Best Universal Life Insurance Companies

If you’re on the hunt for life insurance, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options available.

There are different types of policies, nationwide companies, and regional providers to consider – and that’s before you dig into the various nuances that separate individual plans.

Even if you have decided that a universal life insurance plan is the right fit, there’s still a ton of research that needs to be done to find the best universal life insurance for you.

We have done a lot of the heavy lifting here, painstakingly cataloging all of the major players in the life insurance market and putting together a list of the very best providers. In this case, we’re looking at the all-around top universal life insurance companies and what each brings to the table.

Top 10 Best Universal Life Insurance Companies

Each company we have selected offers competitive universal life insurance policies, but choosing the right provider will depend on what you value most as a customer.

Nevertheless, here are the top 10 best universal life insurance companies in 2019:

1.  United of Omaha

United of Omaha logo

United of Omaha customers have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to the quote, application and enrollment processes. If you’re looking to get a quick quote on universal life insurance coverage, you can fill out the required information through the company’s online forms or call an agent directly over the phone. Shoppers should be prepared to share general information regarding their age, health and lifestyle factors that may impact their terms of coverage and rate quotes.

As one might expect, the application process is a bit more involved, requiring prospective customers to provide more detailed information regarding their medical history. That being said, applying for universal life insurance through United of Omaha is typically a bit more streamlined than many other companies, often asking fewer health-related questions during the process.

United of Omaha Company Overview

  • Homepage URL: https://www.mutualofomaha.com
  • Company Phone: (402)342-7600
  • Headquarters Address: Dodge @ 33rd Street Omaha, Nebraska 68175
  • Founding date: 1909
  • Company size: National
  • Defining characteristics and strengths: Strong financial reputation, competitive pricing, easy enrollment options
  • Underwriter: Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company

United of Omaha Company Ratings & Financial Strength

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA-
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: A1
  • A.M. Best Financial Rating: A+
  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB complaints: 118
  • Trustpilot score: N/A
  • NAIC complaint ratio: 0.26
  • JD Power ratings/awards: N/A

United of Omaha Universal Life Insurance

United of Omaha’s universal life insurance products offer the flexibility and customization that customers would expect from this type of policy. Policyholders have the option of adjusting the amount and frequency of their premiums, as well as increasing or reducing their death benefit as needed.

There are four types of universal life insurance for United of Omaha customers to choose from: Life Protection Advantage, Income Advantage, Guaranteed Universal Life and AccumUL, providing several options to choose from.

Discounts

There is very little information available regarding United of Omaha discounts, but the company does have a reputation for competitively pricing its insurance products and giving customers a good value for their dollars. Individuals who maintain healthy lifestyles, abstain from risk factors like smoking and drinking alcohol, and lack any pre-existing medical conditions are more likely to receive favorable rates, but that would hold true for any life insurance company.

Universal Life Insurance Riders

Policyholders can add on several different riders to expand their coverage beyond what’s established in their universal life insurance plan. For instance, United of Omaha offers an Accidental Death Benefit for Chronic Illness Rider, Dependent Children’s Rider, and a Long-Term Care Rider.

One of the more compelling features available is the Guaranteed Refund Option, which builds in multiple opportunities for customers to cash out a portion of their accumulated cash value and cancel their policy.

2. American National

American-National-Insurance-Company-logo1

American National’s quote and application processes take a more hands-on and personal approach than shoppers might find with other companies. Although American National does have an online quote generator, that tool can only be used to receive quotes on auto and homeowner’s insurance products. To get a quote on universal life insurance, you will have to speak with an agent directly.

American National has dedicated agents who can help new and prospective customers find the right policy for their circumstances over the phone. There is also an online agent directly that shoppers can use to find someone in their area to speak with in person. If you prefer to digitally shop around, get quotes and apply for coverage, American National will come up a little short.

Also keep in mind that American National may ask that you complete a health exam before offering you a universal life insurance policy. That would be in addition to the standard questions an applicant should expect during the process, such as their medical history and if they engage in risky and potentially life-threatening activities.

