Top Life Insurance Companies Revealed | Pricing and Ratings
As an independent agency, we could represent hundreds of insurance companies, but we don't.
...We only represent the best.
So how do we narrow it down to the top life insurance companies?
The trick is finding the perfect blend of highly rated companies that offer excellent pricing, policy options, and underwriting.
Our independent life insurance agency we have access to 63 top-rated life insurance providers, and we know who the "go-to companies" are for your needs. So whether you're searching for a top-rated carrier, have a difficult-to-insure medical condition, or are simply looking for the lowest-priced policy available,we can help!
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
Quick Guide: Which is Most Important to You? Companies with...
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
The Top Life Insurance Companies for Pricing, Financial Strength, Underwriting (and More)One of the most common questions our client’s ask is, “What are the best Life Insurance Companies?”
With all of the life insurance companies to choose from, and the different types of coverage available, we completely understand why we get asked this question so much.
The truth is, not all insurance companies are equal, and the best option really depends on the person who is being insured.Are you looking for a company that offers the most affordable coverage with high risk health conditions?
... Or is the financial security of the company more important to you?
... Or perhaps you're in excellent health and just want the best price available.
The good news is, we only represent financially stable companies that are "A" or better rated by AM Best. Some of our providers are more lenient with health issues than others though. In this guide we'll review the top life insurance companies for all of the above.
JRC's Top 5 Life Insurance Companies for PricingWe consistently see five companies at the top of our list for the best pricing.
Before we reveal our top carriers for best rates, though, you need to understand the important distinction between pricing and quotes:
Some companies offer advertise low rates, but in reality, hardly anyone qualifies for them. In this section, "best price" refers to the carriers that usually approve someone at best health rating. For more on this, see our Top Carriers for Health Conditions Section.
To account for this, the list we've provided below not only considers each company's pricing and policy options, but also their underwriting leniency for health impairments.
|Company||A.M. Best Rating||Customer Satisfaction|
|Pacific Life||A+||4.4 / 5|
|Banner Life||A+||4.3 / 5|
|Protective Life||A+||4.2 / 5|
|Transamerica||A+||4.2 / 5|
|Savings Bank (SBLI)||A||4.1 / 5|
Click the link to read our review for each:
- Pacific Life (PacLife)
- Banner Life Insurance Company
- Protective Life Insurance Company
- Transamerica Life Insurance Company
- Savings Bank Life Insurance Company
1. Pacific Life Insurance Company
The Pacific Life Insurance Company offers competitive pricing and lenient underwriting which makes them our #1 go-to company. Their build charts are also favorable to overweight applicants and they're a great option for anyone with high blood pressure.
Who Is Pacific Life Best For?
Pacific Life is a great option for most applicants under the age of 60, regardless of their health. Their approval process is also relatively fast, especially for younger healthy applicants. In fact, most of our clients are approved in as little as four to six weeks.
The company also specializes with a variety of gastrointestinal disorders including ulcerative proctitis, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. They are also one of the best options for applicants who are being prescribed a medication to control their anxiety or depression.
What Makes Pacific Life A Top Life Insurance Company?
In addition to their competitive pricing and lenient underwriting, PacLife offers a variety of options including 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30-level terms. They're also one of the only companies that offers as little as $50,000 of coverage making them a great option for seniors on a fixed income.
Pacific Life has been in business for more than 150 years and are rated A+ Superior by AM Best for their financial stability. The company is headquartered in Newport Beach, California, and currently employs more than 3,500 people.
To learn more about PacLife and the life insurance products they offer, please see our Pacific Life Insurance Review for more information.
2. Banner Life Insurance Company
Banner is one of our favorite providers, not just as a top company for pricing, but because they're also able to offer affordable life insurance to applicants with pre-existing health conditions like type-II diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol.
Who is Banner Life Best For?
While Banner's pricing will consistently beat most of the other carriers in an apples-to-apples quote comparison, it's important to note that life insurance comparisons are rarely apples-to-apples.
If you were to compare "Preferred Non Tobacco" quotes from Banner and another life insurance company, the upfront prices might be comparable. But, after the insurance company reviews your medical records, the final rate they offer you might be a different story.
This is where Banner shines! They usually approve applicants at a better health class than other companies will offer. The chart below compares their underwriting guidelines to State Farm.
What Makes Banner Life A Top Life Insurance Company?... It all boils down to their aggressive underwriting.
Banner is one of the only companies that will offer the third-best rate category to someone with well-controlled diabetes. They'll also offer underwriting credits to applicants in less than perfect health to make sure their rates are always competitive.
Even if Banner doesn't win the battle of upfront quotes online, they'll usually come back with the lowest rate after your final approval.
