We evaluated the top insurers in the country so you can find the right fit for your situation.
Everyone starts the life insurance journey in a different place. One person buys a policy when starting a family or buying a home. Another is older and wants to cover their final expenses. Some shoppers know exactly what kind of policy they want, while others know only their goals.
What do all these people have in common? At some point, they’ll need to know which company to choose.
So our top choices are leading insurers in the industry, and each is best able to satisfy one particular need that is common among customers needing to buy insurance.
The result? 10 go-to companies that can help you meet your specific life insurance goals.
Best Life Insurance Companies of 2019*
|Provider||Award||A.M. Best||NAIC||J. D. Power||Our rating||Compare|
|Mutual of Omaha||Best overall||A+||0||792||4.6/5||Quote|
|TIAA||Best term life||A++||0.13||N/A||4.6/5||Quote|
|Northwestern||Best whole life||A++||0.04||812||4.6/5||Quote|
|Haven Life**||Best no medical exam||A++**||0.06**||781**||4.6/5||Quote|
|AARP***||Best for seniors||A++***||.015***||791***||4.6/5||Quote|
|AIG||Best final expense||N/A||0||741||4.6/5||Quote|
|Gerber||Best for kids||A||0.56||N/A||4.6/5||Quote|
|Pacific||Best universal life||A+||0.02||783||4.6/5||Quote|
*Ratings from AMBest.com, NAIC.org, JDPower.com, and Termlife2Go.com. Data effective 4/15/19.
**Ratings are for Mass Mutual, parent company and underwriter for Haven Life.
***Ratings are for New York Life, parent company and underwriter for AARP life insurance.
Is Mutual of Omaha the best choice for everyone? Of course not. But we chose this company as the best overall because this top-notch insurer can meet the needs of people in many situations.
- Solid financial footing
- Owned by policyowners
- Limited online customer service
- No particular specialty
Let’s start with the basics. Mutual of Omaha was founded in 1909, earns solid financial ratings, and maintains a nearly spotless complaint record. You can rest assured “Mutual of O” knows how to do life insurance.
This insurer is what a credit union is to the banking industry: customers own Mutual of Omaha. That means Mutual of Omaha typically places more importance on customer satisfaction than sales. That said, you’ll have to call into the company’s service line to make changes to your policy because the United of Omaha website isn’t set up for that.
Still, this Fortune 500 company offers plenty of policy options (that you can apply for online), including no exam and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) policies.
Who might choose Mutual of Omaha?
- People who don’t mind calling in: With no customer service options online, you’ll need to contact this insurer the old-fashioned way.
- People who want just one company: If you need multiple policies, Mutual of Omaha has plenty of options for a variety of needs.
- People who worry about claim time: Solid financials and few complaints mean this insurer will likely be around to pay your beneficiaries when the time comes.
Learn more with our Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Review.
Protective checks the boxes most people want in a life insurance company, including financial stability, low complaint levels, decent customer service, and standard policy options. But the real value comes from this insurer’s low prices.
- Low prices
- Financial stability
- Low complaint ratio
- Average customer service
- Slow application approval
- Missing no exam policies for term life
Protective Life Insurance Company offers term, universal, and whole life insurance coverage—often at lower prices than competitors. It’s not always the cheapest, but Protective pops up across policy type, coverage level, and gender when we sample the lowest life insurance rates.
While term life insurance is typically the cheapest type of policy any company offers, Protective’s offerings include a universal life policy that’s usually only a few dollars more. That policy could make permanent life insurance more accessible to cost-conscious shoppers.
Of course, Protective’s pricing isn’t perfect. If you smoke (or used to smoke), Protective may not seem like such a good deal.
Still, most people will find Protective’s low prices make a policy with this company an excellent value.
Who might choose Protective?
- People looking for low-cost universal: Protective’s Custom Choice UL policies cost around the same as its term life insurance policies.
- Non-smokers: Protective’s low premiums don’t extend to many current or past tobacco users.
- Busy, budget-conscious people: Typically low premiums mean you’ll probably see competitive rates even if you don’t have time to shop around.
Learn more with our Protective Life Insurance Review.
Or, if Protective doesn’t seem like the right company for you, check out other inexpensive life insurance companies.
TIAA got its start insuring teachers and other nonprofit workers, but anyone can apply for their life insurance these days. The insurer has kept its service-first approach intact over the years and today offers some of the best term life insurance coverage on the market.
- Excellent conversion riders
- Online tools for easy shopping
- Some products available only to nonprofit employees
- No whole life
Many people buy a term life policy because of its low price tag. Unfortunately, this type of insurance has one inherent flaw: coverage eventually ends—when you’re older and harder to insure.
