3.1 / 5

State Farm Life Insurance Review

State Farm is a well-respected life insurance carrier with many customizable products, including some with no medical exam requirement, but shoppers with pre-existing conditions should look elsewhere for more affordable premiums.

Tim Torres

By

Tim Torres

Tim Torres

Reviews Expert

Tim Torres is a Reviews Editor at Policygenius. His work has appeared in Computer Shopper, Tom's Guide, and numerous other outlets over the years.

Updated March 11, 2021|8 min read

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State Farm

OVERALL

3.1

THE GOOD

    Wide range of products available

    No medical exams for some policies

    Wide variety of riders

THE BAD

    Expensive rates

    Few term lengths available

    Policy changes made through agents

THE BOTTOM LINE

State Farm is a highly-rated life insurance carrier with a respectable reputation and many customizable products, including some with no medical exam requirement. But older people with pre-existing medical conditions should look elsewhere for more affordable premiums.

Policygenius reviews focus on the carrier’s most well-known term life product. This review is based on State Farm’s Select Term policy.

Cost

Average monthly premium cost for a predetermined applicant profile and common health conditions.

2.2

Confidence

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

9.5

Third-Party Ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

8.0

Policy Options

Availability of such options as term length and no-med-exam availability.

6.1

Ease of Application

Ease of use, convenience, online tools, and availability.

7.3

STATE FARM LIFE INSURANCE SPOTLIGHT

5 of 5

J.D. Power surveys rate based on product offerings, price, statements, interaction, communication, and application. An overall satisfaction score of 4 denotes a company “better than most".

J.D. Power Rating

A trusted customer satisfaction and product quality research agency

N/A

An A+ denotes a score between 97 and 100 (out of 100) based on 13 criteria, including unanswered complaints, type of business, and government action.

BBB Rating

A nonprofit organization focusing on marketplace trust and product quality

A++

A.M. Best ratings range from A++ to D. An A+ rating denotes a "superior" company based on their ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations.

A.M. Best

100-year-old U.S. credit rating agency focused on the insurance industry

The Details

The Good

Wide range of products available. State Farm says on its website that it has over 100 auto, home, and life insurance products to choose from. The life insurance offerings don’t quite reach the triple digits, but there’s still plenty to consider in the term, whole, and universal categories. And if you combine policies you may be eligible for discounts.

No medical exams for some policies. State Farm’s Instant Answer term life policy does not require a medical exam, and people aged 16 to 45 can apply in minutes. The downside is the amount of coverage you can buy caps at $50,000. If you need more than that you’ll have to look at other options.

Many riders to choose from. State Farm lets you cover children and spouses, waive premiums in the event of disability, and a lot more. Just be sure to read the fine print and hash out the details with an agent because riders and their features vary by state.

The Bad

Expensive rates. State Farm customers pay more than the industry average for coverage. Unless you’re in perfect health and don’t have any pre-existing conditions, you’ll want to look at other life insurance carriers for more affordable rates.

Few term lengths available. Depending on the product, there are only two or three term lengths to choose from, which may limit options for some customers.

Policy changes made through agents. If you want to change your beneficiary, cancel your policy, or make any kind of changes to your account you need to call up customer service or your local State Farm agent.

The Breakdown

Cost

Average monthly premium cost for a predetermined applicant profile and common health conditions.

2.2

Unless you’re in excellent health, you’re going to pay a higher-than-the-average rate for State Farm’s main term life policy, Select Term. Of course, rates depend on individual factors such as age, gender, health, and the state you live in. But if you’re a smoker or have a pre-existing medical condition, you’ll likely want to look somewhere else for affordable coverage.

To get an idea of how much you’ll pay monthly, here are some sample quotes for the Select Term policy for a non-smoking male from California in “good” health, applying for a 20-year term with $500,000 of coverage:

AGESELECT TERM AVERAGEINDUSTRY AVERAGE
20s$29.59$28.02
30s$36.54$32.06
40s$76.14$60.97
50s$183.99$152.00
60s$105.62$504.29

Sample rates are for a healthy, non-smoking male in California applying for $500,000 in Preferred-rate class coverage. Rates current as of March 2021, according to Policygenius data.

As you see, State Farm’s term life costs are quite high, and even higher when you get older. 

For comparison, Transamerica offers an average rate of $25.11 for a healthy male in his 20s for a $500,000, 20-year policy.

Confidence

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

9.5

State Farm is one of the largest life insurance carriers in the U.S. It’s a Fortune 500 company with 18,000 agents and close to 83 million active accounts, including home and auto. If you think that sounds like a financially firm...firm, you’d be right.

