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Ethos Life Insurance Review 2020

June 11, 2020
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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at a glance

  • Sells term life insurance online.
  • Available in all states except New York.
  • Policies include accelerated death benefits.
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.

Launched in 2016, Ethos offers term life policies online. Ethos says completing the online application can take as little as 10 minutes and that most people who qualify for coverage don’t need to complete a medical exam. Coverage amounts range from $100,000 to $1.5 million. Ethos uses data such as your motor vehicle records, family medical history and current drug prescriptions to calculate eligibility and set rates.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Ethos life insurance

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Ethos 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.

Based on these ratings, Ethos is among NerdWallet’s Best Life Insurance Companies for 2020.

Ethos consumer complaints

Over three years, Banner Life Insurance, the company that issues policies bought through Ethos, has drawn fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size, according to a NerdWallet analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

» MORE: The best life insurance companies

More about Ethos

Ethos offers term life insurance to people ages 20 to 65. Available terms are 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. The application process is done 100% online. Life insurance agents are available to answer questions by phone, text or email.

All policies include accelerated death benefits, which allow you to take part of the life insurance payout while you’re still alive if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Ethos may require you to take a life insurance medical exam if it needs more information on your health to calculate eligibility and rates. The company does not sell permanent policies, such as whole life insurance.

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.