The 6 Best Whole Life Insurance Policies of 2020


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Get the most value from your whole life policy

According to LIMRA, 43% of Americans do not have life insurance, and 40% of Americans without life insurance say they would have trouble paying living expenses if they lost their primary wage earner.1 2 Purchasing life insurance can help ensure that your family doesn’t fall into financial hardship if anything should happen to you.

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent insurance that provides a death benefit to your family (or any beneficiary of your choice) in the event of your death. A whole life policy covers you for life (so long as premiums are paid), provides cash values that you can borrow from, and may make you eligible for dividends with some companies.

To help you find the coverage you need to care for your family if something happens to you, we reviewed more than two dozen national insurers. We evaluated providers based on financial stability, coverage options, available add-ons, and customer satisfaction ratings. These are our top choices.

The 6 Best Whole Life Insurance Policies of 2020

  • New York Life: Best Overall
  • Northwestern Mutual: Best for Dividends
  • State Farm: Best for Bundling
  • Mass Mutual: Best for Cash Values
  • Guardian Life: Best for Estate Planning
  • Mutual of Omaha: Best for Child Life Insurance
  • Learn More: Read our life insurance methodology to see how we rated each company.

Best Overall: New York Life

New York Life Insurance Company is the third-largest life insurance provider in the U.S. and the #1 mutual insurer.3 As a mutual company, New York Life pays dividends to eligible policyholders and has been doing so since 1854. In 2020, they paid 1.9 billion in dividends to policyholders. They have been around for 175 years, with an AM Best financial strength rating of A++ (Superior).

New York Life offers three different types of whole life insurance plans, including a customizable plan. They can issue whole life insurance policies for people up to age 90. Policies are available with level premiums, so it is easy to budget, and some of their plans allow access to tax-free cash values. As with other whole life policies, you can borrow from the life insurance policy once your cash value accumulates.

New York Life offers several riders, including an accidental death benefit rider, an option to purchase paid-up additions, a living benefits rider (which provides access to your death benefit early if you need it due to a terminal illness), and a chronic care rider (which provides a tax-free accelerated payout if you become chronically ill).

New York Life sells its policies through local agents who can provide individualized quotes as well as personal service and advice. New York Life’s customer service is very highly ranked, with an excellent complaints trend score with the NAIC and overall satisfaction ranking of Better Than Most on the latest J.D. Power Life Insurance Study. Although there are no online quote samples for New York Life policies, premiums were ranked as Better Than Most of the 25 other life insurers in the same study.

For its broad range of whole life policies and riders, top-ranked customer service, and long history of success, New York Life is our choice as best overall in our review of whole life insurance providers.

Read full review: New York Life Review

Best for Dividends: Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual was founded in 1857 and is the largest insurer in the U.S. for individual life insurance.3 As a mutual insurer, Northwestern Mutual’s eligible policyholders may collect dividends that add to the value available through their policies. Northwestern Mutual has an exceptionally low complaint trend (only seven complaints in 2019 with the NAIC) and also has earned the award for highest customer satisfaction among 25 insurers in the 2019 J.D. Power Life Insurance Study, as well as an A+ (Superior) financial rating by AM Best.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance offers a wide range of products including several options for whole life insurance. The company issues whole life policies up to ages 55 to 80, depending on the plan you choose. Plans offer level premium payment options up to age 65 or 90. They also have the option of a survivorship whole life policy and a blended term and whole life policy option, which is unique to them.

Northwestern Mutual is set to pay out $6 billion in dividends to policyholders in 2020, this is almost three times as much as its competitors. When you get dividends from Northwestern, you can use them in four different ways, depending on your needs at the time. You can purchase paid-up additions to your life insurance, which increase your death benefit. You can also use dividends to take a break on your premium payments, to accumulate interest by adding them to the cash value of your policy, or you can ask to receive your dividends in cash to spend or invest them outside of your policy.

Northwestern Mutual does not offer quotes online. Policies are customized, so you need to speak to a financial advisor or independent broker or agent to purchase a whole life policy.

Pricing for Northwestern Mutual ranked as “Among the Best” in the 2019 J.D. Power Life Insurance Study. This, in addition to record-breaking dividends in 2020, makes Northwestern Mutual our top-ranked insurer for dividends in our in-depth review.

Read full review: Northwestern Mutual Review

Best for Bundling: State Farm

State Farm has been in business since 1929 and is a well-known name for all types of insurance. The company has a financial strength rating of A++ (Superior) by AM Best.

With over 100 different product lines available, including insurance coverage for health, life, auto, home, and more, as well as banking and investment products, State Farm gives you nearly limitless ways to combine resources to enhance your financial security, which is why the company is best for bundling in our review.

State Farm offers a few options for whole life insurance policies that build cash values. The company offers limited pay life policies that allow you to pay up the premiums of the policy in 10, 15, or 20 years. The issue ages are from zero to 85 years old, depending on the plan. They also offer single premium life policies, which allow you to pay off your life insurance policy in one lump sum payment. There’s also a final expense whole life insurance policy option, issued up to age 80. As with other policies, you have the option to borrow from the cash values in the policy over time.

State Farm has several riders, including waiver of premium for disability, accidental death riders, child and spouse riders, and guaranteed insurability riders on some plans, which allow you to purchase an additional amount of insurance at specified times without a medical exam.

State Farm provides service through local agents, which allows you to build a relationship with your representative. They have been top-ranked for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power surveys several years running, placing second out of 25 insurers in the most recent results.4 State Farm’s complaints trend with the NAIC is excellent, well below industry averages.7 Due to the broad range of products offered, State Farm is also able to offer bundling discounts across different policy lines, including home and auto, which is why we selected it as best for bundling.

Read full review: State Farm Review

Best Whole Life for Building Cash Value: MassMutual

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company was founded in 1851 and is the fourth-largest provider of life insurance in the U.S., with an excellent financial stability rating of A++ (Superior) from AM Best.8 As a mutual insurer, MassMutual pays dividends to its whole life policyholders. In 2020, the dividend payouts totaled $1.7 billion.

MassMutual’s Participating Whole Life Insurance plan offers guaranteed cash values, participation in dividends, and a guaranteed death benefit, all of which make it our top choice for building cash value.

MassMutual offers many value-added riders including a life insurance supplement rider (that can allow you to use dividends earned to purchase additional values in your whole life policy), guaranteed insurability riders, a disability waiver of premium rider, and long-term care or accelerated benefit riders. As with most whole life policies, you also have the option to borrow from the cash values of the life insurance policy. In addition, for added savings, it is the only life insurer we found to offer a free life insurance policy for children through their LifeBridge Program.

Pricing for whole life policies with MassMutual is not available online. To obtain a quote with MassMutual, you need to speak with a financial professional. Pricing is rated as average in J.D. Power surveys, and the company ranked 13th out of the top 25 life insurers for customer satisfaction.4 MassMutual has a very low complaint trend with the NAIC, with one of the lowest levels of complaints among all the companies we reviewed.

Read full review: MassMutual Review

Best for Estate Planning: Guardian Life

Watchman Life is the 25th-biggest life and wellbeing guarantor in the U.S. furthermore, is one of the country’s most seasoned life coverage organizations, established in 1860. The organization is headquartered in New York City and has an AM Best monetary quality rating of A++ (Superior).10 Guardian Life permits you to win profits in general life policyholder, which they have been paying each year since 1868. Watchman’s entire life strategy likewise offers ensured money esteem, which you can get from.

Gatekeeper issue ages start at age zero and go up to age 90, and their entire life strategy conceals you to ages 95, 99, or 121, with ensured money esteem development until 100 or 121. Watchman is a decent decision to consider in the event that you are a smoker or have clinical issues. They are one of only a handful hardly any organizations that guarantee individuals with HIV.

The entire life strategy permits you to obtain from money esteems; notwithstanding, note that there can be an effect on your capacity to win profits accordingly, and your passing advantage payout may likewise be affected.

