Top 10 whole life insurance companies

The Best Cash Value Whole Life Insurance Companies

Best Cash Value Whole Life Insurance Companies

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Who are the best cash value whole life insurance companies? What is the best insurance company for dividends? Is this even the type of policy that you should be buying?

Cash value whole life insurance is a type of policy that some people aren’t very familiar with.  We are going to discuss this form of insurance & see if whole life is something that is right for you.  

The Best Cash Value Whole Life Insurance Companies

whole life insurance companies listFor the most part, it’s hard to make a blanket statement about who the best companies are for any situation.  Everyone is unique in their health and goals for insurance.

However, this list is more for letting you discover the different kinds of whole life insurance policies that are generally the best for the most common situations that shoppers face.

The Top 10 Cash Value Whole Life Insurance Companies

Let’s get right to it and go over the best of the best. What’s better than a Top 10 list? …a Top 17!! Our Top 10 is now a top 17 and a complete rundown of the best companies for a variety of situations and needs.

Best Cash Value Whole Life Insurance Companies

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Although there are many companies that we work with, this article is focuses only on the Top 10 best whole life insurance companies for cash value.

The Best Whole Life Insurance Companies for Cash Value

These 2 resources will go over the top cash value whole life insurance companies. Our infographic provides you a quick rundown on the best companies. To get in depth details, you can simply click on each company below to learn about why they are one of the best whole life insurance companies for cash value.

American National

american national whole life insurance American National offers Signature Whole Life insurance for anyone from age 0 to 80. The policy guarantees to build cash value and the potential for annual dividend payments.  American National has an A rating with the A.M Best Company. You can also choose from a large selection of insurance riders including:

  • Available Riders:
  • Paid-Up Additions
  • Accelerated Death Benefits
  • ANICO Signature Term
  • Child Term
  • Disability Premium Waiver
  • Guarantee Insurance Option

For more, see our American National Life insurance company review

American United Life

American United Life whole life insurance 

AUL is a solid mutual company and has an A+ rating with A.M. Best. They offer some flexibility with their paid up additions rider option with their whole life coverage.

AUL can also offer you what is called a declining paid up additions load. This can be explained as an easing off of the amount of paid up additions that is being paid. Just know that this can come back and bite you. 


Some policy owners will ease off of paid up addition which can ultimately undermine the strategy of accumulating cash value. American United Life Indexed Dividend Crediting Option Rider. If you’re a Legacy and Legacy 121 policyholder, then you can participate in market moves earning up to double your dividend. You can do this without sacrificing your whole life insurance guarantees.


ameritas whole life insurance 

Founded in 1887, Ameritas is an excellent whole life insurance company that has had some popularity within the infinite banking world. 

Ameritas offers a good product for building wealth and strategizing on cash accumulation. Ameritas has an A rating with A.M. Best with a good financial outlook. Ameritas made our top 10 list because they are a mutual life insurance company with a good track record of paying dividends. Ameritas has shown steady growth. 

Ameritas Growth Whole Life provides shoppers a limited pay policy that can be fully funded in 10 years. You also have the option of a paid up rider to quickly increase the cash value growth.


assurity whole life insurance 

Assurity Simplified Whole Life has three plans based on your health situation. These plans are Level, Graded, and Modified Death Benefits. Let’s break down the three plans to help you decide which one is tailored for you. 

Level Death Benefit: This is an option where the payout is fixed throughout the entire duration of the policy.  Whether you pass away during the first or last year of the active policy there is a payout. The face amount is between $5,000 to $35,000.  Excellent health is the requirement. 

Modified Death Benefit: The first year of this policy pays out 110% of the annual premium, the second year, pays out 220%, and the third year to the remainder of the policy pays 100%.  The face amount is between $5,000 to $35,000. 

Graded Death Benefit: The graded benefit pays a portion of the face amount during the first two years.  The first year is 40%, the second year is 75%, the third year and thereafter is 100%.  The face amount is between $5,000 to $35,000. This policy covers those with serious health conditions. You should give us a call if you are interested in one of these plans.  We’d be glad to go over them with you. For more, see our Assurity company review

AXA Equitable

axa equitable life insurance company AXA Equitable Interest Sensitive Whole Life offers permanent covers with guaranteed fixed premiums for the entire duration and guarantees a minimum of 2% cash value that increases over the years and reaches the face amount at 100-years-of-age. 

The only stipulation would be if you take out a loan. Additional interest can increase beyond the 2%, minimum, that could result in the cash value exceeding the minimum guaranteed cash value. This policy also offers a living benefit rider without further charges. AXA has received an A+ rating from A.M Best. For more information please visit our AXA Equitable review or if you are interested in this policy, give us a call we’d be glad to go over the details with you. 