The Banner Life Insurance Company is rated A+ (Superior) and they've been in business since 1949. They're a huge player in the term life market and almost every independent agent in the nation offers their life insurance products. The company also operates as William Penn in New York.
Please see our Banner Life Insurance Review for more information about their financial ratings, pricing, and underwriting strengths.
3. Savings Bank Life Insurance CompanySBLI offers aggressive life insurance pricing, fair underwriting, and no-exam options to applicants under the age of 60.
Who is SBLI Best For?
While SBLI's underwriting is not always as lenient as life insurance companies like Lincoln or Prudential, they're great for healthier individuals and anyone that would rather avoid an exam. Their preferred rates are also some of the lowest in the industry.
The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company is also a great option for scuba divers, most applicants with asthma, well-controlled anxiety, or anyone with an unfavorable family history of cancer. They also specialize with hyperlipidemia and applicants that are overweight.
What Makes SBLI A Top Life Insurance Company?
SBLI calls themselves the "No Nonsense Company", and we definitely stand by their statement. For example, compare one of their policy illustrations to any other company... SBLI's will be about 10 pages and easy to read, while most carrier's will be at least 25 pages.
The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company is an A+ (Superior) rated provider by A.M. Best, and they have been writing insurance since 1907.
4. Protective Life Insurance Company
The Protective Life Insurance Company is one of our favorite life insurance providers for a number a reasons. Their rates are extremely competitive and the company is always looking for ways to lower the cost of their products without sacrificing customer service.
What Makes Protective Life A Top Life Insurance Company?
Protective offers affordable pricing and they're one of the best companies for people with pre-existing circulatory issues. In addition to term insurance, they also offer Guaranteed Universal Life insurance which works just like term insurance with guaranteed rates until age 90 or later.
GUL policies are a more affordable alternative to whole life insurance and they do not carry the investment risk that comes with non-guaranteed universal life insurance. To learn more about Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance please read this insider's guide.
Who is Protective Life Good For?
The Protective Life Insurance company is the best option for anyone that needs permanent life insurance to fund a trust, leave an inheritance, or maximize a pension. They are also one of the top companies for individuals with heart disease and circulatory issues.
Protective Life is an A+ (Superior) rated life insurance provider that has been in business since 1907. In more than 110 years, they have never failed to pay a valid death claim.
5. Transamerica Life Insurance Company
One of our most innovative and flexible carriers is Transamerica.
What Makes Transamerica A Top Life Insurance Company?Besides consistently offering some of the lowest-priced options available, Transamerica also offers several advantages over their competition.
- They're one of the only carriers who offer a 1 year term (cheaper than 10-year policies), and great for short-term life insurance needs.
- Most carriers set a max issue age of 50 or 55 for their 30 year term policies, but Transamerica is one of the ONLY companies that will issue a 30-year term to applicants until the age of 58.
- Want to your cost down? Request for your beneficiary to receive an annual income rather than a lump sum when you pass away. Transamerica offers this option, which we've further discussed in our 10 Most Overlooked Secrets to Saving on Life Insurance.
Who is Transamerica Best For?
Besides their unique product offerings above, Transamerica is also extremely fair when it comes to underwriting tough cases and they're one of the best companies for applicants with respiratory issues. We love this carrier and send them thousands of clients every year.
Transamerica has been in business since 1904 and they are rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best.
The Best Life Insurance Companies for Underwriting and Medical Approvals
Every life insurance company sets their own underwriting guidelines to determine an applicant's overall "risk" when they apply for a policy.
Most insurance providers offer 12 to 16 different risk classes and these classifications are based off the insured’s overall health, age, and lifestyle.
How Health Affects Life Insurance Rates and Policies
When approving an applicant, the life insurance companies will consider a variety of different health factors including:
- Blood pressure
- Family history of heart disease
- Weight in proportion to height
- Medical history
- Tobacco use
To get a better idea of how these health conditions will impact your life insurance premiums, please see our infographic:
JRC's Top 5 Life Insurance Companies for Pre-Existing ConditionsRemember, for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, the company that offers the most lenient underwriting for your health issue will usually have the lowest rates.
With that in mind, here are our top five companies for clients with medical concerns:
- American General Life Insurance Company
- Banner Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
- Pacific Life Insurance Company
- Pruco Life Insurance (Prudential)
1. American General Life Insurance Company (AIG)
American General has always been one of our “go-to” companies for impaired risk cases.
What Makes AIG A Top Life Insurance Company?
One of the reasons they’re great for impaired risk clients is because of the fact that their "table rates" are lower than most, and they're good at underwriting applicants who are considered to be a "high-risk".
