New York Life Insurance Review 2017

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New York Life

  • Offers a full array of life insurance products and long-term care insurance.
  • Customer service ratings are generally average.
  • Doesn’t offer life insurance quotes online.


New York Life Insurance Co. bills itself as the nation’s oldest mutual life insurance company. Being a mutual insurer means that customers who buy certain products, such as whole life insurance policies, become part owners of the company and are entitled to a vote in board elections and share in any annual dividends.

NerdWallet rank: 7th

New York Life ranked No. 7 out of 18 large companies scored by NerdWallet. NerdWallet’s life insurance company rankings combine its A.M. Best rating, consumer complaints and J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction score.

» MORE: The best life insurance companies

A.M. Best financial strength rating: A++ (superior)

New York Life’s financial strength is “superior,” according to ratings agency A.M. Best.

Financial strength is important because it indicates how well an insurer can pay claims. It’s especially important when choosing a life insurance company, because claims might not be made until many decades after a policy is purchased.

Consumer complaints: Better than the median

New York Life drew far fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators in 2015 for a company of its size, according to the latest data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

The association assigns a complaint ratio score to insurance companies, based on the number of complaints to state insurance commissioners, adjusted for market share. The median score is 1. A score less than 1 means fewer complaints. New York Life’s score for individual life insurance in 2015 was .13.

J.D. Power ratings: Average

New York Life ranks among the best life insurance companies for customer service, according to research firm J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Life Insurance Study. The insurer ranked No. 7 overall among the 21 companies included in the survey.

New York Life customer satisfaction scores
Overall satisfaction Average
Billing and payment Average
Price Average
Policy offerings Average
Interaction Average
Source: J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Life Insurance Study

More about New York Life

Types of life insurance soldOther products & services
  • Term life
  • Whole life
  • Universal life
  • Variable life
  • Annuities
  • Long-term care insurance
  • New York Life offers a wide choice of term, whole, universal, variable and variable universal life insurance policies. Options include a joint term life insurance policy called “Family Protection Insurance,” which covers two adults. Premiums are level for 10 years, then increase annually after that.

    New York Life also offers long-term care insurance and annuities. In 2016, the company introduced a new long-term care insurance product called NYL Secure Care. Like many other long-term care policies, the coverage pays for care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care centers and at home. The unique twist is it reimburses family members who provide care at home.

    Customers are eligible to receive dividends from the company after holding the long-term care policy for 10 years. The dividends are not guaranteed, but they can be used to help pay premiums.

    In 2015, New York Life became the exclusive provider of long-term care insurance to AARP’s 37 million members.