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Best life insurance companies for 2021

Compare the 10 best life insurance policies, picked from top life insurance brands

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Top pick: Ladder

Ladder logo
  • Apply online and get a decision instantly
  • Up to $8 million in coverage
  • Term life policies from 10 to 30 years
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What are the best life insurance companies?

How did we choose these picks?

Finder’s life insurance experts have spent over 500 hours analyzing the top 100 life insurance companies, cutting through the noise of 780 insurers vying for your business. We base our life insurance rankings on each company’s financial soundness, customer satisfaction and coverage options. We factor in the latest AM Best financial ratings, J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners complaint index.

To find the best life insurers, we rank every company we review with 1- to 5-star ratings. Finally, we exclude companies that don’t meet our standard — few states served, little policy customization or not enough information online to make an informed decision.

What’s changed in 2020?

We added a few insurers to our list, going from seven to 10 companies. We focused on insurers that stand out in one area, such as their online buying experience or life insurance coverage.

MassMutual topped our list as the best insurer overall for two years running, and New York Life, Legal & General and State Farm held their spots.

Can I still get life insurance during the coronavirus?

Yes, but expect a longer wait if you’re signing up today. Insurers can’t schedule medical exams for many people right now.

They also may postpone applications for those at risk of getting the coronavirus like international travelers. If you can’t wait, consider no-exam, guaranteed issue or temporary policies.

Best life insurance companies

Best life insurance company overall: MassMutual

MassMutual logo
Finder Rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

This brand isn’t available on Finder right now.
Get quotes from similar companies on Policygenius. Read review
$2,000 – $10,000,000
Coverage range
18 – 80 years
Issue age
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years years
Term lengths
One of the biggest US life insurance companies, MassMutual edges out most competitors with its policy options, coverage amounts and customization.

The mutual company has paid dividends to permanent policyholders every year since the 1860s, impressive since dividends aren't guaranteed. This is also a major perk if you have assets to protect like a home.

  • Sells term, whole, universal and guaranteed acceptance policies.
  • Offers up to $10 million in coverage.
  • Potentially boost your take-home earnings if you buy a permanent policy.
  • Enhance with riders like an accelerated death benefit or long-term care.
  • Supports online quotes.
Coverage range $2,000 – $10,000,000
Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Issue age 18 – 80 years

Best term life & riders: Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial Group logo
Finder Rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

This brand isn’t available on Finder right now.
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$100,000 – $1,000,000
Coverage range
18 – 60 years
Issue age
10, 15, 20, 30 years years
Term lengths
Lincoln Financial offers generous no-exam term life policies with coverage up to $1 million, or $10 million if you take an exam. Few insurers can match this coverage.

You'll find the best rates for seniors, though other high-risk applicants may qualify. You can also choose from an impressive 13 riders, including return of premiums, decreasing term and a rare return of cash value.

  • Term or universal life insurance up to $1,000,000 with no exam
  • 13 riders to customize your policy
  • Affordable rates compared to competitors, especially for seniors
  • High-risk applicants with risky hobbies or health issues considered
Coverage range $100,000 – $1,000,000
Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 30 years
Issue age 18 – 60 years

Best whole life insurance: Guardian

Guardian logo
Finder Rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

This brand isn’t available on Finder right now.
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$250,000 – $5,000,000
Coverage range
18 – 75 years
Issue age
10, 15, 20, 30 years years
Term lengths
This insurance giant offers eight whole life policies, all of which build cash value with the potential to earn dividends. Each policy also offers different payment structures.

For example, the 10-Pay Whole Life Plan lets you pay off your policy in 10 annual payments, helping you pay more toward the cash value later for faster wealth-building.

  • Offers a survivorship policy that insures two people, like spouses.
  • Some policies are linked to an index's performance, like the S&P 500.
  • Has a long list of riders, like accidental death or waiver of premium.
    Coverage range $250,000 – $5,000,000
    Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 30 years
    Issue age 18 – 75 years

    Best no-exam life policies: Bestow

    Bestow logo
    Finder Rating: 4 / 5

    ★★★★★

    Get a quote
    securely at Bestow Life Insurance
    Read review
    $50,000 – $1,000,000
    Coverage range
    21 – 55 years
    Issue age
    10 or 20 years years
    Term lengths
    Bestow offers no-frills term life policies, which are perfect for people on a budget and those who don't want to customize their policy with riders.

