skip to main content

We may earn money when you click on our links. Learn More

Icon Close  Light

Call Today! 888-234-8376

Ladder Life Insurance Review

This innovative company with fast, flexible term life insurance makes laddering your coverage easy with an online process.
Pro Bullet Fast, easy application
Pro Bullet Offers term life
Pro Bullet Flexible
Con Bullet No permanent life
Licensed Life Insurance Agent/Staff Writer
Published on December 05, 2019

Ladder is an online insurance company offering term life insurance to busy people who don’t mind choosing a policy without the help of a life insurance agent. Most customers apply completely online and, in many cases, don’t need to take a medical exam to get covered.

Ladder: Term life for internet-savvy DIYers

Have you heard of the ladder strategy for life insurance? Not to be confused with Ladder life insurance, laddering is the process of stacking several well-timed policies to achieve peak insurance coverage when you need a high benefit and lower insurance coverage when you don’t.

While Ladder insurance and "laddering" are different, the company’s unique flexibility makes laddering term life insurance quick and easy.

Let's say you need $1 million of coverage. A healthy 30-year-old man could buy a $1 million whole life policy for over $680 per month. Or, he could buy the following policies for $370 and still get maximum coverage when he needs it most.

  • A $500,000 whole life policy for $347 per month to ensure his spouse has enough to live on no matter when he dies
  • A $250,000, 20-year term life policy for $13 per month to ensure his daughter’s college fund is covered
  • A $250,000, 10-year term life policy for $10 per month to ensure the mortgage will get paid off

Call today: 888-234-8376

People can save tons of money this way, but laddering often requires a lot of foresight and planning.  Ladder makes using the ladder strategy for life insurance easy, flexible, and convenient by allowing you to change your life insurance coverage online without an agent at any time.

Ladder life insurance products

You could get up to $8 million of life insurance coverage with an exam and $1 million without one. Those high death benefit options may not outweigh other limitations in Ladder’s offerings, however.

Ladder term life policies
Terms (Years)
Coverage RangeAge RangeExam Required?
10, 15, 20, 25, 30

Table created for illustration purposes only. Information available at Data effective 12/5/2019.

Ladder offers only term life policies, but this is probably for the best for those seeking a simple insurance solution. Permanent life is much more complicated because it has a cash value and covers you for your entire life. The good news is term life is a great choice for most folks, and it’s usually cheaper than permanent life anyway.

We don’t recommend getting any life insurance without talking to an experienced agent, but that’s especially sound advice when it comes to permanent life. If you want permanent life, read up on the types of insurance policies available, such as whole and universal life policies.

How Ladder’s premiums stack up

Ladder Life Insurance's rates are about what we expect for lower death benefit ($100,000–$1 million) term life sold online. At higher values, however, Ladder comes in cheaper than competitors such as Haven Life and Fabric.1

Ladder’s prices aren’t as low as insurance you might buy from an agent. Many Ladder policies are only partially underwritten and don’t require a medical exam, so prices are comparable to no exam life insurance policies.

Ladder sample rates

50-year old healthy male
10 yr term15 yr term20 yr term
$16/mo.$22/mo. $27/mo.
$30/mo.$40/mo. $49/mo.
$49/mo.$67/mo. $87/mo.
$85/mo.$121/mo. $163/mo.
$238/mo.$344/mo. $471/mo.
$621/mo.$901/mo. $1,239/mo.

Sample monthly quotes based on and are for illustration purposes only. Actual quotes may vary. Data effective 12/3/19.

25-year old healthy female
10yr term $9/mo. $11/mo. $15/mo. $23/mo. $49/mo. $109/mo.
15yr term $10/mo. $12/mo. $17/mo. $27/mo. $60/mo. $144/mo.
20yr term $11/mo. $15/mo.$18/mo. $30/mo. $73/mo. $183/mo.

Sample monthly quotes based on and are for illustration purposes only. Actual quotes may vary. Data effective 12/3/19.

Things to consider about Ladder

Ladder provides a level of flexibility customers love, but this life insurance provider might be better suited for customers who are self-sufficient.

