Best life insurance companies in Illinois

Find the best life insurance companies in Illinois to fit your needs and budget, and learn how state regulations can affect your policy.

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By

Brian ActonBrian ActonContributing WriterBrian Acton is a contributing writer at Policygenius, where he covers insurance and finance. His work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, TIME, USA Today, MarketWatch, Inc. Magazine, and HuffPost. 

Edited by

Logan SachonLogan SachonSenior Managing Editor, Life Insurance & ResearchLogan Sachon is the senior managing editor of life insurance and research at Policygenius, where she edits life insurance content and leads life insurance surveys and data studies. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The Guardian, Business Insider, CNN Money, BuzzFeed, Money Under 30, VICE, New York Magazine, and elsewhere.

Updated|4 min read

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Finding the right life insurance company can be challenging when there are so many options to choose from. For Illinois residents, the lifestyle and health of the policyholder and state regulations all have an impact on the available policies. 

We’ve compiled the best life insurance companies in Illinois, the average cost of life insurance for residents, and state regulations that protect policyholders.

Best life insurance companies in Illinois

Methodology: How we chose the best life insurance companies in Illinois

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

Best overall life insurance

With competitive rates, a fast no-medical-exam option, and a variety of term lengths, Banner Life is the best life insurance for people in Illinois.

Cheapest

Banner Life offers Illinois applicants the most competitive rates in the Policygenius marketplace. People with no health conditions and people with multiple health conditions can both find their best rates with Banner Life.

Best term life insurance

Term life insurance is a type of insurance that lasts for a set period and then expires. It is the most cost-effective option for most people, and Banner Life offers the most affordable term policies for most people.

Best whole life insurance

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2023 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 

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 ($$$$$).

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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.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Strong financial stability ratings

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

  • Good customer experience ratings

Cons

  • High term life premiums

  • Term life not available through Policygenius

MassMutual's whole life insurance policies pay out higher dividends to policyholders than other policies, making it the best whole life option for residents of Illinois.

Best guaranteed universal life insurance

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2023 Policygenius award winner

Pacific Life

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

4.8

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 ($$$$$).

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$

$

$

$

All 50 states

No-med-exam option

Why we chose it

Pacific Life offers some of the lowest rates for term life insurance across age brackets. It also has the most competitive rates for many health conditions and builds.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Extremely affordable across age brackets

  • Affordable guaranteed universal life insurance option for people who need lifetime coverage

  • Favorable underwriting for many health conditions

Cons

  • Traditional term life not available in NY

  • There are better carriers for active duty military, people who have a history of alcohol abuse, and people who have been through bankruptcy

For Illinois applicants wanting lifelong coverage at a lower price than traditional whole life, Pacific Life is a great option.

Best for seniors

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2023 Policygenius award winner

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 starFull orange starEmpty gray star

4.1

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 ($$$$$).

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$

$

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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.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Good for people over 60

  • More flexible income requirements than some other insurers

  • Considers applicants with a variety of immigration statuses (visas and green cards)

Cons

  • Younger applicants will likely find better prices elsewhere

  • No-med option can end up requiring a medical exam most of the time

Prudential offers competitive rates to people age 60 and above.

Best for young adults

Banner Life offers competitive rates for young adults, plus a no-medical-exam option for qualifying applicants.

Best for marijuana users

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2023 Policygenius award winner

Lincoln Financial

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

4.8

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 ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-med-exam option

Why we chose it

Lincoln Financial offers a diverse array of life insurance policies, including competitive no-med and high-net-worth options.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Affordable rates

  • Good for many existing health conditions, including depression, stroke, and heart conditions

  • Good for marijuana users, including daily users

Cons

  • Term life not available in New York

Lincoln Financial offers Illinois residents who are infrequent marijuana users non-smoker/non-tobacco rates, which can be 200% to 300% cheaper than smoker/tobacco, which many carriers automatically give to marijuana users.

