2022 List of Life Insurance Company Ratings

Table of Contents

Purchasing a life insurance policy is an important decision. After all, the life insurance company you choose to purchase your coverage from will be the company responsible for providing financial protection to your family if you pass away.

Therefore when choosing a life insurance company, a large part of the process should include reviewing the company’s financial strength ratings before committing to a contract. Life insurance company ratings allow you to evaluate the financial stability of a company, providing peace of mind in knowing that should a claim ever arise, your loved ones will receive the financial protection you intended for them.

While financial strength ratings are incredibly beneficial, you may not know how to interpret what you find. For example, how can you tell the difference between an excellent financial rating and a poor one?

Our article will look at life insurance company ratings, including their meaning and how they work. We also put together an up-to-date insurance company rating chart that will provide helpful insight into which life insurance companies are the best and which life insurance companies are the worst based on their financial strength ratings.

What Are Life Insurance Ratings?

Independent rating agencies are responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to insurance companies. Most people will recognize the names AM Best, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch as they are the largest and oldest organizations that currently rate the financial strength of most insurance providers.

These four rating agencies evaluate the financial health of the insurance companies participating in an evaluation. Companies that choose to be assessed for a potential rating are assigned a grade based on the results of their analysis. It is not required for an insurance company to participate in an evaluation process. However, most companies will opt-in to being evaluated as a high score is a great way to promote their company to potential customers.

The scores typically follow an alphabetic rating scale similar to a report card you would have received in school. For example, letter ratings usually range from a low of “D” to a high of “A.” However, each rating organization’s rating scale and method used to determine the scores vary.

For example, an “A++” is the highest score from AM Best, and an AAA is the highest score available from Standard & Poor’s. 

The ratings issued to an insurance company are also the opinion of each individual agency. Therefore, an insurance company may receive different scores from different agencies based on each organization’s rating criteria. However, all rating agencies offer valuable insight into a company’s financial health, allowing you to compare financially strong and weak companies while searching for a life insurance policy.

What Do Life Insurance Ratings Mean?

Life insurance ratings attempt to summarize the financial stability of most US insurance companies. Companies with high scores are considered “financially secure,” meaning they are less likely to default on financial obligations to their policyholders, such as paying out a death claim.

A high rating typically requires a low debt ratio, diverse revenue streams, and large amounts of capital. In addition, high scores indicate that a company can weather both short and long-term financial storms and how likely they can continue to fulfill claims.

Why Are Life Insurance Ratings Important?

Life insurance ratings of insurance companies give you a better indication of which companies are least likely to fail in paying claims on an insurance policy. The last thing you want your loved ones to worry about is a company failing to pay out a death benefits claim.

Policyholders sign contracts with specific requirements and conditions, including paying premiums. In return, the insurance company agrees to pay a death benefit and fulfill any other claims covered by the policy.

Life insurance is purchased in contract periods. Therefore, you want to ensure that the company you choose to purchase your policy will still be around should a claim arise several years later.

Typical contract lengths for term life insurance policies include 10, 20, and 30 years. However, permanent policies such as universal and whole life insurance policies last for life, meaning the insurer may not pay a claim for decades later. 

A high financial strength rating should give you peace of mind knowing that a company will likely still be around when it’s time to file a claim.

Who Are the Four Main Rating Agencies?

The four leading financial strength rating agencies include:

  • AM Best
  • Fitch
  • Moody’s Investor Service
  • Standard & Poor’s

Along with ratings from these four rating agencies, you may also notice a Comdex ranking for several insurance companies. The Comdex ranking is a composite score of the ratings given by the top four rating agencies.

Ebix is the firm responsible for creating the Comdex rankings. The firm uses software to automatically assign a score on a numerical scale ranging from 1 to 100. A high number indicates a high average of ratings from the top rating agencies.

AM Best

AM Best LogoAM Best is the largest credit rating agency specializing in the insurance industry. The company was founded in 1899, making it the first and the oldest credit rating agency in the world.

Alfred M. Best, the founder of AM Best, launched the company out of a one-room office in NYC. The company now operates in over 100 countries and has regional offices in major cities worldwide. 

AM Best has compiled ratings and reports on over 16,000 insurance companies focusing on providing accurate, timely, and comprehensive information to consumers on the creditworthiness of insurance companies.

