Best Life Insurance Companies for July 2022

The life insurance market in the U.S. is competitive, made up of a mix of longstanding insurers and newer “insurtechs” that sell policies online. To narrow down our list of the best life insurance companies, we looked at customer complaints data, consumer experience and financial strength. We also assessed the types of policies on offer, and the ways you can buy coverage.

Based on these factors, these are our top life insurance companies for 2022.

Best life insurance companies of July 2022

All of the life insurance companies listed below scored at least 4.5 out of 5 stars. There are hundreds of insurers competing for your business, often selling very similar products, so it’s smart to get life insurance quotes from a few before making a decision.

Term, whole, universal and variable universal.

Term, whole and universal.

Term, whole, universal and variable universal.

Term, whole, universal, variable universal and indexed universal.

Term, whole and universal.

Term, universal, variable universal and indexed universal.

Term, whole, universal and variable universal.

Term, whole and universal.

How we ranked the top life insurers

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on consumer experience, complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. Within the consumer experience category, we consider ease of communication and website transparency, which looks at the depth of policy details available online. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Best life insurance companies: Pros and cons

Learn more about our top life insurance companies by reading the brief summaries below and checking out our comprehensive reviews.

MassMutual: Best overall

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

Policy types: Term, whole, universal and variable universal.

Pros: You can apply online for coverage. If you need to complete a medical exam, MassMutual provides temporary coverage while the process is completed.

Cons: Online quotes are available only for term life. You have to contact MassMutual for whole, universal and variable universal quotes.

Company overview: Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., often shortened to MassMutual, is one of the largest life insurers in the country. Founded in 1851, it offers a wide range of products, from term life to variable universal life insurance — a type of permanent policy with flexible premiums and investment opportunities. MassMutual is a mutual company, which means it’s owned in part by its policyholders and pays out dividends to qualifying members. Its 2022 dividend payout is set to be the highest yet at $1.85 billion

MassMutual has a diverse policy lineup and issues whole life coverage up to age 90, making it a good choice for seniors whose life insurance has expired.

Haven Life: Best for instant coverage

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

Pros: You can apply for up to $1 million in term coverage online. If approved, you don’t have to take a medical exam and your coverage begins the same day.

Cons: The company does not sell permanent life insurance.

Company overview: Haven Life offers term life insurance with accelerated underwriting, a process that uses algorithms and data to quickly assess your insurability. The entire application process is conducted online and can be completed in about 25 minutes. Haven Life’s policies are issued by MassMutual, which drew significantly fewer than expected customer complaints for a company of its size.

Guardian: Best for applicants with a history of HIV

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

Policy types: Term, whole and universal. Guardian not only sells a range of standard policies but also offers term and whole life insurance for people living with HIV.

Pros: You can get a quote online without entering your contact details and toggle between different coverage amounts to see your estimated premium.

Cons: Guardian scored below average in J.D. Power’s 2021 customer satisfaction study for life insurance

Company overview: Guardian was founded in 1860 and has paid dividends to its eligible policyholders since 1868. The 2022 payout of $1.13 billion is set to be the largest in the company’s history

AARP: Best for those who want to skip the medical exam

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

Policy types: Term and whole.

Pros: If you’re an AARP member from 50 to 80 years old (50 to 75 in New York), you can qualify for the company’s guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy regardless of your health. Coverage amounts can reach $25,000 and premiums stay the same throughout the length of the policy.

Cons: Term life premiums are not level, which means they increase over time.

Company overview: AARP doesn’t require a medical exam to qualify for any of its life insurance policies. AARP life insurance policies are available to members who are 50 or older. One of the company’s biggest draws is its simplified underwriting, which means you don’t have to take a life insurance medical exam to qualify for coverage. That said, acceptance for some policies may be based on information about your health. All policies are issued by New York Life.

Fabric: Best for online experience

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

Pros: An application can be completed online in 10 minutes. The company uses advanced algorithms to determine eligibility and cost, which means medical exams may not be necessary for all applicants.

Cons: Fabric doesn’t sell permanent life insurance like whole life. Term coverage is available only for those ages 60 and younger.

Company overview: Fabric life insurance policies are issued by Vantis Life, a subsidiary of Penn Mutual. Term policies are available for 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years, and coverage amounts range from $100,000 to $5 million. The company also offers accidental death insurance to applicants 25 to 50 years old. This coverage is guaranteed issue, which means you can buy a policy regardless of your health. Accidental death insurance policies are not available in Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington or New York.

Fabric’s website is easy to use, with a variety of ways to contact the company, including live chat.

New York Life: Best for high coverage amounts

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

Policy types: Term, whole, universal and variable universal. The company’s Million Plus Level Term 10 policy has a minimum death benefit of $1 million.

