Finding the best life insurance in California can be a hassle, mainly because there are so many options to choose from. Maybe you’re considering a local insurance agency because you know someone who works there or a large insurance company because they have a massive California footprint.
Or maybe you’re considering a digital insurance company because the process to get insured is a lot faster. Here, I’ll simplify some of your questions and help you find some of the best life insurance options in California.
Our Top Life Insurance Companies
After researching the best life insurance companies in California, we’ve come up with a list of our top picks for the state.
Policygenius doesn’t provide life insurance directly, but instead, they’re a life insurance marketplace. They also offer other types of insurance like home, auto, disability, and renters, in case you’re looking to work with them for more than just life.
I like Policygenius for its simplicity. Just answer a few questions about your health and lifestyle and Policygenius presents you with several different quotes from various insurance providers. This makes it easy to quickly compare insurance policies within minutes.
Suppose you choose to move forward with one of those insurance companies. In that case, you’ll go through their process of applying for and getting life insurance directly through that insurance provider. Again, PolicyGenius acts as an intermediary to connect you with other insurance providers for life insurance.
The other great thing about PolicyGenius is the amount of information they have on their website. You’ll find all types of information on how life insurance works, the different types of life insurance available, what kind of coverage you should look for and how much it should cost.
Policygenius also provides reviews of different life insurance companies and additional guides on buying life insurance. So as you’re going through this process, you have a company on your side that can help you navigate the complexities of purchasing life insurance.
And if you have specific questions about life insurance, you can contact Policygenius through chat or email 24/7. You can call them at their 800 number Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time, making it easy for you to reach out and ask questions.
Sproutt, like PolicyGenius, is a life insurance marketplace connecting you with other insurance providers to get a policy. Sproutt does not provide life insurance directly.
One thing that makes Sproutt stand out is their guided artificial intelligence assessment, which promotes a high quality of life. This index is part of their evaluation when you request a policy quote. They review your information about exercise, sleep, whether you live a balanced life, diet, and your emotional health.
To be more precise, the five pillars within the Guided Artificial Intelligence Assessment (GAIA) are movement, sleep, balance, nutrition, and emotional health. Sproutt looks at this to determine your quality of life and customize life insurance solutions.
If you’re active, sleep and eat well, have good emotional health, and an excellent work-life balance, Sproutt will generally present you with lower rates because of your lifestyle choices.
The process of getting a quote through Sproutt is straightforward and takes just a few minutes. To start, you’ll answer a few simple questions about yourself and your lifestyle. You’ll then be given a quality of life index score, which will help unlock great rates and more personalized advice for your life insurance policy.
From there, you can select the right insurance plan and apply directly online with one of the insurance companies you choose.
Sproutt has excellent ratings on Trustpilot, and their customers frequently rave about their level of patience in dealing with questions, as well as professionalism and overall customer experience.
Ladder is a little bit different from the first two on this list. They offer life insurance directly, but only provide life insurance. What’s unique about Ladder is that you can adjust your policy over time as your life and priorities change. The policy adapts and changes with you, so you can adjust your coverage and your price over time as things change.
A good example is if you get a life insurance policy before you have kids, you might want to change your amount of coverage if and when you have kids. And Ladder makes that possible for you.
This is a nice feature because some other insurance providers might charge you a fee or make you start a new policy. Ladder makes it easier.
You begin by filling out an online application, which takes just a few minutes. After that, you’ll see if you’ve been instantly approved, and finally, you accept your offer, there are no hidden fees and you can be insured within minutes.
Building off of that point, Ladder is really for people who want a streamlined process. It’s made to be instant, simple, smart and offers a direct consumer term life insurance. You can apply online, get approved, and immediately have coverage within the next few minutes.
One thing to be mindful of, though, is each application is individually underwritten. Hence, it’s impossible to know whether or not you will be asked to complete a health check assessment or not.
Suppose you’re required to do a health assessment before getting insured. In that case, you’ll need to get it done before your insurance policy goes into effect, and that tends to add a few weeks to the process. Suppose you’d rather not deal with a marketplace and want to get life insurance directly from a company. In that case, Ladder is one to consider because it’s fast and easy, and affordable.
