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6 Best Life Insurance Companies in New York of 2022 Guide

Aimee Parrott

Aimee Parrott

PropertyNest has done research on the best life insurance companies in New York. Discover how much it costs, what it covers, and why you need it.
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Life insurance is an important financial tool that can help you protect your family in the event something happens to you.

Because life can be unpredictable, we believe that all New Yorkers–whether they live in Brooklyn, Syracuse, or Poughkeepsie–should have basic life insurance.

People who purchase life insurance policies when they’re young typically pay low premiums and may not even need to get a medical exam to qualify.

In this article, we’ll reveal the best life insurance companies in New York, including average prices, coverage, riders, and more.

Best Life Insurance Companies in New York

  • New York Life Insurance Company: Best for Whole Life Coverage
  • Nationwide: Best for Riders
  • Mutual of Omaha: Best for Affordable Life Insurance
  • State Farm: Best for Senior Citizens
  • Haven Life: Best for Term Life Coverage
  • Ladder Life: Best for Flexible Coverage

New York Life Insurance Company: Best for Whole Life Coverage

Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

New York Life Insurance has been in business since 1845 and has its headquarters in New York City.

They offer a variety of life insurance policies, including term life and universal life, but we chose them for our list because they are the best option for New Yorkers who want whole-life coverage.

In years when the company is profitable, it pays dividends to policyholders.

Which Riders Does New York Life Offer?

New York Life offers five riders to customize coverage, as follows.

  • Accidental Death Benefit. This rider offers an extra death benefit to your beneficiaries if you die in an accident; it expires at age 70.
  • Chronic Care Option. This rider protects you from the potential financial hardship of paying for chronic care by providing tax-free access to a portion of your policy benefit.
  • Disability Waiver of Premium. If you become totally disabled, New York Life will waive your premiums.
  • Living Benefits Option. This rider allows you to use a portion of your death benefit to pay for treatment or care if you become terminally ill.
  • Option to Purchase Paid-Up Addition. This rider allows policyholders to contribute more to their policy when they can afford to do so to increase the death benefit.

Most riders involve an additional monthly charge.

New York Life does not offer online quotes, and information about the cost is limited and unique to each customer.

Every life insurance company has its strengths and weaknesses, so let’s examine the pros & cons of New York Life as we see them.

New York Life Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • New York Life offers an array of riders to customize your coverage.
  • Policyholders may earn dividends.
  • Whole life, term life, and universal life options are available.
Cons
  • The only way to get pricing for life insurance is through an agent.
  • Likewise, all policies must be purchased through an agent.
  • There are limited details about policies online.
How is New York Life Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)777
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+++
BBBB-
NAIC Complaint Index0.24

Nationwide: Best for Riders

Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Life insurance policies provide straightforward coverage, but there are usually options to add riders for additional protection.

We chose Nationwide, a company that has been selling insurance since 1926 because it offers a large number of riders to personalize your coverage.

Nationwide is a well-regarded company with strong financial ratings and a good reputation.

What Riders Does Nationwide Offer?

Nationwide offers an impressive number of riders, as follows.

  • Long-Term Care Rider. This rider provides the option to accelerate the death benefit on your policy to pay for long-term care if it is needed.
  • Illness Riders. If you are diagnosed with a terminal, chronic, or critical illness, this rider will allow you to access your benefits to pay for your expenses.
  • Children’s Term Insurance Rider. This rider pays a death benefit if one of your children dies.
  • Accidental Death Benefit Rider. This rider pays an extra benefit if you die in an accident.
  • Estate Protection Rider. This rider provides a benefit to pay estate taxes after you die.
  • Extended No-Lapse Guarantee Rider. This rider guarantees your death benefit regardless of the performance of your policy.
  • Guaranteed Insurability Rider. This rider ensures that you can buy additional coverage later in life.
  • Overloan Lapse Protection Rider. This rider protects you if you borrow heavily against your life insurance policy.
  • Premium Waiver Rider. This rider provides protection if you become permanently disabled by crediting your monthly premium to your account after six months.
  • Waiver of Monthly Deductions Rider. This rider pays all monthly deductions after you’re disabled after a six-month waiting period.

A young person in New York should expect to pay about $30 per month for a 20-year term policy.

Coverage costs vary depending on your age, weight, health, and habits.

Here are the pros and cons of buying life insurance from Nationwide.

Nationwide Life Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It’s easy to get a quote online and it takes just minutes.
  • Nationwide offers more riders than any other company on our list.
  • The company is well-regarded and has few regulatory complaints or problems.
Cons
  • Not all policies can be paid online.
How is Nationwide Life Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)813
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
BBBA+
NAIC Complaint Index2.37

Mutual of Omaha: Best for Affordable Life Insurance

Editors star rating review
4.5
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

We recognize that for many people, the cost is the number one concern when purchasing life insurance.