TIAA has solved this problem by allowing its customers to convert their term life policies to permanent life insurance any time until age 80 (65 in New York State). Most other insurers offer limited opportunities to convert—say, every five years or before you hit the halfway mark of your term policy.
TIAA also serves customers by not giving their agents commissions for the policies they sell, instead opting for a bonus system based on customer service. This practice helps customers experience exceptional service, avoid pushy salespeople, and receive competitive term life insurance premiums.
Who might choose TIAA?
- People who fear outliving their term policy: Easy, anytime conversion options could help these folks sleep better at night.
- People who want awesome service: TIAA puts customer service before sales performance.
- Teachers and nonprofit employees: These customers can access other TIAA products, such as annuities.
Learn more with our TIAA Life Insurance Review.
Not sure TIAA would work for you? Check out more of the best term life insurance companies.
Northwestern Mutual gave our best overall pick a real run for its money, but this insurer’s standout whole life insurance landed it our best whole life award instead.
- 3 whole life policies
- Term and universal plan options
- Top-notch ratings
- No online quotes
Many insurers offer a single whole life policy, but Northwestern Mutual goes further with three options. A straightforward whole life policy allows for lifetime coverage and premiums. Meanwhile, two additional options allow the policy owner to “pay up” the policy at age 65 or 90 but continue to receive coverage until death.
Meanwhile, Northwestern Mutual CompLife policies combine the benefits of both term and whole life. These policies act like term life insurance at first, giving you a large amount of coverage for several years, then convert to whole life.
Northwestern Mutual provides high returns on a policy’s cash value. This company has paid out dividends to policyholders for the last 100 years straight.
Finally, Northwestern Mutual has the highest financial ratings we’ve seen and a super low complaint ratio from the NAIC. J. D. Power ranks this insurer fifth out of 24 in customer service.
Who might choose Northwestern?
- People looking for “paid up” whole life: Two whole life policies make it possible to stop making payments at a certain age and still receive coverage.
- People comfortable on the phone: You can get quotes and Northwestern’s top-notch service with a phone call, but not online.
- People with long- and short-term needs: Options for combined term and whole life options allow you to have both kinds of coverage in one policy.
Learn more with our Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Review.
Not sure Northwestern Mutual is the right company for you? Check out more of the best whole life insurance companies.
Haven Life is an online life insurance company that uses artificial intelligence in its innovative underwriting process. It offers higher death benefits (up to $1 million) than many other insurers provide for a no exam policy.
- Instant coverage (if you qualify)
- Competitive premiums
- Backed by Mass Mutual
- Not ideal for people with preexisting health conditions
- No sales agents
- Term life policies only
If you’re 59 or younger, in good health, and choose a $1 million death benefit or less, you could have instant coverage without taking an exam. If you want a higher death benefit (up to $2 million) or have health issues, you may have to take an exam to apply for coverage.
Certain health conditions may result in applicants taking a medical exam. Still, Haven Life makes our best-of list because those who qualify for a no exam policy typically receive super low premiums compared to other companies.
Haven Life’s AI-fueled underwriting and fully online process means it doesn’t have to pay a team of underwriters or large agent commissions. And the company passes those savings along to customers.
Finally, Haven Life is backed by MassMutual, a large, financially stable insurer that almost snagged a spot on our best-of list, all on its own.
Who might choose Haven Life?
- DIYers: Since Haven Life doesn’t pay commissions, most independent agents won’t help you apply.
- Young, healthy people: You could buy up to $1 million of term life coverage without an exam.
- People who want instant coverage: If no red flags pop up on your application, you could have coverage in minutes.
Learn more with our Haven Life insurance review.
While Haven Life made our best-of list for its no exam term policies, it may not be ideal for people with preexisting conditions. If that’s you, read our list of top 10 no exam life insurance companies. Plenty of other companies offer no exam life insurance plans for people in your situation.
AARP policies come with the backing of New York Life, a top-rated insurer when it comes to financial stability and service. Unlike New York Life’s other policies, AARP’s offerings require membership in the organization to receive coverage.
- No medical exam required
- Term, whole, and guaranteed acceptance
- Backed by New York Life
- For AARP members only
- $100K coverage limit
AARP offers three types of policies, each with a different death benefit cap.
- Term life: $100,000
- Whole life: $50,000
- Guaranteed acceptance whole life: $25,000
Unfortunately, the guaranteed acceptance option may require a waiting period of two years before you receive full coverage. The good news? No matter which option you choose, you won’t have to take a medical exam.
