New York Life Life Insurance Review

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Edited byKathryn Schroeder
Edited byKathryn Schroeder

Updated: May 22, 2024

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MoneyGeek’s Take: Is New York Life Right for You?

According to our research, New York Life Insurance Company is great if you need a term or life-long insurance policy and want to choose from several coverage options. The company has three types of term life insurance; whole life and universal life insurance policies, too. As such, buyers have a wide selection to consider from this provider.

You can benefit from the New York Life dividend payments if your target is to leverage investment opportunities on permanent life insurance. The company is also ideal if you need customized term life insurance, intending to convert it to lifetime coverage later.

New York Life may not be the best provider if you want to compare quotes and buy your policy online. Also, while the company offers some good coverage options and riders for senior buyers, it lacks an exclusive option for final expense coverage. We recommend purchasing life insurance from Bestow if you need a 100% online application process and no medical exam.

Read the rest of our review to understand what New York Life offers before deciding on the policy type to purchase.

At a Glance: New York Life Life Insurance

New York Life



May pay dividends on whole life insurance policies


A++ financial stability rating from AM Best


Wide array of term life, whole life and universal life insurance riders


Receives minimal customer complaints


Has a mobile app



Quotes are only available through a financial professional


Final expense insurance policy is unavailable


A Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, New York Life Insurance Company offers life insurance, investments, long-term care protection and retirement income to its customers. It is the largest mutual life insurance provider headquartered in New York City.

New York Life received an A++ AM Best rating in 2022, indicating that it’s the best for financial stability. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the company’s complaint index in 2022 was 0.27, showing that it received very few complaints from customers. Policies are available in every state.

The company offers the following life insurance products:

  • Yearly Convertible Term
  • Level Premium Convertible Term 10-20
  • Million Plus Level Term 10
  • Whole Life Insurance
  • Custom Whole Life Insurance
  • Universal Life
  • Custom Universal Life Guarantee
  • Variable Universal Life

Term life policies from New York Life range from 10 to 20 years, and the premiums increase annually after the term ends. Whole life policies from New York Life may pay dividends. With the insurer’s wide array of term life, whole life and universal life options, you can choose an ideal policy for your needs. All plans have the option of several life insurance riders.

Key Takeaways

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Whole life insurance policies from New York Life may pay dividends.

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New York Life’s riders vary for term life, whole life and universal life insurance policies.

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Depending on your changing needs, you can convert a term life insurance policy from New York Life to lifetime protection.

New York Life Policy Options Explained

Based on the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) 2022 Insurance Barometer Study, 31% of adults in the U.S. will get a life insurance policy, with the COVID-19 pandemic as a primary trigger. A comprehensive look at policies from New York Life Insurance Company will ensure you secure the best option for your needs.

Term Life Insurance Options From New York Life

Term life insurance spans a short duration and costs less than permanent life insurance. It comes with no cash value but has a guaranteed death benefit. Its premium may remain the same or increase at predefined levels.

Term life insurance from New York Life offers more than the death benefit by allowing you to convert your policy to permanent coverage, depending on how your needs change. Your policy can have various premium payment options, such as lower initial premiums that gradually increase or premium increases yearly after a set term. Term life insurance options from New York Life include:

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    Yearly Convertible Term

    This policy suits buyers looking for the lowest initial premium and those who intend to convert their protection to permanent coverage soon. The premiums are lower than a level premium policy but increase every year.

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    Level Premium Convertible Term 10-20

    Level Premium Convertible allows you to determine your premiums for 10 to 20 years, making your payments predictable. After the period elapses, your premiums will increase each year.

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    Million Plus Level Term 10

    With this 10-year term policy, you will get up to $1 million or more as your coverage limit. After 10 years, you will pay higher premiums each year. Unlike other term-life policies, you can only convert the Million Plus Level to permanent protection within the first five years.

You can get a term life policy from New York Life Insurance Company if you need a death benefit protection and no cash value. The policy is also suitable if you are on a budget or anticipate high protection needs for a short time. Term life insurance may also be good if you have other financial responsibilities that limit what you can afford to pay for life insurance. New York Life’s term policies are convertible, which is helpful if you need to change to permanent protection in the future.

Whole Life Insurance Options From New York Life

Whole life insurance from New York Life provides guaranteed lifetime protection plus added benefits that help you plan for the future of your loved ones adequately. Premium amounts do not change over time, unlike the company’s term life insurance policies. The different types available include:

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    Whole Life Insurance

    Whole life insurance from New York Life features the possibility of dividends that may increase your cash value. The company has been paying dividends since 1854, and while it’s no guarantee that you will receive them, it is very likely.

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    Custom Whole Life Insurance

    Custom Whole Life Insurance from New York Life allows you to pay premiums for a specific duration or maximize the cash value component of your policy. However, the payments may be more due to the short period.

If you need a policy that offers cash value growth, a guaranteed death benefit and the capability to earn dividends, a whole life insurance policy may be the best choice for your needs. The cash value is a guarantee as long as you pay your premiums. Regardless of your health, the policy will still be in effect, and the premium amounts will not change.

Universal Life Insurance Options From New York Life

You can choose universal life insurance if you are interested in flexible long-term protection without necessarily accumulating too much cash value. New York Life has the following policy types in this category:

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    Universal Life

    This policy allows you to tailor-make your policy features, including the coverage amount, duration of coverage and cost to suit your situation.

