Ethos Life Insurance Review: Fast Approval for Coverage and Flexible Policy Options

Ethos Life Insurance Review: Fast Approval for Coverage and Flexible Policy Options

Ethos provides policies to a variety of age groups but can come at an increased price.

Good for

  • A wide variety of ages (18-75) and coverage amounts ($25,000-$10 million)
  • Quick online application and approval
  • Ability to convert a term policy to whole life insurance at any point

Bad for

  • Lack of personal customer service and claims processing
  • Competitive quotes compared to other online insurers
  • People who want permanent insurance

Editor's Rating

3.5/5.0

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Ethos life insurance is an online insurer that only offers term coverage that can be applied for entirely through its website. Consumer ratings are generally positive regarding Ethos, with the quick application process and approval being the biggest factor in why a customer chose this company. Ethos life insurance policies are underwritten by its affiliate, Assurity Life Insurance Company, which has excellent financial strength ratings. The cost of term policies is generally more expensive for Ethos, when compared to other online insurers. However, the company offers a variety of policy riders that allow for added coverage benefits like the ability to add children to your life insurance plan.

Ethos Term Life Insurance

Ethos' term life insurance can be applied for and purchased completely through its online quote system. The company utilizes technology and algorithms that process your data, such as motor vehicle and prescription drug records, to see if you qualify for an Ethos policy and to set the most accurate rate possible.

Online term life insurance through Ethos can be applied for and approved very quickly when compared with traditional insurers. Ethos' application includes basic questions—like your birthday, height and weight—as well as health and lifestyle questions that are for the purpose of evaluating your insurability. Often, with traditional insurers, the process takes weeks before your coverage begins and the life insurance policy is delivered. With Ethos, this is not the case, as the application is entirely online, and you can receive an approval within minutes if a physical is not required.

Policies with a death benefit of less than $1 million will not require a medical exam to receive coverage. If you are looking for more than $1 million of coverage, you may also qualify for life insurance with no medical exam unless the algorithm detects a potentially serious medical issue. In this case, you would be required to get a physical or could be denied coverage entirely.

Ethos Coverage Options

Ethos offers level term life insurance policies, meaning premiums will stay the same throughout the life of the plan. Life insurance is available for purchase if you are between 18 and 75 years old, although the specific coverage available to you will depend on your age. Policy term lengths and restrictions include:

  • Ages 18-55 (nonsmoker) and 18-50 (smoker): Term policies available up to 30 years in length
  • Ages 56-65 (nonsmoker) and 51-65 (smoker): Term policies available up to 20 years
  • Ages 66-70: Term policies available up to 15 years
  • Ages 71-75: Term policies available up to 10 years

These lengths represent the numbers of years that you will pay premiums and the length of coverage you will receive. Once the policy term is over, Ethos does allow for one-year policy renewals up to the age of 95. But premiums for the renewal policy will increase annually, every time the policy is renewed.

You can purchase a term policy through Ethos with coverage ranging from $25,000 to $10 million. When compared to other online insurers, like Haven Life, whose policy face values range from $100,000 to $3 million, the death benefit range provided by Ethos' term life insurance offers you more options that may fit your financial needs. For instance, if you are looking to purchase final expense coverage for a funeral, then having the option for a small $25,000 death benefit could be the right fit.

Ethos solely provides term life insurance, and therefore permanent life insurance policies like whole, universal and variable are not available through the company. Policies are available in 49 states, excluding New York.

Ethos Policy Riders

Ethos differs from other online life insurers due to the availability of riders that you can add to your term policy. Some of the policy riders offered by Ethos and Assurity Life Insurance will increase the premium you pay. Policy riders can be a deciding factor to consider when choosing life insurance and may be a good reason to choose Ethos if your needs align. Term life insurance riders include:

  • Critical Illness Rider- This rider comes at an added premium. It allows you to collect a portion of the death benefit while still alive if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Child Term Rider- Ethos' child term rider allows you to add a child to your life insurance policy. Under this rider, you would pay a flat fee for coverage until your children reached 18 years of age.
  • Waiver of Premium- The waiver of premium rider is built into all policies. The rider allows you to maintain coverage while not paying premiums owed on a policy if you become totally injured or disabled before the age of 65.
  • Endowment Benefit Rider- Also known as a Return of Premium rider, this policy add-on comes with an added cost. It allows for the return of all the premiums paid if you outlive the term of the insurance policy.

Another option that Ethos offers to policyholders is the ability to convert your term life insurance into a whole life policy at any point during the plan lifetime. This is built into every life insurance product it offers and can be great if you want flexibility. But the new whole life insurance policy will come with a higher premium.

The above riders are available through almost every offline traditional insurer and some online providers.

Ethos Life Insurance Quotes

Ethos' term life insurance rates are more expensive compared to other online insurers across all coverage levels. For this reason, if you do not need any of the policy riders offered by Ethos, and just a basic term policy, we recommend you consider cheaper term life insurance through other online companies.

Ethos Life Insurance as compared to other online insurers

As you can see below, Ethos' rates are similar to traditional offline insurers, though their life insurance quotes for seniors are more expensive. However, Ethos policies often do not require a medical exam, which is an added benefit of going through the online insurer and may justify going with the more expensive policy.

Ethos Life Insurance quotes compared to five largest insurers

Ethos Life Insurance Ratings and Customer Reviews

Ethos life insurance is a start-up that was founded in 2017 by its current CEO Peter Colis and is headquartered in San Francisco. The company board includes many Stanford University graduates, along with many legitimate high-profile investors. They include Jay-Z's company Roc Nation, Robert Downey Jr. and Kevin Durant. Furthermore, Ethos has additional backing from Sequoia Venture Capitalist and Google Ventures, which is a subsidiary of the parent company Alphabet Inc.

The company is very new, but customer reviews on the products are positive, with the ease of the application and speed of approval being the highest rated aspects of Ethos. On the other hand, a few policyholders complain about the lack of communication avenues, since Ethos' primary means of providing customer service for policy issues and claims is email. Therefore, if you have preexisting conditions or a complicated medical history, we would suggest trying a different insurer that has agents who are available to talk through policy options.

Policies offered through Ethos are underwritten by Assurity Life Insurance Company, which is an established insurer that has been in business for over 100 years. Assurity has an A.M Best Financial Strength Rating of A-, meaning it is in a financially stable position. Additionally, the insurance provider has a .16 NAIC Complaint Ratio. This indicates it has received a below-average number of complaints for a company of its size—with 1.00 being the median across the life insurance industry.

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.