Equitable Life Insurance Review 2023

Andrew Marder
By Andrew Marder 

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insurance-product-card-logo

Equitable

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: Although it offers lots of term and permanent policies, the lack of whole life options means Equitable won't be the right fit for some shoppers.
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

Financial strength rating

Strong

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam
insurance-product-card-logo
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

Equitable

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: Although it offers lots of term and permanent policies, the lack of whole life options means Equitable won't be the right fit for some shoppers.

Financial strength rating

Strong

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam

In our life insurance reviews, our editorial team considers the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:

Policies offered. There are many types of life insurance on the market, and they fall into three key categories:

  • Term life insurance offers temporary coverage and a guaranteed payout if the policyholder dies during the term.

  • Permanent life insurance typically lasts a lifetime and builds cash value that can be borrowed against in the future.

  • No-exam life insurance issues coverage without the need for a medical exam.

Financial strength. We use AM Best ratings to confirm an insurer’s long-term financial stability and ability to pay claims. For life insurance, NerdWallet typically recommends considering insurers with ratings of A- or higher. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Exceptional: A+, A++.

  • Strong: A-, A.

  • Moderate: B, B+.

Complaints. These ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The best life insurance companies have fewer than the expected number of complaints.

Buy online. This indicates whether an insurer allows you to apply for and buy a policy completely online.

Equitable is a large life and retirement savings company. It was known as AXA Equitable until a name change in 2020. It offers a wide range of term and permanent life insurance policies, along with other financial products.

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.
TAKE CARE OF WHAT MATTERS MOST
Your family is unique — your life insurance should be, too.

Equitable life insurance

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Equitable earned 3.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Equitable life insurance policies

Term life insurance. Equitable offers four types of term life insurance coverage:

  • Level term life. You can choose terms of 10, 15 or 20 years. Premiums stay the same throughout the length of the term and increase after the term is complete — should you choose to keep the coverage. The minimum death benefit is $1 million.

  • Annual renewable term life. This policy can be renewed without reapplying for coverage, but the price increases each year. The minimum death benefit is $1 million.

  • TermOne. Coverage is non-renewable and expires after one year. The minimum death benefit is $25,000.

  • Term-in-10. Offers instant coverage in 10 minutes. You can choose a term length of 10, 15 or 20 years, and must be from 18 to 60 years old to apply. The maximum coverage amount is $1 million.

All of the company’s term life policies are convertible to permanent life insurance. Depending on the type of policy you buy, you may have the option to add a children’s term rider or disability premium waiver rider to your coverage. A living benefits rider is automatically included at no cost on certain policies.

Permanent life insurance. Equitable offers indexed universal life and variable universal life insurance policies. It also offers a variable universal life survivorship policy. Survivorship policies insure two people — usually a married couple — under one policy. The death benefit is paid out when the second person dies.

Equitable customer complaints and satisfaction

Over three years, Equitable has drawn fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size, according to NerdWallet’s analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Equitable ranked last out of 22 companies in J.D. Power's 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study

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More about Equitable

In addition to life insurance, Equitable offers several other financial products and services, including:

  • Annuities.

  • Individual retirement accounts.

  • Workplace benefit plans.

TAKE CARE OF WHAT MATTERS MOST
Your family is unique — your life insurance should be, too.

Life insurance buying guide

Before you start comparing companies, choose the type of life insurance you want, such as term or whole life. Decide which life insurance riders, if any, you want the policy to include. Calculate how much life insurance you need and how long you want the coverage to last. Check that the insurers you’re considering offer the coverage you’re looking for.

When comparing rates, be sure the quotes are for the same amount of coverage over the same period of time. It’s also important to make sure the policy’s medical requirements match your needs. For example, if you want to skip the life insurance medical exam but don’t mind answering health questions, confirm that the application process for each policy you're comparing aligns with that.

Price may not be the biggest driver behind your decision to buy. Look at the number of consumer complaints each company receives, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service.

For more guidance, see our life insurance buying guide.

Life insurance ratings methodology

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. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019-2021. 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. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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