To determine the financial health of the life insurance companies we review, we look at the following credit rating agencies and analysis firms:

  • A.M. Best: A++

  • Moody’s: Aa1

  • Standard & Poor’s: AA

A.M. Best, a credit rating firm that specializes in the insurance industry, gives State Farm the best possible rating: A++. That means State Farm can easily fulfill its obligations to customers, and its financial outlook is stable.

Moody’s rates State Farm with an Aa1, the second-highest rating the analysis firm can give. State Farm has a stable outlook and is a low-risk investment, with more than enough revenue to pay off your benefits.

Standard & Poor’s gives State Farm an AA. That’s the second-highest rating S&P can give a company. Like the Moody’s rating, it means State Farm is able to meet its financial commitments to customers.

Third-Party Ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

8.0

State Farm Life Insurance Company earns high grades from the industry experts. But, do its eight million life insurance customers feel the same way? 

For the most part, yes. To find out for sure, we take a look at customer review sites such as Consumers Advocate and Consumer Affairs.

Here’s what customers think of State Farm:

  • BBB: N/A

  • Consumers Advocate: 4.8 / 5

  • Consumer Affairs: 4 / 5

  • NAIC complaint index: 0.26

The Better Business Bureau grades companies based on advertising, customer complaints, and other factors. They currently have no rating for State Farm. 

Consumers Advocate focuses on a company’s reputation, policies, and stability. They give State Farm an “excellent” 4.8 out of five stars in their review, which also mentions a Trustpilot score of four out of five stars.

Consumer Affairs lets customers directly review companies. Based on over 600 reviews and ratings submitted, State Farm is rated 4 out of 5 stars, which is fairly high for a life insurance carrier on this particular website.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks complaints submitted to state insurance departments. Based on their complaint index, State Farm has a score of 0.26. That’s pretty good, considering a score of 1 represents the baseline average, and a zero means there weren’t enough customer complaints to count. That’s impressive for one of the largest insurers out there.

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Policy Options

Availability of such options as term length and no-med-exam availability.

6.1

State Farm has a wide selection of term, whole, and universal products, each with its own set of riders and extra features shoppers can use to customize policies.

State Farm provides temporary coverage for most of its policies, but the exact amount is based on the specific product and how applicants answer certain health questions.

This review focuses on State Farm’s main term life policy, Select Term. All scores in this review reflect that particular product.

Term Life Insurance

State Farm offers three separate term life products: Select Term, Return of Premium, and Instant Answer. 

Term life insurance is less expensive and complex than permanent life insurance, which makes it a better choice for most people over whole life or universal life policies. Rates are level, or fixed, for the duration of the term, so they won’t raise unless you renew your policy. 

It’s worth noting here that State Farm allows all term life policyholders to convert to a permanent plan at any time before the age of 75, regardless of health, but only during the first five years of coverage. Once you convert, the rates for the new permanent policy's first year will be reduced, based on what’s been paid on the previous term policy.

Also of note: Term lengths may be an issue for some shoppers. State Farm’s term life policies have only two or three term lengths available, which may limit the choices of potential policyholders. 

Select Term

State Farm’s main term life policy offers 10, 20, or 30 years of coverage, which starts at $100,000. You can pay premiums on a monthly or annual basis, and you can extend the policy after the initial term ends, up to age 95.

You cannot skip the medical exam while applying for this policy. However, you won’t have to undergo a medical exam if you convert to a permanent life insurance policy later on. 

Policy FeatureSelect Term
Eligible ages18 to 75
Term lengths10-, 20-, or 30-year terms
Coverage minimum$100,000
Coverage maximumVariable

Issue ages depend on the length of the term. For a 10-year term, applicants must be 18 to 75 years of age. For a 20-year term, 18 to 65 years of age. And for a 30-year term, 18 to 45 years of age.

State Farm auto insurance customers may be entitled to a discount with this policy.

Available riders

The following rider options may vary from state to state.

  • Children’s term rider. This provides temporary coverage up to $20,000 for children up to age 25. After that, the rider can be converted to a permanent plan. 

  • Select term rider. This provides coverage for an additional person, up to age 95, with level premiums for 10, 20, or 30 years. Can be converted to a permanent policy. 

  • Waiver of premium for disability. This waives premiums if you become and continue to be totally disabled for six continuous months. For people between the ages of 60 and 65. 

Return of Premium

This term life product gives back all the premiums you’ve paid, but only if you survive the term length. It has term limits of 20 or 30 years. Policyholders can continue their coverage after the initial period on an annual basis up to age 95, but premiums will increase.

