There are more than 1,000 life insurance companies that offer life insurance to consumers, but some of these insurance carriers are members of groups of companies, thus aren’t really competitors with each other. However, not every member of the group is licensed in your state.
Generally, it is recommended that you purchase insurance from a company licensed in your state. This is of important concern because if a problem were to arise you can seek the help of your state’s insurance department. Additionally, if the insurer becomes insolvent, the life insurance guaranty fund of your state will help only policyholders of insurance companies licensed with the state. You can go onto your state’s insurance department website or call them to find out which companies are licensed with it.
There are several factors you should evaluate in choosing the right insurance company:
- Insurance premium – this is the regular amount you pay to the insurance company for continued life insurance coverage. The premium varies depending on several factors including, death benefit, type of insurance (e.g., term life), your age, health and medical history, policy features, and more.
- Product - insurance carriers offer a huge range of policies and features, hence you have a lot of choice in products that best meet your needs.
- Company name – the name of an insurance company may not be a reflection of the company’s services and/or financial strength. Many insurance companies from big to small often use words such as, Guaranty, Security, Reserve, Bankers Trust, Financial, Investors, Assurance, Continental, Pioneer, Republic Equitable, Franklin, Jefferson, or etc. Be a discerning consumer and look beyond the company’s name to understand its services, products, and financial security.
- Financial security – life insurance policyholders have no guarantee that death benefits will be paid to their survivors, if the insurance company loses its financial foundation. Choose a company that will be financially sound for years to come, by using ratings from independent rating agencies such as, A.M. Best, Moody’s, or Standard and Poor’s.
- Ethics – research the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), SEC, department of insurance, and consumer websites about a company’s history of complaints and/or regulatory violations. Make sure you do your due diligence in finding out the history of any ethical violations by an insurance company.
- Service – life insurance is a complex product, so it helps to speak with an experienced insurance agent. An insurance agent can offer insurance products from various companies and answer any questions.
There are many insurance companies that do business nationally and/or at the state level. Here is a list of some of the most popular insurance companies:
- AAA Life Insurance
- Allstate Life Insurance
- American Fidelity Assurance
- Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance
- Golden Rule Insurance
- Guardian Life Insurance
- Horace Mann Life Insurance
- Jefferson Pilot Financial Insurance
- John Hancock Life Insurance
- Lincoln Benefit Life
- MetLife Investors USA Insurance
- Metropolitan Life Insurance
- Nationwide Life Insurance
- New York Life Insurance
- Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance
- Provident Mutual Life Insurance
- Pruco Life Insurance
- SAFECO Life Insurance
- State Farm Life Insurance
- State Life Insurance
- The Penn Mutual Life Insurance
- The Prudential Insurance
- The Travelers Life Insurance
Having life insurance is one of the four cornerstones of financial planning. It is important that you evaluate the insurance company based on the above factors so that you can make the best decision about your life insurance needs.