The Best Life Insurance Companies 2020

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

When you start shopping around for life insurance, you want to know if the company you’re considering buying from has a good reputation. Do they pay claims on time? Are there a lot of consumer complaints? Can you get an online quote?

The Best Life Insurance Companies (Overall)

When we review life insurance companies, we assign them a score from 10-100 on the following 5 categories. The maximum score would be 500.

  • Products Offered
  • Financial Strength
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Consumer Complaints
  • Digital Experience

We totaled the scores of each of the companies we reviewed and gave them a composite score. We then assembled them in a table from highest scoring to lowest scoring. Based on our assessments, State Farm and Nationwide tied for the best insurance company, with Mutual of Omaha a close second. 

You’ll notice that you don’t assess these companies on their prices, or the premiums that you have to pay. That’s is because life insurance premiums vary by individuals, depending on several factors such as your health class, age, gender, coverage amount you are looking for, the number of years when you will pay premiums, whether you want to build a cash value account or not, etc. In addition, each insurance company determines your premiums using their own proprietary underwriting and pricing algorithm. Whether you are buying a term life, whole life, or indexed universal life insurance policy, make sure to compare quotes from 3-5 insurance companies by working with a life insurance broker.

You can click on the link to read the full review of each company.

IndexCompanyBravo Policy Score
1State Farm450
3Mutual of Omaha445
4Sagicor Life 440
5Ameritas Life430
6New York Life420
7Banner Life (Legal & General Group)420
8Protective Life410
9AARP 410
10Mass Mutual405
11Principal Life405
12Northwestern Mutual400
13AllState 395
14Lincoln Financial390
17Penn Mutual370
18Symetra Life365
22Pacific Life360
23American National360
24SBLI Life 350
25John Hancock345
28Midland National Life340
29Bankers Life330
30TruStage Life330
31Costco Life330
32Forrester’s Life320
33Assurity Life320
34Liberty Mutual 315
37Occidental Life290
38Lincoln Heritage280
40Colonial Penn255
41Lumico Life240
42Accordia Life240
43Manhattan Life220
45Freedom (US Health Group)200
46Geico LifeDon’t offer life insurance. Agency for


We have reviewed a total of 27 insurance companies. We considered each company’s score in our overall categories:

  1. Products Offered: Insurance companies that offered a variety of products in several different types of insurance scored higher. Products included Term, Whole and Universal life insurance. In addition, companies that have a variety of riders offer greater flexibility and therefore scored higher. Points are out of 100.
  1. Financial Strength: A.M. Best evaluates life insurance companies on their ability to pay claims, and also considers their future financial outlook. Larger companies have an advantage here.
  1. Customer Satisfaction: J.D. Power is out go-to source for customer satisfaction. Companies could earn up to 100 points. J.D Power rates companies from one to five stars in the following categories:
  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Product offerings
  • Communications
  • Price
  • Statements
  • Application and orientation
  1. Consumer Complaints

The NAIC calculates complaint index scores for life insurance companies. The median average is 1.0, so companies that had an index lower than 1.0 scored higher here.

  1. Digital Experience

How we rate the company’s website and if online quotes are possible. We also consider how much of your policy you can manage online. 

For most customers, term life insurance is more than sufficient. It does what life insurance is supposed do, which is provide for dependents if the primary breadwinner(s) dies.  There is no investment component, which is actually better because it makes term insurance much less expensive. Which companies are best for term insurance?

Best Life Insurance Companies for Term Life Insurance

The companies we recommend for term insurance are:

State Farm

State Farm offers a good experience if you want to buy term life insurance. Everything you need to know is nicely laid out on State Farm’s website, and online quoting is available. Just enter your state, the amount of coverage you want, and a few other details and you can get a quote online. Rates are fairly competitive for such a large company. 


Nationwide offers online quoting for term insurance and offers excellent customer service in general. They have many riders that allow you add flexibility to your policy. You can easily manage your policy online.

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha offers a seamless online quote system for both term and whole life insurance. They have some customization through riders, and they performed well in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey.


Sagicor offers an almost seamless digital experience. If you’re looking for a term policy, you could be approved in as little as twenty minutes. There are very few complaints about them so far

Best Life Insurance Companies for Whole Life

Whole insurance is right for a small subset of the population. If you have special needs children who are unlikely to achieve financial independence, or if you are wealthy and need a tax shelter, a whole life policy may be right for you.

If you are shopping for a whole life policy, something to consider is buying your policy from a mutual life insurance company. This way, the dividends you earn can be added to the cash value, or to the death benefit. You could also take them in cash. 

It’s difficult to find a company that will actually give you a quote online for whole life insurance, so that carries less weight here. Here are our recommendations for the best companies for whole life:

>>MORE: Why is Whole Life Insurance Not Worth It?

Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual got the highest overall score in J.D. Power’s life insurance study. They expect to pay over $6 billion dollars in dividends in 2020, so you can look forward to those.

Penn Mutual

Penn Mutual is a solid company with excellent financial strength. A whole life policy with Penn Mutual allows you to earn dividends, and given their financial ratings, you can expect those dividends for years to come. In our experience, Penn Mutual offers very competitive price for their whole life and universal life insurance products, both guaranteed and indexed universal.

New York Life

New York life has excellent financial strength and good customer satisfaction scores. The digital experience held them back a little, but that’s not as important when you’re buying whole life insurance because almost no one offers a quote. They have three types of whole life you can choose from.

>>MORE: What is Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance?

Best Life Insurance Companies for Universal Life

Universal Life, like whole life, is almost impossible to get an online quote for. Therefore, the digital experience is not weighted as heavily. Universal life insurance is similar to whole life in that you build cash value, but you have more options. You can use cash value to pay premiums or adjust how often you pay them. It tends to be much less expensive than whole life.

There are three types of universal life insurance: guaranteed universal, indexed universal, and variable universal. Each universal product has its own unique strength and may be more suitable for different use cases.

>>MORE: The Best 6 Companies for Indexed Universal Life Insurance

The best insurance companies for each universal product might be different. However, below are our recommendations for the best companies offering all universal products.

>>MORE: Compare Whole Life Insurance with Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Lincoln Financial

Lincoln Financial offers a good suite of all universal products: guaranteed, indexed, and variable. They have superior financial strength and in our experience of comparing quotes of universal policies from different companies, Lincoln Financial usually comes out in the top 3 best prices.

Protective Life

Protective Life has a variety of life insurance policies, including universal life, variable universal life and indexed universal life. They have some of the lowest life insurance premiums and claim they can save you up to 48% over other insurance companies. 

Principal Life

Those interested in universal life will want to check out Principal life insurance. They offer universal, indexed and variable universal life insurance, plus survivorship insurance. They have excellent financial strength and good customer service. 

Last Thoughts

Which life insurance company is best for you often comes down to what you want. A company that is perfect for you might not suit your neighbor’s needs at all. Before shopping, consider what you value in a company, and then shop for life insurance based on your preferences. 

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Thang Truong
Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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