We’ve been researching and reviewing life insurance for years, and our main takeaway is: It’s complicated. That’s why it’s good to start with the basics. Below, we rate core features like financial strength, coverage, and service for 20 of the most popular life insurance companies in the U.S. (listed from largest to smallest by market share). Take a moment to compare scores and learn a little more about the providers you’re considering before taking the next steps toward buying life insurance.
Top 5 Life Insurance Companies
What Do Life Insurance Ratings Mean for Me?
These ratings are meant to give you an idea of how the biggest players in life insurance stack up next to one another. Even though life insurance is “out of sight, out of mind” for the most part, you want to be sure that you’re working with a reputable company in case the policy is ever needed.
That said, ratings should always be taken with a grain of salt. Remember that these scores are averages and don’t account for every individual agent, policy, or customer experience. For instance: A company with a seemingly low customer service score might actually have great agents at your local branch. A company with sub-par coverage ratings could still offer specialty coverage items that you’re looking for.
Use our life insurance ratings as a starting point, but be sure to do your own research, too. Start by clicking the providers accompanied by a “†” symbol for more information about coverage, service, and in-depth company comparisons. And if you’re not comfortable comparing policy options on your own, we recommend speaking with an independent agent. They represent multiple companies and can help you find the one that best fits your needs.
Our Life Insurance Rating System
Our rating system incorporates scores from official agencies like the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, as well as consumer-based survey groups like J.D. Power. We’ve translated each company’s rating scale into a five-star system to make comparisons a little easier.
Coverage and price ratings
To determine how satisfied customers are with their life insurance coverage — and the amount they’re paying for it — we looked to J.D. Power’s 2018 life insurance study. The survey polled more than 5,000 life insurance customers about their satisfaction with “policy offerings,” “statements and billing,” and “price.”
We considered all three factors in the “coverage and price” category but remember: Life insurance is incredibly personal. Your coverage needs will be different from the next guy’s, and prices can vary widely from person to person. If you’re interested in a company with a seemingly low rating in this category (“3.5” or below), it may still be worth checking out its coverage and getting a quote to see whether that insurer works well for your unique situation.
Because of the way life insurance is designed, you’ll interact with your provider rarely (if at all) after purchasing a policy. That said, situations, where there are interactions between company and customer, are relatively high-stakes. For instance: If a policyholder passes away, their insurer should ideally have responsive customer service and a smooth claims process so that an already-difficult situation doesn’t become even more strenuous for the family.
To gauge the quality of customer service at the top life insurance companies, we looked at two metrics: J.D. Power’s 2018 life insurance study, which measures customers’ overall satisfaction and their opinion of companies’ support channels, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which keeps track of the number of official complaints filed against any life insurance company.
This category simply shows which of the three main life insurance types a company offers (term life, whole life, and/or universal life). Most companies offer all three, but a few are more limited, so be sure to check that the companies you’re considering have what you need. Not sure which kind of life insurance is best for you? Start here with our guide to choosing the right life insurance policy.
Before considering policy options or pricing, you have to find a provider that will actually cover you. As a preliminary step, we cleared our initial provider list of any companies that limit their customer base.
That meant nixing providers that only write employer-sponsored group policies (like MetLife) and those with special eligibility requirements (like USAA). We also made sure each company writes policies in at least 40 states, so you won’t have trouble finding coverage in your area.