Life Insurance

Ethos Life Insurance Review: Fast Approval for Coverage but Lacking Policy Riders

Ethos Life Insurance Review: Fast Approval for Coverage but Lacking Policy Riders

Editor's Rating

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

Good for

  • A wide variety of ages (20-85) and coverage amounts ($10,000-$1.5 million)
  • Quick online application and approval
  • Underwriting with strong insurance institutions

Bad for

  • Policy riders and large life insurance amounts over $1.5 million
  • Individuals looking for term life insurance over the age of 65
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Editor's Rating

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

Good for

  • A wide variety of ages (20-85) and coverage amounts ($10,000-$1.5 million)
  • Quick online application and approval
  • Underwriting with strong insurance institutions

Bad for

  • Policy riders and large life insurance amounts over $1.5 million
  • Individuals looking for term life insurance over the age of 65
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Ethos life insurance is an online insurance provider that offers both term and whole life 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 several of the top-rated carriers in the industry that have strong financial strength ratings. The cost of term policies is generally more expensive at Ethos when compared to other online insurers.

Ethos life insurance

Ethos' term and whole 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 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 but will require a small questionnaire. 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 may be required to get a medical exam or could be denied coverage entirely.

Ethos term life insurance

Ethos offers term life insurance policies available for purchase if you are between 20 and 65 years old, although the specific coverage available to you will depend on your age. Policy term lengths and restrictions include:

  • Ages 20-50: Term policies available up to 30 years in length (both smoker and nonsmoker)
  • Ages 51-60: Term policies available up to 20 years (both smoker and nonsmoker)
  • Ages 61-64: Term policies available up to 15 years (both smoker and nonsmoker)

These lengths represent the number 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 $20,000 to $1.5 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 is much more restrictive at the top end.

Ethos whole life insurance

Ethos also offers guaranteed whole life insurance policies for individuals between the ages of 65 and 85. These plans are a form of permanent life insurance, meaning they will last the entirety of your life so long as you continue to pay the premiums. Policy face values are flexible, with options available such as:

  • $10,000
  • $15,000
  • $20,000
  • $25,000

Additionally, guaranteed whole life plans through Ethos come with an accidental death benefit, cash value accruals and reduced paid-up insurance options.

If you are looking for a life insurance plan, then we recommend getting a quote from Ethos, as its plans are widely available. Ethos policies can be found in 49 states and the District of Columbia (excluding New York).

Ethos policy riders

Ethos only offers one policy rider for its life insurance policies — an accelerated death benefits rider. This comes included and allows you to access a portion of the death benefit while you are still alive given you have a qualifying medical condition.

Another option that Ethos offers to some policyholders is the ability to convert your term life insurance into a whole life policy at any point during the plan's lifetime.

Ethos life insurance quotes

Ethos' term life insurance rates are more expensive compared to other online insurers across most coverage levels. In general, if you are looking for the cheapest life insurance policy, there are other options available such as Ladder life insurance, which has cheaper policies at all coverage levels we analyzed.

Ethos life insurance quotes compared to online insurers

As you can see below, Ethos' rates are cheaper compared to traditional offline insurers. This is especially the case for smokers, who have monthly rates that are $34 cheaper. When considering life insurance, you should get quotes from a variety of providers, as your individual health situation and characteristics will change the rate you receive from the insurers.

Ethos life insurance quotes compared to five largest insurers

Ethos life insurance ratings and customer reviews

Ethos life insurance is a startup that was founded in 2016 by its current CEO Peter Colis and CTO Lingke Wang, and is headquartered in San Francisco. The company board includes many Stanford University graduates, along with many legitimate high-profile investors. Investors include Jay-Z's company Roc Nation, Robert Downey Jr., Kevin Durant and Will Smith. Furthermore, Ethos has additional backing from Sequoia Capital, SoftBank and GV (formerly 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. Furthermore, you can contact Ethos through email, call and text regarding issues with your policy or claims. This means that if you have questions, then you can easily access help and be able to chat directly with a knowledgeable representative.

Policies offered through Ethos are underwritten by some of the most established insurers within the life insurance industry. They include companies such as Legal & General America, Ameritas Life Insurance Corp., AAA Life and TruStage, which all have strong financial strength ratings.

Methodology

Information in this review was primarily found through the online website of Ethos. Quote information outside of Ethos policies was compiled using the Compulife life insurance quote system.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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