6 Best Life Insurance Companies in New Jersey 2023
Buying life insurance allows people to protect their families financially after they die, whether it provides funds to pay for funeral expenses or to replace the policyholder’s income.
Given the many uncertainties of life, it is our belief at Property Nest that all New Jersey residents with dependents–whether they hail from small towns like Belvidere or Haddonfield or big cities like Newark and Trenton–should have at least a basic life insurance policy.
Life insurance can depend on several factors but is generally less expensive for young people, making it worthwhile to pay for life insurance even if you’re young and healthy.
We understand that choosing a life insurance company can be challenging, so we have researched for you.
Here are the best life insurance companies in New Jersey, including information on coverage, prices, riders, and more.
Best Life Insurance Companies in New Jersey
- MassMutual – Best for Non-Smokers
- New York Life Insurance Company – Best for Whole Life Coverage
- Nationwide – Best for Customizable Coverage
- Mutual of Omaha – Best for Affordable Life Insurance
- State Farm – Best for Term Life
- Transamerica – Best for Smokers
MassMutual: Best for Non-Smokers
MassMutual started in 1851, selling life insurance in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the company is now in the Fortune 500.
We like MassMutual because they offer term life, whole life, and universal life insurance coverage.
While the variety of policies is commendable, we chose MassMutual for our list because they have the most affordable life insurance premiums for non-smokers.
The average cost of life insurance for MassMutual for young people is $19 per month (based on a 25-year-old non-smoking man in good health) and $42 for older people (based on a 60-year-old male non-smoker.)
Let’s review the pros and cons of choosing MassMutual as your life insurance company.
Which Riders Does MassMutual Offer?
MassMutual offers two key riders to policyholders.
- Accelerated Death Benefit: This rider allows the policyholder to claim some of their death benefits early if diagnosed with a terminal illness and expected to die within a year.
- Waiver of Premium for Disability: This rider allows policyholders between 18 and 59 to claim a waiver of their premiums if they become disabled for six months or more.
Each of these waivers will require an increase in your monthly premium.
MassMutual Life Insurance Pros and Cons
- Premiums are mostly affordable, particularly for non-smokers.
- MassMutual pays dividends in profitable years.
- There is a free term life insurance policy available to low-income families (earning between $10,000 and $40,000 in annual income.)
- There are no-medical-exam options available.
- MassMutual is a financially stable company with high ratings.
- Quotes for MassMutual are available only through an agent.
- There is limited information on the company’s website to help you compare policy options and coverage.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||782|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A++|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.08|
New York Life Insurance Company: Best for Whole Life Coverage
New York Life Insurance started in 1845 and is headquartered in the heart of New York City.
You can buy term life and universal life from New York Life, but we selected them for our list because we believe they’re the best choice for people who want to purchase whole life insurance.
You should also know that New York Life pays dividends to policyholders in years when the company is profitable.
New York Life doesn’t provide online quotes, but the average cost for whole life insurance is about $140 per month.
Here are the pros and cons of getting life insurance from New York Life.
Which Riders Does New York Life Offer?
New York Life offers five life insurance riders to customize your coverage.
- Chronic Care Option: This rider protects you from financial hardship due to paying for chronic care by providing you with tax-free access to a portion of your death benefit if you require regular care.
- Accidental Death Benefit: This rider provides an additional death benefit to your heirs if you die in an accident, and it expires when you turn 70.
- Living Benefits Option: This rider makes a portion of your death benefit available to pay for treatment or care if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
- Disability Waiver of Premium: This rider provides a waiver of all premiums if you become disabled.
- Option to Purchase Paid-Up Addition: Allows you to make additional contributions to your life insurance policy to increase your death benefit.
New York Life Insurance Pros & Cons
- There are five riders available to help you customize your life insurance policy.
- New York Life often pays dividends and has announced that 2022 policyholders will receive a total payout of $1.9 billion.
- The company provides term life, whole life, and universal life coverage.
- Quotes are available only by contacting an agent, not online.
- All policies must be purchased through an agent.
- The company’s life insurance information on their website could be more robust.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||777|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+++|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.24|
Nationwide: Best for Customizable Coverage
Riders make it possible for any life insurance policyholder to customize coverage by making part of their death benefit available early or adding additional protection.
Nationwide has 10 available riders, more than any other company on our list, so we chose them as our top pick for customizable coverage.
Nationwide has reasonable rates and is a strong company with a long history of paying claims and caring for customers.
