New Era Life Insurance Review

Final expense coverage with limited resources and sub-par financial ratings

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New Era Life Insurance

New Era Life Insurance

Our Take

New Era Life Insurance Company has limited policy offerings, no riders, and below-average financial stability scores. If you’re looking for final expense insurance, there are plenty of other providers that offer better coverage options and have higher ratings across the board.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Coverage available without a medical exam

  • Offers some unique non-life insurance products

  • Some online policy management capabilities

Cons
  • Traditional life insurance policies not available

  • No online tools or coverage calculators

  • Can’t get a quote online

  • Poor financial strength rating

Key Takeaways
  • New Era’s only traditional life insurance policy is final expense insurance.
  • The company has a B++ financial strength rating from AM Best, which is below average.
  • There are no online tools, resources, or an online quote generator.
  • New Era doesn’t offer any riders for additional protection.
Company Overview

New Era Life Insurance Company was established in 1924 and is based in Houston, Texas. The company owns two subsidiaries—New Era Life Insurance Company of the Midwest and Philadelphia American Life Insurance Company—which together make up the New Era Group. 

Although New Era calls itself a life insurance company, it doesn't sell many traditional life insurance policies. In fact, there is only one life insurance policy available. New Era focuses more on supplemental insurance, like dental insurance, health indemnity plans, critical illness insurance, and accident insurance.

New Era’s website doesn’t mention where coverage is sold, so we recommend reaching out to the company to find out if coverage is available in your area. To purchase a life insurance policy from New Era, you’ll need to call or email the company to get connected to an agent.

  • Year Founded 1924
  • Kinds of Plans Final expense insurance
  • Number of Plans 1
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly, annually
  • Customer Service Phone: 800-552-7879; Email: lifeinsurance@neweralife.com
  • Official Website www.neweralife.com

New Era Life 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 

  • Coverage available without a medical exam: New Era Life Insurance’s final expense policy doesn’t require a medical exam, which means age and health won’t impact your ability to get approved.
  • Offers some unique non-life insurance products: New Era really stands out for its non-life insurance policies, like gap insurance and 24-hour accident insurance, which can be harder to find. 
  • Some online policy management capabilities: Although New Era’s website isn’t sophisticated, you can manage your policy and make basic changes through the online customer portal.

Cons Explained

  • Traditional life insurance policies not available: The only life insurance policy that New Era sells is final expense insurance, so if you want term or permanent coverage, this provider isn’t for you.
  • No online tools or coverage calculators: New Era doesn’t have any of the resources, like blog posts or coverage calculators, that many of the larger life insurance companies offer. 
  • Can’t get a quote online: There is currently no way to get an instant rate quote through New Era’s website.
  • Poor financial strength rating: New Era has a B++ rating from AM Best, which is technically in the “Good” category, but it’s a much lower score than many other life insurance companies have.

Available Plans

The only life insurance plan that New Era sells is final expense insurance. Coverage is available between $2,000 and $25,000, and the premiums stay the same for your entire life, regardless of age or health. Additionally, New Era’s final expense insurance policies have cash value that can be used to cover funeral expenses, final medical bills, or anything else. This policy is available without a medical exam for every applicant. Because New Era is not a mutual company, none of its insurance policies qualify for dividends.

Final expense insurance has very low coverage limits, so it’s only a good option if you want to help your loved ones pay for your funeral expenses and other end-of-life costs before your death.

Available Riders

Life insurance riders are optional policy add-ons that provide additional protection in the event of certain life circumstances. They can also help fill coverage gaps in your standard policy. Because New Era doesn’t offer any traditional life insurance policies, you can’t purchase any riders, like accidental death insurance or accelerated death benefits.

Customer Service

New Era Life Insurance doesn’t have many customer support channels. You can call the company at (800) 552-7879 or email the company at lifeinsurance@neweralife.com. It’s likely that New Era only monitors the phone and email account during regular business hours, so keep in mind that the company is located in the Central time zone.

