I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them. Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 19, 2021

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Life insurance is a valuable tool for meeting financial objectives and protecting your family. Funeral costs, mortgage payments and personal debts may all fall to your loved ones should you pass without having a policy.

However, these benefits will only be distributed when the policy is active. If you have a term life insurance policy, that means your coverage will expire at some point.

Whole life insurance, on the other hand, offers a lifetime of protection for your family.

10 Best Whole Life Insurance Policies for 2021

Here are the 10 best providers of whole life insurance policies in 2021:

When it comes to identifying the best life insurance providers, the basic characteristics to look at include coverage options, customer service, and financial stability:

  • Coverage options should be compared because you want to make sure you find the exact whole life policy your family needs, at a rate that is reasonable.
  • Customer service is of the utmost important when it comes to life insurance claims. You want your family to be paid timely and in full; agents should be compassionate and helpful.
  • Financial stability means that the provider you work with can pay claims in the first place. Insurance companies can fail, so financially stable providers are highly desired.

To ensure that each insurance provider we’ve researched can be appraised in these categories, we selected a blend of measures to consider. These include, when applicable or when information is available:

  • Market share according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
  • Financial stability ratings from leading agencies such as Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and AM Best.
  • Customer service ratings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot.
  • Official complaints tracked by the NAIC, as well as complaints or negative reviews from BBB and Trustpilot.

These metrics are weighed in addition to overall research completed on the provider, such as years in operation, types of whole life policies offered, and the availability of discounts and riders. Here are those top 10 whole life insurance companies.

1. Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha logo

Mutual of Omaha may be known to some for the wildlife program it sponsors. However, the company happens also to be a leading insurance and financial services provider.

A century-plus track record of customer service and financial stability, as well as innovative products, makes Mutual of Omaha a top choice for many. And if you’re looking for a whole life insurance policy, Mutual of Omaha has a solution that’s robust, customizable and purchasable entirely online.

Most traditional providers still require you apply with or purchase through an agent. Mutual of Omaha gives customers the choice to buy online or over the phone. From start to finish, applying, being approved and purchasing online takes about a week. Mutual of Omaha also offers whole life insurance for children, which may interest some families.

Mutual of Omaha Company Overview

  • Company phone: 402-342-7600
  • Headquarters address: 3300 Mutual of Omaha Plaza, Omaha, NE 68175
  • Founding date: 1909
  • Company size: National
  • Diverse financial services and insurance provider, among the first to offer policies for disability and long-term care
  • Underwriter: United of Omaha Life Insurance Company

Financial Strength & Company Ratings

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA- (Very Strong)
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: A1 (Good)
  • AM Best Financial Rating: A+ (Superior)
  • BBB rating: A+, accredited
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint index for individual life in 2018: 0.98, below national index of 2.20 (United of Omaha Life Insurance Company)
  • J.D Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study: Ranked No. 5 in overall customer satisfaction

Mutual of Omaha Whole Life Insurance

Mutual of Omaha offers guaranteed coverage through its whole life policies, the specifics of which depend on whether you purchase online or through an agent.

Online policies can be bought by adults age 45 to 85 (50 to 75 in New York), and coverage can range between $2,000 and $25,000 (coverage starts at $5,000 in Washington). No medical exam or health questions are needed, and the policy comes with Everest Funeral Concierge expert service at no cost.

If you purchase over the phone, you have two options, both of which feature simplified underwriting. A level benefits whole life plan (coverage is between $2,000 and $40,000, except in Washington) comes with an accelerated death benefit for terminal illness or nursing home confinement. A graded benefits plan (which has a different structure in the first two years of the policy can be bought for $2,000 to $20,000 in coverage, excluding Washington.

The ease of applying, the choice of policies, and the high-quality service all make Mutual of Omaha our top whole life insurance company.

Mutual of Omaha

  • A+ BBB Rating
  • Guaranteed Coverage
  • Simple Application Process

2. MassMutual

Massachusetts Mutual logo

Companies predating the Civil War don’t just stick around because they’re OK; they have such longevity because Americans have trusted them for decades.