We chose Mutual of Omaha for our list because they have the lowest average cost of life insurance of all the companies on our list.

In addition to low costs, Mutual of Omaha has the financial strength and a solid reputation for customer service.

What Riders Does Mutual of Omaha Offer?

Mutual of Omaha doesn’t provide much information about their available riders because they prefer for potential buyers to contact an agent to customize their policy.

Here are the two specific riders that they mention on their website.

  • Accidental Death Rider - This rider provides an additional payment to your beneficiary if you die in an accident.
  • Child Death Rider - This rider provides payment if one of your children dies.

The lack of rider options may make Mutual of Omaha less than ideal for some, but their average monthly premium for a $250,000 benefit may be as low as $12 per month.

Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Coverage is affordable with one of the lowest prices available.
  • The company’s financial strength is indisputable.
  • Offers whole life, term life, and universal life as options.
Cons
  • Offers fewer riders than other companies.
  • Online quotes are not available and you’ll need to contact an agent to explore your options.
  • The company’s website could be more informative.
How is Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)795
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
BBBA+
NAIC Complaint Index0.87

State Farm: Best for Senior Citizens

Editors star rating review
4.5
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

State Farm Insurance is the largest property & casualty insurer in the US and is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022.

We chose it for our list because they have flexible underwriting that makes it possible for senior citizens to purchase life insurance.

We also like that State Farm life insurance has a variety of policy options, many of which are priced affordably for people at any stage of life.

What Riders Does State Farm Offer?

State Farm offers a few attractive riders to allow policyholders to customize their life insurance.

  • Select Term Rider - This rider provides protection for 10, 20, or 30 years up to age 95.
  • Children’s Term Rider - This rider allows you to buy life insurance for your child, which can convert to an individual policy when the child turns 25 or you turn 65.
  • Waiver of Premium for Disability - If you become totally disabled before you turn 60, this rider will waive future premiums; for total disability after age 60 and before age 65, premiums will be waived until the later of 3 years from the date of disability or your 65th birthday.

In some states, State Farm also offers a Flexible Care Benefit, which allows policyholders to access a portion of their death benefit monthly; but this option is not available in NY.

Life insurance premiums for State Farm start as low as $17, while the average rate for seniors is $45.

Here are the pros and cons of State Farm life insurance as we see them.

State Farm Life Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • State Farm is a well-respected company with strong financial ratings.
  • There are flexible life insurance options for people up to age 95.
  • State Farm’s average cost is in the affordable range for most people.
Cons
  • The Flexible Care Benefit is not available in New York
  • There are not as many riders available as there are for other companies
How is State Farm Life Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)822
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA++
BBBA+
NAIC Complaint Index4.29

Haven Life: Best for Term Life Coverage

Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Haven Life is a company that specializes in term life insurance, which is why we chose it as the best term life insurance company for New Yorkers.

Haven Life is an online insurance company partnered with MassMutual, which issues all of their term life policies.

In addition to their robust term life policies, we also like Haven Life for its use of technology and streamlining of the life insurance buying process.

What Riders Does Haven Life Offer?

Haven Life specializes in term life, and they offer two riders that may be of interest to New Yorkers.

  • Accelerated Death Benefit Rider - This rider allows you to receive a lump-sum payment of part of your death benefit if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Waiver of Premium Rider - This rider waives your monthly premium in the event you are totally disabled.

You may have read about Haven Life Plus, a rider that’s unique to Haven Life, providing access to end-of-life planning resources; unfortunately, this rider is not yet available in New York.

The average monthly cost of life insurance with Haven Life may be less than $25 per month for $500,000 in coverage.

Here are the pros and cons of Haven Life for your consideration.

Haven Life Insurance Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Quotes are available online and you can get one in minutes.
  • Haven Life is backed by the financial strength of MassMutual.
  • Coverage limits up to $3 million are available.
  • Available for people between the ages of 18 and 64.
Cons
  • Haven Plus rider is not available in New York.
  • Coverage is not available for people over the age of 64.
How is Haven Life Insurance Rated?
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA++
BBBA+

Ladder Life: Best for Flexible Coverage

Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Ladder Life is an online-only insurance carrier that offers an array of options to customize your coverage, which is why we chose it for our list.

Like Haven Life, Ladder Life specializes in term life insurance.

We also like the company for its robust and well-reviewed customer service, since we know that buying life insurance or filing a claim can be stressful.

What Riders Does Ladder Life Offer?

Unlike the other companies on our list, Ladder Life does not offer riders.