Learn moreAXA Equitable company review


foresters whole life insurance 

Advantage Plus Whole Life is a cash value policy that offers the option of 20 pay whole life or pay to 100 whole life.  You may also qualify to receive dividends from this policy. Foresters has a solid dividends record even during times when the stock market has been down over 25%.  

During those difficult times, in the past, Forester’s dividends were 7.9%. Foresters PlanRight has three plans to choose from:

  • Level benefit
  • Graded benefit
  • Modified benefit

PlanRight Level Benefit offers a full death benefit payout from the first day of an active policy which is available for ages 50 to 85.  A maximum face amount of $35,000 is available for those up to 80-years-of-age and a face amount of $15,000 for those between the ages of 81 to 85. 

PlanRight Graded Benefit.  Should you pass away in the first two years, the policy pays 30% of the face amount in the first year and 70% in the second year.  This plan is available for those between the ages of 50 to 85 with a maximum amount of $20,000 up to age 80 and a maximum amount of $10,000 for ages 81 to 85. 

PlanRight Modified Benefit pays out a return of premium, plus 10% if you pass away within the first two years.  This is available for ages 50 to 80 with a maximum face value of $15,000. If these plans interest you, please give us a call we would be glad to go over the details with you.

Learn moreForesters company review


gerber whole life insurance Gerber Guaranteed Life Insurance Gerber has an A rating from A.M Best Company and offers coverage with absolutely no medical exam and no questions asked. 

The face amounts are from $5,000 to $25,000. Guaranteed issue life insurance provides a fixed premium policy with cash value for ages 50 to 80. If you are interested in Gerber, give us a call for our free Gerber Guaranteed rates.  You can also visit our final expense and burial insurance page for final expense quotes.

Learn moreGerber company review

Guardian Life

guardian whole life insuranceLooking for the best company for cash value option? Guardian might be the one. Guardian’s policy provides guaranteed premiums, potential dividend payments, cash value accumulations and tax benefits. These tax benefits include the ability to defer paying taxes and the dividends accumulating on your policy.

Guardian Whole Life Insurance

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is a great option. They have an excellent history, strong dividend payments, and a variety of permanent insurance products. Guardian has an A++ rating from A.M. Best Company and offers a fixed premium permanent coverage.  This policy will accrue cash value that can be borrowed against for whatever you need the money for.  Guardian also offers dividends that are based on their profits and has been paying out dividends since 1868. Their dividends have always stayed above 6% even during times of low-interest rates.  They also offer policy riders including critical and terminal illness and disabilities.


kemper whole life insuranceKemper has an A- rating from A.M Best Company and offers their Kemper Senior Solutions that is very unique within the industry. This policy is available in 48 states but not in California, at this time. This plan is a guaranteed issue policy that builds cash value for ages 40 to 80. The face amounts are from $2,000 to $25,000. 

This is a graded death benefit that pays out 120% of premiums if you should pass away within the first two years of the plan and full death benefit thereafter. This cash value can be used to pay premiums to avoid any lapse in coverage and the premiums are fixed rates. For more information, give us a call!


massmutual whole life insurance 

When talking about policies, MassMutual is one of the very best and has been in business for over 150 years.  They offer participating whole life insurance policies with non-direct recognition. 

If you are interested in getting a policy as an asset, this is the company to go with as their ability for building cash value is at the top of any list.  Their A.M. Best Company rating is an amazing A++. What MassMutual Offers:

  • Guaranteed Death Benefits
  • Guaranteed Level Premiums
  • Guaranteed Cash Value Accumulation

MassMutual has been paying dividends since the 1860s.  Also, their dividend rates are far better than their competitors year after year.  Their dividend rates are approximately 6.70%. MassMutual is possibly the best company for building cash value.

Learn more:  MassMutual company review


metlife whole life insurance 

Metlife might be the top company for riders and optional benefits. They have a rating of A+ from A.M. Best Company and their MetLife Promise Whole Life offers a guaranteed death benefit, guaranteed level premium, and guaranteed cash value.  Starting in the second year, the policy pays life insurance dividends yearly. The dividends can be used to gain interest, buy additional paid-up insurance, pay premiums, or as cash for whatever you want. 

MetLife Whole Life also has several policy riders including: 

  • The Enricher Rider: With this rider, you can add coverage and cash value over a given period of time without having to re-apply.  Therefore, your death benefit will coincide with your changing needs. 
  • Accidental Death Benefit: If death occurs from an accident, this rider pays an additional death benefit that equals the policy’s face amount. 
  • Their Child Term Rider: This rider is term insurance that will cover your children. 
  • Flex Term Rider: This is a term product that is added to your whole life policy, offering added coverage for a certain period of time. 
  • Disability Waiver Of Premium: This rider waives premiums owed if the policyholder is disabled for 6 months or longer. 
  • Enhanced Care Benefits: Should the policyholder suffer from a prolonged illness, they will have access up to 90% of the death benefit and use it for their health care. If you are interested in MetLife, give us a call, we’d be glad to provide you with further details.

