Best whole life insurance companies of December 2022

MassMutual, Mutual of Omaha, AIG, and Prudential topped our list of best whole life insurance companies this year.

Katherine Murbach Policygenius

By

Katherine Murbach

Katherine Murbach

Associate Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Katherine Murbach is an associate editor and a licensed life insurance expert 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.

Edited byAntonio Ruiz-Camacho

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

Associate Content Director

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.

Published|5 min read

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The best whole life insurance company for you will depend on your financial needs and goals. Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that provides lifelong coverage and doesn’t expire. It also comes with a cash value account, which can be used as a tax-deferred savings vehicle. 

Whole life insurance products can be complicated, so speaking with an insurance professional or financial planner before buying can help you find the best life insurance company for your specific situation. Below are some of the Policygenius partners with the top whole life insurance offerings.

The best whole life insurance companies of December 2022

How we chose the best whole life insurance companies

We don't get paid for our company reviews and use an extensive rubric of criteria covering policy details, price, financial confidence, third-party ratings, and customer experience to assign unbiased ratings out of five stars. Any recommendations we make are based on internal and external expert opinions and data from our Policygenius Price Index, which uses real-time rate data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends.

Our ratings and reviews can help point you to an insurer you can rely on for your family’s financial protection, but the best life insurance company for you is dependent on multiple factors. A licensed agent at Policygenius can work with you through the application process so you’re getting coverage from the best insurer for your circumstances at the most competitive price.

Read more about our reviews methodology here

Compare the top whole life insurance companies of December 2022

Company

Policygenius rating

Best for

Types of policies

MassMutual 

3.8/5

Whole life, dividend options

Term life, whole life, universal

Mutual of Omaha

3.4/5

Seniors, guaranteed issue whole life, simplified issue

Term, simplified issue, guaranteed issue whole life, universal 

AIG

4.6/5

Guaranteed issue whole life

Term, guaranteed issue whole life, universal

Prudential

3.4/5

Seniors, survivorship

Term life, whole life, universal

→ Read our full life insurance reviews

Best overall whole life insurance

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 starHalf orange starEmpty gray star

3.8

AM Best rating 

A.M. 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 ($$$$$).

NR

All 50 states

Why we chose it

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

Read our full MassMutual review
Pros and cons

Pros

  • Strong financial stability ratings

  • Potential for dividends

  • Offers a variety of permanent life insurance products

Cons

  • No option to skip the medical exam

  • High premiums

MassMutual is one of the top whole life insurance companies in the country —  it has an A++ rating according to A.M. 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 whole life insurance for seniors

Mutual of Omaha

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 starHalf orange starEmpty gray star

3.4

AM Best rating 

A.M. 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-med-exam option

Why we chose it

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

Read our full Mutual of Omaha review
Pros and cons

Pros

  • No-medical-exam options for older applicants

  • Strong financial and customer ratings

Cons

  • Policies are more expensive than average

  • Slow turnaround time

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. They offer 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.

Best guaranteed issue life insurance

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha offers a guaranteed issue whole life insurance policy that is more affordable than some of its competitors. This policy offers near-certain approval, so it’s a good fit for older shoppers who are looking to cover final expenses, or people with health conditions that make it difficult for them to qualify for other term or whole life policies.

AIG

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 

A.M. 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 it

With competitive pricing and a range of flexible term periods for its Select-a-Term product, AIG is a solid option for many life insurance shoppers, including families.

Read our full AIG review
Pros and cons

Pros

  • Competitive pricing for all ages

  • Customizable term policies

  • Benefits common health conditions

Cons

  • Below average customer ratings

  • Cumbersome quote tool

AIG is another reputable insurance company with a guaranteed issue whole life policy option. You can apply for $5,000 to $25,000 in coverage. You can also get approved for a policy within one phone call, which can be convenient for older adults.

Best simplified issue life insurance

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha’s simplified issue whole life insurance is a good choice for those seeking smaller whole life policies to cover final expenses or any outstanding obligations. You can apply for coverage between $2,000 and $40,000 and you don’t have to take a medical exam to apply.

Best survivorship life insurance

Prudential

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 starHalf orange starEmpty gray star

3.4

AM Best rating 

A.M. 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-med-exam option

All 50 states

Why we chose it

With nearly four million policyholders and 150 years to its name, Prudential offers competitive coverage options for seniors, as well as people with some of the most common medical conditions, including asthma, depression, and fibromyalgia.

Read our full Prudential review
Pros and cons

Pros

  • High financial ratings

  • Competitive underwriting for a range of medical conditions

  • Comprehensive online resources

Cons

  • High premiums

  • Mixed customer ratings

Prudential is one of the biggest life insurance companies in the U.S. This company offers a second-to-die policy option, also called a survivorship policy. This whole life policy can cover two people, usually spouses, and is best used for estate planning and inheritance preservation. This type of policy is rare, but Prudential offers lower rates for this product than some of its competitors.

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What is whole life insurance?

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that provides coverage for your entire life. It includes a cash value component that earns interest, usually at a rate set by your insurer. 

This type of life insurance is generally best for high earners and people with long-term financial obligations. Whole life insurance is five to 15 times more expensive than other life insurance products, like term insurance.

How does whole life insurance work?

Like other life insurance products, you pay a premium — usually monthly or annually —  and in exchange, the insurance company grants you coverage. The company will pay a tax-free death benefit to your beneficiaries when you die.