American National Company Overview

  • Homepage URL: http://www.americannational.com/
  • Company Phone: (409) 763-4661
  • Headquarters Address: One Moody Plaza, Galveston, TX 77550
  • Founding date: 1905
  • Company size: National
  • Defining characteristics and strengths: Excellent financial reputation, strong customer experience ratings, wide range of policies and add-ons
  • Underwriter: American National Insurance Company

American National Company Ratings & Financial Strength

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: A
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: n/a
  • A.M. Best Financial Rating: A
  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB complaints: 0
  • Trustpilot score: N/A
  • NAIC complaint ratio: 0.37
  • JD Power ratings/awards: N/A

American National Universal Life Insurance

American National offers a pretty wide variety of policies and coverage options, giving customers a lot to mull over. Premiums and death benefits can be adjusted, and policyholders can deduct funds from their accumulated cash value to put toward other financial obligations and investments.

American National customers can choose between two types of universal life insurance: one tied to a fixed interest rate and the other tied to the performance of a specific stock index like the S&P 500. More options means more opportunities for American National customers to use their universal life insurance policy to grow their wealth.

Discounts

There aren’t too many options for prospective customers looking to get a discounted life insurance rate through American National. The company does offer a “three line” discount to those who purchase homeowners, auto and life insurance policies from the company.

Universal Life Insurance Riders

Customers who wish to expand their coverage can take advantage of the various riders that American National offers. For instance, accelerated benefit riders allow policyholders to pay some or all of their medical costs if they become terminally ill. American National also has a Guaranteed Cash-Out rider that gives customers the option of ending their coverage early and getting back some of the cash value they’ve built up over the course of their policy.

3. New York Life

new york life logoBecause New York Life’s website is somewhat difficult to navigate and fairly light on details, you may be better served calling an agent to get a quote or apply for universal life insurance policy.

That being said, there is an insurance calculator for those who are unsure how much coverage they need, so it isn’t completely devoid of online features.

New York Life Company Overview

  • Homepage URL: https://www.newyorklife.com/
  • Company Phone: (212) 576-7000
  • Headquarters Address:51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10010
  • Founding date: 1845
  • Company size: National
  • Defining characteristics and strengths: Strong financial reputation, wide variety of policy options and riders, solid customer experience
  • Underwriter: New York Life Insurance Company

New York Life Company Ratings & Financial strength

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA+
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: Aaa
  • A.M. Best Financial Rating: A++
  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB complaints: 81
  • Trustpilot score: 7.4
  • NAIC complaint ratio: 0.20
  • JD Power ratings/awards: N/A

New York Life Universal Life Insurance Coverage

New York Life is one of the premier life insurance companies in the United States, holding onto a 5.63% market share. The company offers both standard universal life insurance and variable universal life insurance products, giving prospective customers different options to consider.

Discounts

New York Life has not published much information regarding what discounts are available, although customers who bundle different policies and types of insurance through the company are likely to receive lower premiums.

Universal Life Insurance Riders

While New York Life comes up short when it comes to discounts and the application process, it makes up for that with its numerous riders, add-ons and other policy customization options. Disability Income, Child Protection, Long-Term Care and Accidental Death Benefit are just a few of the riders that can be purchased to expand your universal life insurance coverage.

4. Prudential

prudential life insurance logoThere are a number of online tools shoppers can use before they are ready to purchase a universal life insurance policy from Prudential. Getting a quote through the company’s website is relatively easy and the company provides a few different financial tools to help customers get the best return on their policy.

Customers can apply online or complete their application over the phone.

