In fact, according to a study by research firm LIMRA, the top reason people don’t buy life insurance is they believe it’s too expensive. Top 10 life insurance companies.
Unfortunately, getting a cheap rate doesn’t always mean you’re getting a good deal. It’s important to consider the provider’s customer service, financial strength, and product selection.
The top 10 life insurance companies listed below have the best mix of those factors.
What to look for in a life insurance company
As you compare quotes from different life insurance companies, take a little extra time to compare the following elements.
The best way to gauge customer service is to review surveys and complaints. For example, J.D. Power releases an annual study that ranks the top life insurance companies based on customer satisfaction.
The study compares the following factors:
Interaction with customers
Annual statement and billing
To review complaints, go to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website. You also can search for the insurer on your local Better Business Burea u website to find complaints and reviews. Reading individual complaints can help you understand whether an insurer has issues in areas that are important to you.
Depending on the type of life insurance policy you choose, you could pay premiums for decades, so it’s important to choose a company that will be around that long and can pay out future claims.
Rating agencies A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Fitch, and Moody’s provide financial ratings for the top life insurance companies and more. Each has its own rating structure that gives investors and consumers a good idea of a company’s financial strength.
Each life insurance company determines prices differently. Even the top life insurance companies might have different ways of calculating premiums.
Avoid falling victim to the idea that bundling your life insurance with your homeowners or car insurance to get a lower price is always best. In some situations, it might work out, but remember that price is just one important factor to consider.
As with any financial product, compare policies from different providers to make sure you’re getting a good rate.
There’s no one-size-fits-all policy. Different needs require different policy structures and term lengths. Make sure you understand the different types of life insurance and which one is best for you. Then, pick a company that offers the type you need.
The top 10 life insurance companies
The top life insurance companies and policies will vary from person to person based on needs and preferences. That said, we’ve put together a list of companies that stand out based on the criteria above. Here they are, in alphabetical order.
1. Guardian Life
Guardian, which was founded in 1860, has been around for more than 150 years. It offers standard term and permanent life insurance policies and ranked around the middle of the pack in terms of its customer satisfaction score in J.D. Power’s 2016 study.
Guardian also offers other products and services. For example, you can apply for disability and dental insurance and set up annuities and other investments.
Life insurance annuity
What’s more, Guardian, like many companies on this list, is a mutual company. That means it is owned by its policyholders and pays dividends to them each year. They also get to vote for the company’s board of directors.
The insurer received one of the top three ratings from each of the four financial rating agencies for the insurance sector:
Guardian doesn’t allow you to request a quote online. Instead, it suggests you search for a financial representative or request one contacts you.
Founded in 1851, MassMutual offers several standard life insurance policies, including guaranteed acceptance, a type of term policy that doesn’t require a medical exam.
The insurer also offers disability, long-term care, and Medicare supplement insurance as well as a wide selection of other investment products and services.
MassMutual ranked in the top five life insurance companies in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study. It received above-average marks for its customer service interactions. It also received strong financial ratings from the rating agencies:
As its name suggests, MassMutual is a mutual company. To get quotes for coverage, you can work with a MassMutual agent or apply online (term insurance only).
MetLife offers both term and permanent life insurance policies, including guaranteed acceptance. The insurer, which has been around since 1868, also can help you with other insurance needs, including the following:
Previously a mutual company, MetLife demutualized in 2000 and converted to a stock insurance company. That means stockholders, not policyholders, receive any annual dividends the insurer issues. Policyholders also don’t have any voting rights.
According to J.D. Power, MetLife received an average overall rating from customers. However, its easy-to-understand billing system was above average.
MetLife also received strong financial ratings:
To get a quote from a MetLife, you need to reach out to an agent directly or enter your information on the company’s website to have an agent contact you.
4. Mutual of Omaha
A young buck compared to some of the other insurance companies on this list, Mutual of Omaha nonetheless has more than 100 years of experience under its belt.
