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The Best Term Life Insurance
Ultimate Buyers Guide

The Best Term Life Insurance

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Term life insurance is not the most pleasant service to shop for, but it's important to have, especially if you have young children. Finding your best term life insurance option is a good way to safeguard the future of your loved ones in the event something happens to you.

I've taken a look at some of the best term life insurance policies to determine who offers the best values. Here are some of the best providers I found based on my research.

The Best Term Life Insurance Companies: Our Top Picks

Although many of the best term life insurance companies have term life insurance available, not all offer the same level of service, transpa, ency and exceptional product offerings.

I chose these five providers because they have continually shown a high level of commitment to delivering the best term life insurance policies for their customers. Here are the top five best term life insurance company ratings.

MetLife Life Insurance

  • Pros
  • Coverage amounts starting at $5,000
  • Coverage up to age 90
  • Online policy management
  • Level term life insurance for coverage amounts $10,000+
  • Phone, email, and online quote tool
  • Cons
  • No medical exam for coverage under $100,000
  • Limited payment options

MetLife operates in 60+ countries and with over 90 million customers, MetLife is one of the world's largest providers of insurance programs as well as annuities. Founded in the late 1860s, MetLife later reformatted itself for the benefit of its policyholders through a process known as mutualization. In 2000, MetLife made the decision to go public and now serves roughly 90 of the top Fortune 500 companies.

Although this specific review covers only term life insurance, MetLife also scores high for their whole life, universal life, and survivorship insurance policies so if you find that term life insurance doesn't suit your needs, consider this provider's other offerings. MetLife is also offering some of the best term life insurance for seniors since it includes coverage up to the age of 90 years old.

AIG Direct Life Insurance

  • Pros
  • Term lengths range from 10 to 30 years
  • Offer fixed premiums for the term
  • 5 types of term life insurance
  • Phone and email rate quote
  • Additional services available
  • Cons
  • Coverage up to age 70
  • Online rate quote unavailable
  • No local offices/agents

AIG Direct term life insurance ranks high on our list for its impressive and wide-ranging services. The term lengths start at ten years and extend to thirty years along with a fixed payment schedule. In total, there are five different types of life insurance to choose from which level, renewable, decreasing, convertible, and a return of premium.

USAA Life Insurance

  • Pros
  • Excellent array of life insurance products available
  • Free financial advice for life insurance beneficiaries
  • Simple application process
  • $25,000 severe injury benefit with military term life insurance
  • Expedited application for members facing deployment
  • Cons
  • Only available to military families

USAA continues to be one of the most reputable financial companies available. It offers a variety of life insurance products, including level term and military term policies.

While you must be a member or a relative of a member of the U.S. Military to have access to these products, if you do, you receive some amazing perks such as free financial advice for beneficiaries, an optional $25,000 severe injury benefit (on select policies) and the option to purchase protection for your children. Overall, USAA's high level of service and exceptional product offerings make it a great choice.

What is Term Life Insurance?

The Best Term Life Insurance

  1. MetLife
  2. AIG Direct
  3. USAA
  4. AAA
  5. StateFarm

Term life insurance (also referred to as temporary life coverage or term assurance) is obtained through fixed installment payments for a predetermined length of time, normally specified in yearly increments.

The premium paid for term life insurance is largely dependent on the probability of the insured dying during the term length. For that reason, it's often purchased by younger individuals and instated until they reach retirement age.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Life Insurance Company

1. Term vs. Whole Life Insurance

Unlike the original form of life insurance - whole life - which maintains a living benefit in the sense that policyholders build up a cash value in the policy while they are paying it, term coverage only equates to benefits once the individual dies and the policy is paid out to the beneficiaries.

2. Personal Health and History

When you apply for coverage, the provider will take many factors into consideration regarding your personal health and history. Such components include blood pressure, weight, cholesterol level, medications and even your family's medical history. In some instances, the provider might also require a medical test as part of its underwriting process; this is where a nurse will visit your home or office, or you can visit a doctor's office to do the testing. The provider will use the results to assess risk and then determine eligibility and pricing of your policy based on the results.

3. Pricing and Policy Premiums

Are you able to obtain a quote online, by phone or through email? Sometimes an online quote is the fastest and most effective way to get a ballpark figure of your rate. Moreover, some providers will allow you to begin an application online but then they must contact you to finish the application.

