As parents, we want to ensure that our family is secure and protected, no matter what the future holds. For many of us, building that financial security involves the purchase of life insurance coverage, but you may want to consider taking it a step further and building a family life insurance policy, as well.
Family life insurance provides not only protection for one parent, but the entire family. This can be done through a branded family policy or by adding spousal and child riders to an existing policy, some of which can be converted into their own stand-alone policies down the line. Family coverage can be temporary (term), permanent, or even a blend of the two, depending on the needs of you and your loved ones.
To help you choose the right life insurance policy for your family, we have compared the coverage options offered by some of the top life insurance companies around. After analyzing key factors such as availability, price, coverage options, product offerings, consumer satisfaction, and industry strength ratings, here are our recommendations for the best family life insurance.
Best Overall : State Farm
Our top pick for the best life insurance for families is State Farm, as this top-rated carrier actually offers a specifically branded “family life insurance” plan with many features and options to choose from.
Has a defined family life insurance policy
Convertible child coverage through age 25
Not available in all states
Must purchase through an agent
If you’re looking to buy life insurance coverage that protects everyone in your home, the best option may be a family life insurance policy like the one offered by State Farm. This coverage is unique, allowing policyholders to purchase a combination of term and/or whole life insurance for their immediate family under the same policy, rather than purchasing multiple different policies.
Once you or your spouse has chosen a policy, you can add a combination of Select Term and Child Term riders to protect the rest of the family. State Farm’s Select Term rider offers term life coverage in 10-, 20-, and 30-year options starting at $100,000, and can be converted to permanent coverage later on. A Child Term rider protects all of your children with up to $20,000 in coverage through age 25, and can also be converted to permanent coverage.
State Farm has been providing life insurance since 1929 and received the top spot in J.D. Power’s most recent 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study. This carrier also holds an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best, which is the highest possible rating, and has a lower-than-expected complaint index with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
State Farm life insurance policies are not available in Massachusetts. You can get a quote for term coverage online through State Farm’s website. We found that a 33-year-old healthy woman can buy $800,000 in term coverage for 30 years for about $52 a month. However, you’ll need to work directly with an agent to get quotes for other types of coverage or to purchase a policy.
Best for Whole Life Policies : Northwestern Mutual
Offering a range of life insurance options—including term, whole, universal, and even term/whole life blended plans—along with excellent third-party ratings, Northwestern Mutual is our best choice for whole life insurance coverage that protects your family’s short- and long-term needs.
Wide variety of plan options to choose from
Available in all 50 states
Has a strong history of high dividend payouts
Most applicants will need a medical exam
Online information is limited
You’ll need to purchase through an agent
If you appreciate having options when buying life insurance coverage for your family, Northwestern Mutual will certainly fit the bill. This top-rated carrier offers life insurance policies in all 50 states with a variety of term, whole life, universal life, and even term-whole life blended plans to suit all needs. It earns our top nod for whole life insurance in particular, offering families the ability to build a completely customized plan based on your unique family’s needs and premium preferences.
In terms of permanent coverage, families can choose from whole life policies such as the 65 Life or 90 Life plans. These offer level premiums through a specific age (in this case, 65 and 90 respectively), then provide coverage for life without the need for additional premiums.
This means that you can continue protecting your spouse and children with secure coverage well into your retirement, without needing to budget for those monthly premiums in your older years.
If you are interested in providing for your family’s long- and short-term needs with the same policy, Northwestern Mutual’s customizable CompLife product blends both whole and term coverage to fit any situation. This means that you can buy coverage for immediate worries—like the family mortgage, childcare for young kids, or college expenses—that ends when your kids grow up or the mortgage is paid. Your permanent coverage will continue to provide for your family for life, however.
Northwestern Mutual currently holds an A++ (Superior) rating through AM Best—the highest possible—and ranked fourth in the most recent J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study. All policies are eligible to receive dividends through this carrier, as well, with more than $6.2 billion expected to be paid out in 2021.