In life insurance, that counts for a lot. So it’s saying something that MassMutual has been around for nearly 170 years and is still going strong, boasting some of the best financial stability ratings in the industry. That strength helps underpin its life insurance products, including whole life insurance.

MassMutual Company Overview

  • Company phone: 413-788-8411
  • Headquarters address: 1295 State St., Springfield, MA 01111
  • Founding date: 1851
  • Company size: National
  • A Fortune 500 company with over 160 years of helping individuals and families plan finances
  • Underwriter: Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

Financial Strength & Company Ratings

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA+ (Very Strong)
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: Aa3 (High Quality)
  • AM Best Financial Rating: A++ (Superior)
  • BBB rating: B-, not accredited
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint index for individual life in 2018: 0.12, below national index of 2.20 (United of Omaha Life Insurance Company)
  • J.D Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study: Ranked No. 10 in overall customer satisfaction

MassMutual Whole Life Insurance

While customers can apply for term coverage online, taking out a whole life policy still requires speaking with an agent. MassMutual has financial professionals all over the country, so it shouldn’t be a problem. You can start by getting a quote online.

MassMutual whole life insurance comes with a guaranteed death benefit and premiums that are locked in for the life of the policy. It also generates cash value, allowing policyholders to tap into tax-deferred savings for expenses like future premium, retirement costs, or medical bills.

Participating whole life plans also stand to earn dividends, which can increase the death benefit or be used for other reasons. While MassMutual discloses that dividends are not guaranteed, it also noted the company has paid them consistently since 1869.

MassMutual

  • A+ BBB Rating
  • Guaranteed Coverage
  • Simple Application Process

3. AIG Direct

aig direct logo

AIG is one of the largest insurers in the marketplace, including life. Through AIG Direct, the multinational services firm offers life insurance and other products at a largely affordable rate.

Though the group’s financial standing is still recovering from the 2008 global collapse, AIG represents a trusted provider since 1919, indicated by its market share and customer service ratings. With AIG Direct, consumers have an easy way to apply for and buy whole life insurance that is budget-friendly.

AIG Direct Company Overview

  • Company phone: (858) 309-3000
  • Headquarters address: 9640 Granite Ridge Dr #200, San Diego, CA, 92123
  • Founding date: 1995
  • Company size: National
  • Part of the larger American International Group (AIG) business family, offering direct insurance services to customers
  • Underwriter: American General Life Insurance Company

Financial Strength & Company Ratings

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: A++
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: Baa1
  • AM Best Financial Rating: A (Excellent)
  • BBB rating: A+, accredited
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint index for individual life in 2018: 3.58, above national index of 2.20
  • J.D Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study: Ranked No. 22 in overall customer satisfaction

AIG Direct Whole Life Insurance

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life is the main whole life insurance product offered by AIG Direct.

If you’re between 50 and 85, acceptance is guaranteed, meaning you can’t be turned down for health reasons and don’t have to complete a medical exam. AIG Direct whole life insurance is ideal for seniors for that reason.

Coverage can range between $5,000 and $25,000, and a living benefits rider for chronic and terminal illness is included at no cost. Cash value accrual is standard and premiums stay level.

AIG Direct

  • Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Policies
  • Favorable Underwriting
  • Level Premiums

4. American National

American-National-Insurance-Company-logo1

When you work with American National, you know you’re interacting with a business that’s steadily built a reputation for itself as a trusted insurance provider. That perception and performance matter for consumers who are seeking a whole life insurance policy.

American National offers largely standard whole life products, but the level of service they put behind it makes it valuable. You can get a quote online, or view the various insurance forms you’ll need to complete, which can help you prepare for the application itself.

American National Life Insurance Compay Overview

  • Company phone: 409-763-4661
  • Headquarters address: One Moody Plaza, Galveston, TX 77550
  • Founding date: 1905
  • Company size: National
  • Diversified insurance provider that places financial integrity and customer service at the core of its values proposition
  • Underwriter: American National Insurance Company

Financial Strength & Company Ratings

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: A
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: n/a
  • AM Best Financial Rating: A
  • BBB rating: NR, not accredited
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint index for individual life in 2018: 0.92, below national index of 2.20
  • J.D Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study: n/a

American National Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance from American National conforms closely to what is expected of such policies: fixed premiums for a lifetime of coverage, plus the bonus of cash value.

