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.
Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.
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Our take: While Ethos offers an excellent no-med term life insurance policy for people in good health, what sets it apart from its competitors is its life insurance option for seniors. Most seniors up to age 85 have guaranteed approval, regardless of their medical profile. Its expansive availability makes it a top choice for applicants who might not be able to get coverage elsewhere.
“The unfortunate truth is that 70% of families in America could go bankrupt in as little as three months if they lost their primary breadwinner – but due to regulatory roadblocks, sales-incentivized agents and tedious/invasive application processes, nearly half – 41% – of Americans have no coverage at all,” says Nichole Myers, chief underwriter at Ethos. “Ethos is on a mission to change that by reaching people traditionally uninsured and potential policyholders that want easier access to their options.”
If you’re looking for affordable life insurance without the long wait times, you will find what you need from Ethos. Ethos is a relatively young online insurer that uses predictive analytics and artificial intelligence but is backed by legacy companies, including Legal & General, Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and TruStage. It’s also attracted funding from investors such as Sequoia, Accel, GV and Goldman Sachs as well as celebrity investors, including rapper Jay-Z, actors Will Smith and Robert Downey Jr., and basketball player Kevin Durant.
Trustworthiness: The Better Business Bureau evaluates businesses on their behavior, trustworthiness, and performance. A business with a high ranking from the BBB can be trusted to meet its commitments. The BBB gives Ethos an A+.
Financial strength: A.M. Best evaluates a company’s financial health and its ability to meet its financial obligations. A.M. Best gives Ethos an A+.
Customer experience: Trustpilot is an online platform for individuals to provide reviews of companies and their customer experience. Trustpilot gives Ethos a rating of 4.8 out of a possible 5.
Additional product line details:
More details on Ethos term: The company’s policies are backed by life insurers Legal & General America, Ameritas Life Insurance Corp., Senior Life, and TruStage. The application process can be done in minutes.
More details on Ethos whole life: Ethos offers whole life insurance to people ages 66 to 85 no matter their health history. Policies range from $1,000 to $30,000 and customers can secure a rate that doesn’t increase.
For healthy non-smokers:
The following table shows Ethos monthly rates by age and gender for healthy non-smokers purchasing 20-year term policies.
The following table shows Ethos monthly rates by age and gender for smokers purchasing 20-year term policies.
The following table shows how Ethos’s monthly rates for a healthy 35-year-old compares with selected competitors for $500,000 in coverage.
Company background: The company was started in 2016 by Stanford business school grads Peter Colis and Lingke Wang. The inspiration for the company came from an early experience Wang had with life insurance – he was upsold a policy he discovered he couldn’t afford and didn’t fit his needs. The company’s goal is to make insurance affordable, accessible and transparent.
Interesting tidbit: The company’s agents are non-commissioned, which means they’re not compensated for selling or upselling policies.