Best Life Insurance Companies of March 2024

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Our Picks for the Best Life Insurance Companies of March 2024

Here are Forbes Advisor’s expert picks for the best life insurance of March 2024:


BEST FOR VARIABLE UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE

Pacific Life

5.0

Term life insurance quotes available online

Yes

Policies offered

Term, whole, fixed-rate universal, indexed universal, variable universal

AM Best financial strength rating

A+ (Superior)

Pacific Life

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BEST FOR INDEXED UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE

Protective

5.0

Term life insurance quotes available online

Yes

Policies offered

Term, whole, universal, indexed universal, variable universal

A.M. Best financial strength rating

A+ (Superior)

Protective

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BEST FOR RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA USERS

Corebridge Financial (formerly AIG Life & Retirement)

4.5

Term life insurance quotes available online

No

Policies offered

Term, whole, guaranteed universal, indexed universal

A.M. Best financial strength rating

A (Excellent)

Corebridge Financial (formerly AIG Life & Retirement)

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BEST FOR UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE

Penn Mutual

4.5

Term life insurance quotes available online

Yes

Policies offered

Term, whole, guaranteed universal, variable universal, indexed universal

A.M. Best financial strength rating

A+ (Superior)

Penn Mutual

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BEST FOR TERM LIFE INSURANCE

Symetra

4.5

Term life insurance quotes available online

Yes

Policies offered

Term, universal, indexed universal

A.M. Best financial strength rating

A (Excellent)

Symetra

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GREAT FOR RELIABLE POLICY ILLUSTRATIONS

Transamerica

4.5

Term life insurance quotes available online

Yes

Policies offered

Term, whole, indexed universal

A.M. Best financial strength rating

A (Excellent)

Transamerica

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GREAT FOR ESTATE PLANNING

Lincoln Financial

4.0

Term life insurance quotes available online

Yes

Policies offered

Term, guaranteed universal, variable universal, fixed-rate universal, indexed universal

A.M. Best financial strength rating

A+ (Superior)

Lincoln Financial

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GREAT FOR FINANCIAL STRENGTH

MassMutual

4.0

Term life insurance quotes available online

Yes

Policies offered

Term, whole, universal, variable universal

AM Best financial strength rating

A++ (Superior)

MassMutual

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GREAT FOR SENIORS

Midland

4.0

Term life insurance quotes available online

Yes

Policies offered

Term, whole, indexed universal, guaranteed universal, variable universal

A.M. Best financial strength rating

A+ (Superior)

Midland

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GREAT FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Nationwide

4.0

Term life insurance quotes available online

Yes

Policies offered

Term, whole, indexed universal, guaranteed universal, variable universal

A.M. Best financial strength rating

A+ (Superior)

Nationwide

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Summary: 2024 Life Insurance Ratings

The best life insurance companies are Pacific Life and Protective. To determine the best life insurance companies we take into account several factors, such as cost competitiveness of both term and cash value life insurance policies, historical performance, reliability of policy illustrations and financial strength.

 

 

 

COMPANY FORBES ADVISOR RATING TERM LIFE QUOTES AVAILABLE ONLINE? A.M. BEST FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING
pacific-life-logo-v2-removebg-previewPacific Life 5.0
5-removebg-preview
Yes A+ (Superior)
Protective_h_sm_rgbProtective 5.0
5-removebg-preview
Yes A+ (Superior)
Corebridge FinancialCorebridge Financial 4.5
4.5-removebg-preview-1
Yes A (Excellent)
Penn-Mutual_logo-removebg-previewPenn Mutual 4.5
4.5-removebg-preview-1
Yes A+ (Superior)
Symetra LogoSymetra 4.5
4.5-removebg-preview-1
Yes A+ (Superior)
transamerica-logo-2a026c89d9e948be89d1666e29e9b8da-e1602830181104-removebg-previewTransamerica 4.5
4.5-removebg-preview-1
Yes A (Excellent)
Lincoln_Financial_logo_1-removebg-previewLincoln Financial 4.0
4-removebg-preview
Yes A+ (Superior)
MassMutual LogoMassMutual 4.0
4-removebg-preview
Yes A++ (Superior)
MidlandNationalMidland National 4.0
4-removebg-preview
Yes A+ (Superior)
Nationwide LogoNationwide 4.0
4-removebg-preview
Yes A+ (Superior)

How To Choose the Best Life Insurance

There are many different types of life insurance to consider, and the choices can seem overwhelming. Here’s what we consider when we’re looking for the best life insurance.

1. Financial strength ratings. We always make sure the companies we’re considering have an A rating or higher. The financial strength ratings available from agencies like AM Best and Standard & Poor’s help us choose companies that will be able to pay claims many years in the future.

