Ladder Life Insurance Review

Ladder's flexible term life coverage fits your needs now and in the future

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Ladder Life Insurance

Ladder Life Insurance

Our Take

Though policy options through Ladder are a bit limited, this company offers a unique approach to flexible coverage: Your death benefit can be increased or decreased as needed. This means that whether you eventually need to apply for more coverage (once you get married, buy a home, or have children) or one day need less coverage (once you pay off your home, reach retirement age, or your kids are grown), you can easily make fee-free adjustments to your policy.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Up to $8 million in term coverage available

  • Policies available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

  • Offers policyholders the ability to decrease or apply to increase coverage over the years

  • No medical exams required for some applicants

Cons
  • No whole or universal life coverage

  • No policy riders

  • No coverage beyond age 70

Key Takeaways
  • Between $100,000 and $8 million in term coverage is offered to applicants ages 20 through 60.
  • As your life and financial needs change, so can your coverage; decrease or apply to increase your death benefit at any time, without fees or penalties.
  • Coverage can last up to age 70 and is offered to applicants in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • No whole or universal life coverage is available, nor does Ladder offer riders on their term policies.
Company Overview

Founded in 2015, Ladder is a newer life insurance agency trying to bring a unique product structure to the table. The company offers only term life insurance coverage, with benefits that can be adjusted up or down as needed over the course of the policy.

Ladder policies are available across the country. Depending on where you are located, this coverage is issued by Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York or Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.

Geographical Restrictions

Ladder policies are available in all 50 states within the United States, as well as the District of Columbia.

  • Year Founded 2015
  • Kinds of Plans Term life
  • Number of Plans 1 (five term lengths to choose from)
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly
  • Customer Service Chat, email, phone* (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, 800-648-8624) *Phone agents are only available to policyholders whose coverage is issued by Fidelity Security Life
  • Official Website www.ladderlife.com

Ladder is not one of our top-rated life insurance companies. You can review our list of the best life insurance companies for what we think are better options.

Pros Explained

  • Up to $8 million in term coverage available: Term policies through Ladder offer between $100,000 and $8 million in coverage. 
  • Offers policyholders the ability to decrease or apply to increase coverage over the years: As the name suggests, this carrier allows you to “ladder” your coverage as time goes on, increasing or decreasing policy limits when needed. If you need more coverage because you bought a home or now have kids, you can apply to do so. Need to decrease coverage when the kids are grown or the student loans are repaid? No problem.
  • Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.: Ladder policies are available in all 50 states as well as in Washington, D.C., through partner issuers, Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York and Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.
  • No medical exams required for some applicants: Ladder guarantees that you won't need to undergo a medical exam—just answer a few health questions—for as much as $3 million in coverage. If you're applying for more than that, additional underwriting may be required.

Cons Explained

  • No whole or universal life coverage: Ladder only offers term life insurance coverage. If you’re looking for whole life, universal life, or a guaranteed issue policy, you’ll need to shop elsewhere.
  • No policy riders: There are no riders offered on the term policies at Ladder. 
  • No coverage beyond age 70: You can buy coverage between the ages of 20 to 60, for term periods ranging from 10 to 30 years in length. However, you may not choose a term that provides coverage beyond age 70, which is the coverage maximum. So if you’re 57 years old, you’ll only be able to buy a 10-year term policy through age 67.
Fast Fact

One-third of insured Americans don’t believe they have enough life insurance coverage, making a good argument for carriers that allow for coverage increases.

Available Plans

There is only one type of life insurance plan available from Ladder. However, the flexibility of coverage may make up for it with some applicants.

Term Life

Ladder offers term life insurance that lasts between 10 and 30 years. Policies are offered in 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year term options, up to a maximum covered age of 70. Coverage limits range from $100,000 to $8 million, and coverage can be increased or decreased as needed throughout the course of the policy term. A paramedical exam is not necessary when applying for up to $3 million in coverage through Ladder. If you're applying for more coverage, a medical exam may be required.

Though term life coverage is often the easiest and most affordable option, it’s also a limited (temporary) product. If you want life insurance coverage that will last permanently—or at least well into your older years—consider whether you need whole or universal life instead.

Available Riders

Riders are optional coverage add-ons that can be included on a life insurance policy. These extra features provide a variety of benefits such as coverage for spouses and/or children, accelerated death benefits in case of a terminal illness, additional coverage for accidental death, return of premium, term conversion, and more. 

There are no riders offered on Ladder life insurance policies. Whether you’re hoping to protect other members of your family on the same policy, convert your term coverage to a permanent product, or protect yourself with accelerated benefits, Ladder’s term policies can’t help.