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    Custom Universal Life Guarantee

    With the Custom Universal Life Guarantee policy, you have a guaranteed death benefit but do not accumulate cash value. You will pay a specific premium amount and keep your policy active for as long as you need.

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    Variable Universal Life Insurance

    Variable Universal Life from New York Life helps you get protection as you build an investment through market gains. It offers tax-advantaged asset growth opportunities. The options are New York Life Variable Universal Life Accumulator II and New York Life Market Wealth Plus, available in every state. The cash value will vary depending on market rates.

Universal life insurance offers long-term protection and investment opportunities. Such policies are perfect if you need to customize your permanent protection and keep improving on its features as your needs change. You can use a universal life policy from New York Life to build your earnings through investments available in the market.

Final Expense Insurance Options From New York Life

Final expense life insurance is mostly available for senior buyers and offers short-term and cheap coverage for last rites and the costs associated with it. New York Life does not have a final expense life insurance policy. However, the insurer allows you to combine long-term care insurance with your life insurance policy with Asset Flex.

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    Asset Flex

    This offers long-term care if the insured individual needs it and a death benefit if they don't. You can terminate your protection and get your cash back if you no longer need the policy. Premiums begin at $10,000, and you can make a payment in full or in installments for a maximum of 10 years. Your policy includes informal care, worldwide coverage, in-home equipment and other benefits for up to seven years. Even if you exhaust your benefits, your loved ones may receive a residual benefit from the policy.

Final expense insurance covers a burial and other end-of-life expenses so loved ones do not have the burden of managing the costs. If you have small coverage needs or health concerns, you may consider this coverage a worthy investment.


New York Life Life Insurance Riders

A life insurance rider helps you build on your policy by getting increased coverage or benefits. MoneyGeek details the different riders available with New York Life policies.

The following riders apply to the New York Life term policies.


Spouse's Paid-Up Insurance
Purchase Option Rider

This allows your spouse to use proceeds from your policy to get insurance
without a medical exam if you pass away.

Disability Waiver of Premium

New York Life will pay your premiums if you become disabled and have
this rider on your policy.

Living Benefits Rider

If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, you can use a percentage of
your death benefit to cover your treatment costs.

New York Life riders for those with a whole life insurance policy include the following.


Disability Waiver of Premium

The rider waives your premium if you become completely disabled.

Option to Purchase Paid-Up Additions

You can contribute more to your policy and increase your death benefit and
cash value using this rider. The premiums will be subject to an expense charge.

Chronic Care Option

Protects you from chronic care costs by giving you tax-free access to your base death
benefit if you become chronically ill.

Living Benefits Option

Allows you to use part of your death benefit to cover treatment costs in the event of a
terminal illness.

Accidental Death Benefit

Provides an additional death benefit for your beneficiaries if the cause of an insured
person’s death is an accident. This rider lapses automatically at 70 years.

Universal life insurance can have the following riders.


Death Benefit Option 1

It offers a level death benefit equivalent to the face amount of your universal life insurance policy.

Death Benefit Option 2

This rider offers a varying death benefit equal to the face amount and cash value of your policy.

Return of Premium Rider

It offers a varying death benefit equivalent to the face amount and adjusted paid premiums of
your policy.

Money Back Option Rider

Allows you to get your money back if you are no longer interested in your policy in the future.
However, this rider has a minimum premium amount.

How to Get New York Life Life Insurance

In the following sections, MoneyGeek explains the essential steps to take while purchasing life insurance from New York Life and what to do if your application gets rejected.

How to Buy Life Insurance From New York Life

Do Your Research

Learning more about the company’s life insurance products is important to find the right policy and any alternatives. You can use the New York Life website to contact a financial professional and determine the options that match your needs.

Compare Quotes

You can speak to a financial professional to get quotes for your preferred life insurance protection from New York Life. Once you get the rate, compare it with other providers to ensure you identify the best option to help you save on your premiums in the long run.

Health Check

After identifying the right life insurance option and undergoing the underwriting process, you schedule a health exam if it is a requirement for your policy. Check with your agent to see if a health exam is necessary.


After you meet the requirements, New York Life approves your application, and your coverage will start as soon as the necessary process gets completed.

What to Do if New York Life Denies You Coverage

If the outcome of your application is negative, you may consider taking the following steps.

Contact Your Broker

Reach out to your financial professional or New York Life agent to understand the factors that led to the application rejection.

Lifestyle Changes

If the rejection is due to a current health condition, improving your lifestyle before submitting a new application can increase your chances of getting approved.

Explore Other Options

You may consider other insurance products from New York Life or other insurers if they can help meet your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About New York Life Life Insurance

MoneyGeek compiled a set of commonly asked questions and answers so you can understand what coverage options are available at the New York Life Insurance Company.

Can you borrow from your New York Life life insurance policy?
What’s the maximum amount of life insurance coverage available from New York Life?
Do life insurance policies from New York Life pay dividends?
Can you get life insurance from New York Life if you have cancer?
Do life insurance policies from New York Life cover death by drug overdose?
Do life insurance policies from New York Life cover death by suicide?