Best life insurance for 2020 – Get our quote in a couple of minutes

The loss of a loved one carries a huge emotional toll and can even suffer a financial burden. Life insurance can help protect your loved ones and dependents by providing them with monetary support after your death. The concept is simple: you pay a fixed amount – the "premium" – every month, or once a year, for coverage. If you die, a person of your choice – the "beneficiary" – receives a pre-determined sum, otherwise known as "death allowance". The length of the coverage period – the "term" – and the amount of the death benefit are two of the variables that determine the cost of the premium.

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There are essentially two types of life insurance: basic life insurance and life insurance bundled with a near investment product. Bundled products, including lifetime, permanent, universal and any policy with a "cash value" component, are generally more expensive and more complicated. Term life insurance is simple, cheap and the easiest choice for most people. "If I need to make sure my family or company is protected in the event of a premature move, I want to focus on term insurance." said David Gastwirth, American Business insurance strategist. "It is the cornerstone of your insurance plan."
Sarah Tew / CNET
The best time to buy life insurance is when you are young and healthy. (If you are not one of these, however, it is still worth buying a policy.) Most experts recommend purchasing a policy with a death of 10-12 times the annual income and a period long enough to cover expenses. residence and future financial liabilities such as mortgage payments and university fees. The price of the policy – and the monthly or annual premium – is largely determined by the length of the mandate and the extent of the death benefit, although there are also other factors, such as age and health, regardless of whether you "are a smoker, your gender and where you live. Healthy adults under the age of 40 can expect to pay between $ 25 and $ 50 a month for a period of 20 to 30 years, with a death benefit of around $ 500,000. Life insurance benefits generally start at $ 100,000 and go to $ 3 million, which should be adequate to cover the needs of most people. (In some cases , you can get a policy with an advantage of $ 5 million.) All things being equal, Gastwirth recommends making mistakes on the side of greater coverage, as the cost of a policy increases with age – and, if you develop health complications later in life, you may become non-abs icurabile. "Get as much as you can for as long as possible, without changing your lifestyle," he said.

The best life insurance companies, in comparison

The best ever

The best customer service

Cheaper and faster

Best overall (second place)

More flexible terms

Best customer service (second place)

Main financial group

Northwestern mortgage

MassMutual / Haven Life


Banner Life / Legal and General America

State Farm

Go to the website

Go to the website

Go to the website

Go to the website

Go to the website

Go to the website

JD Power customer satisfaction





N / A


Monthly Premium *

$ 23.00

$ 31.75

$ 22.34

$ 23.57

$ 23.89

$ 30.44

Coverage terms

10, 15, 20 or 30 years

10 or 20 years

10, 15, 20 or 30 years

10, 15, 20 or 30 years

10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years

10, 20 or 30 years

Death benefits

From $ 200,000 to $ 5 million

From $ 100,000 to $ 5 million

From $ 100,000 to $ 3 million

From $ 100,000 to $ 1 million

From $ 100,000 to $ 10 million


Can you buy a policy online?







* The amount of the monthly premium paid by a 35 year old in excellent health for a 20 year life policy with a death allowance of $ 500,000. We compared coverage characteristics, customer service rankings, business stability and average price of a policy of 25 life insurance companies. The six companies highlighted below offer twenty-year policies with a death benefit of $ 500,000 for $ 23- $ 32 per month (or from $ 5,520 to $ 7,200 over the period). The more expensive policies are offered by larger companies, including Northwestern Mutual and State Farm, known for superior customer service. Note that we have omitted some companies because they do not offer policies to residents in any state. Here's how the best piles up. The best life insurance companies

We think Principal Financial Group offers the best combination of economic convenience and customer satisfaction. It ranked 4th in J.D.'s 2019 customer satisfaction survey Power and has had far fewer customer complaints than the industry average, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Of the companies described here, Principal's monthly premium was the second least expensive. A 20-year life policy and $ 500,000 for a healthy 35 year old costs $ 23 per month, compared to an average of $ 25.80. This, plus an A.M. The best and 140 years of activity, makes Principal an excellent choice for almost everyone. Principal offers a term of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years, with death benefits ranging from $ 200,000 to $ 5,000,000. The $ 200,000 minimum is slightly higher than the others, but most people should opt for a policy with at least $ 250,000 coverage if possible.

Haven Life policies are supported by MassMutual, one of the largest and oldest insurance companies in the United States. But his modern touches and unrivaled convenience are what sets him apart from the pitch. Most insurance companies require meeting in person with a financial adviser or company representative before being approved for a policy. (Some won't even give you a quote without first calling.) In the coronavirus era, buying a policy from the comfort and security of your home is a particularly compelling prospect – and Haven Life is one of the few companies that will sell a policy without the need to visit a doctor or laboratory first. Most customers will eventually have to complete a medical exam within 120 days of registration, but coverage begins immediately after being approved online. The answers must be accurate, as any discrepancies could create problems with the payment of the death benefit. As long as you have a reasonably complete understanding of your family's health history (and yours), the application shouldn't take longer than 15-20 minutes. Haven Life had the lowest life estimate among all the companies listed here. A 20-year, $ 500,000 policy for a healthy 35-year-old costs $ 22.34, compared to an average of $ 25.80. They offer life insurance policies ranging from 10 to 30 years, with benefits ranging from $ 100,000 to $ 3 million. MassMutual has a solid reputation for customer service and financial position.

