One of the greatest things about term life insurance is that many life insurance companies offer it.
This abundance of insurers in the marketplace benefits insurance shoppers because having so many carriers to choose from creates intense competition for insurance companies offering low-cost term life insurance.
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- Best Overall: Protective Life Insurance
- Best for Customer Satisfaction: Banner Life
- Best Product Selection: Lincoln National Life
- Best for Applicant Underwriting: Prudential
- Best for Optional Riders: American National Life Insurance
- Best for Financial Stability: Principal Financial
- Best for Accelerated Underwriting: Savings Bank Life Insurance
- How to Choose the Best Term Life Insurance Company
- Frequently ask Questions
But, it’s also important to point out that an abundance of companies with multiple types of term life insurance plans can create an abundance of confusion for consumers trying to sift through all the available plans.
For this reason, this article is available to help insurance shoppers make an informed decision regarding the best term life insurance companies for 2021.
The 7 Best Term Life Insurance Companies
Consumers can have comfort knowing that all life insurance companies are heavily regulated and annually rated by various national rating services like A.M. Best.
As with any industry, however, some carriers excel in particular categories, and it’s helpful to know which categories a company being considered does best in.
For example, Company A may have the lowest rates for a particular policy type but drag their feet when paying a claim. Or, Company B might deliver outstanding customer service but skimps on the optional riders they offer.
Here are our best term life insurance companies and where we believe they excel:
- Protective Life Insurance
- Banner Life Insurance
- Lincoln National Life
- American National Life Insurance Company (ANICO)
- Principal Life Insurance
- Savings Bank Life Insurance (SBLI)
Best Overall: Protective Life Insurance
With over a century’s worth of experience, Protective has found how to succeed in virtually every category. The company delivers a comprehensive product selection, ultra-competitive rates, and outstanding customer service.
Similar to many of the large and well-established national insurance companies, Protective employs five subsidiary companies to make certain that its products are effectively distributed throughout the country.
Each of Protective’s subsidiary companies also stands on its own when it comes to financial stability and a positive outlook going forward. Since a life insurance contract is a promise to pay in exchange for a premium, it’s important for consumers to know that their selected carrier can keep that promise for decades.
|Company||A.M. Best||S&P Global||Fitch||Moody's|
|West Coast Life||A+||AA-||A+||A1|
|Protective Life & Annuity||A+||AA-||A+||-|
- Competitive pricing for substandard health classes
- Term policies can be converted to permanent policies
- Offer 35 and 40-year level term policies
- Policies are renewable up to age 90
- Limited non-medical underwriting options
- Much higher rates for smokers and smokeless tobacco users
- Slower than many companies for application approval
Key features of Protective’s Term Life Insurance Policies:
- Super-Competitive Rates
- Coverage amounts up to $50 million
- Living benefits via Terminal Illness rider
Best for Customer Satisfaction: Banner Life
Rated AA or better by the national rating services, Banner Life is a top performer for its holding company, Legal & General America. Currently licensed in DC and all other states but New York, Banner’s management has invested a lot of time and effort in Customer Service and Claims Services to become our overall favorite in the category.
Banner also falls constantly in the top five carriers when it comes to the lowest rates for term life insurance. They offer policy terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years. And, unlike many companies, Banner will offer a term policy up to age 75, and all policies are convertible to permanent life insurance.
While an accelerated death benefit rider is offered by most national insurers, Banner includes this valuable living benefit in its term policy at no additional charge.
For insurance shoppers who pay special attention to a company’s financial ratings, Banner comes in with an A+ rating from A.M. Best and an AA- from Standard & Poor’s. And when it comes to our customer satisfaction category, Banner Life drew fewer complaints than many of the other insurers their size.
Simply put, we, as an independent agency representing many of the highest-rated life insurance companies, put Banner LIfe at the top when it comes to customer satisfaction.
- 35 and 40-year term policies available
- Consistently listed in the top 5 for lowest rates
- Outstanding customer and claims service
- Offers temporary coverage for qualified applicants
- Offers no medical exam life insurance option
- A maximum face amount of $1,000,000
- Accelerated Death Benefit not included
- Does not offer Whole Life insurance
Key features of Banner Life’s Term Life Insurance Policies:
- Super-Competitive Rates
- Accelerated underwriting for quick policy issue
- Unique laddering of coverage rider
Best Product Selection: Lincoln National Life
Founded more than a century ago, Lincoln National Life is the cornerstone company for the Lincoln Financial Group of companies.
