Determining who the best life insurance companies are is not always a black and white answer.
While you can get quotes from all of the top-rated life insurance companies, you may never know if you’re choosing the best policy for your specific situation.
At Good Financial Cents, we pride ourselves in connecting people with the insurance company that best meets their specific needs.
Our Top 10 Best Life Insurance Companies for 2019
|Haven Life||Best Quick Coverage||Get Quotes|
|Banner||Wide Range of Coverage||Get Quotes|
|AIG||Best Company Size||Get Quotes|
|Prudential||Best For Chewing Tobacco Users||Get Quotes|
|MetLife||Variety of Policies||Get Quotes|
|Mutual Of Omaha||Best Claims Paid||Get Quotes|
|New York Life||Breadth of Coverage||Get Quotes|
|Transamerica||Best Flexibility||Get Quotes|
|Lincoln||Best Total Life Insurance Sales||Get Quotes|
|Fidelity Life||Best Rapid Decision||Get Quotes|
* Active and Healthy? Check out this BONUS
To help you find coverage that fits, we’ll first take a look at our take on the best life insurance companies in the United States for 2019, then dig a little deeper into which companies excel in the kind of coverage you may be looking for.
Since policy type and company ratings are key factors in your decision, we’ll also discuss how to decipher that data.
Finding the right type of life insurance can seem so overwhelming that it’s easy to put it off.
But if you have family members who depend on you financially, you need coverage. A little knowledge can go a long way toward helping you find coverage that’s tailor-made to protect your family.
Deciding on the Best Life Insurance Company for Your Coverage
With more than 800 insurance companies in the United States, you could spend months comparing quotes and analyzing ratings without ever knowing for sure that you’d chosen the right company. And that’s before considering your specific needs.
Let’s start by narrowing the choices. We work with numerous insurers and we do a lot of research.
We’ve narrowed hundreds of companies down to our 10 favorites.
There are other great companies out there, but these 10 consistently offer the best products and customer service, and they exhibit strength and stability, which means they’re more likely to be there when you need them.
So, without further adieu…
Our Top Picks For Best Life Insurance
Although the best company and policy will vary from person to person, we have poured through many of the details for you and have come up with a list of our top picks.
These companies, while diverse in their offerings and history, offer some of the most affordable, helpful coverage and have the best life insurance products on the market.
They’re also highly rated by the major credit rating agencies, who update their ratings regularly as any changes to a company’s financial outlook occur.
In 2019, these are your best bets for life insurance providers.
Haven Life has upended the traditional process of acquiring term life insurance by getting rid of the medical exam for people who qualify.
Even if you do need a medical exam, Haven Life’s process is quick and easy to navigate. If you are looking to get term life insurance with the least hassle and faster than any other company can offer, then Haven Life is going to be your top company.
Haven Life offers only term life insurance, which is usually the simplest and most affordable type of coverage, especially if you’re young and in good health. The agency’s policies are backed by MassMutual which has earned the highest financial ratings offered by A.M. Best and other insurance company ratings agencies.
|Haven Life Financial Strength|
|Fitch||AA+||Standard & Poor’s||AA+|
Banner Life Insurance is a leader in terms of life insurance product diversity and customer service. The company has been operating since 1949, and it currently holds about $415 billion in premiums in force.
Banner Life has both flexible and comprehensive coverage options, like special rates for younger or health conscious individuals. In addition, people up to age 95 can apply for a Banner Life term policy, while most insurers cap applicants at age 65 or 75.Show More
AIG (American International Group)
AIG is often considered the world’s largest insurance organization with more than 49,000 employees and clients in over 80 countries and jurisdictions.Show More
|AIG Financial Strength|
|Fitch||A+||Standard & Poor’s||A+|
We’ve also noticed that AIG is great at placing applicants who are on the border of two different rating classes, because of their weight, into the more favorable class.
For example, a 37-year-old male who weighed 215 pounds and is six feet tall rated a preferred policy with Banner Life, but AIG rated him preferred plus, saving him $3,312 over the life of the policy he chose:
|$1,000,000 Policy||20 Yr Term||30 Yr Term|
|Total Policy Savings||$3,312.00||$7,293.60|
Prudential is another long-standing, top life insurance company, which manages more than $1 trillion in assets for clients throughout the world.
