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Best Life Insurance Companies

When you buy life insurance you typically commit to staying with the company for many decades. So who are the best life insurance companies? We asked current customers of large life insurance carriers how they would rate their insurers. Also important is a life insurer's financial strength, so you know they'll be around for many years. A.M. Best financial strength ratings are also below.
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insurance company
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Insure.com Survey Results
Overall
Claims Processing
 
Customers
Who
Recommend
 
Customer
Service
Financial
Strength
Ratings

American General earned five stars for customer service in our survey, and over a third ... See More >

American General earned five stars for customer service in our survey, and over a third of customers say they have recommended American General to a friend. American General Life Insurance Co. is based in Houston and is part of AIG. American General Life Insurance was founded in 1960. A third of customers we surveyed say they chose American General because of its reputation and almost as many say they chose the company because it offered the best price.

X
84.8
(101 reviews)
N/A
72%
A

Jackson National scored the top spot in our survey of life insurance customers. The insurer ... See More >

Jackson National scored the top spot in our survey of life insurance customers. The insurer is based in Lansing, Michigan. Its Center for Financial Insight offers consumers resources for understanding savings and investing for retirement planning, including statistics, surveys, videos and articles.

X
87.2
(100 reviews)
N/A
88%
A+

Prudential received five stars for value for price in our survey of life insurance customers, ... See More >

Prudential received five stars for value for price in our survey of life insurance customers, and 28 percent of Prudential life insurance customer we surveyed say they chose Prudential because of its reputation. Prudential is one of the top 10 largest life insurers in market share, according to LIMRA. Corporate headquarters are in Newark, New Jersey.

X
86
(177 reviews)
N/A
73%
A+

New York Life is one of the top 10 largest life insurers in the United ... See More >

New York Life is one of the top 10 largest life insurers in the United States, according to LIMRA. In addition to life insurance, New York Life offers long-term care insurance, annuities and mutual funds. Among New York Life customers we surveyed, 28 percent say they chose the company because of its reputation and 23 percent chose it based on price.

X
85.9
(130 reviews)
N/A
77%
A++

Among the State Farm Life Insurance customers we surveyed, 32 percent say they have already ... See More >

Among the State Farm Life Insurance customers we surveyed, 32 percent say they have already recommended the company to a friend. In our survey, 28 percent of State Farm Life customers say they chose the company because of its reputation. State Farm offers life insurance planning videos and a calculator on its site.

X
85.9
(198 reviews)
N/A
77%
A++

Northwestern Mutual scored five stars for value for price in our survey, and 42 percent ... See More >

Northwestern Mutual scored five stars for value for price in our survey, and 42 percent of customers say they chose the company because it offered the best price. More than three-quarters say they would recommend Northwestern Mutual to a friend. The company is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has the highest possible financial strength ratings from all four major credit rating agencies. Northwestern Mutual pays yearly dividends to its policyholders.

X
85.6
(100 reviews)
N/A
77%
A++

Almost a third of John Hancock customers we surveyed say they chose the company because ... See More >

Almost a third of John Hancock customers we surveyed say they chose the company because of its reputation, and 74 percent say they would recommend the insurer to a friend. John Hancock, a well-known patriot of the American Revolution, was inspiration for the company, which was founded in 1862 and is headquartered in Boston. Today the company is the U.S. unit of Manulife Financial, a large financial services company based in Canada.

X
85.4
(100 reviews)
N/A
74%
A+

MetLife scored well in value for price, and almost a third of customers we surveyed ... See More >

MetLife scored well in value for price, and almost a third of customers we surveyed say they chose MetLife based on its reputation. Forbes named MetLife to its 2014 list of “America’s Most Reputable Companies” and Fortune named it to its 2014 list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies.” MetLife is the largest life insurance company in the United States and is based in New York City.

X
84.9
(156 reviews)
N/A
68%
A+

Aflac gets high marks for customer service and 30 percent of the Aflac customers in ... See More >

Aflac gets high marks for customer service and 30 percent of the Aflac customers in our survey say they chose the company because it offered the best price. Aflac was founded in 1955 and is well-known for its supplemental insurance policies, such as its cancer expense policy. Its first Aflac Duck commercial premiered in 2000. The company is based in Columbus, Georgia.

