Intro: Is NY Life a Reliable Company? (Ratings, Pros & Cons)

Insurance is a necessary need these days. Between the different types and subtypes, companies and policies, it’s understandably overwhelming for the average consumer. 

What’s whole life insurance? What’s the most thorough coverage you can get? Are life insurance reviews trustworthy? How can you get the best bang for your buck?

Life insurance, in particular, can be particularly daunting—numerous life insurance reviews scatter the web, making it difficult to sift through what is legit and what is not.

And, as it is not as popular (or necessary) as other types of insurance, such as health, auto, or home and renter’s insurance, there are many more factors to consider, such as investment opportunities, cash value of the policy, and death benefits, which will be discussed in NY life insurance reviews. You may even find differences within companies themselves.

In this article, we will take a closer look at New York Life insurance, sifting through the many New York Life insurance customer reviews and New York life insurance complaints to help you decide if New York Life is right for you.

We will also take a look at New York Life ratings from accredited consumer research companies to add another perspective to the whole picture.

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New York Life Review (Financial Strength: A Good Foundation)

A New York Life review is best taken in context of the company’s overall financial strength. The company boasts one of the highest financial strength rating among life insurance companies, ranging from Aaa to A++ from all four major rating agencies.

What does this mean? Life insurance reviews from consumers may not focus on the financial status and strength of insurance companies, but it is still a good indication of which companies have the means to back your needs.

Additionally, a well-established company can provide many options that a smaller company cannot. New York Life insurance complaints hardly feature financial woes.

New York Life has been around for more than 170 years—another indication of strong financial health. New York Life is also licensed to operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, which is important to keep in mind when looking at New York Life insurance reviews and when considering coverage in your area.

The company is also not publicly traded and is entirely owned by its own policy makers, which allows New York Life to make decisions based on the longer term, not on market trends. Many New York Life insurance reviews focus on the excellent customer service the company has to offer, citing the mutual status it holds as a positive factor in their service.

New York Life Products and Bundles: What They Offer

New York Life offers much more than insurance, including the following products:

  • Life insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Investment annuities
  • Retirement income
  • Mutual funds
  • Group membership associations
  • New York Life rewards Visa® card

We will focus on life insurance policies, the most popular products offered at New York Life, and how New York Life reviews differentiate between the various types and subtypes. Specifically, we will look at term policies and whole life policies and the differences between them.

new york life insurance reviews

Source: The New York Times

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Life Insurance: Term and Permanent

Term policies for life insurance are available from birth to age eighty-five, with available term lengths of 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. Simple and affordable, term policies from New York Life can be renewed with higher premiums, without having to provide proof of good health, and require no annual fees. Most New York Life insurance reviews will discuss term policies and their benefits.

Whole Life, Universal Life, and Variable Universal Life are all permanent life insurance policies. They accumulate a cash value that can be accessed as a loan, but require an annual fee in order to maintain the monetary amount.

Although less popular than term policies, permanent policies are still factored into many New York Life reviews due to the company’s status as a mutual company.

Whole Life Insurance is a more comprehensive permanent plan, which also allows you to access the accumulated cash value for a policy loan for emergencies, college tuition, a down payment on a home, supplementary retirement funds, and other needs.

Whole life is designed to build cash value more quickly, as opposed to term policies. It is also a good option for people looking for more investment opportunities. We will take a closer look at New York Life whole life insurance reviews later in the article.

Universal Life Insurance balances the stability of a permanent plan with the flexibility of choosing different payment schedules and premiums. Variable Universal Life focuses on the investment side, providing a death benefit in exchange for higher premium payments.

Other life insurance plans include:

  • Corporate-sponsored plans
  • Group membership associations

New York Life Insurance Reviews

Credio gives one of the highest New York Life ratings of 92, based on customer service, financial strength, and affordability, with a whopping 58.9% due to New York Life Insurance customer reviews on customer service—customer service is one of New York Life’s strongest assets and is a strong factor in most New York Life reviews. The New York Life ratings for term affordability are above average at 4.1 out of 5 based on Credio’s analysis on customer demographics and market trends.

