Ladder Life Insurance Review | 5 Facts You Need To Know

Ladder Financial, an insurtech startup, has a specific mission – to help the uninsured and underinsured secure life insurance protection.

We’re a fast growing company solving a big problem: to close the $16T coverage gap in the U.S.

– Ladder

How?

Ladder allows you to buy life insurance completely online, making a historically cumbersome experience easy.

Their process is quick, straightforward and nimble.

Is Ladder life insurance legit?

Yes.

Over $300 million in life insurance has been issued.

Is Ladder life insurance right for me?

Maybe.

You’ll want to do a little digging to determine if Ladder is the best place to find life insurance coverage for your needs.

Here, you will find everything you need to know about the Ladder – their products, application process, quotes and pros and cons.

Table Of Contents

  1. About Ladder
  2. Term (5 important facts)
  3. Application Process
  4. Quotes
  5. Pros and Cons
  6. Competitors
  7. Next Steps

About Ladder

Established in 2015 by Jamie Hale, Jack Dubie, Jeff Merkel, and Laura Hale, Ladder Financial, Inc. utilizes technological innovation to streamline the purchasing process for life insurance.

Ladder is not a life insurance company.

It’s important to know that Ladder does not actually issue your life insurance policy. Instead, they provide a digital platform to simplify the steps of buying coverage.

What does this mean? Ladder allows you to apply for and secure coverage completely online. However, Fidelity Life provides the actual policy.

Because Ladder does not issue life insurance policies, they do not have financial ratings. However, Fidelity is rated A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best.

Ladder only sells term life insurance. Their policies are available nationwide, except for New York.

Ladder Financial is based out of Palo Alto, California.

Ladder Term Life Insurance

You will want to evaluate the specifics of their policies before submitting an application.

ladder

There are five important aspects to a life insurance policy to assess:

  1. Wait time – how long you need to wait for your policy to be issued.
  2. Issue ages – the age range a company agrees to insure.
  3. Policy amount – how much coverage is available.
  4. Policy length – the amount of time a policy can last.
  5. Underwriting – the process of evaluating risk, and whether a medical exam is required.

Keep in mind – Because they only issue term life insurance, your policy will provide protection for a specific period of time, like a 20-year policy.

How does Ladder stack up?

Wait Time

Ladder can issue policies within minutes.

Keep in mind, however, the wait time will often balloon up to weeks if you are required to undergo a physical.

If you are set on not taking an exam and you want rapid underwriting, we recommend looking at the following carriers – that never require a physical:

Issue Ages

Ladder issues term life insurance to applicants between the ages of 20 – 60.

If you are outside of that range, other carriers accept larger age ranges.

For example, the following carriers offer coverage from ages 18 – 80:

Be sure to evaluate no medical exam life insurance for seniors if you are a senior citizen.

Policy Amount

Also called face amount, Ladder offers no exam policies from $100,000 to $1 million.

Most no exam life insurance carriers offer similar policy sizes.

Important – If you are willing to undergo a medical exam, they do issue policies for up to $8 million.

At the end of the day, you will want your policy’s face amount to meet the financial needs of those you care about most.

Often, the amount of coverage you need is more than you initially think.

Before selecting a policy amount, ask yourself:

  1. What are my living expenses?
  2. How much debt do I have?
  3. What are the financial needs of my loved ones?
  4. How many years until I retire?
  5. What are my charitable giving goals?

Interestingly, two carriers offer up to $3 million in coverage with no physical required – if you qualify to skip the exam.

  1. Lincoln
  2. Haven

Policy Length

Ladder’s term life insurance is offered for the following terms:

There are age cut-offs for Ladder’s term lengths

Ladder Maximum Term Lengths

AgeTerm Length Limit
40 years old30 year term
45 years old25 year term
50 years old20 year term
55 years old15 year term
60 years old10 year term

You will want your term policy to last as long as you have someone depending on you financially. If those needs are permanent, consider no exam whole life insurance options.

Underwriting

Ladder issues no exam life insurance – to those who qualify.

What does that mean? The phrase, “no exam” is an all-encompassing term that describes various products and underwriting practices. Ladder uses accelerated underwriting.

Okay, what is accelerated underwriting? A process of risk evaluation in which an applicant must qualify to skip the medical exam. Typically, those who are healthy have the best odds of qualifying.

Through their online interview, you will answer a series of questions pertaining to your health, lifestyle, and financial history.

Ladder will then determine if you need to participate in a physical – underwriters call it a paramedical exam.

Important

It’s worth noting that Ladder does not offer riders with their policies.

What are riders? Contractual provisions to your life insurance policy that provide important features, in addition to the death benefit.

Okay, what are some examples? Common riders include:

  • Accelerated Death Benefit – the ability to access your death benefit should you be diagnosed with a qualifying illness.
  • Child Rider – the option to extend life insurance coverage to your children under your policy.
  • Waiver of Premium – the privilege of forgoing your premium payments while still maintaining your policy should you be diagnosed with a qualifying disability.

In contrast, Ethos, another company with a digital purchasing platform does offer a number of helpful riders. Lifefy also offers riders.

Unique

Ladder offers uncommon policy features, called Ladder up and Ladder down.