Bestow is another life insurance company that operates 100% online, and provides insurance directly, not through a marketplace. Like others on this list, Bestow has excellent reviews from places like Trustpilot.
Bestow offers term life insurance policies from $50,000 up to $1 million, and their monthly premiums start at just $16 per month.
Bestow is unique: They attempt to get you a quote in less than a minute by using a proprietary algorithm and data to make your quote fast and affordable. You can get an instant quote online or through their app in a matter of seconds. Bestow offers both 10- and 20-year terms for life insurance.
Bestow uses data about you with your permission and leverages its algorithms to determine whether or not you qualify and gives you your monthly premium cost. The process is entirely streamlined and quick.
Fabric provides affordable term life insurance, and it takes just about 10 minutes to apply. The policies can cover people between the ages of 21 and 60. Their coverage amounts start at $100,000 and go all the way up to $5 million.
Fabric tends to have very competitive rates and its term policies start at just $12 per month. Its term life insurance policies are issued by Vantis Life, which is a Penn Mutual company established in 1847. This company has an A+ (Superior) rating for financial strength by A.M.Best, too.
Fabric markets themselves as life insurance for busy parents, and it’s easy to see why. Not only can you get a term life insurance policy, but you can also get a free will for you and your spouse directly through Fabric.
On top of that, Fabric has an app that consolidates all of your essential, legal and financial information into one uncluttered interface. It calls this the family vault. You’ll be able to see your financial picture, including cash, investments, credit cards and loans for both yourself and your spouse, as well as your will information and insurance information for life insurance.
I like this because it helps you and your partner be on the same page and collaborate with the people in your life who are critical to your family’s long-term well-being. Fabric also has excellent reviews on trust pilot, with many people raving about how straightforward, convenient and easy everything is with Fabric.
So like Fabric says, if you’re a “responsible human with kids,” Fabric can make it very easy to tackle your financial to-dos. They’ll also help protect your family so you can get back to “tackling your monsters’ swords.”
Because of the simplicity of getting a will and the consolidated app interface, if you’re a parent with little kids, I would highly recommend Fabric.
Haven Life offers term life insurance with two flavors, Haven Term and Haven Simple.
Haven Term is what they call an ideal blend of value, benefits and peace of mind. So if you’re looking for a term life insurance product that’s quick and affordable, this is probably the best option for you.
There is the potential of an offline medical exam to determine your eligibility, which is different from their other product called Haven Simple.
Haven Simple is a 100% digital buying experience for people who want to get a life insurance policy but don’t want to deal with the medical exam.
The difference between Haven Life’s two term life insurance policies is Haven Term could potentially come with a medical exam, while Haven Simple does not.
This could result in lower premiums if you do a medical exam and you qualify for a lower rate because you’re healthy. So it just depends on what you’re looking for.
In addition to term life policies, Haven Life also offers annuities, which helps protect you and your loved ones from outliving your retirement savings.
MassMutual Life Insurance issues Haven Life’s policies, and like the others on this list, they have excellent reviews. As of this writing, Haven Life has almost 1,000 reviews on Trustpilot with a 4.7 out of 5 rating.
Most customers speak highly of the online application process being easy and streamlined. Also, customers enjoy the support being quick to respond to questions.
As you’re beginning to see, this list is getting reasonably competitive, so I would choose Haven Life if I didn’t want a medical exam but still wanted an affordable term life insurance policy. The addition of annuities is also interesting if that situation applies to you.
Also, Haven Life offers a couple of other products that might be of interest to you, such as Haven Secure, which is life insurance that kicks in if you had an emergency and you weren’t around to care for your family and you didn’t have enough coverage. Haven can provide a steady monthly payout to your family for up to 30 years.
Haven Life also offers salary protection, which is similar to but not exactly like life insurance. It can cover you if you lose your job. Still, it works like a term life insurance policy where you pay a monthly premium. If you lose your paycheck, you can make a claim and get a payout for salary protection through Haven Life.
One important thing to note is that you can’t buy salary protection individually. You have to get it through your employer, meaning they have to offer it.
