The transition to online platforms has made the life insurance industry more competitive. Competition is good for consumers as it leads to a wider variety of policies, faster approvals, and lower premiums. However, the increase in options can make choosing the right policy more complex. This article provides a curated list of the best life insurance companies, each excelling in specific areas, to help you find affordable options that fit your needs.

Our Top Pick: Ladder

Best for: Flexible coverage

Ladder Life Insurance

Ladder earned the top spot based on the flexibility of its policies. It has a unique business model in which you can start with a certain life insurance death benefit and then adjust it in the future as your financial needs change.

For example, as a single person, you might choose a $200,000 death benefit. Once you’re married and have children and a mortgage, you might want to apply to increase that to $1 million. That means you can maintain a large death benefit when you have young children and high financial obligations but lower it later as your financial needs decrease. But, by the time you’re in your 50s, you may want to return to the original $200,000, given that your major financial obligations in life may have disappeared, so with a few clicks of the mouse, you can decrease your coverage.

Policies are issued by Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York in New York and by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America in all other states and DC.

Since Ladder offers such a unique life insurance product, policy options are fairly limited. For example, it offers only term life insurance and does not provide whole life insurance.

Ladder also offers policies with benefits as high as $8 million, with terms as long as 30 years. However, coverage with the company doesn’t extend past age 70. It offers its products in all 50 states.

Life insurance products offered: Term life insurance policies only

Term life insurance terms: 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years

Age ranges served: Between ages 20 and 60, but be aware that your age plus term length cannot exceed age 70

Geographic availability: All 50 states

No medical exam policies available: Yes, up to $3M

Policy amounts available: $100,000 up to $8 million

What this provider does best: Ladder provides flexible life insurance coverage amounts to better match your need for coverage at any point in your life.

Read more: Ladder Review

Our Runner-up Pick: Policygenius

Best for: Online life insurance marketplace

Policy Genius life insurance

Most of the providers on this list are highly specialized. The one exception to the rule is Policygenius. That’s because it’s not a direct life insurance provider but an online insurance marketplace. It offers access to dozens of life insurance companies across the country, and you can receive multiple quotes by completing one application on their web platform. That will give you the best opportunity to get side-by-side comparisons of offers from different companies, allowing you to choose the best policy for your premium dollars.

And, Policygenius doesn’t stop with life insurance. The platform is an aggregator for all things insurance-related. It’s a virtual one-stop shop for every type of insurance. It offers virtually every kind of insurance coverage, including for health, auto, disability, pet health, homeowners and renters, identity theft, vision, and even long-term care.

It may even be the best provider to shop with if you’re unsure exactly what type of policy you want. You can simply enter your preferences in the application and let the insurance companies come to you.

Life insurance products offered: Whole life and term life insurance, as well as various other cash-value type policies as offered by the many participating companies on the platform.

Term life insurance terms: From one to 40 years

Age ranges served: All

Geographic availability: All 50 states

No medical exam policies available: Yes, but varies by company

Policy amounts available: $10,000 to $10 million, depending on the company you work with

What this provider does best: Policygenius allows you to shop for the best policy for your needs with a single application.

Our Other Picks

3. Bestow

Best for: Fast approvals

Bestow Life Insurance

Bestow enables you to get a life insurance quote in a matter of seconds and a life insurance approval in just minutes. How is it able to do that when the typical life insurance application process with most companies takes several weeks?

Simple. Bestow has completely streamlined the process. First, it typically doesn’t require you to complete a medical exam. That alone cuts a couple of weeks off of the application process. Instead, the company uses online data sources to get information on your health history. Since most of that information is available from readily accessible sources, like your state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the insurance industry medical database known as MIB, Bestow will make a decision based on your answers to the questions on the application and your available health history.

There is yet another way to streamline the process, but it has some disadvantages. Bestow makes its coverage available to applicants ages 18 to 60. Choose from terms of 10 to 30 years with a death benefit not to exceed $1.5 million. The narrower range of policy offerings, combined with reliance on personal health databases and restrictions on younger and healthier applicants, enables the company to make policy decisions in a matter of minutes.

Life insurance products offered: Term life insurance policies only

Term life insurance terms: 10 to 30 years

Age ranges served:18 to 60

Geographic availability: All states except New York.

No medical exam policies available: Yes

Policy amounts available: $50,000 up to $1.5 million

What this provider does best: Bestow provides approvals in minutes due to reliance on health databases and no requirement for a medical exam.

Read more: Bestow Review

4. Haven Life

Best for: No-fee quotes

Haven Life term life insurance

Haven Life is a one-stop shop for finding insurance. Without charging any commission or fees, you can use Haven Life’s website to get term life insurance quotes, and it won’t even try to up-sell you because salespeople don’t get a commission.

Backed by MassMutual, term life policies are the only policies offered by Haven. You can get approved and complete your insurance policy online, with some policies not requiring a medical exam.

Life insurance products offered: Term life insurance policies only

Term life insurance terms: 10, 15, 20, or 30 years

Age ranges served: Between 18 and 64

Geographic availability: All 50 states and the District of Columbia

No medical exam policies available: Yes, up to age 45

Policy amounts available: $100,000 up to $3 million

What this provider does best: Haven Life provides free- and commission-free quotes for term life insurance.

Read more: Buying Affordable Term Life Insurance from Haven Life

5. Sproutt

Best for: Older applicants and those with existing health conditions

Sproutt Life Insurance

Sproutt is another online life insurance marketplace. But what separates it from the competition is that it’s a licensed life insurance broker in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. That means your interaction with Sproutt won’t be limited to online only or contact with customer service representatives. When you call Sproutt, you’ll be working with a knowledgeable life insurance agent who can help guide you through the process. That gives it a unique combination of an online experience with live agents who know the business.

You’ll also be able to get the various types of cash value policies, like whole life and variable life. No medical exam policies are available as well. And equally important, you can obtain coverage on the platform even if you are an older applicant or one with pre-existing health conditions.

Sproutt does something else that’s unique in the insurance industry. It uses what’s known as a “Quality of Life Index” that evaluates five “pillars” of a healthy lifestyle: movement, sleep, balance, nutrition, and emotional health. Completing the questionnaire and establishing your quality-of-life index will take about 15 minutes. But once you do, the Sproutt algorithm will match you with the best insurance company and policy for your health profile.

Life insurance products offered: Term life insurance policies primarily, but also whole, universal, variable universal, simplified issue, and guaranteed issue policies.

Term life insurance terms: 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years

Age ranges served: All

Geographic availability: All 50 states and the District of Columbia

No medical exam policies available: Yes, on both term and whole life policies, depending on your insurance profile and the company providing the policy

Policy amounts available: Up to $2 million

What this provider does best: Sproutt matches consumers with the right insurance company and policy based on their health profile. Sproutt also works with older applicants and those with pre-existing health conditions.

Read more: Ethos vs. Sproutt

Summary of Where to Find Cheap Life Insurance

To make it easier to determine which life insurance company is best for you, the table below provides a side-by-side comparison of each company and its products and features.

PoliciesTerm LifeTerm Life
Whole Life
Term LifeTerm LifeTerm life and whole insurance, universal, variable universal, simplified issue, and guaranteed issue policies
Term Life Terms10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years1 to 40 years10, 15, 20, or 30 years10 to 30 years10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years
AgeBetween ages 20 and 60, but coverage terminates at age 70All18 to 6418 to 75All
AvailabilityAll 50 statesAll 50 statesAll 50 states and D.C.All 50 statesAll 50 states and D.C.
No Medical Exam PoliciesYes, depending on your insurance profileYes, but varies by companyYesYes, depending on your insurance profileYes, on term and whole life, depending on your insurance profile and provider
Amounts$100,000 to $8 million$10,000 to $10 million$50,000 to $1.5 million$100,000 – $3 millionUp to $2 million
Best FeaturesProvides flexible life insurance coverage amounts to better match your needsShop for the best policy for your needs with a single applicationApprovals in a matter of minutesFee and commission-free quotesMatching consumers with the right company and policy, based on health profiles; works with older applicants and those with health conditions

