Best Life Insurance for Parents of 2022

Protective's wide policy selection and affordable term premiums make it #1

Our Process Advertiser Disclosure We help millions of readers find the best life insurance through an independent review process and advertisers do not influence our picks. We may receive compensation if you visit partners we recommend.
91 Companies reviewed
55 Features considered
7 Awarded "Best of 2022"

Having life insurance provides valuable protection. If you have young children, a life insurance policy can ensure they’re financially supported in the event of your death. You might also want to get life insurance for your aging parents; you'll want to check out the best life insurance for people over 50, the best life insurance for seniors, and the best burial insurance companies as well.

Best Life Insurance for Parents of 2022

Compare life insurance quotes on Policygenius from multiple providers before selecting a policy. If you're over 55 or in poor health, you'll be better served by calling the company directly.

Best Overall : Protective

Investopedia's Rating
4.6

  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations. A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Very affordable term insurance premiums

  • Term lengths of up to 40 years

  • Good selection of policy types

  • Can apply online

  • Superior financial strength rating

Cons
  • Ranked below average for customer satisfaction

Why We Chose It

Based on our review of 91 life insurance companies, Protective stands out as the best provider for parents overall. In fact, Protective also won “best overall” in our roundups of the most affordable life insurance companies, best life insurance companies for children, and best term life insurance companies.

Protective offers a wide range of policy types, including term, universal, indexed universal, variable universal, and whole life insurance. The only notable life insurance product missing from its lineup is final expense insurance. Plus, the company has an A+ (Superior) grade from AM Best for financial strength.

Specifically, we recommend Protective for parents who are looking for affordable term life insurance. When we compared term life insurance quotes among the 91 companies we reviewed, Protective offered the cheapest rates for healthy adults (tied with Banner and Haven Life).

In addition, Protective is one of only two companies we found that offers term lengths of 40 years. For comparison, most life insurance companies cap the length of their term policies at 30 years. That means Protective can be a good option for parents who want coverage for longer than 30 years, but don’t necessarily want a permanent policy or can’t currently afford the higher premiums associated with a permanent policy.

However, the company didn't fare well in J.D. Power's 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. It ranked 16th out of 21 companies in the study.

Learn more in our Protective life insurance review.

Best for Customer Satisfaction : State Farm Life Insurance

Investopedia's Rating
4.0

  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations. A++
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Excellent third-party ratings for customer satisfaction

  • Few complaints for its size

  • Savings for bundling life and auto insurance

Cons
  • No living benefits included

  • Relatively expensive term life premiums

  • Can’t apply online

Why We Chose It

When it comes to satisfied life insurance customers, it’s hard to beat State Farm. In J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, State Farm earned first place out of 21 life insurers for overall customer satisfaction. Plus, the company received very few complaints over the past three years, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). It also has an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best, which is the highest grade possible. 

But in spite of State Farm’s high ratings, it falls short in a few areas. For example, State Farm’s life insurance policies don’t automatically include any living benefits riders. For comparison, many of the best life insurance companies offer at least two accelerated death benefit riders at no upfront cost.

In addition, State Farm’s term life insurance policies expensive relative to the other term life insurance providers we reviewed. However, you can potentially save money if you bundle a life insurance policy with an auto insurance policy from State Farm.

Best for Whole Life : Nationwide

Investopedia's Rating
4.7

  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations. A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • High coverage limits for no-exam policies

  • Very few customer complaints

  • High customer satisfaction ranking

  • Most policies include three living benefits riders

Cons
  • Average pricing for term coverage

Why We Chose It

If you’re a parent shopping for whole life or universal life insurance, Nationwide is a great option. Not only is Nationwide our top recommendation for whole life insurance for parents, but we also named Nationwide the best whole life insurance company overall.

There’s a lot to like about Nationwide. First, it’s highly rated by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction, ranking second out of 21 life insurance providers for customer satisfaction, just behind State Farm. Nationwide also has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best, and very few customer complaints relative to its size.

Plus, Nationwide offers a generous suite of living benefits: most policies include three living benefits riders for chronic, critical, and terminal illnesses at no upfront cost. These riders let you receive part of the death benefit “early” in the event of a qualifying illness. And while many of our top-rated life insurance companies offer free living benefits riders, only a handful offer as many built-in riders as Nationwide. 

Through Nationwide, healthy applicants under age 50 may be able to get up to $5 million in coverage on most life insurance products without an exam, and applicants under age 60 may qualify for up to $1 million in no-exam coverage.

