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Whole life insurance is a permanent policy that offers lifelong protection and builds cash value over time. Learn how five top insurers have enhanced their policies to appeal to specific types of policyholders.
Best whole life insurance companies
In a saturated whole life insurance market, five providers stand out for distinct offerings.
Best overall pick: Guardian
- Some policies link to the performance of an index, like the S&P 500.
- Long list of riders, including waiver of premium, accidental death benefit and guaranteed insurability.
- Sells a survivorship whole life policy that covers two people.
- Opens coverage to healthy people living with HIV.
- Potential to earn dividends.
Best for consistent dividend performance: MassMutual
- Up to $10 million in whole life coverage.
- A range of riders to eligible policyholders that include accelerated death benefit, waiver of premium, term and long-term care.
- Rising dividend rates year over year.
Best for varying payment structures: State Farm
- Face values of $100,000 to $3 million.
- Key riders to eligible policyholders, including accidental death, flexible care and long-term care.
- Potential to earn dividends.
- Sells a final expense policy valued at up to $10,000 for those ages 50 to 80, or 50 to 75 in New York.
- Boasts stellar customer service and satisfaction ratings.
Best for customizing your coverage: Northwestern Mutual
- Option to include a term life component in your whole life insurance policy.
- While they’re not guaranteed, Northwestern Mutual has paid out dividends annually since 1872.
- Competitive rates, especially for riskier applicants like seniors and smokers.
- Choose your preferred premium payment period.
Best for getting coverage quickly: Amica
- No medical exam or waiting period — just answer some basic questions about your health and lifestyle.
- Pay your premiums monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually.
- Offers a 31-day free look period.
- Ideal for taking care of end-of-life expenses, such as funeral costs, medical bills and debts.
Must read: How we picked our best providers
Our writers and editors are committed to objectivity and empowering our readers to make decisions free of bias.
When analyzing life insurance providers, we determine the insurer’s industry reputation by reviewing its financial strength, accreditations and customer reviews. We then assess their underwriting standards based on the information on the provider’s website.
Finally, we weigh up each insurer’s product lineup, policy features and riders.
Life insurance company ratings
A whole life insurance policy is designed for two purposes: leaving your family with the money they need to maintain their lifestyles and building cash value. Your insurer should have the resources to pay out claims and help you boost your wealth. That’s where financial ratings come in.
All five insurers earned the highest or second-highest rating from AM Best, while State Farm achieved a perfect score on J.D. Power’s latest life insurance study.
|Agency||MassMutual||State Farm||Northwestern Mutual||Guardian||Amica|
|Standard & Poor’s||AA+||AA||AA+||AA+||N/A|
|J.D. Power||3 out of 5||5 out of 5||4 out of 5||3 out of 5||N/A|
To find out how each company engages with their customers, we looked at the Better Business Bureau. Most insurers earn an A or A+ rating with the BBB based on its own criteria, while customer reviews on the site reveal there’s room for improvement across the board.
|Provider||BBB rating||Customer reviews|
|MassMutual||B-||1 out 5 stars|
|State Farm||A+||1 out of 5 stars|
|Guardian||A+||1 out of 5 stars|
|Amica||A+||2 out of 5 stars|
Compare life insurance providers
Reach beyond our top five to find the best fit for your goals and budget.
While whole life insurance is the most basic type of permanent protection, the details matter. The insurers on this list tailor their policies to those who are looking for particular features, like flexible payment structures and a range of riders. Before taking on a policy, compare life insurance providers to find the lowest rates for the most comprehensive coverage you’re looking for.
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