Not all of Northwestern Mutual’s plans are listed publicly and online information can be scarce. For example, though the website has an online life insurance needs calculator, the results are given in a range that can vary by hundreds of thousands of dollars in coverage. Many applicants will need a medical exam in order to buy a policy, as well, which will need to be done through an approved financial advisor.
Read our full Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Review.
Best for Term Policies : MassMutual
MassMutual is our top choice for the best term policies for family life insurance coverage, offering convertible term coverage with more than six options to choose from, and the ability to buy up to $3 million in immediate coverage online.
Six term policy options to choose from
Buy up to $3 million in immediate coverage with DirectTerm
Helpful online coverage calculators
Term coverage is convertible (and may include term conversion credits)
All policies require a medical exam
No child rider available
Most policies require you to buy through a financial professional
If you’re looking for flexible term life insurance that can protect your family with up to $10 million worth of coverage, look no further than our top pick for term coverage, MassMutual.
This carrier offers term—as well as whole, universal and variable—life insurance products that provide your loved ones with peace of mind and financial security no matter your household needs. With the ability to buy a policy online (up to millions of dollars in immediate coverage), you’ll be able to protect your family quickly and adequately.
MassMutual’s term life policies, called Vantage Term, are available in 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year options with up to $10 million in coverage. There is also DirectTerm coverage available—which can be applied for and purchased online—as well whole, universal, and variable life options offered by MassMutual.
These policies will need to be purchased through a financial professional. All MassMutual life insurance applicants will need to submit to a paramedical exam in order to buy a policy; this carrier doesn’t offer any no-medical-exam options.
If you’re interested in immediate protection, DirectTerm allows customers between the ages of 18 and 64 to buy from $100,000 to $3 million in term life coverage, through a quick and easy online quote and application process. (We found that a 33-year-old healthy woman would pay about $54 a month to buy $800,000 in DirectTerm coverage for 30 years.)
Nearly all term policies offered by MassMutual allow for convertibility into whole life coverage. In some cases, you’ll even be eligible for term conversion credits that can be applied to your new permanent policy’s premiums.
MassMutual does offer some other policy riders (like waiver of premium), but there are no child rider options available. While MassMutual may be a great choice for your own life insurance coverage, you’ll want to look elsewhere if purchasing coverage for your children (on the same policy) is also a priority.
MassMutual ranked above-average in the most recent J.D. Power U.S. Life Insurance Study, coming in at 10th place among 23 ranked carriers. This insurance company also holds an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best and has an exceptionally low complaint index through NAIC.
Read our full MassMutual Life Insurance Review.
Best Child Rider Option : Prudential
With two different child benefit riders to choose from, offering up to $100,000 in protection through age 25, Prudential easily wins our pick for the best child rider option.
Various policy types offered: term, universal, indexed universal, variable universal, survivorship universal, and survivorship variable
Two different child protection riders available
Child rider provides coverage of $10,000 to $100,000 through age 25
Term policies offer conversion privilege, some with premium credits
Many additional policy riders
Personal contact information is required for online term quotes
Coverage will need to be purchased through an agent
Below-average consumer satisfaction ratings
If you’re looking for a robust child rider on your life insurance policy, look no further than our top choice, Prudential. This carrier offers a wide variety of policies for parents with a slew of additional protection options—including two different child policy riders—to suit your specific needs.
Depending on the type of life insurance coverage you want, Prudential is there to help with term life, universal life, indexed universal life, variable universal life, survivorship universal life, and survivorship variable life policies. The coverage options on these policies can vary, and not all products are offered in every state, so be sure to check with your agent to see what’s available to you.
You can protect your entire family with a mixture of survivorship policies, disability protection, and more. With child riders, for instance, parents can purchase between $10,000 and $100,000 in coverage for their children (under age 25), which can be added to a parent’s existing term or whole life policy. This coverage is convertible into whole life protection once the child comes of age.
Other policy riders include waiver of premium, accidental death, estate protection, overloan protection, living needs benefits, BenefitAccess (chronic and terminal illness benefit), and more.