You can purchase a 20-year term life insurance policy for as little as $30 per month, but premiums will vary based on your age, health, habits, and the type and amount of coverage you purchase.
Now, look at the pros and cons of choosing Nationwide as your life insurance company.
What Riders Does Nationwide Offer?
Nationwide policyholders can choose from 10 different riders.
- Accidental Death Benefit Rider: You’ll receive an additional benefit if you die as a result of an accident.
- Children’s Term Insurance Rider: This rider adds a death benefit if one of your children dies.
- Estate Protection Rider: This benefit provides funds to pay estate taxes after dying.
- Extended No-Lapse Guarantee Rider: This rider will guarantee that your beneficiary receives a death benefit even if your policy does not perform well.
- Guaranteed Insurability Rider: This rider allows you to purchase additional coverage as you age.
- Illness Rider: This rider provides access to your benefits if you’re diagnosed with a chronic, critical, or terminal illness.
- Long-Term Care Rider: Provides the choice to accelerate your death benefit if you need to pay for long-term care.
- Overloan Lapse Protection Rider: Protects you if you borrow against your life insurance policy.
- Premium Waiver Rider: Provides credit for your monthly premium if you become permanently disabled after six months.
- Waiver of Monthly Deductions Rider: Pays your monthly deductions after a six-month waiting period if you become disabled.
- You can get a quick quote online via the company’s website.
- The company receives high ratings for customer service.
- Nationwide offers the most opportunities to customize your coverage.
- Nationwide’s online services and features could be more robust than they are.
- Not all policies can be paid online.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||813|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||2.37|
Mutual of Omaha: Best for Affordable Life Insurance
Cost is a primary factor when choosing a life insurance policy, with most people seeking a balance between affordability and maximum coverage.
Mutual of Omaha has any life insurance company's lowest average monthly cost.
They also have a solid reputation for customer service and financial strength.
The average monthly premium for a $250,000 death benefit, which may be enough for many New Jersey families, can be as little as $12 per month.
Here are the pros and cons of Mutual of Omaha life insurance as we see them.
What Riders Does Mutual of Omaha Offers?
Like some other companies on our list, Mutual of Omaha plays it close to the vest when providing details about their policies because they want potential buyers to work with one of their approved agents.
Two riders are outlined on their website as follows.
- Child Death Rider: Add this rider for a death benefit if one of your children dies.
- Accidental Death Rider: This rider will pay an extra benefit to your designated beneficiary if you die an accidental death.
Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Pros & Cons
- Mutual of Omaha has a low average cost.
- They offer term life, whole life, and universal life.
- The company has excellent financial strength.
- Their customer service is top notch.
- Limited policy purchase options online--must speak with an agent.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||795|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.87|
State Farm: Best for Term Life
State Farm is the largest property and casualty insurance company in the US.
We selected them for our list because they offer the best term life coverage, including options for people up to age 95.
They also offer a wide array of policy options suitable for people of every age and income level.
The average monthly life insurance premium for State Farm may be as low as $17, while the rate for senior citizens averages $45.
Here are the most important pros and cons of State Farm.
What Riders Does State Farm Offer?
State Farm offers four riders with some unique benefits.
- Children’s Term Rider: The children’s term rider allows parents to buy term life insurance that can be converted to an individual policy when your child turns 25, or you turn 65.
- Select Term Rider: This rider offers term life insurance of 10-30 years for people up to age 95.
- Waiver of Premium for Disability: This rider waives all premiums for any policyholder who becomes disabled before their 60th birthday and waives three years’ worth of premiums if they become disabled between ages 60 and 65.
- Flexible Care Benefit Rider: This rider provides a monthly benefit if you become chronically ill.
State Farm Life Insurance Pros & Cons
- State Farm offers flexible term life insurance for people up to 95 years old.
- The average cost is affordable for most people.
- The company is well-regarded and financially sound.
- Term life policies for kids can be converted as they mature.
- There are not as many riders as some other companies on our list.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||822|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A++|
|NAIC Complaint Index||4.29|
Transamerica: Best for Smokers
Buying life insurance as a smoker can be difficult and expensive.
We chose Transamerica for our list because they have the most affordable prices for New Jersey residents who smoke.
We also like Transamerica for its strong financial ratings and customer service.
The average monthly cost of a life insurance policy from Transamerica can be as low as $18 per month for non-smokers. A smoker can get a policy for about $140 per month.
Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of Transamerica.
What Riders Does Transamerica Offer?
Transamerica offers an array of riders to help you get the coverage you need.
