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J.D. Power ratings are an industry benchmark for customer satisfaction. A solid J.D. Power score shows that policyholders are satisfied with their life insurance company, while a negative J.D. Power score indicates poor customer satisfaction across the board. 

Your life insurance policy is meant to be around for decades to come — and evaluating an insurer’s J.D. Power score ensures you work with an insurer you can count on. Read on to learn more. 

What is J.D. Power?

J.D. Power is a marketing research firm that analyzes consumer satisfaction for a long list of products and services. It is primarily known for rating vehicles  — the company was founded in Michigan near the hub of American automaking — but also provides very thorough ratings on insurers, including life insurance. The company was founded by James David Power III, for whom the firm is named, more than 50 years ago.

J.D. Power’s ratings of life insurance companies are based on thorough customer satisfaction surveys. Based on several different metrics, these surveys ask thousands of life insurance policyholders how they feel about their insurance company. Using proprietary data analysis techniques and these surveys, J.D. Power then ranks each life insurer on a 1,000-point scale.   

How does J.D. Power rate insurance companies?

J.D. Power’s ratings are based on customer surveys. But the secret sauce is their top-notch sample of respondents and how they rank different customer satisfaction metrics: Low price versus responsiveness, for example. 

Recently, J.D. Power noted that they rate life insurance companies by talking directly to the customers of the biggest life insurance companies in the country. The researchers hone in on five factors: communication, interaction, price, product offerings and statements. Generally, they seek responses from roughly 5,500 customers during a period of a few months and release ratings once a year. 

Once the polling is complete, J.D. Power’s researchers analyze that data to score each company on a 1,000-point scale. As of 2022, the industry average score for life insurance was 774.

J.D. Power scores for the biggest life insurance companies

JD Power U.S. Individual Life Insurance ratings as of October, 2022

Life insurance companyJD Power rating
State Farm839
Globe Life812
Mutual of Omaha801
Northwestern Mutual794
Pacific Life793
Guardian Life787
New York Life775
Prinicipal Financial772
Lincoln Financial Group764
Protective Life759
Midland National Life752
John Hancock749
Brighthouse Financial741
Transamerica (AEGON)740

Why J.D. Power ratings matter

J.D. Power ratings showcase real customers’ experiences. If you could boil conversations with thousands of policyholders down to a number, that’s a company’s J.D. Power rating. 

The reason J.D. Power ratings have become so lauded is because the company is respected by both the industry and customers. Because J.D. Power’s track record is solid and its methodology is transparent, you know that no pay-to-play or other shenanigans are going on.  

You might first compare life insurers on premium cost and death benefit, i.e., what you pay every month versus what your beneficiaries receive when you pass away. But customer service and satisfaction are very important to look at before you buy anything.

What else should you consider when evaluating an insurer?

Because your life insurance is a vital insurance product, consider several factors when comparing policies. Ask representatives questions and read any agreement before you sign the contract. 

Naturally, price will probably be the most significant comparison point. You will want to look at the cost of monthly premiums and the death benefit amount. There are also different types of life insurance, including term life insurance and permanent life insurance. 

While J.D. Power’s ratings are highly respected, you can find many other reviews online, too. Check out our review of the best life insurance companies out there.

Most importantly, take time to compare your options. A little research will give you much more peace of mind and ensure you get the best profile policy.

While you have to make your own decisions, checking out the J.D. Power ratings for life insurance companies can help you make an educated decision about an insurer. Customer satisfaction is a good bellwether for if a policy is worth the money, but you must do your due diligence and read the fine print. 

Regarding industry benchmarks, though, you can trust that J.D. Power ratings accurately reflect customers’ sentiments.  

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Barry Eitel
Contributing Researcher


Barry Eitel is a content writer and journalist focused on insurance, small business and finance. He has researched and written about personal finance since 2012, with a special focus on entrepreneurship, freelancing and other small business operations. His writing on insurance and small business has been featured in 7x7, Brit + Co, Intuit Quickbooks, Bankrate, Policygenius and Lendio.