Finding the right life insurance option comes down to individual factors, including your health, lifestyle, budget, and policy needs. Our list of top life insurance companies in Missouri includes average costs, which factors affect rates, and information on state protections can help Missourians find their best insurance fit.
We used industry data, pricing from Policygenius carrier partners, and third-party ratings like AM Best and J.D. Power to pick the best insurers on the market. Our independent recommendations will help you get life insurance coverage with confidence.
Best life insurance companies in Missouri
Best overall: Banner Life
Cheapest: Banner Life
Best term life insurance: Banner Life
Best no-medical-exam life insurance: Brighthouse Financial
Best whole life insurance: MassMutual
Best for seniors: Prudential
Best for young adults: Brighthouse Financial
Best for people with pre-existing conditions: Lincoln Financial
Best for marijuana users: Lincoln Financial
Best for smokers: Banner Life
Best overall life insurance
Banner Life offers a wide range of excellent policy options, which earned it a nod in five of the 20 categories in Policygenius’ list of the best life insurance companies in the U.S.
Banner Life’s competitive rates, a strong rating with A.M. Best, and generous options for people with certain pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or tobacco use, all contribute to this company getting the top spot for best overall life insurance package. Banner Life’s NAIC complaint rating is only 0.35, putting it well under the industry average of 1.00, and indicating that the company is a customer favorite, as well.
Cheapest life insurance
Life insurance rates are always subject to factors, such as age, sex, health, and lifestyle. With that in mind, Banner Life tends to offer competitive rates whether you’re in excellent health or need to factor in significant health conditions.
The company is an especially good place to start for people who use tobacco, have diabetes, or live with mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder. Young and healthy people will also find some of the best rates on the market from Banner Life.
Best term life insurance
Term life insurance offers coverage for a specific length of time. If you die during the term, your beneficiaries get a death benefit from the policy. If you outlive the term, your coverage ends. Term life is a popular life insurance option because it’s more affordable than comparable permanent life coverage.
Banner Life takes the top spot again here, thanks to its competitive rates and a wide range of term lengths that go up to 40 years.
Best no-medical-exam life insurance
Many life insurance policies rely on a full physical medical exam to complete underwriting and assess an application. No-medical-exam policies use information from medical records and responses to health questions to evaluate qualified applicants.
Brighthouse Financial offers no-medical-exam policy options that could give you an instant decision on policies with coverage amounts up to $2 million. People with some minor health conditions like sleep apnea, ADHD, or high blood pressure may also find competitive rate options here.
Best whole life insurance
Whole life insurance does not expire at the end of a specific term. It typically includes a cash value component you can borrow from during your lifetime, as well as a death benefit to your beneficiary. Whole life insurance tends to cost substantially more than term life (e.g., 5 to 15 times as much for the same coverage amount). However, it can be a good option for people who need lifelong coverage or want to provide loved ones with a guaranteed death benefit.
MassMutual has strong financial stability ratings and high customer experience ratings. It also pays higher dividends for cash value than much of the competition, making it a strong choice for people seeking whole life insurance in Missouri.
Best for seniors
Life insurance rates go up with your age at the time you apply, but Prudential keeps rates lower than the competition for seniors over age 60. The company also takes a more flexible attitude toward some health conditions that may come with age, such as osteoporosis, as well as other common health issues such as asthma, fibromyalgia, and depression.
Best for young adults
Brighthouse Financial offers quick approval and some of the most affordable rates on the market for young adults. It also offers an accelerated, no-medical-exam underwriting policy called SimplySelect, available exclusively from Policygenius.
Best for people with pre-existing conditions
Health is an important factor in determining whether you qualify for life insurance coverage and what premiums you can expect to pay for a policy. In many cases, a pre-existing condition won’t put life insurance out of reach. However, some insurance companies offer better coverage or lower rates than others, depending on the specific details.
Lincoln Financial has a reputation for offering lower rates than other companies for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, mental health conditions, and some types of cancer.