Founded in 1909, the insurer offers term and permanent insurance policies. You also can get other types of insurance and financial services, including:
Accidental death insurance
Medicare supplement insurance
Long-term care insurance
Critical illness insurance
Cancer, heart attack, and stroke insurance
The insurer received average customer satisfaction across the board from J.D. Power. It also received good financial ratings from the top rating agencies:
Mutual of Omaha is a mutual company, so its policyholders receive annual dividends. You can request a quote for both term and whole life insurance through the insurer’s website.
Founded in 1925, Nationwide offers a slew of insurance and financial products. If you need insurance of any kind, it’s likely Nationwide offers it. And if you like having everything in one place, you can also invest, bank, and borrow through the company.
Nationwide offers both term and permanent insurance policies. It also received good ratings for financial strength, even if it ranked just below some of the other companies on this list:
For customer satisfaction, Nationwide ranked second on J.D. Power’s 2016 list of life insurance providers. According to customers, the insurer was better than most in all areas.
To get a quote for life insurance, you can call Nationwide at 1-844-538-9998 or search for an agent online.
6. New York Life
Another old giant in the industry, New York Life was founded in 1845 as Nautilus Insurance Company. The insurer offers term and permanent life insurance as well as long-term care insurance. You also can invest for retirement and other goals with annuities, mutual funds, and more.
New York Life’s strong suit is its financial stability. Three of the four rating agencies gave the insurer their highest financial strength ratings:
New York Life ranked among the top 10 life insurance companies in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study, with average ratings across the board. It’s also a mutual company and pays annual dividends to policyholders.
To apply for a policy, you’ll need to work with a New York Life agent. You can do that by searching for local agents or sharing your information with the insurer online to have an agent contact you.
7. Northwestern Mutual
Like some other insurance companies, Northwestern Mutual offers much more than life insurance. In addition to term and permanent life policies, its products and services include:
Long-term care insurance
The company was founded in Milwaukee in 1857, back when Wisconsin was considered the northwestern United States. It ranked third in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study, with above-average ratings across the board.
Like New York Life, it received the highest possible financial strength ratings from three of the four agencies:
Northwestern Mutual is a mutual company and pays dividends to its policyholders annually. You can get a quote and apply for life insurance through a Northwestern Mutual agent only. Simply do a quick internet search for one in your area.
10 year level term life insurance rates
8. Pacific Life
Founded in 1868, Pacific Life is a mutual company that offers several products, including life insurance, annuities, and mutual funds.
The insurer ranked seventh overall in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study. However, it’s one of only two companies on the list that received top marks for its customer service interaction.
Pacific Life didn’t receive the best financial ratings, but it remained in a strong financial position:
To get a quote for life insurance, search the insurer’s website to find an agent in your area.
9. Principal Financial Group
Primarily an investment management company, Principal began in 1879 as Bankers Life Association. Over the years, the company has expanded its products and services to the following:
Individual retirement accounts
Principal earned a high rank in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study, standing out for its customer service interactions. As a publicly traded stock company, it does not offer annual dividends to its policyholders. It received the following financial ratings:
To get a quote for life insurance, fill out some information about yourself and your needs on the insurer’s website.
10. State Farm
State Farm took the top spot in J.D. Power’s study, as customers ranked State Farm the best in every single category.
The mutual insurance company started insuring cars in 1922 but now offers more than 100 products and services, including insurance, banking, loans, credit cards, and investing.
State Farm boasts top financial strength ratings, but it doesn’t share any details. Instead, it recommends that you reach out to an agent to get more information. To get a quote, simply fill out some information online.
Which of the top 10 life insurance companies should you pick?
It’s not easy to choose between two insurance companies that seem similar. As you’re comparing the top 10 life insurance companies, review what matters most to you.
Consider how much insurance you need and how each company can accommodate that need. Then, pick the insurer that offers the best all-around products and services that fit those needs.