Comparing the 20 Largest Life Insurance Companies

Insurance, Life Insurance
10 Largest Life Insurance Companies

When shopping for life insurance, there are good reasons why you might want to go with one of the largest providers out there.

Big life insurance companies generally have long histories and solid financial ratings. This can inspire confidence that they’ll remain in business as long as your policy is in effect — which could be 30 years or more.

» COMPARE: NerdWallet’s life insurance comparison tool

Here are the 20 largest life insurance companies and the types of life insurance they sell, listed in order of sales of individual life insurance policies, based on A.M. Best data.

Largest life insurance companies in the U.S.

Company (with individual life insurance market share and A.M. Best financial strength rating)Life insurance options
Source: A.M. Best, market share based on direct written premiums in 2014
1. Northwestern Mutual

8.46% market share

A++ (superior) rating



  • Term Life

  • Whole life

  • Universal life

  • Variable life

  • Special features: A hybrid term/whole life product called CompLife
  • 2. New York Life Insurance Co.

    5.74% market share

    A++ (superior) rating



  • Term life

  • Whole life

  • Universal life

  • Variable universal life

  • Special features: Corporate-sponsored life insurance
  • 3. MetLife (Metropolitan Life and Affiliated Cos.)

    5.26% market share

    A+ (superior) rating



  • Term life

  • Whole life

  • Universal life

  • Guaranteed acceptance whole life
  • 4. Lincoln Financial Group

    4.98% market share

    A+ (superior) rating



  • Term life

  • Universal life

  • Variable universal life
  • 5. John Hancock Financial

    4.16% market share

    A+ (superior) rating





  • Term life

  • Universal life

  • Indexed universal life

  • Variable universal life

  • Special features: Discounts for customers who go to the gym get regular health screenings and more through the Vitality Program
  • 6. Prudential Financial

    3.91% market share

    A+ (superior) rating




  • Term life

  • Whole life

  • Survivorship life

  • Universal life

  • Indexed universal life

  • Variable universal life
  • 7. MassMutual (Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.)

    3.82% market share

    A++ (superior) rating




  • Term life

  • Whole life

  • Universal life

  • Variable universal life

  • Guaranteed acceptance whole life
  • 8. State Farm Life

    3.6% market share


    A++ (superior) rating


  • Term life

  • Whole life

  • Universal life


  • State Farm earned the highest marks for life insurance customer satisfaction in a 2015 study by J.D. Power.
    9. Transamerica
    (Aegon USA Group)

    3.57% market share

    A+ (superior) rating



  • Term life

  • Whole life

  • Universal life

  • Variable universal life
  • 10. American International Group (AIG)

    2.87% market share

    A (excellent) rating



  • Term life

  • Whole life

  • Universal life

  • Indexed universal life

  • Variable universal life
  • 11. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America

    2.72% market share

    A++ (superior) rating



  • Term life

  • Whole life

  • Universal life

  • Variable universal life
  • 12. Pacific Life

    2.65% market share

    A+ (superior) rating



  • Term life

  • Universal life

  • Indexed universal life

  • Variable universal life
  • 13. AXA

    2.56% market share

    A+ (superior) rating



  • Term life

  • Whole life

  • Universal life

  • Indexed universal life

  • Variable universal life

  • Survivorship life
  • 14. Protective Life

    2.07% market share

    A+ (superior) rating



  • Term life

  • Universal life

  • Variable universal life

  • Survivorship life
  • 15. Voya Financial

    1.94% market share


  • Term life

  • Universal life

  • Indexed universal life

  • Variable universal life

  • Survivorship life
  • 16. Primerica

    1.77% market share

    A+ (superior) rating



  • Term life only
  • 17. Genworth Financial

    1.71% market share

    B++ (good) rating



    Genworth recently suspended new sales of life insurance and fixed annuities, but still services its existing customers.
    18. Sammons Financial Group (Midland National Life & North American Co.)

    1.66% market share

    A+ (superior) rating



  • Term life

  • Indexed universal life

  • Variable universal life
  • 19. Nationwide

    1.46% market share

    A+ (superior) rating



  • Term life

  • Whole life

  • Universal life

  • Variable universal life
  • 20. Great-West Life Assurance Co.

    1.24% market share

    A+ (superior) rating



  • Term life

  • Whole life

  • Universal life
  • » MORE: The best life insurance companies

    Aubrey Cohen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website.

    This post was updated. It was originally published on March 31, 2015.


    Image via iStock.