Updated April 20, 2020

Ladder Term Life Insurance Review

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Ladder promises instant decisions and affordable premiums. But does this online insurance agency deliver? Read this review to find out.

5-point Scale from CreditDonkey

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable rates
  • Adjustable coverage
  • Renewable policies
  • No riders
  • No applicants over 60

Bottom Line

Good adjustable term coverage for adults under 60

Life insurance is usually on the back burner. Yet, when you have a family, you need to make it a priority.

What if you could get term coverage in the time it takes to microwave popcorn?

Ladder wants to do just that. Many can expect affordable rates without a medical exam. But the online insurance platform is not for everyone.

Find out their pros and cons, plus who may need additional underwriting.

What is Ladder Term Life Insurance

Jamie Hale founded Ladder in 2015 with the goal of simplifying the life insurance process.

For decades, securing a life insurance policy involved a lengthy process of invasive medical exams and questioning.

Ladder, on the other hand, can offer term life policies in a fraction of the time due to their exclusively online application process. If your insurance needs change at any time, you can also decrease or apply to increase your coverage with just a few clicks.

Although Ladder is relatively new to the insurance world, it's financially backed by reputable life insurance carriers. Additionally, policies through Ladder are reinsured by multiple reinsurers.

Does Ladder have good customer service?
Yes. In addition to offering a variety of ways to get in touch (live chat, phone, email), Ladder's insurance professionals are licensed.

What Ladder Offers

Ladder offers up to 30-year term policies. But what makes the company stand out is their adjustable coverage.

They understand that your life insurance needs may change over time. So, you can change your policy face amount through their online portal without penalty.

For example, you can decrease coverage as your children grow into adulthood or as you pay down your mortgage. Need more coverage? Simply log into your account and apply for more.

Ladder offers:

  • 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, or 30-year term policies with no hidden fees

  • Coverage from $100K - $8M

  • No medical exams for up to $3M in coverage, just answer a few health questions

  • Policies for people ages 20 - 60

  • Cancellation anytime, with no penalties or questions

  • Price lock guarantee (even if your health changes)

Maximum Term Limits
Ladder minimizes your term based on age. The term plus your current age cannot exceed 70. For example, a 40-year-old could take out a 30-year policy, but a 50-year-old can only get a 20-year policy.

Ladder's flexibility with customers sets them apart from other providers.

Who is Ladder Best For?

Ladder is available to U.S. citizens (and those who have resided in the U.S. for 2 or more years) between the ages of 20 and 60. Your current age plus your term length can't be more than 70 years. (For example, if you're 40 years old, your term length maximum would be 30 years.)

Ladder is a good option for:

  • People who need the ability to change their coverage
    (Ladder's policy adjustment features, ladder up and ladder down, let you easily change your coverage online.)

  • People looking for affordable high-coverage policies
    (Ladder's pricing is generally competitive, though small policies may not be as good of a deal.)

Can I still be covered if I have health problems?
Health issues won't automatically disqualify you for coverage, but some conditions (such as cancer, unmanaged diabetes, or severe epilepsy) could result in being denied. Ladder will account for your current health, health history, and lifestyle in order to decide whether to insure you.

How to Apply

With Ladder, you'll apply for coverage online. Start by answering questions about:

  • Name and address
  • Birthday
  • Your height, weight, and sex
  • Major health concerns
  • Drug use and criminal history
  • Nicotine use
  • Family medical history
  • Income, amount of desired coverage, and desired term
  • Lifestyle activities
  • Travel plans
  • Social security number

Ladder's proprietary program verifies your information and underwrites the policy. You may get immediate approval, need additional underwriting, or may be declined.

Ladder guarantees no medical exams for up to $3M in coverage. As part of the application process, you will be asked to answer a few health questions. If you're applying for more than $3M in coverage, you will be asked to complete a medical exam.

Each applicant is underwritten separately. The final cost and decision depend on your circumstances.

Ladder offers a 30-day guarantee. If you aren't happy within the first 30 days, you can cancel your policy and get a refund—no questions asked.

Reasons We Like Ladder

Their quick application process is great for people with busy lives. Here's what you can expect:

  • Easy Coverage Adjustment: If you need less coverage, you can change it immediately. If you need more, Ladder makes it easy to apply for additional coverage. With Ladder, you are never stuck with one amount.

  • Apply and Manage Your Account Online: Ladder applications occur online. If they have further questions, you may have to talk to a licensed employee agent and/or get a health exam, if you're applying for more than $3M in coverage.

    Ladder offers 24/7 access to your account. You don't have to wait for normal business hours to request coverage changes, switch beneficiaries, or review your policy.

  • 61-Day Grace Period: With other providers, missing one payment usually means a canceled policy. But Ladder gives a generous grace period of 61-days before canceling your policy.

  • Renewable Policies: You can extend the term annually for up to 5 years. Your premiums will likely increase, but continued coverage may make sense for your personal situation.