Customer Service

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, you can chat online with one of Ladder’s live representatives, whether you have questions about a new policy or need to make changes to your existing coverage. You can also message Ladder anytime via email (help@ladderlife.com) or the company’s online contact form; you can expect an answer during normal business hours.

Complaint Index

Each year, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) calculates a complaint index for a specific carrier, to help compare and track consumer complaint trends. This number considers the company’s market share, premiums received, as well as how many complaints were filed compared to how many it was expected to receive for its size. 

The average number of complaints is always 1.00, when adjusted for market share. A company with a complaint index below 1.00 means the company received fewer complaints than expected. If their index is higher than 1.00, the company received more complaints than expected. For instance, a 2.00 complaint index means the carrier received twice as many claims as the average for their size.

Since there is more than one company issuing Ladder’s policies (depending on where you’re located), there are multiple complaint indices to consider. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, for instance, received a complaint index of 0.16 in 2021 and 0.33 in 2020. For Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, the 2021 complaint index states there was only one complaint, resulting in a complaint index of 0.07.

Third-Party Ratings

Ladder life insurance policies are issued by two different companies: Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York (for New York policies) and Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America for all other states and Washington, D.C. 

Both Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America and Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York have received A+ (Superior) financial strength ratings from AM Best, affirmed in October 2021. These ratings are based on an analysis of financial position and operating performance, and indicate a strong likelihood that the companies will be able to hold up their end of the policy if and when your loved ones ever need to file a claim.

Additionally, Ladder currently has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with more than 1,900 consumer reviews. Many reviews praise the simplicity and speed of buying a policy, as well as fair pricing.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel your new Ladder policy within the first 30 days it’s active, you’ll receive a full refund of premiums paid. If you cancel beyond the 30-day mark, you won’t be charged any fees or penalties to end your coverage. You’ll simply need to contact the company to initiate the cancellation process.

Price

Since Ladder only offers term life insurance coverage, it’s generally more affordable than purchasing the same level of whole or universal life coverage.

There are many factors that go into calculating the price of your new life insurance policy. The cost may be impacted by everything from your age and location to your occupation, hobbies, tobacco use, medical history, and certain health factors. Of course, the more coverage you request (and the longer the term you choose), the more you can expect to pay. 

You can also expect your gender to affect rates in most cases. Though you won’t be denied life insurance coverage for being a non-binary individual, you will find that most life insurance carriers require you to notate either your birth or legal gender on your application. 

To determine how much your policy will cost through Ladder, you can check your rate online.

Competition

Anytime you’re shopping around for a life insurance policy, it’s important to compare multiple carriers. This allows you to see what options are available to you and get a good idea of pricing.

In the chart below, we have compared Ladder with a similar online-based company, Bestow. Like Ladder, Bestow only offers term life coverage without any optional riders. Both companies provide an online buying process and between 10 and 30 years of coverage.

Ladder’s policies are available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., while Bestow does not currently offer coverage in New York state.

  Ladder Bestow
Market Share  Not applicable (<1%) Not applicable (<1%)
Number of Plans 1 (five term lengths) 1 (five term lengths)
Dividends for 2020 None None
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives Not applicable Not applicable
Service Method Online Online
AM Best Rating A+ A+
Complaints Trend 0.16 Excellent 0.21 Excellent
Final Verdict

Ladder is a unique insurance company, allowing policyholders to “ladder” (decrease or apply to increase) their coverage limits over time as their financial needs change. This coverage is only offered in the form of term life coverage and no riders are available. 

However, there are no hidden fees or penalties, and you can adjust your policy benefits at any time. The company provides up to $8 million in coverage throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia to applicants ages 20 through 60.


Ladder Insurance Services, LLC (CA license # 0K22568; AR license # 3000140372) offers term life insurance policies: (i) in New York, on behalf of Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, New York, NY (policy form # MN-26); and (ii) in all other states and the District of Columbia on behalf of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, MN (policy form # ICC20P-AZ100 and # P-AZ100). Only Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York is authorized to issue life insurance in the state of New York.  Insurance policy prices, coverages, features, terms, benefits, exclusions, limitations and available discounts vary between these insurers and are subject to qualifications.  Each insurer is solely responsible for any claims and has financial responsibility for its own products.

Methodology

To offer readers the most complete analysis of life insurance companies, we created a methodology to carefully analyze each company thoroughly. This means looking at the products offered, availability, customer service accessibility, industry and third-party ratings, and their overall reputation. We also consider the available features and benefits of that coverage, as well as the price and how it compares to other, similar companies.

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. LIMRA. "2020 Insurance Barometer Study," Page 28, Figure 26.

  2. NAIC. "Allianz Life Ins Co Of N Amer National Complaint Index Report."

  3. NAIC. "Allianz Life Ins Co Of NY National Complaint Index Report."

  4. Trustpilot. "Ladder Reviews."