A relatively new, founded in California startup insurance company – Ladder, stormed the insurance industry in 2015 and quickly became one of the best life insurance companies. Ladder offers various term life insurance policies and is known for its ‘Laddering’ strategy. Their non-commissioned life insurance agents are always ready to help you out with the application process. In short, Ladder aspires to fulfill its motto: ‘Smart, Dynamic, Term Life Insurance Online. In today’s article, we will try to determine if Ladder should be on your list of potential life insurance providers.
There is only one type of life insurance offered by this insurance company – Term life insurance. Ladder Life Insurance coverage is issued by three third-party companies. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America and Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York rated A+ (Superior) in financial strength and Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company rated an A (Excellent). The insurance company’s financial strength and ability to pay out the insurance coverage to the policyholder’s losses are rated by A.M. Best. A.M. Best rating diversifies from:
A+ or A++ (Superior)
A or A- (Excellent)
B+ or B++ (Good)
B or B- (Fair)
C+ or C++ (Marginal)
C or C- (Weak)
Generally, it is advised to choose companies with Superior or Excellent ratings – All of Ladder issuing companies meet these requirements.
Moreover, Ladder Life Insurance received a rating of 4.8-star on Trustpilot, awarded by consumers, and three out of five stars from NerdWallet’s editorial team. They determine ratings by factoring The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ complaint statistics and financial strength ratings into the scoring algorithm.
Each year The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) presents a complaint index for a particular insurance company. According to Investopedia, ‘The average number of complaints is always 1.00 when adjusted for market share. A company with a complaint index below 1.00 means company received fewer complaints than expected. If their index is higher than 1.00, the company received more complaints than expected. For instance, a 2.00 complaint index means the carrier received twice as many claims as to the average for their size.’ Ladder Life Insurance’s issuers received in 2020 subsequently:
- Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America – complaint index of 0.3383
- Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York – no complaints
- Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, Kansas City – complaint index of 8.27 (it is related to market share – there were only two consumer complaints that year)
Even though you still may find the insurance industry to be perplexing, don’t worry – We’ve put together a Ladder Life Insurance review in order to explain even the most complex problems. We’ll go over every aspect of Ladder Life Insurance, including:
- Ladder’s available policies, riders and rates
- The price and coverage of Ladder Life Insurance
- Exemptions from coverage
- Cancellation of Ladder Life Insurance
- Pros and Cons of Ladder Life Insurance
- The alternative for Ladder Life Insurance – The Infinite Banking Concept
By the end of this article, you’ll know whether Ladder Life Insurance is right for you or if there’s maybe a better approach to handle personal finances. Continue reading to learn more about the best life insurance alternatives for yourself.
Ladder’s choice of Insurance Plans is somewhat limited. The company offers only term life insurance – you are not able to purchase neither whole nor universal life insurance. However, the company ensures you a number of options when it comes to the term length. So, even though there is no diversity of types of life insurance, you still get a pretty wide range to chose from. Ladder Life Insurance comes in these term lengths:
- 10-year term
- 15-year term
- 20-year term
- 25-year term
- 30-year term
Unfortunately, Ladder poses strict rules considering their applicants’ age. Only people between 20 to 60 can apply for Ladder’s insurance products. What is more, the maximum covered age is 70 years old – that is a significant aspect you should take into consideration when choosing appropriate life insurance.
Ladder exclusively sells term life insurance, which is typical of internet insurers. Sadly, as a result, there are no riders available to modify your policy. Most insurers, for example, give an accidental death rider that provides additional compensation to your beneficiaries if you are killed in an accident. You’d have to apply for coverage with a different licensor if you wanted this or any additional riders.
Being an online insurer, Ladder offers free quotes tools on their Ladder website. By filling out a short questionnaire, you can get an estimated amount of monthly premiums. For example, a healthy, 20-year old, not smoking male, who applied for $250 000 worth of death benefit can expect these monthly quotes:
- $14,39 for a 10-year term
- $14,70 for a 15-year term
- $16,94 for a 20-year term
- $22,21 for a 25-year term
- $25,14 for a 30-year term
As you can see, Ladder offers very competitive rates compared to other online insurers. Ladder also advertises monthly premiums as low as $5, meant for a 20-year old female applying for a 10-year term.
Unlike getting a free life insurance quote, the entire online application process is much more complexed and will inevitably take more of your time. The questionnaire is definitely way more detailed and thorough than from any other online insurer. You will be asked about your entire medical history, tobacco use in the last three years, marijuana use during the previous 12 months, or if you engaged with hobbies (considered risky or dangerous) in the previous two years. Moreover, there are questions related to your current health situation, for example: ‘Has your weight changed by more than 10 pounds in the last year’?
However, if you prepared all of the essential information, the entire online application process should not take more than 20 minutes and you will receive a fast underwriting decision.
Ladder Life Insurance is available for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents living in the United States for more than two years. As previously mentioned, there are several age restrictions:
Age Max Term Length
40 years old 30-year term
45 years old 25-year term
50 years old 20-year term
55 years old 15-year term
60 years old 10-year term
Ladder’s costs are comparable to those offered by other online insurers. However, they are not the most affordable. On the other hand, they provide the best life insurance policy quotations for plans with minor death benefits, especially those worth less than $250,000. Given that Ladder also offers some of the most comprehensive policies accessible online, including some that don’t require a medical exam, it’s an excellent option for individuals who want to save money. Check our previous article to compare Ladder’s offer with Bestow’s approach.
Below we present you sample monthly premiums of Ladder Life Insurance:
Coverage Age 30 Age 40 Age 50
$100,000 Male – $11 Female – $12 Male – $32
10 Year Term
$250,000 Female – $16 Male – $20 Female – $36
15 Year Term
$500,000 Male – $25 Female – $32 Male – $105
20 Year Term
$1,000,000 Female – $58 Male – $122 Female – N/A
30 Year Term
For more specified coverage amounts, monthly rates, life insurance quotes got to Ladder’s website: https://www.ladderlife.com/ quote or call their insurance agent and get quotes for free.
As usual, there are situations when, unfortunately, you will not qualify for the application process. Very often related to your medical history and current health, these are a few of those events:
- Not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (over 2-years stay)
- Death by suicide within two years of purchasing the term life insurance
- Committing fraud (related to health, personal data, etc.)
- Material misrepresentation
The rules set by Ladder are pretty standard amongst online insurers, so there isn’t really a surprise. However, Ladder is described as trustworthy and safe, so if you do not plan on fooling them, your beneficiaries will receive the coverage.
Cancellation of life insurance is, of course, possible. Ladder Life Insurance has similar cancellation policies as other term life insurance companies. Within 30 days, you can terminate your term life insurance without a cancellation penalty or fee. You will receive a complete refund of your paid premiums if you decide that Ladder Life Insurance does not meet your expectations. However, if you choose to cancel your insurance after the trial time, you have to contact your insurance agent directly. Ladder ensures that even then, you will not be charged with additional cancellation payments.
Ladder Life Insurance comes with many advantages, as well as drawbacks. To make it easy for you, we have assembled a list of the pros and cons of Ladder Term Life Insurance. It will help you determine if it is an appropriate Insurance company for yourself.
The huge advantage of Ladder is its availability. Ladder Life Insurance is offered in all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C. Thanks to its third-party issuers Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, and Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, all American citizens can apply for it. This convenience is one of the aspects that makes Ladder Life Insurance stand out among numerous online life insurers. Moreover, thanks to the entire online process, you do not even have to leave your house in order to get term life insurance. If you face some issues, you can fill out a contact form and talk directly with an agent.
One of the significant advantages of Ladder Life Insurance is its very high coverage. The company offers death benefits worth from $100 000 up to even $8 million. That is significantly more than any other online life insurance provides. What is more, there is usually no medical exam required in the application process, so it is perfect for people in urgent need of term life insurance. Additionally, high coverage does not necessarily come with high monthly premiums. In fact, Ladder Life Insurance has one of the most competitive rates on the insurance market, considering the available coverages. Yes, they may not be the lowest possible, but they still place themselves at a good spot in a ‘price-performance ratio scale.
The name of the company ‘Ladder,” comes from the action called ‘laddering.’ You can both ‘Ladder up’ or ‘Ladder down.’
Ladder up: You can apply to have the value of your insurance’s death benefit increased. If you have another child, for example, you may want to boost your life insurance coverage to safeguard your family financially. Other insurers typically don’t offer this choice until you terminate your current policy and buy a new one. Please keep in mind that additional coverage will be charged individually so that you may receive different monthly premiums.
Ladder Down: By lowering your premiums in proportion, you decrease the value of your policy. So, if you had a $250,000 coverage for $20 per month and lowered it to $200,000, your new monthly premium would be $16.
Ladder ensures the possibility of extending your coverage for a short time after your initial term ends. The company allows you to renew your insurance annually for up to five years. Unfortunately, your premiums will rise from what they were during the first term.
Living up to their promise, Ladder ensured a simple online application process for its clients. Because there is no need for a medical exam, your online questionnaire is assessed in minutes. You won’t have to wait days for a response as you would with a conventional application. This is a huge benefit for people who are in a hurry to obtain life insurance.
However, in some cases, your Ladder Life Insurance Agent may issue you with an obligatory homemade medical exam, mainly when you apply for a higher amount of coverage (it is said that up to $3 million, the application process manages without the medical exam). In that case, you will be receiving a medical kit fully sponsored by Ladder. After running some tests, you have to send them back to your provider. Once again, all of your expenses are being covered by Ladder Life Insurance company.
Though it may be an inconvenience – keep in mind that Ladder offers one of the highest amounts of coverage currently available in the Term Insurance industry.
Serious disadvantages of Ladder Life Insurance are strict age restrictions. There is no coverage available after the age of 70. Of course, there are many term lengths available: 10-year term, 15-year term, 20-year term, 25-year term and a 30-year term, but the freedom to choose one is directly linked to your age. As mentioned before, only people between 20 to 60 years old can apply for Ladder Life Insurance, but due to the limit of 70 years, the sum of your age and term length cannot surpass that age. As a result, you can find yourself 70 years old without any type of life insurance. You ought to definitely keep that in mind when choosing the right life insurance company.
Ladder offers neither whole nor universal life insurance. You can only apply for a term life insurance policy up to 30 years. After that period, your policy expires and you do not get coverage in the event of death. Moreover, you cannot switch your term life insurance into a permanent one. If you find yourself in a complex and severe health situation, you may have to deal with it with no life insurance policy at all. However, it may be compensated by the possibility of laddering your life insurance. Though the lack of choice and options is very common among online insurers, it is still being considered a huge disadvantage.
Extra benefits, or in other words, paid-up raiders, for your term life insurance policy are not available for purchase. This is a huge disadvantage if you wish to protect yourself financially from various unsafe scenarios or accidental death.
The complete online application process is way more complicated and will undoubtedly take more time. The questionnaire is far more detailed and comprehensive than any other online insurer’s. You’ll be questioned about your full medical history, cigarette usage in the previous three years, marijuana use during the last 12 months, and if you’ve ever been involved in any kind of illegal activity or had certain risky hobbies over the previous two years.
Furthermore, you will be asked questions about your present health situation and general physical and mental state. However, thanks to a very thorough application process, you will likely avoid any sort of medical exams usually required by traditional insurance companies.
Term life insurance is a policy that lasts for a set period of time. It has no monetary worth, and you can’t use it as your own personal bank. When the agreed-upon term expires, all of the money is lost and cannot be redeemed. That is a significant disadvantage. Let us introduce you to the Infinite Banking Concept if you want to make the most of your insurance policy.
Infinite Banking allows you to imitate how a traditional bank operates and borrows money, but without the need to depend on a third party. You will be both a creditor and a lender.
Instead of borrowing from a bank, you borrow money against yourself and singlehandedly dictate cash flow while still allowing your whole life insurance policy to earn dividends (money) even though you are using that money elsewhere. In other words, you build wealth while borrowing and repaying the money held in the cash value of your permanent life insurance policy.
That being one of the most significant advantages of the whole life insurance policy, you will never have to deal with banking fees or interest rates on loans. As a policyholder, you can borrow money using your own policy’s cash value. Using this borrowing setup, you would never have to borrow money from a bank again and instead would borrow from yourself (your whole life insurance policy) and pay yourself back over time. Thus, being your own bank.
The goal of Infinite Banking is to duplicate the process as much as possible to build the value of your own bank. The duplication process happens by lending and repayment of money typically held in the cash value of a permanent life insurance policy.
Infinite Banking allows you to better work towards your individual and unique financial goals for yourself and your family and have control over your finances without dealing with banking fees or interest rates on loans.
- Overfunding (with after-tax funds) a high cash value whole life insurance policy from a life insurance company
- Accumulation of Cash Value(tax-free) throughout the years you are a policyholder of your Whole Life insurance policy.
- Tax-Free Loans taken out against your whole life insurance policy’s cash value to use for your financial expenses.
By the process of borrowing for yourself, repaying, and so on – simply by being your own bank, you earn the financial freedom and control of your money.
Implementing this banking strategy into your life gives you much better control over your finances and helps you build wealth using the life insurance policy.
When choosing an insurance company, keep in mind that Ladder life is one-of-a-kind. Their main advantage is that they allow policyholders to “ladder” their coverage limits when their financial circumstances change.
Moreover, there are no hidden costs or fees so that you can change the amount of your coverage and monthly quotes at any time. If you care about high coverage, remember that Ladder Life insurance has one of the highest coverages. They pay up to $8 million in coverage, usually without a medical exam.
That is significantly more than other insurance companies would pay. However, there are no Paid-up additions riders available for this plan, and it is solely accessible as term life insurance. Your term life insurance cannot also gain cash value.
We hope that we helped you get familiar with Ladder Life Insurance terms and offer.
However, if you want to get life insurance and change your life and gain financial freedom at the same time – consider Infinite Banking.