Over the course of your term policy, Ladder gives you the option to increase or decrease your coverage.

Ladder Up

You may increase your coverage amount or term length.

Keep in mind, however, the increase will come in the form of a new policy, which will be priced separately.

Ladder Down

Further, you may decrease your policy’s face amount, should your needs change.

You do not need a new policy to Ladder down.

Your premiums will decrease, reflecting your new coverage.

Ladder Application Process

Familiarize yourself with their online steps for buying a policy.

ladder

Let’s evaluate each step in detail.

Step 1

Determine the amount of coverage you need.

Remember, Ladder only sells term life insurance.

They offer no exam policies for amounts between $100,000 – $1 million.

Policies are available for up to $8 million, but you will need a medical exam to qualify.

Next, select your term length. Your term should last as long as someone will depend on you financially.

Step 2

Complete an online questionnaire. Plan to spend about 15 minutes.

You will answer questions about your health, lifestyle, and finances.

Step 3

You will electronically sign off on your online application.

Underwriters will review and determine one of three outcomes for your policy application:

  1. Approved as applied for
  2. More information is needed, and possibly a medical exam
  3. You do not qualify

Step 4

If you are approved, congratulations!

Through Fidelity, your Ladder policy is issued and delivered to you electronically.

Ladder Life Quotes

In general, Ladder offers competitive rates.

However, we highly recommend comparing quotes from multiple no physical life insurance companies to verify you are securing a good price for your policy.

90% of our policy holders receive a term offer within $1 of their estimate, or lower.

– Ladder

Keep in mind, sample quotes are for a healthy, non-tobacco applicant for 10-year term no exam life insurance.

Ladder Life Insurance Quotes Male

 $100,000$500,000$1,000,000
20 Year Old$9.00$17.00$26.00
30 Year Old$9.00$17.00$26.00
40 Year Old$10.00$22.00$33.00
50 Year Old$16.00$49.00$85.00
60 Year Old$35.00$128.00$240.00
* 10-year term. Subject to change.

Ladder Life Insurance Quotes Female

 $100,000$500,000$1,000,000
20 Year Old$9.00$15.00$22.00
30 Year Old$9.00$15.00$23.00
40 Year Old$10.00$21.00$31.00
50 Year Old$15.00$41.00$71.00
60 Year Old$26.00$87.00$159.00
* 10-year term. Subject to change.

Pros and Cons

Let’s consider the good and the bad.

Pros

There is plenty that Ladder is doing right.

  1. Ease – your entire purchasing process can be completed from the comfort of your home.
  2. The option to increase or decrease coverage via their Ladder up and Ladder down features.
  3. Up to $1 million in coverage with no medical exam required.
  4. Up to $8 million in coverage with a medical exam.
  5. Multiple term lengths are available – 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year.
  6. Ladder is backed by Fidelity Life, a top-rated carrier.
  7. Live chat option for assistance.

Cons

Additionally, there are some concerns about Ladder, depending on your needs.

  1. Only term coverage is available – some need whole life insurance.
  2. No riders are available.
  3. You cannot compare multiple quotes. Only Fidelity policies are available.
  4. You cannot qualify if you are over age 60.
  5. Likely not a good option if you have serious health complications.
  6. No in-person help – some would benefit from collaborating with an independent agent.

Ladder Competitors

Ladder is not the only digital platform to enter the life insurance sphere.

In fact, over recent years quite a few startups have appeared:

  1. Ethos
  2. Fabric
  3. Lifefy
  4. Bestow
  5. Haven

If you like the idea of applying with a company offering the ease of purchasing coverage entirely online, it’s worthwhile to compare the features of each company:

Digital Life Insurance Providers

Company NameCarrier RelationshipFace AmountAge RangeTerm LengthMedical ExamOther Products
EthosAssurity and Banner$25,000 - $10 million18 - 75 years10, 15, 20, 30 yearsPossiblyNA
FabricVantis$100,000 - $1 million25 - 60 years10, 15, 20 yearsPossiblyAccidental Death
LifefySBLI$50,000 - $350,00018 - 60 years10, 15, 20 yearsNeverGuaranteed Issue
BestowNorth American$50,000 - $1 million21 - 55 years2, 10, 20 yearsNeverNA
LadderFidelity$100,000 - $8 million20 - 60 years10, 15, 20, 25, 30 yearsPossiblyNA
HavenMassMutual$100,000 - $3 million18 - 64 years10, 15, 20, 30 yearsPossiblyNA

Keep in mind – each of these companies only represent one carrier (two at most). This means you will not be able to compare multiple quotes when applying.

Next Steps

Whether applying with Ladder or elsewhere, we suggest doing two things, first.

  1. Look at multiple quotes. Each company’s pricing is different. Rates can vary greatly and it’s worth your time to compare.
  2. Conduct a needs analysis. Before applying for coverage, you will want to understand the needs of your loved ones. Jot down:
    1. Your annual income.
    2. Your debts (credit card, student loan, car loan).
    3. Mortgage or rent amount.
    4. Living expenses.
    5. Monetary needs of those who depend on you.

To start, simply fill out your free quote.