Best Life Insurance Companies for 2020: Our Top 10
If someone depends on you, I recommend getting a good life insurance policy.
They’ll be taken care of no matter what happens.
Not everyone needs life insurance. If you’re 20 years old and single, without any dependents—don’t worry about it.
When should you get life insurance?
Certain life events should trigger the purchase of a life insurance policy. Things like marriage, having a child, starting a business partnership, and being the primary caretaker for a parent or family member all fall into this category.
In each of these scenarios, there are people who depend on you for financial support.
The Best Life Insurance Companies
There are hundreds of different life insurance companies out there competing for your business. Most of them are offering similar products, which makes it overwhelming to find a policy.
But before you start looking at policies and getting quotes, you should narrow down your search and only consider buying a plan from a top life insurance company. The last thing anyone wants is to deal with a shady insurance company while grieving over the loss of a loved one. These are the ten best life insurance companies on the market today.
MassMutual was founded back in 1851. With nearly 170 years in the life insurance business, MassMutual has policies for:
Whole Life InsuranceTerm Life InsuranceUniversal Life InsuranceVariable Universal Life Insurance
They also offer additional protection plans for long-term care and disability income.
While the company has been around for more than a century, it’s actually quite modern. The website is simple and easy to navigate. All of the terms are clear and straightforward.
You can even get instantly approved for a term life insurance policy online. If you’re young and healthy, you might also qualify for a policy that doesn’t require a medical exam.
MassMutual does have excellent customer service. It’s worth noting that the MassMutual mobile app doesn’t have features for your life insurance policy. The app is made for retirement savings and employee benefits.
Pacific Life is another well-established insurance company that has been operating for more than 150 years. They offer mutual funds, annuities, and additional solutions for things like commercial real estate and pension risk-transfer.
But Pacific Life stands out for having plenty of life insurance policy options:
Term Life InsuranceWhole Life InsuranceUniversal Life InsuranceIndexed Universal Life InsuranceVariable Universal Life InsuranceLife Insurance with Long-Term Care Benefits
In addition to the variety of products, I like Pacific Life because of the online features. The electronic application is short and very easy to fill out. You can even get your policy delivered via email.
Furthermore, it’s easy to update and manage your account online if you need to change your beneficiaries.
With all of that said, Pacific Life falls a bit short when it comes to underwriting policies for individuals with certain health conditions. So for those of you with a substantial medical history, you should look elsewhere for a favorable rate.
Like most of the companies on our list, Northwestern Mutual offers a wide range of products like whole life, term life, and universal life.
Northwestern Mutual also provides disability insurance, long-term care, and annuities in addition to financial planning and retirement planning services.
You can choose to set up a term life policy with fixed payments throughout the duration of your term or start paying low premiums that increase every year.
When it comes to customer satisfaction, policy offerings, price, and overall service, Northwestern Mutual is among the best in the industry.
The application process is straightforward, and the billing structure is easy to manage.
You won’t find a ton of resources on the Northwestern Mutual website, which can be a bit frustrating for first-time buyers.
New York Life
New York Life has some of the most diverse product offerings on our list.
In addition to life insurance policies, they also provide investment vehicles for annuities, mutual funds, ETFs, and 529 plans, retirement income services, estate planning, wealth management, and long-term care plans.
You can get a life insurance policy from one of the following categories:
Term LifeWhole LifeUniversal LifeVariable Universal Life
Depending on the plan you choose, you’ll have the flexibility to customize your payment schedule and pay off the coverage early. You can also benefit from a life insurance add-on to protect you in the event of a disability or terminal illness.
New York Life does not have any 30-year term offerings, which is commonly offered by other insurance companies. 20 years is the longest term life policy available with New York Life.
State Farm is one of the most well-recognized names on our list. That’s because they provide a wide range of insurance products like renters insurance, home insurance, car insurance, supplemental health plans, personal and professional liability policies, as well as identity restoration insurance.
While State Farm’s life insurance policies may not be as popular as the home and auto plans, it’s still worth taking them into consideration.
State Farm provides term life, whole life, and universal life policies.
You can get a term life insurance policy for 10, 20, or 30 years with State Farm. Depending on your situation, these are renewable up to age 95.
State Farm also has instant life insurance plans for healthy individuals between the ages of 16 and 45. An instant policy does not require a medical exam.
Prudential Financial offers retirement plans, health insurance, workplace benefits, as well as college savings and 529 plans in addition to life insurance.
If you have a complicated medical history with conditions like diabetes or cancer, Prudential Life will be a top choice for you to consider.
They also have a policy that makes some of the death benefits accessible if you’ve been confined to a nursing home or diagnosed with a terminal illness. This is known as a living needs benefit.
With this in mind, it makes sense that Prudential’s insurance premium rates are a bit higher compared to other companies on our list.
The application process is more involved as well. You’ll need to set up a phone interview with an underwriter, which isn’t required by most life insurance companies.
Brighthouse Financial is a much newer company compared to the other options on the list. Technically, the company has only been operating independently since 2017. But it’s actually just a new, improved, and rebranded version of MetLife.
MetLife wanted to focus on products for businesses and employee benefits. So it established Brighthouse Financial to sell life insurance policies to individuals.
Today, Brighthouse Financial is its own entity and completely separate from the former MetLife parent company.