The AM Best rating scale is the most used rating scale when it comes to viewing the financial strength of a life insurance company. It has been commonly referred to as the gold standard of life insurance company ratings. Therefore most life insurance companies will only seek a rating from AM Best and not the rating from other organizations.

Fitch

Fitch Ratings LogoFitch Ratings Inc. is another top credit rating agency. The company was founded in 1914 as the Fitch Publishing Company. As with AM Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings is a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO).

NRSROs are selected by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The organization started using its credit ratings scale in 1924 and has analyzed the financial strength of over 20,000 entities.

Moody’s Investor Service

Moody's LogoMoody’s Investor Service provides investors with powerful insights for making smarter decisions. The company relies on the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), to make sense of economic conditions and risk factors. 

Along with analyzing investment opportunities, Moody ranks the financial strength of life insurance companies. The company was founded in 1909 and continues to provide financial ratings each quarter.

Standard & Poor’s

S&P Global LogoS&P Global Ratings is a credit rating agency that publishes financial research and analysis. As with Moody’s Investor Service, Standard & Poor’s ratings cover stocks and bonds along with life insurance financial ratings.

The history of S&P Global goes back to 1860. Henry Varnum Poor published the History of Railroads and Canals in the US. The book provided details about the finances of US railroad companies. Future publications expanded to cover other industries. 

S&P employs over 1,500 credit analysts to provide data on most life insurance companies and investment opportunities.

How Are Life Insurance Ratings Determined?

Life insurance rating companies use different approaches for determining financial ratings. The following will summarize each of the top four independent financial rating organizations’ rating scales and what each rating represents.

AM Best Rating Scale

The AM Best rating scale includes the following Financial Strength Ratings (FSR):

Rating CategoriesRating SymbolsRating NotchesRating Definitions
SuperiorA+A++Superior ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations
ExcellentAA-Excellent ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations
GoodB+B++Good ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations
FairBB-Fair ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations; vulnerable to adverse changes in underwriting and economic conditions
MarginalC+C++Marginal ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations; vulnerable to adverse changes in underwriting and economic conditions
WeakCC-Weak ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations; very vulnerable to adverse changes in underwriting and economic conditions
PoorDPoor ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations; extremely vulnerable to adverse changes in underwriting and economic conditions

An “A++” or “A+” rating is given to companies with a superior ability to meet their insurance obligations. Life insurance companies with an “A” rating have an excellent ability to meet financial obligations. 

The trouble starts with the “B” rating, which indicates a fair ability to meet obligations. Companies with a “B” rating are vulnerable to changes in economic conditions. 

AM Best is the only rating agency that specializes solely in the insurance industry. Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch analyze companies from a variety of industries. 

You can view the latest ratings on the AM Best website. The website lists a variety of information for each life insurance company rated by AM Best. You can review the age of the company, the financial size, and the history of the company. Financial statistics are also available for the past five years.

Fitch Rating Scale

Fitch issues the Fitch Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) Rating for over 200 life insurance companies of all sizes. The company has rated close to 85% of the entire life insurance industry using the following alphabetic scale:

Fitch RatingsCredit QualityRating Definitions
AAAHighest credit qualityAAA ratings are assigned to companies that are viewed as having the lowest expectation of default risk. They are assigned only in cases of exceptionally strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is highly unlikely to be adversely affected by foreseeable events.
AAVery high credit qualityAA ratings are assigned to companies that are viewed as having a very low expectation of default risk. They indicate a very strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is not significantly vulnerable to foreseeable events.
AHigh credit qualityA ratings are assigned to companies that are viewed as having a low expectation of default risk. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered strong. This capacity may, nevertheless, be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic conditions than is the case for higher ratings.
BBBGood credit qualityBBB’ ratings indicate that expectations of default risk are currently low. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate, but adverse business or economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity.
BBSpeculativeBB’ ratings indicate an elevated vulnerability to default risk, particularly in the event of adverse changes in business or economic conditions over time; however, business or financial flexibility exists that supports the servicing of financial commitments.
BHighly speculativeB’ ratings indicate that material default risk is present, but a limited margin of safety remains. Financial commitments are currently being met; however, capacity for continued payment is vulnerable to deterioration in the business and economic environment.
CCCSubstantial credit riskVery low margin for safety. Default is a real possibility.
CCVery high levels of credit riskDefault of some kind appears probable.
CNear defaultA default or default-like process has begun, or the issuer is in standstill, or for a closed funding vehicle, payment capacity is irrevocably impaired.
RDRestricted defaultRD’ ratings indicate an issuer that in Fitch’s opinion has experienced an uncured payment default or distressed debt exchange on a bond, loan or other material financial obligation, but has not entered into bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation, or other formal winding-up procedure, and has not otherwise ceased operating.
DDefaultD’ ratings indicate an issuer that in Fitch’s opinion has entered into bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation or other formal winding-up procedure or that has otherwise ceased business.

