New York Life Insurance Review

New York Life Insurance

Pros Explained

  • Excellent monetary stability: New York Life is the oldest insurance firm we reviewed. It has an A++ (superior) rating from AM Best, which is the very best possible monetary energy grade.
  • Policies are eligible for dividends: Although not guaranteed, New York Life’s entire life insurance policies are eligible for annual dividends. The company has paid dividends for 168 consecutive years, which is the second-longest of the 91 corporations we reviewed.
  • Broad selection of riders: New York Life offers a variety of riders for policy customization. It’s additionally one of our solely high life insurance coverage corporations that sells a disability income rider, which offers income alternative if you turn into disabled and are unable to work.This is one reason it’s our pick for the best entire life insurance coverage company for riders.
  • Policies obtainable for 90-year-old applicants: New York Life is one of only six of the ninety one companies we reviewed that considers applicants over eighty five for some insurance policies. That’s one cause why we named it the best general on our record of best life insurance firms for seniors.
  • Very few complaints for its size: New York Life acquired fewer complaints than expected for a life insurance coverage company of its measurement, based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Cons Explained

  • Difficult to search out some info on the net site: When reviewing New York Life, we discovered that its website accommodates restricted particulars about its offerings. For example, you won’t find protection amounts obtainable for term life. When we tried calling customer service, they referred us to a local agent.
  • Term policy durations capped at 20 years: If you would possibly be out there for life insurance coverage, know that New York Life caps term lengths at 20 years. For comparability, most of our top-rated time period life insurance coverage corporations provide term lengths of up to 30 or 40 years.
  • No on-line quotes for time period life insurance: New York Life does not have an online quote generator for term life insurance coverage. Many rivals, such as Nationwide and State Farm, provide on-line quotes.
  • Does not have a cellular app: If you want the convenience of paying your premium and managing your coverage on the go, New York Life is in all probability not the best choice. It doesn’t supply a cellular app, which competitors such as MassMutual have.

Complaint Index

New York Life received far fewer complaints than expected in comparison with other insurance coverage corporations of the same dimension. In reality, it ranked among the high quarter of the 91 insurance firms we reviewed, with fewer complaints than some other in style providers, like Mutual of Omaha and Transamerica.

How do we all know that? We appeared at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Index, which measures an insurance coverage company’s buyer complaints relative to its size. An index of 1 signifies that an insurer received precisely what number of complaints could be anticipated, given the quantity of insurance policies it underwrites. Companies with a grievance score above 1.0 have extra complaints than expected, and corporations with a grievance rating underneath 1.0 have fewer complaints than anticipated.

Over a three-year interval, New York Life’s average NAIC Complaint Index was zero.279 for individual life insurance. That means it got well beneath the variety of complaints expected for a corporation of its dimension.

Third-Party Ratings

New York Life also has the very best attainable financial energy score (A++) from AM Best, the leading credit rating group for all times insurance firms. AM Best rates firms based on their steadiness sheet, debt, and working efficiency. New York Life is one of 9 corporations out of the 91 carriers we reviewed that earned the very best letter grade from the score agency.

In addition, New York Life is rated barely above common for total buyer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2021 Individual Life Insurance Study. It earned a rating of 777 out of 1,000, which is one level greater than trade average score of 776 out of 1,000. New York Life ranked ninth on the listing of 21 insurance firms.


Before selecting a life insurance firm, it’s a good suggestion to check a quantity of totally different carriers. In the desk below, we in contrast New York Life to two different massive insurance coverage carriers, comparable in offerings and measurement (based on market share and annual premiums).

New York LifeNorthwestern MutualPrudential
Types of CoverageTerm, entire, common, variable universalTerm, whole, common, variable universalTerm, common, variable universal, indexed universal
Dividends for 2022$1.9 billion$6.5 billionDividends not offered
Online ApplicationNoNoYes
AM Best RatingA++A++A+
NAIC Complaint Index (averaged over 3 years)0.2790.0630.511
J.D. Power Ranking9315

Our scores keep in mind NAIC complaint index scores and AM Best ratings. The NAIC grievance index indicates what number of complaints an organization receives relative to its dimension. AM Best assesses a company’s ability to pay its claims on a graded scale, with A++ being the very best. All our greatest life insurance coverage firms have a minimum of an A rating.

Policies Available

New York Life sells a handful of life insurance merchandise. Here are the types of life insurance coverage out there, and the specific insurance policies you can purchase.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance provides protection for a specific number of years. If you move away in the course of the coverage interval, your beneficiary receives a death benefit, which is tax-free cash that can be utilized for any objective.

Below are the time period life policies that New York Life sells:

Level Premium Convertible Term 10-20

New York Life’s Level Premium Convertible Term 10-20 policy allows you to purchase term protection for a 10- or 20-year period. Your premiums remain fixed during the term, but after the time period ends, your premiums will enhance on an annual basis if you select to renew the protection. With this coverage, you have the choice to convert your term protection into an entire life coverage during the first five years of policy ownership. Converting your term life insurance coverage lets you get everlasting, lifetime safety without taking another medical examination sooner or later.