Best Burial Insurance : Mutual of Omaha

Investopedia's Rating
4.4

  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations. A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Up to $40,000 in burial insurance

  • Final expense policies issued up to age 85

  • Free living benefits riders on many policies

  • Wide selection of riders for customization

Cons
  • Few policies types offered

Why We Chose It

If you are shopping for burial insurance for yourself or an older parent, Mutual of Omaha is our top recommendation. Older parents looking for themselves or their parents may want to consider a Mutual of Omaha burial insurance or final expense policy. If you or your parent have health issues that have disqualified you from getting coverage before, this type of policy may be your only option. Note: If you're a young parent, consider a Mutual of Omaha term policy instead.

Mutual of Omaha’s final expense life insurance policies are available to applicants between 45 and 85 without a medical exam, with a maximum of $40,000 in coverage. Among our best burial life insurance companies, Mutual of Omaha has one of the more generous death benefits for a final expense policy (many cap coverage at or below $30,000). Though you can apply online for up to $25,000 in coverage, you may qualify for more coverage, a better rate, and a terminal illness rider if you call an agent.

Keep in mind that burial insurance policies often have a graded death benefit period for the first two to three years. If you apply online with Mutual of Omaha, your policy will have a two-year graded benefit period—If you pass during this time from natural causes, your beneficiaries will receive a return of premium plus 10%. But if you apply with an agent, you may be able to get a policy without one.

Best for Financial Stability : Northwestern Mutual

Investopedia's Rating
3.6

  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations. A++
  • Accepts Credit Cards: No
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Highest financial strength rating

  • Good customer satisfaction score

  • Very few customer complaints

  • Whole life insurance with dividends

  • No-medical-exam coverage available

Cons
  • Can't apply without an agent

  • Minimal information on website

Why We Chose It

Northwestern Mutual is a financially stable behemoth of an insurance company. It's the largest life insurer in the country and has an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best, an Aaa rating from Moody's, and an AAA rating from Fitch. These are the highest financial strength ratings each agency assigns.

The company also excels in customer satisfaction. In J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, it took third place out of 21 providers, ranking behind State Farm and Nationwide.

In terms of coverage, Northwestern Mutual offers a range of policy types, including dividend-paying whole life insurance. In fact, it's paid dividends to eligible policyholders for the past 150 years. This along with its superior financial strength also makes it a top pick for best whole life insurance companies. Plus, some healthy applicants can apply for no-exam life insurance for up to $1 million in coverage.

The main drawback is a lack of transparency on Northwestern Mutual's website. If you want policy details, you'll need to call to speak to an agent.

Best for Instant-Issue Term : Haven Life

Investopedia's Rating
4.6

  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations. A++
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • User-friendly website

  • Online quotes and application

  • Online chat

  • Free accelerated death benefit rider

Cons
  • Term policies are not convertible

  • Low maximum issue ages for term life insurance

  • Few riders available

Why We Chose It

Haven Life is the best life insurance company for parents who want same-day term life coverage and prefer to transact online. Of the 91 life insurance companies we reviewed, Haven Life has the best online application platform, with helpful tips and live chat if you need it.

Haven offers two term life policies—Haven Term and Haven Simple. You can apply for Haven Term online, but will need to undergo an offline medical exam. In exchange, you may qualify for a lower rate, a higher coverage amount, and you can elect a 30-year term, depending on your age. Haven Simple is a no-exam term policy that can be issued immediately upon completing the online application. But policy terms are capped at 20 years, Policies are underwritten by MassMutual or its subsidiary, C. M. Life. Both are A++ (Superior) rated by AM Best for financial strength.

Note that Haven Life may not be an option for older parents. The max issue age for Haven Term is 64 years old, and the max issue age for Haven Simple is 55 years old. It's also not a good choice if you want to exchange your term coverage for permanent coverage later on. Because Haven Life only sells term life insurance, there’s no option to convert the policy to a permanent life insurance policy. This feature is offered by most of the best term life insurance companies we reviewed.

The company also falls short when it comes to riders. While both term life policies include a free accelerated death benefit rider, the selection of optional riders is relatively limited.

Best for Older Parents : New York Life

Investopedia's Rating
4.0

  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations. A++
  • Accepts Credit Cards: No
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Whole life policies issued up to age 90

  • A++ (Superior) financial strength rating

  • Strong dividend history

  • Riders available for customization

Cons
  • Maximum term lengths of 20 years

  • No online quotes or application

Why We Chose It

New York Life is an excellent choice for older parents. The company issues term life policies to applicants up to 75 years old, and whole life policies up to age 90. In addition, New York Life has been paying eligible policyholders dividends for the past 168 years and has an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best.

You can customize coverage with a wide range of policy types and riders, including accelerated benefit riders if you experience a critical, chronic, or terminal illness.

But New York Life doesn’t offer online quotes for any of its policies, so you’ll need to work with an agent if you want to get a price estimate or apply.