... In other words, if you get the same substandard rating at American General that you do from another carrier like Lincoln or Prudential, American General will probably have the lowest premium.
Who is AIG Best For?
American General has a couple interesting sweet spots that we typically recommend them for. If your spouse doesn't show an income, they can still qualify for up to $1,000,000 of coverage with AIG, while other providers will usually limit them to $500,000 or less.
They’re also terrific for world travelers. With AIG, traveling outside of the United States for up to 8 weeks won't automatically prevent you from qualifying for their top rate class, Preferred Plus.
American General or AIG is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best and they’ve been in business over 160 years.
2. Banner Life Insurance Company
Banner is one of the best life insurance companies for pricing and health issues, so it's no surprise that they made this list too.
What Makes Banner a Top Life Insurance Company?
The Banner Life Company is the only provider in the life insurance industry that offers a 40-year term. They also offer the most aggressive pricing for many pre-existing health issues including type-II diabetes and their rates are usually 15 to 20% less than their competition.
What is Banner Life Best For?
This company is usually the best option for applicants age 60 or younger, regardless of their health. Their aggressive pricing puts them in front of most highly-rated carriers, even for younger applicants in excellent shape.
What really set's them apart from other companies is their underwriting credit system. With Banner, your weight might place you in a "standard" risk class, but if you exercise regularly and see your doctor as directed, the company might bump you up to a better rate class.
Also known as Legal and General and William Penn, Banner is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world and they are rated A+ "Superior" for their financial stability.
3. Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company offers a handful of underwriting niches that could save a considerable amount of money if you are in less than perfect health.
What Makes Lincoln A Top Life Insurance Company?
Lincoln offers excellent customer service and they're very lenient with a variety of health issues including diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and obesity. After the age of 70, their underwriting loosens up even more, making them an excellent option for seniors.
Who Is Lincoln National Best For?
Lincoln National is usually the best company for applicants over the age of 70 in less than perfect health, cigar smokers, and marijuana users. With this provider, smoking cigars or marijuana won't automatically prevent you from qualifying for a non-smoking rate class.
Their also a great option for people with hypertension or elevated cholesterol, and they are one of the top companies for prostate cancer survivors that have successfully completed their treatment.
Lincoln National Life Insurance Company is A+ rated by AM Best for their financial strength and they were founded almost 115 years ago in 1905.
4. Pacific Life Insurance Company (PacLife)
The Pacific Life Insurance Company offers lenient underwriting for applicants of all ages and their rates are among the lowest in the industry.
What Makes Pacific Life A Top Life Insurance Company?
Pacific Life, also known as PacLife, is one of the top life insurance companies for individuals of all ages that are in average or better heath. They also offer a variety of additional benefits that can added to your policy to help you customize your coverage.
The company offers traditional term life insurance products, life insurance with living needs, and a variety of permanent life insurance policies.
Who is PacLife Best For?
The Pacific Life company is usually the best option for healthier applicants that are looking to secure the best rate on their coverage. They are also one of the best companies for people that have slightly elevated blood pressure that they do not take a medication for.
Like some of my client's, a doctor's office makes me nervous, and when I arrived for my free medical exam my blood pressure was elevated. Thankfully, Pacific Life was lenient enough to offer me their top rate class while other companies would have charged me more.
AM Best has assigned the Pacific Life Insurance company with an A+ Superior rating for their financial strength and stability.
5. Pruco Life Insurance Company (Prudential)
Prudential is our #1 go-to company for most clients with moderate to severe medical issues. Hands down, PRU will accept many cases that other carriers would automatically decline. Often times, they're able to approve cases at a better rating class than their competition, making their pricing the best.
What Makes Prudential A Top Life Insurance Company?
Prudential usually has the best life insurance rates for tobacco users that don't smoke cigarettes, diabetics, prostate cancer survivors, and applicants who are considered obese. In most situations, people with well-managed health conditions like these can qualify for a "standard" or better risk class.
In fact, their motto is, "Bring us your Challenges!" and they mean it. The insurer manages nearly $1 Trillion U.S.D. in assets, and they've been in business for over 100 years, making them one of the most dependable life insurance providers in the entire industry.
Who is Prudential Best For?
We use them frequently for:
- Elevated Liver Functions
- Overweight applicants
- Pipe & Chewing Tobacco users (they get non tobacco rates at PRU)
- Non-US Citizens
- Sleep apnea cases
- Marijuana users
- and so much more!
Besides being one of our most lenient carriers for underwriting, they are one of the most recognizable brands in the world. We all know Prudential, the Rock. The company is involved in everything from retirement planning to commercial real estate.
Prudential or Pruco Life Insurance Company is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best and have been in business for 147 years.
