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Bestow Life Insurance Review

April 16, 2019
Insurance, Life Insurance
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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.


Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, not all companies are accepting new life insurance 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

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.

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.