It often starts with a big life event. You become a parent. Or someone you know passes away. There is an illness in the family. Regardless of the reason, you start pondering mortality. 

And then you get to the question of life insurance.

You start looking online – and it’s a complete minefield. It seems like life insurance companies are a dime a dozen, and it’s hard to compare all of them in one sitting.

This is why we went through the trouble of selecting the three best life insurance companies in the US today. 

But before we reveal them, let’s look at our selection criteria:

What Makes a Good Life Insurance Company?

According to Statista, there were 773 life insurance companies in the US in 2018. So how do you separate the wheat from the chaff there?

  • Easy to understand policies: There are two main kinds of life insurance policies. “Whole life” and “Term life”. The former can be very complex and overwhelming. Term life insurance tends to be simpler, which is what we’ve focused on in this article.
  • Product selection: Certain life insurance companies tend to be tailored to specific demographics. For instance, you will find some that specialize in covering senior citizens, or people with health problems. Make sure the products on offer truly reflect who you are.
  • Flexibility: related to the variety of products – you should be able to find plans that meet your needs, but they should also adapt over the years. Do you want a short term life insurance policy or a longer one?
  • Buying experience: After you get your quote, purchasing your policy can be a daunting and exhausting process. There might be doctor visits, long questionnaires to fill, and even medical check-ups including jabs and blood samples. Make sure your life insurance company simplifies that process if possible.
  • Prices: it goes without saying, but make sure you can afford the policy – and make sure the prices won’t vary wildly after a set period. Look at all the potential hidden fees, and make sure you use the free quote calculators – most companies have one on their website.
  • Company strength and maturity: an older life insurance company doesn’t always mean it’s better. For instance, newcomers tend to be more innovative and flexible with how they process quotes and applications. More mature companies can benefit from a recognizable brand name and have more financial strength to cover potential payments.
  • Quality of customer support: even those experienced in reading between the lines of a policy can still have questions. It’s important to feel confident you can get in touch with the company whenever you want to get answers.
  • Insurance rating: you’ll more likely be looking at a rating from the agency A.M. Best, which specializes in credit ratings. Don’t settle for anything lower than an A rating.

Now without further ado, let’s look at our top pick of life insurance companies that meet those requirements.

The Most Flexible, Accessible, and Transparent – Bestow


You need only look at any resource page from the Bestow website to quickly get an idea of how open, transparent, and simple life insurance can be with them. The language is clear, friendly and easy to understand. 

So who is Bestow exactly? Well, they’re not a household name yet, but they will probably become one in the next few years. That’s because, at the time of writing, no other online insurance agency makes it as fast, simple and easy to get term life insurance.

One of the great innovations Bestow offers is what they call “accelerated underwriting”, which uses big data technology to simplify the underwriting process (calculating risk). That means you:

  • Don’t need to go to the doctor for a medical exam
  • Can purchase almost immediately
  • Get a quote that precisely matches your profile

While a traditional application can take from 2 to 6 weeks with other companies, Bestow can do it in 5 minutes – which saves them in admin fees and saves you headaches and stress.

So does that mean you’re sacrificing speed for quality? This is the biggest surprise: Bestow plans are actually flexible and affordable. You can choose 2, 10 or 20-year terms, and coverage amount ($50,000 to $1 million). All you have to do next is pay a set monthly premium throughout the duration of that term. 

Finally, if this startup model seems too new for you, don’t worry: Bestow policies are provided by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®, an insurance carrier rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best

Pros of Bestow Life Insurance Company

  • Fastest application process
  • Trusted company
  • Flexible policies
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Great customer support
  • A+ rating

Cons of Bestow Life Insurance Company

  • Not ideal for seniors
  • Term life insurance only 
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The Most Renowned – Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

Chances are that if you’ve researched life insurance companies, you’ve already come across the name Northwestern Mutual. That’s because this insurance giant covers more than 6% of all people with life insurance in the US.

As you can imagine with that kind of market share, they have loads of policies available. There are dozens of possible choices, divided into term life insurance, whole life insurance, and universal coverage. On the one hand, this is great for flexibility, but it can also make the initial decision rather confusing.

Another reason it’s only rated number two here: the lengthy application process. With Northwestern Mutual, you will need to jump through numerous hoops to purchase your policy, including a lengthy interview with a financial advisor, medical exam and a full underwriting process.

Pros of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

  • Trusted brand
  • The “Term”, “whole life” and “universal life” plans covered with a variety of options for each
  • A rating

Cons of Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company

  • Lengthy application process
  • Not the best online experience
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The Most Basic Options – Legal & General

Legal and General

Owned by Legal & General America, Banner Life Mutual makes things easy with their basic products. Like with Northwestern Mutual, you have three to choose from, namely term, whole life, and universal life.

The basic options are great for people overwhelmed by complex choices. You can still agree upon a period of 10 to 40 years, and the plans are generally good for everyone from 20 to 85 years old.

Applying online is possible, but it’s nowhere near as straightforward or fast as with Bestow. Moreover, their online tools for quotes and resources are a bit confusing, which doesn’t inspire much hope for the quality of customer support.

Pros of Banner Life Mutual

  • Few options to choose from
  • Variable payments
  • Ages 20 to 85 supported

Cons of Banner Life Mutual

  • Low customization options
  • Not many online tools
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Policies availableRatingApplicationOnline experience
Bestow Term life insuranceA+Fastest (5mins!)Excellent
Northwestern MutualTerm, whole life, and universal lifeLengthy, between 2 – 6 weeksOk
Banner Life MutualTerm, whole life, and universal lifeA-MediumGood

The Best Life Insurance Companies – Key Takeaways

Choosing a life insurance policy should be easy, but it’s not a decision you can take lightly. The good news is that with new, innovative life insurance companies like Bestow, you can get a complete quote and purchase your policy in 5 mins – a complete game changer versus the usual 2 – 6 weeks industry standard.

Hopefully, this article will be a good primer on why that can be an advantage in this day and age, and how you can purchase life insurance from a company that is trustworthy, transparent, and accessible for complete peace of mind.

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