New York Life Insurance Review 2023

Georgia Rose
By Georgia Rose 
Edited by Erica Corbin

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New York Life

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: New York Life offers a wide variety of policies and has minimal customer complaints, making it a strong choice for many buyers.
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term & permanent
insurance-product-card-logo
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

New York Life

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: New York Life offers a wide variety of policies and has minimal customer complaints, making it a strong choice for many buyers.

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term & permanent

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.

New York Life bills itself as one of the nation’s oldest mutual life insurance companies. As a mutual insurer, New York Life is owned by its policyholders. Customers who buy certain products, such as whole life insurance, are entitled to vote in board elections and receive annual dividends. The company expects to pay out $2 billion in dividends in 2023

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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.

New York Life insurance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

New York Life earned 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.

Based on these ratings, New York Life is one of our best life insurance companies in 2023.

New York Life insurance policies

Term life insurance. Its three term life insurance policies can be converted to permanent life insurance within a specified period.

  • Yearly Convertible Term policy can be renewed each year. Premiums start low and increase each year. The price changes if the policy is converted to permanent coverage.

  • Level-Premium Convertible Term 10-20 policy can be purchased in 10- to 20-year terms. Premiums stay the same throughout the entire term, also known as a “level-premium period.” When this period ends, your premium increases. The price also changes if the policy is converted.

  • Million Plus Level Term 10 policy offers $1 million or more in coverage at a flat rate for the first 10 years. After that, premiums go up.

You can customize term coverage from New York Life by adding options like the Spouse’s Paid-Up rider. If you die, it allows your spouse to purchase their own coverage using the payout from your policy without taking a medical exam.

Other riders include the Disability Waiver of Premium, which covers premiums if you become disabled, and a Living Benefits add-on, which allows you to withdraw cash from the death benefit to cover medical costs if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.

New York Life made our list for best term life insurance of 2023.

Whole life insurance. New York Life has three whole life insurance policies, including one that lets you customize the payment schedule. This provides the flexibility to pay off the policy early, eliminating premiums in later years.

New York Life is one of our best whole life insurance companies for 2023.

Universal life insurance. You can choose between three types of universal life insurance policies with New York Life.

  • Universal Life (basic) coverage lets you adjust your premiums and benefit amount.

  • Custom Guarantee, which has a set premium, automatically comes with a Money Back Option rider, which returns a portion of the premiums you’ve already paid if you no longer need coverage.

  • Protection Up to Age 90 is a policy that covers you to age 90 and is designed for business owners or people looking for a lot of coverage for a specific period of time.

Variable universal life. You can decide how to invest the cash value of New York Life’s variable universal life insurance policies, including in the stock market, which means they can come with increased risk as the market fluctuates. You have the option to choose your own investments or use existing models created by experts. The insurer offers two variable universal policies: Variable Universal Life Accumulator II, which is available in all states, and Market Wealth Plus, which is available in all states except New York.

The company also offers several life insurance add-ons for its permanent life insurance policies, such as coverage that protects you if you become disabled or terminally ill.

New York Life customer complaints and satisfaction

Over three years, New York Life has drawn 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.

New York Life ranked No. 10 out of 22 companies for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power's 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study

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More about New York Life

Policyholders can access coverage details via the website’s online portal. Once logged in, you can update beneficiaries, make payments, see policy details and more.

New York Life also offers additional financial products and services, including:

How to contact New York Life

New York Life can be reached by:

  • Phone: 800-225-5695 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.

  • Email: Contact form via the website.

  • Live chat: New York Life does not have live chat capabilities.

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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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