You can get an online quote for term life coverage through Prudential’s website; there, we found that a 33-year-old healthy woman could buy $750,000 worth of coverage for 30 years at about $54 a month. However, in order to get this online quote, you’ll need to provide a number of personal details including your contact information; you can expect an agent to reach out to you shortly thereafter.
Prudential earned an A+ (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best, but ranked 11th (out of 23) in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Life Insurance Study, which is below industry average. This rating was based on a number of factors, such as consumer satisfaction and communication. The carrier also has an NAIC complaint index of 2.66, which is more than twice as high as expected for a company of its size.
Read our full Prudential Life Insurance Review.
Best Affordable Option : Transamerica
Offering online quotes and an interactive policy-builder tool, Transamerica not only makes it easy to buy life insurance for your family, but also offers some of the most affordable options we have found.
Many plans to choose from
Online quotes available
Options for coverage with no medical exam
Child riders give up to $99,000 in coverage through age 25
Interactive online tool to help you build the right policy
Not available in New York or Washington, D.C.
Policies must be purchased through an agent
Financial strength rating was recently downgraded
If you’re looking for affordable family life insurance coverage, Transamerica earns our top recommendation. This carrier provides reliable coverage for the entire family with a variety of policy options, high coverage limits, and a slew of online tools to help you find exactly what you need—and they do it at a price that frequently beats out the competition.
Through Transamerica, you can buy term life, whole life, universal life, indexed universal life, or final expense insurance coverage. Not sure which you need? Their interactive online tool can help you decide on the right policy for your family with a few simple steps and personal questions.
Online quotes are also available for some policy types, though you’ll need to purchase your coverage through an agent in the end. We found that a 33-year-old healthy woman could buy $800,000 in 30-year term coverage for $42 per month, which was the lowest quote for this level of coverage among all of the insurers listed here.
Transamerica offers between $25,000 and $10 million (or more) in coverage, though you can buy Trendsetter policies for up to $249,999 with no medical exam requirement. Term policies come in 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year options. Coverage is not currently available in New York or the District of Columbia.
Child riders offer between $1,000 and $99,000 in protection for your kids through age 25, which is one of the highest child term rider coverage limits available. This coverage can be converted into a permanent policy once your child comes of age, as well.
AM Best recently downgraded Transamerica’s financial strength rating from A+ (Superior) to A (Excellent). While an A rating is still very promising, downgrades are not very common and are worth noting.
Read our full Transamerica Life Insurance Review.
Best for Young Families : Banner Life
Our choice for the best life insurance for young families is Banner Life, a carrier offering coverage up to $10 million with terms as long as 40 years. Supplemental term coverage can be added for up to 20 of those years, as well, offering even more coverage while your young family needs it most.
Terms up to 40 years
Preferred underwriting is available even with a family history of cancer
High claim approval and payouts within one day
Online quotes offered
Not available in New York
Whole life coverage not offered
Policies need to be purchased through agents
Term coverage minimum is $100,000
As young parents, it can be hard to know what sort of financial needs you and your children will have over the coming decades. That’s why Banner Life—with term policies lasting as long as 40 years—is our top pick for younger families, offering life insurance coverage that’s likely to outlast your loved ones’ biggest concerns.
Banner Life insurance is offered under the Legal & General umbrella, providing term and universal life policies to 49 states (except New York) and the District of Columbia. Term life insurance is available for anywhere from $100,000 to $10 million in coverage, with term lengths as long as 40 years. Universal policies can be purchased with coverage as low as $50,000.
There are a few different policy riders to choose from when building your coverage, including a child rider that protects your kids until they reach age 25 (not available in Maryland). Other riders include waiver of premium, accelerated death benefit, a supplemental term rider, and a partial surrender benefit.
Term policies incur an annual fee of $60 that is built into your quoted premiums. It’s also important to note that while you can get a quote for term life insurance online, you’ll need to work with an agent in order to actually buy a policy.