Top Life Insurance Companies for High Risk Occupations
Another major factor that goes into determining an applicant's risk during the approval process is evaluating their lifestyle, occupation, and hobbies.
Depending on the type of job an applicant has, and how they choose to spend their free time determines a large portion of risk. For instance, someone who works as a cashier and enjoys painting, is much less of a risk than an undercover FBI agent that races a motorcycle.
How Lifestyle Affects Life Insurance
For an individual’s lifestyle, insurance companies consider hazardous occupations to be occupations like:
- SWAT Team members
- off-shore oil platform workers
- and high-rise iron workers
For the most part, occupation doesn’t affect our client's approval process. For example, if you are in law enforcement, you’re in the clear unless you receive “hazardous pay.” Even private and commercial pilots on regularly scheduled flights can qualify for the top rate classes.
Other Lifestyle Factors
The insurance companies will also look into an individual’s:
- criminal records
- future travel plans
- driving history
- and country of residency
Some life insurance companies will not offer coverage to people who frequently travel to areas listed on State Department’s travel warning list. In addition, some countries have laws that prohibit their citizens from purchasing a life insurance policy abroad.
For these reasons, "the best insurance company" really varies from individual to individual. One company might overlook an applicant's family history but penalize them for their future travel plans. Thankfully, an experienced agent can help you sort through your options.
With that being said, these companies tend to be the best life insurance providers for people with high risk occupations:
|Company||Known For||A.M.Best||Customer Reviews|
|Banner Life||A+||4.5 / 5|
|Prudential||A+||4.0 / 5|
|Protective Life||A+||4.3 / 5|
|AIG||A||4.2 / 5|
|Sagicor Life||A||4.1 / 5|
While all of these providers offer financial stability and a proven track-record of paying their claims, it's important to note that it does not mean they will be the best option for your unique situation.
We represent 63 top-rated life insurance providers and our agents are experts at matching their client's with the best policy available. Call us today, toll-free at 855-247-9555, or request an instant quote below.
Top Life Insurance Companies for Life Insurance without a Medical Exam
While our #1 carrier for life insurance without a medical exam is Penn Mutual, we also use a handful of other no exam providers including Sagicor, United of Omaha,and ANICO.
Quick links to JRC's Top 5 Companies for No Exam Policies:
1.Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company
The Penn Mutual Company offers up to $5,000,000 of term life insurance to qualified applicants without an exam. Coverage is available to people between the ages of 20 to 65, in average or better health, and some policies are issued and approved in as little as three days.
What Makes Penn Mutual A Top No Exam Company?
Penn Mutual offers a paperless application process and qualified applicants can purchase as much as $5 million dollars of life insurance without completing an exam. Most no exam life insurance companies will limit each applicant to $500,000 of life insurance coverage or less.
Who is Penn Mutual Best For?
They offer the best options to healthy applicants that need a large amount of life insurance in a hurry. Their policies are ideal for traveling executives, busy CEOs, business owners that need to collateralize a loan, or anyone that needs to settle a divorce decree.
To qualify for no exam term life insurance with the Penn Mutual company, you must be in average or better health, so they're usually not the best choice for people with health issues. They also stop offering life insurance without an exam to applicants after age 65.
Penn Mutual is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best the company currently holds more than $33.2 billion dollars in assets. They were chartered in 1847 as the seventh mutual company in the United States.
2. Sagicor Life Insurance Company
Sagicor is the biggest and oldest provider in the no-exam term insurance industry. Compared to other non-med providers, their rates are very competitive, especially for people in good health. They also offer a substandard rate class to people with serious medical issues.
What Makes Sagicor A Top No Exam Company?
They’re a great company for applicants with an occupational risk. Recently we even had a commercial logger and a fire fighter get approved at their "Preferred" rates. The company also offers a variety of term lengths and most policies are approved within 24 hours.
Who is Sagicor Best For?
They're also very lenient with a handful of medical conditions. For example, most companies will require diabetics to complete an exam, but with Sagicor this is not the case. The company routinely approves diabetic applicants as long their condition is considered "well-managed".
Their underwriters are also willing to work with us when our client's get approved at a lower rating than expected. In other words, we work directly with the underwriter making the decision, and in some cases, we've been able get the company improve our client's rates.
Sagicor is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best they hold more than $930 million dollars in assets. The company was founded in 1840 and they are owned by Sagicor Financial.
3. American National Insurance Company
Also known as ANICO, American National is a big player in the term market for no exam policies under $250,000.
What Makes American National A Top No Exam Company?
They offer table rates for individuals who are in below average health which is something very few non-med companies will do. They also sell Annual Renewable Terms (ART) for people that only need to secure coverage for a year or two.