Instead, they prefer to offer a wide array of policy options that allow policyholders to choose the coverage that’s best suited to their needs.

According to Ladder Life’s website, the average cost of term life insurance can range from $30 per month to $80 per month, depending on the term you choose and other factors.

Ladder Life Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Quotes can be obtained online in just minutes.
  • Coverage limits up to $8 million are available.
  • Choose from an array of terms.
  • Stagger policy terms to get more coverage when you need it.
  • Stellar customer service.
Cons
  • Sells only term life, not whole life or universal life.
  • No riders are available.
How is Ladder Life Insurance Rated?
BBB RatingA+

How We Ranked and Picked the Best Life Insurance Companies in New York

At PropertyNest, we always believe in full transparency about how we choose the companies we recommend. We used the following criteria for life insurance companies.

Financial Strength & Ratings

Our first criterion was that every company we chose had to have strong financial ratings because if our readers buy a policy, we want them to feel confident that the company will pay the death benefit in a timely manner.

Cost

Cost is important to most people, and that’s why we prioritized companies with rates that would put life insurance premiums at a level that’s affordable for people at every stage of life.

Availability of Riders

We recognize that every person is unique and many may want the option to expand or add coverage using riders, which is why we prioritized companies that offer an array of riders to personalize your life insurance coverage.

Coverage Requirements

Life insurance may be more difficult to buy if you have an illness or you’re over the age of 60, so we made it a point to choose companies that offer coverage for people who might have difficulty qualifying for life insurance in some circumstances.

Which Should You Buy: Whole Life or Term Life?

One of the most frequently asked questions about life insurance is whether it’s preferable to purchase term life insurance or whole life insurance.

Term life insurance is ideal for younger people who may need additional coverage while their children are young or while they have a high mortgage payment.

Terms can range from 5 to 30 years and some people prefer to ladder policies to have extra coverage early in their lives that tapers as their children grow older.

Some life insurance companies allow term life policyholders to convert their policy to whole life at the end of the term, but this may be more expensive than buying whole life insurance from the start.

Whole life insurance does not have an expiration date and provided that you pay your premiums each month, your beneficiary will receive the death benefit when you die.

The choice of which policy to buy depends on your individual circumstances, but you should make sure to buy enough coverage to protect your family.

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

Life insurance policies can pay benefits ranging from as little as a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.

The question of how much coverage to buy is one that many people want answered, and the question depends on a variety of factors.

  • Your age
  • Your income
  • Your financial obligations
  • The age of your children
  • The age and health of your spouse
  • What you want your beneficiary to be able to do with the death benefit

Let’s review some of the methods you can use to determine how much coverage to buy.

  • Multiples of Income. One of the easiest ways to determine how much coverage you need is to multiply your income by 10 or 15.
  • Multiples of Income + Children. An alternative is to multiply your income by 10 and then add $100,000 for each child under the age of 18.
  • Debt Repayment. If your primary concern is that your beneficiaries won’t get stuck repaying your debt, you should buy enough coverage to pay everything you owe.
  • Income Replacement. If you want to make sure that your beneficiary doesn’t feel the loss of your income–for example, if you have a non-working spouse–then you’ll need a policy large enough to generate interest equivalent to your income.
  • Standard of Living. With this method, you’ll multiply your income by 20 to provide enough income (at a 5% return) to allow your family to maintain their standard of living.
  • DIME. The DIME method stands for Debt, Income, Mortgage & Education and to use it, you’ll need to total the amounts to repay your debt, replace your income, pay your mortgage in its entirety, and pay for your kids’ education.

We suggest reviewing the above methods and choosing the one that best matches your concerns to ensure that your beneficiaries have the money they need.

Summary

New Yorkers from Albany to Long Island should consider buying life insurance, particularly if they have young children or a dependent spouse whose lives would be financially impacted if they died.

You may think you’re too old to buy life insurance but even people in their 60s or older can buy coverage if they choose the right company.

As is the case with any insurance product, we suggest obtaining a minimum of three quotes to compare costs and coverage before you purchase a policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost of life insurance in New York?

The cost of life insurance varies depending on a number of factors, including your age, health, and lifestyle. However, in general, life insurance in New York State costs between $500 and $1,500 per year. This means that for a 35-year-old healthy non-smoker, the average cost of life insurance would be around $750 per year.

What age should you get life insurance?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including your health, your lifestyle, your dependents, and your financial situation. If you have young children, for example, life insurance can provide peace of mind in case something happens to you. If you have a mortgage or other debts, life insurance can help ensure that your loved ones are not saddled with those debts if you die. And if you are in good health and have few financial dependents, you may not need life insurance at all.