Best Life Insurance Companies In San Francisco, CA For 2024

In my professional opinion, MassMutual is the standout choice. However, it’s possible that another provider might align better with your specific needs.

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Updated: 29 June 2024
Written by Bob Phillips
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If you’re a resident of the Golden State’s Bay Area, it’s highly probable that you’ve received numerous solicitations via email, snail mail, or television/streaming ads to purchase life insurance. Of course, every life insurance provider claims to be the cream of the crop among San Francisco’s best life insurance companies.

But which insurer deserves the title of the “Top Pick” in SF? Well, that depends on factors such as your age, health condition, budget, and many other variables.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at several of San Francisco’s best life insurance companies, examining what niches they serve best, the advantages and disadvantages of their policies, the types of coverage they offer, customer reviews, and more. We’ll also provide information on the cost of life insurance in San Francisco.

This article is the perfect place to locate the best life insurance policy in San Francisco. I’ve combined my 15 years of experience selling life insurance with extensive research to present you with these findings.

Best Life Insurance In San Francisco, CA 2024

Keep reading to discover the essential details about each of these companies, enabling you to make an informed decision and select the appropriate policy from among San Francisco's leading life insurance companies.

Best Life Insurance, San Francisco 2024

Compare The Best Life Insurance In San Francisco, CA

When it comes to purchasing life insurance, comparison shopping is crucial, just like with any other product or service. Regrettably, one of the most significant blunders people make is failing to compare and contrast the companies they're considering.

With my extensive experience representing a handful of these companies, insights from friends who have represented some of the others, and my own research, I've created a comparison chart to help through your selection process for finding the ideal insurance company that aligns with your unique requirements.

Best For Overall Rating Online Experience Rating (Best: 10.0) A.M. Best Rating (Best: A++) Customer Satisfaction Ratings (Best: 1000) Get A Quote
Haven Life

Online Experience





Instant Quote
State Farm

Customer Service





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Mutual of Omaha






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Cheapest Term Insurance





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Best Overall





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Scroll to see comparisons

Our Methodology

To arrive at the aforementioned ratings, we considered several essential factors, including the number of years the company has been in business, the range of policies they offer, their financial stability, customer satisfaction ratings, and the transparency of their website.

Additionally, we took into account my personal experience with these companies. I've had extensive involvement with all of them except for Haven Life.


Quotes Analyzed


Years Of Industry Experience


Brands Reviewed


Research Hours

Best Life Insurance Companies In San Francisco

Best Overall

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

8/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Reviews
10/10 Claims/Payouts
10/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Established in 1851, MassMutual is one of the largest life insurance companies in the United States. It provides an extensive array of life insurance products, ranging from term life insurance (temporary coverage for a fixed duration) to variable life insurance (investment-driven cash value accumulation).

Like several life insurance companies with a century-old history, MassMutual is a mutual company, partially owned by policyholders, and offers dividends on some of its permanent life insurance policies.

MassMutual’s reputation is impeccable and well-deserved. It holds the highest possible financial ratings, reflecting exceptional claims-paying capacity. Additionally, it ranked 9th overall for customer satisfaction in the 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study by J.D. Power.

MassMutual’s life insurance policies are distributed through a career agent sales force, implying that agents are company employees. This ensures that their agent force receives extensive product training, which benefits both policyholders and potential clients.

The company is highly commended for providing high coverage limits with its life insurance policies. Term policies start at $100,000 and can go as high as $10 million, making them useful for high-net-worth individuals and business clients.

MassMutual may not have the lowest premiums due to the high overheads associated with maintaining a career agent sales force. However, compared to other companies with career agents, such as New York Life and Northwestern Mutual Life, MassMutual’s premiums are competitive.

MassMutual not only provides a range of life insurance policies, but it also offers fixed and variable annuities that allow for a lump-sum deposit and provide lifetime income. This can be a valuable tool for individuals looking to secure a steady stream of income in their retirement years.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Offers both term and permanent life insurance policies.
  • Provides the convenience of online claims filing.
  • Detailed information about policies available online.
  • No online application process available for permanent policies.
  • Term policies only available online through a third party.

