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Last updated on Jul 31, 2020

The Best Life Insurance Companies in 2020

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Life insurance is one of the best ways to protect your loved ones in the event of your death, whether you choose a term or whole life policy. It can also be part of your overall financial strategy. We looked at factors like financial strength, customer service, website functionality, coverage types and rider options to come up with our list of the best life insurance companies of 2020. 

If you are unsure of how much life insurance you should get, many of these companies offer online quotes and helpful tools, making it easy to get started on your own hunt for quality life insurance. Our overview of  life insurance policies may help you choose the right one for you.

The 7 Best Life Insurance Companies in 2020

Rank CompanyReviews.com ScoreCustomer SatisfactionFinancial Strength Riders offeredWebsite Coverage
1Northwestern Mutual5/55/55/55/55/55/5
2State Farm5/55/55/55/55/55/5
3USAA4.6/5N/A5/5N/A4/55/5
4Mutual of Omaha4.2/54/55/52/55/55/5
5New York Life4.2/55/54/54/53/53/5
6Principal Financial3.8/54/55/52/55/55/5
7MassMutual3.6/53/55/54/54/55/5

Northwestern Mutual


Best Overall
Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual


Northwestern Mutual hits all the high marks with organizations that rank the best life insurance companies, such as A.M. Best and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. They 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. It’s also easy to convert your policy from term to whole life. If you choose the company, you’ll be assigned a financial advisor who will work with you to pick the best products for your needs.

Best For: Great customer service

Not For: Those who don’t want to work with an advisor 

  • AM Best: A++
  • J.D. Power: 5/5
  • NAIC: 0.02 (anything under 1.0 indicates low number of complaints)

Pros 

  • Top marks for customer satisfaction
  • High financial strength rating
  • Easy conversion from term to whole life
  • A+ rating with Better Business Bureau
  • Broad range of dividend-generating products

Cons

  • Dividends not guaranteed
  • Must work with their financial advisors

State Farm


Best Term Life Insurance
State Farm
State Farm


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. The company’s term insurance includes a basic policy, a return-of-premium policy that gives you back premiums if you outlive the policy. It also offers an “instant answer” policy designed to cover end-of-life costs that’s inexpensive, has no medical exam and features $50K of coverage. With whole life coverage, you can choose from a range of payment plans and living benefit options to create a policy that reflects your needs.

Best For: Customized term policies

Not For: Those looking for cheap premiums

  • AM Best: A++
  • J.D. Power: 5/5
  • NAIC: 0.24

Pros 

  • Excellent customer service
  • Informational and intuitive website
  • High financial strength
  • 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

USAA


Best for Military
USAA Life
USAA Life


USAA is one of the best insurance companies out there. The company offers top-quality customer service, 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. USAA has term policies lasting up to 30 years, along with whole life and universal life. The latter with flexible payment options and the opportunity to purchase additional whole life coverage without a medical exam if your circumstances change. All policies are optimized to meet the specific needs of active, deployed, and retired service members.

✓ Best For: Military members and veterans

Not For: General public

  • AM Best: A++
  • J.D. Power: NA
  • NAIC: 0.13

Pros 

  • Highest possible A.M. Best rating for financial strength
  • A+ from Better Business Bureau
  • Helpful website
  • 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

Mutual of Omaha


Best Instant Issue
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha


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. The company offers guaranteed whole life policies — meaning you don’t need to have a medical exam or answer health questions. Another great perk is that you can quickly and easily purchase your policy without a long underwriting process. 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.

✓ Best For: Instant issue policies

Not For: Those who require customization

  • AM Best: A+
  • J.D. Power: 4/5
  • NAIC: 0.65

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
  • 100+ years of experience

Cons

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

New York Life


Best for No Medical Exams
New York Life
New York Life


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. 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. The company’s riders make this one of the better choices for older adults: a chronic care rider gives you access to up to 50% of your policy benefit if you suffer from a qualifying chronic illness.

Best For: No medical exam policies

Not For: Those looking for a good digital experience

  • AM Best: A++
  • J.D. Power: 4/5
  • NAIC: 0.21

Pros

  • Flexible policies
  • Good fiscal management
  • AARP partnership
  • Doing business for 175 years
  • Riders for accidental death, chronic care, and more

Cons

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

Principal Financial


Best Value
Principal Financial
Principal Financial


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. The company is known for selling policies in corporate settings, but it’s worth getting a quote from them. Principal’s survivorship insurance, in particular, isn’t found at many insurers. It covers two lives, with a death benefit payable upon the death of the second party. 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.

Best For: Low premiums

Not For: Those looking for extra riders

  • AM Best: A+
  • J.D. Power: 4/5
  • NAIC: 0.19

Pros

  • Reasonably priced premiums
  • Apply online easily
  • Low NAIC complaint rate
  • Flexible whole life policies
  • 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

MassMutual


Best Whole Life Insurance
MassMutual Life
MassMutual Life


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. In addition to term insurance, it features whole life, universal, and variable policies that build in cash value and offer a dividend which, while not guaranteed, has been paid every year since 1869. 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.

Best For: Whole life policies

Not For: Those who value top-notch customer service

  • AM Best: A+
  • J.D. Power: 3/5
  • NAIC: 0.05

Pros 

  • Top financial ratings
  • LifeBridge educational trust
  • 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

Further Reading:

Methodology

Reviews.com scores products, services and companies using five quantifiable criteria to help readers choose the best one for them. For the 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 fit your specific needs.

FAQs

About the Authors

Mary Van Keuren

Mary Van Keuren Contributor

Mary Van Keuren has been covering auto and home insurance for Reviews.com for nearly five years, and has published numerous reviews of state-specific insurance trends and how to find the best insurance deals for your money. She earned B.S. and M.A. degrees from Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. and has been writing professionally, both in print and online, for 30+ years.