New York Life Insurance Review 2020

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

New York Life insurance is a mutual insurance company. That means that they are accountable to their customers, rather than stockholders or board of directors. They’ve been around for 175 years. They claim that no U.S. Life insurer has a higher financial strength rating than they do. They expect to pay $1.9 billion dollars out in dividends in 2020. They are available in all fifty states. 

Pros and Cons of New York Life Insurance

– Working with insurance agents may provide a more personal experience
– Whole life policies are flexible and customizable
– Mutual companies answer to customers, not investors
– Wide variety of products
– Customer experience can vary widely due to the quality of the insurance agent
– No online quoting
– Term Life insurance is only available in 10 or 20-year terms.

Products Offered by New York Life Insurance

New York Life insurance offers policies for:

  • Whole life
  • Term life
  • Variable Universal Life
  • Universal Life

Whole life insurance: They offer three types of whole life policies: value, regular, and custom.

  • Value whole life insurance is for those getting closer to retirement, who want to maximize life insurance coverage. And life coverage amount is guaranteed. There is not much cash value in this type of policy. If you are interested in building cash value, you should consider custom life insurance policy.
  • Regular whole life insurance: This is traditional whole life insurance policy, which allows you to balance cash value growth and guaranteed death coverage.
  • Custom whole life insurance is similar to whole life insurance. However it allows the customer to decide how to pay the premiums: in as little as five years, yearly, quarterly, or monthly. You can also purchase Paid Up additions, which add to your death benefit and build some cash value. The interest rate on guaranteed cash value is 4%. This policy focuses on growing cash value account to supplement your retirement income. Learn more about how to use life insurance policy in your retirement planning. As with all whole life policies, when the policy builds enough cash value, you can borrow against it, although you will be charged interest on the loan.

Since New York Life insurance is a mutual company, whole life policies qualify for dividends, although they are not guaranteed. You can either get the money through a check, use them to pay your premiums, or reinvest them. 

Term Life Insurance: New York Life term life insurance is available in terms of ten to twenty year; there is no 30-year term option. This could mean that at some point, you’ll have to renew your policy, and premiums will be higher as you will be older, or you could be denied altogether. 

You can opt for yearly convertible term insurance, for those thinking about converting to a permanent life insurance policy in the future. The policy renews each year, and premiums start low and increase every year. Level premium convertible term life insurance offers set premiums for the entire term. After the term ends, premiums increase if you renew. You can convert a level term policy to a permanent policy as well.

Variable Universal Life: Variable universal life insurance product targets people who want to maximize their cash value account in the policy to supplement their retirement income. New York Life allows policy holders of variable universal life insurance to pick investment options by themselves. They also provide a model-portfolio approach with investment combinations selected by investment experts.

>>MORE: The Differences between Variable Life Insurance (VLI) and Variable Universal Life Insurance

Universal Life: Universal life insurance product allows you to adjust your premiums and coverage as you go, and still offers lifelong coverage. Prudential offers three universal life products: Basic, Custom Guarantee, and Protection Up to Age 90.

  • Basic Universal Life: is a traditional universal life insurance policy. It allows consumers to design their policies in the way that fits them: amount of coverage, length of coverage, and premiums. It is also budget -friendly.
  • Custom Guarantee: This policy is similar to Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance. It is for people who don’t care about cash value account and are only interested in maximizing death coverage.
  • Protection Up to Age 90: This is similar to term life insurance. However, it focuses on people who might need a big life insurance policy, minimum coverage is $1 million.

New York Life also has a few add-ons, such as:

They also offer annuities, long-term care insurance, mutual funds and 529 plans.

Financial Strength Rating of New York Life Insurance

A.M. Best rates companies on financial strength, evaluating their ability to meet ongoing contract and policy obligations. A.M. Best gives New York Life Insurance a score of A++, meaning a superior ability to meet financial obligations.

Customer Satisfaction Rating of New York Life Insurance

J.D. Power rates insurance companies on six factors, plus overall satisfaction. Overall, New York Life insurance scored 770 out of a 1,000 point scale, with the median being 761. Individual categories are scored from one to five circles. Here’s how New York Life did:

  • Product offerings: 4/5
  • Price: 4/5
  • Statements: 3/5
  • Interaction: 3/5
  • Communication: 3/5
  • Application and Orientation: 4/5

Overall, it seems that customers are satisfied with New York Life’s product offerings, prices, and application process. The other categories are average—not bad, but not great. Overall, they ranked 8th out of 24 life insurance companies.

Consumer Complaints Rating of New York Life Insurance

The NAIC (National Association of Insurance Administrators) keeps track of customer complaints by giving every company a ratio. A score of 1.0 means a company has exactly as many complaints lodged against it as you would expect for a company of their size. For individual life policies, New York Life Insurance got a ratio of .13, meaning they have far fewer complaints than you would expect.

Digital Experience Rating of New York Life Insurance

New York Life insurance does not offer online quoting. If you want a quote from New York Life Insurance, you fill out a form and an agent will contact you. There is no mobile app, either. The website is easy to navigate, but many people just browsing for insurance do not want to be contacted by insurance agents anxious to sell them a policy. 

The website will let you make payments online, set up recurring payments, or change your beneficiaries. To cancel your coverage, you’ll need to call. 

Last Thoughts

New York Life insurance company is a mutual insurance company with a good variety of product offerings and good customer service ratings. They are available in all fifty states. If you don’t mind working with an insurance agent to get a quote, they are a solid choice.

Thang Truong
Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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