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Ethos life insurance review 2024

Updated Jul 01, 2024
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At a glance

Bankrate's take

Ethos life insurance may be the company of choice for policyholders who prefer a digital application process and want to avoid undergoing a physical exam for life insurance.

  • No medical exam required for many policies
  • Simplified online purchasing process
  • Free will and estate planning tools for policyholders
  • Policies underwritten by multiple major insurers such as Mutual of Omaha and Ameritas Life Insurance Corp.


What’s new with Ethos?

Ethos Life has partnered with insurance carrier Ameritas to launch a new indexed universal life (IUL) insurance product, according to a press release dated January 9, 2024. The policy, which became available to select Ethos partners back in September of 2023, offers potential tax-deferred cash value growth tied to an index like the S&P 500 while typically maintaining a guaranteed death benefit regardless of index performance. It also provides living benefit riders that may allow early access to a portion of the death benefit if the policyholder experiences a qualifying illness. A key differentiator is Ethos' streamlined digital process that could enable agents to quote, illustrate and issue the IUL policies entirely online through customized case design tools and algorithmic underwriting.

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Ethos life insurance review

Ethos life insurance could be suitable for those seeking an online life insurance experience with a no-exam coverage option. Established in 2016, Ethos collaborates with life insurance companies like Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation, Mutual of Omaha and TruStage to provide both whole life and term policies. Customers are typically matched with a carrier based on their location, age and the type of policy they wish to purchase. Although Ethos may have a more limited range of offerings compared to other carriers, it stands out for its streamlined life insurance quoting process, which may bypass the medical exam required by some other insurers. However, applicants will still typically need to complete a health questionnaire.

When acquiring a life insurance policy, it's essential to explore the primary types of life insurance to determine the most suitable option for you. Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific number of years, making it a favorable choice for individuals and families with children who require coverage for a designated period. Conversely, permanent life policies are designed to remain in effect for the insured's lifetime as long as premiums are consistently paid. The cost of life insurance can fluctuate based on various factors, but generally, term life insurance is more affordable than permanent life coverage, particularly for young and healthy individuals.

As part of our Ethos insurance review, we analyzed the company's product offerings:

  • Term life: Term life insurance from Ethos is available in 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year terms, with death benefit options ranging from $20,000 to $2 million. Eligibility is open to individuals between the ages of 18 and 69, and all term policies feature level premiums and are guaranteed renewable until the age of 80. Ethos offers two types of term life insurance: a simplified issue policy and a fully underwritten term policy. The first does not require a medical exam and could be ideal if you have health issues and want coverage instantly. The second does require a medical questionnaire but may also provide a higher death benefit up to the $2 million level.
  • Permanent life: Unlike term coverage, permanent life insurance stays in place until you pass away, assuming you continue to pay your premiums. While several types of permanent policies exist, Ethos only offers one: whole life insurance.
    • Whole life: Ethos' whole life insurance policies are geared toward older adults aged 66 through 85 who want to leave their loved ones with financial support or a financial gift. Accidental deaths are covered immediately. Other death benefits — like for illnesses or old age — apply within two to three years, depending on your eligibility and state requirements. AAA Life underwrites Ethos whole life policies.
    • Guaranteed life: Ethos' whole life policies are also considered guaranteed issue life insurance. Benefit amounts range between $1,000 and $30,000 with guaranteed level premiums, meaning your rate will not increase over the years.

Pros and cons of Ethos Life insurance

When considering an insurance purchase from Ethos Life, it's important to evaluate the pros and cons of the company's products and services. Like any provider, Ethos could have some appealing upsides but might also have certain limitations to be aware of.

Green circle with a checkmark inside


  • Offers term and whole life policies
  • Simple online purchasing process
  • No medical exam required in many cases
Red circle with an X inside


  • Limited policy options
  • Riders will vary based on the underwriting company
  • Not the company that will handle your claim

Ethos life insurance riders 

Although some Ethos policies may allow you to include life insurance riders, the company does not advertise a broad range of add-ons. The riders available to you will likely depend on your chosen policy type and the underwriting company you are paired with.

Ethos customer satisfaction

Ethos' reviews are generally positive, as are the reviews of the insurers with which it partners. One of Ethos' insurance partners, Mutual of Omaha, may be one of the best life insurance companies on the market, with a high customer satisfaction per J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study and strong financial strength ratings. However, it’s important to note that Ethos isn’t specifically rated by J.D. Power.

Ethos' life insurance policies are generated by a handful of highly rated insurers, including AAA Life, Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation, Legal & General America and TruStage. All are experienced underwriters featuring strong ratings from AM Best and Standard & Poor's (S&P). Keep in mind, though, that financial strength and service ratings will vary based on the underwriting company that you are placed with. You may want to consider getting a quote from Ethos and researching the specific underwriting company assigned to your potential policy.

Ethos insurance customer complaints

While Ethos itself doesn't receive direct scoring from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the customer complaint data for the popular carriers that underwrite Ethos policies could provide some insight.

The NAIC complaint index measures the number of grievances an insurer receives relative to their market share. An index of 1.0 is considered the baseline, with scores above that indicating more complaints than average for that particular insurance product line.

It's important to note that the NAIC separates its complaint indexes by product type, like life insurance versus homeowners or auto insurance. This accounts for variations in complexity and claims frequency across different coverages.

Some of the major insurance companies that underwrite and issue Ethos life insurance policies include Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation, Mutual of Omaha and TruStage. Their individual NAIC complaint indexes, particularly for the life insurance segment, may offer reasonable insight into gauging customer satisfaction with Ethos policies.

Consumers can view each underwriting company's complaint indexes to evaluate whether they fall above or below the average mark. While not a definitive measure, this could help identify any potential red flags regarding unusually high volumes of dissatisfied customers for those carriers.

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Compare Ethos with other insurers

Whether you're shopping for the cheapest life insurance or the best coverage options, researching several companies may be a good strategy. Although life insurance quotes do not typically vary as much between companies as auto or home insurance, if you're not sure that Ethos is the right fit for you, these three carriers might be worth a look so that you can secure the best life insurance company for your needs:

Ethos vs. MassMutual

If you want a policy with more options for customization than Ethos offers, MassMutual might be a good choice. The carrier is one of the largest life insurance companies in the country by market share and has numerous potential riders that can be added to personalize your life insurance policy. There's also a mobile app for convenient policy management. MassMutual does not offer as many online policy management tools, though, so if you prefer a digital experience, Ethos might be a better option.

Learn more: MassMutual Life Insurance review

Ethos vs. State Farm

State Farm was named the Best Term Life Insurer in the 2023 and 2024 Bankrate Awards. With many life insurance options and riders, it could be the right fit for an individual who wants to build out a policy customized to suit their needs. Additionally, State Farm offers a wide array of local agencies if you like a more hands-on approach to life insurance. State Farm only offers State Farm life insurance, however, whereas Ethos uses multiple underwriting companies to match customers' needs.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Ethos vs. Guardian

If Ethos' no-exam options are attractive to you, you could consider Guardian, which has several no-exam life insurance options. Guardian is also available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., so it could be an option for New York life insurance shoppers who can't work with Ethos insurance. Guardian only offers term life insurance quotes online, though, so if you are looking for an online whole life quote, Ethos might make more sense.

Learn more: Guardian Life Insurance review

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Our insurance editorial team includes licensed agents with decades of combined experience, and we used our intimate knowledge of the industry to conduct this in-depth Ethos insurance review.


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Is Ethos a good insurance company?

Technically, Ethos isn't an insurance company; it's a licensed insurance agency that works with multiple insurers to write life insurance policies. Our Ethos insurance review found that the company could be a good choice if you want to purchase your life insurance online or if you live near an agent that works with Ethos.

If you're looking for no-exam life insurance, Ethos life insurance may be a good fit as well since many of its policies may be issued without a medical examination. However, because Ethos doesn't underwrite its own policies, your experience may largely depend on the insurer that you are paired with, so you may need to do additional research or consult Bankrate’s life insurance guide to make sure that company is right for you.

What are real-life customers saying about Ethos?

To provide a more well-rounded perspective on the Ethos customer experience, let's examine some real-life feedback from policyholders. These insights, sourced from the review platform Trustpilot, could offer a glimpse into what you might expect when purchasing coverage and managing your policy.

It's worth noting that in-depth reviews surrounding the claims process tend to be less common for life insurance products. So the bulk of testimonials typically focus more on the initial application journey, interactions with the company's customer service and overall policy management experience.

While not an exhaustive look at how Ethos handles claims in the future, this real-user feedback could shed some light on navigating the purchase process, communicating with the company and maintaining coverage over time.

Trustpilot reviews

Reading Trustpilot reviews can help shed light on where the company excels and where it might have some pitfalls.

Trustpilot User 1*
May 1, 2024
While the rate quoted was the best available...
“While the rate quoted was the best available, the automated systems over complicated the process. I started my application on March 27, it was approved on April 1 but not finalized until May 1. When I had opportunities to interact with a live person, they were very apologetic but unable to resolve minor issues even with IT support’s assistance.”
Trustpilot User 2*
May 6, 2021
I was denied a modest amount of coverage...
“I was denied a modest amount of coverage despite having excellent personal and family health history, no smoking, no drinking, no dangerous job or risky hobbies. No adjustment to the premium, just a very unexpected denial. Left to feel like the great premiums they offer aren't very attainable. Went with a different company who approved me immediately with an almost identical rate that Ethos drew me in with, but couldn't stand behind.”
Trustpilot User 3*
May 7, 2024
This was really easy to get term life insurance...
“This was really easy to get term life insurance. The platform is easy to use. However, I am still waiting for customer support to contact me regarding making some important changes that I forgot to include with my initial application. Otherwise, the process has been smooth.”
Trustpilot User 4*
Mar 18, 2024
This is an edit of my previous review. Customer...
“This is an edit of my previous review. Customer service has improved markedly in the couple of days since I initiated my policy. I will concede that I started the policy during weekend hours which may have affected the company’s ability to respond to my concerns. Once everything gets squared away I will update the review again and give 5 stars. Life insurance is something one should want to make certain gets handled correctly to avoid adding to the grief of those we leave behind. I chose Ethos for the price but I can’t sacrifice service.”

*The quotes and citations included on this page have been verified by our editorial team and are accurate as of the posting date. Outlinked content may contain views and opinions that do not reflect the views and opinions of Bankrate.

Ethos company details

Need to contact Ethos? Here are a few ways to do so:

  • General phone number: 415-915-0665
  • Company website:
  • General questions email:
  • Sales email:
  • Billing email:

State availability

Ethos operates in 49 states and D.C. New York is the only excluded state.

Ethos tools and benefits

While Ethos' primary platform seems to be its online quoting, it does offer life insurance products to insurance agents and brokers, so you may be able to work with a local agent. This could be especially beneficial if you feel you need a little more guidance or aren't sure how much life insurance you need. You could also use a tool, like a life insurance calculator, to help you determine an appropriate coverage amount before getting an Ethos quote online.

Ethos also offers the following products and benefits:

  • Free will: Ethos offers free will and estate planning tools when policyholders purchase an eligible life insurance policy.
  • Wills: Even if you don’t buy a policy through Ethos, they still offer getting a will online for as low as $149. The process takes about 10 minutes and you are guided through the step-by-step process with video assistance.
  • Estate plan: Ethos offers online estate planning tools for $449. This option includes a will, in addition to information on creating a power of attorney and caregiving. For people who do not have life insurance through Ethos, edits are free for the first two years and then are $19 per year for will changes and $39 per year for changes to the estate plan.

Frequently asked questions about Ethos

Written by
Ashlyn Brooks
Ashlyn Brooks is a finance writer with more than half a decade of experience, known for her knowledge in areas such as taxes, insurance, investing, retirement, finance news, and banking products.
Edited by Editor II, Insurance