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Launched in 2016, Ethos offers term and whole life policies online. The fully digital application can take as little as 10 minutes to complete, and most people who qualify for coverage don’t need to complete a medical exam.
Ethos uses data such as your motor vehicle records, family medical history and current drug prescriptions to calculate eligibility and set rates.
» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes
Ethos life insurance
Ethos 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.
Ethos life insurance policies
Term life insurance. Ethos offers term life insurance to people ages 20 to 65 in all states except New York, with coverage ranging from $20,000 to $2 million. You can choose a policy lasting 10, 15, 20 or 30 years, and policies are issued by various carriers including Legal & General America, Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and TruStage.
Ethos doesn’t require a life insurance medical exam to apply, but you’ll need to answer questions about your health. If you need help, the company has licensed agents on hand, and they don’t work on commission. It typically bases its decision on your responses, as well as third-party data like MIB Group records. But in some cases, an underwriter may contact you asking for more information.
Whole life insurance. The company also sells whole life insurance to people 66 to 85 years old. Applicants are approved instantly regardless of health history, and coverage amounts range from $1,000 to $30,000. Policies are offered through TruStage, and available in all states but New York.
» MORE: Term vs. whole life insurance
Ethos customer complaints
Over three years, Legal & General, TruStage and Ameritas, the companies that issue Ethos’ policies, collectively drew fewer than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size, according to a NerdWallet analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
More about Ethos life insurance
On Ethos’ site, you can get a quote, calculate how much life insurance you need and learn more about the company’s policies. Once your application is approved, you can adjust your coverage or term length by speaking with an agent. You’ll need to email customer support to change beneficiaries. And to cancel your coverage, you can call or email.
How to contact Ethos
Ethos can be reached by:
Phone: Call 415-915-0665.
Email: Send a message to [email protected].
Live chat: Not available.
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 with 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.