Equitable Insurance Company Review

Christine Lacagnina Written by Christine Lacagnina
Christine Lacagnina
Written by Christine Lacagnina

Christine Lacagnina has written thousands of insurance-based articles for TrustedChoice.com by authoring consumable, understandable content.


Equitable Insurance Company at a Glance

  • Founded in 1859
  • Specializes in life insurance
  • Offers solutions for individuals and employers
  • Offers employee benefits
  • Also offers retirement planning
  • “A” (excellent) rating by A.M. Best
  • “A+” (excellent) rating by Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Global reach
  • Strong financial stability
  • Mobile app available

Equitable pros: More than a century and a half’s worth of experience in the insurance industry. Offers several types of life insurance for individuals, and additional employee benefits and retirement solutions. High ratings by A.M. Best and the BBB. Strong financial stability. Massive size.

Equitable cons: No official claims response time frame promise. No online claims reporting option. No phone claims reporting option. Many complaints filed through the BBB. Vast majority of customer feedback is negative.

What Type of Insurance Does Equitable Offer?

Equitable is a specialized insurance company, with a focus on life insurance. Their coverage offerings include:

  • Permanent life insurance
  • Indexed universal life insurance
  • Variable universal life insurance
  • Term life insurance
  • Survivorship life insurance
  • Long-term care insurance

If you’re on the market for life insurance, Equitable may have just the type of product you’re looking for.

What to Know about Equitable

Founded in 1859 under the name The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, Equitable has more than 160 years’ worth of experience in the insurance industry. Equitable was the first insurance company to pay death claims immediately. The carrier’s parent company is now known as Equitable Holdings.

In 2019, Equitable Holdings had a reported 12,000 employees and $701 billion in assets. The company also has five million customers across the globe. Equitable Holdings prides itself on being one of the U.S.’s leading independent financial services companies. A.M. Best places Equitable in the $2 billion or greater financial size category today.

Thanks to its extremely long-standing history, massive size, and amount of insurance in-force, Equitable has earned a reputation as a financially stable insurance company with a positive outlook for the future. A.M. Best, the leading global credit rating agency monitoring the insurance industry, gives Equitable an “A” rating, indicating the carrier is a superior choice for insurance customers. A high rating from A.M. Best assures customers that Equitable is capable of offering guaranteed, secure coverage from a financially sound carrier.

Established in 1899, A.M. Best is one of the oldest rating companies in the world. Reviews from A.M. Best indicate an insurance company’s financial strength and creditworthiness and are based on comprehensive evaluations of the company’s operating performance, business profile, and balance sheet. For customers who aren’t as familiar with insurance companies’ respective reputations, A.M. Best’s ratings system allows them to make an informed decision about who they can trust to meet their needs in the short term and to remain a strong, financially sound company in the long term.

What Discounts Does Equitable Offer?

While Equitable does not make information about their specific discounts readily available, most life insurance companies today offer several common discounts on comparable coverages. These discounts often include:

  • Annual premium discount: Insurance companies often award discounts to customers who pay their premiums annually instead of monthly.
  • Young applicant discount: When signing up for life insurance, considerable discounts are often awarded to applicants who purchase coverage when they are younger, such as in their 20s or 30s. 
  • Non-tobacco user discount: Life insurance companies tend to reward customers who do not use tobacco products with cheaper premiums.
  • Healthy family history discount: Life insurance companies also reward applicants with healthy genetics or a good family health history.
  • Safe hobbies discount: Life insurance companies often award customers who practice safe, non-life threatening habits (e.g., no skydiving) with cheaper premiums. 

Your independent insurance agent can help you find more information on exact discounts offered by Equitable and additional ways to save money through the insurance company, helping you to get the most bang out of your buck on coverage.

Equitable Customer Service

Equitable provides the following customer service options:

  • Regular mail claims reporting
  • Online account management
  • Mobile app available
  • Main customer service hotline has the following hours restrictions:

Hours (ET)

Monday-Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

The best way to ensure a smooth customer service experience is by working with an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents can help make customer service easier for you by handling claims and other concerns.


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Equitable FAQ

What is Equitable's average claim response time frame?

Equitable allows customers to file claims through snail mail only. The carrier does not provide a specific claims response time frame promise. Many customers report frustrations with long wait times.

What is Equitable's customer service availability?

Equitable has just one phone line for customer service and all other inquiries. The phone line contact option is offered at restricted hours, Monday-Friday. The insurance company also has a social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, which makes them more accessible to customers.

