Updated June 3, 2020 3:06 PM PT

Best Online Life Insurance Companies

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You can buy life insurance online, but should you? Here are the best places to buy life insurance online, plus how to save on rates.

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If something were to happen to you, would your loved ones be financially secure?

A life insurance policy could offer protection, but applying with old-school providers could take weeks (or months).

On the other hand…

Online companies let you apply for life insurance in 10 minutes, and usually without a medical exam.

But they're not all the same. Below, learn the top companies and brokers that offer online life insurance, plus starting rates, perks and downsides.

Here are the best places to buy life insurance online:

Online Life Insurance

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Quick, online life insurance coverage sounds too good to be true, but it's surprisingly within reach. Below we've rounded up the best life insurance available online.

No Exam: Bestow

Bestow's selling point is their no-exam term life insurance coverage. No matter your health condition, a medical exam is not required. If you don't qualify for coverage, they'll simply deny your application. No scheduling appointments, no waiting for results.

Bestow puts the entire underwriting process in the hands of their algorithm. It considers your prescription and credit history, driving records, and various lifestyle questions to calculate your risk. Once it's done, it either offers you coverage or denies your application.

Features and Rates

  • 10- and 20-year term life insurance
  • Available in all states except NY
  • Application 100% online, no exams ever
  • $50K - $1M in coverage
  • Starts at $8/month

Pick Bestow if: You absolutely do not want to take a medical exam.

No-exam policies were unheard of not too long ago. Keep reading to see how other companies are reinventing the underwriting process.

Financial Security: Haven Life

Haven Life offers only term life insurance with coverage up to $3M. The online application takes about 20 minutes and if you're relatively healthy, you can qualify for coverage without an exam.

Many online insurance companies have fewer perks than big companies, so Haven Life stands out for their "Haven Life Plus" coverage. This rider comes with added benefits like Trust & Will planning and secure online storage of important family documents.

Haven Life is backed by MassMutual, which has a financial security rating of A+ from A.M. Best.

Features and Rates

  • 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year term life insurance
  • No exams for some applicants
  • Backed by MassMutual
  • Up to $3M in coverage
  • Starts at $8/month

Pick Haven Life if: You want a small online company with big-company security.

Once you choose a life insurance company, the next step is to calculate your coverage. Stick around for the definitive formula you need to know.

Convertible Terms: Fabric

Like Haven Life, Fabric offers a quick online application and, for some qualifying applicants, coverage without an exam.

Unlike many companies that sell term life insurance online, Fabric gives you the option to convert to a whole life policy at the end of your term (though it may require another round of underwriting.) Those applying for policies up to $1M may qualify for instant, no-exam coverage. However, larger face amounts (up to $5M) require a medical exam.

Fabric also offers a free online tool to assist in writing your will that lets you sync up your family's finances.

Features and Rates

  • 10-, 15-, and 20-year term life policies
  • Not available in NY, CA or MT
  • Mobile app and tool for will-writing
  • Up to $5M in coverage
  • No agent phone calls required

Pick Fabric if: You want the option to convert your term policy to a whole policy.

How quickly can you get life insurance?
Online life insurance companies can get you covered in as little as 10 minutes. The traditional life insurance application process takes about 4-6 weeks.

Policy conversion is just one of many options you have. See how insurance aggregators are designed to find your perfect coverage.

Adjustable Coverage: Ladder

Although Ladder is a relatively new company, they're financially backed by Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, which has an A rating from A.M. Best.

Ladder offers a few more terms than most online life insurance companies (10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year terms) and is available to applicants aged 20-60. Coverage amounts range from $100K-$8M.

Most applicants qualify for a policy without needing a medical exam, though Ladder can require an exam if they need additional information before approving or denying you.

The biggest selling point for Ladder is their selection of coverage adjustment tools. Even after your policy has been secured and is underway, you can increase or decrease your coverage with their Ladder Up and Ladder Down tools.

Features and Rates

  • 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year term life policies
  • Not available in New York
  • Easily adjust coverage online
  • $100K - $8M in coverage
  • Starts at $9/month

Pick Ladder if: You want adjustable coverage.

Want a birds-eye view of your policy options? See how to get all the life insurance quotes you want in one place below.

Most Options: Policygenius

Policygenius isn't actually a life insurance company—instead, they're a life insurance aggregator. This means they provide life insurance quotes and policy options from multiple insurance companies. When you choose a policy from another insurance company, you'll apply and only deal with Policygenius.