These policies work great for people that need life insurance to collateralize a small business loan, settle a court-ordered divorce decree, or any situations where the insured has a medical issue that they hope to improve on overtime.
Purchasing an ART for a year or two will allow you to affordably protect your family until you are ready to reapply for a better rate and lock in a longer term. American National also offers table rated plans so they could be an option for people with serious health issues.
Who is American National Best For?
American National has a very thorough underwriting process which allows the company to offer extremely competitive rates to customers seeking life insurance without an exam. The downside is that they're the not the best choice for someone that needs life insurance in a hurry.
When you apply for a policy from ANICO, their underwriters will physically review your medical records before they approve your application. This process takes a weeks instead of a few days which no-exam provider like Sagicor can offer.
The American National Insurance Company is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best and they also offer retirement plans, annuities, and pension plans. The company was founded in 1905 and owns a handful of other insurance providers.
4. Assurity Life Insurance Company
Assurity is a top life insurance provider that has been offering term life insurance without an exam for more than a decade. Their simplified issue policies also include a conversion option, which allows you to convert your policy into permanent coverage, and living benefits if you become disabled.
What Makes Assurity A Top No Exam Company?
Purchasing non-med life insurance from Assurity is relatively simple and their policies are available to qualified applicants aged 18 and 65. The company offers 10, 15, 20, and 30-year level terms, and most applicants are approved in less than a week. Their coverage also includes living benefits for added protection.
Who is Assurity Best For?
Assurity is great option for affordable no exam life insurance with living benefits. These provide financial assistance to your spouse or loved ones if you become disabled or terminally ill. Your policy will also stay active if you are unable to work so you won't have to worry about making payments each month.
In 2007, Assurity merged with 3 insurance carriers whose roots go back to 1890. They are rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best for their financial stability.
5. Principal Life Insurance Company
Principal Life is owned by the Principal Financial Group, a publicly-traded company (PFG) that was founded in 1879. They offer up to $1 million dollars of term life insurance coverage without an exam,and their rates are extremely competitive.
Applying for coverage from Principal Life requires a phone interview and an electronic review of your prescription history and medical records. If everything checks out, you should expect an approval within a week or so. However, a medical exam may be ordered at the discretion of the underwriter.
What Makes Principal A Top No Exam Company?
Principal offers up to $1,000,000 of coverage without an exam while most companies have a limit of $500,000 or less. Their policies also include a conversion option which allows you to convert your policy into permanent protection if you still need it after your term expires.
Who is Principal Best For?
Principal is a great option younger applicants that need a large amount of life insurance, but don't want to deal with a medical exam. Overall, their underwriting process usually is smooth and quick, but after the age of 50, their underwriters are more likely to require an exam for approval.
Principal is rated A+ (Excellent) by A.M. Best for financial strength. Their parent company, Principal Financial Group, is a Fortune 500 company that offers financial services in 18 countries across the world.
Top Life Insurance Companies for Smokers
=If you use any form of tobacco, most life insurance providers will consider you as a smoker, and charge you at least 2 to 3 times more for your policy. Thankfully, there are a handful of insurers that won't lump people who have an occasional cigar in with those who are habitual smokers.
A handful of insurers are also extremely with applicants that chew tobacco, use e-cigarettes, or smoke marijuana recreationally. This is another reason why it's important to work with an agency that represents more than one provider. Of the 63 life insurance companies we reviewed, these were the best:
Lincoln Financial specializes with regular tobacco users that don't smoke cigarettes. If you fall into this category, you can qualify for "standard" non-tobacco rates which could save you 50% or more on the cost of your policy. You can learn more about Lincoln Financial's tobacco guidelines here.
Prudential is also very lenient with people that use tobacco and marijuana. The company will offer their top rate class to applicants that smoke marijuana up to twice a week, and their "standard plus" rate class is available to daily tobacco users that don't smoke cigarettes. We've further outlined each company below.
The top companies for tobacco users include:
|Company||Known For||A.M.Best||Customer Reviews|
|Lincoln Financial||A+||4.2 / 5|
|Prudential||A+||4.0 / 5|
1. Lincoln Financial
Lincoln Financial was founded in 1906 and they were one of the first life insurance companies in the United States. Today they insure more than 8 million Americans, and offer an A+ rating from A.M. Best, placing them as one of the most reliable life insurance companies in the industry.
They also willing to offer non-smoker rates to some tobacco users often helping them to save thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime. The company is also lenient with other health issues including obesity, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol.
On top of this, they offer a wide variety of life insurance policies including term and permanent coverage making them one of the best options for seniors with serious health issues.
