Ladder life insurance: Mar 2021 review | finder.com
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Ladder life insurance review 2021

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This life insurance startup offers on-the-spot approval and adjustable coverage, though without offering any riders.

finder.com's rating: 2.5 / 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

Depends on policy

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 Depends on policy
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 riders available

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

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 fee-free policies, Ladder offers innovative life insurance. It 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.

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.

What types of life insurance coverage does Ladder offer?

Ladder offers term life insurance for those between 20 - 60 years old. The simplest and most cost-effective policy, term life offers 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. You can purchase a term life policy with a face value between $100,000 and $8 million.

You can also change your coverage amount after you’ve signed up for your policy. 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. This is a rare offering you won’t find with most insurers. However, 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.

What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?

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

How do I get a low rate?

Your rate reflects your age, health, gender lifestyle, occupation, hobbies and other personal factors, as well as the length and amount of coverage. Like most insurers, Ladder reserves its best rates for its least risky applicants.

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 bungee jump.
  • Alcohol and drugs. To score lower rates, you’ll need a history free of substance abuse treatment.

How does Ladder compare?

Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
Bestow
18 - 60 years old
$50,000
$1,500,000
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
No
Get a quote in less than 10 minutes with on-the-spot approval and no medical exam.
Haven Life
18 - 64 years old
$100,000
$3,000,000
10, 15, 20, or 30 years
No exams for some applicants
Fill out a quick online application and get approval in minutes with up to $3 million in coverage.
Sproutt
18 - 100 years old
$50,000
$10,000,000
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.
Ladder
20 - 60 years old
$100,000
$8,000,000
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
Depends on policy
Apply for term life insurance online without the medical exam. Get an instant decision and adjust your coverage at no charge.
Policygenius
18 - 85 years old
$50,000
$10,000,000
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Depends on provider and policy
Compare 12+ top insurers side-by-side to get the best possible deal, and shop return of premium policies online.
Nationwide life insurance
40 - 95 years old
$10,000
$1,000,000
10, 15, 20 and 30 years
Yes
Get term, whole, universal or no-exam life insurance with up to $1 million in coverage.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Ladder reviews and complaints

Ladder isn’t rated or accredited with the Better Business Bureau, which is typical for a young startup. This company shines on customer forums, with 4.8 out of 5 star rating on TrustPilot. 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, Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company and Allianz Life of New York, have an A and A+ rating respectively from AM Best. Reinsurer Hanover also scores an A+. This confirms Ladder’s financial strength and capability to pay out claims.

Though it only launched in 2017, the startup has also received a lot of positive press attention for its fresh approach to life insurance.

AM Best financial rating Not Rated
BBB accredited No
BBB rating Not Rated
Trustpilot score 4.8/5 out of 1100 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 21 January 2021

How do I get a quote from Ladder?

  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

Frequently asked questions

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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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