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 life insurance company are a bit limited, this carrier offers a unique approach to flexible coverage: Your death benefit can be increased or decreased as needed. This means that whether you eventually need 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

  • Underwrites in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

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

  • No medical exams required for some applicants

Cons
  • No whole or universal life coverage

  • Online quotes require a lot of information

  • 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; increase or decrease 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 provider 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, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, or Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company.

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 increase or decrease 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. 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 its three partner issuers, Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, and Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company.
  • No medical exams required for some applicants: Though it’s impossible to know ahead of time which applicants will need to submit to a paramedical exam, Ladder does offer coverage to some customers without the need for any testing.

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.
  • Online quotes require a lot of information: Some carriers offer fast online quotes, which allow you to see your (approximate) rates with just a couple of short questions. With Ladder, you’ll need to provide a bit more information—including your occupation, Social Security number, income, and more—before you ever see pricing.
  • 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 may or may not be necessary when applying for coverage through Ladder, depending on your health history, age, and other key factors.

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.

If your policy is issued by Fidelity Security Life (FSL)—as is the case for policyholders in some states other than New York—you can also contact the company by phone during the hours above. Their toll-free number is 800-648-8624.

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 0.3383 in 2020 and 0.6354 in 2019. For Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, the 2020 complaint index states there are no complaints. Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, however, received an 8.27 complaint index for 2020—though, to be fair, that is adjusted for market share and only represents two total consumer complaints that year.

Third-Party Ratings

Ladder life insurance policies are issued by three different companies: Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York (for New York policies) or either Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America or Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company 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. Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company holds an A (Excellent) rating. These ratings 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 1,200 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 request pricing online. You’ll need to answer a number of questions and provide information such as your name, address, phone number, email address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number in order to actually get the quote, however.

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 carrier, 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.

Unlike Ladder, however, Bestow does not require medical exams for any applicants. And while Ladder’s policies are available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., 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 and A+ A+
Complaints Trend 0.3383 Very Good 0.74 Good
Final Verdict

Ladder life is a unique insurance carrier, allowing policyholders to “ladder” (increase or decrease) 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.

Methodology

To offer readers the most complete analysis of life insurance carriers, 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 carriers.

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. Accessed April 11, 2021.

  2. NAIC. "Allianz Life Ins Co Of N Amer National Complaint Index Report." Accessed April 11, 2021.

  3. NAIC. "Fidelity Security Life Ins Co National Complaint Index Report." Accessed April 11, 2021.

  4. Trustpilot. "Ladder Reviews." Accessed April 12, 2021.