If you’re still trying to decide if Ladder is the right life insurance company for you, there are a few pros and cons you should consider:

Pro HeadingPros
  • Pro BulletFast, easy options for laddering your life insurance coverage
  • Pro BulletMore control over your policy, premiums, and death benefit
  • Pro BulletConvenient online account you can access any time
Con Heading Cons
  • Con BulletDo-it-yourself life insurance with minimal assistance
  • Con BulletHigher rates than agent-sold policies
  • Con BulletOnly term life policies available

Apply (mostly) online

The feature most customers love about Ladder is that they can apply online in about 20 minutes and get an instant decision. Of course, this only applies if you don’t have to take a medical exam (more on that in a moment).

Expect in-depth questions about your health, income, life choices, and driving record. You’ll also need your social security number. These are all standard application questions, but if you’re used to getting a quick, ballpark quote with less information, the process could feel invasive.

Skip the exam for $1M coverage

Many people can get Ladder coverage in just minutes, but not everyone. Depending on your application and whether you want more than $1 million in coverage, you may need to complete a medical exam too.

If you can’t get a no medical exam policy with Ladder, the company will send a technician to your home or office. This person will take blood and urine samples and measure other factors to better gauge your health. In this case, your application process may take a week or more.

Change coverage easily

Ladder makes it easy to add or subtract coverage as needed throughout the life of your life insurance policy. When you have a big life change, it may be a good time to reevaluate your coverage to ensure it still meets your needs.

Let’s say you bought a 30-year, $500,000 life insurance policy at 25 to protect your new spouse and ensure they could pay off the mortgage if you died. Five years later, you’re adding to your family and want to double your coverage to $1 million.

With Ladder, you can simply apply for more coverage online. You’ll keep your initial $500,000 death benefit at your current premium rate. Ladder will price your life insurance premiums for the additional $500,000 of coverage based on your current age (30).

Then, 10 years later, you pay off your mortgage. You can save on insurance premiums by cutting your coverage back now that you don’t need as much. And you can make those changes right from your online account.

Finish out your term

In the above example, let’s say you come to the end of your 30-year term. Your kids are all out of the house, and you’ve saved enough to ensure your spouse could live comfortably if you died. Now all you need to cover is burial expenses.

You can lower your coverage and renew it annually until you turn 60, since Ladder won’t insure folks after that. We recommend using those extra years and premium savings to build up a burial expense fund if possible.

Unfortunately, many people need coverage into their 60s. Unless Ladder changes this rule before you reach your golden years and the thought of losing your coverage at 60 keeps you up at night, the insurer may not be the right fit for you. Or, you may want to consider investing in multiple policies, including one with a carrier that will cover you beyond age 60.

You could also consider investing in another company’s term life policy. Or choose whole life (which isn’t available through Ladder) instead. You can learn more about both in our Term Life vs. Whole Life article, and our licensed sales agents can answer all your questions and get your application started.

Ladder history and financial strength

Ladder is a subsidiary of Ladder Financial, which launched in 2015. In life insurance terms, Ladder is in its infancy as a company. Ladder's life insurance division launched in 2017 and sold policies only in California until the end of that year. Now, it provides life insurance throughout most of the nation.

Ladder is backed and underwritten by Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, which has been around since 1969.

Fidelity Security’s ratings are in the chart below.

AM BestA

*All ratings current as of 12/5/19. Ratings reflect the evaluations of rating agencies but are not intended as a recommendation to purchase from any company. Rating agencies may update, suspend, or withdraw their ratings at any time.

A.M. Best, the insurance industry’s gold standard, gives Fidelity Security a stable A rating for achieving excellent ability to meet financial obligations.1 Fitch’s stable AA rating is its second highest and conveys minimal risk.2

Standard and Poor’s, on the other hand, sees more risk with Fidelity and gives the insurer its fourth-highest rating of BBB+. This mark suggests adverse market conditions could negatively impact the company.3

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) shows a high complaint-to-annual premium ratio of 12.71 in 2018 (the latest year available). Need some perspective on that? The average ratio for companies nationwide is 1.00. Keep in mind, while this number looks high, it reflects the complaints of only three people. Because Fidelity Security Life Insurance is smaller than the average life insurance company, even one complaint carries significant weight in this category.4

Ladder claims and customer service

Ladder has received strong positive reviews on Trustpilot, an online ratings website, for its service from consumers. Out of 223 reviews, 82% were excellent and another 9% were great. Ladder’s overall rating was five out of five stars.5 The high Ladder Life Insurance rating speaks to it's reputation among its customers.

