We developed a proprietary scoring system to find the best 20 life insurance companies out there. Shop with confidence, because when it comes to life insurance, you've only got one shot. No pressure.
How the Score Works
We wanted to develop a score that reflects what you, the consumer, are looking for. You want a company that’s easy to talk to, keeps their promises and values their customers. That’s why we ranked over 200 companies in each of these areas:
- Accessibility measures how easy each company is to work with. Companies with 24/7 claims reporting, a strong social media presence, and extended hours (beyond the boring old 9-to-5) scored higher.
- Strength measures whether or not a company trusts its reputation to speak for itself. Companies who work with independent agents (putting themselves up against fair competition), have high financial security ratings and have spent more than 20 years in business rank higher.
- Service measures how happy the company’s customers are with their service. We aggregated rankings from around the web to get a snapshot of which companies are going above and beyond.
We’re not swayed by advertising dollars or under-the-table PR conversations. All of the information we used is publicly available on the internet. We just went to the trouble of putting it in one place for you, so you can use it to make smart decisions about your life insurance.
What the Score Means
We wanted to recognize the companies going above and beyond, not just the ones failing to meet the mark. 5 points (stars) are possible in each area, for a total of 15 points. Here’s what each rating means in each area:
- 1 star: Average
- 2 stars: Above Average
- 3 stars: Excellent
- 4 stars: Superior
- 5 stars: Perfect! This company earns the Trusted Choice Seal of Awesomeness.
Get to Know Our Top 20 Life Insurance Companies
1. Erie Insurance
We chose Erie for our three-way-tied top spot because of the truly spectacular service, access and stability that they offer their customers. Their website was particularly impressive: in addition to offering online quotes, their services for existing customers were also easy to find, including 24/7 claims reporting and online payments. They also have extensive evening and weekend customer service hours. They have an exceptional A+ rating from AM Best, the insurance industry’s credit rating agency. That makes them a safe bet for your life insurance.
Erie Insurance was founded in back in 1925 with the explicit mission of providing great customer service to Pennsylvanians. Today they’re a Fortune 500 company offering car, life, business and home insurance through thousands of independent agents nationwide. Erie offers a wide variety of insurance products, so they’re a great choice if you’re looking to bundle multiple types of insurance (like car and life) at a discount.
2. Grange Insurance
Also tied for top spot is Grange Insurance. Grange’s 24/7 support makes them a great choice if you have a busy schedule. Grange offers a wide range of personalized coverage options. If mixing and matching benefits like income replacement and mortgage protection in with your life insurance appeals to you, they’ve got you covered. If you need a little extra guidance, they also have a regularly updated blog about insurance topics and current events. They have a strong A- rating from AM Best.
Grange Insurance was founded in 1935 to provide affordable car insurance to farmers. Now they offer those savings to people across all professions in 13 states. They work exclusively with expert independent insurance agents to provide auto, home, business and life coverage.
Nationwide is our third and final life insurance champion. Their superior online services, size and stability pushed them to the top. Nationwide offers a full suite of financial planning services, a great way to super-charge your life insurance benefits. Like Grange and Erie, their size and range of products lets you mix and match coverage for maximum discounts and benefits for you. (They even offer pet insurance!) They’re rated A+ by AM Best.
If you or your family speaks Spanish as a first language, Nationwide is one of the only insurers on this list that offers a fully bilingual website. That makes it easier to get covered and file a claim, especially in the difficult aftermath of a death in the family.
We picked AIG for the runner-up spot because of their 24/7 customer service hours and easy-to-use online services. Their rock-solid financial history also gave them a boost. AIG specializes in life insurance and financial and retirement planning services. This includes guaranteed permanent life insurance coverage for adults between the ages of 50-85. No medical exam or health questionnaire is required to access this coverage. It can be extremely difficult to get life insurance as you age, so this is a great perk for older adults. AIG is rated A by AM Best. They offer their insurance through independent insurance agents.
AIG stands for American International Group. True to their name, they’ve been providing insurance to individuals and businesses around the world since they were founded in 1919. Because AIG specializes in life insurance, that means they can offer truly customized, exceptional coverage in that area. But if you’re looking to bundle your life insurance with other types of insurance, they’re probably not the right choice for you.
Allstate is another United States insurance giant. We picked them for a top spot because, despite their enormous size (79,000 staff and independent agents), their customer service has stayed personal and user-friendly. They offer 24/7 customer support by phone and online portal, and you can even download an app to manage your insurance on the go. Their website is also fully available in Spanish. Allstate is rated A+ by AM Best, one of the highest ratings available.
