Ethos life insurance review: Fast applications, fewer options
Ethos has an online application that matches you with a policy from one of its four partners, but its policy options are limited.
Logan SachonLogan SachonSenior Managing Editor, Life Insurance & ResearchLogan Sachon is a former senior managing editor of life insurance and research at Policygenius. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The Guardian, Business Insider, CNN Money, BuzzFeed, Money Under 30, VICE, New York Magazine, and elsewhere.
Julia KaganJulia KaganContributing EditorJulia Kagan is a contributing editor at Policygenius, where she specializes in life insurance. Previously, Julia was the senior personal finance editor at Investopedia for nearly a decade, a vice president and editorial director at Consumer Reports, the editor of Psychology Today, and the vice president of content at Zagat Surveys.
Our proprietary ratings methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the “Ratings methodology” section for more details.
AM Best rating
AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).
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 ($$$$$).
The bottom line
Ethos is a broker that uses an online application to sell select life insurance policies from Legal & General America (marketed as William Penn in New York State and Banner Life in the rest of the country), Mutual of Omaha, Ameritas, and TruStage.
Note: Mutual of Omaha and Legal & General America products are available through the Policygenius marketplace (as Banner Life and William Penn), but TruStage and Ameritas products are not.
Term life insurance: Ethos sells term life insurance policies for terms of 10, 15, 20, and 30 years, for benefit amounts of $20,000 to $2 million. None of Ethos’s term life policies require a medical exam.
Whole life insurance: Ethos sells low-coverage whole life insurance policies to older adults between the ages of 66 and 85, in amounts from $1,000 to $30,000. These types of policies are also called final expense or burial insurance.
Additional coverages offered
Acceleration of death benefit rider: For no extra cost on some policies sold by Ethos, the ADB rider is included. It lets you access a portion of the death benefit early if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Waiver of premium rider: For an extra cost on some policies sold by Ethos, the waiver of premium rider waives all premiums during a period when you have a certified total disability.
Term rider: For an extra cost on some policies sold by Ethos, this rider essentially stacks an additional period of lesser coverage on top of your term life insurance policy.
Children's rider: For an extra cost on some policies sold by Ethos, the child rider provides life insurance coverage for the insured’s children up to their 25th birthday or the insured’s 65th birthday.
Our price rating scale looks at life insurance rates for a sample 20-year term policy with $1 million in coverage for a 35-year-old female non-smoker with a Standard Plus risk classification, the rating an insurance company gives you that determines your rates. If a company doesn't have a Standard Plus rating, we use its Standard rates). The quote we got from Ethos puts it in the least expensive category for our rating system.
Our transparency rating scale measures how easily shoppers and policyholders can find information about an insurer on its website. Ethos gets points for having contact information, support hub, and having policy details clearly posted. But it loses points for not having average rates clearly posted outside of its quoting tool or having a live chat feature.
Our financial strength rating is a weighted combination of three industry-leading metrics to measure a company’s financial health: AM Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s. Because Ethos does not underwrite its own insurance policies and instead sells policies from a variety of companies, it is not rated by these agencies.
A closer look at Ethos
Who is Ethos best for?
Ethos is best for young adults with few or no health conditions who want to get coverage instantly and without a medical exam. They may find decent rates and options with Ethos.
What makes Ethos unique?
Getting a quote online from Ethos requires a lot more information than you’ll have to give to many other companies. You’ll have to share your full name, address, phone number, email, and the last four digits of your social security number if you want an accurate quote, otherwise you’ll just get a range.
Ethos also includes estate planning tools, including the ability to make a will, for free with its policies.
Who should consider a different life insurance company?
Many people shopping for term life insurance, especially older people and people with health conditions, will find their best prices elsewhere. Our list of the best life insurance companies for seniors is a good place to start. Also, New Yorkers looking for term life insurance will not be able to get covered through Ethos at all.
Ethos life insurance rates
Ethos does not publish its life insurance rates.
Ethos’s history, reputation, and social responsibility
Ethos was founded in 2016 by Peter Colis and Lingke Wang. It is a third-party administrator, selling policies from Legal & General America, Mutual of Omaha, Ameritas, and TruStage. 
It offers its life insurance customers a free will and estate planning tool through its app. Ethos partners with a variety of organizations to offer its policies to their members.
Ethos in the news
In October 2022, Ethos partnered with the AIP Marketing Alliance to offer its products through its life insurance agents. (Coverager)
In September 2022, Ethos partnered with HUB International to offer life insurance to its customers via HUB’s website. (Coverager)
Ethos sells life insurance from several highly rated companies, including Legal & General America (marketed as Banner Life and William Penn) and Mutual of Omaha.
How do I contact Ethos?
To contact Ethos, including the claims support team, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Ethos website.
Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of oureditorial standards.
Logan Sachon is a former senior managing editor of life insurance and research at Policygenius. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The Guardian, Business Insider, CNN Money, BuzzFeed, Money Under 30, VICE, New York Magazine, and elsewhere.
Julia Kagan is a contributing editor at Policygenius, where she specializes in life insurance. Previously, Julia was the senior personal finance editor at Investopedia for nearly a decade, a vice president and editorial director at Consumer Reports, the editor of Psychology Today, and the vice president of content at Zagat Surveys.