Updated: June 1st, 2020

New York Life Whole Life Insurance Review 

Did you know that New York Life is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States? How about the fact that it is one of the largest life insurance providers in the world?

With more than $550 billion in total assets under management, you will not be alone if you decide to purchase a policy from this company.

Since 1845, the company has been providing customers with many types of coverage, including its popular whole life products.

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About New York LifeTopics that we will cover in our New York Life Whole Life Review:

    1. Products
    2. Riders
    3. The Good
    4. The Not So Good


Temporary Convertible Coverage:

Yearly Convertible – This term policy is the right choice for someone who is looking for cheap term coverage in the short term, but you can choose to convert to a permanent policy in the near future.

Level Premium Convertible – This term policy provides a level premium for a specific time. For example, you can lock in level premiums for 10 to 20 years. Within this time, you can also convert to permanent insurance.

Term Quote

Permanent Whole Life Coverage:

Whole Life Insurance – Their standard product premium is paid until age 100. After age 100, the coverage lasts forever.

Custom Whole Life Insurance – This a whole life insurance product that an agent can design the premium paying face anywhere from 5 years to age 75. After that period, the coverage lasts forever. 

Whole Life Quote

Adjustable Lifetime Coverage:

Variable Universal Life – This policy provides longer-term protection with the opportunity for cash value to grow based on market performance.

Universal Life – This policy provides long-term protection for someone who may not be interested in cash value growth.

Adjustable Whole Life Quote

Health Ratings

Every company has different risk classes that will determine the prices of your whole life. These are the health ratings from best to worst for all of New Your Life whole life products:

  • Select preferred
  • Preferred
  • Preferred II
  • Nonsmoker
  • Select Standard
  • Standard
  • Juvenile (ages 0-17)
  • Nonsmoker/standard special classes 2-13. 


The minimum death benefit you can get is $25,000 for basic whole life policy and $50,000 for the Custom Whole Life product.

However, if you get ratings Preferred II and above, it is $100,000. Also, for juvenile policies (from age 0 to 17), the minimum is $50,000. 


Here is a list of all available added benefits or “riders.” While there are many riders, some of them are used more often than others.

We will give you an idea of how important it is to have the riders added to your policy. Paid riders need to be selected and paid, while free riders come included with the policy already. 

Free Riders

Insurance Exchange — You will be able to transfer the person that is insured on the policy to someone else. The rider is included, but when you transfer, there is a cost.

Living Benefits — You can access a portion of the death benefit if you are terminally ill (12 months to live).

Spouse’s Paid-Up Insurance Purchase Option — If you pass away, your spouse/beneficiary will have the right to get a new paid-up life insurance policy. 

Paid Riders

Accidental Death Benefit – You can get extra coverage that pays in case of an accidental death up to $300,000. This rider is not a priority for most people, as it is probably better to be covered with life insurance instead of accidental life insurance.

Children’s Insurance – This rider can give term insurance on all of your kids, and it is only essential if you want to have insurance if your kids die.

Child’s Protection Benefit – With this rider, if the parent dies, the child will not have to pay for the policy until age 25, and it is used mostly on policies where a parent pays for a kid’s plan.

Chronic Care – You will be able to access a portion of the policy if you are permanently chronically ill.

Disability Waiver of Premium – If you are disabled, you will not have to pay premiums for your whole life. This rider is a must, and you should add it to any policy. This rider won’t cost you much, but it provides you a significant benefit.

Payer Protection Benefit – It works just like the waiver of premium but is used when the person paying for the policy is different than the insured.

Dividend Option Term – This rider gives you additional term insurance coverage and keeps the overall life insurance price from increasing. Also, the term portion is convertible to whole life. The best use of the dividend option term rider is if you want to make the policy more affordable.

Level Premium Convertible Term – This rider adds term coverage that doesn’t increase in price for five years and is convertible for ten years. While a similar rider, “Yearly Convertible Term,” increases in price each year.

Option to Purchase Paid-Up Additions – Adds cash value to the whole life policy immediately, so the best use is for cash value accumulation.

Policy Purchase Option – It’s a great rider if you want to add whole life in the future without having to do another medical and underwriting. 


For newly bought term policies, you can convert them into a whole life for the first ten years of the term period. However, you may be able to convert older term policies after the first ten years.