What is Equitable's claims process?

Equitable only offers claims reporting through snail mail, which seems like an extremely outdated practice for a carrier today. The official website lists the following as the carrier’s claims process:

 “Step 1

Start a claim

We’ll ask you a few questions and send you the claim forms you need to complete.

You’ll need the following information:

Name and SSN of the deceased

Date of death

A bit about yourself and any beneficiaries

Step 2

Return claim forms

Once your forms are complete, mail them to Equitable.

Step 3

Forms reviewed by Equitable

You can log into your online account and view the progress of your claim anytime.”

Does Equitable create a user-friendly experience for customers?

Equitable’s official website is laid out in a way that is easy to navigate. However, certain pertinent information is missing or not fleshed out well enough to be satisfactory, such as the lack of a claims response time frame promise. The carrier also only offers snail mail claims reporting, which is almost archaic by today’s standards. Equitable does have an active social media presence across multiple platforms and a mobile app. Overall, Equitable could certainly stand to improve their user-friendliness aspect a good bit, though they do provide a better experience than many carriers out there.

Does Equitable have good life insurance?

Equitable specializes in life insurance. Their term life insurance policies come with the following perks:

  • Level premiums
  • Terms of 1, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Guaranteed death benefit
  • Income tax-free benefit
  • Affordable rates
  • Convertibility options

Your independent insurance agent can help you find out more about Equitable’s term life insurance policies as well as their other products offered.

Is Equitable a good insurance company?

Equitable has an extremely long history in the insurance industry, as well as high ratings through A.M. Best and the BBB. However, the carrier has had more than 100 complaints filed against it through the BBB in the past three years, which is very high. The insurance company does not offer online or even phone claims reporting services. Further, the vast majority of customer reviews seem to be negative. So, we’re hesitant at this point to call Equitable a good insurance company.

Equitable Customer Reviews

Better Business Bureau
5 Stars
“Equitable has done a good job with my annuity. It looks like Equitable has different product lines that people are having issues with. The main complaint seems to be customer service. I've never had issues with CS, my advisor hasn't experienced any delays either. I came to this site as I'm looking to putting more money into a different type of account and wanted to do my due diligence once again. Needless to say, I'm shocked at the complaints here.”
Better Business Bureau
“I wish I had researched them better. They get your money, and play games to keep you from cashing in (I wish there was a lower rating possible). I bought an annuity 13 years ago, through fees and small print, it has not grown. Now as I am trying to get my account annuitized, they again play games, and do not assist, but rather run you around in circles. Horrible company, horrible NASTY help.”
Better Business Bureau
“They are totally unprofessional and rude. Their distribution process is very painful and they are poor communicators. They do not return email or voice messages unless the customer is making significantly large contributions. They treat the small people like peons. They rely on information from the participant instead of contacting the employer (who sends the funds on the employee's behalf) for verification. They suck and so do all of their reps and processes. I will never use AXA again and if I work for another company who uses them, I just will be without a retirement account. They are absolutely ridiculous!! Someone needs to investigate their practices.”
Better Business Bureau
“This is a disappointing investment. My dissatisfaction began immediately upon placing my lump sum with them - they took a lump sum for themselves! I have seen very little growth in funds throughout the years and a roll-over was very costly.”
Better Business Bureau
“The most corrupt and dishonest a company can be.”

TrustedChoice.com's Final Review

We award Equitable insurance company a final rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars. While the carrier has been around for more than a century and a half, it does not seem to have used this time entirely to its advantage. The insurance company is highly rated by A.M. Best and the BBB; however, it has also had numerous complaints filed against it through the latter organization. The insurance company provides several types of life insurance products and other financial planning and retirement solutions for individuals and employers across the globe, but customers largely seem dissatisfied. It’s extremely difficult to find any positive customer feedback about the carrier. That’s understandable, considering Equitable does not offer online or even phone claims reporting, for starters. But customers seem even more disturbed with the kind of interactions they have with the carrier’s staff members. Many policyholders report downright rude experiences with customer service representatives.

Bottom line: While a long history and high financial ratings are important features to consider in an insurance company today, what we’re always most concerned with is whether a carrier delivers on its promises to its customers. In Equitable’s case, the insurance company seems to come up terribly short when it comes to delivering on their coverage promises and customer service standards. So, if you’re on the market for life insurance or other retirement solutions, we highly recommend working closely with your independent insurance agent to survey all your other options for trusted carriers and skip looking into Equitable altogether—especially if good customer service is important to you.

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