To get a good sense of a company’s customer service, call the support number and have a conversation with an agent or representative. That can help you gauge how the company will treat you when you become a customer.

Complaint Index

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Company Complaint Index is a good indication of an insurance company’s customer experience and support. It scores companies using customer feedback around policy prices, claim settlement satisfaction, policy cancellation issues, agent interactions, and more. 

One of the major downsides to New Era Life Insurance is that the company has a high number of complaints. The NAIC gives New Era a score of 1.34, which is higher than the industry average rating of 1.0. For reference, 2020 was the first year that the company had any recorded complaints—seven in total. The company did not have any complaints in 2019 or 2018, which is as far back as the report data goes.

Third-Party Ratings

New Era Life Insurance Company doesn’t have exceptional financial stability, which is something to take into consideration if you are thinking about purchasing coverage. The company has a B++ rating from AM Best, which puts it in the “Good” category. Although this isn’t a terrible rating, it’s much lower than many of its competitors. 

New Era Life is not rated by J.D. Power, which is one of the leading industry research organizations. J.D. Power’s annual life insurance study scores the largest life insurance providers on overall customer satisfaction, using criteria such as price, product offerings, agent interactions, and communication with the company. 

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel a New Era final expense insurance policy at any time. However, it’s possible that you will have to pay a surrender charge if you cancel the policy while you’re still living. If you cancel your coverage because it’s no longer needed, you will receive a check for the cash value balance.

Price

Life insurance premiums are personalized. Individual circumstances like your age, your overall health, the amount of coverage you want, and your gender assigned at birth are all considered when you apply for coverage. Because New Era Life doesn’t have an online quote tool, it’s difficult to say how expensive or affordable the policies are, on average.

When you apply for a quote from New Era, you will be required to select the gender marker “male” or “female.” If you identify as transgender or nonbinary, it won’t affect your ability to get coverage. However, we recommend reaching out to New Era to find out what their underwriting processes are for transgender and nonbinary applicants.

Competition

One of New Era Life’s competitors is Lincoln Heritage, which is another insurance provider that only sells final expense coverage. Lincoln Heritage’s Funeral Advantage policy is the top final expense plan in the nation, according to its website. Final expense insurance from New Era and Lincoln Heritage is available without a medical exam. 

Although these two providers are comparable, Lincoln Heritage is the better option on most fronts. Lincoln Heritage's Funeral Advantage policy comes with unique extras, like emotional support resources and a dedicated representative from the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society (FCGS) to help plan funerals.

You can also get up to $100,000 in accidental death coverage from Lincoln Heritage with a standard burial insurance plan. Although New Era offers accidental death insurance, it’s sold as a separate policy, rather than a final expense endorsement.

Here’s a more detailed comparison of New Era Life versus Lincoln Heritage:

  New Era Life Insurance Lincoln Heritage
Market Share N/A N/A
Number of Plans 1 1
Dividends for 2020 Not applicable Not applicable
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives Not applicable  Not applicable 
Service Method Agents Agents
AM Best Rating B++ A-
Price Rank About average About average
Complaints Trend 1.34 (above average) 1.39 (above average)
Final Verdict

If you’re in the market for life insurance, we wouldn’t recommend New Era. The only policy available is final expense insurance, you can’t customize your coverage with riders, and the company has a high number of complaints. Additionally, the customer support is pretty limited and you don’t have access to online tools or resources that many other providers offer.

Methodology

Our reviews of life insurance companies are based on a quantitative approach that analyzes each insurer on their stability and reliability, customer service, claims experience, diversity of product lines, and cost. We compare the terms of each type of policy offered—including available coverage amounts, optional riders, and premium payment options—with those of other major life insurance companies. Lastly, we look at how the company is rated by third-party organizations to determine its reliability and overall reputation.

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 Upgrades Issuer Credit Ratings of New Era Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries." Accessed May 4, 2021.

  2. NAIC. "New Era Life Ins Co National Complaint Index Report." Accessed May 4, 2021.