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New York Life Insurance review 2022

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Bottom line: New York Life Insurance Company earns exceptional financial strength ratings from AM Best, Moody’s, Fitch and S&P, as well as high customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power. If you’re looking for one of the top life insurance companies with a wide variety of policy options, accountable customer service and top-tier financial ratings, you may find this New York Life Insurance review helpful in your research.

Perks Drawbacks
Several types of life insurance policies and investment services available Limit of 20 years for term insurance
Pays dividends Requires a medical exam for underwriting
Accelerated death benefits for conditions such as chronic illness Annual-renewable term insurance policy premiums increase from year to year
Positive customer satisfaction ratings
High financial strength ratings

New York Life insurance coverage types

Founded in 1845 and headquartered in New York City, New York Life offers a variety of life insurance policies, which provide a greater likelihood of finding a policy that fits both your insurance needs and your budget. New York Life offers four different life insurance policy options: whole, term, universal and variable universal. When it comes time to choose the right policy, working with a licensed insurance agent can help ensure you make the right selections and fully understand the differences between the various policy options in the context of your financial situation.

  • Term: New York Life offers a term life insurance policy, which allows you to select the length and the death benefit of the policy that works best for your short-term financial goals. It is referred to as a “term” policy because you choose the amount of time during which you will be paying fixed premiums towards a death benefit. Some policies allow for as little as one year terms, but most are between 10 to 30 years. The benefit of term life is you have a fixed premium for each month, which can make it easier to budget. However, unlike other options, there is no cash value account component to the policy, and you may end up paying toward a death benefit that is never issued if you outlive your policy term. The cost of your premiums depends on numerous factors, including your age, term length, health and amount of death benefit you select. New York Life offers a few riders, which includes:
    • Conversion: This is an option to convert to a whole life policy ahead of your term reaching its expiration.
    • Spouse’s paid-up insurance purchase option: This rider allows your spouse to purchase insurance without a medical exam if you pass away.
    • Disability waiver of premium: If you become disabled and can no longer pay your premiums, New York Life can cover the cost of premiums with this waiver.
    • Living benefits: This rider allows you to use a portion of your death benefit if you need to use it to pay for treatment or care for a terminal illness.
  • Permanent: A permanent, or whole life policy, remains in effect throughout your entire life, as long as you pay the premiums. The policy has two components to it, including a death payout to your beneficiaries, and the policy builds cash value that is typically tax-deferred. This gives you the flexibility to use your cash value for life events, such as helping pay for home renovations or unexpected medical bills.
    • Universal: A universal life insurance policy from New York Life is similar to a whole life option, since the policy does build cash value. With this policy you have greater flexibility and can adjust the death benefit throughout the life of the policy. When you do, it will also impact the cash value component, but it still gives you options depending on what your financial priorities are at a given time.
    • Variable universal life: This option is similar to a universal life policy, but provides you the ability to invest in the market and gain tax advantages.

New York Life insurance customer and claims satisfaction

New York Life Insurance Company has received the highest possible financial strength ratings currently awarded to any U.S. life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies, including an A++ (Superior) AM Best rating, Fitch (AAA), Moody’s (Aaa) and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) (AA+). Customers are generally satisfied with the company, as indicated by the results of J.D. Power’s survey on customer satisfaction.

New York Life receives a score of 777 out of 1,000 points in the 2021 J.D. Power Life Insurance study, which is above the industry average. New York Life has very few policyholder complaints registered with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), receiving only 3 complaints in 2021, which is far below industry baseline.

Not sure if New York Life is right for you? Consider these alternatives

New York Life offers numerous benefits to policyholders, but life insurance is a significant personal financial planning choice. Many financial and insurance experts strongly recommend comparing multiple providers to find the right fit.

Below are some other options to consider:

  • Mutual of Omaha: Like New York Life, Mutual of Omaha offers strong customer satisfaction ratings and an A+ (Superior) AM Best rating for financial strength. Mutual of Omaha also offers flexibility across whole, term and universal life insurance policies, including a variety of term lengths and benefit options.
  • State Farm: State Farm is a household name for auto and home insurance, but it also offers several life insurance options, including whole, term, universal and variable policies. You can also opt to start the life insurance quote process online, which is not an available option with many other life insurance providers.
  • Northwestern Mutual: Northwestern Mutual offers whole, term and universal policy options, including those for older individuals and smokers. Northwestern Mutual also provides flexible conversion options if you decide you need to update your policy throughout your lifetime.
Written by
Sara Coleman
Insurance Contributor
Sara Coleman is an insurance contributor at Bankrate. She has a couple of years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, Reviews.com, Coverage.com and numerous other personal finance sites. She writes about insurance products such as auto, homeowners, renters and disability.
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Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute