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The Best Term Life Insurance Companies in 2020

Our top picks for best term life insurance with robust coverage and strong financial backing ​
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    Having term life insurance from a young age is important, but it’s not always finding the best provider. To help you shop for life insurance, we put together a guide with the best term life insurance companies. These companies were reviewed and scored based on five main criteria—customer experience, financial strength, policy offerings, riders and website accessibility. 

    The 7 Best Term Life Insurance Companies of 2021

    Best Term Life Insurance Companies: Summed Up

    RankCompanyReviews.com ScoreAM Best Financial StrengthJ.D. Power Customer Satisfaction*Can convert term to whole?
    1Northwestern Mutual4.8A++790
    2State Farm5A++838
    3Nationwide5A+803
    4Mutual of Omaha4.2A+789
    5New York Life4.2A++784
    6Principal Financial3.8A+772X
    7Liberty Mutual3.5ANRX

    Information accurate as of February 2021.* Based on J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study on a 1,000-point scale with an average customer satisfaction rating of 763.

    Northwestern Mutual

    Northwestern Mutual is our top pick for the best life insurance company overall. The company has impressive financial strength, great customer service and very few customer complaints. To learn more about this provider, check out our full review of Northwestern Mutual

    Best For: Financial strength and reputation

    Not For: Flexible term lengths

    AM Best: A++

    J.D. Power: 790/1,000

    NAIC: 0.02 (below average complaints)

    Pros

    • Great customer service reviews.
    • Strong financial rating.
    • Term conversion option with guaranteed acceptance.
    • Renewal policies available until age 80.
    • No-exam policies for people in good health.

    Cons

    • Term lengths are limited to 10, 20 or 80 years.
    • Website lacks information about what term policies include.

    State Farm

    If you’re shopping for life insurance for your family, State Farm’s Instant Answer Term Insurance® offers fast and affordable coverage. The company also offers Family Life insurance with specific riders that protect parents and kids. To learn more about this provider, check out our full review of State Farm life insurance

    Best For: Young families

    Not For: Flexible term lengths

    AM Best: A++

    J.D. Power: 831/1,000

    NAIC: 0.24 (below average complaints)

    Pros

    • Two policies specifically designed for young families.
    • No-exam policies available.
    • Affordable premiums and sample rates available on the website.
    • Great financial strength rating.
    • Online quote tool.
    • Available in 47 states.

    Cons

    • Term limits are only available in 10-, 20- and 30-year limits.
    • No accidental death benefit rider.
    • No guaranteed premium for term life insurance policies.

    Nationwide

    Nationwide offers a number of helpful online tools and resources, which makes it a great choice for people who are buying life insurance for the first time. You can use the life insurance calculator to determine how much coverage you need, and check out the resource section for FAQs, articles and brochures. To learn more about this provider, check out our full review of Nationwide life insurance

    Best For: Online tools and digital resources

    Not For: Customer service

    AM Best: A+

    J.D. Power: 803/1,000

    NAIC: 0.05 (below average complaints)

    Pros

    • Great online tools and resources.
    • Term lengths offered in 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year limits.
    • Term policies are renewable annually until age 95.
    • Online quote tool.
    • Wide selection of riders and add-on coverages.

    Cons

    • Most policies require a medical exam.
    • Higher-than-average premiums.
    • Customer service isn’t the best in the industry.

    Mutual of Omaha

    Mutual of Omaha stands out for its exceptional customer service reputation, which can be difficult to find in the insurance industry. When you apply for a policy with Mutual of Omaha, you’re assigned a local agent who can answer questions and help you find the right policy for your needs. To learn more about this provider, check out our full review of Mutual of Omaha

    Best For: Customer service

    Not For: Customizable policies

    AM Best: A+

    J.D. Power: 789/1,000 

    NAIC: 0.65 (below average complaints)

    Pros

    • Highly rated customer service.
    • Strong financial ratings.
    • Flexible policy terms with 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year limits.
    • Website contains helpful information about buying life insurance.
    • Option to convert your policy to permanent at any point.
    • Online quote tool.

    Cons

    • Fewer riders and add-on policies compared to other companies.
    • Not available nationwide.
    • Customer complaints about unexpected rate increases.

    New York Life

    New York Life is a great choice for anyone who is looking for customizable life insurance coverage. The company offers several riders and add-on policies that can give you extra protection for the things that matter most. To learn more about this provider, check out our full review of New York Life

    ✓ Best For: Customizable policies and riders

    Not For: Flexible term lengths

    AM Best: A++

    J.D. Power: 784/1,000

    NAIC: 0.21 (below average complaints)

    Pros

    • Yearly convertible and level premium convertible policies available.
    • Choose from a variety of riders to customize your policy.
    • 12,000 agents located around the country.
    • Excellent financial strength rating.
    • Few customer complaints.

    Cons

    • No online quote tool.
    • Term limits only available in 10 or 20 year increments.
    • Not many online resources or support options.