Prudential offers a number of different policy options, including term and permanent coverage. Permanent coverage from Prudential includes universal, indexed universal, variable universal, and survivorship universal life insurance.Show More
|Prudential Financial Strength|
|Fitch||A-||Standard & Poor’s||AA-|
We’ve noticed that applicants who use chewing tobacco often prefer Prudential because the company does not place chewing tobacco users into its classification for smokers, and this can save a huge amount of money:
|$500,000 Policy||10 Yr Term|
|Total Policy Savings||$1,266.00|
MetLife, another well-known provider in the United States and globally, offers policy options including term, whole life, universal, variable, and survivorship plans.
MetLife also offers a simplified issue term life insurance which does not require applicants to get a medical exam, worthwhile for customers with health issues.Show More
|MetLife Financial Strength|
|Fitch||AA-||Standard & Poor’s||AA-|
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha has been serving customers in the life insurance arena for more than a century. It provides a wide variety of products including term, whole life, universal life, and accidental death.
The company provides easy-to-follow online steps to help customers determine how much coverage they may need. The site also offers calculators to help determine how long life insurance proceeds may last.Show More
|Mutual of Omaha Financial Strength|
|Fitch||n/a||Standard & Poor’s||AA-|
New York Life Insurance Company
New York Life Insurance Company opened more than 170 years ago, and the insurer has more than $425 billion in managed assets. It serves policyholders in both the United States and around the world. New York Life offers term, whole life, universal life and variable life, and the company is a financial stalwart:Show More
|New York Life Financial Strength|
|Fitch||AAA||Standard & Poor’s||AA+|
Transamerica began its operation more than 110 years ago, and today it has grown into a financial and insurance powerhouse.
Transamerica will issue 30-year term policies up to age 58. Most companies will not issue a 30-year term policy on a person seeking life insurance who is over 50.Show More
|Transamerica Financial Strength|
|Fitch||A+||Standard & Poor’s||AA-|
Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides numerous coverage options, including term, universal, and variable universal life insurance coverage. Lincoln also has a combination life / long-term care option whereby a policyholder can use a universal policy as an alternative to purchasing a stand-alone, long-term care insurance policy.Show More
|Lincoln Financial Strength|
|Fitch||A+||Standard & Poor’s||AA-|
Fidelity Life has been in the business of offering protection to its customers since 1896.
Fidelity has a specialized line of plans – their RapiDecision policies, which includes a traditional plan, an express option, and a final expense plan. Their senior insurance policy is the plan will continue to be effective until age 121! Much longer than other companies offer.Show More
|Fidelity Life Financial Strength|
|Fitch||n/a||Standard & Poor’s||A+|
This rounds out the summaries for our top companies. View the full list of carriers we’ve reviewed.
How to Determine a Company’s Strength
All insurance companies must be graded by at least one independent life insurance ratings agency, which assesses the likelihood the insurance company will remain financially solvent and pay claims on policies.
Generally speaking, it’s best to stick with insurance companies that are rated with a grade of A or better. The rating agencies to check with are A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch Ratings.
Best Life Insurance Companies by Category
When you apply for life insurance, the company’s underwriters will take a close look at your health, your habits, and your family’s health history. The higher the risk, the higher your insurance premiums will be.
Applicants in certain categories, such as tobacco users, fare better with certain insurance companies when it comes to rate classifications. Here are a few of the most common.
Health Conscious: Health I.Q.
Health I.Q. has teamed with insurance carriers to offer rewarding underwriting for active people. Health I.Q. targets muscular people who have a low BMI, and people with low resting heart rates, even if they have a poor family history.
According to the statistics on their website, the standard insurance carrier puts 35 percent of applicants in the preferred plus category, but Health I.Q. puts double that amount.
|A.M. Best||A++ (Superior)|
|Moody’s||Aaa (Very Strong)|
|Standard & Poor’s||AA+ (Very Strong)|
Smokers: Banner Life AND Prudential (Pruco)
Banner Life tops our list for smokers, with Prudential following close behind. Banner Life offers both preferred tobacco and standard tobacco classifications. You’ll still pay more as a smoker than a non-smoker, but the rate hike may not be as high as it would be with other companies.
