Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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There are companies out there, such as A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s, which rate life insurance providers on various financial strengths in order to help consumers make more informed decisions (insurance company ratings).

Each state in our great nation also has a department of insurance that monitors the financial status of life insurance companies and regulates their practices.

If you’re in the market for life insurance, you should look for an organization that’s been around a while, with a proven ability to pay claims to your beneficiaries in the event of your death.

After all, it’s a lot more likely an insurer will pay your claim if they’re still in business…

It’s also not a bad idea to determine how much life insurance you need prior to beginning your search.

Listed below are the top 10 largest writers of life insurance in the United States as of 2017, the latest year available per the III, along with their most current AM Best rating.

Top 10 Life Insurance Companies in the United States

1. MetLife – (13.6% market share) – rated A+, Superior
2. Prudential Financial – (7.4% market share) – rated A+, Superior
3. New York Life Insurance – (5.0% market share) – rated A++, Superior
4. Principal Financial – (4.4% market share) – A+, Superior
5. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance – (3.9% market share) – A++, Superior
6. Jackson National Life Group – (3.5% market share)  – rated A+, Superior
7. American International Group – (3.4% market share) – A, Excellent
8. Transamerica – (3.3% market share) – A+, Superior
9. AXA (3.3% market share) – A, Excellent
10. Lincoln National Corp. – (3.2% market share) – A+, Superior

You may already be familiar with some of the life insurance companies listed above because they advertise a ton.

Or simply as a result of them offering a combination of life, property, casualty, and/or health insurance coverage. You might already be a customer!

Life insurance companies, much like other large corporations, don’t always specialize in just one thing, though they tend to stick to insurance and financial services.

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Biggest Isn’t Necessarily Best (or Cheapest!)

Keep in mind that there are thousands of insurance companies out there to choose from.

Some focus on only one type of insurance or one specific region of the United States, while others offer a wide array of services to customers nationwide.

But it’s not necessary to purchase a life insurance policy from one of the companies listed above to ensure you receive adequate coverage or service.

For the record, the companies near the top of the list haven’t changed for a long time and probably won’t due to their large market share.

Also note that independent insurance agents were responsible for more than half of the policies written in 2018, thanks in part to their ability to compare different plans, coverage, and rates from a variety of companies all at once.