Advertiser Disclosure

Ethos Life Insurance Review

Jan. 2, 2019
Insurance, Life Insurance, Personal Finance
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.

NerdWallet is a free tool to find you the best credit cards, cd rates, savings, checking accounts, scholarships, healthcare and airlines. Start here to maximize your rewards or minimize your interest rates. NerdWallet

at a glance

  • Sells term life insurance online.
  • Available in all states except New York.
  • Many applicants can qualify without a medical exam.

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.

Ethos overview

Launched in June 2018, Ethos offers term life policies online from Assurity Life Insurance Co. Ethos says completing the online application can take as little as 10 minutes and that most people who qualify for coverage can buy up to $1 million in life insurance without having to take a medical exam. Ethos accesses data, such as your motor vehicle and prescription drug records, and uses predictive analytics to decide whether you qualify and to set rates.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes


Policies are issued by Assurity Life Insurance Co. NerdWallet does not score Assurity for our life insurance company rankings because customer satisfaction ratings for the company are unavailable. Assurity is not included in the annual J.D. Power U.S. Life Insurance Study, a customer satisfaction survey.

Consumer complaints: Better than the median

Assurity, the company that issues policies bought through Ethos, drew fewer than the median number of complaints about individual life insurance to state regulators in 2017, compared to life insurance companies of its size.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners calculates a “complaint ratio score” for insurance companies, which 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. Assurity had a complaint ratio score of 0.16 for individual life insurance.

» MORE: The best life insurance companies

More about Ethos

Ethos offers term life insurance to people ages 18 to 75. Available terms are 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. You can buy longer terms at younger ages. The maximum term lengths by age are:

  • Age 18 to 55 (nonsmoker), 18 to 50 (smoker): Up to 30 years.
  • Age 56 to 65 (nonsmoker), 51 to 65 (smoker): Up to 20 years.
  • Age 66 to 70: Up to 15 years.
  • Age 71 to 75: Up to 10 years.

The company does not sell permanent policies, such as whole life insurance. The streamlined application process is online, so there’s no paperwork. A life insurance agent is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific time to answer questions by phone, text or email. The agent doesn’t make commissions on sales.

Policies sold by Ethos are issued by Assurity Life Insurance Co., a Nebraska-headquartered company founded in 1890.

Ethos says most applicants who qualify for life insurance aren’t required to take a medical exam, regardless of age. However, an exam may be required if you apply for more than $1 million in coverage, or the company needs more health information to decide if you qualify.

Ethos launched with backing from Sequoia Capital and Stanford University, as well as several entertainment and celebrity investors. They include Arrive, a subsidiary of entertainment company Roc Nation; actor Robert Downey Jr.’s Downey Ventures; basketball player Kevin Durant’s Durant Company; and actor Will Smith’s Smith Family Circle.

Ethos life insurance options

Products offeredTerm life insurance
Term options10, 15, 20 and 30 years.
Age availability18 to 75.
Medical exam required?May be required on policies over $1 million or if more health information is needed.
Can be denied for coverage?Yes.
Available inAll states except New York.