Prudential Company Overview

  • Homepage URL: https://www.prudential.com
  • Company Phone: (973) 802-6000
  • Headquarters Address: 751 Broad Street Newark, NJ 07102
  • Founding date: 1875
  • Company size: National
  • Defining characteristics and strengths: Solid financial reputation, nationwide footprint, numerous policy options
  • Underwriter: Prudential Insurance Company of America

Company Ratings & Financial Strength

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA-
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: Aa3
  • A.M. Best Financial Rating: a
  • BBB rating: B
  • BBB complaints: 57
  • Trustpilot score: 7.4
  • NAIC complaint ratio: N/A
  • JD Power ratings/awards: N/A

Prudential Universal Life Insurance Coverage

Prudential has a lengthy list of universal life insurance products, including indexed, variable and survivorship varieties. In fact, its universal life insurance offerings are a major selling point for the company, as it does not offer whole life packages. There are different customization, conversion and protection options to choose from if you want to adjust your policy at a later date.

Discounts

With the little information available regarding Prudential discounts, it’s probably fair to say that customers will need to be in good health and have few – if any – risk factors to receive significantly reduced premiums.

Universal Life Insurance Riders

Customization and flexibility are two of Prudential’s biggest selling points, and customers can tack on various riders to their universal life insurance policies. Some options include no-lapse guarantee, spouse protection, living needs benefit, and waiver of premium.

5. Aflac

aflac insurance logoAflac has a straightforward online quoting tool that can give you a sense of how much you will pay for coverage after providing a few details such as age, weight, and tobacco use.

You will have to either call an agent yourself or go through your employer to apply for coverage, however.

Aflac Company Overview

  • Homepage URL: https://www.aflac.com/
  • Company Phone: 706-323-3431
  • Headquarters: 1932 Wynnton Road Columbus, GA 31999
  • Founding date: 1955
  • Company size: National
  • Defining characteristics and strengths: Strong financial reputation, wide variety of policy options and riders, solid customer experience
  • Underwriter: Trustmark Insurance Company

Company Ratings & Financial strength

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: A+
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: Aa3
  • A.M. Best Financial Rating: A+
  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB complaints: 83
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint ratio: 0.71
  • JD Power ratings/awards: N/A

Aflac Universal Life Insurance Coverage

It’s important to realize that Aflac insurance is strictly provided through your employer, so it may not be available to all interested parties. That being said, Aflac universal life insurance policies are portable and customers’ coverage will remain in effect even if they leave their organization and find a new job. Premiums can be deducted directly from your paycheck, so there’s one less headache to worry about.

Aflac’s universal life insurance policies are in line with industry standards, but do have a handful of customization options and riders that offer added flexibility.

Discounts

Because Aflac insurance is offered through employers, rates can often be lower than other dedicated life insurance companies. Despite that, there is very little information available as far as exclusive discounts that customers can apply to their policies.

Universal Life Insurance Riders

Aflac offers several different riders that policyholders can leverage to extend their coverage in various circumstances. Many of those riders give customers the flexibility to pay their medical bills if they have a chronic illness and replenish those funds to keep their death benefit intact.

6. Protective

Protective life insurance logoCustomers can get a quote and apply for coverage online through Protective’s website or call an agent to get more details over the phone. The standard amount and detail of information is required to complete the quoting and application processes, but a more extensive followup phone interview will be necessary as well.

In some instances, applicants may be asked to complete a health exam, but Protective will send the medical examiner to your home.

Protective Company Overview

  • Homepage URL: https://www.protective.com/
  • Company Phone: (800) 626-8381
  • Headquarters: 111 Congressional Blvd., Suite 500 Carmel, IN 46032
  • Founding date: 1907
  • Company size: National
  • Defining characteristics and strengths: Strong financial reputation, wide variety of policy options and riders, good customer experience
  • Underwriter: Protective Life Insurance Company

Company Ratings & Financial strength

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA-
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: A2
  • A.M. Best Financial Rating: A+
  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB complaints: 1
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint ratio: 0.46
  • JD Power ratings/awards: N/A

Protective Universal Life Insurance Coverage

Protective has several universal life insurance products for customers to choose from: protective custom choice, survivorship, variable, and indexed. Shoppers would be hard-pressed to find a more extensive list of universal life insurance options than those offered by Protective.

Regardless of which type of universal life insurance customers choose, they will have a great deal of flexibility in terms of adjusting their coverage, premiums, and cash value options.

Discounts

The most notable discount that Protective offers is available to Costco members, who can receive significant savings on their life insurance premiums.

Universal Life Insurance Riders

Protective customers have the typical array of insurance riders to add on to their universal life insurance policies, including accidental benefit, child protection, and disability income riders.

7. Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern mutual logoFor a company with Northwestern Mutual’s resources, it’s online resources are pretty minimal. Shoppers can use an insurance calculator to get a sense of how much coverage they will need, but otherwise, they must speak with an agent to get a quote or apply for a policy.

As such, Northwestern Mutual’s application process isn’t quite as easy as other insurance providers.

Northwestern Mutual Company Overview

  • Homepage URL: https://www.northwesternmutual.com/
  • Company Phone: (414) 271-1444
  • Headquarters: 720 East Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI, 53202
  • Founding date: 1857
  • Company size: National
  • Defining characteristics and strengths: Reliable financial standing, good customer experience, strong reputation
  • Underwriter: The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Company Ratings & Financial strength

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA+
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: Aaa
  • A.M. Best Financial Rating: A++
  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB complaints: 0
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint ratio: 0.03
  • JD Power ratings/awards: N/A

Northwestern Mutual Universal Life Insurance Coverage

Northwestern Mutual does not have a lot of variety in terms of the types of universal life insurance, giving customers a pretty standard package. Customers who choose Northwestern Mutual are more interested in the company’s sterling financial reputation and long-term outlook, rather than a wealth of customizable options.

Discounts

Northwestern Mutual has not published any information regarding available discounts, and it’s unlikely that customers will find many opportunities outside of minimizing their risk factors to get the best rates possible.

Universal Life Insurance Riders

Northwestern Mutual offers the typical range of riders that shoppers would expect to see, such as long-term care, accident death benefit, and disability incomes riders.

8. MassMutual

massmutualProspective customers can quickly receive a quote on universal life insurance through MassMutual’s website. Applications can be filled out and submitted online as well.

However, anyone interested in MassMutual universal life insurance will need to undergo a health exam during the application process to qualify for coverage.

MassMutual Company Overview

  • Homepage URL: https://www.massmutual.com
  • Company Phone: (413) 788-8411
  • Headquarters: 1295 State Street, Springfield, MA, 01111
  • Founding date: 1851
  • Company size: National
  • Defining characteristics and strengths: Outstanding financial stability, good customer experience, wide range of coverage options
  • Underwriter: C.M. Life Insurance Company

Company Ratings & Financial strength

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA+
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: Aa3
  • A.M. Best Financial Rating: A++
  • BBB rating: B
  • BBB complaints: 48
  • Trustpilot score: n/a
  • NAIC complaint ratio: 0.03
  • JD Power ratings/awards: N/A

MassMutual Universal Life Insurance Coverage

MassMutual offers both standard universal life insurance and variable universal life insurance, both of which can be further customized according to the policyholder’s wishes. Customers can remove funds from their accumulated cash value if the need arises, giving them more financial flexibility.

Discounts

There are no publicly listed discounts for MassMutual customers to apply to their policies. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding potential risk factors should help keep premiums as low as possible, though.

Universal Life Insurance Riders

MassMutual offers a wide variety of insurance riders for customers to purchase and add onto their universal life insurance policy. Some popular examples include waiver of premium, renewable term, and guaranteed insurability riders.

9. John Hancock

john hancock logoUsing John Hancock’s online quote tool, shoppers can get a good sense of how much a universal life insurance policy will cost before they get too far into the application process.

Applications can also be filled out online, requiring a fair amount of information including Social Security numbers belonging to both the policyholder and beneficiaries, medical history, and banking information.