Whole life insurance also comes with a cash value account in addition to the death benefit. 

  1. Duration. Whole life policies last your entire life, as long as you continue to pay the premiums to keep your policy active. Typically, you pay premiums for your whole life, or until age 100, but there are some whole life policies that allow you to condense your payments into a shorter time frame. Some whole life insurance policies can be paid up at age 65, or paid up over the course of 10 or 20 years, although these are much more expensive.

  2. Cash value. When you pay your premium, a portion goes into maintaining the policy, and another portion goes into a cash value account. The cash value gains interest over time based on a rate set by your insurance company. Unlike the death benefit, the cash value can be accessed while you’re still alive. You can borrow against your cash value, but it’s important to note that if you borrow a loan and die before paying it back, it will reduce the death benefit by the amount of the outstanding loan.

  3. Dividends. Dividends are a return-of-premium payment that insurance companies pay back to policyholders if the insurance company over-performs financially. Not all whole life policies give you the opportunity to earn dividends, and dividends aren’t guaranteed even if you have a participating policy. The agent you’re working with will be able to let you know if dividends are a possibility with the insurance company you’re applying with.

  4. Riders. Riders are add-ons you can use to customize your life insurance policy for an additional price. For example, a term insurance rider can be added to a whole life policy to add additional coverage for a critical window of time. Another common rider is the term conversion rider, which comes with many term policies and allows you to convert your term policy into a whole life, or other type of permanent policy.

  5. Surrender fees. Surrender fees can be implemented if you surrender — or stop paying — on your whole life policy relatively early on. Surrender fees are meant to cover the cost to the insurance company for keeping your policy active. If you surrender your policy after only holding it for a short while, the surrender fee can be deducted from your cash value, or you might have to pay it out-of-pocket if your cash value hasn’t accumulated enough funds.

How much does whole life insurance cost?

A healthy, non-smoking, 35-year-old will pay between $481 and $571 per month for a $500,000 whole life insurance policy. How much you pay for whole life insurance depends on your age, health, gender, and coverage amount.

Whole life insurance rates by age and coverage amount

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25

Female

$175.00

$346.00

$660.00

Male

$199.00

$393.00

$765.00

35

Female

$243.00

$481.00

$947.00

Male

$288.00

$571.00

$1,121.00

45

Female

$360.00

$716.00

$1,417.00

Male

$435.00

$866.00

$1,690.00

55

Female

$589.00

$1,173.00

$2,332.00

Male

$692.00

$1,380.00

$2,173.00

Methodology: Rates are calculated for non-smokers in a Preferred Plus health classification, obtaining a whole life insurance policy paid up at age 100 from MassMutual. Individual rates will vary by age, gender, health class, and state. Rate illustration valid as of 11/11/2022.

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How much whole life insurance do you need?

Generally speaking, 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 in the absence of your income. 

Many people find it difficult to afford the coverage they need in a permanent policy, and find that term policies are cheaper alternatives. Whole life insurance is best suited for high earners or people with long-term financial responsibilities, like lifelong dependents.

On the other hand, some people only need a small amount of whole life coverage to help their family with final expenses, such as funeral or medical bills. In this case, a whole life policy or $10,000 or $20,000 may be enough.

How to choose the best whole life insurance for you

Considering your personal coverage needs, as well as the company's financial ratings, dividend history, and policy options can help you choose the best whole life insurance. 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.

Consider the company's financial ratings

A company with high financial ratings is much less likely to go out of business, which is especially important with a permanent policy. Credit-rating agencies like A.M. Best, S&P Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investor Services can provide you with information regarding a company’s stability.

Consider the company's dividend history

Looking at an insurance company’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.

Consider riders

Life insurance riders usually must be added during the application process, as opposed to when your policy is already in force. Not all riders are worth the added cost, so consulting a licensed agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of adding a rider. For instance, you might want to add a term insurance rider for additional coverage for a certain number of years (while you’re paying off a mortgage, for example).

Shop across multiple insurers

Each insurance company has their 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 in one spot.

Whole life insurance FAQs

What's the most reputable whole life insurance company?

Policygenius partners Mutual of Omaha and MassMutual are among the most reputable whole life insurance companies in the country. You can look at a company's financial security rating using metrics from sources like A.M. Best. Any insurer with an "A" rating or higher is considered excellent.

Who is the number one whole life insurance company in the U.S.?

Northwestern Mutual had the largest market share in the U.S. as of 2021, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). It's followed closely by New York Life, Met Life, and Prudential.

Is whole life insurance worth it?

Whether whole life insurance is worth it for you will depend on your age, financial situation, coverage needs, and if you have any pre-existing conditions. All of these factors affect your premiums. Speaking with a licensed advisor can help you find the right policy for your needs.

Is whole life insurance taxable?

The death benefit from whole life insurance is not taxable, unless you choose to receive it in installments. In this case, interest earned on the death benefit can be taxed as income. The same can occur if you leave earned dividends invested with the insurance company — the interest earned by dividends can be taxed as income.

Corrections

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Author

Associate Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Katherine Murbach

Associate Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

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Katherine Murbach is an associate editor and a licensed life insurance expert 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.

Editor

Associate Content Director

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

Associate Content Director

gray twitter icon linkgray linkedin icon link

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.

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