Best whole life insurance companies (2024)

MassMutual, Mutual of Omaha, Corebridge Financial, and Transamerica topped our list of best whole life insurance companies this year.

Headshot of Katherine Murbach
Headshot of Tory Crowley

By

Katherine MurbachEditor & Licensed Life Insurance AgentKatherine Murbach is a life insurance and annuities editor, licensed life insurance agent, and former sales associate at Policygenius. Previously, she wrote about life and disability insurance for 1752 Financial, and advised over 1,500 clients on their life insurance policies as a sales associate.&Tory CrowleyAssociate Editor & Licensed Life Insurance AgentTory Crowley is an associate life insurance and annuities editor and a licensed insurance agent at Policygenius. Previously, she worked directly with clients at Policygenius, advising nearly 3,000 of them on life insurance options. She has also worked at the Daily News and various nonprofit organizations.

Edited by

Antonio Ruiz-CamachoAntonio Ruiz-CamachoAssociate Content DirectorAntonio helps lead our life insurance and disability insurance editorial team at Policygenius. Previously, he was a senior director of content at Bankrate and CreditCards.com, as well as a principal writer covering personal finance at CNET.
|

Reviewed by

Maria FilindrasMaria FilindrasFinancial AdvisorMaria Filindras is a financial advisor, a licensed Life & Health insurance agent in California, and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius.

Updated|4 min read

Expert reviewedExpert reviewedThis article has been reviewed by a member of ourFinancial Review Council to ensure all sources, statistics, and claims meet the highest standard for accurate and unbiased advice.Learn more about oureditorial review process.

Policygenius content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our editorial standards and how we make money.

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life that doesn’t expire, so your family will receive a guaranteed lump sum of money called a death benefit regardless of when you die. It often comes with a cash value account, which can be used as a tax-deferred savings vehicle. 

If you’re looking for an insurer with the best whole life insurance options, our evidence-based ratings and recommendations will get you started, but a Policygenius agent can help you find the right life insurance coverage for you.

Methodology

Why you can trust our picks

Our recommendations are based on internal and external expert analysis, as well as our Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index, which uses real-time data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends. When reviewing a life insurance company, our editorial team uses a proprietary scoring rubric with five factors — price, policy details, financial strength, transparency, and customer experience — to assign an unbiased rating between one and five stars. These ratings are also taken into consideration as part of our company recommendations. We don’t get paid for our reviews.

Our reviews and recommendations can help you find a reliable insurer for your family’s financial protection, but the best life insurance company for you depends on multiple factors. A licensed agent at Policygenius can support you during the application process to ensure you get the right coverage for your circumstances at the most competitive price.

Read more about our reviews methodology

award icon

2024 Policygenius award winner

MassMutual

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.9

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A++

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

All 50 states

Why we chose itchevron icon

MassMutual’s whole life insurance plan provides a lifetime coverage option that builds cash value with the potential to earn dividends.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Strong financial stability ratings

  • Higher potential for dividends for whole life policyholders than many competitors

  • Good customer satisfaction ratings

Cons

  • High term life premiums

  • Term life not available through Policygenius

Best overall whole life insurance: MassMutual

MassMutual is one of the top whole life insurance companies in the country —  it has an A++ rating according to AM Best. The company gives policyholders the chance to earn dividends, and pays out higher dividends on average when compared to some of its competitors. MassMutual also has high customer experience ratings compared to other insurers.

Best for accelerated death benefits: MassMutual

MassMutual also includes an accelerated death benefit rider at no extra cost. If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and given less than two years to live by your doctor, you’ll have the option to access some of your policy’s death benefit while you’re still living. This is a great option for anyone who may want to have additional funds available in this circumstance.

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha logo

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.5

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A+

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-medical-exam option

Why we chose itchevron icon

Mutual of Omaha is a reputable company that offers a variety of life insurance products — including a no-medical-exam option — so that you can select the type of life insurance that best suits your needs.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • No-medical-exam options for older applicants

  • Strong financial and customer ratings

Cons

  • Policies are more expensive than average

  • Slow turnaround time

Best for seniors: Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha offers two whole life options for seniors who are seeking a small amount of permanent coverage to cover their remaining financial obligations. It offers whole life policies up to $40,000 with no medical exam and fewer health requirements. You can apply for Mutual of Omaha’s simplified issue whole life or guaranteed issue whole life policies if you’re between the ages of 45 and 85.

