Last Updated: June 2020
In our review of New York Life Insurance below, we will touch on the topics that most consumers tend to be the most interested in, such as the products offered, the most common complaints, and the perks of working with New York Life.
We will also provide some other top-rated companies to compare rates before you decide on a policy that fits your needs.
- About New York Life Insurance Company
- New York Life Insurance Ratings
- Review of Life Insurance Products Offered by New York Life
- What Makes New York Life Unique?
- The Application Process With New York Life is Old School
- Pros & Cons of New York Life Insurance
- Compare New York Life to Other Top Rated Companies
About New York Life Insurance Company
New York Life is one of the most well-known life insurance providers in the world, in addition to one of the longest-standing life insurance companies with a rich history. They are one of the top two largest life insurance companies in the country.
Currently, New York Life is considered the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States. A mutual life insurance company simply means you get to participate in company profits in the form of dividends each year based on company performance and company surplus.
New York Life is primarily known for cash value life insurance in addition to strong brand recognition and reasonably affordable term life insurance rates for healthy individuals in specific age ranges. New York Life is also known for a wide range of retirement solutions they can offer consumers in the form of investments, annuities, and even mutual funds.
New York Life History and Background
Founded in 1845, New York Life has nearly 175 years in operation under their belt. Currently, New York Life is ranked #69 on the Fortune 500 List and has more than 570 billion dollars in assets under management.
New York Life gained popularity and consumers in the early years by offering life insurance to soldiers during the American Civil War. New York Life is also the first life insurance company to offer life insurance coverage to women back in 1892.
Currently, New York Life operates using captive life insurance agents. This means that agents are provided training but paid as employees of the company. This also means that as the consumer, you can’t purchase life insurance with other companies working with a New York Life agent.
While this isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, we typically recommend keeping all options open and working with an independent life insurance agent who can offer you several options.
Especially if you are an individual with health conditions or special circumstances that need to be met.
New York Life Insurance Ratings
New York Life has always been known for being one of the strongest life insurance companies in the world when it comes to financial strength. New York Life and Northwestern Mutual are two companies that are typically always provided with the highest rating a life insurance company can be provided.
Here are the ratings for New York Life Insurance:
- A.M. Best: “A++” (superior) rating
- Affordability Index: 7.2
- Ease of Applying: 7.9
- Customer Service: 9.8
- COMDEX Ranking: 100
A.M. Best is the industry benchmark for financial strength in the life insurance industry. The other three metrics are based on a number of factors including our industry knowledge of New York Life compared with other companies. The COMDEX ranking is a composite score that considers A.M. Best and other top ratings agencies.
As the consumer, financial strength, history, and stability are concerns that shouldn’t even cross your mind working with a company as strong as NYL.
If that’s not enough to make you confident working with New York Life, don’t forget that they also have over 300 billion dollars in assets and more than 24 billion dollars in surplus cash, which is nothing short of outstanding.
BBB Ratings and Consumer Complaints
BBB ratings and what consumers have to say about a company can go a long way to giving you peace of mind about your decision to purchase coverage.
Currently, New York Life about as good as you can ask for according to the BBB. They are being rated as an A+, which is the highest rating possible, with only 76 complaints closed in the last 3 years. This is by far a lower amount of complaints than we typically see compared to other life insurance companies relative in size.
This plus a strong J.D. Power and Associates rating makes them a no-doubter to choose for coverage if customer satisfaction and financial strength are two of the most essential things you are looking for as the policyholder/consumer.
Review of Life Insurance Products Offered by New York Life
New York Life has a very robust lineup of life insurance products, financial products, and additional riders and options you can choose when purchasing life insurance.
Here’s a look at the primary lineup and coverage options you can choose from:
- Term Life Insurance
- Whole Life Insurance (Wide Range of Options)
- Variable Life Insurance (Wide Range of Options)
- Custom Whole Life Insurance (Allows for Limited Pay Options)
- Other (Disability Insurance, Group Life Insurance, Mutual Funds, Annuities)
New York Life Offers Great Permanent Life Insurance
While New York Life is one of the best in the business with offering permanent life insurance that can be customized in several ways, they aren’t necessarily the most competitive term life insurance option on the market.
Other options with New York Life are great to consider, such as variable life insurance, and even long-term care insurance.