Our Criteria for Determining the Best Places To Find Cheap Life Insurance

Choosing the best product or service type can always seem arbitrary and even guided largely by personal preference. But to prevent either of those factors from influencing our choice of companies and subsequent rankings, we used the following criteria to come up with this list:

Life Insurance Products Offered

Though most of the providers on this list specialize in term life insurance, we gave extra consideration to those that offer other types of life insurance, like whole life insurance. We also gave added weight if the company offers other types of insurance, even if it’s not related to life insurance.

Term Life Insurance Terms, Age Ranges Served, and Geographic Availability

Term life insurance policies can range from one year (annual renewable term) to as long as 40 years. The more generous the term, the higher the providers ranked on our list.

One unfortunate fact about online life insurance providers is that they generally tend to favor younger applicants. We gave higher rankings to those that offer coverage to older applicants, all the way up to age 75.

Naturally, any company that offers its life insurance products in all 50 states will get a higher ranking than those covering only limited markets.

No Medical Exam Policies Available

Many life insurance applicants prefer to avoid medical exams. It’s not only because of health considerations but also because they often find them invasive and inconvenient. We gave higher rankings to companies that offer the best cheap life insurance without medical exams, particularly those that exclude them on most policies.

Policy Amounts Available

The higher the death benefit offered by a company, the more favorably it stands in our rankings. Some companies offer lower death benefits to keep premiums low or expedite approval. However, in today’s high-cost economy, companies that offer coverage into the millions receive priority.

What This Provider Does Best

While life insurance may seem like a pretty straightforward industry, there’s actually a significant variation between providers. That’s especially true since so many specialize in providing their services online. For example, some companies favor flexibility, others speed, and still others a choice of providers and policies. We considered each provider’s unique strengths in writing them on this list.

Who Needs Life Insurance?

The short answer to that question is everyone! One of the complications is that millions of Americans are content with group life insurance coverage sponsored by their employers. The general assumption often is that whatever death benefit the company offers will be sufficient. However, that’s rarely true.

A typical employer-sponsored life insurance policy will have a death benefit of between $50,000 and $100,000. Most target somewhere between one and three times your annual salary but may limit that to no more than $100,000.

If you have significant debt obligations and/or people depending on your income for survival, that kind of death benefit will not get you through much more than the first year or two after your death. In fact, the average person needs several hundred thousand dollars in life insurance coverage, and many need over $1 million.

Unfortunately, life insurance is not a popular subject and not one people think about often, let alone discuss openly. Part of the reason is that life insurance doesn’t provide immediate benefits, certainly not the way health or auto insurance does. Life insurance is the last, best gift you can give to your loved ones. So, you should spend some time crunching the numbers to determine precisely what adequate coverage will be to provide for them after your death.

How To Choose the Best Cheap Life Insurance Company for You

Choosing the best cheap life insurance company for you can be confusing, if only because there are so many competitors in the space. But you can narrow down the choices by choosing a provider that offers the following:

Life Insurance That Works for You

What type of policy are you looking for, whole life or term? If you need a large death benefit, and cost is a factor, term life insurance will be the obvious choice. Term premiums are only a fraction of what they are for a whole life policy. Some providers specialize in term life insurance, such as several of those included in this guide.

But if you want permanent life insurance coverage and you like the idea of having a cash accumulation provision, whole life will be the better choice. If so, you should consider working with Policygenius or Sproutt since they offer multiple providers. Whole life policies are more complicated than term life, so you’ll need to shop between a larger number of companies.

