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Best term life insurance companies
These 6 insurers stand out for making a simple product more attractive to policyholders.
Term life insurance is the most straightforward policy on offer. It lasts for a set period of time — the term — and pays your beneficiaries if you die during that time. It’s a popular product, and these insurers stand out for their appealing policy features.
The 6 best term life insurance companies
These life insurance companies provide comprehensive coverage and a good selection of riders. They also have these unique offerings.
Best overall pick: Prudential
Term life insurance is the simplest form of coverage, but Prudential caters to its customers’ unique needs by offering six different policies. Along with standard term life plans, it has a return of premium policy that reimburses you for any premiums paid if you outlive your term. It also sells annual renewable term life coverage, and a PruTerm WorkLife policy to help policyholders to prepare for retirement.
- Every policy has level premiums to allow for easy budgeting.
- Choose a term length of 1, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. It’s rare to find a 30-year term, so Prudential stands out in that regard.
- Customize your policy with add-ons, such as a serious illness, disability, accidental death benefit and waiver of premium rider.
Best for flexible term lengths: New York Life
New York Life allows policyholders to customize their term length to suit specific needs. Along with offering standard terms, the insurer lets you choose any term length between 10 and 20 years. For example, you could take out a 12-year policy that lasts until your spouse reaches retirement and starts receiving Social Security benefits, or 17-year policy that carries your youngest kid through college.
- Ability to convert to a permanent policy within the first 10 years of your term.
- Term lengths stretch from five and 20 years.
- Available for an extra fee, the Policy Purchase Option lets you purchase a new term life policy without taking another medical exam.
Best for small coverage amounts: Transamerica
Most insurers require you to purchase a policy worth at least $100,000. But with Transamerica, you can buy as little as $25,000 in coverage. This lower entry point makes it one of the more affordable options for term life insurance.
Transamerica’s term life plans are convertible and available in terms of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years. This is rare — many insurance companies cap their term life insurance policies at 20 years. Finally, Transamerica offers flexible death benefit options: Choose between a level, increasing or decreasing term.
- Sells term life policies in five-year increments, with coverage up to $10 million.
- All policies are convertible to whole life insurance up until a deadline.
- Offers living benefits, such as an accelerated death benefit rider.
Best for no medical exam policies: Lincoln Financial
If you need a larger policy but want to skip the medical exam, Lincoln Financial is one of the more generous insurers. It issues up to $1 million in term life insurance without a medical exam, and allows policyholder to convert their coverage to a permanent policy later down the track. The insurer offers coverage in 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year term lengths.
- Approves traditional policies in a two-week time frame.
- Lenient underwriting for high-risk applicants, like seniors, smokers and those who are overweight.
- Has a long list of riders, including an accelerated death benefit and value protection rider.
Best for keeping up with inflation: Amica Life
Amica made waves in the term life insurance market with its Cost of Living Adjustment rider. Usually only available with permanent policies, the rider continually adjusts your policy’s death benefit to align with inflation.
While you pay the same premium each month or year, the face value of your policy rises. If you die during the term, your beneficiaries receive a payout that mirrors the current market conditions.
- Offers annual renewable term life insurance as well as standard policies with level premiums.
- Ability to convert to a whole life policy within the first 10 years.
- Issues policies valued between $100,000 and $1 million.
- Policies include a terminal illness rider, which pays out a portion of the death benefit to help you pay for medical and living expenses if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Best for convertibility: MassMutual
While all of the policies on this list come with a convertibility feature, you could potentially boost your earnings even more by choosing MassMutual. It’s a mutual company, and has paid out dividends to its permanent policyholders every year since the 1860s.
In 2019, it approved an estimated $1.72 billion payout — a record number. Since dividends aren’t guaranteed, this is an impressive achievement — and one you might benefit from in the future.
- Offers term life insurance spanning 10 and 30 years.
- Issues no-medical exam policies.
- Allows you to convert all or part of your coverage into a whole life policy without taking an additional medical exam.
- Customize your whole life policy with rare add-ons, like a guaranteed insurability and long-term care rider.
Must read: How we chose our top life insurance companies
Our writers and editors are committed to objectivity that empowers our readers to make a decision that’s free of bias.
When analyzing life insurance providers, we weigh the insurer’s product lineup, riders and rates along with their underwriting standards.
To determine industry reputation, our editorial team assesses the company’s financial strength ratings, accreditations and customer reviews.
Life insurance financial ratings
An insurer’s financial strength points to its ability to pay out claims. The companies on our list scored top-tier ratings with the major agencies, which means they have the resources to meet their financial obligations.
In J.D. Power’s latest study on customer satisfaction, New York Life earned the sixth spot of 23 insurers surveyed. Prudential ranked 8th, MassMutul ranked 10th, Lincoln Financial 11th and Transamerica rounded out the list in 18th place.
|Agency||Prudential||New York Life||Transamerica||Lincoln Financial||Amica Life||MassMutual|
|Standard & Poor’s||AA-||AA+||AA-||AA-||N/A||AA+|
|J.D. Power||3 out of 5||4 out of 5||2 out of 5||3 out of 5||N/A||3 out of 5|
Customer reviews and reputation
To learn how insurers treat their policyholders, refer to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). New York Life, Lincoln Financial and Amica Life earn the highest possible rating with the BBB, while Transamerica and MassMutual could improve when it comes to customer engagement.
Meanwhile, Prudential’s rating dropped as they failed to respond to complaints in a timely manner.
Keep in mind these ratings and reviews reflect each company as a whole, and not just their life insurance departments.
|Provider||BBB rating||Customer reviews|
|Prudential||C-||1 out of 5 stars|
|New York Life||A+||2 out of 5 stars|
|Transamerica||A-||1.5 out of 5 stars|
|Amica Life||A+||2 out of 5 stars|
|MassMutual||B-||1 out of 5 stars|
Compare life insurance companies
Term life insurance is the simplest and cheapest policy, with predictable premiums and coverage that lasts for a set period of time. These insurers take it one step further by offering something that most of their competitors don’t, from flexible term lengths to smaller coverage amounts.
To see even more of the best life insurance companies, check out our overall top life insurance picks.
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