New York residents seeking to purchase a life insurance policy should educate themselves on the laws unique to their state.  In the United States, the life insurance industry is regulated on the state level. Therefore, New York, like every other state in the country, has its own set of rules and regulations that protect not only the consumer but the insurers as well. Continue reading below to learn about the life insurance rules and laws in NY, the New York State guaranty, and best life insurance companies in New York.

Life Insurance Rules And Rights In New York

Article 32 of the New York Consolidated Law lays out the groundwork for life insurance regulation in the state.  While we do not expect everybody purchasing a life insurance policy in the state of New York to memorize the fine print of this piece of legislation, there a certainly a few things they should be made aware of:

Free Look Period In NY

new york life insuranceA “free look period” is an amount of time that new policyholders have to review and test out their policy after signing it.  In New York State, this period is set by law-makers at 10 days.  With a 10 day grace period, New Yorkers are allowed ten days to take their new life insurance policy out for a spin before deciding whether or not they want to keep it for the long-haul.  If they decide to back out and cancel their policy, they will be given a full refund for any amount of money they had already paid.

Grace Period In NY

New York has a grace period that allows for reasonably late payments before termination of a policy.  The grace period in New York is set at 31 days, which means that New Yorkers with a life insurance policy in the state are allowed 31 days to make up for late payment before their policy is canceled by the insurer.

Timely Payment On Claims In NY

In New York State, whenever a life insurance claim is filed, the insurer has 30 days to pay the benefit to the beneficiary.  Once the insurer receives proof of death from the policyholder, the insurer must make a payment on the amount owed without delay.  If the insurer is late on a payment to the beneficiary, the beneficiary’s account will accrue interest and the insurance company may be met with fees and other penalties.

For more information about the life insurance laws and regulations in New York State, please contact:

New York State Department of Financial Services
Telephone: 800-342-3736

New York State Guaranty

In the unfortunate event that your life insurance company in New York goes out of business, your life insurance policy will still be covered by the Life Insurance Company Guaranty Corporation of New York.  Your insurer must be properly licensed in New York in order for you to qualify for this guarantee.

The Life Insurance Company Guaranty Corporation of New York will cover your policy for up to $500,000 in a single death benefit (regardless of the number of life insurance policies that were taken out on him/her).  This $500,000 amount is the maximum amount that can be awarded for any one life.

For more information on the state guaranty, please contact:

Life Insurance Company Guaranty Corporation of New York
Telephone:  212-202-4243

10 Best Life Insurance Companies in New York

1. Mass Mutual

One of the oldest insurance companies in New York, Mass Mutual, is one of the largest life insurance companies. Not only does Mass Mutual provide life insurance, but they also offer disability policies and retirement options. They offer term life insurance and permanent life insurance. Whole life insurance, universal life insurance, and variable universal life insurance are all offered by Mass Mutual. A unique policy that Mass Mutual offers is Survivorship Life Insurance. This insurance will pay out the death benefit after both people who are insured have died.

2. New York Life

New York Life is the third-largest insurance company in the country and the largest mutual life insurance company.  New York Life wants to help you protect what’s important to you, your family.  They do this by offering several types of life insurance. They offer term life, whole life, universal life, and variable universal life. You can build a plan that is personalized to fit you and your family’s needs.  New York Life offers expert guidance to help you make decisions to ensure you have the best policy for you and your family. This expert knowledge makes New York Life one of the best life insurance companies in New York.

3. Guardian

Although Guardian is not the cheapest life insurance available in New York, it is one of the most straightforward companies to work with.  Available on Guardian’s website is a term life insurance calculator that will help you figure out how much coverage you need and get an instant quote.  Guardian also has your family in mind and encourages you to look towards the financial goals you have, such as sending your children to college. They take these goals and finds the best insurance coverage for you. The ease of use behind Guardian is why it is a great insurance company.

4. State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company

State Farm will help you find the coverage just right for you. State Farm is one of the best life insurance companies in New York because of its bundling capabilities. You can bundle your auto, home, and life insurance policies for one low payment. They offer term life insurance, whole life insurance, and universal life insurance.  You can visit an agent in person or get quotes and apply for a policy online. State Farm Calculate My Life tool makes it easy to figure out your life insurance needs.  This tool makes State Farm’s life insurance some of the best in the state of New York.

5. Transamerica

Whether you are living the single life, have a house full of children, or are empty-nesters, Transamerica has a life insurance policy for you. Transamerica’s comprehensive coverage makes it one of the best insurance companies in New York. They offer term life, universal index life, and variable universal life insurance. Transamerica only lets your purchase a policy through an agent. This ensures you get the coverage you need. Transamerica is one of the best life insurance companies in New York because it helps people achieve their financial security dreams.

6. Nationwide

A mutual insurance company that works for you, Nationwide has a policy covering life’s unknowns, including the need for long term care. Nationwide CareMatters is long-term coverage linked to a premium that won’t change. It is a universal life insurance policy. There is no use it or lose it risk, and you have flexible coverage options. Nationwide is a one-stop-shop for other types of insurance besides life insurance as well. This flexibility and Nationwide CareMatters coverage is one reason Nationwide is one of the top life insurance companies in New York.

7. Lincoln Financial

Providing more than just life insurance, Lincoln Financial Group has a quick application process. You can apply by phone if you want a term-life policy. Some applicants can get approval for coverage without getting lab tests. They offer 10, 15, 20, or 30-year terms.  They also provide universal, variable universal, and indexed universal life insurance policies. Lincoln Financial serves its customers well with above-average communication, interaction, and policy offerings. They are some of the top contenders in low premiums and the ease of billing and payments. Lincoln Financial is one of the best life insurance companies in New York.

8. Prudential

Prudential is one of the largest life insurance companies in the country. You can customize their coverage as they offer a wide range of universal and term life insurance policies. SimplyTerm is their term life insurance policy that is sold online with approval in just a few days. No medical exam is needed for some applicants, and you can get up to $500,000 in coverage for 10, 20, or 30 years. If you are a small business owner, you will want to look into Prudential. They offer PruTerm One, which provides life insurance one year at a time.  This is great if you are working on paying short-term loans. Prudential is one of the best life insurance companies in New York, especially if you are a small business owner.

9. William Penn

Owned by Legal and General America, William Penn is the New York branch of Legal and General and has been around since 1989.  Offering term life insurance at 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year term coverage, William Penn as old as 75 can buy a term life insurance policy. You can convert your term life insurance policy to a permanent policy until you are 70 years old.  Other positive aspects of William Penn include waiving a premium rider or stacking a term rider. These options make William Penn an excellent insurance company.

10. Protective

The last life insurance company on our list is Protective.  It is one of the best life insurance companies in New York because of its low-priced policies. Protective’s term life policies are available for 10- to 30-year term limits and up to $50 million in coverage. Its universal life insurance is the most affordable when using their Custom Choice policy. Protect My Children is Protective’s whole life insurance policy for children who are 14 days old to 17 years old. Going the extra step to insure children is one reason Protective is one of the best life insurance companies in New York.