This usually occurs in the event they need to verify information, setup a medical test or speak with you about all the different policies they have available. Although it might seem cumbersome to speak with a licensed insurance agent over the phone, keep in mind they are also great resources should you have questions.

4. Medical Underwriting Requirements

Medical underwriting basically means the insurance company requires a medical exam to instate coverage. What happens when a policy is not underwritten? When this step is omitted, the liability is transferred over to policies across the board and as a result the average per policy goes up.

For individuals who are in good health and have a low mortality risk, it's in your best interest to find the best life insurance company that conducts thorough medical underwritings.

5. Financial Stability

Selecting a provider with a financially sound reputation is always advised. You should have peace of mind that your provider won't mismanage your investment or worse yet, leave you high and dry in a fiscal calamity.

6. Customer Service

How a provider treats its customers is also a good indication of its reputation. When you conduct research into a company's reputation using websites like the Better Business Bureau, it's important to look for things like unresolved customer complaints. When a provider has a large amount of them, it can be indicative of a bigger problem.

Another way to examine customer service is by examining the options it provides its current customers. Does it have flexible customer service hours? How easy will it be for family members to file a claim? Does it offer easy payment options? Can you make adjustments to your policy if need be? By finding answers to these questions, it shows you the level of care the provider has for its customers.

7. Minimum Coverage Amounts

Experts advise getting a policy which equates to 20 times your annual income.

8. Coverage Perks

Typically, insurance providers will try to allure you by making its best life insurance policies full of perks. As an illustration, some insurance providers will offer added features with their term life insurance policies such as adding accident or disability benefits to help you have access to money you need in the case you are unable to work.

Additionally, many of the larger providers might be willing to give you discounts if you bundle multiple policies with them (auto, renters, home, life, etc.) so be mindful of these things when you choose a provider.

9. Transparency

Some reputable insurance companies will give you a window where you can try its term life insurance and if for any reason it won't be a good fit, the provider will give you your money back if you cancel within a specified time. This is great because it shows a level or transparency in that the provider is so confident in the best life insurance policies it offers that it's willing to give you your money back if you don't receive full satisfaction.

10. Additional Services

Large insurance providers will include additional services as part of your policy. Some of these include retirement planning, annuities, small business insurance, managed accounts, so on and so forth.

Be sure read all our reviews of the top term life insurance companies.

Three Reasons Why You Need Term Life Insurance

I never thought much about the value and need for life insurance. I knew that I had coverage through my employer, and I always assumed that this would be enough for my family should I pass away unexpectedly. Life Insurance is a difficult money "investment" to justify because we will never see the return on this "investment;" however, there are three reasons why life insurance makes sense for you and your family.

1. You are Married

If you were to pass away unexpectedly, your spouse would be responsible for managing and paying all of the debts that may have been incurred before you passed. In addition, he or she will also have the added cost of providing for your memorial or burial arrangements. It is traumatic enough to lose the person you love; however, the grief will only be compounded if the spouse is left with a financial burden as well.

Insurance will provide your spouse with the ability to manage the finances and maybe even the flexibility to take time off from work to manage the emotional trauma.

2. You own a Home

If you own a home with your spouse or significant other, this is a large debt for one person to assume in the event of an untimely passing. This could be an even greater burden if the person who passes was the higher income provider in the relationship. Selling the home could be an option; however, if the real estate market is not strong, then the surviving homeowner will be forced to take a loss or a financial hit in order to sell the home. Insurance will give the surviving homeowner the ability to stay in the house and determine the best next steps in life on his or her own time.

3. You have children under the age of 25

Whether or not you plan to pay for your children's education, they require various amounts of financial commitment up until a certain point in their lives. It would be difficult for any child to lose a parent; however, the loss would be compounded if the child also suffered financially because of a resource drain on the surviving parent. Life insurance would give the surviving parent the security to pay for education if they chose or at the very least, it would cover the costs of supporting the children until they reached adulthood.

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

Of course, a cheap life insurance policy is preferable, but it's important to get the right amount of coverage. Many experts advise getting a policy which equates to 20 times your annual income. However, a more intuitive answer depends on more than just your income. It's important to take debts into consideration, your children's age, how much you typically spend per month, and several other factors.