Although each of these companies has earned a reputation for respectable customer service, Northwestern Mutual is known as the best in the business. The largest life insurance company in the United States, Northwestern passed the JD Power 2019 customer satisfaction survey and was recognized by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for having the lowest number of customer complaints on average of all insurers . Most Northwestern term insurance policies cover 10 to 20 years. The benefits start at $ 100,000 and go to $ 5 million, but a company representative said on the phone that they are always adding new products and you should talk to a financial advisor about what makes the most sense for your situation. Northwestern offers quality customer service, but the company's policies are not cheap. With quotes that are around 20% higher than the competition, there are many cheaper options. That said, if exceptional customer service is your priority, Northwestern is your best choice.

Other good choices

With an offer similar to Principal Financial Group, Nationwide does not definitively win any category, but ranks consistently high in all. The prices of the company are perfectly in line with the sector and are known for good customer service and business stability.

State Farm's prices are similar to Northwestern Mutual's, but its more expensive policies get excellent customer service brands and offer a lot of long-term flexibility. You can also start the application process on the State Farm website, although in most cases you will need to speak to a State Farm representative to finalize the application.

Banner Life insurance policies are issued by Legal and General America, the American branch of the British multinational financial services company. Legal and general was not included in the JD Power survey, but the company has existed since 1836 and has an excellent reputation for customer service and economic accessibility. And it's one of the few companies we've seen that offers 25-year terms.

How we chose the best life insurance companies All the companies described here meet the minimum requirements for a life insurance company. Our analysis prioritized customer service, financial position and price, but each of these companies got respectable customer service ratings from J.D. Power, a low complaint index from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and an A ++ or A + rating for the financial strength of A.M. Best. Although some of their policies are less expensive than others, all of these companies offer competitive premium rates. Note that the exact price of your policy will depend on your health, location, gender and age. The bottom line: you can safely choose one of these companies for a reasonably priced and comprehensive life insurance policy. Frequently Asked Questions Should I buy life insurance? If someone relies on you for financial support – children, spouse or parent – you should have life insurance. Many people buy a policy in the period of an important milestone in life. When you take out a debt to buy a house or send a child to college, a policy can help ensure that your obligations are paid off even if you die. A life insurance policy can also help dependents manage living expenses, as well as burial and funeral costs. I am under 40 and in good health. Do I really need life insurance? Yes. The best time to buy life insurance is when you are young and healthy. I have health problems or pre-existing conditions. How should I buy an insurance? It's worth shopping around to see if a company offers a policy designed for your specific situation. Health insurance companies generally classify customers into one of four categories: Preferred Best (sometimes called "Super Preferred"), Second Best Preferred (or simply "Preferred"), Standard Plus and Standard. Current or recent smokers will be classified as preferred smokers or standard smokers. Each company has its own approach to classifying customers; some will classify you as a smoker, even if you quit three years ago. Your categorization will help you determine your reward, so be honest and specific when talking to a consultant or representative. And it's worthwhile to identify a company and policy that covers you in an economic and effective way, whatever your state of health. How should I choose a life insurance period? You want a policy that covers the period of your major financial liabilities. If you are purchasing insurance today to make sure you can pay tuition fees for a 12 year old boy, for example, a 10 year old policy would make sense. Generally it is better to err on the longer side, as the cost and availability of products will change as you age. How should I choose a coverage amount? There are two ways to deal with it. An "income replacement" strategy provides your family with enough payment to support it for 15-20 years, through a combination of principal and interest. An adequate amount of coverage is approximately 10 to 12 times the current annual income. The alternative is "expense calculation", which relates the size of the policy to your current and future financial obligations – such as a mortgage or university tuition (which currently amounts to around $ 175,000 on average. for a 4-year private institution). Both factors can help you determine the size of your policy. Nationwide provides a useful online worksheet for a closer look. What should I do if my financial situation changes significantly? Life is unpredictable and when the financial situation changes, insurance coverage needs to be reevaluated. If you no longer need an insurance, you can always cancel the policy. If your bonds increase significantly – for example take a mortgage or have children – you can always buy additional insurance. Although life insurance is designed for the long term, there are many additional solutions for when circumstances change. Do I have to buy a life insurance policy? For most people, the answer is no. Guaranteed life insurance policies are easy to obtain, even for older or less healthy people, who may not even need to undergo a medical examination. But the death benefit is generally very low and the premiums are high. In addition, most guaranteed policies have a two-year waiting period: if you die during the first two years of coverage, the insurer will refund the premiums you paid, but will not provide the death benefit. What happens if my coverage term expires before I die? Despite the name, life insurance is actually more income insurance. It guarantees uninterrupted financial support for your family. Once your kids can support themselves, your mortgage is paid off and you have saved enough to cover the pension, you will need less life insurance. What is a "pilot" – and should I add one to my policy? A pilot is an optional feature that can be added to a standard policy; they are usually only available for whole life or universal life policies. A knight with chronic disease, for example, provides the insured with part of his allowance in the event of a diagnosis of terminal illness. A disabled cyclist waives or reduces the monthly premium if the contractor becomes incapacitated. While it may seem attractive, most cyclists are not worth the expense. Although they could only add a couple of dollars to your monthly premium, which amounts to over 10 or 20 years.