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New York Life Insurance Review

new york life insurance review

Written By Doug Mitchell

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA.  Doug has spent close to 30 years in the insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health.  Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

Holly Mitchell  &

Holly Mitchell’s background in life insurance insurance goes back to 1985 when she worked for her father who was a New York Life agent. Holly has a marketing degree from Auburn University and has had a life insurance license since 2008. In addition to advising life insurance for customers all around the country, Holly is our website fact checker.

Rob Pinner   &

Rob Pinner is the founder and CEO of Pinner Financial Services servicing all 50 states. Rob started his insurance career in 2002.

Louis LaBash

Results-driven and innovative life insurance professional with 30 plus years of life insurance industry sales and marketing experience. Recognized as a pioneer in the field, leveraging phone and internet channels to exceed personal sales of over $100 million during the first decade of the 21st century. Creator of a highly effective intuitive IUL life insurance sales software that facilitated the sale of millions of dollars of indexed universal policies by numerous life insurance agents. Proven track record as a Managing General Agent (MGA), Life Agent, IUL Life Insurance Sales Software developer, and leading-edge creator of insurance marketing tools, educational content, and delivery systems.

Table of Contents

If you’re a responsible partner and parent, you’ll be looking to the future and considering life insurance if you don’t already have coverage in place.

While you should take great care of your finances while you’re alive, it’s equally vital to make provisions for when you’re not around.

Life insurance policies give you peace of mind and come in flexible forms, so you don’t need to over-commit yourself now to safeguard the future of your family.

History of New York Life Insurance Company

New York Life is the third biggest life insurance company in the US and the leading mutual company in a crowded market. Starting life as Nautilus Mutual Life in 1845, the company’s initial specialism was fire and marine insurance.

Renamed New York Life Insurance Company in 1849, life insurance was predominantly aimed at slave owners insuring their slaves. While this seems unsavory today, it was commonplace in the mid-1800s.

New York Life was forward-thinking, and the board of trustees voted to abolish this practice in 1848.

Growth continued throughout the American Civil War with both soldiers and civilians investing in coverage during this volatile period. Introducing a branch office set-up in 1892, New York Life began extending coverage to women, the disabled, and people with hazardous jobs needing to protect the interests of their families.

The New York Life Building on Madison Avenue opened in 1928. As the stock market plummeted, New York Life remained in a strong position. They had diversified into government stocks and real estate, so most assets were safeguarded.

As the 20th century progressed, New York Life began investing further in real estate and established a mortgage-loan program targeted at veterans. By 1970, New York Life offered annuities and mutual funds as well.

Pivoting again during the financial crisis just like during the stock market crash, New York Life pushed cash into treasury bonds to stave off financial stress.

Although much of the competition decided to trade publicly, New York Life opted to continue as a mutual fund, which is still the case today. The company is now working in a global asset manager with over $570 billion in AUM (assets under management).

New York Life has no outside shareholders and is owned by its policy owners. As such, dividends are paid from a colossal operating income of $1.95 billion.

New York Life offers mutual funds (both institutional and retail) as well as securities products through its affiliates.

Insurer Ratings and BBB Grade

New York Life logoNew York Life is among the most robust institutions in terms of financial strength, and this is backed up by the highest possible ratings from the major insurer rating agencies.

While the ratings vary, that’s only regarding the way these rating agencies express their judgment.

AM Best Company gives New York Life an AA++ rating, while Standard and Poor’s AA+ is also the highest possible rating. New York Life is rated as Extremely Strong (the highest rating) by Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service.

Relying on ratings from these companies saves you the time and trouble of doing your own due diligence concerning trust and financial strength.

It allows you instead to focus on the particular type of life insurance policy that suits you best.

Life Insurance Products Sold By New York Life

Whatever your requirements and whatever your budget, New York Life has life insurance to match.

Whether you want the affordability of term life insurance, the security of universal life coverage or a single premium plan ideal if you have an inheritance or windfall, you can choose from no less than six broad types of life insurance with many variations within those categories.

  • Term Life
  • Custom Universal Life Guarantee
  • Universal Life
  • Whole Life
  • Variable Universal Life Insurance Accumulator
  • Instant Legacy Premium Universal Life

Term Life from New York Life

Term life insurance provides death benefits, but you won’t get cash value building up. This results in a premium far lower than permanent life insurance policies.

Coverage is provided for a predetermined period, and the amount of protection varies accordingly.

New York Life has four different term policies:

  • Nonrenewable One-Year
  • Yearly (Convertible)
  • Family Protection
  • Level (Convertible)

You can expect a minimum face value starting at $100,000 and going up to $250,000.