Compare the Best Life Insurance for Parents of 2022

Overall Rating Best For
AM Best Rating
AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.
Term Life Sample Cost
Policy Types
Accepts Credit Cards
Reset All
Protective
4.6
Best Overall A+ $22.92/month Indexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), Whole Yes Get A Quote
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State Farm Life Insurance
4.0
Best for Customer Satisfaction A++ $35.24/month Final Expense, Term, Universal (UL), Whole Yes Get A Quote
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Nationwide
4.7
Best for Whole Life A+ $26.25/month Final Expense, Indexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), Whole Yes Get A Quote
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Mutual of Omaha
4.4
Best Burial Insurance A+ $28.38/month Final Expense, Indexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL) Yes Get A Quote
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Northwestern Mutual
3.6
Best for Financial Stability A++ N/A Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), Whole No Get A Quote
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Haven Life
4.6
Best for Instant-Issue Term A++ $22.91/month Term Yes Get A Quote
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New York Life
4.0
Best for Older Parents A++ N/A Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), Whole No Get A Quote
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Final Verdict

Whether you're searching for your own life insurance policy to cover your family or looking at life insurance for a parent, the companies above are a good place to start. To narrow it down, it's helpful to consider your personal circumstances. Are you young, in excellent health, and looking for a cheap policy that last around 30 years? Check out Protective or Haven Life's Haven Term policy. If you're in good health and are willing to pay a few more dollars a month, Haven's Haven Simple policy is perhaps the breeziest way to get term coverage.

On the other hand, if you're older, in poor health, and need permanent coverage, one of Mutual of Omaha's final expense policies is likely a better fit. Or, if you're looking for a permanent policy that pays dividends, consider Northwestern Mutual and New York Life. But don't forget Nationwide, which offers a wide range of options plus benefits for chronic, critical, and terminal illnesses. And if you already insure with State Farm, check your discount by bundling life insurance with your existing insurance policy.

1:28
What Is Life Insurance?

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Life Insurance Work for a Parent?

There are two types of life insurance for parents—term life insurance and permanent life insurance. Term life insurance cover you for a certain period (called the term), which is often between 10 and 30 years. If you pass away during the term, your beneficiary receives the death benefit. Permanent life insurance, such as whole life, means lifetime protection. The insurance company pays out whenever you pass away.

In addition, permanent life insurance policies accumulate cash value, a feature that term policies don’t have. The cash value grows with each premium payment, and as the policyholder, you can withdraw or borrow the money. The cash value helps keep life insurance costs down as you age.

Can I Buy Life Insurance for My Parents?

Yes. The owner of the policy and the insured individual can be two different people. But you'll need your parent's consent. They will need to sign the application and undergo a medical exam, if required. You may also have to demonstrate that you have an insurable interest in them. This means you would suffer financially or emotionally as a result of their death. Parents often fall into the latter category.

What Does Life Insurance for Parents Cost?

The cost of life insurance depends on a variety of factors, including tobacco use, health, occupation, the type of policy, and the policy’s death benefit. Life insurance is cheaper the younger and healthier you are, and term life insurance policies are cheaper than permanent policies. This is because permanent policies, like whole life and universal life insurance, have a cash value and are designed to last for a longer period of time. 

To demonstrate how life insurance premiums increase with age, we can look at term life premiums from Protective. Average rate data shows that the cost of term life insurance for a 25-year-old is $16.06 per month. For a 55-year-old, however, Protective’s average premium is much higher, at $107.12 per month.

Methodology

In order to compile our list of the best life insurance companies, we developed a comprehensive life insurance methodology. We started off by researching what consumers want from life insurance companies, and for that, we looked to third-party consumer studies, including J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Life Insurance New Business Study and the 2021 Insurance Barometer Study, by Life Happens and LIMRA. 

With those findings in mind, we gathered more than 50 data points on 91 life insurance companies, including ratings for financial strength, customer satisfaction, and customer complaints, as well as information about years in business, cost, online tools, no-exam options, policy types and features, and available riders. 

Our review process gave preference to companies with superior financial stability, few customer complaints, and a robust suite of products and resources. In particular, we valued online quoting and application tools, transparent pricing, and no-exam policy options. Companies received ratings boosts if customer service was accessible via features like live chat.

We compared individual offerings between companies by delving deeper into product specifics, including maximum coverage amounts, maximum issue ages, included riders, and product-specific application processes. We used this research to determine the best companies for different products and consumer groups, including term life insurance and the best life insurance for parents. 

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Protective Life Corporation and Its Key Life Subsidiaries."

  2. J.D. Power. “2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study.”

  3. AM Best. "State Farm Life Insurance Company."

  4. AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Its Key Operating Subsidiaries."

  5. Northwestern Mutual. "Financial Information."

  6. AM Best. "Northwestern Mutual Group."

  7. AM Best. "Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company."

  8. AM Best. "New York Life Insurance Company."