Learn more about AARP life insurance.
Not sure about AARP? Check out our list of best life insurance companies for seniors.
AIG’s best final expense option is guaranteed issue, so you won’t have to take a medical exam or even answer health questions. Coverage caps out at $25,000 (common for final expense insurance), but that could be all you need to cover your funeral expenses.
- Guaranteed issue
- Chronic and terminal illness riders
- $25,000 maximum death benefit
AIG’s final expense insurance also includes chronic and terminal illness riders at no additional cost. These riders provide a portion of the death benefit to help you cover chronic or terminal illness while you’re still living. They make AIG’s life insurance a terrific way to receive the kind of living benefits many people need near the end of their lives.
While A.M. Best doesn’t rate AIG, S&P gives AIG a “strong financial” rating of A+, and few consumers have filed complaints against the company.
Learn more about AIG life insurance.
Not sure AIG is the right company for you? Check out more of the best final expense life insurance companies.
Gerber Grow-Up may be the most famous life insurance for children and with good reason. This baby food company knows behind the act of insuring a child lies an investment in your kid’s future: a guarantee of insurability later in life.
- Low cost
- Double coverage stating at 18
- Wide coverage range
- Cash value grows slowly
- Sold only through Gerber
Parents can choose from $5,000 to $50,000 in coverage for now, knowing the policy will double in coverage and convert to a guaranteed issue policy at age 18. And you won’t pay a dime more in premiums to make all that happen.
The main downside is Gerber’s cash value grows slowly, so you may not want to buy it to fund your child’s education or a wedding later in life.
Learn more about Gerber Grow-Up life insurance.
Not sure Gerber is the right company for you? Check out more of the best life insurance companies for kids.
Pacific Life insurance offers numerous universal life options, including four each of universal life, indexed universal, and variable universal. These policies provide features guaranteed death benefit protections (so your policy doesn’t lapse), competitive cash value growth, and survivorship life insurance.
- Huge policy variety
- Top financial and service ratings
- Competitive cash value growth
- Quotes not available on Pacific’s website
Top financial ratings, a low complaint ratio, and above average customer service—according to J. D. Powers—make this company a top option for universal life.
Learn more about Pacific Life insurance.
Not sure Pacific is the right company for you? Check out more of the best universal life insurance companies.
AFLAC specializes in supplemental insurance, so it typically targets employees, unions, and other groups. But when it comes to accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, individuals can easily buy a policy with this top company.
- Financial stability
- One-day claim approval
- Supplemental insurance
Solid financial ratings mean this insurer is reliable, while a low complaint ratio indicates this company treats its customers well. This insurer also stands out from the pack by paying out claims in a single day if you file before 3 p.m.
AFLAC specializes in supplemental insurance, and AD&D falls in that category. If you’re looking for this type of life insurance, include AFLAC in your search for the right company.
Learn more about AFLAC life insurance.
Not sure AFLAC is the right company for you? Check out more of the best AD&D insurance companies.
Bottom line: Define what’s best for you
The best life insurance company depends on your situation. There’s no one-size-fits-all company because each offers its own variety of products and companies price policies differently.
As a reminder here is our recommendation of top life insurance companies to start with:
- Mutual of Omaha: Best overall life insurance
- Protective: Best value life insurance
- TIAA: Best term life insurance
- Northwestern Mutual: Best whole life insurance
- Haven Life: Best no medical exam life insurance
- AARP: Best life insurance for seniors
- AIG: Best final expense life insurance
- Gerber: Bestlife insurance for kids
- Pacific Life: Best universal life insurance
- AFLAC: Best AD&D life insurance
It’s always a good idea to make sure an insurer has solid financial ratings, low complaints, and attentive customer service. But beyond that, go with the company that matches your goals.
Next steps: Learn more or get a quote
Still have questions about life insurance? No worries. Check out these resources that have helped people like you wrap their minds around life insurance:
- Read more about what life insurance is.
- Find out how much life insurance costs.
- Understand the various types of life insurance.
- Learn how much life insurance you need.
Or, if you’re ready to buy life insurance, get a quote.
Best life insurance FAQ
Should I buy more than one life insurance policy?
Some people buy multiple life insurance policies to meet different needs. They might purchase a 30-year $250,000 term life insurance policy to cover the mortgage and a 15-year $1 million policy to ensure income replacement until the kids grow up.
This strategy is called the ladder strategy for life insurance, and it could save you a lot of money. If laddering your policies feels intimidating then you might want to consider Ladder life insurance, an online insurance company that gives customers easy access to adjust their policies as needed.
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