2. Life insurance as part of a larger financial plan. We look at life insurance as part of a larger family financial plan. Only by knowing our long-term financial goals can we choose the best life insurance policy to fit our plans. An experienced financial advisor can help assess how life insurance fits into a bigger financial picture.

3. Experienced insurance agents. We’ve found it’s essential to work with an experienced life insurance agent or financial advisor who knows which insurers are most likely to give the best price based on our age and health. Experienced advisors will also know which insurers have the policy features we want. Asking for referrals from friends and family is one way to find a good advisor.

4. Competitive pricing. Our evaluations consistently find that life insurance companies can vary widely in pricing. We recommend getting several quotes if you’re buying term life insurance. For cash value buyers, comparing quotes is often not enough. We recommend having your advisor get an analysis from a company like Veralytic, an independent publisher of life insurance research and analytics. These reports give insight into how an insurer compares to others for cash value growth, policy illustrations and other important metrics.

5. Cost disclosures for universal life insurance. We want to know the entire cost picture before we buy complex policies like universal life insurance. We recommend asking the insurer for a cost disclosure of premiums, internal charges and any other fees associated with the policy.“Current regulations in some states and for some products permit insurers to ‘quote’ a low premium while charging high costs—without disclosing that you may need to pay additional premiums later in order to avoid a lapse,” warns Barry Flagg, founder of Veralytic.

6. Life insurance riders. Life insurance riders allow you to customize a policy by adding extra coverage or benefits. We make sure we have an accelerated death benefit rider, which is often automatically included on new policies. We also recommend considering a long-term care benefit rider due to the exorbitant costs of care at home or at assisted living facilities. We would also strongly consider living benefit riders that let you access your own death benefit if you need money after being diagnosed with a critical or chronic illness.

7. Life insurance options for military members. Military service members have life insurance options specifically for them, such as Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance. Here’s our analysis of the best life insurance for veterans.


Methodology: How We Found The Best Life Insurance Companies

To find the best life insurance companies, we evaluated both term life and permanent life insurance for each company:

  • For term life insurance analysis, we used our own research and data provided by AccuQuote, a national online life insurance agency. AccuQuote has been in business for over 30 years and works only with insurance companies that have top financial strength ratings.
  • For cash value life insurance analysis, we used data provided by Veralytic, an independent publisher of life insurance research and analytics. Veralytic measures the competitiveness of permanent life insurance products and can provide a customized analysis to you and your financial advisor of policies you own or are considering buying.

Our evaluation was based on:

Term life insurance rates (20% score): We used term life insurance rates for healthy buyers ages 30 and 40 for policies for 10, 20 and 30 years. The coverage amounts analyzed were $250,000, $500,000, $1 million and $2 million.

Cost competitiveness of cash value policies (30% of score): This measures the level of premiums and internal policy charges, including the cost of insurance, fixed administration expenses and cash value-based wrap fees.

Historical performance (15% of score): This measures whether the historical performance of the company’s investments that fuel cash value growth are superior to other companies’ comparable products.

Reliability of policy illustrations (15% of score): This factor measures the reliability over time of the company’s illustrations for its permanent life insurance products. When you plan to be holding on to a policy for decades and counting on cash value to accumulate, you want an illustration that’s accurate.

Financial strength (10% of score): This measure incorporates the insurer’s financial strength ratings from four major ratings agencies: AM Best, Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. Financial strength is particularly important when you’re relying on a company’s ability to pay claims many decades from now.

Access to cash value (10% of score): This measure evaluates the liquidity of cash value and a policyholder’s access to it. Some policies will build cash value better in the early years, and with other companies you may be waiting several years before you have meaningful cash value within a policy. Generally speaking, the higher the liquidity, particularly in early policy years, the better—but some insurers charge more for greater liquidity, so consider the possible tradeoff.

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Best Term Life Insurance Companies

Term life insurance offers many options at competitive rates. We evaluated companies based on cost, renewability and conversion options to find the best term life insurance policies. The best term life companies, according to our analysis, are Corebridge Financial, Pacific Life, Protective and Symetra.

Company Term Life Insurance Policy Name Minimum Face Amount AM Best Financial Strength Rating Forbes Advisor Rating
Corebridge Financial
Select-a-Term
$100,000
A (Excellent)
5-removebg-preview
Pacific Life
PL Promise Term
$50,000
A+ (Superior)
5-removebg-preview
Classic Choice Term
$100,000
A+ (Superior)
5-removebg-preview
Symetra
SwiftTerm
$100,000
A (Excellent)
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Legal & General America
OPTerm
$100,000
A+ (Superior)
Midland National
Premier Term
$100,000
A+ (Superior)
Penn Mutual
Non-Convertible Term
$250,000
A+ (Superior)
SBLI
SBLI Term Life
$100,000
A- (Excellent)

 


Best Whole Life Insurance Companies

Whole life insurance offers fixed premium payments and guaranteed cash value growth, but those guarantees come at a cost. We identified the best whole life insurance companies based on key metrics, including cost competitiveness and each company’s financial strength. State Farm is the best whole life insurance company, according to our analysis.