American National has a handful of options to choose from, including whole life policies that have premiums paid until 90 or 95. A signature policy opens up the chance to earn dividend payments, while others feature increasing premiums that pay off the policy by the 20th or 21st year of a policy’s life.

American National (ANICO)

  • Customizable Plans
  • Competitive Premiums
  • Superior Customer Service

5. Guardian Life

guardian insurance logo

While it may not have the same name recognition across the country as other providers, Guardian Life retains an excellent reputation for customer service. Founded by a German-American businessman and civil rights lawyer in 1860, Guardian maintains a broad menu of financial products and services. It has since grown to become one of the largest companies by market share in the life insurance industry.

Whole life insurance is a staple offering of Guardian Life, and you begin the purchasing process by contacting a financial representative or having one contact you. To aid customers, Guardian Life has a series of videos on whole life insurance education.

Guardian Life Insurance Company Overview

  • Company phone: 212-598-8000
  • Headquarters address: Hanover Sq., New York, NY 10004
  • Founding date: 1860
  • Company size: National
  • Serves more than 27 million customers with insurance products and wealth management services
  • Underwriter: Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

Financial Strength & Company Ratings

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA+ (Very Strong)
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: Aa2 (Excellent)
  • AM Best Financial Rating: A++ (Superior)
  • BBB rating: A+, accredited
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint index for individual life in 2018: 0.08, below national index of 2.20 (United of Omaha Life Insurance Company)
  • J.D Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study: Ranked No. 12 in overall customer satisfaction

Guardian Life Whole Life Insurance

Advantages to a Guardian Life whole life policy are the financial flexibility as well as specialty whole life programs. The specs of the whole life product are similar to others: guaranteed premiums that won’t increase and coverage for life.

Guardian Life also gives you the option to include your business as a beneficiary. Dividends have been paid historically since 1868, but are not guaranteed.

In regard to cash value, you accumulate tax-advantaged funds that defer tax. You also have the possibility to borrow against cash value and not count the income as taxation.

Riders include care for chronic or terminal illness, or disability. One notable rider is the Index Participation Feature. Whole life policyholders can opt into a program that links a portion of their cash value to the S&P 500 Price Return Index, creating opportunity for further cash value buildup.

Guardian also offers a whole life program for individuals living with HIV or AIDs, who may find it difficult to otherwise get life insurance because of health risk.

6. AXA Equitable

axa life insurance logo

In 1859, The Equitable was founded and soon began creating insurance products to fit the needs of a growing nation and populace. Its history is marked by introducing new policies during the Great Depression, as well as marketing the first variable annuity and life insurance products.

By the 1990s The Equitable had received a $1 billion investment from global financial services firm AXA Group, and is now fully under its umbrella as the AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company. The reputation for industry-leading solutions and financial stability backed by a multinational giant make AXA Equitable a desirable provider for whole life insurance. Either call, chat or email an agent to start the process of buying a policy.

AXA Equitable Company Overview

  • Company phone: 212-554-1234
  • Headquarters address: 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY  10104
  • Founding date: 1859
  • Company size: National
  • Part of French multinational financial services firm, pioneer of many annuity and life insurance products
  • Underwriter: AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company

Financial Strength & Company Ratings

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: A+ (Strong)
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: A2 (Good)
  • AM Best Financial Rating: A (Excellent)
  • BBB rating: A+, accredited
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint index for individual life in 2018: 0.27, below national index of 2.20 (United of Omaha Life Insurance Company)
  • J.D Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study: Ranked No. 12 in overall customer satisfaction

AXA Equitable Whole Life Insurance

The main whole life insurance product offered by AXA Equitable is the Interest Sensitive Whole Life policy.