The coverage minimum is $100,000. There is a cash value component, which you can use to pay towards your premium.

For a 20-year term, issue ages are 18 to 60 for non-smokers and 18 to 55 for smokers. For a 30-year term, the issue ages are from 18 to 45 years.

State Farm auto insurance customers are also eligible for discounts with this policy.

Available riders

Rider options may vary from state to state.

  • Children’s term rider. This provides temporary coverage up to $20,000 for children up to age 25. After that, the rider can be converted to a permanent plan. 

  • Waiver of premium for disability. This waives premiums if you become and continue to be totally disabled for six continuous months. For people between the ages of 60 and 65.

Instant Answer Term

This policy requires no medical exam. Applicants just need to answer a few questions based on health. This could be a worthwhile option for people who need quick, last-resort, no-fuss insurance, or need to cover final medical or burial expenses.

This policy provides $50,000 of coverage for people aged 16 to 45, until age 50 or ten years after the policy’s start, whichever is longer.

Permanent life insurance

State Farm also offers whole life and universal life products, with a few differences when it comes to paying premiums.

The policies below come with a guaranteed death benefit and build cash over time, which you can use to pay towards premiums or cover medical expenses.

Keep in mind: Though permanent life insurance provides lifelong protection it is much more expensive than term life. Most policyholders abandon their whole life policies altogether. If you’re shopping for life insurance, we recommend you focus on term life policies.

Basic Whole Life Details

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State Farm’s basic whole life package includes cash value accumulation and level premiums payable to age 100. The minimum coverage is $100,000.

Available Riders

  • Accelerated death benefit. This allows the policyholder to access the death benefit to help pay for medical expenses while they’re still alive.
  • Accidental death benefit. If you die in a car crash or other accident, your beneficiaries receive double or triple the amount of the policy.
  • Child protection rider. This provides temporary coverage up to $20,000 for children up to age 25. After that, the rider can be converted to a permanent plan.
  • Waiver of premium for disability. This will waive premiums if you become and continue to be totally disabled for six continuous months.

Limited Pay Whole Life Details

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This is basically a different way to pay for State Farm’s whole life policy. Instead of paying throughout your life, you only pay for 10, 15, or 20 years. After that, you’re scot-free — you don’t have to worry about payments and you keep the policy. Keep in mind: the premiums will be much more expensive than usual.

Available riders

  • Guaranteed insurability option. Adds more coverage without a medical exam at certain ages: 17, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40, 43, 46, and 49. Coverage ranges from $25,000 to $100,000. However, you must have the Waiver of Premium for Disability rider on your policy to add this.
  • Payor insurance. This rider protects the person paying the premium in case they die or become totally disabled. Ineligible if the disability happens before age 60. If the policy is for a child, then the rider remains active until age 25.
  • Waiver of premium for disability. This will waive premiums if you’re between the ages of 60 and 65, and become and continue to be totally disabled for six continuous months.

Single Premium Whole Life Details

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This is similar to the basic whole life insurance policy except you pay the premium all at once. There are no additional payments afterwards. There are dividends available for this policy, but it’s considered a Modified Endowment Contract, which means it’s taxable.

The minimum benefit is $15,000, and anyone up to age 80 can apply.

Final Expense Details

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A policy meant for final burial or medical expenses, it provides only $10,000, which isn’t much considering how expensive funerals and other end-of-life bills can be. You may be eligible for dividends as well, but like Single Premium policy, this is also considered a Modified Endowment Contract, so it’s taxable.

Applicants aged 50 to 80 (50 to 75 in New York) are eligible. The premium duration is to age 100.

Basic Universal Life Insurance Details

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State Farm has a few universal life policies. They’re all flexible, meaning you can choose how much to pay and how much the benefit will be, based on your financial situation. Cash also builds with these policies, so you can withdraw from the benefit to pay other expenses.

The basic universal life insurance policy has minimum coverage that starts at $25,000 for ages zero to 17; $50,000 for ages 18 to 54; and $25,000 for ages 55 to 85.

There are two types of death benefits with this policy: A level death benefit that’s equal to the coverage you choose, and a variable amount based on what’s left in your account.

Available riders

  • Child protection rider. This rider provides temporary coverage up to $20,000 for children up to age 25. Afterwards, the rider can be converted to a permanent plan.
  • Level term rider. This provides additional term coverage to a spouse (or someone else), from ages 16 to 75. Coverage minimum is $25,000 and lasts up to age 95. Can’t be added with the Flexible Care Benefit Rider.
  • Flexible care benefit. Similar to an accelerated death or terminal illness rider. If you become critically ill, this provides monthly deductions of up to two percent of the death benefit, and it waives monthly premiums.
  • Guaranteed insurability rider. Adds more coverage for big life events without a medical exam at certain ages: 17, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40, 43, 46, and 49. Coverage ranges from $25,000 to $100,000. You must have the Waiver of Premium for Disability rider on your policy to add this.
  • Waiver of premium for disability. This waives premiums if the policyholder (between the ages of 60 and 65) becomes and continues to be totally disabled for six continuous months.