Because they can offer life insurance quotes and policies from multiple companies, Policygenius gives you the most options to choose from. You can opt for a whole or term life policy (among others) and get coverage of up to $10M.

A downside of Policygenius is that they don't work with many niche insurance carriers. If you have more health conditions or need more specific life insurance options, you may need to look elsewhere.

Features and Rates

  • Insurance aggregator
  • Term, whole, universal, and variable policies, plus more
  • Available in every state
  • $50K - $10M in coverage
  • Starts as $15/month

Pick Policygenius if: You want lots of options to choose from.

If your life insurance needs are more complicated, working with an independent insurance agent may help. Find out below when to take your search offline.

Best Customer Assistance: Quotacy

Like Policygenius, Quotacy is an online insurance broker that lets you choose your policy from a wide variety of companies and coverage options. Their agents shop and negotiate rates, doing the comparison shopping for you.

While they offer multiple kinds of policies, you can only apply for term insurance online if you're looking for a term policy (for all others, you must call them). Term policies are available in lengths of 10 to 40 years, with coverage from $50K to $65M.

They also offer free educational content to help you become a more informed policyholder. If you still have questions, you can contact Quotacy's independent agents for objective advice.

Features and Rates

  • Insurance aggregator
  • Term, whole, final expense, policies
  • Available in every state
  • Ages 18-80 are eligible
  • $50K - $65M in coverage
  • Starts at $10/month

Pick Quotacy if: You need more assistance in the application process.

If you're hoping to avoid an exam, take a look at the next section for more about no-exam policies.

Well-Rounded Underwriting: Sproutt

Sproutt aims to simplify the process of buying and applying for life insurance. They're not technically a life insurance company—instead, they connect you with policies from other big insurers, including AIG, Sagicor Life, Principal, and SBLI.

However, the only policies that allow for a completely online application are the no-medical-exam policies, which include guaranteed issue, simplified issue, and graded death benefit policies. Other types of life insurance may require a more formal application.

What are no-exam life insurance policies?
Guaranteed Issue: No term, no expiration date policy; you have coverage as long as you pay for it.
Simplified Issue: Geared toward people only of moderate health risk; requires detailed medical questionnaire.
Graded Death Benefit: The death benefit increases the longer you are alive.

Most insurance aggregators ask the same set of questions to determine which is the best life insurance for you.

Sproutt stands out for their own Quality of Life Index, a group of 5 specific factors (movement, sleep, emotional health, nutrition, and balance) that helps Sproutt better understand your mental and physical well-being.

Features and Rates

  • Insurance aggregator
  • More options, but only a few are available online
  • Available in all states
  • $50K to $10M in coverage
  • Free quotes only for no-exam policies

Pick Sproutt if: You prefer more holistic life insurance underwriting.

If your coverage needs are king-size, the last company on our list might be able to help.

High-Coverage Policies: Ethos

Ethos is an online term life insurance company that offers decent insurance rates and a hassle-free application. Applying with Ethos takes place entirely online, and most people who qualify for their life insurance don't need to take an exam.

Even compared to other online term life companies, Ethos offers more term lengths (up to 30 years) and higher coverage limits (up to $10M). However, this might explain their slightly higher premiums.

Ethos says their coverage is available for as little as $1 per day, though it's fairly pricey considering similar companies offer coverage for $5 per month.

Features and Rates

  • 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year term policies
  • Not available in NY
  • Higher coverage limits than other online-only term life insurance companies
  • $25K - $10M in coverage
  • Higher premiums (starts at $30/day)

Pick Ethos if: You want an online-only term policy with high coverage.

Most Whole & Term Life Options: Esurance

Esurance was one of the first companies to offer insurance products online. And while they do sell life insurance, the policies they sell are underwritten and priced by third-party carriers. Esurance sorts through multiple carriers to give you the most affordable price.

Esurance offers multiple types of term and whole life policies. Their term life policies include level term, decreasing term, and annual renewable term.

Their whole life policy offerings are more robust, including universal, variable, indexed universal and a variable-universal hybrid. All accumulate cash value over time.

Features and Rates

  • Variety of term and whole life policies
  • Not available in all 50 states
  • Owned by Allstate
  • Exam may be required
  • Starts at $12/month

Pick Esurance if: You want multiple term and whole life policies to choose from.

If Esurance doesn't provide life insurance in your state, their online quote tool will forward you to one of their life insurance partners that do. For example, because they do not provide life insurance in CA, I was redirected to Ladder.

