Best Term Life Insurance Companies
The best term life insurance is a policy that both provides you with an appropriate death benefit and charges affordable premiums for coverage. Below, you can compare our picks for the best term life insurance companies from our partners.
Many or all of the companies featured provide compensation to LendEDU. These commissions are how we maintain our free service for consumers. Compensation, along with hours of in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear on our site.
Life insurance provides important protections for those that depend on you. In the event of your death, your loved ones may experience tremendous financial hardship, especially if you were providing income or performing other services, such as taking care of elderly relatives or children. With a good life insurance policy in place, your family won’t face a financial lurch in lieu of this support.
There are several different types of life insurance, but term life insurance is an especially affordable and popular option. However, you need to make sure you get a term policy that provides appropriate coverage for your situation—from an insurer that demonstrates superior customer satisfaction and the financial strength it will need to outlast your term.
We rated our partner term life insurance companies to help you find the coverage you need.
In this guide:
Best Term Life Insurance Companies
To help you find the best term life insurance, our team evaluated our partner providers and brokers on 14 data points including AM Best Rating, BBB Rating, Trustpilot, NAIC Complaint Index score, Trustpilot Rating, available terms, and more.
Click an option below to jump to the review:
- Best Term Life with No Medical Exam: Bestow
- Best Term Life with High Coverage Amounts: Ladder
- Best for Comparing Term Life Insurance: LeapLife
Best for: Term life with no medical exam
Bestow is an online life insurance provider offering policies through the North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, which has an A+ rating by AM Best.
Getting term life insurance through Bestow is simple with its fast online application and instant decision. In fact, the average time to purchase life insurance through Bestow is only 8 – 12 minutes.
Unlike most providers, Bestow never requires a medical exam. Other providers may offer coverage with no medical exam for some individuals but typically require it for others.
- Age Limits: 21 – 54
- Coverage Amounts: $50,000 – $1 million
- Premiums: Starting at $8 per month
- Terms: 10 or 20 years
- AM Best Rating: A+ (for the North American Company for Life and Health Insurance)
- Trustpilot Rating: 4.8 (Excellent)
Best for: Term life with high coverage limits
Ladder helps people get life insurance policies through Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York (for NY residents) and Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (for residents of all other states and D.C.).
With Ladder, there are no hidden fees and pricing is typically very affordable. You can apply in under 10 minutes and find out if you’re approved instantly.
Aside from the high coverage limit of $8 million, another great benefit of Ladder is the flexibility in the plans offered through the company. You can reduce your coverage and premium amounts at any time if your needs change. Your coverage amount and premium will decrease at the same percentage, helping you adjust your policy to fit your situation over time.
- Age Limits: 20 – 60
- Coverage Amounts: $100,000 – $8 million
- Premiums: Starting at $4.95 per month
- Terms: 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years
- AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior) for Allianz of Life Insurance Company of New York and Alllianz Life Insurance Company of North America – affirmed October 2021 (learn more about AM Best and access the latest rating, here)
- Trustpilot Rating: 4.8 out of 5, as of November 5th, 2021 (learn more about Trustpilot’s rating process, here)
Best for: Comparing term life insurance
LeapLife isn’t a life insurance provider itself, rather helps people compare policy options to find their best fit. The company is partnered with 15 carriers that offer both term and whole life insurance policies.
By comparing options through LeapLife, you can make sure you find a policy that gives you the coverage you need at a price you are comfortable with. LeapLife has a seamless application process that only takes minutes to complete and can be done online or by phone.
- Age Limits: 18 – 75
- Coverage Amounts: Varies by carrier
- AM Best Rating: A (average of carriers)
- Trustpilot Rating: 4.7 (Excellent)
How to Find the Best Term Life Insurance
Virtually all of the best life insurance companies offer term life insurance policies. You should compare coverage options from several insurers to make sure you’re getting the most comprehensive coverage at an affordable price.
Here are a few key things you should think about when shopping for a term life insurance policy.
Eligibility and Underwriting
First and foremost, you need to be able to qualify for a term life policy. Insurers don’t have to give you a policy; they have a process called underwriting during which they consider the risk you’ll die while covered.
Different insurers have different rules for life insurance underwriting and eligibility. For example:
- Many insurers only grant term life insurance policies up to a certain age, though the cutoff varies from one insurer to another.
- Some insurers are more restrictive in denying policies or charge higher premiums due to pre-existing conditions.
If you’re denied coverage with one term life insurer or are charged more than you can afford to pay, don’t assume you won’t find affordable life insurance premiums elsewhere.
Term of Coverage
Term life insurance policies, by definition, are in effect only for limited periods of time. The policy pays out only if you die during your term of coverage. You’ll need to decide how long you want to be covered for and make sure your insurer offers coverage for that term length.
Most insurers offer coverage for terms of specific lengths, including:
- 10 years
- 20 years
- 30 years
Some term life insurance companies guarantee you the option to renew your coverage up until a certain age without having to requalify. Of course, you must be current with your premium payments and will need to pay any required renewal premium.
If it is important for you to have the option of renewing your coverage at the end of your initial term, make sure you look for a renewable term life policy. These policies will have a clause in your insurance contract guaranteeing the right to continue coverage when the initial term expires.