It guarantees a death benefit and level premiums, and accumulates cash value that increases annually and by year 100 reaches the face amount of the policy.

The cash value can further be enhanced with other credits or interest-bearing applications. When it comes to riders, AXA Equitable makes a few available for whole life policies, including living benefits at no charge and disability premium waivers and children term insurance at some charge.

7. Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern mutual logo

Also featured in our top 10 term life insurance companies, Northwestern Mutual deserves an appearance on this list for the quality of products it offers, as well as the responsive customer service and solid financial backing it supplies.

With a number of products and services offered, customers can be sure they’ll be able to find and craft a policy that is right for their needs.

Whole life policies available from Northwestern Mutual can help protect family finances for a lifetime and grant them cash value benefits in the near term to make a down payment, help pay for parents’ medical care or save for college. You can’t buy online, but you can access a wealth of support materials to become more familiar with life insurance, or calculate how much you’ll need.

Northwestern Mutual Company Overview

  • Company phone: 414-271-1444
  • Headquarters address: 720 East Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
  • Founding date: 1857
  • Company size: National
  • Attains highest financial ratings possible from each independent agency
  • Underwriter: Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Financial Strength & Company Ratings

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: A++
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: Aaa
  • AM Best Financial Rating: A++
  • BBB rating: A+, not accredited
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint index for individual life in 2018: 0.08, below national index of 2.20
  • J.D Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study: Ranked No. 2 in overall customer satisfaction

Northwestern Mutual whole life insurance

If you get whole life insurance through Northwestern Mutual, your policy will feature a premium that never increases and a death benefit that is guaranteed to pay out. These are standard features of any whole life policy, but Northwestern Mutual adds flexibility and value to that base coverage.

For instance, while you are living, you can make a lifetime gift of a whole life policy to an irrevocable life insurance trust for a child, grandchild, college or university, or a charitable foundation. Dividend payments also stand to increase your cash value.

8. Erie Insurance

erie insurance logo

If you happen to live in the Midwest or Appalachian area, Erie Insurance is a great regional option for protecting your family.

Available in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and District of Columbia, Erie Insurance can help you find a policy that is grants your personalized, cost-effective coverage.

When it comes to whole life, Erie Insurance has a competitive product that features a streamlined application process, but still requires speaking with an agent to purchase.

Erie Insurance Company Overview

  • Company phone: 817-870-2000
  • Headquarters address: 100 Erie Insurance Place, Erie, PA 16530
  • Founding date: 1925
  • Company size: DC, IL, IN, KY, MD, MN, NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, WI, WV
  • Midwest and Appalachian regional leader in diverse insurance products and financial services, more than 5 million policies
  • Underwriter: Erie Family Life Insurance Company

Financial Strength & Company Ratings

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: n/a
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: n/a
  • AM Best Financial Rating: A (Excellent)
  • BBB rating: A+, not accredited
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint index for individual life in 2018: 0.26, below national index of 2.20
  • J.D Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study: n/a

Erie Insurance Whole Life Insurance

A whole life policy from Erie Insurance, underwritten by Erie Family Life Insurance Company, comes with guaranteed level premiums, death benefit, and cash value.

Erie offers some flexibility by giving customers the choice of several different payment structures. As an added bonus, accidental death benefits are included as a rider at no extra cost. Coverage amounts are capped at $90,000, but you can get a decision on your application for whole life insurance in as few as 15 minutes.

Erie also offers whole life insurance for children that can be a legacy gift.

9. State Farm

statefarm insurance logo

One of the most recognizable insurance brands in America, State Farm can help families find affordable and customizable whole life policies.

The company is ranked as the best insurance provider overall for satisfaction by JD Power, so interested consumer know they are working with an insurer who is reputable and able to handle claims. To start the process, you can get a free online quote and then talk to an agent directly.

