5 ways to research life insurers in 5 minutes or less

Jeanine Skowronski


Jeanine Skowronski

Jeanine Skowronski

Former Head of Content at Policygenius

Jeanine Skowronski is the former head of content at Policygenius in New York City. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, American Banker Magazine, Newsweek, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, MSN, CNBC and more.

Published April 9, 2018|2 min read

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Nothing says "adult homework" quite like "getting life insurance". Pulling quotes is easy. (We can help you quickly compare life insurance policies across insurers.) But we get it: You want to do your due diligence before settling on the one. Fortunately, the information you need to vet a life insurance company is also easy to obtain. Here are five ways to research life insurers in five minutes or less.

1. Find out an insurer's financial strength

There are safeguards in place to make sure you don't lose coverage if a your insurer goes bankrupt, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't care about a company's credit rating. Fortunately, there are plenty of third-party groups that judge and score an insurer's financial strength, including A.M. Best, Fitch Ratings, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Weiss Ratings.

Not sure where to start? A.M. Best ratings are pretty simple to understand since they work just like school grades: An A+ is better than a B, etc. We've got more info on understanding A.M. Best ratings here.

2. Check out its track record ...

Everyone wants to patronize a company that treats its customers well, so it's important to look into how current policyholders feel about their experience. Here, too, third-party data is clutch: You can get a good sense of a life insurer's customer service cred by looking at its J.D. Power scores and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings.

3. ... & popularity

Market share isn't everything. (There are certaintly regional carriers or a membership carriers worth pursuing.) But size does signal financial strength — and specialization. Large insurers often offer every type of insurance, but they're not the go-to for each and every one, so it's worth looking into how much of the life insurance market they service.

Fortunately, we've got the market share for all the major life insurers, along with their A.M Best, J.D Power and BBB ratings, in our best life insurance companies roundup.

4. Look for insurers that are best for your health profile ...

Every life insurer defines risk differently. One insurer might feel less stressed by your former smoking habit or recent weight loss, for instance, than another. That's why it's important to research which companies are more tolerant about your specific health profile or health condition. An insurance broker or agent can usually steer you in the right direction.

5. ... & offer the features you need

Life insurers also operate differently: Some have gone digital, for instance, while others are still sending out paper statements. Some no longer take checks. If there's a particular feature or service you're looking for, be sure the carrier offers it when you're scanning your quotes. Again, an agent can answer any questions. You can chat with one of our geniuses here.

Disclaimer: Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

Image: Kayla Snell