    Principal Financial

    Principal Financial stands out for its flexible term limits. The company offers term life insurance policies in 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year term lengths, as well as a unique one year term for short-term coverage needs. To learn more about this provider, check out our full review of Principal Financial

    Best For: Flexible term lengths

    Not For: Customizable policies

    AM Best: A+

    J.D. Power: 772/1,000

    NAIC: 0.19 (below average complaints)

    Pros

    • Flexible term limits, with a special one-year term limit option.
    • Quick online application.
    • Convertible policy options available.
    • Offers survivorship insurance.
    • High coverage limit up to $50 million.

    Cons

    • Fewer-than-average riders and add-on policies available.
    • No accidental death benefit coverage.
    • No option for online support.

    Liberty Mutual

    If you’re a healthy individual and lead a relatively low-risk lifestyle, you can qualify for a no-exam policy with Liberty Mutual. Policyholders can convert their term policy into permanent coverage whenever they want, regardless of their health status.

    Best For: No-exam term policies

    Not For: Customer service

    AM Best: A

    J.D. Power: Not Rated

    NAIC: 1.79 (above average complaints)

    Pros

    • Offers no-exam coverage to healthy individuals.
    • Policy terms available in 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year limits.
    • Option to add riders to customize your policy.
    • Guaranteed rate over the course of your policy term.
    • Option to convert your policy to permanent at any point.

    Cons 

    • Not much information about life insurance on the website.
    • Few online tools and resources.
    • Average customer service reviews.
    • Above-average customer complaints.

    Further Reading:

    Methodology

    Reviews.com scores products, services and companies using five quantifiable criteria to help readers choose the best one for them. For life insurance companies, our editorial team compared financial strength, number of riders offered, coverage options, customer satisfaction scores and website functionality from each company and averaged the scores to produce our very own Reviews.com rating. These ratings were produced with you — our readers — in mind, and are meant to be a helpful tool to simplify the process of choosing which life insurance company is best for you. Since life insurance rates vary widely among different profiles, we encourage you to continue researching options that best fit your specific needs.

    How We Chose The Best Term Life Insurance Companies

    We evaluated the best term life insurance companies based on financial strength, number of riders offered, coverage options, customer satisfaction scores, and website functionality. We then calculated a Reviews.com score based on the following:

    • Confidence: It is extremely important for insurance companies to fulfill customers’ claims. Companies with sound financial strength will not have issues paying out claims, regardless of the amount. However, companies with weak financial strength might not be able to pay out claims. We measured this factor using AM Best.
    • Coverage and riders: As there isn’t one life insurance policy to fit everyone’s needs, so we evaluated companies based on the number of coverage options and riders available. 
    • Customer Satisfaction: Customer ratings are an indication of satisfaction with the claim filing process. We measured this factor using the J.D. Power Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Index.
    • Online resources: In our evaluation process, we weighed the availability, functionality and ease of use of each company’s digital services.

    How Much Does Term Life Insurance Cost?

    There are several factors that affect the cost of term life insurance, including your age, weight, overall health, and the amount of coverage that you’re shopping for. The younger and healthier you are, the lower your premiums will be.

    Your occupation and recreational activities can also play a role here, as working in a hazardous occupation, such as construction or law enforcement, will usually raise your premiums. Using any form of  tobacco or recreational drugs will also result in a higher premium. 

    But term insurance will always cost considerably less than permanent coverage with the same death benefit. Even guaranteed renewable term policies with accelerated benefit riders will be cheaper than the cheapest form of permanent coverage.

    How To Find the Best Term Life Insurance Policy

    When you shop for term life insurance, make sure to look at the company’s financial strength rating provided by agencies such as AM Best and Standard & Poor’s. It’s also a good idea to go to your state insurance commissioner’s website to see how many complaints each company received in the past. Once you determine those two factors, you can compare prices and terms of coverage to see which policy is the best one for you. 

    • Financial Strength Rating: In most cases, you’ll want to buy your policy from a carrier with at least an A- rating from ratings agencies. A BBB-rated company may also be a good option, but find out how faithful they are in paying out claims before buying. 
    • Customer Complaints: Your state insurance commissioner’s website allows you to look up any insurer that does business in your state and find out how many complaints the insurer has had over the past year. A high number of complaints should raise a red flag, so proceed with caution if this is the case. 
    • Variety of Offerings: Some term insurers offer better products than others for the same price. Be sure to take a look at additional features that can be added to basic term protection, such as guaranteed renewability, return of premium riders, and accelerated benefit riders. 
    • Cost: Prices vary considerably among different insurers, so make sure to shop around and compare prices from multiple insurers to find the best option.
    • Coverage: Decide how much coverage you want before you start shopping so that you can get an accurate quote. A larger amount of coverage will translate into a higher premium, so only shop for how much you need.

    FAQs 

    About the Authors

    Elizabeth Rivelli

    Elizabeth Rivelli Contributing Writer

    Elizabeth Rivelli is an insurance writer for Reviews.com. Over the last year, she has covered insurance providers, best policies, industry trends and more. Elizabeth has been featured in The Simple Dollar, Bankrate and Coverage.com, among others. She holds a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. The Best Term Life Insurance Companies is Elizabeth’s favorite review on Reviews.com.

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