Allstate was founded in 1931. Today they offer a massive variety of products you can choose from, including condo, motorcycle and renters insurance as well as life insurance. For those who like to DIY, their website is full of useful tools, including a life insurance calculator, rate comparison tool and a step-by-step guide to getting covered. Allstate’s website will leave you feeling like an empowered customer (even if you don’t ultimately choose their product).
6. Combined Insurance
Combined Insurance offers phenomenal stability, service and access to their customers. They’ve got all kinds of good stuff to their name: an A+ rating at AM Best, a nearly 100-year history, a spot on Ward’s Top 50 Life-Health Insurance Companies and a reputation as one of the most military- and veteran-friendly workplaces in the country. Combined Insurance is a Chubb company. Chubb is one of the most established and respected insurance in the business, which means an extra layer of safeguard for your life insurance policy.
Combined Insurance is a global insurance company based in Chicago, Illinois. Their life insurance products are very specific, meaning Combined Insurance may not be the best choice for everyone. They offer Family Life Protector coverage, which pays out faster than your typical life insurance policy so that your loved ones don’t face an interruption in necessary income. They also offer cancer care, disability, critical care and sick pay coverage.
One of the most recognizable insurance companies in America, Progressive landed on our list because of their top-notch AM Best rating (A+) and their 24/7 service. Progressive is known for exceptionally speedy claims service and their willingness to provide insurance to just about everyone, even if you’ve had trouble getting insured elsewhere. They work with independent insurance agents to help you get the coverage you need.
Progressive started insuring cars in 1937. Today they also offer home, business and life insurance along with a variety of niche products. Their life insurance products include term, permanent and final expense life insurance.
8. Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual ranks high on our list because of their financial strength and user-friendly tools. They’re the third largest property and casualty insurance company in the United States. (Property and casualty is the kind of insurance regular people buy—stuff like car, home and life.) That means that they’re a Fortune 68 company with about 50,000 employees worldwide. Luckily, their website isn’t nearly as intimidating as those numbers might suggest. They offer easy online quotes and clearly spell out what each type of policy will or won’t get you on their life insurance homepage. Liberty Mutual is rated A by AM Best.
Liberty Mutual offers special life insurance policies that do not require a health exam or questionnaire. This coverage might be more expensive in the short term, but it can be a great deal if you’re over 50 or living with a serious illness.
9. Assurity Life
We gave Assurity Life one of the highest financial strength ratings on this list. They are rated A- by AM Best, and their long history speaks for itself: they’ve been providing life insurance and financial services to customers since 1890. Assurity Life specializes in life insurance and related products like critical illness and disability income insurance.
Assurity Life is a mutual organization, which means that they aren’t publicly traded. Their policyholders have a stake in the company’s success and help control how Assurity invests its money. This gives you extra transparency and control over how your life insurance premiums are spent. Assurity Life also has a strong commitment to environmentalism. Their headquarters are LEED-certified and they’ve won several awards for social responsibility in their hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska.
10. Midland National Life Insurance Company
Midland National has an impressive list of A+ ratings: from AM Best, the Better Business Bureau, Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings. We thought they were pretty great, too. Midland National is privately held and has paid out over half a million dollars in life insurance policies and annuities over their 110 year history. Their main products are life insurance and annuities. They do not offer other common insurance products like car or home insurance.
Midland National offers an impressive variety of annuity options. Getting an annuity means you pay a lump sum to the insurance company in exchange for monthly payments. It often goes along with life insurance because it’s another way to safeguard your financial future. Midland National provides different investment options for your annuity, allowing you to balance risk and reward in the ways that best match your needs.
11. Alfa Insurance
Alfa is a regional company serving a smaller, cozier group of customers. We chose it for this list because of its financial stability and easy-to-use website. Quotes, customer service and claims reporting are all available online. Alfa offers auto, home, business, life and other insurance policies to over one million customers in 11 states. They offer term and permanent life insurance as well as annuities. Alfa has an A rating from AM Best.
Alfa began as an outgrowth of the Alabama Farmers Federation. Today you no longer need to be a member of Alabama Farmers to qualify for Alfa insurance, but the two are still closely linked. They have a number of special insurance products designed for farmers.
Ameritas offers life insurance, investment services and related products through a network of independent insurance agents and financial planners. We gave Ameritas a perfect 5-star strength rating because of their excellent A rating from AM Best along with their long record of spectacular service.
Ameritas started out as a small Midwestern company (then called Bankers Life) over 125 years ago. Today they’ve grown to one of the 100 largest insurance companies in America. Ameritas is a mutual organization, meaning that they’re not publicly traded and that policyholders have the largest stake in the company’s success.
