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There are all kinds of “ten best” lists, to rank the best of everything in the world. Though there are usually subjective factors that determine what any of us think about a life insurance company, Insure.com has put together a list of the 14 top life insurance companies in the US. Their ranking is based on the following criteria:

  • Customers who recommend (the company)
  • Customer service
  • Financial strength rating (according to A.M. Best)
  • Value for price

I’m going to put together my own Top 10 Life Insurance Companies list, but weigh the Insure.com criteria a bit differently. I’m going to base my list primarily on the “customers who recommend” ranking.

My thinking is that the willingness of existing customers to recommend a company to others is the single greatest statement on the quality of a life insurance company or any other business. It’s not that the other criteria don’t matter, but more about extrapolating the results that are most relevant to the average person.

As a rule, top ten lists for just about anything are really based on someone’s opinion.

It’s my opinion that people’s willingness to recommend a company is the most relevant factor in choosing a company – while always acknowledging the fact that not everyone will be happy with every company, even the 10 best.

So here’s the Life Insurance By Jeff Top 10 Life Insurance Companies in the US:

top 10 life insurance companies in the us

Top 10 Life Insurance Companies in the US (Infographics)

1. Jackson National

This life insurance company drew an incredible 88% of its customers who either have – or will – recommend the company to others. That speaks volumes about Jackson National. On customer service, it rated four and a half stars out of five.

On financial strength, it was rated A+ by A.M. Best, which makes it a pretty solid company. In the value for price category, Jackson National scored four and a half out of five stars.

There’s one other factor that will be of interest to anyone who’s looking for a life insurance policy, and that is premium rate. 66% of Jackson National’s customers chose the company because it offered the best rate.

2. New York Life

77% of New York Life’s customers either have, or will, recommend the company to others, which is the second highest rating in that category. Customer service gets four and a half out of five stars, and the company is rated A++ by A.M. Best.

In the value for price category, New York Life scored four and a half out of five stars. Only 23% of its customers chose the company because it offered the best rate. However, 28% cited the company’s reputation as a reason for purchasing life insurance from them.

3. State Farm

State Farm matched New York Life in the customers who recommend category, with 77 percent of its customers either have, or will recommend the company to others. The company gets four stars out of five for customer service, and an A++ rating from A.M. Best.

It draws four and a half stars out of five in the value for price criteria. Matching New York Life, 23% of State Farm’s customers chose the company because it offered the best price, while 28% cited the company’s reputation as a factor.

4. Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual matches New York Life and State Farm with 77% of its customers having recommended the company, or would be willing to recommend them to others. It gets four and a half stars out of five on customer service, and an A++ rating from A.M. Best.

In the value for price criteria, Northwestern Mutual has a perfect score – five stars out of five. 42% of its customer base felt that the company offered the best price for their life insurance. That’s second on this list, trailing only Jackson National.

5. John Hancock

John Hancock came in with 74 percent of its customers who either have or would recommend the company to others. They received four stars out of five on customer service, and an A+ rating from A.M. Best. In the value for price category, John Hancock scored four and a half out of five stars.

Only 17% of its customers indicated that the company offered the best price, but 32% listed the company’s reputation as a factor.

6. Transamerica

Similar to John Hancock, Transamerica rated 74% of its life insurance customers either having, or willing to recommend the company to others. It received four stars out of five in customer service, and an A+ rating from A.M. Best.

In the value for price category, they rated four stars out of five. Though only 21% of customers indicated that the company offers the best price, while 30% cited the company’s reputation as a deciding factor.

7. AXA Equitable

74% of AXA Equitable’s customers either have or would recommend the company to others. The company gets three and the half out of five stars for customer service, and four and a half stars out of five for value for price. A.M.

Best rates the company A+. 35% of customers said the company had the best price, the third highest rating in this category among the companies on this list. 25% cited the company’s reputation as deciding factor in their decision to purchase life insurance with them.

8. Prudential

73% of Prudential’s customers either have or would recommend the company to others. The A.M. Best rating is A+, and the company gets four and a half stars out of five for customer service.

It gets a perfect five stars out of five under value for price. 28% of the company’s customers cited the company’s reputation as a factor, while only 22% felt that Prudential offered the best price.

9. American General

American General either has, or would be recommended by 72% of its customer base – despite the company‘s somewhat obnoxious TV commercials :-) The company rates a perfect five stars out of five in customer service, but only three and a half stars out of five on value for price.

A.M. Best rates the company’s financial strength as an A. 33% of American General’s customers were swayed by the company’s reputation, while 29% felt that it offered the best price on their life insurance policy.

10. Lincoln General

Lincoln General either has been, or would be, recommended by 72% of its customers. The company has an A+ financial strength rating from A.M. Best.

The company gets four stars out of five for customer service, and four half stars out of five in the value for price category. 32% of its customers believe that it offered the best price on their life insurance policy, while 26% cited the company’s reputation.

The Next Ten

There are ten more companies I want to add to this list, companies that I’ve had good or excellent experience with in my own insurance business. A couple of them are on the Insure.com list, but most aren‘t.

11. MetLife

MetLife is on the Insure.com list. 68% of their life insurance customers either have or will recommend the company to others. The company has an A+ rating on financial strength from A.M. Best.

They get four stars out of five for customer service and four and a half out of five stars for value for price. 32% of customers cited the company’s reputation as a reason for buying from them.

12. Banner Life a.k.a., Legal & General

Do a general search on this company on the web, you’ll find it gets high marks from insurance agents everywhere. The company is actually based in the United Kingdom, but has a strong presence here in the US.