Prudential is one of our top life insurance companies for many health issues and lifestyle risks, so to no surprise, here they are again! Much like their lenient rates and health classifications for people with health conditions, Prudential also offers very affordable life insurance rates tobacco users.
In fact, they even encourage smokers to quit by initially offering them up to Preferred rates, and then retesting them again in a year to make sure they've quit. If you are unable to stop smoking, you'll still have the option to keep your policy active, but you'll have to pay the higher rates.
Minnesota Life also offers some leniency to applicants who limit themselves to a cigarette or two per month, but Prudential is one of the only companies that offers this unique opportunity to current cigarette smokers.
How Much Can Tobacco Users Save On Life Insurance With These Companies?
Below we've compared $500,000 level-term life insurance rates for a 50-year old male that chews tobacco daily. These rates would also be valid for pipe tobacco users, e-cigarettes smokers, and people using nicotine patches or gum.
|Company||20-year term||30-year term|
|$135.63 per month||$247.63 per month|
|$302.24 per month||$526.68 per month|
Total policy savings
*Displayed monthly rates are valid as of 10/15/2019 and are provided for illustrative purposes only.
Top Life Insurance Companies for Seniors
When it comes to life insurance for the elderly, there are two categories we’ll want to review to help you determine your best option.
First we’ll cover the policies available to healthy seniors, and then we will review which options are the best for seniors with serious health issues. Ultimately, your overall health will have the biggest impact on the cost of your policy and the type of coverage you can qualify for.
JRC's Best Options for Healthy Seniors
Quick guide to our top 3 companies for healthy seniors:
- American Continental by Aetna
- The Great Western Life Insurance Company
- American Memorial Life Insurance Company
1. American Continental
American Continental is operated by the Aetna insurance company which is based in Hartford, Connecticut. Their final expense life insurance policies are available to qualified applicants until age 89, and no medical exam is required for an approval.
With American Continental, there is no waiting period either. Full coverage starts on day 1, but you have to be in above average health to qualify for a policy. Like most providers, they will need to electronically review your medical records before approving your application.
However, there products are not available in all states, so it's best to call us for the additional details at 855-247-9555. We work directly with 63 top-rated providers to make sure we always match our clients with the best options available.
2. The Great Western Insurance Company
The Great Western Insurance Company is an excellent option for individuals in fair or better health who need immediate life insurance protection. The company offers up to $40,000 of final expense coverage to seniors who can answer "no" to just three health questions.
Great Western's final expense policies offer full coverage from day 1, and they are available to applicants aged 40 to 80. Currently, their final expense products are not offered to residents of Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, New York, Maine, and Vermont.
The company was founded in 1983 and they are currently rated as "A - Excellent" provider by AM Best for their financial stability. Please read our review of the Great Western Life Insurance Company to learn more about the final expense policies they offer.
Mutual of Omaha offers up to $50,000 of traditional whole life insurance to applicants that are in average or better health for their age. Coverage starts on day 1, and their rates are very inexpensive compared to other providers like AARP and Colonial Life.
While Mutual of Omaha usually offers the lowest whole life insurance rates in the industry, their underwriting guidelines are somewhat strict when compared to a company like Great Western. A minor health issue like hypertension won't be an issue, but diabetes could be.
The good news is that if you do not qualify for immediate coverage from Mutual of Omaha, you'll automatically receive an offer for guaranteed issue life insurance which we've further explained in the next section. Mutual of Omaha is A+ by AM Best for financial stability.
We also offer policies from a handful of other top-rated final expense providers including Fidelity, Prudential, North American, AIG, Banner, Protective Life, and Transamerica depending on the amount of coverage you need and your overall health profile.
Best Final Expense Life Insurance Companies for Seniors
Final expense insurance is available to almost anyone over the age of 45, regardless of their health. These policies do not require a medical exam for an approval, and with some companies, your acceptance is even guaranteed.
Quick scroll to JRC's Top 3 Final Expense Carriers:
Final expense insurance is typically purchased by older people that need a small amount of coverage to help with their burial expenses, or people over the age of 50 with serious health issues that would prevent them from qualifying for a fully-underwritten policy.
Most final expense providers like Mutual of Omaha offer two types of coverage depending on the insured's "risk." For applicants in average or better health, immediate protection is available, but if you have some serious health issues, you'll need to wait two years until full coverage kicks in.
Most final expense application works like this...
1. It will contain three "knock-out" questions to assess your overall health risk.
2. If you can honestly answer “no” to all the application questions, you should qualify for a level death benefit which means you're healthy enough to qualify for immediate protection without a waiting period.
3. If you cannot answer "no" to all three health questions on your application, you'll qualify for guaranteed issue life insurance instead.
