7 Best Instant Life Insurance Companies of August 2022

Apply for and buy a life insurance policy on the same day with these top-rated companies.
Aug 1, 2022

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Until recently, it could take several weeks to get life insurance coverage. While that’s still true for traditional policies, a string of insurers now offer instant life insurance. Sometimes known as “fast life insurance,” these are policies you can apply for online and often get a decision on within minutes.

To create this list, our experts analyzed insurers who sell life insurance online and offer at least $100,000 in coverage. We then assessed policy features, age eligibility and available riders, as well as the amount of coverage you can buy without taking a medical exam.

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The best fast life insurance companies of August 2022

Company and link to review

NerdWallet rating

Instant life coverage amounts

$25,000 to $3 million.

$100,000 to $1.5 million.

$100,000 to $1 million.

$50,000 to $1.5 million.

$10,000 to $500,000.

$100,000 to $3 million.

$100,000 to $2 million.

NerdWallet rates insurers at the company level, not the policy level. This means our star rating reflects the company as a whole, and not its instant life insurance policy specifically. 

How we ranked the top life insurers

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are determined by our editorial team. Star ratings are based on consumer experience, weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims, and complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance. 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 life insurance quotes from several companies to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Best fast life insurance companies: Pros and cons

Learn more about each company in our list by reading the brief summaries below and checking out the NerdWallet review links.


Haven Life: Best for high coverage amounts

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Our take: Haven Life offers up to $3 million in instant life insurance coverage for eligible applicants. The company offers two types of instant life insurance policies (Haven Simple and Haven Term). The applications for both policies are fully online. If you’re approved, your coverage could be issued within minutes. Haven Simple doesn’t require a medical exam, while some applicants may be asked to take a medical exam to qualify for Haven Term. The policies include two life insurance riders at no extra charge. The accelerated death benefit rider allows you to access a portion of your death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, while the accidental death benefit rider pays out an additional lump sum if you die in an accident.

You can increase your coverage in the first 90 days if you decide you need more life insurance, and decrease it at any time.

Instant life policies: Haven Simple, Haven Term.

Eligibility age range: 20 to 55 for Haven Simple; 20 to 64 for Haven Term.

Coverage amount: $25,000 to $500,000 for Haven Simple; $250,000 to $3 million for Haven Term.

Availability: All states except CA, DE, SD, ND and NY for Haven Simple; nationwide for Haven Term.

Term lengths: 5, 10, 15 or 20 years for Haven Simple; 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years for Haven Term.

» Read the full review: Haven Life insurance


Fabric: Best for customer satisfaction

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Our take: Fabric sells instant policies worth up to $1.5 million. You might be asked to take a medical exam if the insurer has further questions about your health.

Issued by Vantis Life, Fabric’s policy includes an accelerated death benefit rider and gives you the option to convert to a permanent policy until the first policy anniversary after you turn 65. You can also decrease your coverage if your life insurance needs change. Vantis Life will donate 1% of the value of your policy (up to $100,000) to charity if you die while it’s still active.

Fabric received far fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.

Instant life policy: Fabric Term.

Eligibility age range: 21 to 60.

Coverage amount: $100,000 to $1.5 million.

Availability: All states except MT and NY.

Term lengths: 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.

» Read the full review: Fabric life insurance


Lincoln Financial: Best for policy add-ons

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Our take: Lincoln Financial allows you to apply for a no-exam policy online or over the phone. You can upgrade to permanent coverage before your term policy expires or you reach your 70th birthday — whichever comes first. The policy is guaranteed renewable up to age 95.

The insurer offers a child rider that can cover multiple children. You can also choose to add a waiver of premium or accelerated death benefit rider to your coverage for an additional fee.

Instant life policy: Lincoln TermAccel.

Eligibility age range: 18 to 60.

Coverage amount: $100,000 to $1 million.

Availability: All states except NY.

Term lengths: 10, 15, 20 or 30 years.

» Read the full review: Lincoln Financial life insurance


Bestow: Best for range of term lengths

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Our take: Bestow offers instant policies lasting 10 to 30 years, including less common lengths like 15 and 25 years.

Bestow's application is fully online. If you’re eligible, you can buy up to $1.5 million in coverage without a medical exam, and the policy is open to people ages 18 to 60. As for drawbacks, you can’t customize your coverage with riders, and people with pre-existing health conditions might be denied.

Instant life policy: Bestow Term.

Eligibility age range: 18 to 60.

Coverage amount: $50,000 to $1.5 million.

Availability: All states except NY.

Term lengths: 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.

» Read the full review: Bestow life insurance


Erie Insurance: Best for instant whole life

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Our take: Erie offers a choice of term or whole life insurance, which is rare for instant policies.

The policy is one of the most flexible on the market. If you qualify, the coverage can go into effect the same day you apply. Otherwise, you may need to take a medical exam. You can buy small amounts of coverage, starting at $10,000, and a term as brief as five years. An accelerated death benefit rider is automatically included.

Instant life policy: ERIExpress Life.

Eligibility age range: 18 to 55.

Coverage amount: $10,000 to $500,000.

Availability: All states except NY.

Term lengths: 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years.


Ladder Life: Best for coverage flexibility

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Our take: Unlike most of the instant policies on our list, Ladder’s term life is available nationwide. Ladder also stands out for offering up to $3 million in instant life insurance coverage online, making it one of the most generous policies on our list for qualifying applicants. If you’re looking for an even larger policy and willing to take a gamble, you can apply for up to $8 million in coverage — but you might be asked to take a life insurance medical exam.

The insurtech partners with Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company and Allianz Life of New York to offer policies nationwide. You can decrease your coverage online or on the app, and the changes go into effect right away — including a lower premium. For example, if your lower your coverage from $1 million to $750,000, your next premium payment will be 25% lower to match. To increase your coverage, you'll need to fill out an application form.

Instant life policy: Ladder Term Life.

Eligibility age range: 20 to 60.

Coverage amount: $100,000 to $3 million.

Availability: All states.

Term lengths: 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.

» Read the full review: Ladder Life insurance


Brighthouse Financial: Best for death benefit changes

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Our take: If you need a lot of life insurance ASAP, Brighthouse’s SimplySelect might be a good fit. The policy features an accelerated death benefit rider and can be converted to a permanent policy later on. It’s also renewable up to age 95, which means you can keep the policy after the initial term expires without going through the life insurance application process again, though your premiums will rise.

Qualifying applicants can buy coverage worth up to $2 million, with the option to reduce the amount after the policy has been in effect for one year.

Instant life policy: Brighthouse SimplySelect.

Eligibility age range: 25 to 50.

Coverage amount: $100,000 to $2 million.

Availability: All states except CA, IL, LA, ME and NY.

Term lengths: 10, 20 or 30 years.

» Read the full review: Brighthouse Financial life insurance


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Alternatives to the best instant life insurance

If you’re not in a time crunch, consider applying for a traditional life insurance policy. You’ll most likely need to take a medical exam, but if you’re relatively healthy, you could end up paying less for your policy.

Term life insurance lasts a set number of years, while permanent life insurance offers lifelong coverage and builds cash value over time.

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.

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