- Disability Waiver of Premium Rider: This rider waives your monthly premiums if you become disabled.
- Children’s Protection: This rider benefits if one of your children predeceases you.
- Income Protection Option: This rider allows you to use part of your death benefit to replace your income if you become disabled.
- Accidental Death Benefit Rider: Your beneficiaries will get an additional benefit if you die in an accident.
- Illness Riders: Transamerica offers three separate riders to protect you if you get diagnosed with a chronic, critical, or terminal illness.
- Guaranteed Insurability Benefit Rider: This rider guarantees your death benefit.
- Term Insurance Rider: This rider provides term protection in addition to a whole life.
Transamerica Life Insurance Pros & Cons
- Transamerica has excellent online services, and you can get a quote in just minutes.
- There is a wide array of riders available to customize your coverage.
- It’s easy to bundle policies with your life insurance, including dental insurance, long-term care insurance, and annuities.
- The only whole life insurance available is final expenses insurance with a maximum benefit of $50,000.
- The company doesn’t yet have a mobile app.
- There is an extra fee if you want to pay your bill online.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||747|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A|
|NAIC Complaint Index||1.96|
How We Selected New Jersey Life Insurance Companies for Our List
When we review insurance companies at PropertyNest, we always like to provide a list of the criteria we used so our readers understand why we chose the companies on our list.
Financial Strength & Ratings
The safest bet when buying life insurance is to choose a company with financial strength and reliability, which is why we chose only companies with top-tier ratings.
Most people can’t afford insurance without considering the price, so we chose companies with reasonable rates, including those with affordable policies for smokers and older people.
Availability of Riders
A boilerplate policy may be fine for some people, but we knew many New Jersey residents would appreciate the opportunity to add riders to customize a policy to suit their needs and circumstances.
It can sometimes be difficult to obtain life insurance if you’re over 60, have an illness, or have a smoking habit. We included companies that have some coverage available for people in these categories.
Which Should You Buy: Whole Life or Term Life?
A question we frequently hear about life insurance is whether it’s better to buy term or whole life insurance.
As a rule, term life insurance is best suited to younger people, particularly those with children, because it provides additional coverage while their children are underage.
Terms for life insurance can be as short as five years or as long as 30 years, and many people “ladder” policies to front-load coverage while their children are young or still have a mortgage payment.
In some cases, you may be able to convert a term life policy to a whole life policy at the end of your term, although we should note that you’ll likely pay more if you do so than you would if you bought a whole life insurance policy early in your life.
Unlike term life, whole life insurance doesn’t expire and will remain active as long as you pay your monthly premiums.
Your individual circumstances and responsibilities will dictate which type of policy to buy, but as a rule, you should have enough to pay your final expenses and ensure your family has enough money to replace your income if you die.
How Much Life Insurance Should You Buy?
Life insurance benefits can range from a few thousand dollars to a million dollars or more, depending on what type of coverage you buy.
As follows, six factors should help you determine how much coverage to buy.
- Your income
- Your age
- The age of your children
- The age and health of your spouse
- Your financial obligations
- The protection you want to provide your beneficiary
You can use many methods to estimate the amount of coverage you need to buy.
- Income Replacement. If you have a non-working spouse or earn significantly more than your partner, then you’ll want a policy large enough to generate interest equal to your income.
- Multiples of Income. A straightforward calculation method is multiplying your income by 10 or 15.
- Multiples of Income + Children. If you have young children, you can use the Multiples of Income method and add $100,000 coverage for each child under 18.
- Standard of Living. This method multiplies your income by 20 to ensure sufficient income (assuming a 5% return) for your family to maintain their standard of living.
- Debt Repayment. If you have a lot of debt, then this method asks you to total all your debt to make sure your beneficiary can pay everything.
- DIME. Total the amounts of your Debt, Income, Mortgage, and education for your kids and add them, keeping in mind that your Income will need to be multiplied by 10 or 15 if you want your family not to feel the loss of your income.
You may want to crunch the numbers using two or more methods to compare them and decide how much coverage you need.
Garden State residents from Hoboken to the Jersey Shore can benefit from buying life insurance, especially those who have young children or a spouse who doesn’t work.
Ideally, your life insurance should provide peace of mind to your family, ensuring they won’t feel the loss of your income or be pressured to repay your debt.
While buying insurance as a young non-smoker can be less expensive, you can still find life insurance coverage if you’re over 60, ill, or a smoker.
We always recommend getting at least three life insurance quotes to compare coverage, limits, and costs before deciding on a policy.