For Ohio residents, choosing the right insurance company from hundreds of available options can be a difficult task. You also need to know how your medical history and lifestyle choices can affect what you’ll pay for coverage, and how Ohio state guidelines protect you as a policyholder.
We’ve put together the best life insurance companies operating in Ohio, the cost of insurance for residents, and the state regulations surrounding life insurance so you can make an informed decision.
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 Ohio
Best overall: Banner Life
Cheapest: Banner Life
Best term life insurance: Banner Life
Best no-medical-exam: 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 Ohioans affordable rates and several term lengths for term life insurance, so most Ohio residents can find an affordable policy that provides the coverage they need. Many applicants with certain medical conditions can also find policies with great rates. Banner Life also scores well on financial security and customer satisfaction ratings, with a 0.35 NAIC complaint rating that falls well below the national average of 1.00.
Cheapest life insurance
Banner Life also offers the most affordable life insurance rates in Ohio. Whether you’re in great health or you have a few pre-existing conditions, Banner Life may be able to give you a very competitive rate.
Best term life insurance
Term life insurance covers you for a set amount of time, and coverage expires at the end of the term length. It’s the best life insurance option for most Ohio residents because it’s affordable, and since most people simply don’t need lifetime coverage. Banner Life has several options for term lengths and the lowest rates for the most applicants.
Best no-medical-exam life insurance
When applicants want to skip the life insurance medical exam and just use their medical records to determine their premiums, no-medical-exam policies are the way to go. Brighthouse Financial offers Ohioans no-medical-exam policies with competitive rates, comprehensive coverage, and quick application decisions in as little as 24 hours.
Best whole life insurance
Whole life insurance covers you for your entire lifetime, but costs five to 15 times as much as term life insurance. Ohioans who want lifetime coverage, or wish to use a whole life policy to build cash value and earn dividends, should choose MassMutual, which pays higher dividends to policyholders than competing companies.
Best for seniors
Prudential offers flexibility for Ohio seniors age 60 and over including those with health conditions associated with older age, with competitive rates and lower income requirements than other competing insurers.
Best for young adults
Brighthouse Financial has some of the lowest rates for young adults in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Young adults in Ohio can generally find good rates everywhere, but Brighhouse offers some of the lowest and has flexible financial requirements for college students.
Best for people with pre-existing conditions
Pre-existing conditions like arthritis, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes can affect the premiums a life insurance policyholder will have to pay. But Lincoln Financial features better rates than other insurers for most health conditions, especially for Ohio residents in their 40s and 50s.
Best for marijuana users
Lincoln Financial gives Ohio marijuana users non-smoker rates, which are 200% to 300% cheaper than smoker/tobacco rates that many life insurance companies automatically give to marijuana users.
Best for smokers
Smokers will pay two to three times the life insurance rate than non-smokers pay, which is the simple reality of life insurance. But Banner Life has better rates for Ohioans who smoke than competing carriers, and policyholders who quit can apply for lower premiums after a year.
Comparing the best life insurance companies in Ohio
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 Ohio?
The factors that affect life insurance premiums include the age of the applicant, their medical history, current and former health conditions, and the term length and coverage amount of the policy. Based on Policygenius data from 2023, the average monthly premium for a healthy 35-year old in Ohio buying a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy is $30.79 for men and $25.76 for women.
What happens if a life insurance company goes bankrupt in Ohio?
Life insurance companies don’t go belly up very often. But in the event a life insurance company does go bankrupt, the Ohio Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association will cover affected Ohio policyholders and guarantee their coverage (up to a limit) as long as the policyholder keeps paying for the policy.
When an insurance company fails or can’t meet its financial obligations to policyholders, policyholders are notified and coverage from the Ohio guaranty association kicks in. The guaranty association covers up to $300,000 in death benefits and $100,000 in cash surrender value for all affected policyholders living in Ohio.
When a policyholder moves out of Ohio, they will receive protection from the guaranty association of the state they live in if their life insurance company fails.
How to find a lost life insurance policy in Ohio
When someone dies, the family and/or executor of the estate can search for life insurance policies and annuity contracts that the decedent may have held with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life Insurance Policy Locator Service.
Additionally, the Ohio Unclaimed Funds website can be used to search for unclaimed life insurance benefits surrendered to the state.
Ohio life insurance laws
Life insurance companies operating in Ohio must adhere to guidelines that offer protections to policyholders and define how policies operate in the state.
Free look period
Many states mandate that life insurance companies provide new policyholders with a free look period. Within this timeframe, new customers can cancel their policy to get a full refund of any premiums they already paid. Ohio does not have a mandatory free look period, but many life insurance companies offer them as a matter of company policy.
Guaranty Fund protection
The Ohio Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association guarantees up to $300,000 in death benefits and $100,000 in cash surrender value if and when a life insurance company is no longer able to meet its financial obligations to policyholders.
In Ohio, the contestability period for life insurance is two years from the day the policy takes effect. During this time, life insurance companies can investigate and challenge a claim if they discover evidence that the policyholder lied on their application.
Time allowable to settle a claim
In Ohio, life insurance companies are required to pay claims within two months of receiving all the documents required to process a claim. The death benefit proceeds will begin to accrue interest immediately upon the date of death to the day the proceeds are paid.
Grace period for missed payments
Ohio has a one-month grace period for missed life insurance premium payments. This period gives policyholders some wiggle room to pay their premium before the life insurance company can terminate their policy for nonpayment.