Runner-Up For Best Overall

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claims/Payouts
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

With roots dating back to 1925 and it’s main HQ in Columbus Ohio, Nationwide is one of the largest financial service companies in the world and is a top contender for being the best overall life insurance company in San Francisco.

Nationwide offers a range of life insurance products, including term life, whole life, and universal life, sold through its agent sales force and approved financial professionals who are vetted carefully by the company.

Apart from individual life insurance, Nationwide also caters to the business market by offering larger face amounts and annuities, and is popular with seniors as well.

When you visit Nationwide’s website, you’ll find a wide range of insurance types offered, from long-term care to pet insurance, and detailed product descriptions to help you choose the right policy for your needs. The site is user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Nationwide also offers a bundle discount that can lower your rates if you combine your life insurance with auto and homeowners policies. This simplifies your life by protecting your family and property with one company while paying a single premium.

When it comes to estate planning purposes, it’s important to note that Nationwide agents may not be the best resource to turn to. This is because many of their agents focus more on property and casualty insurance rather than life insurance, which they may sell as an add-on to existing policyholders.

However, if you’re looking for a bundle discount that includes life insurance, Nationwide can be a great option. Unlike some of its main competitors, such as Liberty Mutual, Nationwide does offer life insurance, making it an excellent choice for those who want to simplify their coverage by using a single provider.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Provides various life insurance options such as term, whole, and universal policies.
  • Offers competitive premium rates.
  • Allows for customization of coverage with the addition of riders.
  • No provision for online quotes or applications for permanent policies.
  • Age limit of 70 years or younger to be eligible for term insurance.

Best For Customer Service

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

8/10 Affordability
10/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims/payouts
7/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

State Farm has a strong presence in San Francisco with neighborhood agents in many local communities. They are known for their “like a good neighbor” slogan, which emphasizes their commitment to being there for their customers..

State Farm has been in business since 1922, starting as an auto insurance company before branching out to include many other types of insurance, including homeowners and renters insurance.

While State Farm may not be particularly well known for its life insurance products, their whole life offering is of excellent quality. However, their term life insurance rates are not the most competitive. If you don’t mind paying a little extra for dealing with a local agent, State Farm is still a good option.

With over 18,000 agents in the U.S., State Farm also has 343 claim offices and 30 operations centers. This is evidence of the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction, which is why it consistently ranks at the top of JD Powers’ annual release of life insurers’ customer satisfaction levels.

As someone who has purchased State Farm life insurance from a local agent in San Francisco, I can vouch for their exceptional customer service and convenience. If you’re willing to pay a little extra for the peace of mind that comes with top-notch service, State Farm is definitely worth considering.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Conveniently located offices
  • Term policies can be converted into permanent policies
  • High customer satisfaction ratings
  • Policies are only available through exclusive agents
  • Some policies have age restrictions and exclude applicants over 65.

Best For Seniors

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

8/10 Affordability
10/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims/ Payouts
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Many seniors in San Francisco may remember Mutual of Omaha from the popular TV show, “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”. The company, also a mutual insurance company like its namesake, is located in Omaha, Nebraska. I have firsthand knowledge of the company having worked as an agent, trainer, and manager for five years.

While Mutual of Omaha’s subsidiary, United of Omaha, offers life insurance to people of all ages, the company primarily focuses on Baby Boomers and their parents. In addition to life insurance, Mutual of Omaha is a popular provider of Medicare Supplement policies to seniors, and you may have even seen their travel insurance kiosks at the airport.

Mutual of Omaha offers a wide variety of life insurance policies, including term, whole, and universal life insurance. Their permanent life insurance policies may be on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, but they remain competitive in the market.

Where Mutual of Omaha stands out is in its life insurance policies for seniors. Their “no medical exam” senior whole life insurance policy has gained a reputation as a “Final Expense Insurance” policy, but it is actually just a whole life insurance policy with a smaller face amount. Although a medical exam is not required for this policy, the applicant must answer questions about their medical history, and the company cannot guarantee policy approval.

