Originally posted on https://chooseterm.com/2017/08/best-life-insurance-companies/
Could it really be true that you’ve never heard of some of the best life insurance companies? The answer might surprise you. Although there are a handful of life insurance companies that most people have heard of – such as MetLife, Prudential, Transamerica, or New York Life, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best companies for you. In this blog post I’ll list some excellent life insurance companies you probably never heard of, discuss criteria for choosing a life insurance company,and when it would be appropriate to choose companies like MetLife or Prudential. You can also compare rates using our quote tool below this paragraph, or keep reading for more on the best life insurance companies you’ve never heard of.
Do Some Research on Your Own
First, many casual buyers simply compile a list of insurers in which they are interested and conduct a comprehensive Internet news search on each. This process often uncovers stories about unfavorable judgments over unjustly denied claims, excessive liabilities that may force premium increases, and past financial troubles. While news archives may contain plenty to support or contradict rating-agency analyses, they may also contain dated, biased or unverified information.
If you start doing some basic Google searches, the first couple of results that you see are going to be the big names that you see commercials for, but these are not necessarily the best options. Try refining your search by adding specific words, like “for smokers” or for a specific health condition. This should reduce the number of big hitters that you find in your search. After you’ve found a company, do some more research into the reviews and complaints that they may have received.
Life Insurance Brand Names Do Not Matter
When it comes to life insurance companies, “Brand” names don’t matter. So what does? Most applicants go with one of the big brand companies because they know that they can trust them. Obviously, hundreds of thousands of policyholders can’t be wrong, but that doesn’t mean that those major companies are best for you.
Here is a list of criteria to look for when looking for the best life insurance companies.
1) Longevity– There are many life insurance companies that have been around for 30,40,50 years and even over 100. These are the types of companies that are likely to be here for the next 50 years. Make sure the company you choose has a long term track record.
2) Financial Strength – You don’t want to a choose a company that is in financial trouble, so how do you figure out if a life insurance carrier has strong financials and assets? The good news is that you don’t need to dig into their financial records, there are independent companies that do this for you. Companies like A.M Best and S&P rate the financial strength of life insurance companies. A.M Best has an excellent reputation and rates life insurance companies using a letter system, for example A++ is the best rating, A+ is 2nd best, A is 3rd best and so forth. Look for companies that have an A rating or better.
3)Pricing – A company can be in business a long time and be financially strong, but not have competitive pricing. For example while State Farm and Allstate meet criteria #1 and #2 mentioned above, they aren’t as competitive when it comes to pricing.
4)Product – The company you choose should offer what you are looking for. For example while MetLife has a great reputation, they don’t offer a 25 year term policy. If that is what you are looking for, they will not be the best choice for you. If you are looking for a no medical exam company, you will want to choose from companies that offer no medical exam life insurance.
5)Customer Service – Service is an important criteria in choosing a life insurance company. Questions to consider are, is it easy to contact the life insurance company with customer service questions or issues. You can google the name of the company and see if you can find their website. Then find their “contact us” page and call them yourself. Do you wait on hold for 30 minutes, or do you get someone on the phone quickly? Check online reviews as well, however do it with caution – no matter which life insurance company you google, you will find a few people among the millions of customers a company has that go online and write a bad review of the company on sites like “Pissed Consumer”. If negative reviews are overwhelming than stay away from the company, however I wouldn’t make a judgement call based on just a few reviews.
Best Life Insurance Companies
Now that we have some criteria to evaluate companies let me introduce you to some excellent companies you may not be aware of:
SBLI (Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusets)
In business since 1907, and a A.M Best Rating of A+, SBLI has over $125 Billion of life insurance policies in force. They offer very competitive term life insurance rates and have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Protective Life Insurance
Like SBLI, Protective Life was founded in 1907 as well and has an A+ rating from A.M Best. Protective Life has over $427 Billion in life insurance policies in force and also has an A+ rating from the BBB (Better Business Bureau). I recently wrote an article about the competitive advantage that Protective life has when it comes to term life insurance policies – I suggest you read it. Protective also has excellent rates for Term and Guarantee No Lapse Universal Life policies.
Banner Life’s history dates back to 1949 when they were formed as part of the group that is now GEICO. They eventually spun off and are now owned by Legal & General – a U.K company that has been in business for over 300 years. Banner has over $456 Billion of life insurance policies in force, and an A+ Rating from A.M Best (which is considered Superior). Banner also has very competitive pricing especially for Preferred rates and in high risk life insurance and an A- BBB rating.
American General has been in business for over 160 years and has served over 13 million customers. An A+ rating from the BBB and an A Rating from A.M Best (Considered Excellent) makes American General a worthwhile company to consider. American General is one of a handful of companies that offers 25 year term life insurance. Besides their competitive rates, American General can also be a good choice for high risk life insurance. In addition, American General also allows Cigar smoking up to once a week while still offering Preferred Non Tobacco rates.
Primerica was established in 1977, which means it’s one of the youngest companies on the market. They mainly sell term insurance, instead of offering permanent coverage. Additionally, they also sell mutual funds, auto, and home insurance. They have a variety of different insurance products that you can choose from, which means if you’re looking for more than just a term plan, they can fill you with all of your life insurance needs. One of the disadvantages of Primerica Life is that their medical underwriting is going to be stricter than other companies. If you have a pre-existing condition, they may not be the best option.