Best for Health Issues: Prudential

Prudential is among the largest life insurance providers on the market today, their main offerings being term and universal life policies. SimplyTerm, a term life insurance policy, is their only online offering and can offer coverage up to $500K for 10, 20 or 30 years.

Prudential's biggest selling point is their flexible underwriting for those with health conditions. Unlike other life insurance companies, Prudential offers very competitive insurance rates for diabetics, and those with high cholesterol, prior nicotine use, and sleep apnea.

Features and Rates

  • Term and universal life policies
  • Long-standing company
  • Available in all 50 states (with few policy exceptions)
  • Up to $500K in coverage
  • Starts at $28/month

Pick Prudential if: You have health conditions and struggle to find affordable rates.

Online Life Insurance vs. Traditional: What's the Difference?

Rest assured, there is little to no difference between a life insurance policy from a traditional company and one from an online company. In fact, the differences are mostly limited to the application process.

Online life insurance offers (or can potentially offer):

  • A shorter application process
  • Underwriting done partly by algorithm
  • Coverage with no medical exam
  • Instant coverage approval

If you're concerned about the financial security of online life insurance, there's no reason to worry. Nearly all newer online life insurance companies are financially backed by bigger, well-established life insurance providers.

After the policy is secured, your experience with an online life insurance company will be the same as a traditional company. They'll provide the support, assistance, and information you need.

How to Apply for Life Insurance Online

When it comes time to apply for life insurance coverage, the overall process is fairly quick. Here's what you can expect:

  1. Visit the company's or broker's website, and get a quote first.

  2. Begin the online application, which asks about:
    • Your finances
    • Your health
    • Your lifestyle
    • Your family health history

  3. The company then evaluates your information and proceeds in one of two ways:

  4. In some cases, you may need to provide additional info or complete a brief medical exam before getting a final decision.

  5. In other cases, you may be approved instantly.

Documents & info needed to apply for life insurance:
  • Medical records, including prescriptions
  • Credit history and report
  • Your salary information
  • Social Security Number
  • Beneficiary's Social Security Number

What Experts Say

CreditDonkey assembled two academic industry experts to answer readers' most pressing questions:

  • Is it safe to buy insurance online?
  • How are life insurance premiums affected by an individual's health coverage?
  • Are the average premium prices from online-only life insurers different from those from traditional insurers?

Here's what they said:

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is online life insurance best for?
Healthy middle-aged or young adults are in the best position to get the main perks of online life insurance: a quick application and immediate approval with no medical exam.

Older adults with compromised health may be better off with a more traditional life insurance agency.

What happens if I get denied?
If you've been denied for an online life insurance policy, consider applying with brokers who can give you more options:

  • Policygenius
  • Quotacy
  • Sproutt

If you're having trouble with online insurance brokers or are part of a demographic that struggles to get coverage, you may need to take your search offline.

Find an independent life insurance agent to help you with your search; they can connect you with even more companies and may have experience finding coverage for people with specific needs.

Which is better: term life insurance or whole life insurance?
Term and whole life insurance differ mainly in how long they provide coverage for. Generally, term is more affordable, though whole life accumulates cash value as the years go on.

Term life insurance is usually the better choice. The affordable rates make it easier to budget for. Plus, term life policies are less likely to require a medical exam.

How much life insurance do I need?
There are a lot of ways to calculate your coverage needs, but we think the best method is as follows:

Rule of Thumb for Life Insurance Coverage
Coverage Amount = (Coverage Years × Annual Income) + (Debt + Expenses) - (Liquid Assets + Savings)

Bottom Line

If you want a full life insurance policy in minutes, online life insurance is definitely the way to go.

Depending on your coverage needs, you can apply online with a specific company or with online brokers that compare multiple life insurance quotes and companies at once.

Wherever you begin your search for the best life insurance, it's always smart to shop around and get multiple quotes. (If getting quotes is quicker than the average YouTube ad, what do you have to lose?)

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

More from CreditDonkey:


Life Insurance for Young Adults


Best Term Life Insurance


How Much Life Insurance Do I Need


Fabric Life Insurance

Fabric offers term life insurance with affordable premiums and a fast application process. Find out if Fabric is good for you.

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Quotacy Review

Quotacy lets you get multiple life insurance quotes online in one place. It doesn't cost any money to use, but is it legit? Read this review for the pros and cons.

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