ByLena Borrelli Contributing Writer

Lena Borrelli is a former wedding planner turned freelance writer who devoted her entire career to small business management before following her dreams to be a full-time writer.

New York Life Insurance Review

Since the 1800s, New York Life has been a recognized leader within the insurance sector. Its coverage is versatile, offering you the opportunity to mold its services into the perfect plan for you — you can choose a term, whole, universal, or variable universal plan, with plenty of policy add-ons to customize each one.

New York Life boasts superior ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s, and S&P Global, plus above-average scores from J.D. Power, meaning it's an insurer you can rely on in the long term. Its customer support and online resources may make shopping with the company a bit more difficult, which is why we don't recommend New York Life for first-time life insurance shoppers. But its coverage and ratings make it worthy of inclusion as you begin to gather quotes from providers.

Pros Cons
Top industry ratings
Flexible term life insurance
Partnership with AARP
No extended terms
Limited online resources

The Life Insurance Factors We Analyzed

Customer experience

New York Life is a solid contender in J.D. Power's life insurance customer satisfaction study, earning a score of four out of five and ranking above the industry average. Of the metrics that J.D. Power measures, the only areas where New York Life falls short are in Statements, Interaction, and Communication — meaning your experience with customer service may not be as smooth as it could be. If you want to get in touch with a rep, New York Life provides phone and email links, but nothing more. To make matters worse, when we reached out, we were brusquely transferred and then left on hold for over 10 minutes.

Aside from interactions with agents, though, it's likely that New York Life will deliver on its promises; according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, New York Life received fewer complaints than average from customers in 2018.

Coverage and rider information

New York Life offers two different ways to customize its term insurance depending on your preferred term length and payment structure. The first option, "level premium convertible," lets you select coverage for anywhere between 10 and 20 years, and premiums are guaranteed to remain the same. "Yearly convertible" is renewable on an annual basis and is therefore pricier each year, but you can also terminate coverage at any point.

New York Life's other standout option is its partnership with the AARP to offer both term and permanent life insurance for association members — all without a medical exam. In addition to this, New York Life has one of the best rider selections in the industry, with options like the Chronic Care rider, Waiver of Premium, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, and Automatic Benefit Increase. You can read more about New York Life's rider options here.

Life insurance coverage features

Insurance types offered Term, whole, universal, variable universal
Term lengths offered 10-20 years or annual renewal
Standout coverage features Convertible term insurance
Disability Waiver of Premium
Partnership with AARP

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

New York Life boasts top marks from leading financial experts like A.M. Best, Moody’s, and S&P Global, and it seems to deliver on most of its promises, with fewer than average customer complaints registered with the NAIC in 2018. By all accounts, New York Life is shown to be stable in life insurance, financial planning, and retirement services.

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

The Competition Score
Customer Experience
Financial Strength Score
New York Life
State Farm
Northwestern Mutual

All information accurate as of January 3, 2020.

The Bottom Line

New York Life consistently ranks as one of our favorite life insurance providers. It writes comprehensive, customizable life insurance policies that can be tailored to just about anyone. We highly recommend its universal life insurance for seniors and AARP members and its term life insurance for people who need a policy with a flexible time frame. The biggest drawback to working with New York Life is unexceptional customer service. Those with extensive questions and support needs should consider signing up with a different provider.

New York Life Insurance FAQ

Is New York Life a good life insurance company?

New York Life boasts top ratings across the board, particularly in terms of financial strength. The company is a solid pick for most, but it stands out due to its unique partnership with AARP. Its online tools and customer service could use some work, but its full suite of products makes up for it.

What types of life insurance does New York Life offer?

New York Life offers several different forms of life insurance: term, whole, universal, and variable universal. Traditional options like term and whole insurance satisfy more traditional means, while universal and variable universal offer more flexibility and the ability to invest your cash value account.

What is the average life insurance cost per month with New York Life?

Pricing varies based on your individual profile: New York Life determines the cost of your life insurance policy by assessing certain factors like your age, medical history, and current health. To determine what life insurance from New York Life will cost you, contact a licensed advisor who can help you navigate the options available to you.

Does New York Life pay out dividends to its policyholders?

In 2020, New York Life expects to issue $1.9 billion in dividends to its policyholders, a 5.6%-bigger payout than the $1.8 billion payout in 2019.

Does New York Life life insurance require a medical exam?

New York Life’s AARP life insurance products don’t require a medical exam, making them a great option for seniors looking for insurance. For New York Life’s regular life insurance products, however, a medical exam may be required.

Can you cancel New York Life life insurance?

To cancel your New York Life insurance policy, you will first need to call the customer service department at 1-800-225-5695. They are available Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. EST. Premiums are likely non-refundable; you can check your policy documents and terms for more information.

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