A complete definition of Fitch ratings can be viewed by visiting the following link that will take you to their website.

Life insurance companies with a “AAA” rating from Fitch have the lowest expectation of default risk. These companies have an exceptionally strong ability to fulfill financial obligations.

Fitch ratings from “AA” to “CCC” may include a (+) or (-) modifier. For example, “AA” ratings include “AA+”, “AA”, and “AA-”.

Companies with “AA” ratings have a very low default risk and a very strong capacity to repay financial commitments. 

“A” ratings, including A+, A, and A-, are given to companies with low default risk. However, a company with an “A-” rating may also be vulnerable to changing economic conditions or adverse business decisions. An “A-” rating from Fitch is comparable to a “B” rating from AM Best.

Moody’s Rating Scale

Moody’s rating scale includes ratings for long-term investments, short-term investments, and banks. Life insurance company ratings use the rating scale for long-term and short-term investments, which includes the following rankings:

Moody’s RatingsRating Definitions
AaaObligations rated Aaa are judged to be of the highest quality, with minimal risk.
AaObligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.
AObligations rated A are considered upper-medium-grade and are subject to low credit risk.
BaaObligations rated Baa are subject to moderate credit risk. They are considered medium-grade and as such may possess speculative characteristics.
BaObligations rated Ba are judged to have speculative elements and are subject to substantial credit risk.
BObligations rated B are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.
CaaObligations rated Caa are judged to be of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.
CaObligations rated Ca are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery in principal and interest.
CObligations rated C are the lowest-rated class of bonds and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal and interest.

A complete definition of Moody’s long-term rating scale can be viewed by visiting the following link that will take you to their website.

An “Aaa” rank indicates that a company should have no problem meeting its financial obligations. The company’s finances are of the highest quality and provide minimal risk. 

New York Life and Northwestern Mutual are examples of two life insurance companies with “Aaa” ratings from Moody’s. 

An “Aa” ranking is also positive and includes three levels – Aa1, Aa2, and Aa3. These scores are given to companies with very low credit risk. 

The “A” ranking is given to companies with upper-medium-grade finances and low credit risk. It also includes three levels – A1, A2, and A3. 

Companies with ratings of “Baa” or lower are considered risky and at greater risk of default. A score of “Baa” is comparable to an “A-” rating from Fitch and a “B” rating from AM Best.

Standard & Poor’s Rating Scale

Standard & Poor’s ratings focus on the claims-paying ability of the leading insurance companies that request and pay for a rating. Here is how the alphabetic rating scale works:

Standard and Poor’s RatingsRating Definitions
AAAExtremely strong capacity to meet financial commitments.
AAVery strong capacity to meet financial commitments.
AStrong capacity to meet financial commitments, but somewhat susceptible to economic conditions and changes in circumstances.
BBBAdequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but more subject to adverse economic conditions.
BBLess vulnerable in the near-term but faces major ongoing uncertainties to adverse business, financial and economic conditions.
BMore vulnerable to adverse business, financial and economic conditions but currently has the capacity to meet financial commitments.
CCCCurrently vulnerable and dependent on favorable business, financial and economic conditions to meet financial commitments.
CCHighly vulnerable; default has not yet occurred, but is expected to be a virtual certainty.
CCurrently highly vulnerable to non-payment, and ultimate recovery is expected to be lower than that of higher rated obligations.
DPayment default on a financial commitment or breach of an imputed promise; also used when a bankruptcy petition has been filed.

A complete definition of the Standard and Poor’s rating scale can be viewed by visiting the following link that will take you to their website.

Companies with the “AAA” rating from S&P have the strongest finances. They are the least likely to default. Companies with “AA” and “A” rating also have strong finances and should pose very little risk when buying an insurance policy. However, companies with an “A” rating are more susceptible to changes in the economy. 

An “A” rating from S&P is comparable to a “Baa” rating from Moody’s, an “A-” rating from Fitch, and a “B” rating from AM Best.

