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The Best Life Insurance Companies in 2020

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    When choosing the right life insurance company, it’s imperative that you do your research. Unlike other types of insurance policies, you’ll likely have this one for decades or more. And while you might have life insurance through your employer, you might want to purchase additional coverage. When comparing the best life insurance companies, we looked at factors like financial strength, customer service, website functionality, coverage types, and rider options to come up with a list of our favorites. No matter your circumstances or the kind of life insurance policy you need, there’s sure to be a company on this list that will meet your needs.

    The 7 Best Life Insurance Companies 

    Compare the Best Life Insurance Companies

    Reviews.com Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options. AM Best Financial Strength AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim. J.D. Power Overall Customer Satisfaction J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.
    Pin Northwestern Mutual5/5A++790/1,000
    Pin State Farm5/5A++838/1,000
    Pin USAA Life4.7/5A++N/A
    Pin Mutual of Omaha4.2/5A+789/1,000
    Pin New York Life4.2/5A++784/1,000
    Pin Principal Financial3.8/5A+772/1,000
    Pin MassMutual3.6/5A++769/1,000

    Northwestern Mutual Life

    Northwestern Mutual

    Best Overall

    Why we chose it

    Northwestern Mutual hits all the high marks with organizations that rank the best life insurance companies, such as AM Best and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
    • 5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 790* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Northwestern Mutual hits all the high marks with organizations that rank the best life insurance companies, such as AM Best and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

    Pros

    • High customer service ratings
    • Easy conversion from term to whole life
    • Broad range of dividend-generating products

    Cons

    • Dividends not guaranteed
    • Must work with their financial advisors
    Read More

    Life insurance products offered

    • Term life
    • Whole life
    • Universal life
    • Long-term care

    Unique features

    The major ranking companies all point to Northwestern as one of the top life insurance companies in the U.S. It offers term, whole and universal life policies at reasonable rates and with fantastic customer service.

    *J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study, based on a 1,000-point scale

    Further Reading on Northwestern Mutual Life:

    State Farm

    State Farm

    Best Term Life Insurance

    Why we chose it

    Most life insurance companies offer one term policy option with multiple whole life options, but State Farm provides flexibility and choice for both major types of policy.
    • 5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 838* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Most life insurance companies offer one term policy option with multiple whole life options, but State Farm provides flexibility and choice for both major types of policy.

    Pros

    • Best in customer satisfaction & financial strength
    • Informational and intuitive website
    • Able to customize policies
    • Discounts available for bundling with auto or homeowner insurance

    Cons

    • Not licensed in Massachusetts
    • Premiums can be higher than average
    • Changes must be made through an agent
    Read More

    Life insurance products offered

    • Term life
    • Whole life
    • Universal life

    Unique features

    With its whole life coverage, you can choose from a range of payment plans and living benefit options to create a policy that reflects your needs.

    *J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study, based on a 1,000-point scale

    Further Reading on State Farm:

    USAA Life

    USAA Life

    Best for Military Families

    Why we chose it

    USAA is one of the best insurance companies out there. The company offers reasonable prices and demonstrated financial strength to those who serve our country and their families — since it is only available to active or retired service members.
    • 4.7 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • N/A J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    USAA is one of the best insurance companies out there. The company offers reasonable prices and demonstrated financial strength to those who serve our country and their families — since it is only available to active or retired service members.

    Pros

    • Highest possible AM Best rating
    • Strong online community for military members
    • Inexpensive policies; starting at $12 a month
    • Coverage geared toward military needs

    Cons

    • Only available to former and current military and their families
    • Quotes only available with military ID
    • Few discounts if you bundle with auto or home
    Read More

    Life insurance products offered

    • Term life
    • Whole life
    • Universal life

    Unique features

    USAA Life policies are optimized to meet the specific needs of active, deployed, and retired service members.

    *J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study, based on a 1,000-point scale

    Further Reading on USAA:

    Mutual of Omaha

    Mutual of Omaha

    Best for Pre-Existing Conditions

    Why we chose it

    Mutual of Omaha has a long history of providing good life insurance terms. It offers whole life and universal life policies, along with children’s whole life and accidental death insurance.
    • 4.2 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 789* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Mutual of Omaha has a long history of providing good life insurance terms. It offers whole life and universal life policies, along with children’s whole life and accidental death insurance.

    Pros

    • Policies available for those who have had cancer or other serious illness
    • Riders include children’s whole life and accidental death
    • Informational website
    • Online quote tool

    Cons

    • Not a lot of add-ons
    • Policies not as customizable as others
    • Guaranteed life policies have a maximum benefit of $25K
    Read More

    Life insurance products offered

    • Term life
    • Whole life
    • Universal life
    • Long-term care

    Unique features

    Available for customers ages 45-85, your benefits are never reduced because of your age or health. Rates are higher for this type of policy, but if it works for you, that may not be an issue.

    *J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study, based on a 1,000-point scale

    Further Reading on Mutual of Omaha:

    New York Life

    New York Life

    Best for Seniors

    Why we chose it

    New York Life offers term, whole life, universal life and variable universal life policies. It also provides customers with long-term care, estate planning and other financial services.
    • 4.2 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 784* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    New York Life offers term, whole life, universal life and variable universal life policies. It also provides customers with long-term care, estate planning and other financial services.