Banner is also the parent company of its often better-known subsidiary, William Penn Life Insurance of New York, which has over $5.7 billion in assets and over $587 billion of life insurance in force.
|A.M. Best||A+ (Superior)|
|Standard & Poor’s||AA- (Very Strong)|
Diabetics: American General
American General gets our vote as best option for people with diabetes. Additionally, American General offers an accelerated death benefit rider that enables you to receive some of your insurance proceeds while you are still alive if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Like many companies that offer more liberal underwriting guidelines to high-risk applicants, American General is tougher if your profile involves other risks, like occupations or hobbies.
|Standard & Poor’s||A+|
Cancer Survivors: Prudential (Pruco)
Prudential not only tends to be more liberal in underwriting policies for cancer survivors but also for people with diabetes and DUI histories. As you would expect, premiums will be higher for cancer survivors even with a policy issued by Prudential.
The type of cancer, as well as how long it is been in remission, are factors. But if you are a cancer survivor looking for the best life insurance premiums, Prudential is the place to start.
|A.M. Best||A+ (Superior)|
|Standard & Poor’s||AA- (Very Strong)|
Five Year Term Policies: Minnesota Life
Most companies issue policies in terms ranging from 10 to 30 years, so finding a good five-year policy can be tough.
If you’re starting a new business and would like to protect your family while you’re in debt, or if you’ve quit smoking but don’t qualify for non-smoking rates, a five-year policy with Minnesota Life may provide the temporary coverage you need.
|A.M. Best||A+ (Superior)|
|Fitch||AA- (Very Strong)|
|Standard & Poor’s||A+|
Genworth has a history of assigning a “preferred plus” rating to people who are overweight, and “standard risk” to many people who are obese. This is not a typical outcome throughout the industry.
For example, a 55-year-old male who is 6 feet tall can get a preferred rate while weighing as much as 242 pounds. Once the man hits age 65, he can weigh as much as 258 pounds with the same rating.
|Standard & Poor’s||BBB-|
No Medical Exam Life Insurance: American National Insurance Company (ANICO)
It is available for those between the ages of 50 and 80, and offers a fixed death benefit, with fixed premiums. No exam policies are more expensive, but ANICO is your best bet.
|Standard & Poor’s||A|
Best Life Insurance Companies – Honorable Mentions
The companies below didn’t make our top 10 list, but they represent some of the strongest names in the industry. Each link will take you to a comprehensive review of the individual company.
- 5 Star – Part of the Armed Forces Benefit Association, which has been around since 1947.
- AAA – More than 100 years of business experience and a long history of good customer service.
- AARP – Works with New York Life to provide coverage to seniors.
- Accordia – Very young but great financial backing.
- Accuquote – Over the past 20 years, Accuquote has placed about $100 billion of life insurance coverage in force with nearly 200,000 customers purchasing coverage from the site.
- Aetna – Aetna has a ton of different types of insurance and life insurance is a major part of their company.
- Aflac – Most famous for their duck mascot, Aflac is a highly respected carrier with great ratings from the BBB.
- Allianz – Allianz is a leading provider of life insurance, as well as income-producing products and overall retirement solutions.
- Allstate – The good hands people are one of the most well known and trusted insurers in the country.
- American General – Part of the AIG group and one of the largest insurers in the USA.
- American Income – Over 50 years of experience and a great financial record.
- American National – Top provider of no medical exam policies.
- Americo – Well-known for burial and final expense policies, but also has competitive rates on other life insurance products.
- Ameritas – Popular company for disability insurance coverage.
- Amica – Based on financial strength and claims-paying ability, Amica Mutual Group has received a rating of A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best Company.
- Assurity – Assurity has been in the business of offering coverage and protection to its policyholders for well over 100 years.
- AXA Equitable – Very competitive at underwriting in specific age brackets and great with a few health conditions.
- Baltimore Life – The Baltimore Life Insurance Company offers a long list of personal life insurance options to choose for individuals and families.
- Bankers Life – BLIC was founded in 1976, and while it may not be one of the oldest insurance carriers, it has proven a viable player in the life insurance and annuity arena.
- Cincinnati Life – The Cincinnati Life Insurance Company has been providing wealth enhancement and protection products since 1950 when four independent insurance agents formed it.
- Colonial Life – Based on its strong financial foundation, and timely payments of claims, Colonial Life Insurance Company has received high ratings from the insurer rating agencies.
- Columbus Life – One of the first insurance companies to have a website; remains competitive with technology.
