Most Affordable Life Insurance Companies of 2022

Protective offers the most affordable term coverage and easy online applications

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91 Companies reviewed
55 Features considered
5 Awarded "Best of 2022"

Life insurance is designed to keep your loved ones financially secure after your passing. However, finding a policy that fits into your budget for the long haul can be a challenge, especially when looking at permanent coverage. The good news is that term life insurance is much more affordable and can cover the needs of many families.

So how do you find the most affordable term coverage? The cost can vary greatly from one provider to the next so our team did the research for you. We vetted dozens of insurance companies, analyzing factors like term coverage costs, financial stability, customer service, and much more.

Most Affordable Life Insurance Companies of 2022

For the cheapest coverage, compare life insurance quotes on Policygenius before buying.

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 & Cons
Pros
  • Tied for most affordable term coverage

  • Wide selection of insurance plans available

  • Online application and fast decisions

  • Term policies up to 40 years

  • Superior financial strength rating

Cons
  • Poor customer satisfaction ranking

Why We Chose It

Protective Life Insurance tied with Banner for offering the most affordable term coverage of all the insurers we reviewed. In fact, it places for best term coverage in our reviews of the best life insurance companies of 2022 and the best life insurance companies for people over 50. It’s also our top pick for best term life insurance companies

On top of affordability, Protective stands out by offering term policies up to 40 years—most other insurers only offer terms up to 30. Plus, unlike many other companies offering term life coverage, Protective makes it easy to apply online without having to contact an agent. 

As for reliability, Protective earned an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best, which means it has demonstrated a superior ability to meet its financial obligations, like paying claims. We also looked at complaint data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to see how many customer complaints it received. Protective has a three-year average complaint index of 0.69 for individual life insurance—meaning it gets fewer complaints than expected based on its size. And if you want permanent coverage, you can choose from a complete lineup that includes whole life insurance, universal life, indexed universal life, and variable universal life policies.

However, the company didn’t fare well in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, placing 16th out of the 21 life insurers evaluated.

Learn more in our Protective Life Insurance review.

Best for Cheapest Coverage : Banner

Investopedia's Rating
4.2

  • 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 & Cons
Pros
  • Tied for most affordable term coverage

  • No-med-exam coverage up to $2 million

  • Online application, quote, and same-day decisions

  • Superior financial strength rating

  • Far fewer complaints than expected

Cons
  • Limited policy types

  • Limited riders

Why We Chose It 

Banner Life Insurance also tops the list when it comes to affordable term life insurance coverage—tying with Protective for the least expensive policies of those we reviewed. Like Protective, it offers the rare 40-year term option and an easy online application process. Additionally, qualifying applicants between the ages of 20 and 60 can get up to $2 million in life insurance coverage without needing to undergo a medical exam. 

When it comes to financial strength and customer satisfaction, Banner fares well. It earned an A+ (Superior) from AM Best for demonstrating a superior ability to meet its payment obligations and has far fewer complaints than are expected for an insurer of its size. Drawbacks are that the company offers fewer types of policies and riders than many competitors.

Learn more in our Banner Life Insurance review.

Best for No Medical Exam : Penn Mutual

Investopedia's Rating
4.3

  • 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 & Cons
Pros
  • No-med-exam coverage available for up to $7.5 million

  • Affordable term coverage

  • Wide variety of coverage types

  • Superior financial strength rating

  • Some policies eligible for dividends

Cons
  • No online quotes on the website

  • No online applications (without an agent)

  • Limited information on the website

Why We Chose It 

Penn Mutual Life Insurance made the list due to its affordable term policies and the high amount of coverage available without a medical exam. Thanks to the insurer’s accelerated underwriting program, qualifying applicants 65 and under can get up to $7.5 million in life insurance without undergoing an exam. This is the highest amount we’ve seen without an exam which is why the company is one of the best no-medical-exam life insurance companies. Plus, Penn Mutual has consistently paid dividends to eligible policyholders for more than 175 years, placing it in our list of best whole life insurance companies.

The insurer also earned an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best, demonstrating a superior ability to meet its financial obligations. Further, its NAIC three-year complaint index average for individual life insurance sits at just 0.23, meaning it has far fewer complaints than expected based on its size.

In addition to term coverage, Penn Mutual offers a comprehensive lineup of life insurance products including whole life, universal life, indexed universal life, and variable universal life. While not guaranteed, the company has consistently paid dividends to eligible policyholders for more than 175 years. 

Learn more in our Penn Mutual Life Insurance review.

Best for Customer Satisfaction : Pacific Life Insurance

Investopedia's Rating
4.1

  • 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 & Cons
Pros
  • Ranks 4th for customer satisfaction

  • Affordable term coverage

  • Far fewer complaints than expected

  • Wide range of policies and riders

  • Superior financial strength rating

Cons
  • No online quotes on the website

  • No online applications (without an agent)

Why We Chose It

Pacific Life Insurance offers very affordable term life insurance coverage and stands out for its high-quality customer service. The company ranked 4th in J.D. Power and Associate’s 2021 Individual Life Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction. The study measured each insurer’s performance in five areas which included communication, interaction, price, offerings, and statements. 