They offer a wide variety of innovative life insurance products at affordable rates, as well as policy conversion provisions that allow you to convert a term life insurance policy to a permanent universal life plan.

13. Protective

This company has been around since 1907 and operates in all 50 states. They also provide a full range of life insurance products, including term and universal life insurance, as well as annuities and various investment products.

14. SGLI

Administered by Prudential, Service Members Group Life Insurance – or SGLI – provides life insurance for members of the United States military, which includes all active duty and reserve personnel. It is supervised by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Premiums on life insurance coverage are set at 7 cents (that’s cents, not dollars) per month per $1,000 of coverage, and policies are available in increments of $50,000 up to a maximum of $400,000. That means that a $100,000 policy costs just $7 per month.

These price levels apply regardless of the members age. In addition, the policies provided specifically do not have a war clause exclusion, which means that, unlike other life insurance policies, the members beneficiaries can collect on the policy even if the member dies in combat.

15. Assurity Life Insurance Company

This company has been in existence since the 1890s and it does business in 49 states. The company is rated A- (excellent) by A.M. Best, and it provides both term and whole life policies, as well as universal life and annuities.

16. North American

This company traces its roots back to 1886, and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company has solid life insurance products and, in my experience, good customer service and reasonable pricing.

17. ING Life Insurance

ING also appears on the Insure.com list. 68% of INGs customers either have or would recommend the company to others, and the company rates four stars out of five for both customer service and value for price. 29% of the company’s customers cited price as a reason for choosing ING.

18. Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha is a well respected company that has been around for over 100 years. The company has all kinds of life insurance products available, and their prices are fairly reasonable.

19. Pacific Life

Pacific life was founded in 1868 and is probably the oldest company on this list. It is also a mutual insurance company, which means that if you’re policyholder you’re also part owner of the company, at least on whole life policies. This company is also well regarded by the public, it has the full range of life insurance products at reasonable rates.

20. Genworth

Genworth is a large, diversified financial services company that writes a lot of life insurance policies, but it isn’t exactly well-known among the general public. However, the company has been around since 1871 and now has more than $700 billion in life insurance in force. That many people can’t be wrong!

(Partial Data Source: http://www.insure.com/best-life-insurance-companies/)

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Talk to Your Spouse about life insuranceNobody wants to be a Debbie Downer. I get that.

But sometimes, it’s important to talk with your spouse about the inevitable. Like, say, death (insert dramatic chords here).

As much as I’d love to believe I’m an immortal man, unaffected by freak accidents and the second law of thermodynamics, the reality is a number of unfortunate circumstances could expedite my transfer to the afterlife.

One has to wonder . . . what would happen to my family’s finances if I died?

What would happen to your family if you weren’t there to bring in the bread and butter?

Scary prospect.

Here are three reasons you should sit down with your spouse today and talk about life insurance (after all, it is Life Insurance Awareness Month):

 

1. Your Family Probably Relies On Your Income

Many of the couples I speak with tell me that they have two incomes. Imagine the consequences of going down to just one income.

“But wait Jeff, if I were no longer around, wouldn’t that mean my family’s expenses would drop, too?”

Yes, that’s true, but not as much as you might think.

If you have a few little ones running around the homestead, they’re still going to many of the resources you’re providing.

Even if you don’t have kids, don’t expect your spouse’s expenses to be cut in half should you pass. There’s a financial advantage to marriage, and many of the budget categories will have to stay the same.

2. Your Spouse May Not Understand The Importance Of Life Insurance

According to a poll conducted on behalf of State Farm, only 34% of Americans think of life insurance as a “main course” of their financial plan (you can visit GoodNeighbors.com for more statistical goodies like this).

Yikes.

What did the others think? 18% thought of life insurance as a luxury they can’t afford, 16% thought it was important when starting out, 8% know they should have it but think they’ll pass on it, and the rest didn’t fall into these categories.

If you know you need life insurance, and assume that your spouse knows it too, it’s best that you talk with them today to make sure you’re on the same page. In your discussion, highlight the reasons why you both need life insurance and explain it’s one more huge way you can care for your family.

3. Death Can – Unfortunately – Occur Anytime

So, why talk with your spouse today about life insurance?

The unfortunate truth is that death can occur anytime. Check out some of the leading causes of death and the probability of death at various ages. Many of these causes are covered by life insurance – including unexpected accidents. And note that while probability of death while during youth is low, it does happen – life insurance covers you for a number of years.

When I say you should talk with your spouse today, I actually mean today – not tomorrow!

Think about it. You can probably recall some young folks you know who tragically lost their lives in automobile accidents or to unexpected health conditions – death can occur at any age. My hope is that you and your family will live long, healthy lives. But if you or your spouse passes early, my hope is that by having this important conversation today, you can avoid further pain and suffering down the road.

So, here’s my challenge to you . . . .

Talk with your spouse about life insurance today. All I’m asking is that you have a conversation. Explore your thoughts and feelings about it. If you accept the challenge, leave a comment and let me know. Once you’re on the same page with your spouse, I’d be happy to help you get a great quote.

Disclosure: This blog post was written as part of a sponsored program for State Farm to raise awareness about the importance of life insurance. All views expressed are entirely my own, and were not influenced or directed by State Farm. You can learn more about this blogger program and life insurance at GoodNeighbors.com, PlantingMoneySeeds.com, and by following #StartLiving on Twitter.

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