Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
The best term life insurance policy for you may not be the best one for someone else. Coverage amounts, term lengths, age restrictions and whether you can convert the policy to permanent coverage are all important factors to consider when shopping for life insurance, and some of these things may be more significant to you than others. We’ve highlighted term life policies sold by 11 of the best life insurance companies in the United States, so you can weigh your options and find the right coverage for you and your family.
Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure the content on our site is accurate and fair, so you can make financial decisions with confidence and choose the products that work best for you. Here is a list of our partners and here’s how we make money.
The best term life insurance providers
The following term life insurance companies hold up under scrutiny. They have solid financial strength ratings, received high marks for consumer experience and had fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for companies of their size. Since you won’t be around to fight for your rights when your policy pays out, you need to be able to trust that your insurer will treat your life insurance beneficiaries right.
Term lengths available
5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.
10, 15, 20 or 30 years.
No traditional term lengths — all policies expire at age 80.
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.
1, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.
1, 10 or 20 years.
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.
10, 20 or 30 years.
10, 15, 20 or 30 years.
1, 10 or 20 years.
10 to 30 years.
How we ranked the top life insurers
NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on consumer experience, complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. Within the consumer experience category, we consider ease of communication and website transparency, which looks at the depth of policy details available online. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.
These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews.
» COMPARE: Life insurance quotes
Best term life insurance policies for May 2022
Learn more about each company and the policies available by reading the brief summaries below and checking out the full NerdWallet reviews.
Haven Life: Best for same-day coverage
Guardian Life: Best for applicants with HIV
Fabric: Best for online experience
MassMutual: Best for temporary coverage
New York Life: Best for high coverage amounts
Pacific Life: Best for conversion flexibility
State Farm: Best for customer satisfaction
Lincoln Financial: Best for over-the-phone applications
Northwestern Mutual: Best for customer experience
“Best for same-day coverage: Haven’s term life application can be completed online and approved within minutes.”
Haven Term Life: Haven Life uses accelerated underwriting, which means you may not need to take a medical exam to qualify for coverage. Policies are available to applicants ages 64 and younger, with coverage amounts reaching as high as $3 million. Policies are available in 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- or 30-year terms.
Haven Simple: Haven also offers a simplified issue term life policy, which means a life insurance medical exam is never required. You must be between the ages of 20 and 55 to apply. Coverage is available in 5-, 10-, 15- and 20-year terms. Policy amounts range from $25,000 to $500,000.
» Read the full review: Haven Life insurance
“Best for applicants with HIV: Guardian offers specific coverage for people living with HIV. ”
Guardian Level Term: Policies are issued to applicants between the ages of 18 and 75, and coverage amounts start at $100,000. Policies are available in 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year terms.
To apply for Guardian's HIV-specific coverage, you must be between the ages of 20 and 60 and meet certain eligibility requirements, such as being on active antiretroviral therapy.
» Read the full review: Guardian life insurance
“Best for coverage without the medical exam: AARP's policies, including its term life product, never require a medical exam — just questions about your health.”
Level Benefit Term Life: This policy is open to AARP members between the ages of 50 and 74. Coverage amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000, though higher coverage amounts may be available by contacting New York Life, the company that issues AARP’s term life products.
AARP’s term life insurance policy is unique in that it isn’t offered in term lengths. All policies expire at age 80, and policyholders can choose to convert to a permanent life insurance policy before or at that point.
» Read the full review: AARP life insurance
“Best for online experience: Fabric’s user-friendly website makes it easy to learn about its term life products.”
Term Life: Fabric sells term life insurance with coverage amounts ranging from $100,000 to $5 million. The online application takes 10 minutes to complete. If you choose to buy more than $1.5 million in coverage, an in-person medical exam is required. Policy lengths range from 10 to 30 years.
» Read the full review: Fabric life insurance
“Best for temporary coverage: If you buy MassMutual’s Direct Term policy online, you can receive up to $1 million of coverage while your application is being processed, regardless of whether you’re ultimately approved.”
MassMutual Term: The maximum issue age for MassMutual standard term life policy is 75, with coverage starting at $100,000.
MassMutual Direct Term: Applications take 20 minutes to complete online. You must be between the ages of 18 and 64 to apply, and you can buy up to $3 million in coverage.
MassMutual’s term life policies are available in 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year increments. They also offer an annually renewable term life policy that renews every year.
» Read the full review: MassMutual life insurance
New York Life
“Best for high coverage amounts: One of the company’s term life policies focuses on larger coverage amounts, with a minimum death benefit of $1 million.”
Yearly Convertible Term: Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 75, and the minimum coverage amount is $100,000. You can renew this policy every year. If you want lifelong coverage, you can convert it to a permanent policy.
Level Premium Convertible Term: Coverage is available in 10- and 20-year term lengths, with death benefits starting at $100,000. Policies are available to applicants between the ages of 18 and 75.