LeapLife is an insurance broker that helps match you with another insurance company for life insurance that fits your unique needs. Like other insurance aggregators or brokers, you answer a few basic questions. Then you are matched with a policy that fits your individual needs.
It takes just a few minutes to apply online, but you can also do this by phone with LeapLife. LeapLife, which was only recently acquired by Even Financial, also has excellent reviews on Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau.
What’s unique about LeapLife is it has a deep belief that regardless of your credit, health status, or age, you deserve access to good insurance at an affordable price with a seamless online process.
This means if you have less-than-perfect credit, your health isn’t where you want it to be, or you’re a little bit older, you could still get a term life insurance policy through LeapLife.
LeapLife has a needs calculator that helps you determine what type of insurance and how much coverage you need. They also have a useful life insurance 101 guide.
Overall, I recommend LeapLife for those who aren’t in perfect health, are a little bit older, or don’t have great credit.
Cost Comparison Chart
|Company||Sample Monthly Rate*||TrustPilot Rating|
*Note: this is a sample quote for a 30-year old, single female. The subject is married, a non-smoker, has excellent health, and takes no medications. They’re 5’6”, 125 pounds, and live in Ohio. The subject is looking for a 10-year, $1 million policy.
Our Top Pick
Out of this list, our top pick and overall recommendation is Policygenius. This is because Policygenius allows you to quickly compare multiple insurance providers and get the best price possible for your unique situation.
Also, Policygenius has a plethora of information on life insurance and independent reviews of different life insurance companies. Rather than researching multiple insurance companies, you could spend time digging through their website and learning everything you need to know about life insurance before buying a policy through Policygenius.
It also offers excellent customer service and easy accessibility to its customer service. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We also like the ability to chat with Policygenius if you don’t want to pick up the phone and call or wait for an email if you have specific questions about a life insurance policy.
How Did We Come up With This List?
The first thing we did when coming up with this list of best life insurance providers in California was to make sure that they operated in California. This might seem like a no-brainer, but again, many insurance companies only operate in certain states.
Next, we wanted to ensure that policies had competitive pricing, so we looked at companies that offered lower monthly premiums for term life insurance policies.
We also wanted to make sure that the process of getting a policy or a quote was streamlined and simplified, whether or not that was a digital-only experience. Knowledge gaps can complicate the process of getting life insurance, so making this as easy as possible with as much education as you can get is helpful, and we gave bonus points to companies that did that.
We also gave a slightly heavier rating to companies operating digitally. Digital insurance is becoming more popular. We wanted to ensure you’re working with a streamlined and efficient company with a great customer experience for as low a cost as possible. Those qualities tend to be digital insurance companies, at least right now.
Another factor we considered but doesn’t disqualify a company from this list is whether you have to do a medical exam. Many companies on this list will require you to get a medical exam before you’re approved for life insurance. However, some don’t need that. While one isn’t necessarily better than the other, this all comes down to preference.
You might pay a little more if you choose a policy that doesn’t require a medical exam, though. This is because the insurance company is taking a calculated risk in trusting that the answers you provide are accurate. Still, no medical exam life insurance policies are a whole lot more convenient. This is because you don’t have to drive to your doctor’s office and go through a physical exam and wait for the results to see if you qualify for the life insurance policy.
Learn More: No Medical Exam Life Insurance Companies
How Does Life Insurance Work?
Life insurance can protect your loved ones financially after you die. As someone who holds a life insurance policy, you can pay a monthly premium to the insurance company and when you die, the insurance company can pay out a tax-free lump sum to your dependents. (Referred to as beneficiaries.)
The idea is that your life insurance policy should cover your income if you die. This way, your family can still afford things like housing, food, college expenses, or other monthly bills when your income is lost.
The most common type of life insurance and the life insurance that we recommend is term life insurance, which means that you pay a premium for a set period and you have coverage during that period.
You can generally select a term of 10, 20, or 30 years, and you have the option to choose your amount of coverage. The more coverage you want and the longer you want that policy to last, the more expensive your monthly premium will be.
