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Ladder life insurance review 2024

Updated Feb 08, 2024

At a glance

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Bankrate's take

Ladder offers an entirely digital interface for purchasing and managing term life insurance. However, policies are basic with no riders available for customization, and there are strict age requirements for eligibility.

Who Ladder may be good for: Ladder’s highly adjustable term life insurance policies may be good for those with major life changes on the horizon that affect life insurance needs, such as buying a home or having a child.

 

Who Ladder may not be good for: Ladder’s limited life insurance options may not be a great fit for someone looking for a wider selection of insurance options.

New

What’s new with Ladder?

Ladder has partnered with AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation. The new partnership allows AmeriSave mortgage customers to purchase Ladder life insurance policies.

Ladder life insurance

Based on Bankrate’s analysis of Ladder life insurance, the company may be a choice worth considering for people between the ages of 20 and 60 who are interested in term life insurance policies. The company was founded in 2015 and offers term life insurance nationwide through a 100 percent online interface. This enables prospective policyholders to complete everything from obtaining a life insurance quote to filling out an application to securing coverage online. 

Here’s what you should know about the types of life insurance products Ladder offers:

  • Term: Term life insurance policies are the only type of life insurance on offer from Ladder. Term policies, unlike permanent life insurance, are not lifelong. Instead, term life insurance is only active for a set number of years (as long as premiums are paid). Ladder’s terms are 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years and do not require a medical exam for coverage amounts below $3 million. In fact, if you are seeking less than $3 million in coverage, your application may be approved in minutes. For policies between $3 million and $8 million, you may need to complete a medical exam
    • “Laddering” coverage: Ladder’s titular feature allows policyholders to adjust their life insurance amounts as many times as they would like throughout the term of their policy. Ladder does not charge its customers for the adjusting process; however, you will likely face a higher premium if you increase your coverage amount. 

Life insurance can be a complex product, but Ladder’s streamlined approach might make the shopping process less daunting. Still, for those who want to customize their policy with riders or to purchase permanent life insurance, Ladder may not be the best choice. Additionally, note that Ladder does not underwrite its own life insurance policies. Instead, they are issued by Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, Amica Life Insurance and Allianz Life Insurance Company, all of which have high financial strength ratings with AM Best.

Pros and cons of Ladder life insurance

Pros
  • Policies under $3 million don't require medical exams

  • Provides convenient digital platforms for managing and applying for policies

  • Partner underwriting companies rated A (Excellent) or better by AM Best

Cons
  • Only offers term life insurance policies

  • Only adults between 20-60 can apply

  • No policy riders available for personalization

Ladder life insurance endorsements

Ladder does not offer any policy endorsements or riders. Rather, the company takes a simplified approach by only offering term plans with no endorsement options. Ladder has stated that they don't see the benefit of riders as being worth the increased premium costs to customers.

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Compare Ladder with other insurers

If you're looking for different types of life insurance policies but are still interested in a digital insurance experience, other companies may be worth investigating. To find the most affordable life insurance, it may benefit you to consider some of the best cheap life insurance companies selected by Bankrate’s industry experts. And if you’re unsure how much you should be paying for quality life insurance, Bankrate’s explainer on life insurance costs may help to clarify what constitutes a good deal.

Ladder vs. Bestow

Another digital life option, Bestow offers up to $1.5 million in term life insurance without a medical exam. Bestow might be a good choice for people interested in term policies for $1.5 million or below and those who either can't or don't want to find policies through Ladder insurance. Those who do not qualify for Ladder life due to their age may find this a viable alternative.

Learn more: Bestow Insurance review

Ladder vs. Ethos

Ethos uses algorithmic underwriting to offer many instant life insurance approvals for term or whole life through five highly-rated life insurance companies. In many cases, Ethos does not require medical exams of its applicants. People who want an online experience with life insurance but don't qualify for Ladder life and those who are interested in whole life policies may find Ethos to be a good alternative.

Learn more: Ethos Insurance review

Ladder vs. Lemonade

Customers can apply for up to $1.5 million in term life insurance through Lemonade’s 100 percent digital platform. Philanthropic-minded individuals may enjoy learning that leftover company profits are donated annually to a charity of their choice. Lemonade also offers car and home insurance policies. Since Ladder only offers life insurance, those who want to bundle their policies may find Lemonade to be a better choice.

Learn more: Lemonade Insurance review

Is Ladder a good insurance company?

Ladder may be a good life insurance company for some, but it has limited options when it comes to insurance products. The company only offers term life policies and does not allow for any riders (endorsements) on those policies. Still, the companies that underwrite Ladder life policies are highly rated, and Ladder offers a host of digital conveniences for policyholders. If you're only interested in term life and prioritize digital policy management, Ladder could be a good choice for you. 

Ladder’s unique, adjustable approach to term life insurance may be convenient to policyholders whose changing circumstances could require them to alter their coverage level at a moment’s notice. Additionally, Ladder’s digital-first approach to insurance and sleek web design may be well-suited for customers who prefer to manage their policies online — but not the best choice for those looking to work with a live agent.

Ladder customer satisfaction

Our Ladder life insurance review would not be complete without looking at the company’s third-party ratings. Ladder was not scored in the 2023 J.D. Power Individual or 2022 Group Life Insurance Study, but Bankrate looked at AM Best scores for Ladder’s underwriting partners. The results were promising: all three of Ladder’s underwriting partners received high marks for financial strength, which indicates that Ladder has a strong likelihood of being able to pay out its claims.

Study or Rating Agency Ladder Industry average
2023 J.D. Power Individual Life Insurance Study Not scored 790/1,000
2022 J.D. Power Group Life Insurance Study Not scored 797/1,000
AM Best rating Allianz: A+ (Superior) Amica: A+ (Superior) Fidelity: A- (Excellent) N/A

Ladder customer complaints

Looking at Ladder’s complaint index from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) can give you a better image of how pleased Ladder customers are with the company as a whole. Established in 1871, the NAIC is a regulating body for the insurance industry. Among other obligations, the NAIC rates companies based on customer complaints. The NAIC system has a 1.0 rating as the baseline of average complaint levels. Higher complaints push companies over 1.0, while fewer complaints push them below it. The NAIC rates companies as a whole and for each insurance product it sells.

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We evaluated the NAIC individual life insurance complaint index for each of Ladder’s underwriting partners. The results were mixed: Allianz and Amica’s indexes were on the lower ends of the spectrum, while Fidelity’s skewed much higher.

We evaluated the NAIC individual life insurance complaint index for each of Ladder’s underwriting partners. The results were mixed: Allianz and Amica’s indexes were on the lower ends of the spectrum, while Fidelity’s skewed much higher.

We evaluated the NAIC individual life insurance complaint index for each of Ladder’s underwriting partners. The results were mixed: Allianz and Amica’s indexes were on the lower ends of the spectrum, while Fidelity’s skewed much higher.

Other Ladder tools and benefits

Ladder partnered with SoFi to offer its members a quick and convenient way to purchase adequate life insurance, which has expanded to estate planning. SoFi members who buy life insurance through the SoFi Protect homepage can now get a step-by-step guide to gathering estate planning documents with the ability to draft and execute wills at no cost through NetLaw's legal document platform.

Frequently asked questions about Ladder

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Written by
Natalie Todoroff
Writer, Insurance

Natalie Todoroff is an insurance writer for Bankrate, prior to which she wrote for a popular insurance comparison shopping app. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and has written over 800 articles about insurance throughout her career.

Edited by Editor, Insurance