Ladder offers term life insurance to consumers aged between 20 and 60 years old. Ladder was founded in 2015 by Jamie Hale, who now serves as CEO of the company. The company is headquartered in New York City. Hale was motivated to start Ladder Life Insurance by personal circumstances from his childhood. His father passed away when Hale was just 11 years old. His father’s life insurance enabled Hale’s family to keep their home and allowed young Jamie to attend the college of his choice. This gave Hale a firsthand perspective on the importance that life insurance plays in a family’s financial stability.
- Company Priorities
- How it Works
- What Ladder Offers Over Competitors
- Level Term Life Insurance
- Pros of Ladder Life Insurance
- Cons of Ladder Life Insurance
- The Bottom Line
Ladder is not a direct insurer. Instead, they have teamed up with both Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York and Fidelity Security Life. This enables Ladder to offer insurance to residents of 50 states. Officially, they are a third-party administrator of life insurance policies. Ladder is not an insurance broker. They do not represent multiple insurance companies.
Top Life Insurance Companies By Market Share
|Rank||Company||Premiums Written||Share of Market|
|3||New York Life||$9,385,843,000||5.8%|
Ladder is focused on customer experience. The company offers nearly instantaneous and fully underwritten policy approvals via their online website. The entire customer portal is designed to give customers full control over their policy, including the ability to update and adjust policies with more or less coverage, all from the comfort and privacy of their homes. The stated overlying goal is to provide an optimal customer experience that is free from unnecessary hassle.
How it Works
The application process for Ladder Life Insurance is completely digital. The customer signs in to the website and answers some basic questions. The questions are designed to serve two purposes. The first is to determine coverage eligibility on the part of Ladder. The second is to help the customer to arrive at a reasonable coverable amount that is best suited for their needs.
Depending upon the amount of coverage requested, the customer may be asked to do an at-home health check. However, the vast majority of applications do not require this at-home health check.
Once the application is submitted, the customer can expect a decision within minutes. In certain cases, the decision could take longer. Again, this depends on individual circumstances and the amount of desired coverage.
Once an application is approved, the new policyholder can access their policy through the Ladder site. Their customer portal enables them to view coverage amounts, pay premiums and to “ladder up” or “ladder down.” This refers to their ability to increase or decrease coverage as need dictates.
What Ladder Offers Over Competitors
There are many term life insurance companies around. Ladder has chosen to distinguish itself in three ways:
- Competitive pricing
- Higher coverage amounts
- Coverage control
Ladder strives to offer competitive pricing to customers and judging by online reviews, it succeeds. Premium pricing is often cited as a reason for non-insured persons. So this competitive pricing from Ladder has been well-received. Note that a customer can get a quote from Ladder with no obligation. If the premium comes in higher than expected, the coverage can be adjusted down, or the coverage can be declined by the customer with no strings attached.
Higher Coverage Amounts
Ladder has tried to make it easy for customers to get higher coverage amounts without the added hassle that most other life insurance companies have. A customer can request up to 3 million dollars in coverage without having to undergo a medical exam. Those who desire higher coverage can get it—up to $8 million—as long as they submit to a medical exam. Higher coverage amounts without the hassle of a medical exam make Ladder Life Insurance more accessible for everyone.
Another of the biggest three offerings of Ladder over their competitors in the control over coverage amounts. With other companies, customers may need to get on the phone with an agent and make a case for why they want to change their coverage amount. Then they have to wait for that new coverage to take effect. With Ladder, all that the customer has to do is log into their customer portal and “ladder up” or “ladder down,” as needed. This makes it very easy for customers to make needed coverage adjustments after major life events like marriage, children, divorce, etc.
Level Term Life Insurance
Ladder offers term life insurance only. As with all term life policies, the policies that Ladder offers hold no intrinsic cash value. Customers can choose from a range of terms from 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. Ladder only offers term life insurance to persons aged from 20 years old to 60 years old. As with other life insurance policies, the premiums can be expected to be higher when the person is older. However, unlike certain other kinds of life insurance, Ladder’s term life insurance premiums stay level for the life of the policy.
Pros of Ladder Life Insurance
The business model that Ladder Life Insurance is based on make it a very attractive term life insurance alternative. Following are the pros of Ladder Life Insurance:
Term life insurance is generally considered to be more affordable than other kinds of life insurance such as whole life insurance. However, even with the term life insurance category, Ladder’s premiums are considered to be exceptionally affordable. Some sample rates for Ladder Life Insurance are:
$100,000 for 10-year coverage
30-year-old male: $11
50-year-old male: $32
$500,000 for 20-year coverage
30-year-old male: $25
50-year-old male: $105
Note that rates will vary based on factors such as medical history, economic conditions, state of residence, credit history, gender, tobacco and alcohol use, etc. Accurate rates can only be found when submitting to the Ladder application process.
Amount of Coverage Availability
Ladder’s range of coverage is also exceptional. Customers can opt for up to $8 million in coverage. Beyond a coverage amount of $3 million, customers must submit to medical tests or exam. However, even with that caveat, the range of coverage is excellent.
Ease of Application
Another huge pro of Ladder Life Insurance is its 100% digital application process. Customers can apply and receive a decision in a matter of minutes, all from the comfort of their own home. Even if a customer chooses a higher coverage amount and needs a medical exam, that exam can be arranged to take place at the customer’s home.
Available in all 50 States
Due to Ladder’s partnership with Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York and Fidelity Security Life, Ladder is able to make its term life insurance available to residents of all 50 states, plus Washington D.C.
Control Over Coverage
As time goes on, certain life changes may mean that a policyholder would do better with more or less coverage. When those major life events happen, they have the ability to log into their Ladder customer portal and make the necessary changes to the policy themselves, without the hassle of going through an agent.
Human Assistance Available
For those who need help determining how much coverage to buy or who have questions about their polity, human help is just a phone call away. The 100% digital experience is meant to be a convenience, not a deterrent to customer service. A toll-free number is available for existing customers and prospective customers to speak to a live person about their life insurance policy concerns.
Cons of Ladder Life Insurance
Of course, Ladder Life Insurance is not perfect. There are some cons associated with this company. They include:
- No Other Types of Life Insurance Coverage Available
- Application Questions Can be Tedious
- No Policy Riders Available
- No Coverage For Over 70s
No Other Types of Life Insurance Coverage Available
Ladder Life Insurance only offers term life policies. For customers with family members who also want to get life insurance, they will have to go elsewhere if they want anything other than term life insurance. This is inconvenient if the customer is the type who prefers to have all of their insurance in one place, for instance, life, auto, home, etc. Also, if a spouse wants whole life insurance, they would have to go elsewhere for coverage.
Application Questions Can be Tedious
Although the application process is entirely online, the actual questions involved can be tedious. They can also feel a little bit invasive. Ladder requires applicants to answer questions about income, social security, occupation and more before any kind of premium price range is revealed.
No Policy Riders Available
When you get life insurance with Ladder, you have no option to get any kind of policy riders. This is different than some other term life insurance companies, which offer customers some customizations. If you have specific needs in this regard, you probably won’t be able to get them met through Ladder.
No Coverage For Over 70s
The biggest con for Ladder is probably the limitation on coverage availability for older folks. There is no coverage for persons over 70. Since the minimum term length is 10 years, the maximum term offered for a 60-year-old is 10 years. The maximum term offered for a 55-year-old is 15 years, which brings them up to age 70. So anyone aged between 56 and 60 will only be able to purchase coverage for 10 years. This can be a problem for someone looking to lock in lower premiums in their late 50s, who also want coverage past 70.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that Ladder is an affordable and attractive alternative for life insurance shoppers. If a person desires a straightforward, simplified application process and the ability to control coverage amounts over time, Ladder is a great option to consider. Although Ladder is not rated by J.D. Power and Associates or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the online reviews point to a satisfactory customer service rating. Ladder’s partners, Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York and Fidelity Security Life, both have stable and secure financial reputations. Fidelity has an A rating with AM Best, while Allianz has an A+ rating. If you’re looking for term life insurance, minimal application red tape, no medical exam requirements and do not need any riders, then Ladder Life Insurance is certainly worth serious consideration.