6 Best Whole Life Insurance Companies 2024

If you’re looking to treat your life insurance policy as a cash asset, you might be in the market for a whole life insurance policy. Along with providing a payout to your loved ones when you die, these policies build cash value over time at a set interest rate.

To create this list of the best whole life insurance companies, our experts focused on financially strong insurers with low levels of customer complaints. We then honed in on important features of whole life insurance policies, such as riders, the potential to earn dividends and the amount of coverage you can buy.


With Guardian’s whole life coverage, you can choose a policy with level premiums, or a “limited payment” policy that allows you to pay off your policy in 10, 15 or 20 years. After that, no premiums are required to keep your coverage. You can choose from a range of riders, such as a disability waiver of premium rider, long-term care rider or an index participation feature (IPF) rider. The IPF rider allows you to link a portion of your cash value to the performance of the S&P 500 Price Return Index, and any profits are paid out in dividends.

The company also offers life insurance for people living with HIV. To qualify for these term and whole life policies, you must prove you’re under a specialist’s care and successfully receiving antiretroviral therapy. 

While Guardian doesn’t guarantee dividends, it has paid them out to its permanent policyholders every year since 1868, and will pay $1.4 billion in 2024, the highest payout in the company’s history.


Depending on your policy, you might be able to customize your coverage with various riders. These include a long-term care rider, chronic illness rider and a yearly term purchase rider, which allows you to direct your dividend payments toward a term life insurance policy.

As a permanent policyholder, you’re eligible to receive dividends based on the insurer’s profits. MassMutual will pay out almost $2.2 billion to its permanent policyholders in 2024, its highest sum yet.

Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual’s whole life insurance policy comes with various payment options. You can choose to pay premiums for 10, 15, 20 or 25 years, or until you reach age 65 or 100. Plus, you may have the option to blend term life with your policy to lower the premiums, while maintaining permanent coverage. 

To enhance your coverage, you can add riders to your policy, such as an accelerated death benefit that pays out a portion of your payout if you need long-term care. There’s also an additional purchase benefit rider, which lets you increase your coverage at a later date without taking another life insurance medical exam. Northwestern Mutual is a mutual company, one of the largest individual life insurers in the U.S., and it is set to pay out $7.3 billion in dividends to qualifying policyholders in 2024.

New York Life

New York Life’s custom whole life policy offers flexibility with premium payments. You can opt to pay off your policy in the first few years, or schedule the timing and amount of your payments to suit you.

The insurer also offers a variety of life insurance riders, such as a chronic care rider, waiver of premium rider and accelerated death benefit.


As a mutual company, New York Life plans to pay out $2.2 billion in dividends to its policyholders in 2024.

State Farm

State Farm’s standard whole life policy has level premiums, which means you’ll pay the same amount each month. But if you’d like to adjust when and how much you pay, you can buy a single premium or limited payment policy.

If you’re healthy, age 18 to 50 and applying for a policy worth $100,000 to $1 million, State Farm might fast-track your application and issue your policy without the need for a medical exam. If you purely want to cover your own funeral, burial and end-of-life expenses, the insurer offers a final expense policy to applicants ages 45 to 80 (50 to 75 in New York). Policy features aside, State Farm leads J.D. Power’s list of life insurers with the best customer satisfaction.


AARP offers coverage to its members and their spouses via their partnership with New York Life, one of the largest life insurance companies in the U.S. 

With AARP’s standard whole life insurance policy, members ages 50 to 80 and spouses ages 45 to 80 can apply by answering a few health questions. No medical exam is required. You can buy up to $50,000 in coverage online or request a higher amount by contacting New York Life. 

AARP also offers a guaranteed acceptance whole life policy, which skips both the questionnaire and medical exam and issues coverage to members ages 50 to 80 and spouses ages 45 to 80. In New York, the age eligibility is 50 to 75 for both members and spouses. Applicants can buy up to $25,000 in coverage on their own.

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