Comdex Score

The Comdex score is based on the average ratings of the four main rating agencies. A company with high ratings from AM Best and the other leading agencies also receives a high Comdex rank. 

The rankings are based on a scale of 1 to 100. Comdex only analyzes companies that have received financial ratings from at least two major rating agencies. 

The Comdex rank is a composite of how the company stacked up against other companies in the rankings from each of the main rating agencies. For example, a company with a Comdex rank of 85 scores 85% higher than all other life insurance companies.

Life Insurance Company Ratings Chart for 2022

The below table represents the financial strength ratings of over 100 top-rated life insurance companies. By default, the table lists the companies with the highest ratings based on their Comdex ratings. However, to quickly locate a specific company’s financial ratings, the table offers a search feature where you can enter the name of the life insurance company.

Insurance Co.StateAM BestS&PMoody’sFitchComdex
New York LifeNYA++AA+AaaAAA100
Northwestern MutualWIA++AA+AaaAAA100
Thrivent FinancialWIA++AA+100
Teachers Insurance AssnNYA++AA+Aa1AAA99
TIAA-CREF Life Ins CoNYA++AA+Aa1AAA99
USAA Life Ins CoTXA++AA+Aa199
C.M. Life Ins CoCTA++AA+Aa3AA+98
Guardian Life Ins CoNYA++AA+Aa2AA+98
Knights of ColumbusCTA+AA+98
Massachusetts MutualMAA++AA+Aa3AA+98
MML Bay State Life Ins CoCTA++AA+Aa3AA+98
State Farm Life Ins CoILA++AAAa198
CSI Life Ins CoNEA+AA97
Sun Life & Health Ins CoMIA+AA97
American United Life Ins CoINA+AA-96
Columbus Life Ins CoOHA+AA-Aa3AA96
Golden Rule Ins CoINA+AA-96
Great-West LifeCOA+AAAa3AA96
Hannover ReFLA+AA-96
Integrity Life Ins CoOHA+AA-Aa3AA96
Lafayette Life Ins CoOHA+AA-AA96
Minnesota Life Ins CoMNA+AA-Aa3AA96
Munich ReGAA+AA-96
National Integrity Life Ins CoNYA+AA-Aa3AA96
Securian Life Ins CoMNA+AA-Aa3AA96
State Life Ins CoINA+AA-96
Swiss Re MOA+AA-Aa396
Western & Southern Life Ins CoOHA+AA-Aa3AA96
Metropolitan Life Ins CoNYA+AA-Aa3AA-95
Pacific LifeAZA+AA-Aa3AA-95
Allianz Life Ins CoMNA+AAA194
Banner Life Ins CoMDA+AA-AA-94
Protective LifeALA+AA-AA-94
PrudentialNJA+AA-AA-94
First Reliance Standard LifeNYA++A+93
John HancockMAA+AA-A1AA-93
Penn InsDEA+A+Aa3AA-93
Penn Mutual Life Ins CoPAA+A+Aa3AA-93
Primerica Life Ins Co
TNA+AA-A193
West Coast Life Ins CoNEA+AA-A1AA-93
AflacNEA+A+Aa392
Great American Life Ins CoOHA+A+Aa392
HCC Life Ins CoINA++A+AA-92
RiverSource Life Ins CoMNA+A+Aa392
Fidelity Investments Life InsUTA+A+91
Vantis Life Ins CoCTA+AAa3AA-91
Hartford LifeCTA+A+A190
Life Ins Co of the SouthwestTXA+A+A190
Lincoln FinancialINA+AA-A1A+90
Mutual of Omaha Ins CoNEA+A+A190
National Life Ins CoVTA+A+A1AA90
Nationwide Life Ins CoOHA+A+A190
