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Equitable life insurance review (formerly AXA Equitable) 2021

Get coverage for a year or a lifetime with one of the oldest insurers in the US.'s rating: 4 / 5


  • Get a quote if… You want a financial professional to guide you through the process.
  • Pick something else if… You need whole life insurance, or prefer to apply online.

18 to 65

Issue Age

$100,000 to $1 million+



Medical Exam Required


Policies Term, Universal, Variable
Coverage maximum $1 million+
Term lengths 1, 10, 15 or 20 years
Medical exam required Required
Available states Nationwide
Issue age No info available


  • Annual renewable term (ART) option
  • Customizable coverage
  • Flexible permanent policies
  • Looks beyond numbers
  • Financial strength


  • No online quotes
  • Complicated claims process
Riders No info available

Review by

Julia Cameron is a writer and editor who has experience in finance, mergers and acquisitions, content marketing and immigration law. She has a passion for interior design and an affinity for Old Florida, where she lives with her family.

Expert review

Along with competitive rates, AXA is known for its relaxed approach to underwriting, which looks beyond the data to consider your commitment to your health. The insurer offers a standard suite of policies, along with a long list of riders you can use to customize your coverage. But you’ll need to go through a broker to apply for a policy.

If you’d prefer to manage your policy online from start to finish, compare life insurance companies.

Equitable life insurance rates

The rate you’re offered comes down to a range of factors, including your age and gender, height and weight, state of residence, smoking history, coverage amount and term.

What affects my rate with Equitable?

To qualify for Equitable’s Preferred Elite rate class, you’ll need to meet this criteria:

  • History of tobacco or substance use. The best rates go to applicants who haven’t smoked in the past five years and have no history of substance abuse.
  • Your driving record. Your history should be free of DWIs, DUIs, suspensions and other convictions in the past five years and no more than three moving violations in the past year.
  • Your blood pressure. If you’re 59 or younger, your blood pressure must not top 140/85; for older applicants, your blood pressure should be under 150/90.
  • Occupation or hobbies. Pilots and other high-risk careers may be excluded from the best rates, depending on other factors.

How to get a quote from Equitable life insurance

You’ll need to speak with an Equitable adviser. To find one near you, use the search tool on Equitable’s website.

What types of life insurance coverage does Equitable offer?

Equitable sells a mix of term and permanent policies:

  • Term life insurance. Equitable has term life policies lasting 1, 10, 15 or 20 years. The premiums are fixed, and your beneficiaries will receive a guaranteed death benefit if you die during your term.
  • Indexed universal life insurance. The insurer has two universal life policies that allow you to adjust the premiums and death benefits as you see fit. The cash value is tied to the performance of an index, which offers a greater potential for growth.
  • Variable life insurance. With this permanent policy, your cash value is professionally invested in a portfolio of stocks, bonds and mutual funds of your choice.

What riders can I add to my policy?

You may be able to add these types of riders to your policy for a fee.

Disability and critical care riders

  • Accelerated death benefit rider. If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness outlined in your policy, you can receive a portion of your benefit to cover medical costs, health care and other needs.
  • Disability income benefit rider. If you’re 18 to 59 years old, you can eliminate or pay off your life insurance if you suffer a serious disability or illness.
  • Long-term-care rider. If you’re chronically ill and receiving qualified long-term care services according to a plan of care, you might receive an accelerated death benefit to use toward qualified expenses.
  • Waiver-of-premium rider. If you’re rendered fully disabled, waives premiums due for your policy.

    General riders

    • Child rider. Allows you to insure your children from $1,000 to $25,000.
    • Guaranteed insurability rider. This rider allows you to increase the policy face amount or purchase a new policy on specific dates, without evidence of instability.
    • Return-of-premium rider. Qualifies your beneficiaries for an additional death benefit generally equal to the sum of the specified percentage of each premium paid.
    • Term insurance rider. This rider allows you to increase the death benefit on your permanent policy for a specified amount of time.

    Equitable life insurance reviews and complaints

    Equitable is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and it has an A+ rating for its customer interaction. The BBB has recorded 50 complaints over the last three years — though these reflect the financial services company as a whole, and not just its life insurance department. Customers award the company 1 out of 5 stars, and those same limitations apply.

    In JD Power’s latest life insurance study, AXA ranked 16 of 22 insurers surveyed. It earned 2 out of 5 circles, so there’s room for improvement in terms of customer satisfaction.

    AM Best financial rating A
    BBB accredited Yes
    BBB rating A+
    1.29/5 out of 24 customer reviews
    Trustpilot score 4.1/5 out of 4789 customer reviews
    JD Power score 773
    Customer reviews verified as of 18 January 2021

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    Frequently asked questions about Equitable life insurance

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    ★★★★★ — Excellent

    ★★★★★ — Good

    ★★★★★ — Average

    ★★★★★ — Subpar

    ★★★★★ — Poor

    Our experts analyze life insurance companies to help you to find the strongest possible policy and premium for your family’s needs. We assess their financial strength, customer satisfaction, policy features and riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects their offering and reputation in the industry.

    Learn more about our methodology here.

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