Best for smokers

Banner Life offers the most affordable rates for smokers in Illinois, plus policyholders can apply for lower premiums just one year after they quit smoking (many other insurers require two years or more).

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Comparing the best life insurance companies in Illinois

Company 

Policygenius rating

Best for

Banner Life

4.7 / 5

Affordability, term life, young adults, smokers

Lincoln Financial

4.6 / 5

Marijuana users

MassMutual

3.8 / 5

Whole life

Pacific Life

4.6 / 5

Guaranteed universal

Prudential

3.4 / 5

Seniors

What is the average cost of life insurance in Illinois?

Life insurance rates depend on many individual factors, including your age, health, and the length and benefit amount of your policy. Where you live, however, is not one of the factors that affects your rates, except for policy availability.

Based on Policygenius data from February 2023, the average monthly premium for a relatively healthy 35-year-old in Illinois buying a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy is $25.66 for women and $30.44 for men.

What happens if a life insurance company goes bankrupt in Illinois?

Life insurance companies rarely go bankrupt, but the non-profit Illinois Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association protects policyholders if their insurance company is unable to meet its financial obligations. 

When an insurance company becomes insolvent, the Illinois GA will cover policyholders using funds from assessments paid by other insurance companies. If this happens, affected policyholders will be notified by the Receiver, the Illinois Department of Insurance office overseeing the company. 

Illinois covers up to $300,000 in life insurance death benefits for policyholders insured by a company found to be insolvent. 

How to find a lost life insurance policy in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Insurance can help consumers locate the life insurance policies or annuity contracts held by a deceased family member.

When someone submits a request to the Department of Insurance, it will forward that request to all life insurance companies operating in the state. The request asks each company to search their records for life insurance policies or annuity contracts in the name of the deceased, and respond if they find a policy. 

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Illinois life insurance laws

Life insurance policies in Illinois must abide by state regulations governed by Chapter 215 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, which outlines the protections provided to policyholders.

Free look period

Policyholders in Illinois can cancel their life insurance without penalty within 10 days of receiving the policy to receive a full refund of their initial premium payment.  

Guaranty Fund protection

The Illinois Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association will cover policyholders for up to $300,000 in death benefits if their life insurance company becomes unable to fulfill its financial obligations. 

Contestable period

In Illinois, the contestable period for life insurance is set at two years. During this time, the insurance company can deny a claim if they find evidence of fraud on the policyholder’s application.

Time allowable to settle a claim

Life insurance companies have two months in Illinois to pay claims after receiving proof of the insured’s death. Claims that aren’t paid within 31 days may accrue interest. 

Grace period for missed payments

This period gives policyholders some wiggle room to pay their premiums late without losing coverage. In Illinois, policyholders have a grace period of 30 days from the due date.

Frequently asked questions

What is the number one life insurance company in Illinois?

Banner Life is the best life insurance company for most people in Illinois. For young adults and people without complicated health conditions, Banner Life is the most affordable option on the market. Banner Life also offers long term lengths, with a 40-year term policy available to qualifying customers.

What is the life insurance free look period and grace period in Illinois?

In Illinois, you have a 10-day free look period to cancel your policy and receive a full refund of your premiums. You have a 30-day grace period from the due date to make your payment before losing coverage.

What types of life insurance are available in Illinois?

The two most common types of life insurance in Illinois are term and permanent. Consumers can also access no-medical-exam policies like accelerated underwriting and final expense insurance.

Author

Brian Acton is a contributing writer at Policygenius, where he covers insurance and finance. His work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, TIME, USA Today, MarketWatch, Inc. Magazine, and HuffPost. 

Editor

Logan Sachon is the senior managing editor of life insurance and research at Policygenius, where she edits life insurance content and leads life insurance surveys and data studies. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The Guardian, Business Insider, CNN Money, BuzzFeed, Money Under 30, VICE, New York Magazine, and elsewhere.

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