More than two million customers across the country trust this Fortune 500 company with their life insurance needs. It’s one of the largest providers of life insurance and annuities in the US.
With Brighthouse, you can get short and long-term policies. However, they don’t sell any insurance products for less than $1 million in coverage.
So for those of you looking for lesser coverage, Brighthouse is not for you. Brighthouse only offers term and permanent life insurance products.
Transamerica life insurance is another viable option to consider for individuals with chronic conditions, terminal illness, or an extensive medical history.
They have a wide range of life insurance policies, ranging up to $10 million in coverage. Transamerica even has plans with living benefits and income protection. Some of you can qualify for coverage without the need for a medical exam.
Overall, you’ll have the ability to get a policy quote from one of the following life insurance categories:
Term LifeWhole LifeUniversal LifeIndex Universal LifeFinal Expense Life
One of my favorite features on the Transamerica website is the “Insurance Plan Explorer.” It’s an excellent tool for first-time buyers who are unsure of what plan will best fit their needs. It takes about three minutes to complete and will guide you in the right direction.
It’s worth mentioning that individuals with pre-existing health conditions (such as high cholesterol or diabetes) should expect to pay higher rates.
Principle Financial offers term life and permanent life insurance policies for individuals. They also provide add-ons for things like disability income insurance and retirement savings protection.
Like most insurance companies, Principle offers great rates for young and healthy individuals.
But with that said, Principle also provides competitive policies with excellent coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions.
If you’re tech-savvy and prefer to do everything online, Principle may not be the best option for you. Policies are delivered by mail, and you won’t be able to update your beneficiaries or change other plan information online. All of this is handled through paper forms, which feels a bit outdated.
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha specializes in Medicare supplement plans and life insurance policies. It’s a great option for those of you seeking term life, whole life, or universal life plans.
Some policies allow individuals to access portions of their death benefits while still alive if they’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
It’s a great option to consider for people with varying health conditions. However, it’s not the best insurance carrier for tobacco users. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, expect your rates with Mutual of Omaha to be much higher.
Another potential drawback of Mutual of Omaha is the application process. It’s a bit slow compared to other companies on our list.
But if you’re not in a rush to get approved, this shouldn’t discourage you from getting a quote.
How to Choose The Best Life Insurance Company
There are specific features that you should look for when evaluating different life insurance companies. This is the methodology that we used to create this list.
Coverage Amount and Term Length
The first thing you need to do is find a company offering a coverage amount that is suitable for your situation. This is the amount of money that your beneficiaries will get after you die.
The term length will have an impact on your premium rates as well as the coverage amount of your policy. Some life insurance companies offer longer and more flexible term options, while others may only offer 10 and 20-year terms.
A couple of rules of thumb when picking coverage amount and term length:
For children, get enough coverage for them until they can support themselves. If possible, having enough for living expenses and tuition to get through college is ideal.For an elderly parent that’s a dependent, try to get more than you think they’ll need. Expected lifespans continue to increase and they’ll have very limited options to generate income if things get tight.For a spouse, this is a judgement call and I’d discuss it with them. It’ll depend on how easily they can go back to work, how many dependents they’d have, and your current lifestyle. This could range from very little to an entire lifetime of income.For young adult dependents, like a child with special needs, you should try to get enough coverage to cover their entire lifetime. Remember to factor in inflation over a 30-50 year period which can get rather large.
It’s also crucial that you find a life insurance company that offers the type of life insurance policy you’re looking for:
Term life insurance — Coverage with a set expiration date, usually for the next 10, 20, or 30 years. If the insured dies during the term of an active policy, the benefits will be paid.Whole life insurance — Guaranteed cash payment to dependents, regardless of when the insured dies.Universal life insurance — A more flexible version of whole life insurance where you can adjust death benefits and premium amounts while you have the policy.Variable life insurance — Similar to a whole life insurance policy. But the premiums are invested into mutual funds. While this gives you the opportunity for more substantial growth, it comes at more of a risk due to market fluctuations.Final expense insurance — Covers all costs associated with the insured’s death. It’s a simple way to cover things like medical expenses, cremation, or a funeral, so those costs don’t burden your living relatives.
Some insurance companies offer variations and combinations of these policies, such as variable universal life.
There are also policies that provide living benefits for people who are terminally ill. You can also consider add-ons for long-term care insurance. This will help cover the costs of a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, or cancer will affect your decision as well. Lifestyle choices like smoking and tobacco use will also impact your policy conditions.
You’ll almost always pay higher premiums if you have a substantial medical history. However, some insurance companies are more accommodating than others for people with pre-existing conditions.
The best life insurance companies will let you apply online and get approved instantly. If you’re young and healthy, some companies don’t even require a medical exam for certain policies.
Depending on the policy terms and your health status, be prepared to see a doctor as part of the application process. Some companies even require a phone appointment with an underwriter.
If you’re not in a rush to get insured, you might not mind a slower process. But I’m always looking for the most convenient way to get things done, which is almost always an online application.
In addition to the application process, some insurance companies deliver your policy details via email and allow you to change your information from an online portal.
For example, let’s say you want to change your beneficiary from your spouse to your children. Some companies will require you to fill out paper forms through the mail, while others will let you update your beneficiary online.
Most of us need life insurance at some point. It might not be right now, but when the time comes, you can use this guide to help you find the best life insurance company for your needs.