award icon

2024 Policygenius award winner

Corebridge Financial

Corebridge Financial logo

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.6

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

30+ year terms

All 50 states

Why we chose itchevron icon

With competitive pricing and a range of flexible term periods for its Select-a-Term product, Corebridge is a solid option for many life insurance shoppers. Note: We are currently using AIG’s financial strength ratings until Corebridge has its own rating.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Competitive pricing for all ages

  • Favorable underwriting for people with heart conditions and diabetes

  • Good for current and recently pregnant people, including people with gestational diabetes

Cons

  • Not the best for people with mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression

  • No no-medical-exam term option

Best for living benefits: Corebridge Financial

Corebridge’s whole life insurance policies include a chronic illness benefit that goes into effect immediately at no additional cost. This living benefit is a great feature, especially for older clients who are worried about how health issues could affect their financial situation before they pass away.

Transamerica

Transamerica logo

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.6

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-medical-exam option

Why we chose itchevron icon

Transamerica is one of the oldest and largest life insurance companies, with over 12 million active accounts today. It offers affordable rates for almost every age, and you can even skip the medical exam if you fall under a certain age or coverage amount.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Competitive rates for term life insurance

  • No-medical-exam available for qualifying applicants, including smokers and people between 60 and 70, which is rare

  • One of the fastest turnaround times in the industry for traditionally underwritten term policies

Cons

  • Term life not available in New York

  • Not a good option for people with a history of cancer, alcohol abuse, or asthma

Best for final expenses: Transamerica

If you’re looking for an affordable permanent policy with a small death benefit to cover end-of-life expenses, like a funeral or medical bills, without having to take a medical exam, Transamerica can be a great fit. It offers a simplified issue policy to people age 18 to 85. If you’re 55 years old or younger, you can apply for up to $50,000 of coverage. Older adults can apply for payouts between $25,000 and $40,000.

Comparing the best whole life insurance companies of 2024

Company

Policygenius rating

Best for

Types of policies

MassMutual 

4.9/5 ★

Whole life, dividend options

Whole life, universal

Corebridge Financial

4.6/5 ★

Guaranteed issue whole life

Guaranteed issue whole life, universal

Transamerica

4.6/5 ★

Simplified issue, final expenses

Whole life, simplified issue, final expense

Mutual of Omaha

4.5/5 ★

Seniors, guaranteed issue whole life, simplified issue

Simplified issue, guaranteed issue whole life, universal 

What is whole life insurance?

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that doesn’t expire — meaning that no matter when you die, your loved ones will receive a guaranteed lump sum of money called a death benefit.

Unlike, term life insurance, whole life also includes a cash value component that earns interest, usually at a rate set by your insurer. You can access the cash value while you’re still alive.

Whole life can be a good fit for:

  • High-net-worth individuals looking for additional investment vehicles, especially if you’re already maximizing contributions to traditional investment accounts like a 401(k) or IRA. Whole life can also help cover estate taxes.

  • People with long-term financial obligations — for example if you have lifelong dependent children, or if you expect to care for aging parents.

Ready to shop for whole life insurance?

Whole life vs. term life insurance

The main differences between both types of policies are:

  • The length of your coverage: Whole life coverage is permanent, which means it never expires, while term life lasts for a set number of years and then expires.

  • The cost: Whole life is significantly more expensive than term life.

  • The cash value: Whole life policies come with a separate cash value account, while term life policies don’t — term policies only offer a lump-sum payout called the death benefit.

A financial advisor can help you decide which policy option might be the best fit for you.

→ Learn more about the differences between term and whole life insurance

Comparing whole life vs. term life

Features

Term life insurance

Whole life insurance

Permanent coverage

No — maximum of 40 years

Yes

Cost* ($500,000 coverage amount)

$26/month for a 20-year term

$451/month

Guaranteed death benefit payout

Yes

Yes

Guaranteed cash value

No

Yes

Premium cost stays fixed

Yes, in most cases

Yes, in most cases

Pays annual dividends

No

Yes, in some cases

Collapse table

*Methodology: Average monthly term life insurance rate is for male and female non-smokers with a Preferred health classification obtaining a 20-year, $500,000 policy. Term life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from Brighthouse Financial, Corebridge Financial, Foresters Financial, Legal & General America, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, Symetra, and Transamerica, and the Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index, which uses real-time data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends. Average monthly whole life insurance rate is calculated for non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, obtaining a whole life insurance policy paid up at age 100 offered by Policygenius from MassMutual. Rates may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 06/01/2024.