Although Lincoln is always in the top 10 for outstanding life insurance products, it also has a stellar reputation in providing products for retirement planning and wealth accumulation and protection.
With its stellar reputation, Lincoln National Life lives up to its namesake, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America.
Moreover, Lincoln Financial’s success in the financial industry allows the company to provide considerable grants for more than 300 nonprofits annually.
Consumers who are considering Lincoln National products will be please to know that the insurance company earns very high ratings from each of the national rating services year over year.
The company’s current ratings demonstrate that the company will keep its promises to policyholders whenever a claim for benefits is filed:
Lincoln National offers two formidable term products that are competitively priced and backed by a century-old financial powerhouse.
Lincoln TermAccel Level Term – This product is considered a simple issue product and has super-competitive rates for individuals under 50-years old that require face amounts of $1,000,000 or less. The company uses a simple phone interview application and provides fast processing that can deliver approvals in just a few days if no testing is required.
Lincoln LifeElements Level Term – Lincoln’s LifeElements product is targeted at individuals 30-years old and older who require a death benefit of $1,000,000 and above. This product also uses a telephone interview rather than the standard paper application, so the applicant can be processed and approved as quickly as possible.
Additionally, both term products can be customized for the applicant using the most popular optional riders:
- Accelerated Death Benefit Rider
- Children’s Term Rider
- Waiver of Premium
Both TermAccel and LifeElements can be converted to permanent policies without a medical underwriting requirement.
- Large selection of Term and permanent cash-value products
- Streamlined underwriting process that delivers rapid policy decisions
- Online applications with an average approval time of fewer than 21 days
- Liberal and competitive underwriting guidelines for applicants with various health conditions
- No medical exam policies available for healthy non-smokers
- Lincoln National does not offer whole life insurance.
- Although claims can be filed online, typical service requests cannot be made online.
- Although a children’s term rider is available, you cannot buy a stand-alone policy for a child.
Key Features of Lincoln National Term Life Insurance Policies
- Available death benefits of $1 million +
- Simple phone interview application
- Super competitive rates for 55+ applicants
Best for Applicant Underwriting: Prudential
Ask someone to name three life insurance companies, and it’s likely that Prudential will be one of them. Since being founded in 1875, Prudential has become a behemoth insurance company servicing policyholders around the world.
Prudential’s offers a comprehensive product portfolio with financial products like:
- Term Life insurance products
- Permanent cash-value Life Insurance products
- Indexed and Variable Universal Life Products
- Mutual Funds
- Fixed, Indexed, and Variable Annuities
- Real Estate Brokerage Franchises
- And a large family relocation services division
Without fail, Prudential is one of those companies that demonstrates rock-solid financial stability year after year.
|Rating Service||Company Raating|
|Moody’s Investors Service||Aa3|
Prudential Term Life Insurance Products
Term Essential – Prudential’s Term Essential product is traditional term insurance with available policy terms of 10, 15, 20, and 30-years.The premiums remain the same during the life of the policy, and the policy can be easily converted to a permanent product in Prudential’s portfolio. This conversion does not require medical underwriting, so the policyholder will receive the same rate class as the term policy.
As with most term policies in the marketplace, Prudential offers a variety of riders that allow the applicant to broaden the policy’s coverage and get additional living benefits.
Term Elite – Like Term Essential, this policy can last for 10, 15, 20, or 30 years and be customized with valuable riders like the Living Needs Benefit, which will pay out a large portion of the death benefit if a policyholder is diagnosed with a terminal illness. One difference: If you convert a Term Elite policy to permanent coverage within the first five years, you get a one-year premium credit against the cost of the new policy.
PruTerm One – PruTerm One is an annually renewable term product that is commonly purchased to cover short-term financial risks like auto loans, personal loans, or equipment loans for business owners.
- A comprehensive selection of Term and Permanent insurance products
- Favorable rates for applicants who are overweight applicants
- Very competitive rates for applicants who are managing diabetes
- Liberal underwriting for applicants who smoke cigars or a pipe or use smokeless tobacco
- A or better ratings from all the rating companies year after year
- Minimal selections for no exam life insurance policies
- Prudential does not offer whole life or final expense insurance.
