Ladder Life Insurance Review

Straightforward term coverage

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Ladder Life Insurance

Ladder Life Insurance

Investopedia’s Rating

Our Take

Ladder offers straightforward term life insurance policies issued by a few different carriers. Since it does not offer any customization options, the company is best for people who want a simple term policy that’s easy to apply for. However, you’re likely to find better pricing for term coverage elsewhere, especially if you’re healthy and willing to undergo a medical screening.

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

  • No medical exam for most applicants

  • Flexible coverage amounts

  • No available riders

  • Term coverage is not convertible

  • Must be 60 or younger to apply

  • Low age limits for 30-year term

Company Overview

Ladder is relatively new to the industry. The company was founded in 2015 and launched in 2017. It is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, and offers term life insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.To date, Ladder has helped to provide over $49 billion in coverage.

  • Year Founded 2015
  • Kinds of Policies Term life
  • Payment Options ACH transfer or credit/debit card
  • Customer Service Chat, email, phone (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST)
  • Official Website
Ladder Life Insurance

Ladder Life Insurance

overall rating

Pros Explained

  • Up to $8 million in coverage available: At Ladder, you can apply for between $100,000 and $8 million in term coverage (up to $3 million in CA). 
  • No medical exam required for most applicants: If you apply for $3 million in coverage or less, you’ll enjoy a 100% digital process (that can take as little as five minutes to complete) without a medical exam; just some health-related questions need to be answered as part of the online application. While there are better no-medical-exam life insurance providers, Ladder's speedy application process stands out. 
  • Flexible coverage amounts: It’s easy to step down your coverage at any time. For example, you could ladder down once your mortgage is paid and again once your kids have graduated. Your premium will decrease by a proportionate amount. You can increase your coverage as well, but note that you’ll need to re-apply for an increase.

Cons Explained

  • No available riders: You can’t customize your policy or have access to accelerated death benefits with Ladder. 
  • Term coverage is not convertible: Because Ladder doesn’t offer any permanent life insurance coverage, you won’t have the option to convert your term coverage to a whole life or universal life insurance policy later on. 
  • Must be 60 or younger to apply: You can’t apply if you’re older than 60 and you can’t choose a term that will run past age 70. If you’re 60 and applying for life insurance from Ladder, you’re limited to a 10-year term. 
  • Low age limits for 30-year term: While Ladder offers a convenient way to get term coverage, you won't qualify for a 30-year term policy unless you're 40 or younger. For comparison, many companies we reviewed offer 30-year term policies to 55-year-olds.

Complaint Index

Below are the three-year average complaint indexes for two of the companies that underwrite Ladder's policies.

Life Insurance Issuer 3-Year Average Complaint Index 
Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company® 0.223
Allianz Life Insurance Company of NY  0.067

This data was provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which reports a complaint index for every insurance company based on the number of complaints it receives relative to the company’s market share. An index of 1.00 indicates an expected number of complaints, while an index less than 1.00 indicates fewer complaints than expected.

As shown above, all two of Ladder’s insurance issuers received far fewer complaints than expected over the last three years.

Most of the top insurers we recommend don’t have a complaint index higher than 1.00 in any given year. 

Third-Party Ratings

Ladder’s issuing partners are highly rated for financial strength and stability, meaning those companies are very likely to meet their financial obligations, such as paying claims. For example, Allianz Life Insurance Co. of New York has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best, and Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company® has an A (Excellent) rating.*

AM Best assesses a company's financial strength, including ability to pay claims on time, on a graded scale of D to A+, based on a review of its balance sheet and operational performance. We typically don’t recommend any insurers that score below the A bracket. While the AM Best ratings for Ladder indicate that its issuers are financially stable, some of the top companies we review get even higher grades from AM Best. 

Policies Available

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is designed to provide support for your family after you die. For example, it can help pay the mortgage and your children's educational costs. With Ladder, you can choose a 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, or 30-year term and get coverage up to age 70. If you die within that term, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit, and you can get up to $3 million in coverage without a medical exam. However, if you die after the policy ends, your beneficiaries will not receive a payout. Term life policies also do not have a cash value component like permanent policies do, but they’re available at a fraction of the cost. 

You can adjust your coverage amount at any time. For example, you might choose to ladder down and pay a lower premium once your mortgage is paid.

Available Riders

Riders are add-ons to an insurance policy that allow you to customize your coverage. Many life insurance companies offer riders that allow you to add coverage for your children, provide you with an accelerated death benefit in certain cases, or allow you to waive premiums if you become disabled. If you want to personalize your coverage with riders, Ladder isn’t the right choice for you. The company offers one simple term policy that is adjustable, but doesn’t offer any riders. 

Customer Service

Ladder has a live chat feature, but it’s only available during business hours. You can also call 1-844-533-7206 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT. Or you can email customer support at at any time.

Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers

We designed a comprehensive ranking methodology based on consumer priorities and life insurance company fundamentals to rank more than 90 insurers across five general categories: financial stability, customer satisfaction, product and feature variety, the overall buying experience, and cost.

In order to do this, we collected over 5,000 data points and scored each company based on 55 metrics. We grouped metrics by category to see how insurers performed in each; we then weighted category scores to determine how companies performed overall.

To learn more, read our full Life Insurance Methodology.

*Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York has been rated A+ (Superior) affirmed June 2022 and Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company® (Policy #TL-146; Form M-1069) has been rated A (Excellent) based on an analysis of financial position and operating performance, by A.M. Best Company, an independent analyst of the insurance industry. For the latest rating, access

Ladder Insurance Services, LLC (CA license # 0K22568; AR license # 3000140372) offers term life insurance policies: (i) in California, on behalf of its affiliate, Ladder Life Insurance Company, Menlo Park, CA (policy form # P-LL100CA); (ii) in New York, on behalf of Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, New York, NY (policy form # MN-26); and (iii) Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company®, Kansas City, MO (policy form # ICC17-M-1069, M-1069 and policy # TL-146) in the District of Columbia and all states except New York and California. 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 among these insurers and are subject to qualifications.  Each insurer is solely responsible for any claims and has financial responsibility for its own products.

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 Allianz SE and Rated Subsidiaries."

  2. AM Best. "AM Best Upgrades Credit Ratings of Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiary."