Best Life Insurance Companies

Prudential has the most inclusive policies and rates

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Life Insurance is purchased to cover income needed by loved ones in the event of a family member’s death. While it’s an uncomfortable topic for many, ensuring that borrowers have enough life insurance can be the difference between their family struggling or thriving after their death. Insurance on one’s life provides financial, mental, and emotional peace of mind for a loved one’s beneficiaries. 

The best life insurance companies have several different options to meet the borrower’s needs and include policies that are inexpensive and easy to obtain. These companies also make life insurance accessible for people of different ages, backgrounds, and life experiences. By taking into account their customers' ages, policies can be tailored to the unique needs of their customers.

Best Life Insurance Companies of 2021

Best Overall : Prudential


Prudential

Prudential

  • AM Best Rating: A+
  • No. of Plans Offered: 11
  • Issue Ages: 18 to 75
Why We Chose It 

A strong competitor in the life insurance sector since 1875, Prudential made the top of our list because of its long history, strong rankings, and a wide array of policies to choose from. In addition, Prudential is the first major U.S. life insurance company to offer policies to those living with HIV. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Many riders to customize plans

  • Preferential treatment to those with health issues

  • Online quotes for some policies

Cons
  • Online quotes only for term policies

  • Medical history is required

  • No final expense policies

Overview

Prudential Financial was founded in 1875 as The Widows and Orphans Friendly Society and started just offering burial insurance. Now the company offers a selection of term, universal life, and whole life insurance policies and has an A+ rating by AM Best. While you can get instant quotes online, you do have to speak to a representative about whole life insurance options. 

Prudential offers 13 different types of riders, which are features you can add to an insurance policy, including Waiver of Premium, Waiver of Monthly Deduction, and Estate Protection. 

By using Prudential Financial’s website, you can easily get an instant quote for 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year term policies. If you prefer, you can also call their customer care hotline to speak to a representative about your needs. Term policies are offered between $251,000 and $1,000,000 and higher and can cover individuals from their 20s until 60s and older. 

Prudential also offers preferential rates for those with medical conditions not always treated favorably elsewhere, including osteoporosis and diabetes. This makes Prudential a strong choice for those with underlying health conditions and seniors. In addition, Prudential will give a more favorable non-smoker health classification to those who use cigars, as well as to those who use chewing tobacco, nicotine gum and patches, and pipes. Finally, Prudential is the first U.S. major insurance company to offer policies to those living with HIV.

Best for Seniors : Mutual of Omaha


Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

  • AM Best Rating: A+
  • No. of Plans Offered: 11
  • Issue Ages: 18 to 80
Why We Chose It 

We chose Mutual of Omaha as the best option because of its strong reputation, long history, and choice availability for seniors. Mutual of Omaha has competitive pricing on term insurance that can be purchased up to age 80 and renewed up to age 95 and three whole life policies available for seniors. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Issued up to age 80

  • Guaranteed issue policy up to $25,000

  • Competitive rates for pre-existing conditions

Cons
  • Guaranteed issue has a 2-year waiting period

  • No medical exam option only for some

  • No dividends offered

Overview

Mutual of Omaha was founded in 1909 and offers 11 different term, universal, and whole life insurance policies. The company also offers a guaranteed issue life insurance policy that works like a final expense option with a benefit amount of $2,000 up to $25,000. This can be a great option for seniors as it doesn’t require a medical evaluation or answering a health questionnaire. 

In addition to the guaranteed issue policy, Mutual of Omaha has two Living Promise Whole Life benefit plans, one graded and one level, that cover up to age 85 with a $2,000 to $40,000 death benefit. 

There are several riders available including: 

  • Return of premium rider if you outlive your policy
  • Accelerated death benefit rider for chronic or terminal illness
  • Accidental death benefit rider
  • Long term care rider
  • Residential damage rider

Term policies can be issued in 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year terms and purchased up to age 80. These policies can be renewed up to age 95, and some can be converted into permanent policies. Mutual of Omaha offers competitive rates for those with pre-existing conditions, including cancer survivors, making it a solid choice for seniors. 

Mutual of Omaha is rated A+ by AM Best.

Best for Term Life : Brighthouse


Brighthouse Financial

Brighthouse Financial

  • AM Best Rating: A
  • No. of Plans Offered: 2
  • Issue Ages: 25 to 49 ½ 
Why We Chose It 

Brighthouse has some of the most competitive pricing for its instant decision policy, known as SimplySelect. With no medical exam required, Brighthouse allows applicants to apply for up to $2 million worth of term coverage and receive a decision typically within 24 hours. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No medical exam required

  • Up to $2 million of coverage

  • Very affordable options

Cons
  • Instant decision only for select ages

  • Only one rider available

  • No rate reconsideration

Overview

Brighthouse is a relatively new player in the life insurance game, having spun off from MetLife in 2017. Despite being relatively new, they have more than $2 million customers and $248 billion in assets.