John Hancock Company Overview

  • Homepage URL: https://www.johnhancock.com/
  • Company Phone: (617) 572-6000
  • Headquarters: 197 Clarendon St # C6, Boston, MA, 02116
  • Founding date: 1862
  • Company size: National
  • Defining characteristics and strengths: Good financial stability, varied policy options
  • Underwriter: John Hancock Life Insurance Company

Company Ratings & Financial strength

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA-
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: A2
  • A.M. Best Financial Rating: A+
  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB complaints: 0
  • Trustpilot score: 8.7
  • NAIC complaint ratio: 0.14
  • JD Power ratings/awards: N/A

John Hancock Universal Life Insurance Coverage

John Hancock customers can choose from three types of universal life insurance: standard universal, indexed, and variable. There should be an option for everyone, from the risk-averse to those willing to tie their death benefit to market and index performance.

Discounts

The Vitality program, which includes different membership tiers, allows policyholders to reduce their premiums by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In some cases, customers can lower their annual premiums by as much as 15%.

Universal Life Insurance Riders

John Hancock’s insurance riders are not quite as extensive as those of other companies’, but there are still several to choose from, including spouse protection and long-term care riders.

10. AXA Universal Life Insurance

axa life insurance logoAXA has a few online tools to help educate customers, but you will have to pick up the phone and call an agent if you are ready to apply for coverage.

Be prepared to provide information regarding your medical history, financial status and other personal details.

AXA Company Overview

  • Homepage URL: https://us.axa.com/home.html
  • Company Phone: (888) 292-4636
  • Headquarters: 1290 Avenue of the Americas, 12th Floor, New York, NY, 10104
  • Founding date: 1859
  • Company size: National
  • Defining characteristics and strengths: Great financial stability, wide variety of policy and rider options
  • Underwriter: AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC

Company Ratings & Financial strength

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA-
  • Moody’s Financial Rating: Aa3
  • A.M. Best Financial Rating: n/a
  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB complaints: 39
  • Trustpilot score: N/A
  • NAIC complaint ratio: 0.12
  • JD Power ratings/awards: N/A

AXA Universal Life Insurance Coverage

AXA sells multiple universal life insurance products, ranging from flexible-premium policies to variable universal life insurance requiring hands-on account management. AXA’s financial advisors can help interested shoppers find the right policy for their circumstances.

Discounts

There don’t appear to be any exclusive discounts for AXA customers to use, aside from adhering to a healthy lifestyle and avoiding the kinds of risk factors that would give insurance providers pause.

Universal Life Insurance Riders

Depending on the specific universal life insurance product purchased, AXA customers have a wide variety of riders to consider applying to their policy. Many riders go beyond the coverage usually seen with these add-ons, with estate protector, waiver of monthly deductions, and cash value plus riders all available.

Anyone interested in buying universal life insurance will find a good option with one of these providers. When choosing a universal life insurance policy, it’s extremely important to do your due diligence and research each company as much as possible. That means shopping around, getting plenty of quotes and closely comparing every policy and their terms of coverage. By doing so, you can be sure that you get the best universal life insurance plan to protect those closest to you.

What Is Universal Life Insurance?

There are three major types of life insurance for shoppers to consider (term, whole and universal), with universal being arguably the most complex of the bunch. Like whole life, universal life insurance is considered “permanent insurance” – that is, it never expires and policyholders are covered for the rest of their lives.

Universal Policies are Flexible

What makes universal policies distinct is their flexibility and wealth of financial incentives. Policyholders have a lot of freedom with their universal life insurance plans, and are able to change their death benefits, premiums, payment schedule, and other policy details with relative ease. For people who want to take a hands-on approach with their life insurance, a universal policy can be very enticing.

Build Cash Value

The other main features to look at is how universal life policies build cash value and how customers can use those funds. Rather than accumulate cash value steadily with the same lump sum each payment period, universal life plans are driven by market interest rates. Policyholders can also deduct funds from their death benefit to further invest in different markets and indexes.

The potential to grow your wealth through a universal life insurance plan is far greater than what many term or whole life plans can offer. The caveat with any financial plan involving market investments is that there is a fair amount of risk to consider. A bad market turn could significantly deplete your death benefit. As such, a universal life insurance plan isn’t a great fit for the risk-averse.