State Farm Company Overview

  • Company phone: 309-766-2311
  • Headquarters address: One State Farm Plaza, Bloomington, IL  61710
  • Founding date: 1922
  • Company size: National
  • The largest automobile and property and casualty provider in the U.S.
  • Underwriter: State Farm Life Insurance Company

Financial Strength & Company Ratings

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: Aa1
  • AM Best Financial Rating: A++
  • BBB rating: NR, not accredited
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint index for individual life in 2018: 0.27, below national index of 2.20
  • J.D Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study: Ranked No. 1 in overall customer satisfaction

State Farm Whole Life Insurance

An advantage to whole life policies from State Farm is the highly customizable payment structure of the policy. State Farm offers a few options, all of which entail a lifetime of protection, cash value that is often passed along income tax-free to beneficiaries, and potential dividend payments.

The basic option comes with a level premium for a, while the Limited Pay Life package limits premiums to 10, 15 or 20 years, blending term and whole life. The Single Premium Life policy is exactly that: lifetime protection for one premium.

The flexibility in payments is a positive aspect for many.

10. Gerber Life

gerber life insurance logo

You might know Gerber as the baby food company; but did you know the company also sells life insurance? The Gerber Products Family is diverse, offering life insurance, as well as policies that can be written for children. That’s not a common product on the market and may interest certain families with unique needs.

Also of interest is the online application process, which is another differentiator from the market. You can use your personal device to apply for coverage, choose an amount, and set up payments.

Gerber Life Insurance Company Overview

  • Company phone: 800-704-2180
  • Headquarters address: 445 State St, Fremont, MI 49412
  • Founding date: 1967
  • Company size: National
  • A subsidiary of the Gerber products family, offers families a chance to find insurance for children
  • Underwriter: Gerber Life Insurance Policy

Financial Strength & Company Ratings

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: n/a
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: n/a
  • AM Best Financial Rating: A
  • BBB rating: A+, not accredited
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint index for individual life in 2018: 1.19, below national index of 2.20
  • J.D Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study: n/a

Gerber Life Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance from Gerber Life is available from $50,000 to $300,000. It includes a level premium over the policy’s duration and guaranteed death benefits, given premiums are paid.

Cash value is also a basic feature of the Gerber whole life policy. It discloses that any loan taken out against the value will be charged at an interest rate of 8%. For most, no medical exam is needed, and you can get a decision in minutes.

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Benefits of Whole Life Insurance

With whole life insurance, as long as you pay fixed premiums, your policy will stay active and your benefits will be guaranteed. You can further expand your coverage with the addition of riders and customize your family’s protection to meet exact needs.

There’s another reason that consumers are drawn to whole life insurance, which is also sometimes called permanent life insurance. That factor is cash value.

Advantages of Cash Value

As you pay premiums, a portion of those funds will be transferred into an account you can withdraw from. The cash value aspect, which is not available for term life insurance policies, has many advantages.

There are no restrictions on what you can use that money for, and you can also take loans against it, or use it as collateral for other loans. The money grows at a tax-deferred rate and can even be used for future premiums.

Just be aware that interest will accompany any loan, and that the sum of what you withdraw will be taken out of the eventual death benefit.

Is Whole Life Insurance Worth It?

Whole life insurance grants a significant level of peace of mind for you and your family. Yet that increased level of guarantee and potential for cash value do come at a higher cost than term life insurance. That’s not to say you can’t find an affordable option if you look for it.

Whole life insurance is a core product of many providers, and comparing their coverage, rates, service, financial stability, and reputation can help you find the right insurer.

Finding The Best Whole Life Insurance Provider For Your Needs

A whole life policy grants substantial peace of mind that your family will be taken care of when you die. The guaranteed benefits and locked-in premiums are strong draws to this type of insurance.

Beyond that, cash value is a huge plus for policyholders, who can use those funds for whatever they want — bills, gifts, business ventures. While most whole life products will offer these basic benefits, it’s important to look at rates, customization, riders, and discounts to ensure you’re getting the cost-effective protection your family deserves and needs.

When you comparison shop, which is strongly advised, be sure to consider a insurer’s financial security, history, customer service ratings, and breadth of products.

All of these factors will be critical to identifying the best plan and provider for you. This list of the 10 best companies for whole life insurance is a good place to start.