William Penn was originally established in 1949 as the “Government Employees Life Insurance Company,” they later changed their name (thankfully). While you may have never heard of them, they do have a huge part of the insurance market. In fact, they hold over $400 billion in life insurance plans.
They have plenty of options for life insurance coverage, and they also have excellent convert options if you decide that you want whole life insurance protection. Their premiums are going to be on par with a majority of their competitors.
North American Company
They have been in business for over 100 years, which means they have some experience working in the industry. They have had a hundred years to perfect their products.
If you’re a high-risk applicant, because of health or any pre-existing condition, then North American Company can be an excellent option. They tend to have more liberal underwriting and will approve some applicants that will be rejected by other companies. Not only that, but they also have some additional riders that you can add on to your insurance coverage.
What about Brand Name Life Insurance Companies?
At ChooseTerm.com, besides offering the 4 companies I mentioned above, we also offer all the major life insurance carriers, like Prudential, MetLife, ING, Transamerica, and Mutual of Omaha, just to name a few. So are we saying that you should not consider them? Absolutely not. We are saying that the 4 companies we mentioned earlier are companies that you should also consider.
There are many times when we recommend MetLife, Transamerica, ING or Prudential. Sometimes it’s because for a particular age and coverage amount one of these will have the best rate. Other times its because there is a specific reason to use them. For example ING offers one of the best rates for Scuba Divers. Prudential allows you to chew tobacco, smoke a pipe or cigar, as well as marijuana smokers all with Non Smoker rates. They will always have the best pricing in these cases. MetLife is an excellent choice if you have type 1 diabetes, or epilepsy for example. Transamerica is unique because they offer coverage for as little as $25,000 and also offer no medical exam life insurance.
Tips to make sure your life insurance policy doesn’t lapse:
Getting a life insurance policy is not the only thing that you should take note of. After you purchase your life insurance coverage, it’s important that you maintain that plan. One of the worst things that can happen is that you purchase a policy, only to allow it to lapse within a year or two. Not having life insurance protection could leave your family with a massive amount of debt and other bills. It’s our mission to ensure that you have the coverage that your family needs, and part of that is to help ensure that your plan doesn’t ever lapse.
- First, make sure that when you buy a policy, the premium you take on is not outside of your comfort zone. A premium that you can afford that is within your budget is one that you are much more likely to keep in the future.
- If you own a term policy consider converting at least some of it to a permanent policy. This way you will have some insurance that will always last and can be used for final expensessuch as burial costs, to pay off debt, or just some money to leave behind for your kids or favorite charity.
- Another option is to have someone else pay for your policy. For example, if you are getting older and you can’t afford premiums, your children might have an interest in making sure you keep your policy, since they are the beneficiaries. Discuss your policy with your kids and perhaps your children will consider paying your premiums. Perhaps you’re searching for whole life insurance for seniors over 65; we can help!
- Lastly, there is also something known as a life settlement. This allows you to sell your policy to a third party who will continue paying your premiums, and collect the death benefit. Rather than letting your policy lapse, you can at least get paid for selling your policy.
When buying a life insurance policy be prepared to pay for and keep it for the long haul. You are protecting your loved ones by keeping your policy in force and not letting your policy lapse like so many others who do. Not only can we help you find the best life insurance coverage, but we will also help you keep that policy. Working with one of our independent insurance agents can save you both time and money on your insurance coverage.
No Exam Life Insurance
One popular option for life insurance coverage is to buy a no exam plan. As you can imagine from the name, these life insurance plans allow you to get insurance coverage without having to take the medical exam. For some applicants, these plans can be the best option, but they don’t work well for everyone. It’s important that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each type of coverage.
The most notable advantage of no exam policies is that more people can buy one of these plans without the fear of being rejected. Without the medical exam, more people can get coverage, regardless of their health.
Another benefit of these policies is that you can be approved much faster than you can with the exam. With a standard life insurance policy that has the medical exam, you could wait several weeks to get life insurance protection, but with a no exam plan, you can have coverage in a matter of days. If you want life insurance as quickly as possible, then a no exam plan is going to be the best option.
Some of the pitfalls of these plans is the price. Without the medical exam, the insurance company is taking a higher risk to give you life insurance coverage. They are going to offset that risk by charging you higher premiums. No exam plans are not going to be the most affordable option.
Another drawback of these plans is that you’re going to be limited on how much coverage that you can buy. Most companies will only sell you around $250,000 worth of coverage, and for most families, that won’t be enough life insurance. Not having enough life insurance is one of the worst mistakes that you can make.
When buying a life insurance policy be prepared to pay for and keep it for the long haul. You are protecting your loved ones by keeping your policy in force and not letting your policy lapse like so many others who do.
The Bottom Line
There really isn’t a list of the best term life insurance companies. Choosing the right company should be based on your individual needs. For example, how much coverage you need, the type of policy, your age and health situation along with choosing a company who has excellent or superior financial strength ratings should be the criteria you consider. Other call centers, like Intelliquote or SelectQuote, have several companies, too, but remember they don’t use all of them. Even a large-scale broker such as these should still be shopped.
Let us do the shopping for you. Contact us today to get access to more carriers than ever before.