Ladder is an online insurance company that offers life insurance via its online platform. They offer competitive rates for their products and are great for people who don’t want to go through a third-party or agent.
The online-only platform means that many people will get their application decision almost immediately unless you need to take a medical exam. You can also change your policy on the fly without having to cancel and apply for a new policy, which is much more convenient.
Ladder Life Insurance Products Available
Ladder only offers term life insurance policies, which are plans where the premiums don’t change for the duration of the policy term. You can choose to have a plan with a term length of 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years. Ladder offers policies with face values between $100,000 and $8 million, mostly without the need for a medical exam.
When it comes to fees, however, Ladder tends to offer relatively higher rates for smaller life insurance policies compared to its competitors. Once the policy peaks over $1 million in value, however, their prices become increasingly competitive.
Ladder provides some of the best rates in the business for extensive life insurance policies. They also offer some of the largest plans online that don’t need a medical exam. This feature makes Ladder life insurance incredibly appealing to those who need a significant amount of life insurance coverage.
Ladder’s online-only business model allows its customers to adjust a policy to meet their financial needs quickly. Simply login and update your details. There are two options available; namely, to ‘ladder up’ or ‘ladder down.’
If you want to increase your policies face value or extend the length of the term, you can choose the ladder up option. Sometimes, you may find that you want to increase your financial protection, such as in the event of having another child. You can ladder up online, and Ladder will add the coverage to your existing policy.
The main thing to note is that the pricing for this added coverage will be separate, so you may find your rates and new costs will vary. Ladder’s site will be clear about all associated costs, however, and what you can expect to pay every month.
If your children have become financially independent or your financial situation changes, you may want to reduce your policy’s value by laddering down. What happens, in this case, is that your premiums will decrease proportionally to the decrease in your policy’s face value.
This change means that you’ll be paying the same rate per amount of coverage, just for smaller face value.
Another flexible option from Ladder is the ability to extend your coverage over a short period. You can renew your policy every year for up to five years, giving you a bit more flexibility and control over your policy’s term length. However, this flexibility comes at a price, and your premiums will increase each time you renew.
You can only purchase a Ladder life insurance policy if you’re between 20 and 60 years of age, and you’re not a resident of New York. The main drawback of Ladder’s insurance policies is that you can’t add any riders to customize your plan.
Other insurance companies can let you customize your life insurance policy by adding new conditions, called riders, such as accidental death insurance. Ladder doesn’t provide this functionality, so if you wanted riders, you’d have to look at other life insurance providers.
A major restriction of Ladder life insurance products is that you can’t get cover after the age of 60. As many people find that they need life insurance after 60, this may be a deal-breaker for some. There are options to mitigate this restriction, such as investing in multiple policies, or you can simply choose another provider that meets your needs better.
Features of Ladder Life Insurance Policies
Ladder’s policies are aimed at customers who are self-sufficient and want to have control over their policy. If you don’t mind handling your life insurance yourself and are comfortable navigating online spaces, Ladder offers a number of features that few other providers have.
The most notable feature about Ladder is their online application process. The form takes about 20 minutes to fill out and in general, doesn’t need a medical exam. Once you’ve submitted the form, you can get the decision back within minutes.
The only time the decision takes longer is if you apply for coverage over $1 million, where a medical exam becomes necessary. Ladder will send a technician to your home or workplace to conduct the exam, taking blood and urine samples as well as assessing your overall health.
This exam can delay the decision-making process by a week.
Change your policy as your needs change
Even if you take the longest-term possible on your policy, you don’t have to worry about being locked into an inflexible plan. Ladder understands that your financial and insurance needs change over the years, which is why they make it easy to add or remove coverage online.
The process is straightforward and doesn’t require that you cancel your existing policy and open a new one. Instead, you can log in quickly, and make the changes on Ladder’s customer portal.
Ladder’s Financial Strength
When you start looking around for insurance providers, a substantial consideration should be their financial strength. Financial strength is a relatively reliable indicator of how likely it is that the provider will be able to meet their obligations to you once the policy is due.
Several rating services examine a company’s past and present performance and give them a rating that correlates to their financial strength. The better the score, the more secure the company.
While Ladder itself is a relatively new player in the life insurance market, they are underwritten and backed by the Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company. Fidelity has been in business for 50 years. All the major rating services give Fidelity excellent-to-good ratings.
Customer Reviews of Ladder Life Insurance
At the moment, Ladder doesn’t have a rating at the Better Business Bureau, the gold standard for customer satisfaction.
However, TrustPilot reviews of Ladder have been mostly positive, with the only negatives being the intrusive questions asked on the application form and the difficulty of speaking with a customer representative.
Will You Choose Ladder Life?
Ladder targets people who prefer to manage their life insurance without the need for a third party. Their online-only service makes it easy and straightforward to apply for life insurance, and in general, you’ll get a decision within minutes.
The online service also makes it a piece of cake to manage your policy and change it to meet your current needs. These changes usually don’t incur penalties, so you don’t have to feel like you need to compromise when you increase or decrease your coverage.
The main drawback of Ladder is the fact that you can’t customize your policy by adding in riders, which may turn some people away. However, if you’re looking for a good life insurance policy with acceptable premiums and the ability to change the policy on the fly, Ladder Life Insurance is worth a look.
If you want more riders and the ability to customize your plan, we suggest you look at SBLI.