Best Life Insurance Companies for 2017
The phrase “life insurance” can make even the most mature, financially responsible adults squirm. I know I didn’t feel jazzed searching for the best life insurance company. It doesn’t just remind me of my own mortality; it also has a reputation for being complicated — not the most charming combo, or the most compelling way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
But I tackled figuring it out and it ended up being more manageable than I thought: All my top picks offer unshakable financial strength, a couple of key policy provisions, and enough options to let you personalize your coverage for your unique situation. That said, you’ll need to get quotes to help figure out who you’ll end up buying a policy from — every provider has different risk factors and different premiums, and the one with the best rates for me won’t necessarily have the best rates for you.
Something else that’s important to grasp right from the get go: You should only buy life insurance if you actually need it.
I don’t need life insurance right now, but I’m going to need it soon: I don’t have any dependents and, as depressing as it is, if I were to die, everyone would be OK, financially. But, I’m looking into the future — one that’s full of kids — which means life insurance is also in the cards.
It’s no fun to contemplate the fact I could die before my kids are grown, but I want to make sure they are financially supported, no matter what. I definitely don’t (and won’t) have enough money saved to do that on my own. Even if I were a one-percenter with millions in the bank, though, life insurance would still make sense for me: It’s a way to make sure there’s some money available for them down the road.
If your death, like mine right now, wouldn’t cause a financial shake-up for someone else (your spouse and kids, business partner, special-needs sibling, etc.), then you’re better off saving your money in a 401(k), an IRA, or an index fund where it can grow faster and eventually exceed the value of a life insurance policy.
If you’re like the future-me though, and you do have someone depending on you — you need life insurance. There are two basic types of life insurance: term and permanent. I’ll discuss the specific differences between them later, but for now just know that term offers better value for the vast majority of life insurance needs (including future-mine).
How I Found the Best Life Insurance
I assembled a list of 67 nationwide life insurance companies using the Insurance Information Institute’s “Find an Insurance Company” tool and A.M. Best’s Consumer Insurance Center. After talking to experts, reading up on the industry, and scrutinizing policy details like term life insurance rates, it turned out that only six of the 67 offered all the features I’d want in a provider. See more