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Ladder life insurance review 2021

This startup offers on-the-spot decisions and adjustable coverage, but no riders.

finder.com's rating: 3.5 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get a quote if… You want an instant decision.
  • Pick something else if… You’re looking for a permanent policy

20 to 60

Issue Age

$100,000 to $8,000,000

Coverage

No, for coverage up to $3M

Medical Exam Required

Details

Policies Term life insurance
Coverage maximum $8,000,000
Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
Medical exam required No, for coverage up to $3M
Available states Available in all states & DC
Issue age 20 - 60 years old

Pros

  • Sky-high coverage up to $8 million
  • Quick application and underwriting decision within minutes
  • Adjust coverage online
  • No extra fees

Cons

  • No riders or supplementary coverage
  • Open to people aged 20 - 60 years old
  • Support by phone or online chat Mon - Fri 9 am - 5 pm PT only
  • Limited educational information on site
Riders No info available
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Review by


Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

Expert review

With its streamlined site, on-the-spot underwriting, and policies with no added fees, Ladder offers innovative life insurance. It uses intricate algorithms to underwrite policies in a matter of minutes, and if you qualify, you can go ahead and buy coverage online. By cutting out commissioned agents, forgoing fees and offering policies online, Ladder sets itself apart from its competitors.

It also stands out for offering coverage up to $8 million, and giving customers the ability to reduce coverage without applying for a new policy — making it easier to factor life insurance into your ongoing financial plan. Plus, you can skip the medical exam for up to $3 million in coverage.

But it’s not for everyone. If you’re not comfortable managing your policy online, it may not be the right fit. And if you want to add riders or convert to a permanent policy later on, that’s not possible.

Ladder life insurance rates

We pulled 2021 sample quotes from Ladder’s online quote tool for a $500,000, 20-year term life policy for a healthy man and woman. Ladder’s rates are lower than average up until 45 years old for this coverage size and term length, people 45 and over may pay more than average.

AgeManWoman
20$21.47$17.78
25$21.47$18.72
30$21.47$18.72
35$22.59$19.84
40$31.07$27.15
45$59.96$47.69
50$88.56$65.93

Ladder life insurance doesn’t allow 20-year terms at every age

During Ladder’s quote process we found that 20-year terms aren’t available for people 55 to 60. Instead, people 55 years old can only select a $500,000 policy with a 15-year term, while people 60 years old can only select a $500,000 policy with a 10-year term.

Most competitors allow people to select a 20-year term until at least 60 years old. So, if you’re over Ladder’s age limit required for 20-year terms, but need a policy of this length, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

7 factors that affect your rate

Its underwriting considers similar factors as other life insurers, including:

  • Tobacco use. Ladder asks about your tobacco use within the last 3 years. You’ll typically get better rates if you’ve never smoked or haven’t smoked in 3 years.
  • Age. Young, healthy applicants tend to pay lower premiums.
  • Driving record. If your recent record is free from major traffic violations and DUI, expect a lower premium.
  • Health. Your cholesterol, blood pressure, BMI and family medical history all affect your rate, and you’ll typically see higher rates with a history of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes or other diseases.
  • Occupation. Those with dangerous jobs are usually subject to higher rates.
  • Hobbies. Ladder looks less favorably on daredevils, like people who skydive or hang-glide.
  • Alcohol and drugs. To score lower rates, you’ll need a history free of substance abuse treatment.

How to get a quote from Ladder life insurance

Ladder offers one of the simplest quote tools on the market. You can get a quote and coverage in under five minutes.

  1. From Ladder’s homepage, click Get Started.
  2. You’ll be asked to enter your desired coverage amount and the length of the term. Then click Next.
  3. Answer questions about your health, income, hobbies, drug use and driving history.
  4. Provide your street address, email address, phone number and Social Security number.
  5. After your identity has been verified and you submit your application, you’ll get an instant decision.
  6. If you’re approved, accept or reject your policy terms, then enter your payment info and your coverage will begin immediately.
  7. Set up your account online so you can easily access your policy to change your coverage amount, update personal and payment info and set up beneficiaries.
Get quotes from Ladder

Ladder only offers term life — but it’s adjustable

Ladder’s term life insurance offers coverage from $100,000 to $8 million for people 20 - 60 years old. Term life is the simplest and most cost-effective type of policy offering coverage for a set period of time — in this case, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. The premium stays the same for the duration of the policy, unless you decide to adjust the amount of coverage. And, you can skip the medical exam if you opt for coverage under $3 million. Otherwise, you may need to have an in-home medical exam.

Unlike most insurers, Ladder offers a tool that lets you adjust your coverage amount after you’ve signed up for your policy. This way, you can be sure your coverage always matches your needs as your circumstances change, whether you’ve paid off your mortgage or you have another child.

If you choose to decrease (ladder down) your coverage, you don’t need to apply for a new policy. Log in to your Ladder account online to drop your coverage, and your premium decreases proportionally. But, to increase your coverage, you’ll need to apply for the additional increased coverage amount. If you’re approved, your premiums will reflect the increased coverage amount.

To ensure you’re happy with your coverage, Ladder offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and the option to cancel anytime.

Ladder doesn’t offer riders

Ladder doesn’t allow policyholders to customize their term life coverage with riders like most insurers do. This is because it relies on algorithms to create quick quotes, and riders can complicate that process. If you’re looking for riders to customize your policy, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Ladder life insurance reviews are mostly positive

Ladder isn’t rated or accredited with the Better Business Bureau, which is typical for a young startup. This company has a positive reputation on online forums, with 4.8 out of 5 star rating on Trustpilot based on over 1,600 reviews. Customers praise the easy signup, affordable rates, responsive service and streamlined application process.

However, one reviewer mentioned bait and switch tactics, and another claimed his final rate was double what he was quoted, but at the time of writing, the negative reviews were few and far between.

Ladder’s carrier partners, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America and Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, have an A+ rating from AM Best. This confirms Ladder’s financial strength and capability to pay out claims.

Below we’ve included Allianz AM Best rating and Ladder’s scores for BBB and Trustpilot.

AM Best financial rating A+
BBB accredited No
BBB rating Not Rated
Trustpilot score 4.8/5 out of 1,648 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 19 October 2021

Compare term life insurance from companies like Ladder life insurance

Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
Sproutt
18 - 60 years old
$50,000
$4,000,000
5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
No
Compare 40+ insurers and apply online to get the lowest possible price — no medical exam required.
Policygenius - Life Insurance
18 - 85 years old
$50,000
$10,000,000
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Bestow
18 - 60 years old
$50,000
$1,500,000
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No
Get a quote in less than 10 minutes with on-the-spot approval and no medical exam.
Everyday Life
20 - 75 years old
$100,000
$10,000,000
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years.
No
Ladder multiple life insurance policies to save on the coverage you need for all your debts.
Ladder
20 - 60 years old
$100,000
$8,000,000
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
No, for coverage up to $3M
Apply for term life insurance online without the medical exam. Get an instant decision and adjust your coverage at no charge.
JRC Life Insurance
18 - 85 years old
$5,000
$50,000,000
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 years to lifetime/age 121
May be required
Compare policies up to $10 million from 45+ top insurance companies with the click of a button.
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Life insurance ratings

★★★★★ — 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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