Because I want to focus on the best life insurance companies in California, I’m not going to go too deep into life insurance as a product. So for that, I would encourage you to check out the Ultimate Guide to Life Insurance.
How to Choose the Best California Life Insurance Company
To choose the best California life insurance company, you want to make sure first and foremost that the company operates in California. This might seem obvious, but there are some insurance companies that don’t operate in certain states.
Beyond that, there are a few things you should look for:
Does it Have the Type of Insurance You Need?
Most importantly, it is vital to understand whether or not the insurance company has the type of insurance you want. Obviously, you will seek out a company that offers life insurance. However, consider your additional or future insurance needs.
What are the Rates?
Insurance rates will vary widely based on your situation, where you live, and what type of insurance policy you’re getting. That being said, you can look for different policies at different insurance providers to make a quick cost comparison. This will help you generally see which company gives you the best deal for what you’re looking for.
Remember that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best, so you’ll want to do a little extra research on each company to ensure they have everything you need. That being said, the cost is a significant factor with insurance. You’ll want to make sure you’re signing up for a policy that you could afford and that fits within your budget.
What is the Customer Experience Like?
It’s imperative to choose an insurance company that has a good customer experience. This means that the process of researching policies and signing up for a policy should be straightforward. It should be fast, the insurer should streamline it, and it should provide a generally good experience for you.
That’s an excellent indicator of what it’s like to work for that company, which becomes extremely important if and when your beneficiaries need to file a claim.
Say, for example, you’re getting life insurance, and you have a question about your policy that’s important or time-sensitive. You want to make sure that it’s easy to contact your insurance provider so they can get your questions answered right away.
The more difficult that process is, and the more cumbersome the app or website is to navigate, the worse experience it’s going to be for you. So make sure that you’re working with a company that provides a great customer experience.
How Do Other Customers Feel About the Insurance Company?
Along with looking at our recommendations, it’s helpful to look at reviews about the company at places like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau. On these websites, you can generally get a sense of how customers feel about working with the company based on their personal experience.
I wouldn’t rely solely on the anecdotes or quotes that an insurance company provides on their website. These companies will often cherry-pick the best responses possible to make their product and service seem better.
That being said, I can confidently say the insurance companies on this list all have outstanding reviews. However, it will help you to do some due diligence and check out reviews of these insurance providers.
What About Coverage Limits?
When looking at the best California life insurance company, something you’ll want to consider is the coverage limits it provides. Depending on your situation and stage in life, this may or may not be an issue, though.
Some life insurance companies, for instance, only go up to a certain amount of coverage. Or they only offer a certain amount of years with their term policies. You’ll want to make sure that whatever product you’re looking for fits your needs in terms of length of coverage or dollar amount of coverage.
For most people, a term life insurance policy is a better option than whole life insurance. It’s often cheaper, and it’s temporary, so you can choose the term you want to have the policy coverage. Whole life insurance also provides a cash value, which is nice if you need it, but it also makes the policy more expensive.
How much life insurance you need is going to depend entirely on your situation. Both financially, as well as the stage of life and health that you’re in. That being said, a “quick and dirty” way of thinking about how much life insurance you need is 10 times your annual salary. I wouldn’t follow this advice blindly, though. This is just a starting point. There are several different ways that you can calculate how much life insurance you need. Still, the best way is to go directly through your life insurance provider to determine your actual needs. Most, if not all, of the insurance providers on this list have an online tool that helps you calculate the exact coverage you need for the current stage of life you’re in.
If you outlive your life insurance policy, you will need to get a new policy or extend the one you have. Suppose you die the day after your life insurance policy ends. In that case, you will not have any coverage, so you need to continue coverage with your life insurance policy. This might mean renewing it or creating a new policy right as your initial one ends.
Overall, looking for a life insurance policy in California can be cumbersome and confusing, but we’ve narrowed down our list of the best options for you in the state of California.
While we recommend Policygenius overall for most people, don’t discount the others on this list if you have specific unique situations to look at.
For example, I mentioned Fabric as an excellent option for parents with little kids, or LeapLife if you are older or aren’t in perfect health. So make sure that you look through our list, do your due diligence, and choose the best insurance provider for you.