Pros: New York Life offers a wide range of coverage types, from annual term policies to variable universal life insurance. It also ranked above average in J.D. Power’s 2021 customer satisfaction study for life insurance

Cons: You can’t get a quote online without entering your contact details. Premiums for New York Life’s term life policies are level for a set period of time, after which they gradually increase.

Company overview: New York Life is a mutual company, which means it’s owned by its policyholders. As such, you may be eligible to vote in board elections if you buy certain policies and earn dividends — the insurer is set to pay out $1.9 billion in 2022

Pacific Life: Best range of permanent life insurance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

Policy types: Term, whole, universal, variable universal and indexed universal.

Pros: The company’s website provides detailed brochures on each type of policy it sells.

Cons: Some policies are not available in New York.

Company overview: Pacific Life has been in business for more than 150 years. It has drawn significantly fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size over the past three years. Among Pacific Life’s range of policies is the company’s indexed universal life insurance. These policies grow investments based on stock market indexes like the S&P 500. They also have a guaranteed floor, which means your life insurance cash value won’t fall below a certain value if the stock market dives.

State Farm: Best for customer satisfaction

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

Policy types: Term, whole and universal.

Cons: Some policies are not available in Massachusetts. You have to contact a State Farm agent to get a quote.

Company overview: When you think of State Farm, you probably think of its auto insurance products. But it also offers a decent range of life insurance policies, including return-of-premium life insurance — if you outlive the term, you get a refund of the premiums you paid into the policy. State Farm also offers a single premium option for its whole life policy and a final expense policy that can help cover funeral costs.

State Farm ranked first out of 21 companies in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Life Insurance Study for customer satisfaction

Lincoln Financial: Best for over-the-phone applications

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

Policy types: Term, universal, variable universal and indexed universal.

Pros: Lincoln Financial offers a range of coverage options with comprehensive policy details available on its website, including available riders, policy fees, issue age ranges and more.

Cons: Ranked below average for customer satisfaction in the 2021 J.D. Power life insurance study

Company overview: Founded in 1905, Lincoln Financial sells a variety of products including life insurance, annuities, long-term care and workplace benefits. Within the company’s variable universal life catalog is survivorship life insurance. This type of insurance covers two people, typically a couple, and pays out after the second person dies. In some cases, survivorship insurance can be cheaper than buying two separate permanent policies.

Lincoln Financial promotes a speedy application process over the phone for customers who’d rather buy coverage through an advisor.

Northwestern Mutual: Best for consumer experience

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

Policy types: Term, whole and universal.

Pros: Northwestern Mutual has a top-tier financial strength rating, and the company ranked high for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Life Insurance Study

Cons: It’s hard to find coverage specifics like issue age ranges, coverage limits and available riders for whole and universal life policies on Northwestern Mutual’s website.

Company overview: Founded in 1857, Northwestern Mutual is the largest seller of individual life insurance in the United States, according to the latest data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Universal life policyholders have flexible payment and coverage options, while term life customers have the opportunity to convert their policy to permanent coverage without taking a medical exam. The company expects to pay $6.2 billion in dividends to qualifying policyholders in 2022

Northwestern Mutual received significantly fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size, making it a trustworthy choice for shoppers.

USAA: Best for members of the military

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

Policy types: Term, whole and universal.

Pros: Unlike most life insurance products, USAA’s term life covers active military members during wartime, including acts of terrorism.

Cons: Some coverage options are not available in New York or Montana.

Company overview: USAA was founded in 1922 to provide life insurance for veterans and active military members. It now offers coverage to civilians as well. Its policies can be used to supplement the government-provided Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance, which is automatically issued to eligible military personnel. Policyholders ages 18 to 35 can increase their coverage amount if they get married, buy a house or have a baby.

Find the right life insurance plan for you

Make sure you and your loved ones are covered – compare customized life insurance quotes from our partners.

How to choose the best life insurance company

Follow these four steps to find the best life insurance company for your family.

1. Look at customer satisfaction scores

Other customers’ experiences can help you decide whether you want to do business with a company. You can get clues about an insurer’s reputation through complaints filed with state regulators, which are visible on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website. All of the companies listed above have had fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for insurers of their size, according to three years’ worth of data from the NAIC.

2. Consider financial strength

It’s especially important to look into life insurance companies’ financial strength because you’ll want a company that can pay claims many years down the road. NerdWallet’s insurance reviews use weighted averages of financial strength ratings. For additional information about life insurance companies, try a ratings agency like AM Best. We don’t recommend considering insurers with an AM Best rating of B or lower.

3. Evaluate the policy options

  • Permanent life insurance lasts your entire life and often includes an investment component. Under the umbrella of permanent life insurance, there are several different types of policies, such as whole life and universal life.

4. Get prices from a handful of companies

Although many companies sell similar policies, some focus on certain products — such as whole life — or on particular customers, such as seniors who need life insurance. You can narrow down your options by focusing on the companies that specialize in the type of insurance you’re looking for.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

About the Author: AKDSEO

You May Also Like