Top 6 Best Whole Life Insurance Companies

We have selected Northwestern Mutual, Guardian, and MassMutual as our top choices for Whole Life Insurance Companies in 2023.

Best Whole Life Insurance Companies

Top 10 Best Whole Life Insurance Companies

You may be in the market for whole life insurance companies if you want to treat your policy like a cash asset. These plans not only pay out to your loved ones upon your death, but they also accrue financial value over time at a predetermined interest rate.

Our specialists looked for financially stable insurers with low customer complaint rates to compile this list of the top whole life insurance providers. Next, we focused on key characteristics of whole life insurance policies, like riders, dividend earning potential, and the maximum coverage amount.

Why PakOption is trustworthy: Strict editorial criteria are adhered to by our authors and editors to guarantee that the information on our website is impartial and factual, enabling you to make financially sound decisions and select the products that suit you the best. This is our revenue model and a list of our partners.

The best whole life insurance companies of December 2023

Guardian★★★★★
5 star rating
MassMutual★★★★★
5 star rating
Northwestern Mutual★★★★★
5 star rating
New York Life★★★★★
5 star rating
State Farm★★★★★
5 star rating
AARP★★★★★
5 star rating
PakOption rates insurers at the company level, not the policy level. This means our star rating reflects the company as a whole, and not its whole life insurance policies specifically.

How do we rank the whole life insurance companies?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ complaint index scores for individual life insurance, weighted averages of financial strength ratings—which show a company’s capacity to pay future claims—and customer experience are the basis for PakOption’s life insurance ratings. Read more

In the field of customer experience, we take into account website transparency and communication ease, which examines the extent of online policy information. We converted the results to a curved 5-point scale to determine each insurer’s rating.

While these rankings serve as a reference, we strongly advise you to shop about and compare life insurance quotes from several providers to get the best deal possible. For any reviews, Pakoption is not compensated.

How do we review whole life insurance companies?

Our editorial staff takes both the policyholder and the insurer into account when reviewing life insurance. Among the things we consider are the following:

Policies provided: The market offers a wide variety of life insurance products, which can be divided into three main groups: Read more

  • Term life insurance provides a guaranteed payout in the event of the policyholder’s death during the term as well as temporary coverage.
  • Permanent life insurance usually lasting a lifetime, also accrues cash value that can be accessed at a later date.
  • No-exam life insurance provides coverage devoid of a medical examination need.

Financial strength. To verify an insurer’s long-term financial stability and claim-paying capacity, we use AM Best ratings. PakOption generally advises evaluating life insurance providers with an A- or better rating. This is the summary:

  • Exceptional: A+, A++.
  • Strong: A-, A.
  • Moderate: B, B+.

Complaints. Based on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners spanning three years, these ratings are determined by the number of complaints to state regulators about the size of the company. Fewer complaints than anticipated are received by the top life insurance providers.

Purchase online. This shows you whether an insurer permits you to apply online and purchase insurance in its entirety.

Best whole life insurance companies for 2023

Take a look at the Pakoption review links and read the brief profiles of each firm on our list to find out more about them.

Jump to:

  1. Guardian: Best for applicants living with HIV
  2. MassMutual: Best for cash value growth
  3. Northwestern Mutual: Best for blended term
  4. New York Life: Best for rider options
  5. State Farm Life: Best for customer satisfaction
  6. AARP: Best for smaller coverage amounts

1. Guardian Life

Best for Applicants Living with HIV

Rating: 5 out of 5.

5 star rating

Bottom line: Guardian offers a wide range of whole-life products, including HIV-specific life insurance.

Read more about Guardian Life

Overview:

Financial strength ratingExceptional
Online purchaseNo
NAIC complaintsFar fewer than expected
Policies offeredTerm & permanent

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Received far fewer complaints from state officials than one would have thought for a business of its scale.
  • provides special coverage alternatives, including policies for applicants who are HIV positive and survivorship insurance.

Cons:

  • The website has very few policy specifics.

Company Overview:

You can select a policy with level premiums or a “limited payment” insurance with Guardian’s whole life coverage, which enables you to pay off your policy in 10, 15, or 20 years. Thereafter, there are no premiums needed to maintain your coverage. A variety of riders are available for selection, including long-term care, index participation feature (also known as IPF) riders, and riders that waive the premium for disabilities. With the IPF rider, you can tie a portion of your cash value to the S&P 500 Price Return Index’s performance. Any gains are distributed as dividends.

Additionally, the company provides life insurance to HIV-positive individuals. You must demonstrate that you are getting antiretroviral medication successfully and that you are under a specialist’s supervision to be eligible for this term and whole life insurance.