Also, you have conversion credits (discounts) that can be applied when you convert in the first five years of your term insurance. 

Convertible Term Quote

Let’s continue on this New York Life Whole Life Insurance Review and see the good and the bad.

The Good

Top Rated

With so many life insurance companies to choose from, it can be a challenge to decide which one is best. Over the years, New York Life has established itself as one of the industry’s top names.

Along with brand recognition, New York Life has a long-standing reputation for being a top-rated company. Here are just a few of its many ratings:

  • Fitch Ratings: AAA
  • Standard & Poor’s Rating: AA+ 
  • Moody’s Investors Services: Aaa
  • A.M. Best: A++

You may find other companies with high ratings, but not many can match those of New York Life. This is particularly true when you consider how well the company has performed over 150+ years.

Coverage Options

If you decide that whole life insurance is the right decision, you can’t stop there. And New York Life won’t let you!

Because the company offers many types of whole life coverage, this helps you find and purchase the policy that best suits your wants, needs, lifestyle, and budget.

Here are some of the many highlights associated with New York Life whole life insurance products:

  • A guaranteed death benefit
  • Tax-deferred cash value accumulation
  • Premiums that never go up in price
  • Option to borrow from the cash value
  • Customize the policy with the addition of optional riders.
  • Eligibility to earn dividends as declared by the company.

These highlights, combined with a wide range of death benefit options, help make New York Life a top player in the whole life insurance space.

Here you can find a New York Life Whole Life Insurance specification


New York Life AssetsNew York Life Insurance In Force
The New York Life 2019 Financial Report shares a variety of information on the current financial standing of the company, as well as the future, and here are some highlights:

  • For 2020, New York Life declared $1.9 billion in dividends to policyholders. This is the largest payout in company history.
  • New York Life has experienced an increased dividend payout for the last five years.
  • New York Life now has 1 Trillion of individual life insurance in force. 

Dividend Rate

As a mutual company, New York Life gives out a dividend to its policyholders. New York life has a very competitive dividend in the industry, and its current rate in 2020 is 6.1%

In 2020, New York Life announced that 1.9 billion is to be paid in dividends to policyholders.

You can read more on our History of Whole Life Dividends.

Also, New York Life had record numbers paid in dividends to policy owners.  This current dividend makes them one of the best performing whole life insurance in the market. Most of our quotes are always between #3 and #4 for different ages for cash value accumulation.

Check out our Top 7 Whole Life Insurance Companies For Cash Value

Next is a history of the dividend since 2001: 

Year Dividend Rate
2001 7.9
2002 7.32
2003 6.79
2004 6.79
2005 6.79
2006 6.79
2007 6.79
2008 6.79
2009 6.14
2010 6.11
2011 6.11
2012 5.8
2013 5.9
2014 6
2015 6.2
2016 6.2
2017 6.3
2018 6.1
2019 6
2020 6.1

As you can see, the dividend has fluctuated, but it’s stabilized in the past three years. Also, they have paid out a dividend for more than 150 years.

Next is the average rate for the past 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. This can help you see how stable the dividend is:

Years Dividend Rate
5 yr 6.14
10 yr 6.07
15 yr 6.22
20 yr 6.45

The Not So Good

It’s hard to find a bad thing about New York Life’s Whole Life in reality, but here are a few things: 

Only New York Life Agents 

Only New York Life Agents are allowed to sell New York Life policies under $25,000 of premium. This limits the availability of good agents for clients. It also makes it harder for agents to recommend New York Life.

We are big believers in an independent model where every agent can sell every company to any client. This allows for more competition, and the customer, in the long run, wins. 

JD Power Review 

JD Power researched and found that New York Life rates as 4 out of 5 stars for life insurance satisfaction. In reality, there are a few companies that rate higher in customer satisfaction. However, there is always room for improvement. 

Final Word 

As you shop for whole life insurance, you will soon find that New York Life is one of the industry’s top providers.

In conclusion, there is a lot to be said for a company serving customers for 150+ years. New York Life’s financial position is as stable as ever, making now a great time to do business with the company.

Finally, you cannot go wrong choosing New York Life for your whole life insurance.

And if you would like a New York Life whole life insurance quote, you can get one in a few seconds just by filling our quote.

Check out: New York Life’s 2019 Dividend Announcement 

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