Globe Life vs. New York Life Simplified Issue Life Insurance Policies

Insurance, Life Insurance
Globe Life vs. New York Life Simplified Issue Life Insurance Policies

“Simplified issue” life insurance doesn’t require a medical exam, although you must answer health questions and can be turned down.

If you’re interested in buying simplified issue life insurance, you may be comparing policies from Globe Life and New York Life. Your decision on which to choose may depend on whether you smoke, what kind of policy you want, and the companies’ track records.

Here’s a closer look at the two life insurers.

[Term life insurance quotes are available through NerdWallet’s life insurance comparison tool.]

Simplified issue life insurance from Globe Life and New York Life

Both Globe Life and New York Life offer simplified issue term and whole life insurance policies. This coverage is issued quickly after you answer a few health questions, although you can be turned down based on the answers to these questions.

  • Term life insurance, which is best for most people, lasts a set number of years and pays out a benefit if you die while the policy is in effect.
  • Whole life insurance continues as long as you keep paying premiums and builds cash value that you can access. The premiums, death benefit and cash value accumulation rate are fixed.

Both Globe and New York Life sell simplified issue term life policies in five-year increments, with prices going up as you reach the next age band. This is different from traditional term life policies, for which you typically decide how long coverage will last (such as 10 or 20 years) and lock in your rate for the entire period of the policy.

If you need only a small amount of life insurance, these simplified issue policies can fit the bill:

  • Globe caps term life coverage at $100,000.
  • New York Life caps its simplified issue term life coverage at $150,000. However, it offers higher coverage amounts for its traditional term life policies, which may require a medical exam and more health questions.
  • Both companies cap whole life coverage at $50,000, but higher amounts are available from New York Life for standard policies, which also use health to set prices.

Globe provides coverage up to age 90, while New York Life stops at 80 (and the coverage limit is $100,000 if you buy it after age 65).

Globe Life and New York Life prices

Both Globe Life and New York Life price their simplified issue term life insurance in five-year increments, with prices rising as you reach the next age band. Globe’s bands start at ages ending in 1 and 6; New York Life’s bands start at ages ending 0 and 5.

New York Life’s simplified issue term life insurance policies are cheaper than Globe’s for nonsmokers and, at some ages, smokers too. Globe charges the same to smokers and nonsmokers, which is unusual.

Globe Life vs. New York Life: Annual rates for $100,000 in simplified issue term life insurance
Rates go up as you enter new five-year age brackets.
Men Women
Age 31 Age 41 Age 31 Age 41
Globe Life $534 $822 $392 $556
New York Life nonsmoker $425 $669 $323 $473
New York Life smoker $521 $1,017 $377 $797
Sources: Globe Life, New York Life

When it comes to simplified issue whole life insurance, Globe charges much less for similar coverage.

Globe Life vs. New York Life: Annual rates for $50,000 in simplified issue whole life insurance
Men Women
Age 31 Age 41 Age 31 Age 41
Globe Life $639 $986 $490 $777
New York Life $912 $1,417 $798 $1,181
Sources: Globe Life, New York Life

Globe Life and New York Life ratings

J.D. Power rates New York Life “better than most” for every life insurance category it scores: overall satisfaction, billing and payment, price, policy offerings and interaction. J.D. Power didn’t evaluate Globe Life.

When it comes to complaints to state regulators in recent years, Globe is significantly worse compared with other companies, while New York Life is better.

Globe Life vs. New York Life: Complaint ratio comparison
The national median is 1. Higher numbers mean more complaints.
2012 2013 2014
Globe Life 4.95 7.09 8.37
New York Life .13 .18 .13
Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Deciding between Globe Life and New York Life

Most buyers of simplified issue term life policies will be better off with New York Life because of its lower prices for nonsmokers, and smokers at some ages, and because it garners many fewer complaints than Globe, compared with its market share. Smokers at certain ages and people who want simplified issue whole life insurance would probably save money with Globe Life, although the high number of complaints is a good reason to be wary, despite the savings.

If you’re healthy, or even have a minor medical problem, you can generally get lower rates by buying an underwritten life insurance policy, which will require more health questions and possibly a life insurance medical exam. If you’re shopping for life insurance, it’s always best to compare multiple quotes from multiple companies.

Aubrey Cohen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: acohen@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @aubreycohen.


Image via iStock.