Yearly Convertible Term

With this policy, you may have the choice to convert to a permanent policy every year. This could additionally be a good option for people who need immediate coverage and aren’t but ready to commit to a everlasting policy, however will be quickly. Yearly Convertible Term policies have the bottom preliminary price, but annually you renew the term protection, your premium will go up.

Million Plus Level Term 10

This coverage is designed for people who want at least $1 million in protection. It has degree premiums over a 10-year period, and after that, your premium will improve on an annual basis if you renew protection. During the primary five years, you’ve the choice to transform your time period policy into everlasting protection.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is a sort of permanent coverage, which suggests it protects you in your lifetime. Whole life premiums stay constant all through the life of the policy, and supply a guaranteed dying benefit to your beneficiary if you move away. These policies construct cash value, which may be withdrawn or borrowed.

When you purchase entire life insurance from New York Life, you’re also eligible to obtain dividends based mostly on the company’s financial efficiency, which can speed up the expansion of your money value and dying profit. As famous above, the company has persistently paid dividends for the final 168 years. Here are the whole life policies obtainable from New York Life:

Whole Life Insurance

New York Life’s primary whole life coverage has degree premiums, money value, and the opportunity to receive annual dividends.

Custom Whole Life Insurance

The Custom Whole Life Insurance coverage from New York Life lets you pay your premium for a selected period of time (at least 5 years), after which the policy will be paid up. You’ll after all pay greater premiums throughout this time, however this sort of plan might help you keep away from paying premiums after retirement. Choosing the Custom Whole Life Insurance coverage also can allow you to maximize your cash value’s progress since you earn interest on a larger quantity for a longer time period..

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life (UL) insurance is one other type of permanent life insurance protection. Like whole life, universal life builds cash value, but the premiums and protection limits are adjustable. Universal life is often a good possibility if you’d like flexibility to skip a premium payment or pay more one month than the next. You can also be capable of change your policy’s demise benefit, depending in your financial wants and the policy’s efficiency.

The draw back to flexible funds is that should you don’t make sufficient premium payments, or if rates of interest aren’t what was expected when your policy was issued, you could have to pay extra in premiums in later years.

Some insurance providers (including New York Life) supply universal life insurance policies that may be structured like a term life policy.

New York Life sells three UL policies, together with:

Basic Universal Life Insurance

New York Life’s Basic UL policy offers lifetime protection, with the flexibility to regulate your coverage limits, length of protection, and premiums, based in your wants. Choosing this policy can help hold your prices manageable, as a end result of you’re capable of decrease your protection limits (and due to this fact, your premium) should you no longer need the amount of safety you initially purchased.

Custom Universal Life Guarantee 

The Custom Universal Life Guarantee policy from New York Life has a assured dying benefit, nevertheless it doesn’t accumulate money value and isn’t supposed to exchange true lifetime coverage. With this policy, you pay a fixed premium to maintain up your protection, but solely for so long as you need it. However, making any adjustments to the policy may cause the guarantee expiration date to change.

Protection Up to Age 90

One of New York Life’s unique policies is its universal life policy called Protection Up to Age ninety. As the name suggests, it supplies protection over a particular time frame, just like term coverage, till you flip 90 (coverage beyond ninety isn’t available). This policy is an effective possibility for those who need a high level of safety, because the minimal demise benefit is $1 million.

Variable Universal Life Insurance

Variable common life (VUL) insurance provides permanent, lifetime safety, with a fixed demise benefit and flexible premiums. With VUL, you invest the money value in subaccounts, that are like mutual funds, that achieve and lose value primarily based on the fund’s performance. Variable universal life insurance policies can be dangerous because your money worth is topic to features and losses based mostly on market situations. Additionally, variable life policies typically come with fees and tax implications that can make them more expensive to take care of relative to different kinds of life insurance coverage.

Variable universal life insurance coverage cash worth grows on a tax-deferred foundation. However, as with different forms of common life insurance coverage, you’ll be topic to odd federal earnings tax charges should you withdraw greater than the quantity you paid in premiums.

There is one variable common life coverage you ought to purchase from New York Life:

Variable Universal Life Accumulator II

New York Life’s only variable universal life coverage is recognized as Variable Universal Life Accumulator II. Depending in your threat tolerance and confidence with investing, you can either choose your own investment choices, or you can use a model-portfolio strategy and select fund combinations which have been chosen by monetary advisors.

Available Riders

One of the biggest benefits of New York Life is that the corporate offers all kinds of riders. Life insurance coverage riders are endorsements that can be added to your coverage. Some riders are free, while others are available for a fee. Riders change the phrases of your primary coverage, and sometimes provide further benefits that would in any other case not be covered.

