New York Life Insurance Company Review

In this article...
  • For more than 175 years, New York Life has delivered financial solutions to individuals and businesses. Learn more about this innovative mutual company.

For more than 175 years, New York Life has delivered financial solutions to individuals and businesses. It currently manages more than $300 billion in client assets. Explore the benefits this innovative mutual company has to offer.

About New York Life

Since opening its doors in 1845, New York Life has delivered insurance policies, retirement solutions and financial services to individuals, families and small businesses. As a leading U.S. mutual company, New York Life answers only to its policyowners, and it's paid dividends to qualified participants for 166 consecutive years.

New York Life aims to support the communities it serves by maintaining a diverse workforce, and in 2021, Forbes named the company to its list of the best U.S. employers for diversity. It’s also been ranked by NAFE as a top company for female executives. This civic-minded company has also donated more than $360 million to charitable causes.

What Life Insurance Products Does New York Life Offer?

New York Life offers innovative financial products and services across four main categories: investments, premier services, supplemental insurance and life insurance.


New York Life’s investment solutions can help individuals save for expenses related to major milestones, such as retirement, college and home ownership. Available products include:

  • Annuities: Investors can choose between fixed deferred annuities, which typically provide steady, predictable growth, and variable annuities, which fluctuate with the market.

  • Mutual funds: These professionally managed funds can be customized to accommodate an individual’s goals, investment timeframe and risk tolerance.

  • Exchange-traded funds: Investors can reap market-based returns by investing in a curated collection of securities representing a segment of the market, such as corporate bonds or the S&P 500. These funds may be traded.

  • 529 college savings plans: These tax-deferred plans help investors save for education-related expenses such as tuition and fees for college, trade school or private K – 12 education.

Premier Services

New York Life and its affiliates provide individuals and businesses with several types of financial services:

  • Estate planning
  • Small business consulting
  • Wealth management

The company's financial professionals specialize in various fields, including accounting, business, law, insurance, taxation and philanthropic planning.

Supplemental Insurance

New York Life’s supplemental policies are designed to fill gaps in your coverage. Available plans include:

  • Individual disability insurance: This coverage replaces a percentage of the insured’s income if they’re unable to work due to a disabling injury or illness.

  • Long-term care insurance: LTC plans pay for in-home or residential caregiving costs if the insured becomes physically or cognitively impaired. It may cover expenses such as assisted living or skilled nursing.

Life Insurance

New York Life has a comprehensive portfolio of customizable life insurance options. Plans may be purchased individually or in combination, and may be supplemented by several available riders. 

Coverage typically falls into four main categories: term, whole, universal or variable universal life insurance.

Term Life Insurance

Term life plans offer coverage for a limited time period, which may be customized to reflect major financial obligations such as mortgage payments or college tuition. Flexible premium options are available, and policyholders may convert their plan to a permanent policy.

Types of term life plans include:

  • Yearly convertible term insurance: These plans feature low initial premiums, which gradually increase.

  • Level-premium convertible-term 10 – 20: Policyholders may choose fixed premium payments over either a 10- or 20-year period, after which payments increase yearly.

  • Million-plus level-term 10: Providing at least $1 million in coverage, this plan offers fixed premiums over 10 years, after which payments increase yearly. During the first five years of coverage, policyholders may convert their plan to a permanent policy.

Supplemental benefits are available through riders, including a living benefits rider, a disability waiver-of-premium rider and a spouse’s paid-up insurance purchase rider, which lets your spouse use the death benefit to buy personal coverage without having to undergo a medical exam.

Whole Life Insurance

The company's whole life policies offer lifetime protection, combining a death benefit with a cash accumulation component and flexible premium payments. Policies may be further customized by adding on one or more of the following riders:

  • Living benefits
  • Accidental death benefits
  • Chronic care coverage
  • Disability waiver of premium
  • Option to buy paid-up additions

Whole life policyowners also receive dividends from New York Life, which, although not guaranteed, have been paid annually since 1854.

Universal Life Insurance

Designed for flexibility, New York Life's customizable universal life policies typically feature adjustable premium and coverage levels. Three types of universal plans are available:

  • Basic universal life: This standard universal life plan offers flexible coverage options and premiums, and includes a cash value component.

  • Custom universal life guaranteed: These plans guarantee the death benefit but not a cash value. Premiums are fixed over the policy's lifetime.

  • Protection up to age 90: Providing at least $1 million of coverage, these plans terminate once the insured individual reaches age 90.

Variable Universal Life Insurance

Variable universal life insurance lets policyholders grow their wealth by investing in the market. These long-term policies are intended for individuals who can tolerate risk. Policies may be customized to match the investor's financial goals, time horizon and overall risk tolerance.

The Pros and Cons of New York Life Insurance

As a mutual company, New York Life Insurance is owned exclusively by its policyholders, which may be advantageous for two reasons:

  • The company has no shareholders to answer to, so it can prioritize customers’ needs
  • Qualified participants receive a share of company profits, payable through annual dividends

Other advantages of New York Life include its wide array of products and services, and its customizable coverage options. The company also offers hardship programs with flexible payment options for policyholders experiencing financial challenges.

However, although New York Life has a solid online presence, quotes aren't currently available through its website. Interested parties must connect with local financial professionals to learn more about coverage options, and to apply.

New York Life Reviews: What People Are Saying

Reviews of New York Life often praise its affordable coverage options and knowledgeable representatives, and some reviewers comment that agents are proactive and check in regularly. Other reviews compliment the firm's simple application process and no-hassle claims payments.

However, some customers report long telephone wait times when contacting customer service, and cite mix-ups when requesting changes to accounts. Several reviews also noted the lack of online customer service options.

Is a New York Life Insurance Company Life Insurance Policy Right for You?

Consumers looking for a company that has a strong financial background and offers a comprehensive selection of policies may appreciate what New York Life has to offer. Plus, for customers shopping for more than life insurance, the company offers everything from estate planning services to long-term care insurance. Its customizable plans may also be ideal for clients with unique financial needs and goals.

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