However, as always, we recommend comparing options and rates with an expert and comparing rates with a half dozen companies before ultimately making your decision.
Additional Coverage Options and Riders
Riders offered by life insurance companies are designed to enhance your policy and add additional layers of protection to fit your needs.
New York Life happens to offer several. Here’s a brief look at those options.
- Living Benefits – Allows you to access cash from term life policies if diagnosed with 12 months or less to live.
- Spouse Paid-Up Insurance – Pays up a full life insurance policy for the surviving spouse.
- Accidental Death Riders – Provides lump-sum cash benefits if a death occurs to the primary insured by means of an accident.
- Children Insurance Rider – Allows you to place coverage on your children if god forbid something was to happen to them.
- Insurance Exchange – Allows you to transfer your life insurance to a different primary insured.
- Chronic Care Rider – Allows you to access cash value from your policy if you are diagnosed with a chronic illness.
- Child Protection – Allows your child to take over a policy for a deceased parent until the age of 25 with no additional premiums paid.
- Waiver of Premium – Waives premium payments for your policy if you become disabled due to injury or illness and are unable to work and pay your premiums.
- Dividend Option Term – Allows you to purchase extra term life insurance protection with your dividend that’s provided to you yearly based on company performance and surplus.
- Level Premium Convertible Term – Allows you to purchase a 5-year term policy that remains level in the price for 5 years and remains convertible for up to ten years.
- Paid-up Additions – Allows you to add cash value to your policy each year with your dividend return.
Clearly, coverage options and additional features are one area that New York Life takes pride in offering consumers.
This is an area where we believe they accel and likely have something to fit everyone’s needs.
The question becomes if they have the best pricing and the best chances of being approved for coverage.
What Makes New York Life Unique?
New York Life is unique for several reasons. First, being the juggernaut and long-standing company, they make them stand in a class of their own. Not many companies can come close to their numbers.
Additionally, New York Life has a consistent track record of paying great returns on dividends and has perhaps the most robust product lineup and additional riders compared to other companies you can choose.
Who Should Consider New York Life?
Individuals who should be considering New York Life may fall into a few different categories. First, any consumers who need the most well-known and financially strong insurance option should consider New York Life.
Secondly, people who enjoy the ability to customize their coverage truly would be wise to consider running a quote with the company.
Lastly, individuals who are healthy and relatively young can find cheap term life insurance with New York Life, and it’s worth your time to check out their rates.
On the flip side, if you don’t meet these guidelines and perhaps need the ability to work with several companies to compare rates with due to health conditions, you would be better served to consider coverage with another life insurance company.
The Application Process With New York Life is Old School
The life insurance application process is one of the weaknesses you will encounter when working with New York Life. First, you will likely have to meet with an agent that many consumers don’t prefer. They aren’t known as the most innovative or tech-savvy company and don’t offer any easy online processes to submit through.
New York Life is considered much more of an old school company with a face to face personal approach.
Some love it, and some hate it.
Next Step If You Have Been Declined
New York Life also has a weakness in the fact that they have relatively stringent underwriting guidelines. If you are declined with New York Life, they do have a few options they can use to try and use re-insurance to help you gain coverage. Outside of this, you are out of luck.
Again, if you have a list of health conditions or previous health issues, you are much better off working with an independent agent.
Pros & Cons of New York Life Insurance
We have clearly illustrated several significantly strong points about New York Life.
Here’s what we would consider being the top 3 benefits you can enjoy choosing them for coverage.
- Longest Standing and Most Financially Sound Life Insurance Company
- Top-Notch Product Lineup with Robust Options and Riders
- Strong Performing Cash Value Life Insurance
On the flip side, negatives and drawbacks always present with just about any life insurance company.
Here are the 3 most significant drawbacks you may encounter.
- Stringent underwriting guidelines
- More competitive term life insurance pricing available
- No ability to purchase no exam coverage
Compare New York Life to Other Top Rated Companies
It is always best to compare rates with as many life insurance companies as possible before settling on a policy. Doing so ensures you get the best chances of being approved for coverage and likely helps you to achieve the cheapest rates possible.
While New York Life may be one of the best in the business, you certainly have other great options with equally strong life insurance companies with unique strengths to offer.
Below are some other life insurance companies to review.