Although dividends are not guaranteed, Guardian has been paying them to its permanent policyholders year since 1868. In 2024, the business will make its largest payout ever, of $1.4 billion. [1]

Guardian whole life insurance policy details

  • Policy options: Life Paid Up at 121, Life Paid Up at 99, Life Paid Up at 95, Life Paid Up at 65, 10 Pay Whole Life, 15 Pay Whole Life, 20 Pay Whole Life, EstateGuard.
  • Eligibility age range: 0 to 90 (varies by policy).
  • Minimum coverage amount: $25,000.
  • Maximum coverage amount: Unlimited.
  • State availability: All states.
  • Potential to earn dividends: Yes.

2. MassMutual

Best for Cash Value Growth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

5 star rating

Bottom line: A variety of whole-life plans are available from MassMutual, with some of them earning cash value at a fixed interest rate of 3.75%.

Read more about MassMutual

Overview:

Financial strength ratingExceptional
Online purchaseYes
NAIC complaintsFar fewer than expected
Policies offeredTerm, permanent & no-exam

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Numerous options for both permanent and term life insurance.
  • provides a life insurance policy right now.
  • backs up statements made online.

Cons:

  • Most insurance call for a health examination.

Company Overview:

You may be able to add different riders to your coverage, depending on your policy. These consist of a yearly term buy rider that enables you to apply your dividend payments to a term life insurance policy, a chronic disease rider, and a long-term care rider.

You are qualified to earn dividends depending on the insurer’s profits as a permanent policyholder. According to MassMutual’s calculations, its permanent policyholders will receive payouts of over $2.2 billion in 2024. [2]

MassMutual whole life policies details

  • Policy options: Whole Life 100, Whole Life 65, Whole Life 10/12/15/20 Pay, Whole Life HECV.
  • Eligibility age range: 0 to 90 (varies by policy).
  • Minimum coverage amount: $25,000, or $100,000 for HECV — a policy designed for businesses.
  • Maximum coverage amount: Unlimited.
  • State availability: All states.
  • Potential to earn dividends: Yes.

3. Northwestern Mutual

Best For Blended Term

Rating: 5 out of 5.

5 star rating

Bottom line: Northwestern Mutual offers a single whole-life policy that offers $50,000 in flexible coverage, with the option to combine it with term life insurance for a lower premium.

Read more about Northwestern Mutual

Overview:

Financial strength ratingExceptional
Online purchaseNo
NAIC complaintsFewer than expected
Policies offeredTerm & permanent

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Much fewer complaints than one might anticipate for a business of its scale to state regulators.
  • Excellent customer satisfaction rating in the J.D. Power survey.
  • distributes a dividend to qualified clients regularly; this is typical of mutual life insurance businesses.

Cons:

  • Details on ridership and coverage quantities are not provided on the company website.
  • Limited riders available

Company Overview:

There are several ways to pay for a whole life insurance policy from Northwestern Mutual. For 10, 15, 20, or 25 years, or until you turn 65 or 100 years old, you can opt to pay premiums. In addition, you might be able to combine term life insurance with your policy to keep permanent coverage while reducing costs.

You can include riders in your policy to improve your coverage, such as an accelerated death benefit that is deducted from your payout if you require long-term care. Additionally, you can expand your coverage at a later time without having to retake the life insurance medical test thanks to the additional purchase benefit rider. One of the biggest individual life insurers in the United States, Northwestern Mutual is a mutual business that plans to distribute $7.3 billion in dividends to eligible policyholders in 2024.

Northwestern Mutual’s whole life insurance policy details

  • Policy options: Whole Life Plus.
  • Eligibility age range: 0 to 85.
  • Minimum coverage amount: $50,000.
  • Maximum coverage amount: $80 million.
  • State availability: All states.
  • Potential to earn dividends: Yes.

4. New York Life

Best for Rider Options

Rating: 5 out of 5.

5 star rating

Bottom line: Three whole-life policies are available from New York Life, along with a range of riders for life insurance and flexible payment plans.

Read more about New York Life

Overview:

Term & PermanentExceptional
Online purchaseNo
NAIC complaintsFewer than expected
Policies offeredTerm & permanent

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Ranks higher than average in the most recent J.D. Power life insurance customer satisfaction survey.
  • Drew had fewer complaints than one might anticipate from a business of its magnitude directed at state regulators.

Cons:

  • There are no quotes on the internet.

Company Overview:

Flexible premium payments are available with New York Life’s personalized whole life insurance. During the first few years of your coverage, you have the option to pay it off in full, or you can plan your payments to fit your schedule.

A range of riders for life insurance is also provided by the insurer, including an accelerated death benefit, a remission of premiums, and a chronic care rider.

New York Life is a mutual corporation, and its policyholders will receive dividend payments totaling $2.2 billion in 2024.

New York Life whole life policy details

  • Policy options: Whole Life, Custom Whole Life, and Secure Wealth Plus.
  • Eligibility age range: 0 to 90 (varies by policy).
  • Minimum coverage amount: $25,000 (for applicants ages 18 and older).
  • Maximum coverage amount: $100 million.
  • State availability: All states.
  • Potential to earn dividends: Yes.