With high marks for customer service, it’s no surprise that the company also has far fewer complaints than are to be expected for an insurer of its size, according to the NAIC. In looking at three years of complaint index data, Pacific Life’s average complaint index was a very low 0.08 for individual life insurance—one of the best of all the insurers we reviewed, and indicating a very low number of complaints. For this reason, it placed in our reviews of the best life insurance companies for seniors and the best no-med-exam life insurance companies

Additionally, Pacific Life offers a wide variety of insurance policy types and riders. While term coverage is the most affordable, you can also opt for universal life, variable universal life, or indexed universal life.

Learn more in our Pacific Life Insurance review.

Best for Financial Stability : Thrivent 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: No
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Superior financial strength rating

  • Affordable term coverage

  • Far fewer complaints than are expected

  • Pays dividends

Cons
  • Limited ADB riders (only terminal illness)

  • No online application available without an agent

  • Faith-based membership may exclude some applicants

Why We Chose It 

Thrivent made our list for many reasons but primarily because it offers very affordable term life coverage and earned the highest possible financial strength rating from AM Best. AM Best rates insurers based on their ability to meet their financial obligations on a scale from a D (Poor) to an A++ (Superior). Thrivent has earned the highest superior rating of an A++ (Superior) so it’s extremely likely that claims are to be paid as promised. 

Beyond that, Thrivent has far fewer complaints than are to be expected for an insurer of its size, according to NAIC complaint index data. Its average complaint index over three years was 0.076 for individual life insurance. As for its life insurance offerings, a stand-out feature is the potential to receive dividends on whole life, universal life, and variable universal life policies. The company also offers flexible conversion options for term insurance policyholders and lenient guaranteed purchase option riders on permanent policies.

Learn more in our Thrivent life insurance review.

Compare the Most Affordable Life Insurance Companies 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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Banner
4.2
Best for Cheapest Coverage A+ $22.92/month Term, Universal (UL) No Get A Quote
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Penn Mutual
4.3
Best for No Medical Exam A+ $23.92/month Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), Whole Yes Get A Quote
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Pacific Life Insurance
4.1
Best for Customer Satisfaction A+ $23.64/month Indexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), Whole No Get A Quote
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Thrivent Life Insurance
4.0
Best for Financial Stability A++ $23.01/month Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), Whole No Get A Quote
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Final Verdict 

These five companies not only offer some of the most affordable term life insurance coverage on the market but are financially stable and keep customer complaints to a minimum. That said, you’ll find that each has unique strengths. For example, Protective is a strong insurer that tops the list with cheap term quotes and an easy online application process (without an agent). But it falls short in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction study. 

On the other hand, Pacific Life Insurance ranked 4th in study, but you’ll have to reach out to an agent if you want to apply for coverage. In short, while all of these insurers are worth checking out for affordable term coverage, the best fit will depend on your situation and priorities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is Cheaper: Term or Whole Life Insurance?

Term life insurance is cheaper than whole life insurance because it’s not a permanent policy and doesn’t have a cash value component. Whole life policies are designed to cover you for your whole life, including your most expensive years (old age). Since whole life premiums have to cover the costs of insurance and build the cash value component, this type of coverage is more expensive than term.

Why Is Term Life Insurance Cheap?

Term life insurance is cheaper than permanent life insurance because it’s not permanent and isn’t designed to be in force during a policyholder’s most expensive years—old age. It also doesn’t have a cash value component. Since the premiums you pay don’t need to fund the cash value or cover the costs of insurance in your later years, it’s much less expensive. 

Is Life Insurance Worth It?

Life insurance can be a worthwhile tool to protect others against the financial implications of your death. However, whether it’s worth it for you or not will depend on factors like who you support, your outstanding debts, and your savings. Further, either term or permanent coverage may make sense for you, depending on your situation and needs. Here’s a closer look at each. 

However, if you have family that rely on you for care or financial support, it generally makes sense to have at least a term life insurance policy in place. And if you have need for permanent coverage (such as if you have a special needs child), it’s often better to purchase life insurance sooner rather than later, in case your own health deteriorates making a policy unaffordable or difficult to get.

How We Chose the Most Affordable Life Insurance Companies

We started the process of finding the most affordable life insurance companies by reviewing third-party consumer studies to determine what consumers look for in life insurance providers. With that knowledge, we moved on to reviewing the life insurance offerings of 32 life insurance companies. We collected more than 50 data points on each insurer including customer complaints ratings, term life insurance quotes, financial strength, available riders, and more. 

To choose the most affordable companies, we compared those that offered the lowest-cost term policies. We gave preference to companies that offer transparent pricing via online quotes, an online application experience (without an agent), and no-med-exam life insurance. We also preferred companies with lower-than-expected customer complaint indexes, top ratings from AM Best for financial strength, and a comprehensive lineup of life insurance offerings. 

Among the most affordable and reputable companies, we wanted to identify which were best for different consumer preferences (such as the best affordable no medical exam life insurance). To find out we researched each company’s products in-depth, looking at specifics such as maximum coverage amounts, riders, no-exam coverage limits, and more. 

Affordable Life Insurance Companies