Ladder submits claims to the underwriting company (Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company), which has received very few life insurance complaints filed against it, according to the NAIC.6 To those asking if Ladder Life Insurance is legit: It certainly is.

Negative Ladder Life reviews tended to cite the same issues, described below.

Having to disclose too much information upfront

Ladder attempts to complete as much of the application process as possible online. If you're simply looking for a ballpark quote, however, the process may feel lengthy and a bit invasive.

The difference between quoted rates and fully underwritten rates

As with any application process, rates quoted before the policy is underwritten are just estimates. These estimates typically give applicants the benefit of the doubt by assuming they are completely healthy unless otherwise stated in the application.

The underwriting process involves gathering all available information, which may include a medical exam, driving record, and other elements not factored into an initial quote. As a result, actual rates are often higher than original quotes.

Difficulty getting a Ladder representative on the phone

Ladder’s online application and self-service accounts are a huge attraction for many tech-savvy customers, but some folks have questions. Unfortunately, Ladder’s website has minimal resources for learning more about life insurance or account troubleshooting.

According to a few Trustpilot reviews, difficulty getting a real person on the phone at Ladder detracted from an otherwise convenient process.

Bottom line: Ladder is DIY insurance

What makes Ladder innovative is how flexible its coverage is. You can add, change, or cancel your coverage online any time. If you’re losing sleep over your current Ladder insurance coverage, you could log in, change your coverage, and be back to bed in minutes.

Ladder isn’t for everyone, though. If you’re not sure this company is a good fit for you, then consider these life insurance companies instead. If you're looking for a quick, fully online underwritten term policy, you may be interested in Bestow life insurance.

But if a quick online application process and taking control of your term life insurance policy sounds good to you, start your application with Ladder today.

FAQs about Ladder life insurance

Still have questions about Ladder? These FAQs may help.

How much life insurance should I apply for?

Insurance needs vary from one person to the next depending on an array of factors. We suggest speaking to a licensed agent to determine how much coverage you need.

How many life insurance policies has Ladder sold?

As of August 2017, Ladder had sold over $300 million in life insurance.7 Considering the company launched earlier that year, $300 million is an impressive leap.


1.  A.M. Best, “Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company
2.  Fitch Ratings, “Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Underwriters, Inc.
3.  Standard and Poor’s, “Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Co.
4.  NAIC, “Consumer Information Source
5.  Trustpilot, “Ladder
6.  NAIC, “Consumer Information Source
7.  Medium, “Making Life Better—200 Days and $300M

ǂA.M. Best’s financial rating scale is the following: A++ (Superior), A+ (Superior), A (Excellent), A- (Excellent), B++ (Good), B+ (Good), B (Fair), B- (Fair), C++ (Marginal), C+ (Marginal), C (Weak), C- (Weak), and D (Poor). A.M. Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. An FSR is not assigned to specific insurance policies or contracts and does not address any other risk, including, but not limited to, an insurer’s claims-payment policies or procedures; the ability of the insurer to dispute or deny claims payment on grounds of misrepresentation or fraud; or any specific liability contractually borne by the policy or contract holder. An FSR is not a recommendation to purchase, hold, or terminate any insurance policy, contract, or any other financial obligation issued by an insurer, nor does it address the suitability of any particular policy or contract for a specific purpose or purchaser.

Written by
Kathryn Casna
Kathryn Casna is a licensed insurance agent and life insurance specialist who has appeared on The Simple Dollar and Best Company. On a weekly basis, she dives into complex life insurance topics to wring out genuinely useful information. When she’s not wrangling big ideas into easy-to-understand articles, Kathryn nerds out on budget-tracking spreadsheets and tries to coax her leash-trained cat to take outdoor adventures.