If you are looking for term life insurance, your policy should last you at least as long as your children are dependents.

Tips & Advice

Since term life insurance is an essential part of financial planning, it's vital to understand all its components and the reasons for buying it. Our informative articles on term life insurance can help you understand all its facets so you can feel more comfortable when you decide to buy.

  • Roughly speaking, term life insurance protects people - say, your minor children - who depend on your paycheck. Life insurance provides income to your loved ones if you die prematurely until they have sufficient income to replace yours. Some term life insurance clauses allow you to plan for things like emergency funds as well as money for legal, medical and funeral expenses - a smart and economically proper move, especially if your family can't afford those often pricey end-of-life costs. Our article on simplifying life insurance takes a closer look at the basics so you understand the policies better.
  • Term life insurance is an important topic not only for you but also for your loved ones – as well as anybody else who depends on your financial support to live or survive. But if you do your homework in advance and get answers to the most common life insurance questions found in this helpful guide, your journey to life coverage would be easier and you could get the best term life insurance policy you want.
  • Buying any type of life insurance can be a grueling process. Not only are you forced to think about the future, but you know you are going to be spending money. For some people, this is a "double whammy" that is sure to drag them down for a few days (or longer). Term life insurance is a common option that you will likely consider as you embark on your journey to purchase the best policy. However, before you purchase this type of policy you better answer these questions found in our in-depth guide.
  • Term life Insurance is a difficult money "investment" to justify because we will never see the return on this "investment;" however, there are three reasons why life insurance makes sense for you and your family. Our guide examines the three reasons you need life insurance in-depth so you can make the best decision for you and your loved ones.

Customer service, legitimacy, and company reputation are three important factors to consider when doing business with any of the companies reviewed in this article. Head over to the American Customer Satisfaction Index for a numerical analysis of customer satisfaction within the life insurance industry.

Cheap Term Life Insurance

Many cheap term life insurance policies provide you with peace of mind in knowing you are providing financial protection for your loved ones in the event you pass away.

To assist you in selecting the best one for you, we'll look at the many factors that make up term life insurance quotes, the top providers, helpful articles to assist you in your buying decisions and a FAQ section to address any questions you might have.

Compare Term Life Insurance Quotes to Ensure You Get The Best Rate

It's never fun to think about buying term life insurance, but it can make a significant difference when it's there when you need it. Though, finding the best term life insurance rates doesn't have to be a complicated process. Take a look at our side by side comparison of the best term life insurance quotes to make sure you are getting the best premium you can.


Review the pros and cons of all term life insurance providers once more before electing to go with one over the other. All of the companies mentioned here come highly rated and win our stamp of approval for their services and offerings. To get a more accurate picture, however, it's best you contact the provider directly or visit them online to get a quote.

If you are looking for other types of insurance take a look at some of our other reviews before you buy. Our review of the best homeowners insurance companies may help you find better coverage than what you already have.

We have also reviewed the best health insurance companies. Keep in mind that insurance is not something you need to take for granted. Periodically take the time to shop for new providers and plans can help you save.

Term Life Insurance FAQs

Q What is Term Life Insurance?


Term life insurance is a temporary option for life coverage which can be achieved via fixed installment payments for a period of time. Term coverage kicks in when the policy holder dies and then the plan coverage is distributed to the beneficiaries.

Q What kind of life insurance do I need?


Not every life insurance policy is the same and the specifics may vary from provider to provider but there are two basic types:

Term insurance

This covers you for a specified number of years and provides benefits if you pass away during that term. This generally has lower premiums especially in the early years in the term. This is generally by families who feel that they are financially vulnerable during a specific period of time and the loss of a primary earner would be crippling. This builds no cash.

Permanent insurance

This is protections that lasts your entire life and it accumulates cash. This means it will be worth something as opposed to term life insurance. It also has savings elements that can also accumulate money. This is good for people who want to plan for estimated estate taxes after their death.

Q Which one is the best life insurance company?


A few of the best life insurance companies (as of 2016) include New York Life, Massachusetts Mutual, Northwestern Mutual, MetLife, Transamerica, Prudential, Banner, and Fidelity. These companies are all financially strong and offer a variety of life insurance policies, as well as competitive premium prices. The life insurance company that is best for you will depend on your age and insurance coverage needs.