Key Features of Prudential Term Life Insurance Policies
- Conversion privilege available for both term products
- Very competitive rates for applicants dealing with certain health and lifestyle issues
- Offers a short-term annually renewable product for individuals and business owners
Best for Optional Riders: American National Life Insurance
After being established over a century ago, American National Life Insurance Company (ANICO) has evolved into a fierce competitor in the term life insurance marketplace.
Along with term life insurance, ANICO offers a broad selection of life insurance products, annuities, accident and health insurance plans, business pension plans, credit insurance products, and property and casualty products for families and businesses.
ANICO relies on career agents, independent marketing organizations, and multiple line exclusive agents as well as direct distribution channels to bring their products to the marketplace.
American National has more than 3,000 employees in offices in Galveston and League City, Texas; Springfield, Missouri; and Glenmont, New York. American National’s network of agents stretches across all 50 states and Puerto Rico and provides service to more than 5 million policyholders.
Like the other best seven companies we’re listing, American National remains an A-rated insurance company, which demonstrates its commitment to making good on its promise to pay now and decades in the future.
American Nation Term Products
American National offers two term products that are designed to meet the needs of applicants with different circumstances and needs.
ANICO Signature Term
The Signature Term product is a traditional term product and fully underwritten. This allows the company to offer super-low rates to healthy non-smoker applicants.
The policy is available in 10, 15, 20, and 30-year policy periods, and the applicant has the opportunity to purchase various raiders to customize his or her policy to meet their needs and circumstances.
In addition to the conversion privilege that is part of the core policy, applicants can add optional riders to customize their coverage and have living benefits.
The most popular riders that applicants take advantage of are:
- The accelerated benefit insurance rider
- The disability waiver of premium rider
- The children’s term rider
Freedom Term Life Insurance
For consumers who prefer not to have a medical exam and would rather have a policy issued very quickly, ANICO’s FreedomTerm Life Insurance is a solid solution. There is no medical exam required for policy coverage up to $250,000, and the company can generally offer a decision in about 15 minutes.
Certainly, this no medical exam term life insurance will serve the consumers who need a policy issued quickly for events like an SBA loan or to satisfy a Judge’s divorce decree. The terms available for Freedom Term LIfe insurance is 10, 20, or 30-years.
- ANICO is one of the few insurance companies that will consider below-average health
- Some excellent riders included with no additional premium.
- Very competitive rates
- Products available in all 50 states and Puerto Rico
- ANICO is not BBB accredited and therefore not rated by the BBB
- Must accept lower death benefit if buying no medical exam coverage
- Although you cannot quote online on the company website, you can on a broker’s site.
Key features of American National Term life insurance policies:
- Ulta-competitive rates for term life insurance
- ANICO offers solid solutions for applicants who are interested in retirement planning
- Rated A or higher with all of the national rating services
Best for Financial Stability: Principal Financial
Established over 142 years ago, Principal Financial has evolved into a Fortune 500 global leader in retirement planning, insurance, and asset management, with an operating income of over $1 billion.
Principal is one of the largest employers in Iowa and one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for, with over 17,600 employees.
Like other global leaders, Principal Financial offers its clients and prospective clients a diverse and comprehensive portfolio of financial and insurance products. The company is a leader in disability income insurance and various group plans such as dental, vision, and critical illness insurance.
Why we like Principal Financial’s Financial Stability:
|A.M. Best||A+ Superior||2nd highest of 13 rating levels|
|S&P Global||A+ Strong||5th highest of 20 rating levels|
|Fitch Ratings||AA- Very Strong||4th highest of 19 rating levels|
|Moody’s Investors Service||A1 Good||5th highest of 21 rating levels|
Principal Term Life Insurance
Principal offers a traditional term insurance policy with term periods of 10, 15, 20, and 30-years. There is also an annually renewable policy for those who have short-term needs.
All of the traditional term policies come with a conversion option that allows the policyholder to convert his or her term policy to a permanent, cash value policy with the same death benefit but without the need for additional medical underwriting.