Principal Life Ins CoIAA+A+A1AA-90
Texas Life Ins CoTXA+A+90
Wilcac Life Ins CoILA+A+90
Cincinnati Life Ins CoOHA+A+A+88
Midland National Life Ins CoIAA+A+A+88
North American CoIAA+A+A+88
Reliance Standard Life Ins CoILA++A+A288
Liberty National Life Ins CoNEAAA-A1A+84
American Income Life Ins CoINAAA-A+83
Globe Life And Acc Ins CoNEAAA-A+83
Equitable Finl Life Ins CoNYAA+A181
Everlake Life Ins CoILA+BBB w-81
Modern Woodmen of AmericaILA81
Standard Ins CoORAA+A181
Transamerica Life Ins CoIAAA+A181
Zurich American Life Ins CoILA+AA381
AIGTXAA+A2A+80
CMFG Life Ins CoIAAA+A279
MEMBERS Life Ins CoIAAA+A279
Symetra Life Ins CoIAAAA179
Ameritas Life Ins Corp.NEAA+78
Connecticut General Life InsCTAAA2A+78
Dearborn Life Ins CoILAA+78
First Penn-Pacific Life Ins CoINAA-A1A+78
ReliaStar Life Ins CoMNAA+A2A78
AGC Life Ins CoMOAA+77
American Family Life Ins CoWIAA+77
Aetna Life Ins CoCTAA-A2A+76
Brighthouse Life Ins CoDEAA+A3A76
Cigna Health & Life Ins CoCTAAA276
Horace Mann Life Ins CoILAAA2A76
Jackson National Life Ins CoMIAAA2A76
New England Life Ins CoMAAA+A3A76
American National Ins CoTXAAA75
Commonwealth Annuity & LifeMAAA-A2A75
First Allmerica Financial LifeMAAA-A2A75
Forethought Life Ins CoINAA-A2A75
Mutual Trust Life Ins CoILAA74
Pacific Guardian Life Ins CoHIAA74
Pan-American Life Ins CoLAAA74
First Unum Life Ins CoNYAAA3A-73
Paul Revere Life Ins CoMAAAA3A-73
Provident Life & AccidentTNAAA3A-73
Unum Life Ins Co of AmericaMEAAA3A-73
AmericoTXAA371
Bankers Life & Casualty CoILAA-A3A-71
Colonial Penn Life Ins CoPAAA-A3A-71
National Western Life Ins CoCOAA-71
Reliable Life Ins CoMOAA-A-71
SBLIMAAA-71
USAble LifeARAA-71
Washington National Ins CoINAA-A3A-71
Ohio National Life Ins CoOHABaa1A-70
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Ins CoIAA-A-A-60
Aspida Life Ins CoCAA-A-59
Gleaner Life Ins SocietyMIA-A-59
Life of the South Ins CoGAA-A-59
SagicorAZA-59
Shenandoah Life Ins CoVAA-A-59
Southern Financial Life Ins CoKYA-A-59
United Heritage Life Ins Co
IDA-A-59
American Equity Investment Life Ins CoIAA-A-A258
Security Benefit Life Ins CoKSA-A-A-58
American Memorial Life Ins CoSDA-A54
Humana Ins Co of KentuckyKYA-A54
Eagle Life Ins CoIAA-A-51
Baltimore Life Ins CoMDB++49
Delaware Life Ins CoDEA-BBB+49
Talcott Resolution Life Ins CoCTB++BBBBaa347
EquiTrust Life Ins CoILB++BBB+39
Genworth LifeVABB332
AAAMIA
Assurity Life Ins CoNEA-
Auto Club Life Ins CoMIA
Auto-Owners Life Ins CoMIA+
Chesapeake Life Ins CoOKA
Combined Ins Co of AmericaILA+
COUNTRY Life Ins CoILA+
Encova Life Ins CoOHA-
ForestersNYA
Gerber Life Ins CoNYA
Grange Life Ins CoOHB++
Great Western Ins CoIAA
Guarantee Trust Life Ins CoILA-
Illinois Mutual Life Ins CoILA-
Lincoln Heritage Life Ins CoILA-
Lumico Life Ins CoMOA
Physicians Mutual Ins CoNEA
Sagicor Life Ins Co