Gatekeeper’s profits, joined with its high age limits for gathering money esteem that can be obtained against, are the reason we picked Guardian as the most ideal alternative for bequest arranging.

Gatekeeper Life has an honor winning client care group and positions seventh out of the best 25 life safety net providers for by and large client satisfaction.4 The organization’s record of grievances with the NAIC is low—well underneath the business normal for its size.

You should address a specialist to acquire an entire extra security quote. You may likewise need to take a clinical test to get a Guardian Life strategy. A Guardian Life operator will finish an application with you and, in light of an endorsing survey, they will choose if you should experience a test or not.

Peruse full survey: Guardian Review

Best for Child Life Insurance: Mutual of Omaha

Shared of Omaha was built up in 1909 and is notable for offering disaster protection approaches without clinical tests. The organization offers a few alternatives in entire life coverage for individuals everything being equal, including kids, which might be given without a clinical test.

The Mutual of Omaha Whole Life Plus Guaranteed is a level-premium, no-clinical test, ensured acknowledgment strategy for clients ages 45 to 85 (50 to 75 in New York). The organization likewise has the Living Promise Whole Life strategy, which offers rearranged guaranteeing, which means you fill in a clinical application and will not have to have a clinical test. This arrangement additionally has quickened passing advantage rider choices for terminal disease and nursing home advantages in certain states.

At long last, Mutual of Omaha offers a kids’ entire life strategy with streamlined applications on the web and issue ages from 14 days to 17 years. This strategy offers higher estimations of inclusion up to $50,000, which is higher than kids’ protection accessible from numerous different safety net providers. This is the reason we named Mutual of Omaha the best organization for kids’ life coverage.

Common of Omaha has a phenomenal consumer loyalty positioning coming in at #3 out of 25 of the biggest life back up plans in the J.D. Force extra security Study, and a low history of grievances with the NAIC contrasted with different safety net providers of their size.4 12 The disaster protection strategy bundles likewise accompany access to a MutualPerks program, which gives limits to policyholders in an assortment of items and administrations, including home loans and health administrations.

Peruse full survey: Mutual of Omaha Review

What Is Whole Life Insurance?

Entire life coverage is a sort of perpetual life coverage that conceals policyholders to an expressed passing advantage forever. It additionally permits you to construct money esteems that you can obtain from, which individuals once in a while use to help fund a significant buy, similar to a house or a youngster’s training. Entire life is not quite the same as term life since it covers you for as long as you can remember (as long as premiums are paid), while term life just covers you for a predefined time.

Passing Benefits versus Living Benefits

Passing advantages and living advantages are two unique components of a disaster protection strategy. Passing advantages can be characterized as the measure of cash a disaster protection organization consents to pay your recipient in case of your demise. Living advantages, additionally called quickened passing advantages, are reserves that the insurance agency consents to propel you while you are as yet living. Living advantages might be sold as extra highlights that you may add to a life coverage strategy through a rider.

At times, a disaster protection organization may give living advantages as a feature of a life coverage strategy bundle. Instances of living advantages incorporate basic sickness riders, long haul care riders, and other loan game plans that take cash from your passing advantage sum and pay you while you are as yet alive to get to mind, or due to pre-characterized difficulties like incapacity or loss of business.

Entire life approaches additionally give access to money esteems through credits, every back up plan handles these in an unexpected way. Credits might be tax-exempt or not, and may decrease the estimation of your passing advantage or not, contingent upon the agreement terms. Some disaster protection approaches expect you to repay an advance before getting the passing advantage, albeit most would probably lessen the demise advantage payout thus.

Entire Life Insurance Compared to Term and Universal Life

Entire life is not the same as term life since term life just gives inclusion to a constrained timeframe, while entire life furnishes inclusion with a passing advantage for your whole life.13 Universal life is another sort of perpetual disaster protection like entire life.