According to the online quote calculator, a 33-year-old healthy woman could buy $800,000 in 30-year term life coverage through Banner Life for $44 per month. However, it’s great to know that through Banner Life, even customers with a family history of cancer, those with treated conditions like hypertension or high cholesterol, and former smokers can still qualify for Preferred Plus underwriting.
Legal & General currently holds an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best and has a 4.4 out of 5-star rating through Trustpilot, with more than 1,300 consumer reviews.
Read our full Banner Life Insurance Review.
Best for Ease of Signing Up : Bestow
With quotes in seconds and the ability to buy a no-medical-exam term policy online in just minutes, Bestow gets our nod for the easiest life insurance sign-up process.
100% online buying process
Get quotes in seconds and buy a policy in minutes
30-day money back guarantee
No medical exams required
Only 10- and 20-year term life policies offered
Maximum of $1 million in coverage
Applicants need to be ages 21 to 55
Not available in New York
A subsidiary of North American Company, Bestow has been offering quick and easy term life insurance options to consumers since 2016. If you’re a busy parent looking for a simple buying process that provides quick life insurance coverage for your loved ones, Bestow earns the top pick.
The company offers term life insurance up to $1 million in just minutes online. There are no medical exams to deal with, allowing you to protect your family without any added hassle or wait. Bestow offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, as well.
Through Bestow, applicants between the ages of 21 and 55 can get an online quote for coverage between $50,000 and $1 million in just seconds; if they’re happy with the quote, they can proceed with buying the policy online and be covered almost immediately. Using Bestow’s online calculator, we found that a 33-year-old healthy woman in Virginia could purchase $800,000 of 20-year, term life coverage for only $27 a month.
Bestow does not offer whole or universal life products; only 10- and 20-year terms are available. There aren’t any additional riders offered, either, and coverage is not currently provided in New York.
Bestow’s parent company, North American, holds an A+ rating through AM Best. There are also more than 320 consumer reviews on Trustpilot, giving Bestow a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Family Life Insurance?
With family life insurance, you can ensure financial security for everyone you love with coverage that protects the entire family.
This might be done through a branded family life insurance product, covering each specific member of your family under the umbrella of one single policy. Or, you can create your own family life insurance policy by blending a mixture of term or whole life coverage with added riders.
The most popular riders when building a family life insurance policy are for spouses—offering additional coverage for your significant other—and children—which typically cover all of your kids under a single rider. Adding these riders to an existing life insurance policy is often much more cost-effective than purchasing multiple separate policies.
Who Needs To Get Family Life Insurance?
Family life insurance can offer peace of mind for your entire family, knowing that financial protection is in place no matter what happens to you or your loved ones.
If your family would be financially impacted by the loss of you and/or your spouse, a family life insurance plan that covers both parents could be incredibly beneficial. Adding coverage for your children can provide your family with a safety net if something were to happen to your kids, too; with permanent conversion options, this type of coverage can also give your children a head start on their own life insurance policy once they come of age.
What Does Family Life Insurance Cost?
The most affordable family life insurance coverage usually involves spousal and child riders added to an existing term life policy. These riders can often be added to a full life insurance policy for just a few dollars a month, depending on the coverage limits chosen.
The cost of any life insurance policy is dictated by a number of personal factors, including the insured’s age, health, gender, location, medical history, family history, and the level of coverage desired. In general, however, temporary (term) coverage is significantly more affordable than permanent life policies.
For example, a family of three could purchase a family life insurance policy through State Farm for about $400 a year. That assumes $250,000 in 20-year term coverage for each healthy parent (ages 30 and 35) and $10,000 in coverage for the child.
How We Chose the Best Family Life Insurance
In order to choose the best family life insurance providers and policies, we compared the coverage offered by more than 15 top life insurance companies.
We considered factors such as price and product availability, coverage limits, benefits and features, and both long- and short-term protection options. We looked at how these companies make buying personalized life insurance for your family’s unique needs easier and more affordable. We also considered the financial strength ratings of each of the carriers, as well as consumer and trusted third-party ratings.