All ratings shown are current as of August 1, 2022

Insurance Company Rating Scale Guide

Should You Choose a Life Insurance Company Based On Financial Strength Ratings?

Financial strength ratings help evaluate the dependability of a company and should be considered when choosing a life insurance company and their life insurance plans.

There are over 500 life insurance companies in the United States, with a vast majority having financially strong ratings, so you should have no problem finding a financially secure insurance company.

While financial strength is just one of many factors to consider when choosing a life insurance company, there are also many additional factors, such as product availability, underwriting features, policy features, cost, etc.

However, if a life insurance company checks all the boxes in all departments but has a bad financial strength rating, you may want to avoid that company.

How to Choose a Life Insurance Company

Choosing a life insurance company requires you to look at a variety of details, including:

  • Financial ratings
  • Policy types
  • Life insurance options
  • Death benefit amounts
  • Available policy riders
  • Application process
  • Estimated cost

Along with financial ratings, you need to consider the type of policy that you want. Common options include term life and whole life insurance

You also need to pay attention to coverage options. Life insurance policies include a variety of coverage choices, including different maximum death benefit amounts and policy riders.

You may also want to consider the application process. If you prefer a simplified application process, you can focus on life insurance carriers that offer online applications and no-medical exam options. 

The cost of life insurance can vary significantly from one life insurance company to the next, which is why you should obtain multiple life insurance quotes before selecting an insurer.

How to Buy Life Insurance

Buying life insurance is a major decision. Use the following steps to ensure that you obtain the right coverage at the right price:

  1. Calculate how much coverage you need
  2. Determine what type of insurance you need
  3. Compare life insurance quotes
  4. Research the life insurance company
  5. Apply for life insurance 

You may also want to think about your budget. Before you compare prices and coverage options, think about how much you can afford to pay each month.

1. How Much Coverage Do You Need?

The amount of coverage you need helps determine the type of policy that works best for you. There are also multiple methods for determining how much life insurance you need. A popular method is to multiply your annual income by ten.

For example, if you earn $80,000 per year, your family may be more financially secure with $800,000 in coverage. Keep in mind that this coverage may come from multiple policies instead of a single life insurance product.

You can also consider your financial obligations. You may want to provide enough for your loved ones to cover the mortgage on your home and any other major debts.

2. Determine What Type of Insurance You Need

The type of insurance you need may depend on your age, health, financial responsibilities, and existing coverage. Common types of life insurance include:

  • Term life insurance
  • Universal life insurance
  • Whole life insurance
  • Variable life insurance
  • Indexed universal life insurance
  • Guaranteed issue life insurance 
  • Simplified issue life insurance

Term life insurance products often include term lengths of up to 30 years. Many adults use term life insurance to cover specific periods of their life, such as the life of a mortgage or their children’s college years. 

Whole life insurance products typically include coverage until the end of your life. There are also different types of whole life insurance to suit different situations, such as guaranteed issue life insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions.

3. Compare Life Insurance Quotes

After choosing the type of insurance that you want, obtain a life insurance price quote. Most life insurance companies offer quotes directly from their websites or through third-party websites. 

Obtaining quotes from several insurance companies allows you to shop around for the best value. Keep in mind that a life insurance quote is typically just an estimate. The price may change during the underwriting process. However, you have the chance to review the terms of the contract before signing or submitting your first premium payment.

4. Research the Life Insurance Company

Learn more about the life insurance companies that you receive quotes from. Along with the price estimate, you need to consider the security and reliability of the company. This is when you should look at the financial ratings of companies.

Financial strength ratings help you verify the financial integrity of a company. Use this information to narrow your options before applying for life insurance.

5. Apply for Life Insurance

The next step for buying life insurance is to complete the application process. You may need to complete the application online or over the phone with a sales agent.

The process varies from one company to the next. Sometimes you need to work with an insurance broker or insurance agent while other times you can apply directly through the company’s website. 

The application process may also require a medical exam. However, no medical exam options with streamlined underwriting are available for those in good health. While the typical underwriting process may take up to eight weeks, accelerated underwriting can take hours or days to complete.

Do All Life Insurance Companies Have Insurance Ratings?

Not all insurance life insurance companies have financial strength ratings. For example, a newly established company will likely go without ratings simply because they are too new.

Most insurance rating agencies release financial ratings on an annual basis. As a result, a new insurance company that did not appear in the most recent ratings may appear in the updates released in the following year.

Subsidiaries of larger insurance companies do not always receive separate financial ratings. For example, Prudential owns the Assurance Life Insurance Company, which does not have its own ratings. So instead, you would need to look at Prudential’s financial strength ratings as the parent company.

Financial strength ratings are also entirely optional. No life insurance company is required to go through a rating review. So if you find a company with no ratings, it is likely they opted out of being assessed for a rating review.

Should You Stay Away from a Company That Doesn’t Have a Rating?

You do not need to stay away from companies that lack insurance ratings. Not having a rating is not always a negative. As mentioned, newer companies and subsidiaries of larger companies may not have ratings.

Any life insurance company that has been around for more than a few years likely has ratings from at least one of the top rating agencies. If the company is older and has no ratings, it may not be large enough for the rating agencies to be aware of its services. In this situation, you may want to consider going with a more established company.

