at a glance
- NerdWallet ranking: No. 9 life insurance company
- Customer service ratings are above average.
- Doesn’t offer life insurance quotes online.
New York Life bills itself as the nation’s oldest mutual life insurance company. As a mutual insurer, New York Life is owned by its policyholders. Customers who buy certain products, such as whole life insurance, are entitled to a vote in board elections and share in any annual dividends. The company expects to pay out $1.9 billion in dividends in 2020.
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New York Life insurance
New York Life ranked No. 9 out of the 20 best life insurance companies as scored by NerdWallet. NerdWallet’s life insurance company rankings take into account financial strength, customer satisfaction and consumer complaints. NerdWallet scores the largest national life insurers selling policies to individuals.
New York Life offers both term and permanent life insurance policies. The company offers two types of term life policies, both of which can be converted to permanent life insurance within a specified period:
- Yearly convertible term life can be renewed each year. Premiums start low and increase each year. The price changes if the policy is converted.
- Level-premium term life policies have terms of 10 to 20 years. The premium stays the same through the entire term. When the level-premium period ends, your premium increases. The price also changes if the policy is converted.
New York Life offers a variety of whole life options, including one that lets the policyholder customize the payment schedule. This gives customers the flexibility to pay off the coverage early, eliminating premiums in later years. The company also offers several life insurance add-ons such as coverage that protects you if you become disabled or terminally ill.
In addition, New York Life offers two other types of permanent life insurance:
- Universal life, which allows you to adjust your premiums and benefit amounts if needed.
- Variable universal life, which lets you decide how to invest the cash value of the policy.
New York Life complaints and customer satisfaction
New York Life drew significantly fewer complaints to state regulators than typically expected for a company of its size over the last three years, according to NerdWallet’s analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
New York Life scores above average for customer satisfaction overall, according to research firm J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study. The insurer scored “better than most” companies in three categories and “about average” in three categories. It ranked No. 8 overall among the 24 companies included in the survey.
|Customer satisfaction category||New York Life's score|
|Overall satisfaction||Better than most|
|Policy offerings||Better than most|
|Price||Better than most|
|Billing and payment||About average|
|Application process||Better than most|
More about New York Life
New York Life also offers additional financial products and services including annuities, long-term care insurance, mutual funds and workplace benefits.