Term Lengths Available on Policies

If you’ve decided a term life policy is the right choice for you, policy terms offered by a provider will be necessary. If you’re in your 40s and only looking for coverage until you retire, a 20-year term policy may be all you need. But if you’re younger and looking for term coverage for most of your life, you’ll want to go with a provider that offers 30-year terms.

Your Age

As you can see from some of the providers included in this guide, some insurance companies specifically target younger applicants. They offer low-cost term life insurance to a generally young and healthy clientele. But if you’re older than the target range for any provider, you may need to consider applying with several full-service companies through Policygenius or Leap Life.

Your Health

Similar to limited age ranges, providers often tailor their insurance products toward applicants who are in good or excellent health. If you have any significant health conditions or a history of serious illness, you may once again need to consider shopping for coverage through an online insurance marketplace (Policygenius) or with a life insurance broker.

The Amount of Coverage You Need

Cheap life insurance providers generally limit the amount of life insurance you can buy. That’s an effort to maintain a streamlined application process that emphasizes speed of approval. Death benefits greater than $2 million typically require special handling.” You’ll need to choose a full-service life insurance company that can accommodate a larger policy amount.

Policy Options

Much like buying a new car, life insurance policies come with a multitude of options. If you have any specific needs for your life insurance policy, you’ll want to work with a company that provides options that can accommodate your preferences. For example, you may want a policy that offers an accelerated death benefit, allowing you to access part of your death benefit should you contract a terminal illness.

Policy options are an important consideration when you first buy a life insurance policy. In most cases, you won’t be able to add options after the fact.


Why do most of the companies on this list specialize in term life insurance?

The primary reason is that term insurance is much less expensive than whole life insurance. In fact, a typical term policy will cost only about 10% as much as an equivalent amount of whole life insurance. That means the average consumer will not only save money on premiums but will also be able to purchase a higher level of coverage.

What can I do if I’m declined coverage with one of the above providers due to health reasons?

Many online providers undoubtedly favor applicants in good or excellent health. If your health is something less, you should apply through Policygenius. With a large number of life insurance companies participating on the platform, you’ll be practically guaranteed to find a company that will write a policy for you, even with health conditions you didn’t think would qualify.

As a general rule, how much life insurance should I buy?

The standard life insurance industry recommendation is that you purchase a policy equal to at least 10 times your annual earnings. For many people, that will be an amount sufficient to provide for their loved ones, giving them several years to adjust to their absence.

Bottom Line

Life insurance may be the most underestimated type of insurance there is. Most people are keenly aware of the need for health insurance to cover unexpected medical expenses. The same is true of auto insurance, providing coverage in the event of an accident because state law requires it. And few people would think of owning a home without adequate homeowners insurance to protect against disasters.

But life insurance is a type of coverage we don’t like to think about. That’s almost certainly because the whole concept of life insurance is intimately connected with the prospect of our own deaths.

But, like all other types of insurance, life insurance is a product you should purchase before disaster strikes. That’s the only way to guarantee that adequate funds will be available to protect your loved ones in the event of your death.

Applying for life insurance while you’re still healthy is always vitally important. And it should go without saying that you’ll never be younger than you are today. Since life insurance premiums use your age as a major factor in calculating cost, the earlier in life you apply, the better. Even if you do have a health condition or two, it’s best to apply for life insurance before the condition becomes more severe or you develop another.

The long and short of it is that if you’re even thinking about applying for cheap life insurance, today is the best day to make it happen. Choose one of the companies listed in this guide, find the right policy for you, and get the right amount of life insurance for your personal and financial circumstances.


  • Kevin Mercadante

    Since 2009, Kevin Mercadante has been sharing his journey from a mortgage loan officer emerging from the Financial Meltdown as a contract/self-employed slash worker accountant/blogger/freelance blog writer. He offers career strategies, from dealing with under-employment to transitioning into self-employment, and provides Alt-retirement strategies for the vast majority who won't retire to the beach as millionaires. Kevin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, and worked in accounting and the mortgage industry before becoming a writer.