On the other hand, if you are confident in your ability to navigate market indexes and make sound investments, a universal life insurance policy offers financial incentives that few plans can match.

How Are Universal Life Insurance Providers Ranked?

What makes one life insurance company better than another? We looked at a number of different factors when compiling this list, but especially prioritized financial stability, reputation and coverage. Within each broader category, we drilled down into more detail criteria to come up with the most accurate and comprehensive ranking of the best universal life insurance companies:

Financial Stability

Financial stability is a good indicator of a company’s overall health and long-term outlook. This is especially important when looking for a life insurance provider since your policy may not receive a payout for several decades. Because life insurance plans are typically more expensive to purchase as you get older, you don’t want to be left scrambling to find a new provider later in life. By choosing a life insurance company in good financial standing, you can be reasonably confident that your provider will be able to service your policy through the years.

When assessing financial stability, we look at a few key criteria:

  • Market share: How large of a footprint does the company have? Is it a major player in the industry or a regional provider?
  • Standard & Poor’s financial rating: One of three leading agencies that independently review and rank the financial health of various insurance companies, Standard & Poor’s is considered the gold standard when it comes to assessing a company’s long-term financial outlook.
  • Moody’s financial rating: The second of the three independent agencies, Moody’s financial strength ratings are highly respected throughout the insurance industry. One important note to keep in mind is that each agency has its own rating system, and the same letter grade could mean significantly different things depending on the ratings agency.
  • A.M. Best financial rating: The third and final rating agency, A.M. Best’s financial assessments hold a great deal of weight in the insurance industry. Because each organization’s opinion is equally valid, shoppers should consider all available ratings and choose an insurance company that receives high marks across the board.

Reputation

The financial ratings give a good sense of stable a life insurance company is, but they won’t tell you much about the customer experience. Choosing a life insurance provider is often a life-long commitment, so you want to be sure you’re getting into business with a company that will look out for your interests. With that in mind, one of the major areas we considered when compiling this list of the best universal life insurance companies is their reputation among customers. A life insurance provider that routinely receives complaints and negative reviews from its customers raises a lot of red flags, after all.

The most important criteria we use when assessing a life insurance company’s reputation includes:

  • Better Business Bureau rating: The BBB is a good source of information if you want to see the absolute worst-case scenario of working with an organization. BBB-documented complaints shed light on potentially recurring problems and instances when customer support fell well short of expectations. On the other hand, if a company has had a low number of complaints filed against it, that’s a good indication that customers are generally pleased with the service they’re getting.
  • Trustpilot score: Trustpilot is another helpful online tool providing insight into the customer experience. Trustpilot compiles both positive and negative reviews from customers to generate its ratings, so shoppers get to hear from both satisfied and disgruntled customers.
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners complaint ratio: The NAIC is one of the best places to look if you want to get a sense of how well a particular insurance company is viewed in the industry. The organization gathers customer complaints for each insurance provider and releases a compliant ratio that can be easily compared against industry standards.

Policies and coverage

While many insurance companies will offer the same types of life insurance, there’s a huge amount of variance when it comes to the specific coverage included in those policies. Insurance providers differentiate their services by offering additional perks, flexibility,and opportunities to expand coverage.

Although cost is certainly an important consideration – especially when shopping for insurance on a budget – it shouldn’t be the lone overriding factor. Often, you get what you pay for, and if an insurance company seems too good to be true, you should really scrutinize what’s being offered.

Keep an eye out for opportunities to tailor your policy and coverage to fit your particular needs and concerns. Many insurance companies allow customers to add insurance riders to cover scenarios and incidents that wouldn’t otherwise be included in a baseline policy. Buying insurance that doesn’t address your family’s needs is a poor investment, and the ability to customize your policy as needed should be prioritized during your search.

*While we make every effort to keep our site updated, please be aware that “timely” information on this page, such as quote estimates, or pertinent details about companies, may only be accurate as of its last edit day. Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.