10 Best Life Insurance Companies in New York

Life insurance companies in New York can help your family when they need it most.

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10 Best Life Insurance Companies in New York

Key Terms

  • Life insurance is the best way to protect your loved ones when you pass away.
  • A good life insurance policy can cover your mortgage payments, your child’s education, and even therapy for your loved ones should you pass unexpectedly.
  • New York life insurance companies can help you find a policy to suit your needs and budget.

New York is known as the Empire State and is located in the north-eastern region of the United States. It’s bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut to the east, New Jersey to the south, and Pennsylvania to the west. With a population of around 20 million people, it’s the 4th-most populous state. The largest city in New York is New York City which has a population of 8.9 million residents. The state capital is Albany which has a population of 97,279.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average life expectancy in New York is approximately 77.7 years which is lower than the national average life expectancy, which is currently around 79.05 years in the United States. Over the past few years, the leading causes of death in New York have been heart disease, Covid-19, and cancer. The homicide rate in New York is around 4.7 homicides per 100,000 residents, which is lower than the national average of 7.5.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in New York, the 90th percentile income is currently $129,290. The median income in the state is approximately $48,800. Most financial advisors recommend purchasing a life insurance policy that covers your loved ones for between 10X and 20X your annual salary. In New York, this works out to around $1,292,900 – $2,585,800 dollars for most people.

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How life insurance works in New York

The way life insurance works is that you pay a premium and in return your named beneficiaries receive a specified amount of money upon your death. There are many different types of life insurance policies, but one of the most common is called term life insurance.

With term life insurance, the premium is fixed for a specified period of time (the “term”). If you die during the term, your named beneficiaries will receive the death benefit. If you don’t die during the term, then no death benefit is paid out, and you lose the premiums you paid into.

Another type of life insurance is called whole life insurance. With whole life insurance, the premium is also fixed, but it is paid for your entire life. When you die, your named beneficiaries will receive the death benefit.

The main difference between whole life insurance and term life insurance is that with whole life insurance, you are guaranteed to receive the death benefit as long as you continue to pay the premium. With term life insurance, there is no death benefit if you live past the term of the policy.

Some policies are very simple with term life, but others have riders and optional add ons you can select, such as support for long term care coverage or even annuities. These can help supplement your retirement plan. There are also special life insurance policies for business owners that can provide guidance in an exit plan.

You might have a policy with cash value that can give you an extra source of money when using certain universal life insurance policies, for example. There are many financial services providers that can tell you more about which of those might make sense based on your needs. Since term life is the most basic, it usually requires a very limited medical exam, but you might have to undergo more for advanced whole life policies, permanent life insurance, or universal life policies.

10 Biggest life insurance companies in New York

New York life insurance companies ranked by premiums written in the state.

RankCompany NameNew York
Premiums Written
New York
Market Share
1New York Life$1,508,134,17211.23%
2Mass Mutual Life Ins$1,438,623,64510.71%
4Northwestern Mutual$1,022,944,9557.62%
5Guardian Life$994,247,2147.40%
7Equitable Holdings Inc$460,475,8253.43%
8John Hancock$418,289,3453.12%
9Lincoln National$405,544,6293.02%
10Penn Mutual$293,951,6262.19%

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How much life insurance do you need in New York?

The 90th percentile salary in New York is approximately $129,290. As mentioned, most financial advisors recommend that you purchase a life insurance policy that will cover your beneficiary for at least 10X – 20X your average annual income. In New York that works out to around $1,292,900 – $2,585,800. This amount will ensure that your loved ones can continue to pay their bills, settle your debts, and cover the cost of your final expenses.

You may also want to purchase additional life insurance to cover:

  • Your mortgage (if you want your spouse and kids to be able to live in the home without worrying about mortgage payments)
  • Children’s education costs (if you want your child’s education to be covered without any additional stress to your spouse)
  • Bereavement therapy costs for your spouse and children (if you want them to spend time with a therapist after your unexpected death)
  • Any other expenses that may be unique to your family or lifestyle

New York life insurance laws

There are a few unique features with respect to New York Life Insurance Laws that have an impact on your specific policy if you are a resident of the state.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Free look period: During this period, a customer in New York can return their policy and get a full refund, with no penalties or fees involved up to 10 days after the day of delivery. This allows customers to understand the insurance contract terms better and decide if the policy meets all their needs. 
  • Grace period for missed payments: New York mandates a grace period of a minimum of 31 days. During this time, you can settle missed payments even after a premium due date to bring your policy back to good standing. In addition, the policy remains active for this time, and the provider cannot refuse a claim if the policyholder passes away.
  • Time allowable to settle a claim: In New York, life insurance providers need to pay claims to beneficiaries without unreasonable delay, up to a maximum of 30 days after receiving proof of death. If the claim takes more time, the insurer will need to pay interest to the beneficiary.
  • Contestable period: Life insurance companies in New York get two years from the date of issuing a policy to contest its validity. This period allows insurers time to investigate any misrepresentation in your policy and identify errors before declaring it void.

Other considerations when buying life insurance

For term life insurance, you’ll get insurance coverage for a specific set of time. Think of it as renting life insurance. For example, over a 20-year term, you’ll pay premiums for coverage. Then your family members are able to get a payout during that time if you pass away. This can give you peace of mind about your loved ones during the term period.

When choosing life insurance products, make sure to review the feedback on the product carrier. There are many popular insurance carriers out there including Metlife, Northwestern Mutual, State Farm, and Prudential in addition to those included in the below list. Online research may reveal which of these have ambest ratings and good feedback from clients.

Regardless of which type of life insurance policy you choose, it’s important to make sure that you name your beneficiaries correctly. If you do not name your beneficiaries correctly, the death benefit may not be paid out according to your wishes. You should also consult with a licensed insurance agent before signing any contracts, as they can help you choose a policy that suits your needs and budget.

There are a lot of different types of life insurance policies out there, so it’s important to do your research and find the one that’s right for you. But in general, life insurance is a way to help your loved ones cover expenses like funeral costs, outstanding debts, and living expenses if you’re no longer around to provide for them. When you pass away, your family will be grieving and going through a very traumatic period, by ensuring that they have the financial means to carry on, you can ease their suffering, and set them up for a bright future.

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Joshua Holt is a licensed insurance agent (License #2785989) and founder of Biglaw Investor and Sidebar Insurance LLC, an insurance agency created by lawyers, for lawyers. His insurance expertise lies in the areas of life and disability insurance, particularly covering lawyers, doctors and other high-income professionals. Prior to Biglaw Investor, Josh practiced private equity mergers & acquisition law for one of the largest law firms in the country.

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