Here are the riders that New York Life offers:

Some New York Life riders are solely out there in select states or with specific insurance policies, and the phrases of every rider can range depending on location.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider

New York Life presents a assured insurability rider, which allows you to buy further coverage without taking another medical examination.

Child Rider

A youngster rider will provide a demise benefit if one of your youngsters passes away.

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

A waiver of premium rider will waive your life insurance premiums if you turn into completely disabled. New York Life presents this rider for an added fee on its time period and entire life insurance insurance policies.

Disability Income Rider

A incapacity earnings life insurance rider will present income replacement if you turn into disabled and are quickly unable to work.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

New York Life sells an accidental death profit rider for a month-to-month fee when you have a complete life policy. This rider pays out an extra dying benefit if your dying is caused by an accident. The rider is simply out there for policyholders as much as age 70.

Terminal Illness Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

New York Life’s time period life insurance coverage and whole life insurance coverage policies embody a terminal sickness accelerated demise benefit rider at no further cost. This rider lets you use a portion of your death profit to pay for your medical care when you get identified with a terminal sickness. Although this rider is included at no cost, there’s a charge when you use it.

Long-Term Care Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

A long-term care accelerated dying benefit rider enables you to use money out of your dying benefit while you’re nonetheless dwelling to pay for long-term care bills, similar to a house well being aide or nursing house care. The advantages you obtain from a long-term care rider are often capped. For instance, you could be eligible to receive up to 2% of the policy’s face worth for nursing home care and 1% for home well being care on a monthly foundation. So they tend to be lower than what you would receive from a full long-term care coverage.

Chronic Illness Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

With New York Life’s persistent sickness accelerated dying benefit rider, you can obtain your death profit early (and tax-free) if you get diagnosed with a chronic illness. Usually, a health care provider must certify that you can not complete a sure variety of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) before you probably can trigger this rider. The rider is available on most of New York Life’s whole life policies, nevertheless it prices additional and must be added when the policy is first issued.

Critical Illness Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

A important illness accelerated demise profit rider will sometimes pay out a lump sum of money, which can be used to pay for medical treatment when you get recognized with a important illness. In order to use this rider, you must have one of many insurance company’s qualifying critical sicknesses. Covered illnesses often embody most cancers, stroke, heart assault, and major organ transplant, however every firm has its own qualifying conditions.

Paid-Up Additions Rider

New York Life provides a paid-up additions rider on its entire life insurance coverage policies. This rider permits you to contribute extra money to your policy whenever you need to, which may enhance your demise benefit and assist you to build cash worth quicker. This rider could require an expense charge every time you make a payment.

Money Back Option Rider

New York Life’s money back possibility rider is available on common life insurance coverage policies. It offers you the choice to recoup a portion of the money paid into your coverage should you no longer want the safety. This rider is included for free on most Custom Universal Life Guarantee insurance policies, but it has a minimal premium requirement.

Customer Service

New York Life has fairly basic customer service. To get in touch with the company, you can name 1-800-225-5695 during enterprise hours, that are Monday via Friday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time. You can even contact your agent immediately (if you’ve one). Most agents have a phone quantity, e mail address, and bodily tackle offered when you search New York Life’s agent finder database.


Life insurance coverage premiums are customized to each particular person based mostly on components like age, health, the sort of coverage you purchase, and gender. Before you buy a life insurance policy, it’s a good idea to get quotes from a number of different companies, so you probably can see which service can offer you the best price. Unfortunately, New York Life does not offer on-line quotes, so you’ll must contact a neighborhood agent to get a worth estimate.

If you identify as transgender or non-binary, it won’t influence in your capability to qualify for life insurance. However, there is not any industry normal for pricing policies for transgender and non-binary people. If you apply for protection by way of New York Life, you might have to pick “male” or “female” on the applying, because of the company’s underwriting process.

Is New York Life Insurance Right for Me?

New York Life is a superb life insurance firm total, however it’s ideal for people who are looking for common or entire life insurance coverage. Customers are eligible for yearly dividends on their complete life policies and there are heaps of riders for personalisation for entire and different everlasting insurance coverage sorts. Because New York Life solely offers term lengths of as a lot as 20 years, it is in all probability not the best option for people who are looking for a long term life policy. It’s also not finest for people who prefer to analysis insurance policies on their own or apply for life insurance without picking up the telephone to speak to an agent, as digital choices are restricted.

Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers

We designed a comprehensive rating methodology based mostly on consumer priorities and life insurance coverage firm fundamentals to rank greater than ninety insurers across 5 common classes: monetary stability, buyer satisfaction, product and feature variety, the general buying experience, and value.

In order to do that, we collected over 5,000 information factors and scored every firm primarily based on 55 metrics. We grouped metrics by class to see how insurers carried out in each; we then weighted class scores to discover out how companies carried out general.

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