Ladder Life Insurance: What to Know Before Getting a Quote

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Ladder life insurance logo on laptop computer
Image Credit: Ethos/Dreamstime/Clark.com

If you’re searching for a simple way to buy term life insurance online, you may want to give Ladder a look.

As part of the research for this piece, we shopped Ladder for a variety of term life policies for customers of different ages. You can go straight to see the quotes we got or stick around to read about the full life insurance shopping experience.

Here’s What You Need to Know About Ladder 

Wondering why the name Ladder? The company touts its ability to let customers decrease (or apply to increase) their coverage online as needs change. It is this “laddering” capability that gives the company its name.

“So, for instance, if your child graduates from college or you pay off your mortgage,” Ladder notes online, “you can eliminate the amount of your coverage that was intended to provide for those things and subsequently lower your monthly price.”

The company claims customers can save “thousands of dollars” over the years by adjusting their coverage like this as life dictates.

Now let’s take a deeper look at all that Ladder offers.

Table of Contents

What Ladder Offers

Ladder offers only one kind of policy — term life insurance — which just happens to be money expert Clark Howard‘s favorite kind.

Depending on your age, you can choose from these policy lengths between 10 and 30 years (in five-year increments). Coverage amounts start at $100,000 and go as high as $8 million.

According to Ladder, any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who has been in the county for more than two years — and is between the ages of 20 and 60 — can apply for a term life policy.

But once you hit 40, your age limits the length of the term you can buy:

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Age Maximum Term Length You’re Eligible to Purchase
40 30-year term
45 25-year term
50 20-year term
55 15-year term
60 10-year term

May Qualify For No Medical Exam

Like a lot of insure-tech companies, Ladder offers policies to many people with no medical exam requirement.

That means you don’t have to submit blood or urine tests because Ladder uses third-party data sources, such as listings of your prescription-drug history, to assess your risk level.

Of course, not everyone will qualify, but Ladder says it’s trying to minimize the number of people who require a medical exam to apply.

“We have greatly reduced the percentage of users who need an in-person lab exam,” the company notes online.

If you do need a lab tech visit, you can schedule it at your home or office and it should take less than 30 minutes, according to the company. During that time, the tech will:

  • Review your basic medical history
  • Record basic measurements (height and weight)
  • Measure vital signs (i.e. blood pressure and pulse)
  • Take urine and blood samples

A.M. Best Rating

All policies sold through Ladder are issued by one of two different insurance companies:

  • Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York issues policies in New York
  • Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, Kansas City, MO issues in all other states and Washington D.C.

Allianz Life of New York has an A.M. Best rating is A+(Superior). Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, Kansas City, MO has an A.M. Best rating of only an A (Excellent).

Now, the phrase “only an A” may sound funny to you. After all, an A is an A, right? Well, not in the world of life insurance credit ratings.

A.M. Best is the leading credit rating body for the insurance industry. Clark has long trusted them for their assessments of insurers’ financial strength.

But Clark also has a rule: Buy life insurance only from companies that are rated A++ and A+, which are the two highest marks.

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Anything less than an A+ — even an A — isn’t acceptable in Clark’s book because he says you can’t be certain the company will be around to pay claims down the road.

By sticking with companies that have A.M. Best credit ratings of A++ and A+, you’re going with the best indicators we have that an insurance company will be around for the long haul.

Getting a Quote Online

If you still want to move forward, you can shop with Ladder online. To get a quote, you simply need to enter some preliminary info:

  • Gender
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Tobacco use
  • Family medical history
  • Annual household income
  • Remaining mortgage balance
Ladder screenshot
Ladder Life Insurance screenshot

The whole process takes just two or three minutes, and then you get an immediate quote online. There’s also live support available if you need it during the shopping process.

We pulled sample quotes for a few different potential customers, all of whom don’t use tobacco. Here’s what we found:

Customer 1: Female, 25, looking for a 30-year term with one child. She has $40,000 in annual household income and $200,000 remaining on her mortgage balance.

Policy Amount Monthly Premium
$500,000 $32
$1 million $52

Customer 2: Male, 45, looking for a 20-year term with two children. He has $70,000 in annual household income and no mortgage.

Policy Amount Monthly Premium
$500,000 $71
$1 million $127

Customer 3: Male, 60, looking for a 10-year term with three children. He has $70,000 in annual household income and $100,000 remaining on his mortgage balance.

Policy Amount Monthly Premium
$500,000 $180
$1 million $338

Of course, your quote will vary based on your age, health and other circumstances. But the point is, Ladder life insurance makes it very easy to shop for a term life quote.

Term Life Calculator

If you’re confused by how much life insurance you need for your individual situation, Ladder has an online calculator to help you decide.

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Just enter the following info, and Ladder will determine how much life insurance you need:

  • Your remaining mortgage balance
  • Any other debts you have
  • How many children you have and their ages
  • Projected college tuition costs, if applicable
  • How much you want your beneficiaries to have annually and for how long
  • Any additional coverage you may want
  • Value of existing life insurance policies, if any
  • How much you have in savings

Clark has his own rule of thumb about how much life insurance you need. He’s long recommended purchasing an amount equal to 10 times your salary, before taxes.

So if you make $40,000 annually, you’d likely want to purchase $400,000 of life insurance to replace your income for your beneficiaries should you die during your prime earning years.

How much life insurance do I need?

Final Thought

When it comes to life insurance, Clark always recommends keeping it simple — and simple means term life insurance, because the premium never goes up.

Term life insurance does one job and one job only: It offers income replacement for your survivors in the event of your death.

Ladder’s life insurance offering is one possible solution, but beware of that A rating from A.M. Best for Fidelity Security Life, Kansas City, MO!

Meanwhile, before making any purchase decisions, you’ll most likely want to read our guide on How to Buy Term Life Insurance.

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