The Largest Life Insurance Companies

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By nature, most life insurance companies are conservatively managed financial institutions. The largest life insurance companies are well-capitalized and have plenty of staying power. When shopping for new life insurance, there are several sound reasons to consider the largest investment grade life insurance companies in the country.

The largest insurance companies have been in business for many years. Solid financial ratings of these firms can encourage belief in your blue chip life insurance company.
The largest life insurers can also simplify your financial life with fast life insurance quotes and responsive customer service.

Largest Life Insurance Companies: New York Life

New York Life, headquartered in New York City, has written life insurance policies since 1845. The company is rated A++ (superior) by insurance company rated A. M. Best. Policyholder premiumsexceeded USD 8.5 billion (2014). New York Life is a mutual insurance company. A mutual insurer considers its policyholder customers as partial owners. Policyholders vote in company elections and participate in dividends if distributed.

New York Life’s underwriting guidelines mean better rates for healthy people:

  • Blood pressure readings shouldn’t exceed 130/80 to get New York Life’s select referred premium rates. Receive slightly higher preferred rates if your blood pressure is no more than 135/85.
  • Total cholesterol shouldn’t be higher than 250 mg/dL. Your highest HDL ratio reading shouldn’t exceed 4.5 to receive select preferred rates. Receive preferred rates for HDL ratios of 6 or less.

New York Life also writes life insurance premiums for AARP life insurance, the for-profit association that focuses on the needs of older Americans.

Largest Life Insurance Companies: State Farm Life Insurance

State Farm, headquartered in Illinois, was founded in 1922. The firm is rated A++ (superior) by A.M. Best. State Farm is a consumer favorite for property & casualty insurance (auto and home) as well as health and long term care insurance.

The company offers bundled insurance programs for qualified policyholders. State Farm wrote more than USD 4 billion in policy premiums and is one of the largest life insurers in the United States. Request a State Farm life insurance quote through the company’s online portal or contact your sales agent.

Expect a brief medical exam if you’re looking for policy face value of $250,000 or more. State Farm’s underwriters use statistics to predict life expectancy and to assess risk.
State Farm collects height/weight measurements, blood/urine specimens, check blood pressure, collect medical history, request release of medical records and, in some instances, order an EKG.

Get a good night’s rest the night before your medical exam, don’t drink alcohol, and avoid coffee on the day of your appointment. If you have elevated blood pressure, don’t consume salty foods before your tests. Drink lots of water to ease your blood draw. If you smoke, don’t use cigarettes for a day or two before the test.

Largest Life Insurance Companies: Transamerica Life Insurance

Transamerica, now headquartered in Iowa and a subsidiary of finance giant Aegon NV, began writing insurance in 1904 in San Francisco. After the devastating earthquake/fire of 1906, the firm temporarily moved to the San Francisco harbor and confirmed loans with a handshake. In 2014, Transamerica wrote USD 2.4 billion in premiums and is rated A+ (superior) by A.M. Best. In addition to life insurance, Transamerica also sells long term care, final expenses, Medicare supplement insurance, dental insurance, accidental death, and investments.

Transamerica gives healthy policyholders the best rates:

  • High blood pressure can indicate heart disease. Blood pressure should be no higher than 135/85 for individuals 70 years old or less. Standard plus rates are available for individuals with blood pressure readings of 148/88 or lower.
  • Nicotine use is a health negative. To receive the least expensive nonsmoking life insurance premium rates, applicants should be nicotine free for at least five years. To receive preferred or standard/average premium rates, the applicant should be nicotine-free for at least two years.
  • Substance abuse can increase mortality risks of the insured. To get Transamerica’s lowest premium life insurance rates, applicants should no history of substance or alcohol abuse. To receive average rates, the applicant must have no current history (prior history 7-10 years past) of alcohol or drug abuse. DWI convictions within five years may prevent applicants from obtaining life insurance from Transamerica.

It’s important to tell any life insurance company the truth about medical conditions, previous or current drug abuse issues, and items like DUI/DWI that appear on a public records database.

Largest Life Insurance Companies and Policyholder Value

Policyholders can easily obtain information about any large life insurance companies from their state insurance office, the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), or from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC):

  • As one of the largest life insurance companies, your insurer’s credit rating is closely monitored by A.M. Best and other rating agencies. Your life insurance company’s credit rating and liquidity are important considerations for your long-term relationship with them.
  • All large insurance companies reviewed offer term life insurance to policyholders. A term life policy pays an established face amount to your beneficiary if you die while coverage is in force. Term life insurance is considered the best value for most individuals. A term insurance rider can help you lock in the lowest rates for life insurance.
  • If you’re in search of a permanent or whole life insurance policy that combines a death benefit plus cash value, the country’s largest life insurance companies offer them. A whole life policy is in force as long as you pay designated premiums. There are many types of whole life insurance, so it’s important to perform research and request multiple quotes before making a purchase.

The largest life insurance companies in the U.S. are also some of the world’s largest financial institutions. In addition to New York Life, State Farm, and Transamerica, American General Life Insurance, Primerica, Prudential, and Gerber Life are among the nation’s largest life insurance underwriters. You can obtain fast life insurance quotes from any of these investment grade financial institutions.