Additionally, applicants can add optional riders to broaden the policy coverage and provide living benefits:
- Accelerated Death Benefit
- Disability Income Rider
- Child Protection Rider
- Waiver of Premium
- Term coverage available up to age 80 and renewals to age 95
- Conversions with no fee or medical exam
- Customer portal for customer service and document processing
- Typically in the top 5 for lowest term rates
- Coverage amounts up to $50 million
- Rated above average for customer service by J.D. Power
- No whole life products offered
- Minimum death benefit is $200,000
Key Features of Principal Financial Term Life Insurance
- Term policy renewals up to 95 years of age
- Consistently in the top 5 for lowest rates
- Multiple permanent policy types available for conversion
Best for Accelerated Underwriting: Savings Bank Life Insurance
Founded by Louis Brandeis in 1907, who later became the country’s Chief Justice, Savings Bank Life Insurance of Massachusetts (SBLI) was established as a savings bank for hard-working individuals and families.
Brandeis believed that these families were being underserved by financial institutions for obtaining affordable life insurance and established his mission to remedy and rehabilitate the working class’ image of the banking industry.
Over the next century, Savings Bank Life Insurance of Massachusetts endeavored to offer life insurance products that were affordable to the working class with underwriting guidelines that would allow those applicants in less than perfect health to purchase coverage to protect their families.
Even today, the company’s mission is to “put you first, not just when it’s convenient, but always.” Moreover, SBLI is a mutual insurance company, and as such, the management answers to its policyholders rather than faceless shareholders.
With consistently very high insurance ratings, SBLI continually demonstrates the financial stability needed to make certain that claims can be paid when surviving loved ones will need it the most.
Although not every life insurance company deploys it, accelerated underwriting (express issue) makes use of available technology so that healthy individuals can obtain an insurance policy without the need for a medical exam.
Using this popular underwriting method, qualified applicants can expect to have up to $1 million in coverage in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months.
Independent insurance agents consistently rely on companies like SBLI to help them get policies issued quickly for qualified applicants without the need for medical exams, urine or blood tests, and physician reports, which can drastically slow down the underwriting process.
SBLI Term Insurance
SBLI’s Term Life Insurance product can be purchased in policy terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years. All of SBLI’s term products can be converted to permanent life insurance without proof of insurability.
The premiums for SBLI term life insurance policies are guaranteed to remain level for the term of the policy, and every policy is renewable on a yearly basis until the age of 85.
Applicants who are age 18 to 60-years old are eligible for accelerated underwriting for policies with a death benefit of $500,000 or lower, but fully underwritten policies can be purchased with a death benefit of $100,00 up to $50 million.
- Accelerated underwriting for qualified applicants
- Several riders available to enhance coverage
- Participating whole life insurance available
- Guaranteed level premiums on all term policies
- Low premiums for no medical exam policies
- Maximum issue age of 60-years old for accelerated underwriting
- No universal life coverage offered
Key features of SBLI Term Life Insurance
- No exam rates equal to fully underwritten rates up to $500,000
- Accelerated death benefit offered at no additional charge
- Consistently ranks in the top 5 for no-exam term life insurance
How to Choose the Best Term Life Insurance Company
Choosing the best Term Life Insurance policy will depend a lot on the insurance company you choose. Indeed, term policies among most insurance companies are similar, but some companies do a much better job than others when they design and price their insurance products.
It’s a given that insurance shoppers prefer to get the lowest rate possible. But doing so at the risk of losing outstanding customer service, valuable optional riders, or getting a carrier that doesn’t demonstrate financial stability, is simply not a fair trade-off.
We have listed below eleven aspects a consumer should consider if they are serious about purchasing a policy with the best value and price.
- Are online applications available? Since 21st Century technology plays a large part in the application process, the majority of life insurance companies will allow for applications to be completed and signed online. The electronic application is encrypted for security reasons, and so the data remains more secure than using a paper application, and it’s more convenient for the applicant.
- High customer satisfaction scores. It takes only a few minutes to locate online reviews of life insurance companies. But, be aware, many negative reviews may come from disgruntled former employees. Companies like J.D. Powers, Consumer Reports, and ValuePenquin typically provide reviews that are realistic, and they typically deliver a score based on many reviews from consumers.
- Term Life Conversions. Being able to convert a term policy to a permanent policy is a big deal for two important reasons: 1. Most people will need permanent insurance coverage when they get older, and 2. The ability to purchase a permanent policy through conversion eliminates additional medical underwriting issues.