Million Plus Level Term: With a minimum face value of $1 million, this policy is for people looking for a sizable death benefit. The only available term length is 10 years, and you must be between the ages of 18 and 69 to apply.
» Read the full review: New York Life insurance
“Best for conversion flexibility: The company offers term life coverage with a more flexible conversion window than its standard policy and includes cash value perks.”
PL Promise Term: Policies are available in 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year term lengths, with a minimum coverage amount of $50,000. You can choose to add life insurance riders at an extra cost, such as an accelerated death benefit, waiver of premium or child term rider.
Pacific Elite Term: A more conversion-friendly product, the Pacific Elite Term policy can be converted to a permanent policy within the first 10 years. A cash credit is also added to your new policy, which can help offset some of the initial premiums of your new permanent coverage.
» Read the full review: Pacific Life insurance
“Best for customer satisfaction: State Farm ranked first out of 21 companies in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Life Insurance Study for customer satisfaction, making it a trustworthy choice.”
Select Term Life Insurance: Coverage starts at $100,000 and is available to applicants between the ages of 18 and 75. You have the option to add a child rider, term rider or waiver of premium rider at an additional cost. The term lengths available are 10, 20 and 30 years.
Return of Premium Life: Similar to the standard term life product, this policy offers coverage for a set number of years. But if you outlive the term, it returns the premiums you paid. You must be between the ages of 18 and 60 to apply, and coverage is available in 20- and 30-year terms. However, note that return-of-premium life insurance tends to be more expensive than standard term policies.
Instant Answer Term Life: You can apply in person with a State Farm agent and get coverage the same day. The policy lasts 10 years or until you reach 50, whichever is longer, and only $50,000 of coverage is available.
» Read the full review: State Farm life insurance
“Best for over-the-phone applications: You can apply online or by calling a Lincoln Financial agent and completing a quick phone interview.”
TermAccel Level Term: You can apply online or over the phone. Coverage amounts range from $100,000 to $1 million, and policies come in 10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year terms. A medical exam may be required based on your health. You must be between the ages of 18 and 60 to apply.
LifeElements Level Term: Policies are available to applicants between the ages of 18 and 80 — a slightly wider range than the TermAccel policy. Coverage amounts start at $250,000 and go above $1 million. Coverage is available in 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year terms. Both of Lincoln Financial’s term policies are not available in New York.
» Read the full review: Lincoln Financial life insurance
“Best for customer experience: Northwestern Mutual received fewer complaints to state regulators relative to its size than any other insurer on our top companies list, making it a solid choice for customer experience.”
Annual Renewable Term Life: Premiums are relatively low at first, compared to level term policies, but they increase as you get older. Coverage automatically renews each year.
Level Premium Term Life: Coverage is available in 10- or 20-year terms. Premiums stay level, which means they won’t go up over the term of the policy.
» Read the full review: Northwestern Mutual life insurance
“Best for military personnel: USAA life insurance covers you during wartime and helps pay bills if you're severely injured in the line of duty. It also lets you replace your lost group coverage if you retire or leave the military.”
Level Term V: You don’t need a military connection to get USAA life insurance. But policies like this are designed with military personnel in mind. Term lengths range from 10 to 30 years. Coverage ranges from $100,000 to $10 million and is available to applicants between the ages of 18 and 70. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 35 years old, you can purchase an additional $100,000 of coverage after qualifying life events like having a child or getting married.
Essential Term Life: This policy renews every year and does not require a medical exam. However, it is only available to Texas residents between the ages of 21 and 35. It offers $100,000 of coverage and expires when you turn 39 years old.
» Read the full review: USAA life insurance
How to find the best term life insurance company
When you buy life insurance, you’re counting on a company to be there for your family many years in the future. For that reason, it’s important to choose a company you can trust. Here are some ways to compare companies and find the one that’s best for you.
» MORE: Life insurance reviews
Look up the insurer’s financial strength
You want a company that will be around decades from now, with enough money to pay claims. The financial strength rating of a life insurance company is one way to gauge whether an insurer is likely to meet that mark. You can check the financial strength rating of each term life insurance company you’re considering through a rating firm such as AM Best.
NerdWallet typically recommends considering insurers with ratings of A- or higher. That said, any company with an AM Best rating of B+ or higher has a "good" ability to meet its obligations, according to AM Best’s website. Companies with ratings below that may not be quite as safe a bet and often have higher rates of complaints relative to their size.
All of the largest life insurance companies have solid financial strength ratings.
Research the insurer’s reputation for customer service
You want a company that provides good customer service, from the day you start shopping until it’s time for a claim. To get an idea of whether other customers have been satisfied, you can look up an insurer’s complaint index on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website. The score is based on the number of complaints filed against the insurance company with state regulators, adjusted for the company’s market share (based on premiums written). The average score is one, so anything higher than one means the company received more complaints than expected for its size.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, it’s a good idea to compare life insurance quotes from more than one company. That way, you can get the best rate for the type of term life policy you're looking for.
» MORE: Best life insurance companies
Insurer complaints methodology
NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.