New York Life life insurance review: Good for some older adults
New York Life offers a number of permanent life insurance options, but younger adults will find more coverage and better rates elsewhere.
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
New York Life offers a number of permanent life insurance options for older adults, including whole life with the possibility of dividends, but younger people will find more coverage and better rates elsewhere.
Note: New York Life products are not available through the Policygenius marketplace.
Whole life policies available for people up to age 90
Whole life policies are eligible for dividends
Level term life premiums only available for up to 20 years (or 10 years for coverage over $1 million)
No online quotes for term life
Basic coverages offered
Term life insurance: New York Life offers two types of term life insurance: Yearly Convertible Term, which is an annual renewable term life policy with premiums that increase each year, and Level Premium Convertible Term, which is a term life policy with level premiums for 10 or 20 years and increasing premiums thereafter. Coverage amounts of $1 million or more are only available for level terms of 10 years via a product called Million Plus Level Term 10.
Whole life insurance: New York Life offers whole life insurance for people all the way up to age 90. It also offers Custom Whole Life, which is a type of whole life insurance with custom payment plans. New York Life’s whole life policies are eligible for dividends.
Universal life insurance: New York Life’s universal life insurance products include Basic Universal Life, Custom Universal Life Guarantee, and Protection Up to Age 90, which has a minimum death benefit of $1 million but expires at age 90.
Variable universal life insurance: New York Life’s variable universal life product is called Variable Universal Life Accumulator II.
Additional coverages offered
Living benefits rider: The accelerated death benefit rider allows you to access a portion of the death benefit if you're diagnosed with a qualifying terminal illness.
Disability waiver of premium: For an additional cost, this rider waives premium payments during a period of qualifying disability.
Spouse's paid-up insurance purchase option rider: This rider allows the beneficiary of a policy to purchase a paid-up insurance policy without underwriting.
New York Life does not have a price rating, as we were unable to obtain a quote for a 20-year term policy with $1 million coverage, the sample policy we use in our price rating scale.
Our customer experience scale uses data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index. New York Life has a score of 0.2, which means it receives fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size. (The expected number would be 1.0.)
Our transparency rating scale measures how easily shoppers and policyholders can find information about an insurer on its website. New York Life gets points for having clear contact information and a support hub. But it loses points for not having average rates or policy information clearly posted.
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. New York Life has an A++ rating from AM Best, an AA+ rating from Standard & Poor’s, and an Aaa rating from Moody’s.
Most life insurance companies restrict the age range of people who are eligible for coverage. Many cap applicants at 61 years old or 86 years old. New York Life is unique in that its whole life product is available to people up to age 90.
Who should consider a different life insurance company?
People who are looking to purchase term life insurance will find more term options and higher coverage amounts elsewhere. In fact, New York Life’s term policies max out at 20 years, which is not long enough for many people to cover their longest financial obligation, such as a mortgage.
New York Life life insurance rates
New York Life does not publish its life insurance rates.
New York Life’s history, reputation, and social responsibility
New York Life insurance company was founded in 1841 as the Nautilus Insurance Company, a fire and marine insurance company. Four years later, in 1845, the company reorganized as a mutual company and began to sell life insurance. By 1849, the company had sold off its maritime business, focused solely on life, and renamed itself New York Life Insurance Company. 
Diversity and inclusion is promoted as a key value of the company, and it founded its Office of Diversity and Inclusion in 2006. 
New York Life in the news
In November 2022, New York Life announced that it would be paying the largest dividend in company history: $2 billion. (New York Life)
In August 2021, New York Life partnered with Empathy to provide digital bereavement support to policy beneficiaries. (Insurance News Net)
New York Life is a mutual company owned by its policyholders.
How do I contact New York Life?
To contact New York Life, including the claims support team, call 800-225-5695 or visit the New York Life 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.