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Last updated on Jul 18, 2020

New York Life Insurance Review

Offers above-average financial strength along with flexible policy coverage, but lacks in-depth online support. ​

New York Life

  • Flexible and comprehensive insurance policies
  • Superior customer service and financial strength
  • Shorter-than-average term life policies compared to competitors
  • Lack of online resources and support
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How We Reviewed New York Life Insurance

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12 companies compared

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2 features evaluated

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5 ratings analyzed

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New York Life has been helping clients find flexible life insurance coverage for more than 175 years. Where the company stands out from the competition is with flexible life insurance options. You can customize term policies for any term length between 10 and 20 years with a guaranteed premium, or renew each year with no-penalty cancellation. The company doesn’t fare as well online, however, with no web-based quote tool and limited online resources.

New York Life Insurance Overview: Financial Strength, Availability, and History

New York Life is available in all 50 states—and Washington D.C.—and has been serving insurance clients since 1845. The company also enjoys superior financial strength ratings from industry analysis firms including S&P, Moody’s, and AM Best, making it one of the most reliable life insurance providers in the country.

When it comes to customer service, New York Life earns 4 out 5 Power Circles from J.D. Power and it has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Public perception data collected by YouGov indicates that 10% of Americans have a negative opinion of New York Life, while 28% have a positive opinion. Perhaps more importantly for the brand, 79% of Americans have heard of New York Life. Combined with lower-than-average complaint numbers according to NAIC, New York Life has established a reputation for superior policy satisfaction.

  • In business since: 1845
  • S&P Global financial strength rating: AA+
  • Moody’s financial strength rating: Aaa
  • AM Best financial strength rating: A++
  • States served: 50, plus Washington, D.C.

New York Life best for: Flexible coverage options


  • Flexible term life insurance coverage that offers customizable term lengths and easy cancellations.
  • Strong financial ratings from S&P, Moody’s, and AM Best provide peace of mind for policyholders.
  • Partnership with AARP offers members both term and permanent life insurance with no medical exam.


  • No online quote tool or website chat options—all contact is via phone or email
  • Limited online support for policy questions or claims inquiries
  • No extended-term life insurance coverage with maximum policy lengths of 20 years

The Competition

AM Best Financial Strength RatingJ.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study ScoreNAIC Customer Complaints
New York Life A++4/5Fewer complaints than average
Northwestern MutualA++5/5Fewer complaints than average
State FarmA++5/5Fewer complaints than average
NationwideA+4/5Fewer complaints than average
Mutual of OmahaA+4/5Fewer complaints than average
PrincipalA+4/5Fewer complaints than average

All information accurate as of June 8, 2020.

The Bottom Line

New York Life has established itself as a leader in the life insurance space thanks to flexible term life policies that can be easily customized to suit client needs. The company is an especially great fit for AARP members since they’re able to access term and whole life insurance plans without the need for medical exams. For clients who need on-demand, in-depth help with their policy options or who prefer the ease of online resources or cost comparison tools, New York Life falls short.

New York Life Insurance FAQ

About the Authors

Doug Bonderud is an award-winning freelance writer with the unique ability to translate complex financial concepts into approachable, actionable content that both captures reader interest and delivers key brand messaging.