Ethos life insurance review 2021

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Shopping for life insurance can be overwhelming, and many companies don’t make it easy to quickly access critical information about their rates and policies. Ethos Insurance is modernizing the way people buy life insurance, allowing applicants to purchase a policy online in any state in as little as 10 minutes. Their website lays out each type of policy in clear and concise terms.

Ethos life insurance

Launched in 2016, Ethos’ goal is to simplify the process of buying life insurance. Its policies are issued and backed by large insurance carriers, including:

  • AAA Life
  • Legal & General America
  • TruStage
  • Ameritas

In most cases, an in-person medical exam is not necessary to get coverage under $1 million. Ethos uses a combination of data to quickly determine the cost of life insurance based on the prescription drug database and the applicant’s credit history, driving record and family history.

Types of coverage

Ethos offers both term and whole life insurance policies, and every policy includes the option to add an accelerated death benefit rider.

Term life insurance:

Term life insurance is typically cheaper than whole life insurance and covers the insured for a set period of time. Ethos’ term life insurance policies are available with $50,000 to $1.5 million in coverage, with policies for terms of 10, 15, 20, and 30 years. Ethos’ term policies offer a free-look money-back guarantee, which allows applicants to obtain a full refund within 30 days of purchasing the policy, and the option to cancel at any time the policy is in effect without additional penalty. The company also offers a team of licensed insurance agents to answer questions about its term policies.

There are two types of term life policies available from Ethos, and applicants can apply to extend or convert either when the term is over:

  • Simplified issue: Issued by Trustage and Ameritas, these policies are typically better for people who otherwise might have a hard time getting life insurance. There are no medical exams and the underwriting decision is instant, based solely on third-party data pulls and the applicant’s responses to the application questions.
  • Fully underwritten: Issued by Legal & General America, these policies are usually a good fit for people in good health who want a higher death benefit. This policy requires a full application and sometimes a medical exam (but not always).

Whole life insurance:

While it’s more expensive than term life insurance, whole life insurance lasts for the rest of the insured’s life and provides the option to build up savings that can be accessed even before death. Ethos’ whole life insurance — issued by AAA Life Insurance Company, and available for $10k, $15k, $20 and $25k in coverage — is guaranteed for people between 65 and 85 years of age. The premiums will never increase, and once people insured under these policies turn 100, they are no longer required to pay the premium but still retain full coverage.

Reasons why Ethos is a great option

When evaluating the pros and cons of Ethos insurance, Ethos has more selling points than drawbacks.

Ethos life pros:

  • Simple and fast online process
  • No medical exam required in many cases
  • Term and whole life insurance policies available
  • Whole life insurance guaranteed for applicants age 65 to 85
  • Works with reputable life insurance companies

Ethos life cons:

  • Limited policies available
  • Minimal rider options

Ethos ratings, reviews, customer satisfaction and complaints

Ethos Technologies, Inc., doing business as Ethos Life Insurance, is a Better Business Bureau accredited business with a rating of A+. AM Best does not offer a financial strength rating for Ethos. Here are some of the ratings for the companies that issue and back policies offered by Ethos.

Ethos partner carriers AM Best rating
Legal & General Insurance America A+ (Superior)
Munich Re A+ (Superior)
AAA Life Insurance Company A (Excellent)
Trustage A (Excellent)

Frequently asked questions

What is the best life insurance company?

There are many life insurance companies out there and different companies are better for different people. Look for a life insurance company with positive customer reviews and a strong financial rating from Moody’s or AM Best. Get quotes from several companies to compare rates and coverages to find the best life insurance company, or speak with a licensed insurance agent.

Who is an Ethos life insurance policy best for?

Ethos life insurance is best for individuals comfortable with buying a life insurance policy online. One of the biggest advantages of Ethos Insurance is its no-medical-exam policy. In most situations, there is no need for an in-person medical exam.

What’s the difference between a whole and term life insurance policy?

Both provide a death benefit. A term life policy has a set time frame of typically 10, 20 or 30 years and premiums are cheaper. A whole life insurance policy is permanent — as long as the monthly premiums are paid, the policy remains in effect. Whole life insurance is more expensive than term life because a portion of the premiums goes into a cash-value account that can be accessed before death.

Written by
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance and business journalist who has been featured in Bankrate, Business Jet Traveler, MSN,, and She regularly travels to Africa and the Middle East to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development and works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility.