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Bestow Life Insurance Review

April 16, 2019
Insurance, Life Insurance
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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  • Sells term life insurance online, without requiring lab tests or medical exams.
  • Available nationwide, except in New York.
  • Applicants who qualify can get covered in minutes.


Shopping for life insurance during the pandemic? Be aware that insurers may have changed their products and policy applications. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this emergency, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Bestow overview

Bestow sells term life insurance policies online, offering nearly instant coverage to those who qualify. Applicants answer questions on Bestow’s mobile-enabled website, and the company uses data and algorithms to make decisions and set prices. The Dallas-based company launched in 2017 and began selling policies in 2018. It now does business in all states except New York.

» MORE: The best life insurance companies

Consumer complaints: Better than the median

North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, which issues the policies sold by Bestow, drew fewer than the median number of complaints about individual life insurance to state regulators in 2017, compared with life insurance companies of similar size.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners calculates a “complaint ratio score” for insurance companies. The score is based on the number of complaints to state regulators, adjusted for market share. The median score is 1, and a score less than 1 means fewer complaints. North American had a complaint ratio score of 0.31 for individual life insurance in 2017, the latest year for which data is available.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Bestow life insurance

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Bestow earned 4 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings from A.M. Best.

Bestow says it’s on a mission to make term life insurance “simpler and more human.” The startup is among companies that specialize in selling fast life insurance. Bestow takes information from your online application, pulls instantly available data about you (with your permission) and uses algorithms to decide whether you qualify and set the price. Everyone who qualifies can get covered right away, without having to take a medical exam.

The company offers term life insurance with terms of 10 and 20 years, with policies worth up to $1 million available.

You can be denied for coverage, and older customers are not eligible to apply. You can apply for a 20-year policy if you’re 21 to 45, with one exception: If you’re a man who uses tobacco, the maximum age is 43.

For the 10-year policies, the age range is a bit wider: 21 to 55.

The company does not sell permanent life insurance such as whole or universal life policies.

Take care of what matters most

Your family is unique — your life insurance should be, too.

Bestow coverage details

Products offeredTerm life insurance.
Term options2, 10 and 20 years.
Coverage amount availableUp to $500,000 for 2-year term.
Up to $1 million for 10- and 20-year terms.
Eligible ages for applyingFor 20-year policies, 21 to 45 (21 to 43 for male tobacco users); for 2- or 10-year policies, 21 to 55.
Medical exam required?No.
Can be declined for coverage?Yes.
Available inAll states except New York.

Methodology: Life insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the NAIC and A.M. Best 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.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2016-2018. 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.