life insurance needs and peace of mind. Still, a basic starting point is to determine your financial obligations and future and final expenses (such as funeral costs) and subtract any liquid assets you may have.

In any case, it’s a good idea to consider life insurance within a larger financial context. If you can, it’s a good idea to discuss your life insurance needs with a financial advisor.

What’s the best place to get life insurance quotes?

The best place to get life insurance quotes is at an insurance marketplace company like Policygenius because it allows you to compare life insurance costs and products from different companies in one place. Also, most companies that are part of our top picks offer online life insurance quotes.

What is the difference between term and whole life insurance?

The main difference between term and whole life insurance is that the former type of policy only lasts for a set period (its term). In contrast, a whole or permanent policy covers a policyholder for (essentially) their entire lifespan.

How much is life insurance per month?

The cost of a life insurance policy will depend on various factors including the type of policy and amount of coverage. The monthly premium will also depend on the applicant’s age, gender, lifestyle, and overall health. According to Haven Life, a 35-year-old non-smoking male, living in NY, in good health, will pay around a $30 monthly premium for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit.

What is the best life insurance?

There’s no one best life insurance policy or company for everybody. Your choices regarding life insurance will depend on your needs and how you plan to use the policy. Before making a selection, check the reviews for Money’s best life insurance companies.
Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer

A proper life insurance policy will protect your loved ones from the unexpected.

No time like the present to get on the estate planning path. Do it right with life insurance and take care of your family. Click below for more information.

View Rates

How We Chose the Best Life Insurance Companies

As part of our methodology to come up with our list of top life insurance products and companies, we looked at:

  • The ability to pay claims on time
  • Customer experience and product offerings
  • Customer satisfaction and ratings reported in J.D. Power’s latest U.S. Life Insurance Satisfaction Study, and the A.M. Best financial strength ratings
  • The number of complaints regarding their individual life insurance policies, based on National Association of Insurance (NAIC) data
  • The selection of insurance plans and related products
  • Simplicity of underwriting

Summary of Money’s Best Life Insurance Companies of October 2022

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