13. Gerber Life
The Gerber baby is one of the most recognizable brands in America. But did you know that they offer life insurance through independent insurance agents nationwide? They do, and not just for babies—they also offer life insurance for adults, older children and even seniors. We picked Gerber Life for this list because of their strong A rating from AM Best as well as their extended customer service hours, including evenings and weekends.
Gerber Life was founded in 1967. They are most well known for their Grow-Up Plan, which provides life insurance to children for very low rates. Gerber Life also offers no-exam-required life insurance to seniors, a full suite of life insurance products for adults and even college planning services for parents looking to start a college fund for their child. If you’re looking for a life insurance provider for the whole family, Gerber Life could be a great choice.
14. Legal & General America
Legal & General is a British company with a strong presence in the United States. They’ve offered life and home insurance since 1836, making them the oldest company on this list. Legal & General is rated A+ by AM Best. They work with independent insurance agents across the United States. We chose them for this list because of their strong track record of success and easy-to-use website.
If you choose Legal & General for your life insurance, you can add one useful extras like critical illness coverage (which pays out in case of severe illness that affects your ability to work) and decreasing life insurance, which is designed to help cover your mortgage if you pass away unexpectedly. Like Gerber Life, Legal & General also offers special life insurance programs for children and seniors.
15. Security Mutual Life
Also known as Security Mutual Life Insurance of New York, Security Mutual Life now offers life insurance in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. They work with independent insurance agents in order to provide you with whole, term and universal life, plus extras like disability insurance and annuities. Security Mutual Life is rated A- by AM Best. Their stability and customer service nabbed them a top spot on our list.
Security Mutual Life was founded in 1886. Today they’re recognized for over 130 years of financial strength and excellent returns for their customers.
Symetra is a retirement benefits and life insurance company. They’re especially known for their annuity options. We chose Symetra because of their website’s easy-to-use features and clean design. Though they don’t offer 24/7 claims or extended customer service hours by phone, their website lets you accomplish almost everything you need online on your own time. We loved the modern, clean design of their website, which made finding important information a breeze. Symetra works with independent insurance agents and is rated A by AM Best.
Symetra was founded in 2004, making it one of the youngest companies on this list. However, their parent company, Sumitomo Life, has been around much longer, since 1907. Sumitomo Life is one of the largest life insurance companies in Japan.
17. Colonial Life
Colonial Life was the #2 provider of new life insurance policies from 2015-2016 according to an Eastbridge U.S. report, making them a fast-growing, customer-oriented choice for your life insurance. Colonial Life specializes in life insurance, including term, whole and universal life. Colonial Life works with independent insurance agents and is rated A- by AM Best. We chose them for a top spot because of their reputation for excellent customer service, including their extended customer service hours.
Colonial Life was founded in 1937 in South Carolina. Today Colonial Life insures 3.7 million people through over 800,000 companies all over the country.
18. Columbus Life
Columbus Life Insurance Company offers life insurance and annuities through a network of independent insurance agents and financial planners. Columbus Life is rated A+ by AM Best, one of the highest possible ratings. We chose them for this list because of their exceptional financial strength.
Columbus Life was founded in 1906. Today they are part of the powerful and well-respected Western & Southern group, meaning you can trust that your life insurance policy is backed by over a century of experience and billions in assets.
19. Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Guardian Life offers life insurance and health policies for both individuals and employers. We’re going to focus on their life insurance. They offer term and permanent life insurance through a network of independent insurance agents. We picked Guardian Life because of their financial strength and easy-to-use online tools. Guardian Life is rated A++ by AM Best, the highest possible rating.
Guardian Life was founded all the way back in 1860. Today they’re a Fortune 250 company and insure over 27 million people.
20. Infinity Insurance
Infinity Insurance (now part of Kemper Auto) provides car, home, business and life insurance. Infinity/Kemper is another young company, but their already-excellent reputation for stability and customer service is what landed them on our top 20. They offer their insurance through independent insurance agents. Infinity Insurance is rated A (u) by AM Best, meaning their situation is developing due to their age and the recent merger.
Infinity Insurance was founded in 2002. Their website and all materials are available fully translated into Spanish. If you and your family speak Spanish as a first language, choosing Infinity Insurance could mean an easier customer service and claims process.
The Awesome Benefits of an Independent Agent
Independent agents are here for YOU, just like we are. They’re rogue do-gooders: not bound by any one company, they can help you find the right life insurance match, no matter what company provides it. Shop smart. Go indie. Sweet.