Different Whole Life Insurance Companies

What Are the Top Whole Life Insurance Companies?

Whole life insurance provides permanent coverage for the rest of your life, however long that could be. This is not the same as term insurance, which covers you for a set period of time. One very significant distinction between term life insurance and whole life insurance is the ability of whole life to accumulate cash over time. Your insurance provider may also pay you dividends. If you want lifelong coverage with savings benefits, consider purchasing a whole life insurance policy.

You should choose whole life insurance if:

  • Your family will need money to pay your estate taxes after you die
  • You want coverage for any final expenses 
  • You want to fund a trust for your children. 

We examined some of the best life insurance companies and compared company history, coverage types, riders, and other factors. Here is how we determined which companies scored highest for whole life insurance policies. 

Northwestern Mutual

Provides standard whole life policies as well as the opportunity to earn dividends if the company performs well. 


  • A high customer satisfaction level 
  • There are numerous customization options. 


  • There are no online quotes for whole life insurance. 
  • There is a lack of transparency on the website
  • You must contact a local agent.

Northwestern Mutual is a well-known insurance company that was established in 1857. The company has an A++ rating from AM Best1 and had only 10 complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019. According to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study, Northwestern Mutual also has the highest customer satisfaction rating. 

Northwestern Mutual provides two types of whole life insurance policies: 

  • Traditional whole life insurance: Investments are managed by the company. 
  • Variable whole life insurance: Investments are managed jointly by the client and the company.

The managed investment portion of a traditional whole life insurance policy, a savings account is used. This account has a fixed minimum rate that is determined at the start of the policy and can increase as interest rates rise. The variable whole life policy builds cash value growth through mutual funds; however, these rates are not guaranteed and can fluctuate depending on the investment selection. 

A disability waiver of premium, a long-term care benefits rider, accidental death, and other popular rider options are available from the company. The death benefit is set at a minimum of $25,000. Northwestern Mutual’s website does not allow you to compare life insurance quotes. On the company’s website, there is a basic intake form that will connect you with a local financial advisor. 

Northwestern Mutual is the best overall carrier because of its excellent customer satisfaction ratings and high marks from the four major insurance rating agencies––AM Best, Fitch, Moody’s, and S&P Global––and because it offers a wide range of rider options for its two types of whole life insurance policies.

Mass Mutual


  • Strong and successful company history 
  • Numerous personalization options 
  • Dividend opportunity


  • There are no online quotes for whole life insurance
  • You must contact a local agent
  • Policy and feature options may be confusing

MassMutual is another well-known life insurance firm that was established in 1851. It has an A++ ranking from AM Best and is known for its reliability. MassMutual had less NAIC grievances than the national average, with just 24 in 2019. 

The following whole life insurance plans are available from MassMutual: 

  • Whole life 100 policy: Standard policy for a fixed cost. 
  • Whole life 65 policy: Pay premiums until 65.
  • Whole life 20 policy: Pay premiums for a period of 20 years. 
  • Whole life 15 policy: Pay insurance for a period of 15 years. 
  • Whole life 10 policy: Pay insurance for a period of ten years. 
  • Life insurance with a single premium: Pay for the policy in advance for a flat premium.

Both of these policies allow you to earn dividends. In the case of a fatal disease diagnosis, you can still access 50% of the death benefit through the accelerated death benefit rider. With the renewable term rider, you will receive a far greater death payout than you can with a single entire life policy when paying a similar fee. This rider is a valuable customization option for whole life insurance customers who wish to cover large obligations like a mortgage without purchasing permanent insurance for the whole amount. You can purchase the renewable term rider for what you require and then change it to permanent insurance if desired.

For an extra charge, MassMutual also provides the following riders: 

  • Premiums for disabilities are waived. 
  • Rider for long-term care treatment 
  • Spousal rider 
  • Transferring an insured rider 

MassMutual helps you to get a term life insurance quote online. A whole life insurance quote, on the other hand, would require you to meet with a financial planner. By inserting your zip code into the company’s website, you can locate anyone in your city.

MassMutual is a well-known agency with a solid reputation that provides a variety of whole life insurance policies and rider choices, such as the renewable term rider, that make it simple to customize your family’s life insurance policies to your financial needs.

New York Life


  • Business longevity 
  • Policy specifics are available on the website
  • Dividend distribution opportunities


  • There are no online quotes for whole life insurance. 
  • A local agent must be called.

The oldest company on our list is New York Life. It was established in 1845 and has a 175-year track record of financial achievement. It currently has an A++ ranking with AM Best. In 2019, the company received 71 complaints from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which is slightly higher than the national average. 

Whole life insurance policies are available from New York Life in three varieties: 

  • Whole life insurance combines the accumulation of cash value with the guarantee of coverage. 
  • Whole life insurance with a high value: For those nearing retirement, guaranteed coverage with low premiums is available. 
  • Whole life insurance tailored to your specific needs: Increase the cash benefit and pay premiums for as little as five years.