- Range of term life policy options. If your intention is to keep your term coverage for the longest period possible because of the affordable rates, then look for carriers who offer policy terms longer than 10 or 20 years. Recently, some insurance companies have extended their term policies to 35 and even 40 years and then allow renewals up to age 90.
- Living benefits are offered. When we purchase a term life insurance policy without living benefits, it’s like renting a death benefit that you will likely outlive. The accelerated death benefit option is a valuable option because it will provide living benefits if you are diagnosed with a terminal or critical illness. In fact, some carriers offer this benefit with long-term care coverage built-in. Today, many companies add these living benefits automatically with no additional charge.
- Accelerated death benefits are provided. The ability to use your death benefit if you become critically ill can prevent possible financial devastation. Being able to get an advance on the death benefit paid to you instead of your beneficiary could be essential to helping you manage your illness.
- Competitive pricing options. When you involve an experienced and reputable independent agent in the shopping process, you will get access to many of the top-rated insurance carriers and will have the advantage of shopping your policy needs with multiple carriers simultaneously. Shopping your policy with captive agents that represent and are employed by one life insurance company puts insurance shoppers at a disadvantage.
- Simplified underwriting process. Now that life insurance underwriting has become automated through innovative technology, applicants can have insurance coverage issued in a matter of days rather than weeks or even months.
- Policies are guaranteed renewable. Most insurers allow a term life policyholder to renew their insurance policy up to age 80 or 90 years old. These renewals are generally done annually, and the rate will go up as you age, but if you’ve developed some illnesses and haven’t converted your policy, these annual renewals will become critical for keeping coverage you can afford.
- Policy face amount can be changed. Although term policies once issue have a death benefit that is etched in stone and cannot be changed, many companies allow an applicant to “ladder” coverage so that at certain intervals, your face amount will go down as your need for life insurance coverage decreases over time.
- Temporary insurance is offered. Many companies today will offer temporary coverage to an applicant that will pay the death benefit if you die during the underwriting process or before your policy is issued. The temporary coverage is generally issued on the condition that the insurance company would have ordinarily issued the policy.
FAQs About Term Life Insurance
Do I Really Need Term Life Insurance?
The type of life insurance you need should be based on why you need it and your budget. Term life insurance is considered temporary, so it makes sense to use it to cover needs that you consider temporary. Since term policies do not build cash value and are considered finite, they are not typically recommended for consumers who want lifetime coverage or plan to build an asset with cash-value insurance.
How Long does it Take to Set Up a Term Life Insurance Policy?
It has never been easier and quicker as it is today to set up a term life insurance policy. And, when you have an independent agent involved, you can shop multiple companies simultaneously. With innovative processes like accelerated underwriting and no medical exam policies available, most insurance shoppers can get a policy set up in a matter of days.
Do You Need a Medical Exam for Term Life Insurance?
In today’s insurance marketplace, applicants can typically purchase life insurance policies up to $500,000 in coverage without the requirement of a medical exam. Moreover, the difference in rates between a fully-underwritten policy and a no medical exam policy is minimal
Is Term Life Insurance Better Than Whole Life Insurance?
The answer to this question depends on your need for life insurance. Although both types of life insurance offer a guaranteed death benefit and a guaranteed level premium, a term life insurance policy does not build cash value like a whole life policy will.
What Happens if I Outlive My Insurance?
If you purchased the return of premium rider, the insurance company would refund all premiums you paid into the policy. If you did not purchase the return of premium rider, your policy would lapse if you do not renew it or if you do not convert it to a permanent policy like whole life or universal life.
How Much Does Term Life Insurance Cost?
Like other types of life insurance, your cost for term life insurance will depend on your age, your health, your lifestyle, your occupation, and the death benefit you wish to purchase. For example, a 30-year-old healthy male non-smoker can buy term life insurance for much less than a 30-year-old male with high blood pressure or cholesterol who smokes.
Need Help Choosing the Best Term Life Insurance Company for Your Needs?
To find the best Term Life Insurance Company that will provide you with the coverage you need at a price you can afford, contact LIfeInsure.com at 866-868-0099 to speak with an insurance professional who represents most of the top-rated companies in the life insurance marketplace. Alternatively, you can use our instant quote form on the right side of the page.