Brighthouse has a competitive term policy called SimplySelect, with no medical exam needed for those aged 25 to 49 ½. Buyers can choose 10-, 20-, or 30- year term policies and have the option to convert their term policy to a permanent policy at the end. Coverage amounts can range from $100,000 at the minimum to $2 million at the most. There is only one rider available, however, the Accelerated Death Benefit rider, in which the policy pays out a portion of the death benefit to the insured if they become terminally ill and have 12 or 24 months (depending on your state’s laws) or less to live.

Brighthouse also offers a one-year term policy for short-term coverage as well as a Whole Life policy as well. 

The only way to purchase a Brighthouse policy is to speak to a representative at PolicyGenius, which can help ensure you are getting the right amount of coverage. On the downside, if you sign up for a policy and are a smoker or in poor health and you quit or improve your health, there is no way to qualify for a lower rate. 

Brighthouse was given an A rating from AM Best.

Best for Whole Life : Northwestern Mutual


Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

  • AM Best Rating: A++
  • No. of Plans Offered: 12
  • Issue Ages: 18 to 80
Why We Chose It 

Northwestern Mutual won for best whole life insurance because of the wide array of options they have for policies, including the Survivorship Whole Life policy. They also typically pay dividends on their policies, have high ratings, and can be purchased in all 50 states. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Many different policy options

  • Can covert term policies to whole

Cons
  • Can’t purchase policies online

  • Limited information online

Overview

Northwestern Mutual was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1857. As a top-rated financial services and insurance company, Northwestern Mutual has 12 different life insurance plans to choose from. Term policies cover 10- or 20-year terms, and they also offer a combined term and whole life plan, the Whole Life Plus. Some of their term policies even pay dividends and they have a long history of paying dividends on their whole life policies. 

Northwestern Mutual has two main whole life policy options: the 65 Life and 90 Life. With the 65 Life, you pay premiums until age 65, and with the 90 Life, you pay premiums until age 90. After you are done paying premiums your coverage remains. They also offer a combined term and whole life product, called Whole Life Plus, allowing you to customize part of your insurance to be temporary and the rest permanent. 

There is also a Survivorship Whole Life option, in which payout to beneficiaries does not happen until both insured’s have died. This is typically used to transfer wealth to heirs. 

Policies can be issued to those ages 18 to 80, with a selection of riders to add on and customize each policy. Riders include:

  • Waiver of premium
  • Additional purchase benefit
  • Accelerated care benefit 

Although you can’t purchase a policy directly online, working with a representative may ensure you get the right type and amount of coverage needed. 

Northwestern Mutual is rated A++ by AM Best.

Best for Veterans : USAA


USAA

USAA

  • AM Best Rating: A++
  • No. of Plans Offered: 4
  • Issue Ages: 18 to 85
Why We Chose It 

USAA has been a leader in providing military members and their families with insurance and banking products. With excellent ratings, the ability to get both term and whole quotes online, and unique riders for military members and veterans, USAA is our choice for the best insurance for veterans. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Term and whole quotes online

  • Riders specific to military members

  • Very highly rated

Cons
  • All policies require a medical exam

  • No final expense insurance

  • Must be a member to receive policies

Overview

USAA has been around since 1922, supporting active-duty and veteran military members and their families. It offers term, universal, and whole-life insurance policies, as well as other banking products. Policy lengths include 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year terms and can be purchased in amounts up to $10 million.

Unlike other companies, USAA has riders specific to military members and veterans such as the Military Future Insurability Rider, which increases your coverage after leaving the military, and the Military Severe Injury Benefit Rider, which pays out $25,0000 if an injury was obtained during active service. 

USAA offers four different insurance plans to those ages 18 to 85 including a term policy, a simplified whole life policy, a universal life policy, and a guaranteed issue life policy. 

The company is rated A++ by AM Best.

Best for Instant Quotes : Haven Life


Haven Life

Haven Life

  • AM Best Rating: A++
  • No. of Plans Offered: 2
  • Issue Ages: 18 to 64
Why We Chose It 

With Haven Life, instead of having to meet with a financial representative, you can receive life insurance quotes from the convenience of your phone or computer.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Can receive instant quotes and coverage

  • Up to $3 million of coverage

  • Don’t need an exam right away

Cons
  • Most plans require a medical exam within 120 days

  • No spouse or child riders

  • Term Insurance only

Overview

Established in 2014, Haven Life allows buyers the convenience of purchasing a term life insurance online with the assurance that their policy is backed by a company that has been around for more than 160 years. 

Although they only have two term policies to choose from, Haven Term and Haven Simple, Haven Life makes it easy for buyers to receive instant quotes, apply for and receive life insurance all online. 

The Haven Term policy:

  • Provides up to $3 million in coverage
  • May require a medical exam

The Haven Simple policy:

  • Will not require a medical exam
  • Offers up to $500,000 in coverage

Haven Life also offers an accelerated death benefit rider and a Haven Life Plus rider. 