    You can buy coverage up to $1 million online without speaking to an agent or taking a medical exam — but you will answer a few questions about your health and lifestyle.

    • High $1 million coverage without medical exams
    • Easy online quotes
    • Affordable, basic coverage
    • 10 or 20 year term life
    • No annual fees or cancellation fees
    Coverage range $50,000 – $1,000,000
    Term lengths 10 or 20 years
    Issue age 21 – 55 years

    Best for lenient underwriting: Legal & General

    Legal & General logo
    Finder Rating: 3.5 / 5

    ★★★★★

    This brand isn’t available on Finder right now.
    Get quotes from similar companies on Policygenius. Read review
    $100,000 – $10,000,000
    Coverage range
    20 – 75 years
    Issue age
    10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 years years
    Term lengths
    Some insurers shy away from high-risk applicants like seniors or smokers — but not Legal & General, previously Banner Life.

    Its rates are competitive with both term and permanent policies. However, the insurer usually requires a medical exam and charges an annual maintenance fee.

    • Offers up to $1 million in coverage.
    • Specializes in term and universal life insurance
    • Offers a $15,000 final expense policy with guaranteed approval.
    • Widen your coverage with conversion, disability or child riders.
    Coverage range $100,000 – $10,000,000
    Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 years
    Issue age 20 – 75 years

    Best customer reputation: State Farm

    State Farm logo
    Finder Rating: 4 / 5

    ★★★★★

    This brand isn’t available on Finder right now.
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    $100,000 – $3,000,000
    Coverage range
    18 – 75 years
    Issue age
    10, 20, and 30 years years
    Term lengths
    State Farm topped J.D. Power's 2019 customer satisfaction ratings for the fifth year in a row. J.D. Power reviews top insurers' customer support as well as their timely responses to questions and complaints.

    The Better Business Bureau also rates State Farm an A+ rating for customer engagement. You can expect stellar customer service if you sign up with this insurer.

    • Sells term, whole, universal and survivorship policies.
    • Offers a network of 19,000 local agents across the country.
    • Issues policies with a face value up to $3 million.
      Coverage range $100,000 – $3,000,000
      Term lengths 10, 20, and 30 years
      Issue age 18 – 75 years

      Best for high net worth individuals: SBLI

      SBLI logo
      Finder Rating: 4 / 5

      ★★★★★

      This brand isn’t available on Finder right now.
      Get quotes from similar companies on Policygenius. Read review
      $100,000 – $20,000,000
      Coverage range
      18 – 60 years
      Issue age
      10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years years
      Term lengths
      SBLI offers term, whole, final expense and no-exam policies, and its coverage can go up to $10 million.

      The insurer also speeds up approvals within a week for term or whole life policies with coverage under $500,000. Plus, the mutual company pays dividends from its profits.

      • Offers a variety of policy types
      • Choose from 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 terms.
      • Customize with accidental or accelerated death benefits, premium waiver or other riders
      • No-exam policies available for $500,000 coverage or less
      • Online policy management
      • Potential to earn dividends
      Coverage range $100,000 – $20,000,000
      Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
      Issue age 18 – 60 years

      Best buying experience: Haven Life

      Haven Life logo
      Finder Rating: 4 / 5

      ★★★★★

      Get a quote
      securely at Haven Life
      Read review
      $100,000 – $3,000,000
      Coverage range
      18 – 64 years
      Issue age
      10, 15, 20, or 30 years years
      Term lengths
      Backed by MassMutual, Haven Life made a splash in the market with instant term life policies sold online at affordable rates. Your coverage can be effective immediately.

      The application is straightforward and mobile-friendly. You enter your personal and contact details, then answer a few questions about your health and lifestyle. Haven Life's system uses the data to generate your rate.