New York Life’s annual term policies perform in the same way except for the convertible policy, and you’ll be able to renew coverage.

Premiums stay level for a set period with the level convertible policy. You can switch to a permanent policy during the first ten years of coverage without needing a subsequent medical exam. Coverage can be renewed on a yearly basis until you reach 90 years old.

If you want coverage for your whole family, New York Life provides from $100,000 per adult to a maximum of $1 million. Children are covered up to $10,000 which would be enough for final expenses.

You can take out term insurance from the age of 15 up to 90. Each policy varies with age.

Check the riders closely to make sure the policy is right for you and your family.

Custom Universal Life Guarantee from New York Life

A custom universal life guarantee gives you the benefits of a permanent life insurance policy, but you won’t build up any cash value. The advantage of this is that premiums are lower since you don’t get the investment part of the policy.

Cash value is quite low at just 2.5% interest credit, but this is guaranteed. The cover is up to a predetermined age as long as it doesn’t exceed 121.

Premiums remain level throughout, and there’s a $100,000 minimum face value.

Universal Life from New York Life

Universal life policies are similar to whole life policies but are usually slightly more flexible.

You’ll get all the benefits of permanent coverage with a universal life policy from New York Life, but cash value accumulates at a greater rate. A built-in advantage is the ability to use this if you are struggling to pay premiums at any stage.

Premiums will vary depending on the payout option you select.

At 2.5% interest credit as a guaranteed minimum, the cash value grows in line with the face value of the policy.

Although extremely flexible, these policies are risky. You can take out a no-lapse rider to offset some of this risk, but make sure that this is the type of coverage you need before committing.

Whole Life from New York Life

Whole life insurance gives you the security of coverage for the duration of your lifetime.

New York Life has three variants of whole life insurance:

  • Standard
  • Value
  • Custom

All similar in terms of coverage, you’ll get a guaranteed rate of cash value, level premiums, and dividends along with lifetime protection.

The policies only really differ in terms of payment scheduling and how quickly cash value builds up.

There’s a starting minimum face value of $50,000.

Variable Universal Life Insurance Accumulator

Much like a regular universal life insurance policy, with this particular policy, you can exercise at least some control over how cash value is invested.

As long as you’re under 80 and are happy with a $50,000 minimum face value, this policy is worth exploring.

Instant Legacy Premium Universal Life

If you want less risk than you’ll find with standard universal life insurance, this single premium policy is available with just one lump sum payment.

Coverage is guaranteed for your whole lifetime.

There’s a guaranteed interest credit of 4% with a minimum single premium in place of $10,000 with a maximum of $125,000. The age range is 18 through 85, and the policy matures at the age of 100.

You won’t need a medical exam, and underwriting is straightforward.

Other Products and Services From New York Life

Although they are life insurance specialists, New York Life does have a range of other policies available including long-term care insurance.

The company also offers direct-to-consumer policies through New York Direct.

With annuities and mutual funds also on the roster, you can approach New York Life for all your investment needs, not just life insurance coverage.

How To Get The Best Life Insurance Quotes From New York Life

New York Life may or may not be your best option for life insurance coverage after reading this review. It’s meant only to give you an overview.

Please get in touch with us if you have any specific questions or if you’d like a personalized quote.

We have no vested interest in New York Life since there are so many outstanding insurance carriers, and there’s also no right or wrong answer to the best company for life insurance coverage. All you need to be concerned with is finding the right company for you.

Call us today, and we can help you get that decision right.

Final Verdict on New York Life

You always need the full overview of a company before committing to life insurance or any other type of coverage.

With so many variables, it’s impossible for us to say whether New York Life is the best company for you and your family, but the company certainly excels in terms of variety of policies and also flexibility.

You may not want the hassle of additional medical exams. If that’s the case, the instant legacy premium universal life coverage is a great solution.

New York Life is a solid choice catering for all risk profiles and various financial objectives. The no-exam policies and survivorship policies are also strong, and customer support is consistently excellent.

Maybe New York Life isn’t the best for you, that’s okay! We have plenty of other reviews you can check out.  Start by using the quoter on this page to see what life insurance company offers the best rate.

Picture of Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA. Doug has spent close to 30 years in the life insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health. Some other notable items about Doug: Top of the Table Million Dollar Round Table member (MDRT). (MDRT is a global, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance advisors) | Premier Partner with Lincoln Financial and Cabinet Member | Served two years as President of the Auburn/Opelika Association of Financial Advisors | Life Millionaire status at Horace Mann Insurance Company and was awarded the Life Agent of the Year Award | New York Life, Executive Council Member | Currently serves as President of Ogletree Financial, a life insurance General Agency. | Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

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