Best for marijuana users
Recreational marijuana use became legal in Missouri in December 2022.  Although marijuana use once made it difficult to get life insurance coverage, more companies are offering policies and better rates than previously to people who use marijuana.
Lincoln Financial offers some of the best rates available to marijuana users. In qualifying cases, it even offers them non(tobacco)-smoking rates, which is a big deal since rates for tobacco users can be 2 to 3 times higher than non-smoking rates.
Best for smokers
Missouri is in the top 10 states for high rates of tobacco use in the U.S., at 19.6% of the population.  Smoking is well-known for its health risks, so life insurance for smokers tends to cost double or triple a non-smoker’s rate.
Banner Life offers some of the most competitive rates for smokers. It also earns the top spot in this category for its attitude toward quitting. Quitting a smoking habit can have a meaningful effect on health, and Banner Life lets you apply a year after quitting a smoking habit, while many competitors require two years or longer before reassessing premium rates.
Comparing the best life insurance companies in Missouri
Types of policies
5.0 / 5
No-medical-exam life, young adults
Term life, no-medical-exam life, whole life, short-term life, universal life
4.9 / 5
Overall, cheapest, term life, smokers
Term life, no-medical-exam life, universal life
4.9 / 5
Term life, no-medical-exam life, whole life, universal life, variable universal life
4.8 / 5
Marijuana users, people with pre-existing conditions
Term life, no-medical-exam life, indexed universal life, variable universal life
4.1 / 5
Term life, no-medical-exam life, short-term life, universal life, indexed universal life
What is the average cost of life insurance in Missouri?
Various factors can make one insurance company a better choice for you than another, but cost is one of the first considerations. Luckily, your state of residence shouldn’t affect your rates the way personal factors like age and health can.
According to the Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index in 2023, a healthy, non-smoking 35-year-old in Missouri seeking a 20-year, $500,000 policy can expect an average monthly premium of $25.76 for women and $30.79 for men.
What happens if a life insurance company goes bankrupt in Missouri?
The Missouri Department of Insurance sets detailed standards for life insurance companies in the state. These include rules about how much money the insurance company must hold in reserve so that they’re able to pay their obligations, including claims on policies.
These regulations make it extremely rare for a life insurance company to go bankrupt, even in tumultuous economic times. If a worst-case scenario occurred and a life insurance company does go bankrupt, Missouri has a guaranty association that can help ensure policyholders have options.
MIGA offers protection on various forms of life insurance, such as up to $300,000 in death benefits if your insurance company is financially insolvent. That may not cover the entire coverage amount of your policy, but it does ensure that your beneficiaries receive at least a portion of the benefit you intended for them.
To check a life insurance company’s financial standing, see our life insurance company reviews, especially the financial strength ratings.
How to find a lost life insurance policy in Missouri
The Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act lays out guidelines for insurance companies to follow if a beneficiary doesn’t claim on a policy. Under the Act, insurance companies are advised to conduct periodic searches for policyholder’s names to look for matches on the U.S. Social Security Administration’s Death Master File. They may also be required to turn over unclaimed funds to the state within a certain period of time.
To locate an unclaimed life insurance policy in Missouri, start with the Missouri Department of Insurance’s Life Insurance Locator.
Missouri life insurance laws
Life insurance companies are built on large financial promises, and various agencies are involved in making sure those promises are taken seriously. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) works with government officials to maintain databases of insurance information and set best practices for insurance companies. Many states base their own best practices and standards for insurance companies on the NAIC’s example. Here are some rules for Missouri.
Free lookback period
Unlike many states, Missouri doesn’t impose an official “lookback” period for life insurance companies. Many companies set their own “free look” standard, often seven to 30 days. During that time, you can cancel and get a refund on your premiums.
Grace period for missed payments
Missouri has a legal grace period of 30 days during which an insurance company can’t cancel your policy for late payment.
Prompt payment-to-beneficiary rules
Beneficiaries in Missouri are also entitled to prompt payment of a claim from the insurance company. Missouri state law may, however, allow time for “reasonable investigation” to sort out uncertainties about the policy.