While all inclusive life and entire life both form money esteems, general life arrangements give venture choices that can assist policyholders with developing their money esteems quicker. All inclusive life strategies at times offer extra adaptability in the administration of the premiums.14 However, widespread life approaches may likewise convey more hazard because of market instability.

For what reason Should You Get Whole Life Insurance?

Life coverage is normally thought of as a device to ensure your family in the event of your passing—to give them money related assets so they don’t need to lessen their ways of life or experience monetary difficulty. There are additionally numerous different reasons individuals get extra security:

To assemble reserve funds through the gathering of money esteems.

To get inclusion for youngsters, securing reasonable long haul protection for them while they are youthful, or as an investment funds vehicle to manufacture money esteems for them.

It very well may be utilized as security for your home loan, rather than purchasing contract protection. The advantage of purchasing extra security to make sure about your home loan rather than contract protection is that it gives your recipient the adaptability to do as they see fit with the demise advantage, while in the event that you purchase contract protection, the passing advantage will go to the moneylender.

To assemble reserve funds through the gathering of money esteems.

To get inclusion for youngsters, securing reasonable long haul protection for them while they are youthful, or as an investment funds vehicle to manufacture money esteems for them.

It very well may be utilized as security for your home loan, rather than purchasing contract protection. The advantage of purchasing extra security to make sure about your home loan rather than contract protection is that it gives your recipient the adaptability to do as they see fit with the demise advantage, while in the event that you purchase contract protection, the passing advantage will go to the moneylender.

  • To assemble reserve funds through the gathering of money esteems.
  • To get inclusion for youngsters, securing reasonable long haul protection for them while they are youthful, or as an investment funds vehicle to manufacture money esteems for them.
  • It very well may be utilized as security for your home loan, rather than purchasing contract protection. The advantage of purchasing extra security to make sure about your home loan rather than contract protection is that it gives your recipient the adaptability to do as they see fit with the demise advantage, while in the event that you purchase contract protection, the passing advantage will go to the moneylender.
  • For bequest arranging or as an expense cover.

Entire disaster protection can give security in a large number of these circumstances giving your family genuine feelings of serenity, adaptability, and the capacity to keep up your present way of life.

What Does Whole Life Insurance Cost?

Entire extra security is more costly than term life coverage in light of the fact that, notwithstanding paying premiums for the demise advantage, policyholders likewise add to the money estimation of their arrangement. Beginning at around 30 years of age, you can hope to pay a normal of $100 per month for $100,000 of entire life inclusion. Individuals who buy inclusion later or purchase bigger strategies can hope to pay higher premiums. At long last, your wellbeing status and the kind of plan your disaster protection organization is offering you, just as the money esteem alternatives and riders, will affect the cost.15 These are some standard example premiums:

$100,000$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
30 years old$89.44$212.50$420.65$827
40 years old$135.63$327.99$651.63$1,289
50 years old$216.80$530.92$1,057.49$2,101
60 years old$350.35$864.78$1,725.21$3,436

Is Whole Life Insurance Worth It?

Entire life coverage is perfect on the off chance that you need to ensure the money related security of your family while as yet constructing investment funds in real money esteem. Not at all like term disaster protection, which closes toward the finish of the term, entire life permits you to keep up investment funds in your approach that develop after some time. These investment funds can be utilized to get cash from in the event that you ever need to, and in light of the fact that an entire life strategy covers you forever, you can depend on a passing advantage as long as you pay your premiums. Entire life ought to be a piece of a monetary technique, it can have tax cuts and causes you construct riches while keeping up your extra security.

How We Chose the Whole Life Insurance Companies

We took a gander at more than 25 organizations and assessed them for money related dependability, notoriety, and consumer loyalty and objections. We at that point looked into the arrangement alternatives they offered, normal estimating, and which ones offered the most incentive in riders or extra highlights. Life coverage organizations that offered entire life strategies with profits and living advantages were considered as a component of our assessment. We positioned the top life safety net providers in our audit to discover you the best entire extra security strategies for 2020, featuring the significant highlights to assist you with approaching the correct inquiries when looking for life coverage and settle on your most ideal decision.


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