Read the fine print in the renewability clause so you’ll understand exactly what the insurer requires in order for you to be able to continue coverage.
Death Benefit Amount
The death benefit amount is the tax-free amount the insurer pays to your beneficiaries upon your death. It’s important to make sure the insurer offers the coverage your family needs. Pay attention to both the minimum and maximum limits for the death benefit so you can ensure you aren’t forced to buy more coverage than you want or are prevented from getting the full amount of coverage you need.
Some insurers allow you to buy multimillion-dollar policies — but the higher the death benefit, the higher the premiums you’ll pay.
Coverage and Exclusions
Find out the circumstances under which each insurer will pay out the death benefit. It is common for insurers to exclude certain causes of death; for example, a policy may not pay a death benefit if you pass away while committing a felony or if you die by suicide.
Insurers may also provide double indemnity, which means the policy will pay an extra death benefit under certain conditions, such as if you die in an accident rather than from an illness. If you want to make sure your family gets extra benefits in case of accidental death, look for policies with these double indemnity provisions.
Some term life policies have a waiting period before your full death benefit will pay out after your coverage goes into effect. For example, you may have partial coverage only until you’ve paid premiums for at least a year or two.
If you want to provide your family with immediate protection, look for a life insurer that doesn’t impose a waiting period or one with the shortest waiting period possible.
Finally, you want to make sure your insurer has a good reputation and is financially sound. Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and other consumer reviews to find out what past customers have said about the insurer, and contact your state’s insurance commissioner to see if the insurer has come under investigation or has been subject to any penalties as a result of unethical practices.
Frequently Asked Questions About Term Life Insurance
Chances are good that as you begin comparing term life insurance policies, you’ll have lots of questions about policy terms, available coverage, and the types of insurance available to you. Here are answers to some of the most common questions you might have when shopping for a term life policy.
Permanent life insurance policies come in different forms, including whole life insurance and universal life insurance. But what all these permanent policies have in common is they are intended to provide coverage indefinitely as long as you continue paying premiums for the life of the policy.
Permanent life insurance policies also have a tax-deferred investment component; you pay premiums that are higher than what coverage costs and your policy accrues a cash value you can borrow against or even cash out.
Term life policies, on the other hand, are insurance only — not investments. The policies are in effect only for a specific period of time, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. If you die during the term, your family receives the death benefit; if you don’t, the insurer never pays out.
Term life insurance policies generally come with much lower monthly premiums than permanent life insurance policies, so they may be easier to fit into your budget. The idea is these policies are in effect while they’re needed, but eventually, your family won’t be reliant on your income or services any longer, so a future payout won’t be necessary.
As mentioned above, when you apply for life insurance, underwriters assess the risk you’ll die while covered. The greater the risk you’ll pass away — and the insurer will have to pay out — the higher your premiums will be.
Underwriters know the types of things that increase the risk of death, so you’ll have to fill out a detailed questionnaire and likely undergo a medical exam to identify those risks. Some insurers do offer term life insurance with no medical exam, but unless you’re a relatively young non-smoker, these policies might come with higher premiums.
Some of the key factors considered during the underwriting process are:
- Age: Older people are more likely to die.
- Gender: Women live longer than men.
- Health: If you have certain pre-existing or other medical conditions, you’re likely considered to be at greater risk.
- Habits and hobbies: If you smoke or engage in dangerous activities like skydiving, you’ll probably have to pay more.
- Occupation: Some jobs expose you to much more risk than others.
You should always be honest when applying for life insurance products, even if you think your answers will increase your premiums. If insurers later find out you lied, you could have your coverage invalidated or your death benefit reduced.
Knowing how much life insurance you need is key to buying a policy with a large enough death benefit to take care of your dependents. Some of the factors you should consider when deciding on the necessary amount of coverage include:
- The number of dependents you have and the degree of dependency. If you have five kids and are the sole breadwinner for your family, you obviously need a lot more coverage than if you just have one spouse who also works.
- Your financial obligations. You may want to make sure your surviving family members could pay off your mortgage or that your kids’ college educations are paid for.
- What will happen in the event of your death. Will your family lose other services, like health insurance, they’ll need to pay for? How much will your funeral cost? What will the loss of income do to your loved ones?
- Your financial portfolio as a whole. If you have substantial assets and your death won’t cause much financial hardship, you may not need much coverage.
According to some financial experts, the basic rule of thumb is that your term insurance policy should equal 10 times the amount of your annual salary. But this isn’t always accurate for every situation, as your family may have high financial needs — especially if you have an expensive mortgage or a bunch of kids to send to college.
Consider your situation carefully to make sure your loved ones have the needed protections.
You need to make sure you have the best term life insurance policy you can buy at the most affordable price so your loved ones will be protected if the worst happens.
>> Read More: Is term life insurance worth it?
By getting quotes from multiple life insurers and comparing your life insurance options, you can find a policy that has premiums you can easily pay that will provide the protection you need to give your family security. Now that you know what to look for, don’t wait to start shopping for the coverage your loved ones deserve.
Author: Christy Rakoczy