You also have the option of receiving dividends for each policy. The company also has a variety of rider options: 

  • Rider for accidental death benefit 
  • Rider for chronic treatment 
  • Premium exclusion due to disability 
  • Rider with living benefits 
  • Paid-for add-ons 

There is no way to get a quote on New York Life’s whole life insurance website. New York Life’s website has a quick form that will link you with a local agent. When purchasing a whole life policy, it is important to realize that you are dealing with an agency that can stand the test of time. New York Life is the biggest and one of the most well-established mutual insurance providers in the United States. It has been in business longer than any company on the list, making it our top choice for long term success.

State Farm


  • History of the company 
  • The ability to get a quote online 
  • Dividend opportunities


  • Not available in every state 
  • The number of options available can be daunting.

A former farmer and insurance salesman founded State Farm in 1922. The organization has a good reputation, earning an A++ ranking from AM Best8 and 41 complaints from the NAIC in 2019. 

State Farm includes the following entire life insurance options: 

  • Whole Life Policy: Lifetime coverage is guaranteed, and premiums are fixed. 
  • Life Insurance with a Single Premium: Pay for the policy in advance for a flat premium. 
  • Limited Pay Life Insurance: Pay off your policy for a period of 10, 15, or 20 years. 
  • Final cost: $10,000 to cover the final costs (ages 50 to 80)

These plans allow you to earn dividends and have a minimum death payout of $15,000 (excluding the final cost option). 

State Farm has the following rider options: 

  • Premium Waiver for Disability: When the insured becomes sick, the premiums are waived.
  • Guaranteed Insurability Option: Purchase additional coverage without having to take a medical test. 
  • Family Term Insurance: Allows you to buy term insurance on your partner or offspring. 
  • Accelerated Death Benefits: Pays a portion of the death insurance due to terminal disease. 
  • Accelerated Death Rider: The death insurance is paid twice or three times (depending on the policy).

State Farm is the only agency on our list that gives a quote online. This helps you to match rates without having to contact a local seller.



  • Company’s long history 
  • Dividend opportunities
  • Coverage for HIV-positive individuals who are healthy


  • There are no online quotes for whole life insurance
  • You must contact a local office
  • The website’s lack of transparency

Guardian, which was founded in 1860, is a well-established firm with over 160 years of experience in the life insurance industry. AM Best has given the business an A++ rating. That said, they received 215 complaints from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019. This is compared to roughly 125 in both 2017 and 2018.

Guardian offers a whole life insurance package with level premiums or restricted pay options. This means you can pay off the entire cost of the whole life policy within a short period of time. With Guardian, you may be eligible to collect dividends and their whole life insurance policy has a $25,000 minimum death payout.

One of the most enticing features of this provider is that a healthy applicant living with HIV might be eligible for a Guardian life insurance policy. As you may assume, it can be quite difficult to get approved for whole life insurance coverage if you have HIV. That said, Guardian provides HIV services to healthy applicants aged 20 to 60.

Depending on the policy you choose and where you live, you might be qualified to add riders to tailor and strengthen coverage. Guaranteed insurability, index membership, long-term insurance, and a fee waiver for disabilities are some of the benefits.

John Hancock


  • Company’s long history 
  • Acceptance is guaranteed
  • Discounts are available for the Vitality GO Program. 


  • There are no online quotes for whole life insurance
  • You must contact a local official

John Hancock was established in 1862 and AM Best gave John Hancock an A+ ranking.

In 2019, John Hancock received ten complaints from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. 

John Hancock has a whole life policy for final expenses and guarantees acceptance of policy applicants aged 60 to 80. Guaranteed admission guarantees you won’t have to take a medical test and won’t be refused benefits because of a health problem. That said, in order for the provider to decide your policy rate, you may be asked to complete a medical questionnaire.

However, you would not be able to get a quote on a whole life strategy online. You would need to fill out a short questionnaire on John Hancock’s website in order to be linked with a local advisor. John Hancock has the best whole life insurance policy for end-of-life costs, with the greatest death payout, assured acceptance, and access to Vitality.

Final Thoughts

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that provides coverage for the rest of one’s life and has consistent premiums. The insurance provides a death payout as well as cash value, which will grow over time and may serve as an investment component. Unlike other types of life insurance, whole life provides guaranteed returns on the cash value of the policy. Depending on the policy, you may be able to use the cash value of the policy even when you are still alive.

Some policies may allow you to borrow money through a loan or make a cash-out withdrawal. A living benefits rider allows you to use the policy’s cash value in certain situations.Consider a whole life insurance policy if you want life insurance that will not die before you do. It is the most common type of permanent life insurance, but it is not appropriate for everyone. Before you buy, learn how whole life insurance works, where to find the best policies, and what your options are.

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