      • All policies issued by parent company, MassMutual.
      • Offers term life coverage up to $3 million.
      • Lets you add an accelerated death benefit or waiver of premium rider.
      • No medical exam necessary for most policies.
      Coverage range $100,000 – $3,000,000
      Term lengths 10, 15, 20, or 30 years
      Issue age 18 – 64 years

      Best senior life insurance: New York Life

      New York Life logo
      Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5

      ★★★★★

      This brand isn’t available on Finder right now.
      Get quotes from similar companies on Policygenius. Read review
      $100,000 – $25,000,000
      Coverage range
      18 – 90 years
      Issue age
      Any term length between 10 years and 20 years years
      Term lengths
      An industry giant, New York Life offers a strong policy lineup to people aged 60 or above, breaking down barriers to high rates and low coverage for seniors.

      If you need high coverage, its death benefits top out in the tens of millions.

      • Term lengths stretch from five to 20 years.
      • You can convert term to permanent life later
      • Offers guaranteed universal life policies up to age 85.
      • Policies start at $25,000 if you need low coverage
      Coverage range $100,000 – $25,000,000
      Term lengths Any term length between 10 years and 20 years
      Issue age 18 – 90 years

      Best military and veteran life insurance: Navy Mutual

      Navy Mutual logo
      Finder Rating: 3 / 5

      ★★★★★

      This brand isn’t available on Finder right now.
      Get quotes from similar companies on Policygenius. Read review
      $10,000 – $1,000,000
      Coverage range
      18 – 85 years
      Issue age
      5 to 30 years years
      Term lengths
      Navy Mutual erases the typical military and war clauses from other policies, catering to active duty, reserve and retired military as well as honorably discharged veterans.

      It also offers a no-exam option if you want to skip the physical or are getting deployed. But Navy Mutual could work on its customer service and offer more riders.

      • Your coverage can stay in effect if you leave the military.
      • Sells term life policies spanning 5 to 30 years.
      • Issues whole life policies up to $1 million.
      • No restrictions for military service, including hazardous duty and aviation.
      Coverage range $10,000 – $1,000,000
      Term lengths 5 to 30 years
      Issue age 18 – 85 years

      How to find the best life insurance policy for you

      To find a policy that suits your situation and budget, ask these questions.

      • How much coverage can I buy? Some insurers cap their coverage at $500,000, while others will offer policies worth millions if you meet the criteria.
      • Can I add riders to my policy? If customizing your coverage with add-ons like an accelerated death benefit rider is important to you, look for an insurer that offers robust riders.
      • Do I need to take a medical exam? Most policies require a basic physical medical exam. But if you’d prefer not to take one, you can explore no-exam policies.
      • What term lengths are available? Depending on the insurer, you may be able to get coverage for as little as one year, or as long as 30 years.
      • How much is it? Get quotes from multiple insurers to determine which company can offer you the policy you need at the best price.
      • How flexible is my policy? Life insurance is designed to evolve as your needs change, so check if you can purchase more coverage or convert to a policy later on.
      • What kind of service should I expect? Your life insurance company should have a reputation for being responsive and transparent.

      More top life insurance companies

      If none of these companies are the right fit, try drilling down to a specific category:

      Bottom line

      The insurers on this list stand out for their policy lineups, customizable coverage or catering to specific people. They’re also backed by strong financial and customer service ratings.

      It pays to do your own research and compare life insurance companies.

      Get quotes from even more life insurance companies

      Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
      Sproutt
      18 - 100 years old
      $50,000
      $10,000,000
      5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
      No
      This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.
      Ladder
      20 - 60 years old
      $100,000
      $8,000,000
      10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
      Depends on policy
      Term life insurance with no policy fees and a simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
      Fabric
      21 - 60 years old
      $100,000
      $5,000,000
      10, 15, or 20 years
      Depends on policy
      Get affordable term life insurance with accelerated underwriting or no-exam coverage up to $1,000,000. Available in all states except CA, NY and MT.
      Policygenius
      18 - 85 years old
      $50,000
      $10,000,000
      10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
      Depends on provider and policy
      Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.
      Bestow
      21 - 54 years old
      $50,000
      $1,000,000
      10 or 20 years
      No
      Affordable 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies with instant quotes and no medical exams.
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