- Conseco.com – The company serves more than 4 million customers primarily considered “middle income working America.”
- Esurance – Esurance is owned by Allstate Insurance Company which is the oldest publicly held personal lines insurance carrier in the United States.
- EquiTrust – All life insurance plans offered through EquiTrust are permanent, meaning there is death benefit protection and a cash value/savings component.
- Erie Life – Erie Insurance Company has been in the business of offering coverage protection to its customers for nearly 100 years.
- Farm Bureau – Farm Bureau Financial Services is financially stable, and the company pays policyholder claims quickly.
- Farmers – Farmers serves more than 10 million households with more than 19 million individual policies.
- Foresters Financial – A non-profit with more than 135 years in the life insurance market.
- Forethought – Only 30 years old, but moving up in the ranks of reliable life insurance companies.
- Frankenmuth – The company’s principal mission when providing insurance services to its policyholders is to be the insurer of choice.
- Geico – Over the past 80 years, the company has expanded exponentially, also ranked as the second largest private passenger auto insurance company in the US.
- Gerber – Great at offering affordable guaranteed issue policies.
- Globe – Offers the best small, simplified issue policies.
- Guarantee Trust Life – Record gains in the year 2016, making the company’s overall financial condition the strongest that it has ever had in its 80+ year history.
- Guardian – A Fortune 250 Global Financial Services Company, Guardian offers a wide variety of financial services along with life insurance.
- Hartford – Hartford offers an extensive list of insurance and other financial products which can help its clients to customize their wealth enhancement and protection.
- Illinois Mutual – From the BBB, they have an A+ rating and have been BBB accredited since 1943.
- Jackson National – The firm primarily offers retirement annuities and investments.
- John Hancock – One of the better known and more solid companies in the United States.
- Liberty Mutual – Liberty Mutual is ranked as number 75 on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations.
- Lincoln General – Intends to provide superior handling of any and all claims that are filed, as well as to favorably impact the financial results for its shareholders.
- Minnesota Life – Awesome at rating people who have recently stopped smoking.
- Monumental Life Insurance Company – In 2014, changed its name to Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company.
- Mutual Trust – Over the past 110 years, the company has grown to offer life insurance and annuity products in 49 of the U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia.
- National Life Group – National Life Group has been providing financial protection to its customers for nearly 170 years.
- National Western – More than 60 years of experience and top financial ratings.
- Nationwide – This financial and insurance entity offers a broad range of products and services that can help clients with growing and protect wealth.
- Navy Mutual – Navy Mutual has been offering insurance and annuity benefits to military members since 1879.
- North American – Privately owned and expertly managed when it comes to its investments.
- Northwestern Mutual – One of the largest life insurance companies in the world.
- Ohio National Financial Services – Company is over 100 years old.
- Pacific – Pacific Life has been helping its clients grow and protect their wealth for more than 145 years.
- Petersen International Underwriters – A+ rating based on everything from the company’s honoring of commitments, customer service, transparency, and more.
- Phoenix – Phoenix Life Insurance Company has more than a century and a half of providing coverage to its customers.
- Primerica – Primerica has been offering term life insurance that is affordable since 1977.
- Principal Financial Group – One of the few that will offer a no exam policy up to $1 million.
- Progressive – This company has grown and expanded exponentially, and it has also added more coverage products and services, including progressive home insurance.
- Protective – Great for term life insurance policies.
- Royal Neighbors – Royal Neighbors has a unique mission of insuring lives, supporting women, and serving communities.
- Sagicor – Offers great no exam term policies and guaranteed issue universal life.
- SBLI – Great for annual premium prices and variety of lengths of term life insurance.
- Select Quote Online – One of their online agents helps to pair you with the best policy for your needs.
- State Farm – If you already have homeowners/renters and auto insurance with them they offer great bundling of policies.
- Symetra – Gets top ratings from all the bureaus and has a clean record from the BBB.
- The Standard – Headquartered in Oregon, and has over 6 million customers in every state.
- TIAA – TIAA is a Fortune 500 company, and it serves millions of clients.
- USAA – USAA is the top company for those with military service or a family member who has served in the military.
- United Home – along with its parent company United Farm Family life, this company has a strong financial reputation.
- Vantis – Vantis is more than 80 years old and is reliable at paying claims.