  • Post-Offer Coverage Changes: Adjust your coverage amount even after you've accepted your initial policy offer.

  • Cancel Anytime: Ladder doesn't charge a cancellation fee or penalties. Simply cancel your policy anytime online if you decide the coverage isn't right for you.

  • Convenient Health Check: If you're applying for more than $3M in coverage, a medical exam is required and Ladder can send a licensed health professional to your home or place of employment for the 30 minute health check. You'll answer some questions, take basic measurements, get vitals, and provide blood and urine samples.

    Will I need a medical exam or lab appointment to get coverage?
    No medical exam is required for coverage up to $3 million; just some health-related questions are asked as part of the online application. For coverage above $3 million, a medical exam is required and can be scheduled at your convenience, for free.

  • Quick Estimate Online: Enter basic information about your sex, age, height, and weight. You'll then choose the coverage amount and term and get a snapshot of estimated costs. Of course, your actual costs aren't official until you apply for coverage.

Ladder offers simple term policies. Unfortunately, they do not cover more complex coverage. Stick around to learn who shouldn't apply.


  • No Coverage After Age 60: If you couldn't stash away enough savings for burial expenses or other financial concerns by the time you hit 60, you need to look elsewhere for coverage.

  • No Riders Available: Riders are optional coverages that help customize an insurance policy. A few examples include premium waiver, accelerated death benefits, and accidental death benefit. Ladder doesn't offer any riders in order to keep your life insurance offerings simple.

Average Rates by Age

20-Year Term Rates—Non-Smoking Female


20-Year Term Rates—Non-Smoking Male


Ladder FAQs

What are some common complaints about Ladder?
While Ladder is generally well-reviewed, there are a few complaints. Those with health issues can have trouble getting affordable rates or end up with rates much higher than what was initially quoted.

If you have health issues or a pre-existing condition, be sure to speak with Ladder's insurance professionals to see if their coverage is a good fit for you.

Is it safe to apply for life insurance online?
Yes. Any information shared during the application process is protected by various administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. These are designed to protect against any unauthorized access to your personal info.

For more in-depth information about their website security, refer to Ladder's terms.

Does Ladder offer any riders?
At this time, Ladder does not offer any riders. If you want a term life policy with rider options, check out our round-up of the best term life insurance companies.

Does Ladder offer family policies?
Currently, Ladder does not offer policies that cover multiple people. They also ask that you only apply on behalf of yourself. If a partner, spouse or family member wants coverage from Ladder, they will need to apply on their own.

How would I increase or decrease my coverage with Ladder?
Ladder's coverage adjustment features, ladder up and ladder down, allow you to easily decrease your coverage or apply for additional coverage on their website. Review your coverage needs and create a plan first to avoid overpaying for life insurance.

How Ladder Compares

Choosing a policy takes some thought. You need to compare rates to make your decision. Let's see how Ladder stacks up against other online providers.

vs Ethos
Ethos offers digital term life insurance in 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms. The application process is online. Some applicants need medical exams and underwriting, though.

The policies are available for ages 20 to 65. However, the older you get, the shorter the term they allow. Unlike Ladder, Ethos offers riders, including Critical Illness, Waiver of Premium, and Child Protection riders.

vs Haven Life
Haven Life is another digital term life insurance provider. They offer terms of 10, 20, and 30 years.

You can apply for coverage up to $3 million until age 60. Older applicants up to age 64 can apply for up to $1 million in coverage.

Haven Life offers instant approvals, but some applicants need a medical exam completed within 90 days of application.

vs Quotacy
Quotacy operates as a life insurance marketplace. It offers more options than your traditional online life insurance company, including term, whole life, and final expense policies.

To get started, you'll need to enter some basic information and then choose a company based on the coverage estimates that Quotacy provides.

Bottom Line

Life insurance is one of those things you wish you'll never use. But you're glad to have it.

Think about your financial situation. Do you have:

  • People who rely on you?
  • Remaining debt or other expenses?
  • A business venture?

If that's you, Ladder is worth checking out. Unlike other providers, Ladder lets you make instant changes to policy without fees. And many busy professionals like how quick and easy the application process is. Within minutes, you could get high-value coverage without a medical exam.

However, Ladder isn't for everyone. If you're over 60 or you require more complex coverage, consider these life insurance companies instead.

What's stopping you from getting a term policy?

Ladder Insurance Services, LLC (CA license # OK22568; AR license # 3000140372) distributes term life insurance products issued by multiple insurers - for further details see ladderlife.com. All insurance products are governed by the terms set forth in the applicable insurance policy. Each insurer has financial responsibility for its own products. Coverage amounts vary by state.


Get Quote

  • Plans from $50,000 - $1,000,000
  • Premiums from $8/mo
  • 100% Online. Get a Quote in Seconds and Coverage in Minutes.
Haven Life

Get a Quote

  • Up to $3 million in affordable term coverage
  • 100% no obligation quote

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