Guaranteed issue life insurance offers immediate coverage if you die in an accident. If you die from a health-related issue during the first two years, your beneficiary will receive a refund of all of your premiums plus interest. Your coverage and rate are guaranteed not to change.
1. Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha is an A+ superior rated insurer that specializes with whole life insurance. Applicants in average or better health can qualify for immediate coverage, and if you have some health issues, they also offer guaranteed issue life insurance with no questions asked.
Their final expense policies are offered in all 50 states, and are available to almost anyone aged 45 to 85. (50 to 75 in New York) An application can be completed over the phone in as little as 10 minutes, and most policies get approved within 48 hours or less.
To learn more about the guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance and the policies that Mutual of Omaha can offer, please see our insider's guide: "Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance (With No Heath Questions Asked)."
2. Gerber Life
The Gerber Life company specializes with simplified issue life insurance policies for children and seniors. They offer up to $25,000 of final expense life insurance with no health questions asked and their policies are available to U.S. residents between the ages of 50 to 80.
Gerber has been offering life insurance products since 1967, and in 52 years of business, they have never failed to pay a valid death claim. The company has more than 3.6 million policies currently inforce and are owned by the Western and Southern Financial Group.
The company is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best for financial stability and ComDex has assigned Gerber with a score of 80 out of 100. To learn more about final expense life insurance, please see our article, "What is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance and How Does it Work?"
3. American General (AIG)
American General or AIG offers one of the best guaranteed issue whole life insurance policies in the industry. Like Mutual of Omaha and Gerber Life, they offer up to $25,000 of coverage with no questions asked, and their policies are available to anyone between the ages of 50 and 85.
AIG has never failed to pay a valid death claim and they have been operating for 160 years. ComDex has awarded the company with a ranking of 82, placing them among the top providers in the United States, and AM Best has assigned the company an "Excellent" rating for their financial stability.
To learn more about AIG and the life insurance policies they offer, please see our article, "American General Life Insurance Review - An Insiders Guide." You can also call us directly at 855-247-9555 to compare your options from dozens of providers.
Life Insurance Companies that Offer Longer Term Lengths at Older Ages
In addition to health and lifestyle factors, some providers offer options that others won't. As an example, most insurers stop selling their 30-year term policies after the age of 55. However, one of our A+ rated carriers, the Transamerica Life Insurance Company, offers a 30-year term until 58.
Sample Client with Limited Options Elsewhere
Here's a real-life example of a client who called us for help, Antonio.
Antonio's life insurance policy had expired when he called us. He still had 15 years left on his mortgage and didn't want to leave his wife without coverage. Antonio had even visited his local State Farm agent, before contacting us, but they were unable to offer him a policy for more than 10 years.
He had also contacted AARP, but the option they recommended would have expired when he turned 80. Antonio worried that his age and health would prevent him from qualifying for a new policy in the future, so he wanted to secure a policy that would last him until the mortgage was paid off.
Luckily one of our clients referred him to JRC. By shopping more than 50 companies, we were able to offer him options from multiple providers, all for 15 years or longer. Ultimately he decided on a policy with guaranteed coverage and level rates until age 90.
When Antonio got approved, he was offered almost 20 years of life insurance coverage for less money than State Farm wanted to charge him for 10! Both policies include $300,000 of coverage, and both were guaranteed not to increase in price during the entire coverage period.
The Top "Advertised" Life Insurance Companies
As consumers, we often believe that the companies we see advertising the most are the best.
In the insurance industry, this couldn't be farther from the truth! What most people do not know is that the biggest life insurance companies hardly advertise at all.
Constant TV commercials with celebrity endorsers, radio advertising, mail-outs, and magazine ads are extremely expensive. In fact, companies like State Farm spend almost a billion dollars a year on advertising, and these expenses are transferred onto their clients.
No one wants to buy their life insurance from a fly-by-night company, but A+ rated providers like Prudential, Lincoln National, John Hancock and Transamerica don't have to spend almost a billion dollars a year the companies the control the lion's share of the life insurance market.
Instead of paying for SuperBowl commercials, magazine ads, and billboards with cartoon geckos, why not spend your hard-earned money on your family or something that matters. We we wouldn’t sell you a policy from a company that isn't top-rated.
Our agency only represents life insurance companies that have a solid track record, of paying their claims, many of which have been around for more than 100 years. Companies like Transamerica, Penn Mutual, Mutual of Omaha, Prudential, John Hancock etc.
What Are the Top Life Insurance Companies for Ratings and Stability?
To ensure our clients only receive the cream of the crop, JRC Insurance Group handpicks every company that we represent. Our agency only represents life insurance companies that are “A-” or better rated by AM Best, but the majority of our companies are rated "A+".