Q What is a level term life insurance policy?


A level term life insurance policy is a policy that is good for a set number of years, or for a set term, such as 10, 15 or 20 years. You are covered for the same amount throughout the term of the policy, and pay the same premium throughout the of the policy.

Q What is a 30 year term life insurance policy?


A 30-year term life insurance policy is a policy that is good for 30 years. If the insured person dies before the end of the term, the named beneficiary receives the death benefit. If the person doesn't die before the 30 years are over, the policy expires. At that point, a person can take out a new policy or decide not to have life insurance.

Q Which is better term or whole life insurance?


Term life insurance usually has lower premiums, because the policy is only good for a certain number of years. If the insured doesn't die before the term is up, his or her beneficiaries get nothing. Whole life insurance costs more, but provides coverage throughout a person's life. Usually, term life insurance is the better option, as you can purchase a plan for as long as you need it and pay less out of pocket.

Q Do I need life insurance?


The death of a loved one is a difficult thing to deal with, especially for those who are left to deal with the financial implications on top of the emotional ones. Life insurance is the one type of insurance that is more for someone else than it is for you. It is designed to alleviate the financial burden on a person's family in the wake of their death. Life insurance helps cover the costs of medical expenses the deceased accumulates prior to death, burial costs and estate taxes. It also helps to offset the possibly sudden burden on a family after the sudden loss of a provider's income. It can also help with tuition costs and continued monthly costs.

Life insurance may not be essential for anyone who's death with not financially affect anyone directly. More like, however, someone will be left behind who could use the financial help in the wake of the emotional turmoil.

Q What should I consider prior to purchasing term life insurance?


You must consider several factors when it comes to life insurance coverage. Your current health and prior health history are very important in depicting the right term coverage for your. Your weight, medications, blood pressure and cholesterol level are all taken into consideration in purchasing life insurance.

Q How much does term life insurance cost?


There is no one single cost for life insurance – it varies depending on your age, current health and health history. Many life insurance companies offer a complimentary online quote where you are able to plug in your information and receive a quote that outlines exactly what kind of coverage you would receive. When seeking a company to cover you, you should aim for coverage at least 20 times your annual income.

Q What are some top companies that offer term life insurance?


Some of the top companies that provide term life insurance are ING, State Farm, MetLife, AIG Direct and Fidelity Life.

Q Why do I need life insurance?


There are ample reasons as to why you should consider purchasing term life insurance. If you have loved ones and a family, you want to make sure they are going to be taken care of in the chance that an accident happens and you pass away. Life insurance will ensure that they will be financially stable. If you own a house with your significant other, you want to make sure that if something was to happen to one of you, that they would be covered.

Q What kinds of life insurance are available for me?


There are two varieties of life insurance: cash value and term. Term life insurance coverage is good for a designated period of time. The premiums begin at a low cost and the company that you go with will commonly guarantee that premium would not increase for that term length. Cash value life insurance lets you build up a cash amount toward your policy over time. With cash value insurance, you have the ability to borrow against the policy, buy more insurance with the cash value as well as use the extra cash to increase your retirement income.

Q How should I evaluate life insurance premium quotes?


Today's world makes comparing and evaluating different life insurance quotes easily. Online tools are very accessible and can make evaluating insurance plans simple and quick.

Q What companies offer help in deciding on an insurance plan?


Companies and portals such as AccuQuote, Insure and Insurance Hot Line are available to you and provide an array of information on life insurance. These portals conduct evaluations and analyses of your current health condition and preferred policy and then come up with a quote for you.

Q Are there precautions I can take that can lower my rate?


You can lower your insurance rates through staying active and healthy. A 30 minute walk a day keeps your heart healthy and can improve your overall health which in turn, helps keep your life insurance rates down. Smoking inevitably increases your risk of stroke and heart attack and therefore makes your life insurance rates higher. Consider quitting smoking and avoid drinking in large quantities to keep your rates lower.

Q Can I have multiple life insurance policies?


Yes, you can use multiple life insurance policies from several brokers. You can purchase short-term life insurance from one company and then purchase perpetual life insurance from another company.

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