→ Explore the best term life insurance companies

How much does whole life insurance cost?

A 30-year-old non-smoking female in good health can expect to pay $414.50 for a whole life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout. A 30-year-old non-smoking male with a similar health profile can expect to pay $487 for a policy with the same coverage.

Average monthly whole life insurance rates

Age

Gender

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

20

Female

$146.00

$287.00

$545.00

Male

$169.00

$334.00

$639.00

30

Female

$206.00

$408.00

$801.00

Male

$238.00

$472.00

$920.00

40

Female

$296.00

$588.00

$1,161.00

Male

$355.00

$706.00

$1,372.00

50

Female

$462.00

$920.00

$1,826.00

Male

$543.00

$1,081.00

$2,117.00

60

Female

$772.00

$1,540.00

$3,065.00

Male

$903.00

$1,802.00

$3,556.00

Collapse table

Methodology: Whole life insurance rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred Plus health classification obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 whole life insurance policy fully paid up at age 100 offered by Policygenius through MassMutual. Individual rates will vary as specific circumstances will affect each customer’s rate. Rate illustration valid as of 04/01/24.

Factors that impact the cost of whole life insurance

  • Whole life insurance rates are determined by your age, gender, health, and coverage amount. 

  • Each insurer has their own guidelines to assess risk and assign your rates. 

  • Generally speaking, the younger you are and fewer health conditions you have, the cheaper your rates will be.

  • The higher your coverage amount, the more expensive your rates will be.

How much whole life insurance do you need?

  • How much life insurance you need depends on your financial obligations (like everyday family expenses, children’s education, or mortgage) as well as your income. 

  • A common rule of thumb is to have 10 to 15 times your annual income in coverage, so your loved ones could maintain their lifestyle for a meaningful length of time without your financial support.

For many people, a permanent policy can be unaffordable — or simply unnecessary. If that’s your case, a term life policy can be a cheaper alternative

On the other hand, you might only need a small amount of permanent life coverage to help your family with end-of-life expenses, such as funeral or medical bills. In this case, a final expense life insurance policy with a coverage amount of $10,000 or $20,000, may be enough.

As a licensed agent, it was very rare for me to recommend whole life insurance as a preferred option for a client if term life insurance was an available choice.

Ready to shop for whole life insurance?

How to choose the best whole life insurance company for you

Choose a company with a strong financial background that meets your coverage needs and offers the best coverage for you at the best price. At Policygenius, our advisors are committed to providing unbiased advice based on your personal circumstances. If you’re not sure how much or what kind of life insurance is right for you, we can help.

  1. Consider the company’s financial ratings An insurer with high financial ratings is much less likely to go out of business, which is an important factor to consider when it comes to buying a permanent policy. Credit-rating agencies like AM Best, S&P Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investor Services can provide you with information regarding a company’s stability.

  2. Consider the company’s dividend history Looking at an insurer’s dividend history will give you an idea of how the company has performed financially over the years. Dividends aren’t guaranteed, but even if a company does offer them, not all their policies may be participating. You can check to see if the policy you’re considering would make you eligible to receive dividends, or ask your agent for help.

  3. Consider riders In some circumstances, it makes sense to add a rider to your insurance policy. A rider is a policy add-on that allows you to access money in a designated circumstance — for example, if you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness. Riders usually must be added during the application process and not all of them are worth the cost — a licensed agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of adding one to your policy. 

  4. Shop across multiple insurers Each insurance company has its own underwriting guidelines, so it can be helpful to shop across multiple insurers to find the best rates for your personalized situation. Working with an independent broker like Policygenius can help you easily compare top-rated insurers.

Authors

Katherine Murbach is a life insurance and annuities editor, licensed life insurance agent, and former sales associate at Policygenius. Previously, she wrote about life and disability insurance for 1752 Financial, and advised over 1,500 clients on their life insurance policies as a sales associate.

Tory Crowley is an associate life insurance and annuities editor and a licensed insurance agent at Policygenius. Previously, she worked directly with clients at Policygenius, advising nearly 3,000 of them on life insurance options. She has also worked at the Daily News and various nonprofit organizations.

Editor

Antonio helps lead our life insurance and disability insurance editorial team at Policygenius. Previously, he was a senior director of content at Bankrate and CreditCards.com, as well as a principal writer covering personal finance at CNET.

Expert reviewer

Maria Filindras is a financial advisor, a licensed Life & Health insurance agent in California, and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius.

Questions about this page? Email us at .