Buying life insurance is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. The right life insurance policy protects your family’s future and gives you peace of mind that they’ll always be taken care of, no matter what.
But how do you choose the best life insurance company for you? You’ll have your policy for a long time and you need to trust the company will have your back if the need ever arises.
There are a few ways to judge the best life insurance companies: Groups like J.D. Power and Better Business Bureau collect customer satisfaction data. A.M. Best rates companies’ financial health. And you can look at each company’s market share to see how many customers they’re serving.
Our life insurance company ratings include all these criteria. But for reasons we’ll explain in detail below, there is no one “best” company—the best life insurance company for you is the one that will give you the best deal based on your individual circumstances and health history. Below we offer a guide to some of the most common personal scenarios we see and how to find the most accommodating companies for them. Always make sure to compare quotes before choosing a life insurance policy so you can make an informed decision.
The Best Life Insurance Companies
|Company||J.D. Power Rating||BBB Rating||A.M. Best Rating||Market Share|
|MetLife (via Brighthouse)||799||B-||A+||7.88%||Read review|
|New York Life||774||B-||A++||5.48%|
|Lincoln Financial||744||A+||A+||4.30%||Read review|
|John Hancock||739||A+||A+||2.85%||Read review|
|Minnesota Life (Securian)||N/A||A+||A+||2.44%|
|Pacific Life||N/A||A+||A+||1.89%||Read review|
|Mutual of Omaha||766||A+||A+||1.23%||Read review|
|Principal Financial||774||A+||A+||1.07%||Read review|
|Banner Life||N/A||A+||A+||0.69%||Read review|
|Brightouse (formerly MetLife)||N/A||A+||A+||N/A (see Metlife)||Read review|
We compared twenty-two of the best-known and largest life insurance companies, and ranked them according to:
- J.D. Power score: J.D. Power ranks some (but not all) of the top life insurance companies on customer satisfaction on a scale from 1 - 1,000.
- BBB rating: Customer satisfaction score ranging from A+ to F based on BBB’s own formula of 17 factors.
- A.M. Best score: Financial health rating, with A++ and A+ being “superior” and A being “excellent”.
- Market share: The percent of total U.S. life insurance customers each company serves. Data sourced from NAIC.
How to Choose the Best Life Insurance Company For You
Luckily, life insurance companies stick to industry regulations that ensure they always have enough money to pay when the time comes. You can trust any of the big life insurance companies to pay in your family’s time of need. There is essentially no chance of your life insurance company going bankrupt, and even in that worst case scenario industry regulations would protect you to cover your policy. In this way the top life insurance companies are pretty similar.
However, each company is different in how they evaluate applicants. This means that the best life insurance company for you will likely be the one that gives you the best deal based on your individual health history and personal circumstances.
For instance a person who recently lost weight may find a great rate with one company, while someone who recently quit smoking would find a more accommodating quote with a different company. And a person with a family history of cancer or diabetes might get the cheapest rate from yet a third company.
That’s why it’s so important to compare quotes and find the right policy for you. You’re unique, and your individual rate will be determined during the application process. But generally speaking, some companies are known to be more or less accommodating to different scenarios. Learn more about scenarios that may apply to you:
- Best life insurance companies for millennials
- Best life insurance companies for military personnel
- Best life insurance companies for visa or greencard holders
- Best life insurance companies for marijuana users
- Best life insurance companies for people who quit smoking
- Best life insurance companies for people who lost weight
- Best life insurance companies for people with diabetes
- Best life insurance companies for people with high cholesterol
- Best life insurance companies for baby boomers
- Best life insurance companies for Generation X-ers
Types of Life Insurance
Regardless of your specific personal situation, the first thing you’ll need to decide is whether you want a term life insurance policy or a permanent life insurance policy. Term life insurance is the most common and is usually the best choice for most people, but there are are several types of term and permanent life insurance.
Types of term life Insurance:
Types of permanent life insurance:
Term life insurance is generally much cheaper and simpler than permanent life policies, but even within term life the differences between variations can mean a lot of money over time. For instance, level term keeps your annual rate level over the course of the policy, whereas annual renewable term starts at a cheaper rate but increases in cost every year the policy renews. For a healthy 30-year old male, an annual renewable policy will cost more than 5 times as much in total over the course of 20 years as a level term policy, even though it’s cheaper initially. Here’s a visualization:
Level Term vs Annual Renewable
|Level Term||Annual Renewable|
|Premium in Year 1||$695||$345|
|Premium in Year 20||$695||$14,685|
|Total Premium over 20 Years||$13,900||$81,870|
That’s why it’s important to understand the differences before you buy, and to compare quotes from different insurers to make sure you’re getting the best deal tailored to your specific needs. Not sure how much coverage you need? Visit our handy life insurance calculator and calculate your needs in 5 minutes or less.