According to A.M. Best, their "A+" rating is their "Superior" financial rating and is described as follows:
"A++" and "A+" - Assigned to companies that have, in our opinion, a superior ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations.
A few of our top companies for ratings and financial stability are:
Rated "A+" by A.M. Best
- John Hancock Life Insurance Company
- Protective Life Insurance Company
- Pacific Life Insurance Company
- Prudential/ Pruco Life Insurance
- Banner Life Insurance Company
- Savings Bank Life Insurance
Rated "A" or "A-" by A.M. Best
- American General Life Insurance Company
- Gerber Life Insurance Company
- Transamerica Life Insurance
- Sagicor Life Insurance Company
- Fidelity Life Association
- Assurity Life Insurance Company
- Genworth Life Insurance & Annuity Co.
How much emphasis do we place on financial rating? Beyond offering only A- or better carriers, not much.
If we have two companies with similar underwriting and comparable premiums, we'll usually recommend the insurer that is rated "A+" over the company that is rated "A," but beyond this scenario, we don't place a huge priority on financial ratings. We'll explain why in the next section.
How Do Financial Ratings Work for Life Insurance Companies?Here's the thing...
The life insurance industry is very heavily regulated and monitored by each state’s Insurance Commissioner. An insurer must prove it's financial standing to continue selling policies. In other words, a company must show that it has enough assets and cash on hand to pay their claims.
If an insurance company cannot provide this proof, its credit rating is downgraded. And, if an insurance company’s rating falls too low, it' will have to stop selling insurance. If this were to occur, company's existing policies would be transferred to another provider with stronger finances.
For an added layer of financial protection, each state's Insurance Commissioner also charges a small fee every time a life insurance policy is issued in their state. This money is held in reserve as a secondary back-up to ensure that all insurance claims are paid out.
Why Work With an Agency to Find the Best Life Insurance Company for You?
We work with 63 top-rated life insurance companies to make sure our clients are always matched with the best company available to them. Our goal is to find you the best policy, with the lowest rates, from a financial stable life insurance provider.
Whether you're in excellent shape, or have some health ailments like diabetes or a history of heart attacks, we'll be able to find the best company for your health conditions. By working with dozens of companies, we can customize a policy for your budget and needs.
... trust me, you don't want to limit your options to just one carrier like Northwestern Mutual if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Even if you're in excellent health, it helps to work with 63 companies, and to KNOW how the most lenient ones are. A minor issue like unfavorable family health history might affect your rates with one company but be a non-issue with another.
Most of the client’s we work with are shocked at the options we can offer them. Our boutique agency does it all, while the largest call centers in America only offer limited options from 6-8 different companies.
... Not exactly shopping the market!
These companies offer huge multi-million dollar bonuses to these call centers to make sure their products are sold the most….so much for being non-partial. Not to mention you will probably be forced to get a quote for your car insurance when you are trying to shop for life insurance.
More Company Resources:
- Top 10 Life Insurance Companies by Premium 2022 - This Fool.com list ranks each life insurance carrier by direct written premium or total annual billing from all policies sold.
- Top Life Insurance Companies for Financial Stability 2022 - Provided by Comdex, this report ranks each provider by their financial stability and includes individual ratings from A.M. Best, Fitch, S&P, and Moody's.
- Top 20 Life Insurance Companies 2022 - This Insurance Business Mag list ranks each provider by revenue, assets, profits, and market value. Please note, some of these companies do not operate in the U.S.
Think "Top Agency" Rather than Top Company
Our licensed agents offer at least ten years of experience in the life insurance industry and we represent dozens of top-rated life insurance companies. Most importantly, our agents do not have quotas so we'll take the time to find the best insurance company for your situation.
There is no one size fits all with life insurance, but we do promise to find the top life insurance company that will save you the most money. And, our shopping services are free! Why pay thousands of dollars more than you have to for life insurance?
If an A+ rated company that has been around longer than State Farm (with more financial stability and assets), were to offer you the same amount of coverage for a fraction of the price, wouldn’t it be an easy decision?
This is why so many people shop their insurance with a licensed and experienced agent or broker. In fact, we have dozens of clients who are local agents themselves.
In addition, we know you’ll love working with our agency because we provide our client’s with unprecedented customer service. Our agents are not forced to read from a script or offer you products you didn’t ask for.
We are not a gigantic call center with quotas and shareholders to answer to, we're independently owned agency that always puts our client's needs first. Call us today at 855-247-9555 and you'll see why our clients refer their friends and family to us.
Managing Partner and Co-founder
Cliff is a licensed life insurance agent and one of the owners of JRC Insurance Group. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.
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