    Pros

    • Flexible policies
    • Good fiscal management
    • AARP partnership
    • Riders for accidental death, chronic care, and more

    Cons

    • Sparse website
    • No online quote tool
    • Hard to find answers to your questions
    Read More

    Life insurance products offered

    • Term life
    • Whole life
    • Universal life
    • Variable universal life

    Unique features

    One of the company’s unique factors is its long-standing partnership with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), through which it offers both term and whole life policies that don’t require a medical exam. 

    *J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study, based on a 1,000-point scale

    Further Reading on New York Life:

    Principal Financial

    Principal Financial

    Best for Affordability

    Why we chose it

    In addition to term insurance, Principal Financial offers a broader-than-usual range of whole life policies: universal life, indexed universal life, variable universal life and survivorship, all at rates that are affordable for those looking for low-cost life insurance options.
    • 3.8 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 772* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    In addition to term insurance, Principal Financial offers a broader-than-usual range of whole life policies: universal life, indexed universal life, variable universal life and survivorship, all at rates that are affordable for those looking for low-cost life insurance options.

    Pros

    • Reasonably priced premiums & flexible whole life policies
    • Apply online easily
    • Low NAIC complaint rate
    • Partial tax-free surrender available for whole life policies

    Cons

    • No accidental death benefit
    • No disability waiver of premium rider
    • Known more for group than individual policies
    Read More

    Unique features

    Principal’s low rates put it at the top of life insurance company reviews, so if saving money is your primary concern, it’s worth considering.

    *J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study, based on a 1,000-point scale

    Further Reading on Principal Financial:

    MassMutual Life

    MassMutual Life

    Best Whole Life Insurance

    Why we chose it

    MassMutual offers some benefits, such as a good range of retirement and investment opportunities that make it a good choice if you want all your financial needs taken care of under one umbrella.
    • 3.6 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 769* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    MassMutual offers some benefits, such as a good range of retirement and investment opportunities that make it a good choice if you want all your financial needs taken care of under one umbrella.

    Pros

    • Top financial ratings
    • Healthbridge program for healthcare workers
    • Direct term insurance available
    • Long term care insurance can be bundled with life

    Cons

    • App doesn’t work well
    • Average J.D. Power customer service score
    • Few policy add-ons
    Read More

    Life insurance products offered

    • Term life
    • Whole life
    • Universal life
    • Variable universal life
    • Long-term care

    Unique features

    The company’s direct term policy is an option for those with health issues: it’s available for anyone up to age 64 and doesn’t require a medical exam.

    *J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study, based on a 1,000-point scale

    Further Reading on MassMutual Life:

    Further Reading on Life Insurance 

    Methodology

    Reviews.com scores products, services and companies using five quantifiable criteria to help readers choose the best one for them. For the best life insurance companies, our editorial team compared financial strength, number of riders offered, coverage options, customer satisfaction scores and website functionality from each company to produce our very own Reviews.com score. These ratings were evaluated 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 fit your specific needs.

    How to Choose the Best Life Insurance Company

    When choosing a life insurance company, there are many things you need to consider. Remember that you’ll likely have this policy for decades or more, so it’s even more important to put thought into deciding which company to buy from.

    • Policy types: Not all life insurance companies offer every type of policy. Consider what type of policy you want and find a company that offers it.
    • Price: While price isn’t the only consideration, it’s worth looking into whether you can get the same coverage for a lower price.
    • Financial strength: Agencies like AM Best and Standard & Poor’s rate the financial strength of companies. In general, the better a company’s financial strength, the more likely they are to be able to pay out claims.
    • Customer service: You want a company that is responsive and easy to work with. Look at customer reviews on sites like BBB, J.D. Power, etc.
    • Discounts & add-ons: Some companies offer discounts for bundling your life insurance with other products. Some also have add-ons like long-term care coverage that you can tack onto your life insurance policy.
    • Company size: In most cases, larger companies with more assets on the books will be more stable. While there are advantages to shopping small, you must also consider which company is more likely to last.
    • Historical performance: Don’t just look at how the company is doing right now — consider how they’ve done in the past. You’ll be holding this policy for many years, so longevity matters.

    Types of Life Insurance Policies

    Term life

    Term life insurance is the most basic and most common type of life insurance. You purchase a policy with a term of anywhere from 1-30 years. You pay a monthly premium, and if you pass away during that term, your beneficiary receives a death benefit. Both the monthly premium and the death benefit amount remain the same for the entirety of the term.

    Whole life

    Whole life insurance is one of the two primary types of permanent life insurance, meaning they cover you for the rest of your life. Whole life insurance combines the death benefit of term life insurance with a cash value component. Each month you pay a monthly premium — part of it goes toward your death benefit, and the rest goes into an investment account. Like term life insurance, whole life insurance typically comes with a fixed monthly payment and guaranteed cash value return.

    Universal life

    Like whole life, universal life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance. When you pay your monthly premium, a portion of it goes toward your death benefit, while the rest goes into an investment account. But unlike whole life insurance, universal life policies are more flexible. You can adjust your coverage or premium or borrow funds without surrendering the policy. But unlike whole life, universal policies don’t have a guaranteed return — you’re dependent on the market.

    Life Insurance FAQ 

    About the Authors

    Erin Gobler is an insurance writer for Reviews.com. Over the past three years, she has covered personal finance topics such as insurance, banking, mortgages, and more. Her work has been featured in sites such as The Simple Dollar, Bankrate, and Coverage.com. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oskosh. Erin’s favorite Reviews.com article is the State Farm Renters Insurance Review.

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