For those ages 20-49, policies can be purchased in 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, or 30-year term lengths, while those ages 50-64 can purchase 10-, 15-, or 20-year terms. Premiums are level, and individuals under the age of 60 are eligible for up to $3 million in coverage while those ages 60-64 are eligible for up to $1 million in coverage. Coverage amounts begin at $250,000.

Haven Life is available in all 50 states and can even extend policies to applicants who aren’t U.S. citizens but have certain visas or U.S. residency. 

Haven Life is issued by C.M. Life, a subsidiary of MassMutual (in all states except for CA and NY), and is rated A++ by AM Best.

Final Verdict

There are lots of great options when it comes to choosing the best life insurance. Some companies, like Brighthouse and Haven Life, are relatively new but bring fresh ideas into the life insurance space. Others like Northwestern Mutual, Mutual of Omaha, and USAA have made a dependable name for themselves in life insurance.

Overall, we chose Prudential as the best life insurance provider because of its long history, wide array of plan options, and preferential rates given to those with less-than-adequate health conditions, including coverage to those living with HIV. In addition to offering term, universal and whole policies, Prudential has many riders to customize policies with. With the ability to obtain quotes online or speak to a customer representative over the phone, Prudential makes it easy for buyers to purchase a policy that will fit their needs.

Compare Providers

Companies  AM Best Rating  Coverage Limit  Types of Policies  No. of Plans  Issue Ages 
Prudential Best Overall A+ $10 million Term, universal, and whole 11 18 to 75
Mutual of Omaha Best for Seniors  A+  Up to $40,000 for the Living Promise plans  Term, universal, and whole  11  18 to 80 
Brighthouse Best for Term  $2 million  Term and whole 25 to 49 ½ 
Northwestern Mutual Best for Whole Life  A++  Unavailable online  Term, universal, and whole  12  18 to 80  
USAA Best for Veterans  A++  $10 million  Term, universal, and whole  18 to 85 
HavenLife Best for Instant Quotes  A++  $3 million  Term 18 to 65 

How to Choose the Best Life Insurance

While there are many factors to consider when shopping for the best life insurance, there are a few that warrant extra attention to:

  • Temporary vs. Permanent: While there are strong advocates for each type of life insurance, the decision should ultimately come down to how long you would like to cover your beneficiaries. Do you prefer to purchase a more cost-effective term policy that will last anywhere from 10 to 30 years? Or would you rather pay more for a plan that will cover you for the duration of your life regardless of how long you live? Your answers will help guide which kind of policy you choose. 
  • Medical exam: Medical exams can sometimes give you more coverage options or lower rates, but plenty of companies extend insurance without any. Determine if you’re willing to go through a medical exam to qualify for coverage or would like to skip it altogether. 
  • Ability to purchase online: Some prefer to purchase life insurance over the phone or online while some prefer to meet with a representative in person, but not all companies offer both options. Determine which method you prefer and search for companies that fit that need. 
  • Rider availability: When looking for a life insurance policy, inquire about the available riders. You may find one or more that you absolutely must have, but every company may not offer the same riders. 

Life Insurance vs. Self-Insured 

If you choose not to purchase life insurance and self-insure instead, you are banking on the hope that the amount you have in savings and investments (as well as other assets your beneficiaries could sell) will cover the needs of your beneficiaries. Self-insurance is typically not a great idea, as few individuals have enough assets to cover the amount that their beneficiaries will need once they pass. 

Of course, there are added costs with life insurance, but it also gives more options. Individuals can choose the type of insurance that fits their needs and goals, assume less risk, and provide greater assurance for their loved ones. Individuals who do not have enough savings and investments to cover their beneficiaries’ needs can obtain more coverage with less cost through life insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Life Insurance Companies Offer Lower Premiums to Younger Individuals?

Typically, insurance companies do offer lower premiums to younger individuals. This is because younger individuals tend to be healthier and further from their expected date of death, making them less risky to insure. 

What Types of Coverage Do Life Insurance Companies Offer?

Life insurance companies offer both temporary and permanent coverage for when an individual passes away. Term insurance covers an individual for a certain number of years. Permanent insurance, such as whole life insurance, covers an individual until the end of their life, no matter how long they live. There are also final expense policies that have smaller death benefits amounts but an easier approval process

What Are the Costs Involved With Life Insurance Companies?

When you purchase a life insurance policy, you are agreeing to pay the premium over the length of time stated in the contract. This premium payment will cover the cost of insurance and riders chosen, but also may include other fees such as the administration fees and mortality and expense risk charge. 

Methodology

Twenty companies were analyzed for this roundup of best life insurance companies. Ultimately we chose companies that offer several different plan options, as well as competitive pricing, strong ratings, and customizable options.

We also narrowed our search to include companies that allow users to purchase life insurance online, and sometimes with no medical exam, making it easier for more individuals to get the coverage they need. In addition, the option to add on riders and the ability to obtain a quote online were also factored in.

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