- Veterans Group – If you have an existing condition, you will do very well with this company.
- Voya Financial – Formerly known as ING, Voya Financial has emerged as a leader in today’s financial and insurance services industry.
15 Tips to Get the Cheapest Life Insurance
1. Don’t procrastinate
The longer you wait, the more expensive life insurance could be, especially if you’re a male. Every year that you get older, your term life monthly premiums could go up by as much as 10%.
Every year that you age is one year closer to death, which means that insurance companies have to charge you more to earn their money back.
2. Get Healthy
Eating junk food can have drastic effects on your cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure, which can crank up your insurance premiums super quickly.
Similar to dumping bad habits, if you’ve lost a lot of weight and began to exercise, it’s a good idea to ask your agent for a policy reevaluation to see if you’re eligible for lower monthly premiums.
3. Don’t Smoke (or Chew)
If you want to make sure you’re getting the cheapest term life policy possible, put out the cigarette and grab a stick of gum. Smokers can expect to pay double or triple what a non-smoker is going to pay.
If you already have a life insurance policy, but you’ve stopped smoking, you can also have your policy reevaluated.
4. Slow Down
Because of all the deaths that occur due to reckless driving, line insurance agents have started looking at driving records as a part of the application process.
Sure, going 10, 20, or even 30mph. over the speed limit might save you a couple of minutes, but it could break your bank. Make sure that your term rates don’t get caught speeding, too.
5. Don’t Forget the Family
Even if you are super fit, but you’ve had a parent pass away prematurely (think before the age of 70), for a condition that could be hereditary, your premiums could be impacted.
If those conditions took their life, that could mean an immediate disapproval in the worst case scenario or a higher rated class in the best case scenario.
6. Shop Independently
Captive insurance agents usually represent one company. Independent agents are allowed to represent several different insurance agencies and are not tied to one specific business.
Also, avoid life insurance comparison websites: The real purpose of the sites is to gather information – yours. The goal is to allow every insurance agent in town to get your contact information.
7. Cut Back on Risky Activities
You don’t have to quit all of your hobbies and live in a bubble, but several hobbies can raise your premiums that you might not think about.
Activities like riding a motorcycle, hunting, boating, and scuba diving can cause your monthly premiums to go up anywhere from $500 – $2,000 every year.
8. Tell the Truth
You must share everything about your medical history, especially if it’s going to come back on your records. Lying to the life insurance agent does nothing but slow the process down and cause you trouble.
If you are dishonest and you’re accepted for coverage without disclosing that information, the insurance company could refuse to pay out on the policy.
9. Establish Your Goals
Think about goals like paying off your mortgage and debts, providing for your children’s care and education, allowing a business partner to buy out your share of the business, and paying estate taxes.
Most people need life insurance for more than one of these issues, so you have to crunch some numbers to come up with the final amount you will need.
10. Only Buy What You Need
Because your life changes so frequently, you might find that your life insurance needs change also, so you should continuously reevaluate your needs.
11. Decide Whether Skipping the Medical Exam Is Worth It!
You have to realize that if you’re bypassing the medical exam, the insurance company is taking on more risk and you’re going to pay for it.
Depending on the carrier, you might be severely limited on how much insurance you can buy. Don’t assume your health problems will automatically get you denied.
12. Buy While You’re Healthy
Life insurance is one of those things that we often tell ourselves that we’ll buy “later.”
But later can bring about the onset of health conditions that will make your policy more expensive. If you’re healthy now, then now is the time to get your life insurance.
13. Avoid Up-sells
There are a host of policy riders that can be added on just about any life insurance policy. They have benefits, but they will raise the cost of your insurance.
For that reason, you’ll want to keep them to a minimum. Couples should buy their own policies, not just add each other as riders, for other reasons, too.
14. Bundle If It Will Save You Money
You can sometimes save money on your insurance policies by bundling them together. Just make sure that you aren’t paying too much for one type of coverage so that you can save on another.
If the company that you have your auto insurance and homeowner’s insurance through also offers life insurance, you could save a huge chunk by buying it through the same company.
15. Make Sure the Insurance Company is Reputable
You should make sure that the company is rated “A” or better through a ratings agency such as A.M. Best.
t will do you little good to have the cheapest life insurance policy if the company won’t stick around long enough to pay a claim. The list above is a great place to start.