For seniors in San Francisco seeking smaller face amounts of life insurance ($5,000 to $25,000) with a fairly easy underwriting process and application approval, Mutual of Omaha senior life is an excellent option to consider. In addition, the company’s customer service is highly rated, ranking 3rd highest in J.D. Powers’ 2022 Life Insurance Survey.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Expertise in catering to the needs of senior citizens
  • Impressive financial stability
  • Excellent customer support ratings
  • Doesn't offer a guaranteed issue policy
  • Term life insurance rates are relatively expensive.

Best Cheap Life Insurance

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
7/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims/Payouts
10/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Transamerica Life Insurance offers some of the most competitive rates for life insurance in San Francisco. Their premiums are particularly affordable for younger adults, but they remain affordable for all age ranges. The company’s life insurance policies are sold exclusively through independent life insurance agents, known as brokers, which contributes to their low premiums.

One of Transamerica’s signature life insurance products is the Trendsetter Super Policy, which provides up to $10 million in term life protection. If you are in excellent health and purchase a policy with a face amount of $2 million or less, you may not be required to undergo a medical exam.

The Trendsetter Super Policy is a convertible term life policy, which allows policyholders to convert their coverage to a permanent life insurance policy during the specified conversion period. This feature lets you purchase a policy with a large face amount and low premium, then convert it to a whole or universal life insurance policy with a higher premium when your income is higher.

Transamerica also offers life insurance coverage to foreign nationals working in the United States, provided they have a global net worth of at least $1 million and are from one of the 47 qualifying countries.

If you’re looking for affordable life insurance options in San Francisco, Transamerica is a top contender. In my personal experience selling Transamerica policies, I’ve had no issues with policy issuance or customer service. So if price is your primary concern, Transamerica is definitely worth considering.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Available through many independent agents
  • Offers some of the lowest rates for term insurance
  • Strong claims-paying ability
  • Independent agents may lack training on the products
  • Received a higher-than-expected number of complaints to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

Best For Buying Life Insurance Online

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Reviews
10/10 Claims/Payouts
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Haven Life, owned by MassMutual, is a newer entrant to the life insurance market in San Francisco. The company specializes in selling term life insurance online, making it an attractive option for tech-savvy individuals who prefer to buy insurance from the comfort of their homes.

Haven Term, its flagship product, offers a maximum death benefit of $3 million and competitive premiums, making it one of the best term life insurance options in San Francisco.

Haven Life’s online application process is simple and streamlined, taking less than 15 minutes to complete after entering some basic information and selecting the desired face amount. All aspects of doing business with Haven Life are fully digital, from obtaining a quote to filing a death claim, and the website provides clear and easy-to-follow instructions.

One major benefit of Haven Life is that it does not require a medical exam. Instead, approval is based solely on the answers to medical questions, and the underwriting process is known for its fairness. This means that you won’t have to worry about a paramed coming to your home or office for a medical examination.

If you’re seeking a straightforward and hassle-free way to buy term life insurance in San Francisco, Haven Life is a top contender. As a subsidiary of MassMutual, you can trust that your claim will be honored, and the company’s customer service is renowned for its excellence.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • No medical exam required
  • Offers terms ranging from 5 to 30 years
  • Coverage options range from $25,000 to $3 million
  • No mobile app available for convenient access
  • Does not offer permanent life insurance policies

How To Find The Best Life Insurance Company For You

Not all life insurance companies are created equal, and it’s important to find the one that best suits your needs. Different companies specialize in meeting different types of people’s needs, so it’s crucial to do your research before making a decision.

If you’re a 35-year-old looking to buy $1 million of term life insurance, Mutual of Omaha may not be the best fit for you. Instead, you may want to consider companies like Transamerica or Haven Life.

If you prefer to work directly with an agent, companies like MassMutual or State Farm may be a better option for you than other life insurers who utilize independent agents.

