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Bottom line: While it doesn't sell whole life, RiverSource allows you to get quotes online and produces relatively few complaints, making it a good option for many buyers.
Policies offered: Term & permanent.
Financial strength: Exceptional.
Complaints: Fewer than expected.
Buy online? No.
How we review life insurance companies
RiverSource is a brand of Ameriprise Financial, which offers financial planning, investments and other financial products. RiverSource products include term life insurance and a broad selection of universal and variable universal life insurance, which are sold through Ameriprise advisors. The company doesn't offer whole life insurance.
RiverSource life insurance
RiverSource earned 4 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.
» MORE: Best life insurance companies
RiverSource life insurance pros and cons
Fewer complaints than expected for life insurance for a company of its size.
Doesn’t sell whole life insurance.
Preliminary term life insurance quotes available online.
» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes
RiverSource life insurance
Term life insurance: Policies with 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year terms are available. The annual price stays level throughout the term. You can convert RiverSource term life to one of the company’s permanent policies in the first five years of the term or at age 65, whichever comes first. Or when buying a policy you can pay extra for the option to convert until the end of the term or at age 65, whichever comes first.
Add-ons, known as life insurance riders, are available for term life for a fee. If you’re insured through a RiverSource term policy, available riders include:
Waiver of premium, which waives the policy premium if you become disabled.
Accidental death, which pays out an additional death benefit if you die from an accident.
Children’s insurance, which provides coverage for your children under the same policy.
Universal life insurance: Several universal life policies are available, including indexed universal life, which ties the policy’s cash value growth to an index, such as the S&P 500. Survivorship life insurance policies are also available. This type of permanent universal life insurance insures two people on one policy. The policy pays out after the second person dies.
Variable universal life insurance: You choose how the policy’s cash value is invested. You can build a customized portfolio from a wide selection of investment options to match your goals and risk tolerance.
Children’s insurance and accidental death (if the insured is terminally ill) riders are also available for permanent life insurance. Additional riders include:
Accelerated death benefit: This allows you to access part of your death benefit if you become terminally or chronically ill while you’re insured.
Waiver of premium: If you’ve been disabled for at least six months by age 65, a specified amount of your premium is waived. Details vary by age at the time of disability. If you are unemployed, the premium may be waived for up to a year.
Complaints about RiverSource
RiverSource had fewer than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size for life insurance, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes
More about RiverSource
Besides life insurance, RiverSource also sells annuities and disability income insurance.
The RiverSource website lets you get a term life quote and includes details on specific policies as well as videos that discuss general life insurance questions.
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 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. 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.