X
84.6
(111 reviews)
N/A
67%
A

Lincoln National, also known as Lincoln Financial Group, is headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Almost a ... See More >

Lincoln National, also known as Lincoln Financial Group, is headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Almost a third of Lincoln National Life customers we surveyed say they chose the insurer because it offered the best price and over a quarter say it was the company’s reputation that led them to choose Lincoln. Seventy-two percent of customers we surveyed say they have or would recommend the company.

X
84.6
(100 reviews)
N/A
72%
A+

Since our survey, ING changed its name to Voya Financial. Voya is headquartered in New ... See More >

Since our survey, ING changed its name to Voya Financial. Voya is headquartered in New York City. Almost a third of ING customers say they had already recommended the company to a friend. Twenty-nine percent of ING customers say they chose the insurer because it offered the best price. Voya was named to Ethisphere Institute’s 2014 list of “World’s Most Ethical Companies.”

X
84.5
(102 reviews)
N/A
68%
A

Transamerica Corp. was founded in 1928 and was based in San Francisco. It is now ... See More >

Transamerica Corp. was founded in 1928 and was based in San Francisco. It is now owned by Aegon, which is based in the Netherlands. The Transamerica’s iconic “Pyramid” building is still San Francisco’s tallest building. In our survey, 30 percent of Transamerica’s customers say they chose the company based on reputation, and 22 and 21 percent, respectively, say they made their decision based on seeing a commercial and price.

X
82.3
(100 reviews)
N/A
74%
A+

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., known as MassMutual, is based in Springfield, Massachusetts. Because it’s ... See More >

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., known as MassMutual, is based in Springfield, Massachusetts. Because it’s a mutual company, eligible MassMutual customers share in the ownership of the company and receive dividends. In our survey, MassMutual scored 4.5 stars for value for price. Thirty percent of customers say they chose the company based on price, and over a quarter say they chose MassMutual based on its reputation.

X
82.2
(101 reviews)
N/A
61%
A++

AXA was founded in 1859 and is headquartered in New York City. Thirty-five percent of ... See More >

AXA was founded in 1859 and is headquartered in New York City. Thirty-five percent of the AXA customers we surveyed say they chose AXA because it offered the best price. Over a third of customers say they have already recommended AXA to a friend. Interbrand named AXA the “No. 1 Global Insurance Brand” in 2014.

X
81.3
(100 reviews)
N/A
74%
A+
What's covered
The great thing about life insurance is that you can count on it to pay out to your beneficiaries, as long as you've paid your premiums.

The main types of life insurance are term life and permanent life insurance (often called whole life insurance). Within those categories are specific types of policies that meet different needs, including final expense insurance, simplified-issue term life insurance, universal life, variable life and variable universal life.

In general, life insurance will pay out no matter how you meet your maker - whether it's by sickness or accident, and whether you are in the United States or abroad.

The cost of life insurance varies considerably among companies, so get life insurance quotes from at least a few insurers if you're shopping for a policy.
What's never covered
There are very few exclusions to life insurance payouts.

Within the first two years of the policy, known as the contestability period, a life insurance company could deny benefits due to suicide or fraud - for example, if the insurer finds out that you lied on your policy application. Check your policy for the specifics on its contestability period.

If you have purchased an "accidental death and dismemberment" policy, the policy won't pay for death due to sickness.

And if you have a guaranteed issue policy, meaning you weren't asked medical questions on the application, you likely have "graded death benefits." This means that the policy won't pay out its full benefit if you die within the first few years. Check your policy for details.
Methodology

Insure.com conducted surveys of 3,835 insurance customers nationwide in February and March 2014 to collect 9,586 company reviews. The survey was not open to the general public on the Insure.com website. We collected reviews for auto, home, health and life insurance carriers. Consumers answered questions about their levels of satisfaction with their insurers, and each answer was assigned a point value. Points were then averaged and totaled for each company.

A.M. Best ratings do not affect the scores but are provided as a supplementary resource. The "discounts" and "coverage options" information for auto insurance carriers also does not affect the scores.

We collected data for 15 large companies in each category, so not all companies are represented in the study. The companies for which we collected data were then ranked. The top three companies in each category earned Insure.com's "People's Choice Award." In the life insurance category, a tie for third place resulted in four insurers receiving the award.

Insure.com makes these ratings freely available via this site. The views and opinions expressed by users do not reflect the views and opinions of Insure.com. Insure.com expressly disclaims any and all liability in connection with the ratings

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