Finding the right life insurance company can take time and effort, but asking these five questions can help you in your search:

  1. Does the company offer the type of policy I need?
  2. How are the company’s financial ratings?
  3. Do I need assistance from a local agent to find the right policy for me?
  4. Are online reviews of the company generally positive?
  5. Are the rates offered by the company competitive for my age bracket?

Answering these questions will be a crucial step towards finding the best life insurance company for your needs. Keep in mind that your situation is one-of-a-kind, and the insurer that works for your parents or friends might not be the best fit for you. Ultimately, what matters most is that you feel confident that your family will be protected and financially secure in the future.

Largest Life Insurance Companies In San Francisco

While some people may believe that the life insurance company with the largest market share is the best, I understand that this is not always the case. However, for those who do hold this view, here is a breakdown of the top life insurance companies in San Francisco:

Rank Company Name California Market Share
1 New York Life 8.64%
2 Transamerica 7.00%
3 Northwestern Mutual 6.28%
4 MassMutual 5.00%
5 Prudential 4.77%
6 Lincoln National 4.16%
7 Met Life 4.02%
8 Pacific Life 3.61%
9 National Life 3.25%
10 John Hancock 2.91%

Being on this list doesn’t necessarily imply that a life insurance company is the best option for you in San Francisco. Sometimes, it merely indicates that they have a higher number of agents or advertise more in the local market than their competitors.

Average Cost Of Life Insurance In San Francisco

Average Monthly Life Insurance Rates For Men In San Francisco

Company Rates for $250,000 Death Benefit Rates for $1 Million Death Benefit
Transamerica $15 $31
Nationwide $17 $34
Mutual of Omaha $19 $41
Prudential $42 $77
MassMutual $17 $39
State Farm $26 $59

Average Monthly Life Insurance Rates For Women In San Francisco

Company Rates for $250,000 Death Benefit Rates for $1 Million Death Benefit
Nationwide $16 $27
Mutual of Omaha $16 $29
State Farm $30 $84
MassMutual $14 $31
Progressive Life $18 $70
Prudential $28 $105

To determine the cost of life insurance policies, we gathered 10-year term quotes from major life insurance companies in San Francisco using average buyer profile statistics. These profiles included an average age of 30, and average weight of 179 pounds for males and 142 pounds for females.

Factors That Impact The Cost Of Your Life Insurance Policy In San Francisco

Even though each life insurance company follows its own underwriting procedures, there are certain common factors that they consider when calculating the cost of a life insurance policy. These include:

  • Weight
  • Policy face amount
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Hobbies
  • Gender
  • Height
  • Smoker/Nonsmoker
  • Medical history

Life insurance companies do not determine premiums based on your place of residence.

California Life Insurance Laws To Know

California Life Insurance Laws have a few unique features that may affect your decision-making process when selecting a life insurance policy. These include:

The free look period: This is a required period in which a new policyholder can cancel the policy without any penalty. In California, the free look period lasts up to 10 days.

The grace period: This is the time period during which a policyholder can pay a missing premium without incurring any penalty, and the insurance coverage remains active. In California, insurers must give policyholders a minimum grace period of 60 days.

Time period for claim settlement: Once a California-based life insurance company receives satisfactory proof of death documents, they have to settle the payment within 30 days. Failure to do so results in the company paying interest on the unpaid amount.

Contestable period: This is the time period within which an insurer can challenge any potentially fraudulent or misrepresented claims on the coverage application. After this period ends, the policy is typically considered incontestable. Life insurance policies in California become incontestable, except for nonpayment of premiums, after a maximum of two years.


Which company has the lowest life insurance rates in San Francisco?

In San Francisco, Transamerica offers the lowest overall rates for both men and women.

Is life insurance more expensive in California?

The cost of life insurance is not higher in California compared to other states. Unlike other types of insurance such as auto or home insurance, life insurance companies cannot charge different rates based on the state where you reside.

How much per month is a $1 million life insurance policy in San Francisco?

Based on a combination of various factors, life insurance premiums are calculated. As per our research, a 30-year-old male can buy a $1 million term life insurance policy for $31 each month, while a female would pay $21 for the same coverage.

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