The overall customer satisfaction ratings on give New York Life insurance a rating of 87.6 based on 152 reviews, 81% of whom would recommend New York Life to a friend. New York Life insurance customer reviews are primarily positive here, with a few exceptions.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives New York Life a A+ rating, which is based on a total of 104 New York Life insurance complaints filed with the BBB in the past three years, with 58 of these complaints based on problems with product and service. Factors that raised New York Life ratings include the length of time it has been operating, complaint volume, and complaint resolution. The failure to respond to 3 complaints factored in the decreased rating.

On Credit Karma, NY Life insurance reviews are largely positive, with one anonymous reviewer (voted most helpful positive review) posting, “You seem to take a loss with all the other companies… NY Life is 110% honest and up front when it comes to everything.”

However, not all NY Life insurance reviews are positive. The most helpful negative review states that New York Life canceled a new policy offered to them without explanation, citing undisclosed health concerns. The New York Life review states that the claims are unfounded.

NerdWallet ranks New York Life insurance the 7th best life insurance company in the country, based on A.M. Best financial strength ratings, J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores, and general New York Life insurance complaints filed.

In a 2015 survey, J.D. Power gave New York Life a “better than most” rating—a 4 out of 5—in all its categories, which are based upon New York Life reviews from customer reports. In 2015, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners gave New York Life a complaint ratio of .13—higher than average for companies in general, but lower than average in the life insurance industry.

new york life reviews

Source: J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Household Insurance Study

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New York Life Whole Life Insurance Reviews

Whole life insurance is designed to secure stability across your lifespan—provided that you pay the premiums in full and on time. According to the Wall Street Journal, many people are not good candidates for whole life insurance.

A New York Life review stated that whole life insurance plans are more for people who need insurance but have maxed out contributions to tax-advantaged plans, like a 401(k), and for people who have enough cash at hand to front the first few payments, which can be on the heftier side. This, and other factors, are important to keep in mind when reading New York Life insurance reviews.

Mom and Daddy Money writes in his whole life insurance review that whole life insurance and its ilk are for a very narrow set of cases, boiling down to people who genuinely need permanent plans (such as parents of disabled children) and people who have the money up front to make it a good investment in the long run. Otherwise, he writes, it may not be the right plan for you.

New York Life whole life insurance reviews point out that it is often best to purchase whole life insurance from mutual companies like New York Life insurance, which tend to have its customers’ best interests in mind.

Unlike a publicly traded company, mutual companies such as New York Life and others are more inclined to operate in a long-term scheme rather than one based on the ever-changing market. New York Life reviews from economic experts advise customers to opt for mutual companies when looking into permanent life insurance policies.

New York Life Insurance Review: Pros and Cons

As with many large purchases, it is most important to go into the market armed with a game plan. What do you need? What do you want? What does your family need? With a company as large as New York Life, it may be difficult to generalize the many choices offered. With that said, we compiled a short, very generalized list of pros and cons as gleaned from various New York Life insurance reviews:


  • Excellent financial health and established company history
  • Good customer service
  • Mutual company standing provides best environment for whole life plans
  • Large selection of options


  • Whole life not recommended for all (although this applies to all whole life insurance plans regardless of company)
  • No option for online applications; online presence limited
  • Complaints of delayed processing of policy changes and customer issues

Conclusion: Is New York Life Insurance Worth It?

New York Life insurance reviews indicate that the company is reliable and transparent, with a good focus on customer satisfaction, despite having a lower customer satisfaction ratio when compared with similar companies.

Among life insurance companies, however, it scores the best in customer satisfaction surveys. One aspect that may be a factor in lower customer satisfaction is the company’s technological fallbacks—applications must be done in-person with an agent, and its online presence is somewhat lacking.

New York Life offers a large variety of plans, with plenty of options that may suit whatever needs you have. Term insurance makes up the bulk of New York Life reviews, which are generally positive.

Although not as popular, New York Life whole life insurance reviews demonstrate that people shopping for whole life insurance and other types of permanent plans are generally satisfied with the treatment from New York Life, mainly due to its standing as a mutual company.

A caveat to consider: price. Although NY life insurance reviews state it provides excellent coverage, it can be expensive to keep up with the premiums, particularly premiums and fees tied to whole life insurance plans.

More than a few New York Life insurance reviews mention price. If you can’t keep up with the recurring expenses of a permamenent life plan, the fee to cancel could be largely detrimental to you and your bank account.

Regardless, whether you need term life insurance or whole life insurance, most New York Life reviews say that New York Life insurance will have you covered. It all depends on what you, your family, and your beneficiaries are looking for.

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