5. State Farm

Best for Customer Satisfaction

Rating: 5 out of 5.

5 star rating

Bottom line: For flexible payment options, it’s worth looking into State Farm’s lineup. Depending on the policy, you may have the option to pay off your coverage in one payment.

Read more about State Farm

Overview:

Term & PermanentExceptional
Online purchaseNo
NAIC complaintsFewer than expected
Policies offeredTerm, permanent & no-exam

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • For a corporation of its scale, Drew received fewer complaints from state regulators regarding life insurance than anticipated.
  • Ranked #1 in the most recent J.D. Power life insurance customer satisfaction survey.
  • Numerous term products, such as fast response life insurance, are available.

Cons:

  • There are no life insurance policies available in Rhode Island or Massachusetts.
  • Certain limitations apply to Android handsets while using the web portal to view policy details.

Company Overview:

The level premiums on State Farm’s typical whole-life policy imply that your monthly payment will remain constant. Nonetheless, you can get a single premium or limited payment insurance if you’d like to change the amount and timing of your payments.

State Farm may expedite your application and issue your insurance without requiring a medical exam if you are in good health, between the ages of 18 and 50, and if you are applying for coverage worth $100,000 to $1 million. The insurer gives applicants between the ages of 45 and 80 (50 and 75 in New York) a final expense insurance if all they want to cover is their own funeral, burial, and end-of-life expenses. Aside from policy features, State Farm tops J.D. Power’s ranking of the best life insurers for client satisfaction.

State Farm whole life insurance policy details

  • Policy options: Whole Life, Limited Pay Whole Life, Single Premium Whole Life, Final Expense.
  • Eligibility age range: Varies by policy.
  • Minimum coverage amount: $10,000 for the final expense policy; and $15,000 for other whole life policies.
  • Maximum coverage amount: None for standard whole-life policies; $10,000 to $15,000 for the final expense policy, depending on the state.
  • State availability: All states except Massachusetts.
  • Potential to earn dividends: Yes.

6. AARP

Best for smaller coverage amounts

Rating: 5 out of 5.

5 star rating

Read more about AARP

Overview:

Term & PermanentExceptional
Online purchaseNo
NAIC complaintsFewer than expected
Policies offeredTerm, permanent & no-exam

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • No medical examinations are necessary.
  • AARP membership grants access to anyone 50 years of age or older.
  • fewer complaints to state regulators than anticipated.

Cons:

  • The cost of term life insurance increases every five years.

Company Overview:

Through its collaboration with New York Life, one of the biggest life insurance providers in the country, AARP provides coverage to its members and their spouses.

Members 50 to 80 years old and their spouses 45 to 80 years old can apply for AARP’s standard whole-life insurance coverage by responding to a few health questions. A medical examination is not necessary. Online, you can purchase coverage for up to $50,000, or you can get in touch with New York Life to request a bigger amount.

In addition, AARP provides members and couples between the ages of 50 and 80 with a guaranteed acceptance whole-life policy that omits the medical exam and interview. Members and spouses must be between the ages of 50 and 75 to be eligible in New York. Candidates may purchase independent insurance for up to $25,000.

AARP whole life policies details

  • Policy options: Permanent Life Insurance, Guaranteed Life Insurance.
  • Eligibility age range: 50 to 80 (varies by policy, state, and membership status).
  • Minimum coverage amount: $5,000.
  • Maximum coverage amount: $25,000 or $50,000, depending on the policy, though higher amounts may be available.
  • State availability: Depends on policy.
  • Potential to earn dividends: No.

Insurer complaints methodology

In 2020–2022, PakOption investigated concerns that state insurance regulators had received and submitted a report to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The NAIC creates a complaint index every year for each subsidiary, comparing the share of total complaints to the size of the company or the share of total premiums in the industry, to evaluate how insurers stack up against one another. PakOption created a comparable index for each insurer over three years, weighted by the market shares of each subsidiary, to assess a company’s complaint history. PakOption analyzes data on its own and comes to its conclusions without the NAIC’s approval. Car, housing (including condos and renters), and life insurance all have different ratios.

FAQs about Whole Life Insurance Companies

Is whole life insurance worth it?

It is contingent upon your financial status and needs. Whole life insurance may be worth the extra cost if you can afford the higher premiums and would like to see your coverage turn into a cash asset.

However, a term life insurance policy should be plenty if all you want to do is purchase life insurance to provide your family with financial security after your passing.

How much is whole life insurance?

According to average life insurance prices from Quotacy, a life insurance agency, the usual cost of a $500,000 whole life insurance policy for a 40-year-old in good health is $5,728 each year. A 20-year, $500,000 term life policy might cost the same applicant $315 annually, to put things in perspective.

What is modified whole life insurance?

One kind of whole life insurance that has reduced premiums for the first few years is called modified whole life insurance. Then the premiums increase. You are prohibited from increasing the cash value of your insurance during the “modified premium” period.


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