Everyone should at least investigate the option of buying life insurance, and buying a policy is a good idea for many of us, especially those with dependents.
Life insurance can provide funds for surviving family members or other loved ones to cover major costs ranging from mortgages and college tuition to your funeral expenses.
Finding the right life insurance provider can be an intimidating prospect for many people. Recently, J.D. Power offered help to those shopping for a policy when it released the findings of its latest annual U.S. Life Insurance Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction with life insurance providers.
For the 2021 study, J.D. Power measured satisfaction based on five factors:
- Product offerings
J.D. Power notes that this year’s overall customer satisfaction score of 776 is up 13 points from 2020. It attributes the rise in satisfaction to the COVID-19 pandemic creating an increase in customers’ awareness of their own mortality.
In addition, there appears to be greater customer awareness that buying life insurance is one way to park assets in a tax-advantaged plan.
According to the survey, the top insurers are:
- State Farm: Overall satisfaction score of 822 out of 1,000 points
- Nationwide: 813
- Northwestern Mutual: 807
- Pacific Life: 801
- Mutual of Omaha: 795
- Globe Life: 788
- MassMutual: 782
- John Hancock: 781
- New York Life: 777
- Principal Financial: 776
Those 10 insurers were the only companies in the survey to meet or beat the industry average of 776 out of 1,000 points.
Of all the insurers included in the 2021 study, Brighthouse Financial earned the lowest overall customer satisfaction score — for the second straight year — scoring 714 out of 1,000 points.
The study data included responses from 4,625 individual life insurance customers.
Do you need life insurance?
Though life insurance can be a great product, it’s not for everybody.
As we note in “7 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Life Insurance“:
“… if you have no spouse or dependents, a life insurance policy might not be necessary. Also, if you have enough financial resources to provide for your dependents if you died unexpectedly, buying life insurance may be a waste of money.
Going through the list of questions in that story will help you determine if you need a policy — and, if so, which type of coverage you should buy and how much coverage you would need.
Another Money Talks News story, “New Ways to Save Money on Insurance of Every Kind,” can help you drill down further on the type of coverage you need. As the story explains, life insurance comes in two main varieties: term life and whole life.
Term life is the better choice for many people. As we write:
“Term life insurance covers you for a fixed period of time and pays a death benefit if you die during that period. That money is tax-free, and your beneficiary can do whatever he or she wants with it.”
By contrast, a whole life policy will likely cost you more money, although it does offer advantages that might appeal to some people.