Survivorship Universal Life Details

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This type of policy covers two people at the same time, and it’s generally cheaper than having two separate whole life or universal life policies.

However, the death benefit is only paid when the second person on the policy dies. For that reason, only customers concerned with estate planning or other special circumstances should consider this plan.

Coverage starts at $250,000 for applicants aged 20 to 90 (20 to 78 in California). Cash value builds and can be withdrawn.

Available riders

  • Estate preservation rider. Provides additional death benefit during the first four years of the policy for tax planning situations. Eligible for ages 20 to 90.
  • Level term rider. This provides additional term coverage. Coverage minimum is $100,000 and lasts up to age 95. Convertible to a whole life plan.
  • Waiver of premium for disability. This will waive premiums if the policyholder (between the ages of 60 and 65) becomes and continues to be totally disabled for six continuous months.

Joint Universal Life Insurance Details

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This policy provides permanent protection for two people under one policy, similar to the Survivorship Universal Life policy, except the death benefit is paid out when the first death occurs.

Coverage begins at $100,000 for applicants aged 18 to 85. Cash value builds and can be withdrawn.

Available riders

  • Child protection rider. This provides temporary coverage up to $20,000 for children up to age 25. By then, the rider can be converted to a permanent plan.
  • Level term rider. This provides additional term coverage to a spouse (or someone else), from ages 16 to 75. Coverage minimum is $25,000 and lasts up to age 95. Can’t be added with the Flexible Care Benefit Rider.
  • Guaranteed insurability. Adds more coverage,without a medical exam, at certain ages: 17, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40, 43, 46, and 49. Coverage ranges from $25,000 to $100,000. You must have the Waiver of Premium for Disability rider on your policy to add this.
  • Waiver of premium for disability. This will waive premiums if the policyholder (between the ages of 60 and 65) becomes and continues to be totally disabled for six continuous months.

Ease of Application

Ease of use, convenience, online tools, and availability.

7.3

The application process with State Farm will vary depending on what policy you apply for.

Application process

For the Instant Answer term life product, you can use the online quote to get started and then talk to a State Farm agent to complete the application, which should take between five and ten minutes. Most other policies, including Select Term, require dealing with a local State Farm agent, which will take longer.

It’s worth noting State Farm has one of the quickest customer phone services we’ve called. Our questions about coverage and policies were answered quickly, and we only had to wait for a few minutes.

Turnaround time

It depends on the policy because some require medical exams, and others do not. Expect to wait one to six weeks for most policies. Coverage begins upon first payment.

Policy delivery

State Farm delivers the policy electronically and via mail.

More Info

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State availability

State Farm Life Insurance Company sells products in every state except Massachusetts, New York or Wisconsin. New Yorkers and Wisconsinites need to buy from State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company. State Farm does not sell life insurance in Massachusetts.

Change method

Unfortunately, every policy change needs to be made through a State Farm agent or by calling the customer service line. However, you can change your address and track your application status online.

Payment methods

State Farm lets customers pay their premiums a few ways.

  • Autopay. Set up automatic payments from a checking account or credit card either online or by phone.
  • Phone. Use a credit card or checking account to pay over the phone.

Digital tools

State Farm has a coverage calculator, online quote tool, and a mobile app you can use to pay bills.

Claims documentation

To file a benefits claim, the beneficiary must mail or call a State Farm agent with the following information:

  • Name, phone, and address of beneficiary
  • Name, date of birth, and date and cause of death of the insured
  • Policy number

Frequently Asked Questions

Does State Farm offer online quotes?

Yes, you can get an online quote easily by entering some basic information (birthdate, height, weight) to receive a quote. You can also use the Policygenius online quote tool for an instant, individualized quote.

Do I need to take a medical exam with State Farm?

Most likely, yes. To skip the medical exam entirely with State Farm you’ll have to apply for their Instant Answer term life insurance policy.

Does State Farm cover suicidal death?

Yes, most life insurance carriers pay out the benefit if the policyholder dies as a result of suicide, but the policy must be active for two years. Also, you must disclose your mental health history during the application process or the payout can be denied. You can read more about this topic here.

Policygenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.