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Ladder Life Insurance Review 2021

Bottom line: Ladder's tech-forward approach to life insurance is simple, but higher-than-expected complaints for its policy issuer (Fidelity Security) mean there may be better options available.
June 1, 2021
Insurance, Life Insurance
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Ladder Life Insurance

  • Rated 3 stars out of 5 by NerdWallet.
  • Sells term life insurance nationwide with an online application.
  • Many applicants can qualify without taking a medical exam.

Ladder is an insurance startup offering term life insurance to people ages 20 to 60. The company was founded in 2015 and has since expanded to all 50 states and Washington, D.C. In 2020, it announced a partnership with personal finance company SoFi and legal document platform NetLaw to allow SoFi members to create wills for free.

Ladder life insurance

3.0 NerdWallet rating

Ladder earned 3 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.

» MORE: The best life insurance companies

Ladder life insurance pros and cons

Easy to apply and manage your account online.The company that issues Ladder policies in most states receives far more consumer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.
Some applicants won't need a medical exam.No riders to add to your policy.
Coverage limits up to $8 million.

Ladder life insurance policies

Ladder promotes a streamlined experience, with policies sold and managed online without the use of agents, and instant coverage decisions that allow some customers to get insured minutes after applying.

Ladder offers policies up to $8 million for 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year terms, depending on your age. Your age plus the length of your chosen term may not add up to more than 70. There are no riders available to add to a policy. Applications for coverage of $3 million or less can be completed online, without the need for a medical exam.

Ladder lets customers increase or decrease their coverage amount online when their needs change.

Ladder policies are issued by Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company and Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Consumer complaints

Relative to the size of the companies, Allianz Life has drawn fewer than the expected number of complaints to state regulators and Fidelity Security Life has drawn far more complaints than expected, according to a NerdWallet analysis of three years of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

More about Ladder life insurance

Ladder’s website is cleanly designed and mobile-friendly, with an online quote process that gives you a quick cost estimate within a few clicks. (For a final quote, you’ll need to provide more in-depth information.)

The site offers a guide to life insurance basics as well as a calculator to help you figure out how much coverage you need.

The Ladder mobile app is free to download. You can apply for coverage directly through the app in five minutes, and increase or decrease coverage at any time.

Ladder doesn’t sell any products beyond term life insurance.

Life insurance buying guide

Before you start comparing companies, choose the type of life insurance you want, such as term or whole life. Decide which life insurance riders, if any, you want the policy to include. Calculate how much life insurance you need and how long you want the coverage to last. Check that the insurers you’re considering offer the coverage you’re looking for.

When comparing rates, be sure the quotes are for the same amount of coverage over the same period of time. It’s also important to make sure the policy’s medical requirements match your needs. For example, if you want to skip the life insurance medical exam but don’t mind answering health questions, confirm that the application process for each policy you're comparing aligns with that.

Price may not be the biggest driver behind your decision to buy. Look at the number of consumer complaints each company receives, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service.

For more guidance, see our life insurance buying guide.

Methodology: Life insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims, and complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the 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 2018-2020. 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.