Buying life insurance can be tough.
First, you have to decide how much insurance coverage you need. That involves all kinds of detailed questions about your income, debts, and expectations. But then, you have to actually find the best life insurance for your particular needs.
best life insurance you can buy
We’re here to make this confusing process a little simpler. We’ve picked our top five life insurance companies so you can see what they offer side by side, and make your own decision.
Before we delve into the reviews, though, let’s talk about how we chose these companies.
Related: The Complete Guide to Life Insurance
Criteria for the Best Life Insurance Companies
Choosing a life insurance company isn’t as simple as shopping online and seeing who has the lowest rate. Cost is definitely a factor. But it’s only one of many.
Here’s what else we looked at:
Financial Rating: There’s no point in paying life insurance premiums if the company you choose goes out of business and can’t pay out your policy. That’s why we checked out Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and/or AM Best ratings for each company on this list. They’re all in great financial shape.
No Middle Man: Some companies, like Gerber Life Insurance, sell products that they don’t actually underwrite. So the company you buy the insurance from isn’t the one that’ll write the check if you pass away. This could make things difficult for your loved ones during an already difficult time. And with so many great insurance companies that do their own underwriting, it’s just not necessary.
Ease of Application: These days, most of us will shop for life insurance online. We’re highlighting companies that have easy-to-use online forms for quotes and applications. With many, you’ll still need to talk with a representative and undergo a medical exam.
Plenty of Options: When you’re choosing life insurance, you need to be able to customize your package, including the amount and term length. The companies highlighted here offer plenty of options. We’re also highlighting some that offer options like convertibility. This means you can convert your term policy to a permanent policy if it turns out that permanent life insurance makes sense for you.
Without further ado, we bring you our top five picks for the best life insurance online.
We’re giving MassMutual a high rating for a few reasons.
For one, they offer loads of insurance products, including several term life insurance options. They’re rated A++ by A.M. Best, and have better than average customer service. You can get medically underwritten insurance here, which requires more paperwork but is less expensive.
Online, you can directly apply for some of MassMutual’s insurance options, including direct term and guaranteed acceptance. You can also use one of MassMutual’s child companies, Haven Life or ValoraLife, to apply for medically underwritten term life insurance all online.
MassMutual’s Direct Term insurance option lets you choose a ten or 20 year term and a policy in whatever amount you prefer. The quote process is simple, and takes you directly to the application.
The process for getting a quote for Haven Life is similar, but it gives you more term options, including 15 and 30 years.
Resource: How Much Life Insurance Does a Stay-at-Home Parent Need?
We’re generally trying to stick with companies that underwrite their own insurance policies. But in this case, Haven Life and MassMutual are incredibly transparent about their connection.
This means it should be simple for your loved ones to get a check, even if you apply for your policy through Haven Life rather than directly through MassMutual.
We’re including Northwestern Mutual on this list because it has great financial and customer service ratings. A.M. Best gives it an A++ financial rating. And it’s got great customer service reviews online.
However, it doesn’t have great service online. This has both pros and cons. While you can’t get a quote or apply online, you also won’t be misled by an inaccurate quote. You have to actually call or meet with a representative to see how much your life insurance will cost.
Another potential caveat with Northwestern is that it doesn’t have quite as many term options as MassMutual or some of the other options listed here. It offers level term insurance, which guarantees the same premium and same amount of coverage for term, in 10 and 20 year terms. And it offers annually renewable policies, where your premium generally increases each year, in a ten-year term and in a policy guaranteed to last until you’re 80.
Learn More: How Long Should Your Life Insurance Term Be?
One benefit of Northwestern Mutual is that term policies are convertible to permanent life insurance, if that becomes what you need.
Even with the limitations and lack of online application options, Northwestern Mutual could be a good option. It gets high marks for affordability and customer service, general, making it worth checking out.
Mutual of Omaha
The policies from Mutual of Omaha are underwritten by United of Omaha Life Insurance company, so it’s easy to know who is holding your policy. The company has an A+ financial rating from A.M. Best, so you can be sure your policy will is secure.
Mutual of Omaha offers a variety of terms and benefit amounts. You can get terms that will last up to age 80, and you can take out a policy up to age 74.
Benefit amounts range from $25,000 to $100,000+, and terms are ten, 15, 20, and 30 years. You can apply for the smaller policies — $25,000 to $100,000 — online, but will need to connect with a representative for more expensive policies.
Mutual of Omaha’s life insurance quote system looks very similar to MassMutual’s, and you can apply online if you prefer.
State Farm Life Insurance
State Farm Life Insurance makes it to our list because it’s ranked highest in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power three years in a row. You can get a detailed quote from State Farm Online.
In fact, their quote tool has a unique aspect that allows you to calculate your coverage amount based on your current financial situation. Other companies offer calculators separately from their quote forms. State Farm’s is built in.
State Farm Life Insurance
Once you choose your coverage amount, you can easily toggle through different term lengths to compare pricing. You can also check out alternative options, such as Return of Premium term policies and Mortgage Life policies in the same quote. Once you select your policy, you can add additional coverage, add a rider to cover your child, or add another adult.
Once you finish with the quote process, you can apply online. With the detailed quote process and the ability to apply online, State Farm makes things easy.
AIG Life came out with a fairly low quote, and its financial rating from A.M. Best is A. It does get some customer complaints, but J.D. Power rates it about average on customer satisfaction.
AIG offers fairly customizable plans, including a less typical 15- to 35-year term you can choose. It also offers return of premium policies, if you’re interested in that option.
You can apply for a quote online, but you have to put in your phone number and email address to get it. Then, a representative will call you with the information.