New York Life life insurance review and ratings 2023

New York Life ranks well for policy renewal, trustworthiness and customer satisfaction.

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Our take

New York Life’s customers rank it high for customer satisfaction and its policy offerings.

The company, ranked No. 2 on Insure.com’s list of the best life insurance companies, earned 4.2 out of a possible 5 stars and ranks second on Insure.com’s list of the best companies selling term, whole and other life products. It scores high in multiple categories and received strong third-party ratings. Almost 95% of the customers we surveyed said they planned to renew their New York Life policy.

Best whole life insurance ranking: In a separate Insure.com ranking that looked just at companies selling whole life insurance, New York Life was ranked sixth. The insurer received 3.47 stars out of a possible 5 stars (rounded to 3.5 stars in our whole life ranking). The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has recorded a low number of complaints about the company. The insurer also received a top score for financial strength.

Below is Insure.com’s review of the company and its entire life insurance product. It’s based on third-party metrics and an in-depth survey of insurance customers. Find the full methodology here, including an explanation of our survey scores.

New York Life
New York Life Ratings
Overall Rating: 4.2
Ease of service: 4.2
NAIC: 0.27
Customer Satisfaction: 4.1
AM Best Rating: A++

Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • A majority of customers surveyed rate the company as trustworthy
  • High renewal rate
  • Rates are cheaper than the industry average
Cons:
  • Other competitors scored higher for policy offerings
  • In the middle of the pack among ranked companies for ease of service

How New York Life scores on customer satisfaction

New York Life received a score of 82% in this category. It ranked higher than several other companies here, although a few insurers scored higher. State Farm led this category. The company’s J.D. Power score was a tick above the 774 average.

Insurance companyPercent of customers that are satisfiedJ.D. Power overall satisfaction score (out of 1,000)
New York Life82%775
Prudential81%773
State Farm91%839
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How much does New York Life cost?

Term life insurance is usually the most simple and affordable life insurance product. Insure.com used premiums collected by data provider CompuLife to evaluate New York Life’s term life offerings. 

New York Life’s life insurance’s term life insurance rates are comparable to most other insurers evaluated in the Insure.com survey. Most insurers provided coverage for under $500 a year for 35-year-old non-smokers purchasing $500,000 in coverage for a 20-year-term. New York Life’s average annual premium is cheaper, at $465.

New York Life’s rates are 3% lower than the industry average premium of $481, according to Insure.com’s 2022 data.

Insurance companyAverage annual premium
New York Life $465
AAA$473
Northwestern Mutual$501

How New York Life scores on ease of service

Policyholders want an insurer that makes it easy to use a policy. New York Life’s score of 84% put it in the middle of the ranked insurers in this category. State Farm customers scored it the highest.

Insurance companyPercent of respondents that are satisfied with ease of service
New York Life 84%
State Farm91%
AIG77%

How New York Life scores on policy offerings

A wide range of policy offerings makes it easier for consumers to find the coverage they need. 

The percentage of those satisfied with New York Life’s policy offerings is 82%. A few competitors scored higher. State Farm led this category.

Insurance companyPercent of respondents satisfied with the company’s policy offerings
New York Life 82%
State Farm89%
AAA 78%

How trustworthy is New York Life?

Trust is at the heart of the relationship between an insurer and its customers. New York Life had one of the highest scores in this category, with 76% of the customers we surveyed saying they trust the company. State Farm was the most trusted life insurer.

Insurance companyPercent of survey respondents who find the company trustworthy
New York Life 76%
AAA73%
State Farm86%

Do New York Life customers plan to renew?

Consumers who are loyal to a company offer testimony about the insurer’s performance. 

About 94% of customers plan to stick with New York Life. A good score, but 100% of Prudential customers said they would renew.

Insurance companyPercent of survey respondents who find the company best for renewing a policy
New York Life 94%
State Farm99%
Prudential100%

New York Life life product details

Other services offered

  • Individual disability insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Annuities 
  • Investment vehicles 

States where New York Life offers coverage

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States where New York Life offers coverage
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
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Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington D.C.
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DC DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY
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Company background

New York Life

New York Life is one of the biggest mutual life insurance companies in the U.S. The insurer also has some of the highest financial ratings when compared to its peers. The company anticipates a dividend payout of more than $2 billion in 2023.

New York Life’s history stretches back to 1841, when its predecessor – the Nautilus Insurance Company – was founded. Today, New York Life is one of the oldest and largest mutual insurance companies in the United States.

Policyholders share in the ownership and have received dividends based on the company’s investment performance every year since 1854. In 2020, the company paid out $1.9 billion in dividends to eligible policyholders.

Resources & Methodology

Sources:

New York Life. “Over 12,000 agents. One who will be there for you.” Accessed December 2022.

New York Life. “Five things to know about the founding of New York Life.” Accessed December 2022.

New York Life. “Over 175 years of helping people act on their love.” Accessed December 2022. 

J.D. Power. “Individual Life Insurance Study.” Accessed December 2022.

Methodology

Insure.com in the fall of 2022 surveyed more than 1,500 people with auto, home, life and health insurance (540 with life insurance). The survey was conducted by online market research company Slice MR. Respondents were asked to name their insurer and the editors then selected – based on the number of responses – the top companies for this year’s Best Life Insurance Companies ranking. Insure.com needed 20 or more of a company’s customers to respond to the survey for that insurer to be included in the ranking, although in some categories the editors did consider companies with 18 or 19 responses. 

Respondents were first asked to grade their insurer in the following categories – customer satisfaction, claims satisfaction and policy offerings. The percentage of respondents who said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their insurer is presented in the results.

Survey score calculation: Respondents were then asked to rank their insurer’s top three attributes out of more than a dozen presented – including customer satisfaction and policy offerings. For a number one choice, five points were given; for a second choice, three points; and for a third choice, a single point. The total points for each choice – first, second and third – were then divided by the number of each company’s customers who responded to that survey question to create a percentage. Those percentages are presented in the results as scores. 

Respondents were then asked if they would recommend their insurer to someone else. The percentage who said yes is presented in the results.

They also were given the statement “I trust my insurance company” and asked if they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. The percentage of those who said they agreed or strongly agreed is presented in the results.

The editors compiled the survey results and then collected National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ complaint data, which ranks a company by the number of customer complaints it receives, and AM Best data, which measures financial strength.

They also collected insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services (for auto and home insurance), Compulife (for life insurance) and the public health marketplace (for health insurance).

With the help of Prof. David Marlett, Ph.D., managing director of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center at Appalachian State University, the editors created a rating system to determine which insurance companies were best in each sector. For life insurers, we used the following weights to calculate the overall score for each company: 

  • AM Best: 25% of total score
  • NAIC: 15% of total score
  • Survey: 60% of total score (10% customer satisfaction, 10% recommended, 10% renewal rate, 10% ease of service, 10% trustworthiness and 10% policy offerings)

To find the industry average annual premium, insure.com weighed the rates from 9 companies: AAA, Farmers, Guardian Life, John Hancock, Lincoln Financial, MassMutual, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual and Transamerica. Rates are based on premiums for 35-year-old males and females who are non-smokers and in good health. Rates are for a 20-year-term policy that provides $500,000 in coverage. 

No insurer in our star ranking received less than 1 star and the highest possible ranking is 5 stars.

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Chris Kissell
Contributing Researcher

 
  

Chris Kissell is a Denver-based writer and editor with work featured on U.S. News & World Report, MSN Money, Fox Business, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Money Talks News and more.

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