Company AM Best Financial Strength Rating Forbes Advisor Rating For Whole Life Insurance
A++ (Superior)
Ohio National
A (Excellent)
A++ (Superior)
Penn Mutual
A+ (Superior)
Guardian
A++ (Superior)
3

 


Best Universal Life Insurance Companies

Universal life insurance offers the flexibility of adjustable premium payments, within certain parameters, and the opportunity for cash value growth. We identified the best universal life insurance companies based on key metrics such as cost competitiveness and the reliability of the company’s policy illustrations. Penn Mutual is the best universal life insurance company in our analysis.

Company AM Best Financial Strength Rating Forbes Advisor Rating For Universal Life Insurance
Protective
A+ (Superior)
Prudential
A+ (Superior)
Equitable
A (Excellent
Guardian
A++ (Superior)
Mutual of Omaha
A+ (Superior)
Corebridge Financial
A (Excellent)
Brighthouse Financial
A (Excellent)
Lincoln Financial
A+ (Superior)
MassMutual
A++ (Superior)


Best No-Exam Life Insurance Companies

No-exam life insurance offers the convenience of skipping the medical exam typically required by traditional life insurance. We assessed the cost and coverage benefits of companies that sell no-exam policies to find the best no-exam life insurance. Brighthouse Financial, Legal and General America, Pacific Life and Transamerica are the best companies for no-exam life insurance in our analysis.

Company Median Time For No-Exam Application Approval Maximum Coverage For A No-Exam Policy Forbes Advisor Rating For No-Exam Life Insurance
Brighthouse Financial
Same day
$3 million
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Legal & General America – Banner Life
12 days
$2 million
5-removebg-preview
23 days
$3 million
5-removebg-preview
Transamerica (Trendsetter Super policy)
19 days
$2 million
5-removebg-preview
24
$3 million
Foresters Financial
4 days
$1 million
18 days
$1 million

 


Cheapest Life Insurance Companies

Life insurance rates vary based on your age, health and other factors. We analyzed term life insurance rates for a 20-year, $500,000 policy to determine the cheapest life insurance, based on the insurers in our analysis.

Company Term Life Policy Name Term Life Insurance Cost Per Year For A 40-Year Male Term Life Insurance Cost Per Year For A 40-Year Female Forbes Advisor Rating For Cheap Life Insurance
Symetra
SwiftTerm 20
$334
$282
5-removebg-preview
Penn Mutual
Guaranteed Convertible Term
$335
$303
Pacific Life
PL Promise Term
$334
$282
Corebridge
Select-a-Term
$335
$284
Protective
Classic Choice Term
$334
$282
Transamerica
Trendsetter Super
$335
$285
Legal and General America
OPTerm
$350
$282

 

Rates are for a 20-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy for buyers in excellent health.


Policy Types Available By Life Insurance Company

Company Term Life Whole Life Universal Life Indexed Universal Life
John Hancock
Minnesota Life


How Much Does a Life Insurance Policy Cost?

The cost of life insurance varies by the company and your age, health, gender, type of coverage, length of coverage, amount of coverage and other factors.

Term life insurance costs an average of $203 a year for a thirty-year-old woman for a 20-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy, based on the companies in our analysis. For a male buyer the same age, the same policy costs an average of $244 a year.

Companies Policy Name Cost Per Year: Female Buyer Age 30, $500,000 For 20 Years Cost Per Year: Male Buyer At 30, $500,000, 20 Years
Banner/Legal & General
Haven Term
$174.26
$218.95
OPTerm
$188.40
$223.19
Classic Choice
$188.41
$223.20
PL Promise Term
$189.26
$224.26
Symetra SwiftTerm
$189.56
$224.56
TermAccel Level Term
$189.70
$284.93
Select-a-Term
$189.75
$224.75
Trendsetter Super
$190.00
$225.00
Term
$190.01
$225.01

Term life insurance costs much less than the same amount of coverage from permanent life insurance, such as whole life insurance. A whole life insurance policy for a 30-year-old woman with $500,000 coverage costs an average of $352 a year.


What Does Life Insurance Cover?

Life insurance covers death from illness, accidents and simply old age. This includes deaths from diseases, falls, car accidents and Covid. Deaths from accidental drug overdoses are covered.

A narrow type of coverage called accidental death and dismemberment insurance pays out only deaths that are accidental, such as an accidental fall or car crash. It does not cover deaths by illness, disease or old age. It also pays out for severe injuries such as loss of a limb.

 

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