How Can You Check a Life Insurance Company’s Financial Strength Ratings?

Many life insurance companies proudly display their financial strength ratings on their websites and promotional materials. In addition, the official website of each rating agency also shows the latest ratings and financial scores. 

You can also perform an internet search for a specific company’s ratings, such as “Brighthouse financial insurance rating.” The first page of search results should provide links to the latest ratings from the four leading agencies.

Who are the Best Life Insurance Companies?

The best life insurance company will not necessarily be the best company for everyone. Many factors should go into choosing a life insurance company, and financial ratings are only one part of the process. Life insurance ratings should never be the sole reason to choose a company.

However, to help aid in your search to find who the best life insurance companies are outside of their financial ratings, organizations such as AM Best can utilize their data from assessing the financial strengths of hundreds of companies to provide valuable insights as to which companies are the largest as well as which have sold the most life insurance policies.

Use the tables below to help search for the best life insurance companies.

Top 10 Largest Life Insurance Companies

Ranked by 2021 admitted assets.

RankInsurance Co.StateAM Best RatingComdexTotal Assets
#1PrudentialNJA+94$560,059,629
#2MetLife Ins CompaniesNYA+95$461,437,117
#3New York Life GroupNYA++100$392,916,326
#4Massachusetts Mutual Life GroupMAA++98$365,446,331
#5TIAA GroupNYA++99$360,223,526
#6AIG Life & Retirement GroupMOA80$345,824,628
#7Northwestern Mutual GroupWIA++100$334,756,177
#8Lincoln Financial GroupINA+90$334,508,148
#9Jackson National GroupMIA76$321,914,245
#10John Hancock Life Insurance GroupMAA+93$309,176,249

Top 10 Term Life Insurance Companies

Ranked by 2020 term life business issued.

RankInsurance Co.StateAM Best RatingComdexTerm Life Issued
#1Northwestern Mutual GroupWIA++100$122,908,181
#2Primerica GroupTNA+93$461,437,117
#3Lincoln Financial GroupINA+90$92,769,142
#4State Farm Life GroupILA++98$88,538,912
#5Principal Financial GroupIAA+90$64,260,866
#6New York Life GroupNYA++100$63,229,568
#7Protective Life GroupALA+94$56,546,713
#8AIG Life & Retirement GroupMOA80$55,099,701
#9Legal & General America GroupMDA+94$52,787,597
#10Prudential of America GroupNJA+94$50,891,504

Top 10 Whole Life Insurance Companies

Ranked by 2020 whole life business issued.

RankInsurance Co.StateAM Best RatingComdexWhole Life Issued
#1Northwestern Mutual GroupWIA++100$163,979,291
#2Lincoln Financial GroupINA+90$105,842,510
#3State Farm Life GroupILA++98$100,278,830
#4Primerica GroupTNA+93$99,582,536
#5New York Life GroupNYA++100$96,939,747
#6Massachusetts Mutual Life GroupMAA++98$85,606,061
#7Prudential of America GroupNJA+94$83,370,859
#8Principal Financial GroupIAA+90$68,393,159
#9Protective Life GroupALA+94$65,465,177
#10AIG Life & Retirement GroupMOA80$62,264,056

Conclusion

Financial strength ratings are one of several factors that can help you compare life insurance companies. Strong life insurance company ratings indicate that a company is financially secure and able to pay claims. 

Understanding financial strength ratings can be a challenge, as each rating agency uses a different scale. An “A” rating from one company may be comparable to a “B” rating from another.

While each rating agency uses a different scale, you can still gain a general idea of a company’s financial strength. If a company receives low ratings from each of the main rating agencies, you may want to consider going with a different insurance company. 

In the end, financial strength ratings are just one of many factors that you should pay attention to when selecting a life insurance policy. You should also consider the type of policy, coverage amount, policy riders, and other details to find the best life insurance company based on your specific needs.

Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert

Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert

Jeffrey Manola is the founder of No Medical Exam Quotes, an online insurance broker with a strong focus on helping people shop for the perfect life insurance policy. Jeffrey is both a licensed life insurance expert and content creator for the website. Before becoming a licensed life insurance agent, he served in the United States Marine Corps. He transitioned from serving his country to helping families find affordable life insurance coverage since 2009. No Medical Exam Quotes is licensed to offer life insurance coverage in all 50 U.S. States.

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