Learn moreMetLife review

New York Life

new york life whole life insurance 

New York Life might be the best company for dividend returns. Their Custom Whole Life Insurance is a policy created for maximum cash value accrual and also pays dividends.  

The policy is designed to pay up in a given number of years depending on your particular goals. They provide a dividend term rider which combines a decreasing term rider with the paid-up addition dividend option.  Another great rider is for enhanced cash value growth in order to purchase paid-up additions. You can also opt for their living benefits and disability waiver of premium riders. They have an excellent A++ rating from A.M. Best Company. Give us a call if you would like further information about them.

Ohio National

ohio national whole life insuranceThe Ohio National Financial Services is a great company for whole life insurance options. They are one of the top performing companies in the marketplace. They’ve been around for over a century and are always one of the highest rated in the life insurance industry. Since 1924, Ohio National has paid out consistent dividends. Ohio National has an A+ rating from A.M. Best.

Ohio National Cash Value Products

Ohio National provides 3 whole life products:

  • Prestige 10 Pay
  • Prestige 100
  • Prestige Max II

The Prestige 10 Pay is a Ohio National’s 10-year whole life policy. This means that after paying a level premium for a decade, there are no more additional premiums required. It’s cash rich and insurance poor. Fantastic for cash value accumulation. Prestige 100 is Ohio National’s base policy. Premiums are paid up to age 100. 

This policy can be customized in order to get significant cash value accumulation. Prestige Max II is a “paid-up” at age 65 or decade after it is purchased. It maximizes the cash value and dividends in order to generate higher cash value. The downside is that it requires a bigger premium.

Penn Mutual

penn mutual whole life insurance 

Penn Mutual has an A+ rating from A.M. Best Company and offers great coverage.  Their Guaranteed Choice Whole Life is another excellent policy for building cash value.  This policy also comes with some very impressive guarantees including:

  • Guaranteed Death Benefit
  • Guaranteed Cash Value Accumulation
  • Guaranteed Level Premium
  • 4% Minimum Guaranteed Interest
  • Policy Can Earn Dividends.

Penn Mutual’s dividend rate is approximately 6.34% Penn Mutual’s Riders:

  • Accelerated Death Benefit
  • Paid-Up Additions
  • Disability Waiver of Premium
  • Guaranteed Purchase Option
  • Chronic Illness
  • Children’s Term Insurance

Give us a call for more details about Penn Mutual products and options.

Learn morePenn Mutual Insurance Review 


sbli whole life insurance SBLI has an A+ rating with A.M. Best Company provides top quality options.

SBLI Whole Life Insurance

SBLI offers the following three excellent plans:

  • Continuous Payment Whole Life
  • Limited Payment Whole Life
  • Single Premium Payment Whole Life

Here’s the breakdown of all three: 

  • Continuous Payment Whole Life This is a standard policy that provides cash value and a fixed premium.  You just pay the premium and the policy is in place throughout your entire life. This policy also offers a lower premium than many of their competitors because the maturing age is 121 vs age 100. 
  • Limited Payment Whole Life You can make limited payments for 10 years, 15 years, or 20 years. You can even choose to make payments until you turn 65. 
  • Single Premium Payment Whole Life You make a one-time payment to the policy and in return, you get the death benefit that is guaranteed until you pass away.  The cash investment accrues very quickly because the policy is completely covered. 

You might want to look into their riders such as Child Term Rider, Accelerated Death Benefit, Waiver of Premium, and Guaranteed Purchase Option.

For more information, visit our SBLI review page or give us a call!


transamerica whole life insurance

Transamerica Guaranteed Whole Life

Transamerica is close to the top for the best final expense policy. Transamerica offers a guaranteed whole life insurance for face amount from $50,000 to $3,000,000. If your’e looking for the best coverage for seniors over 60, Transamerica is one of them.  

They are a great company for this market due to their very competitive pricing for older shoppers. Your premiums and coverage are guaranteed as long as the policy is paid. Their policy is available for all age groups up to 80-years-of-age. This policy also offers tax-deferred cash value which accumulates and can be borrowed against. Transamerica also has an excellent A+ rating from A.M. Best company.

For more information, visit our Transamerica company review page or give us a call!

United Of Omaha

united of omaha whole life insurance 

If a no medical exam policy is important to you, United of Omaha might be at the top of the list. In fact, they’re one of the top 10 final expense companies.

United Of Omaha Living Promise No Exam

United Of Omaha offers plans to choose from, Level and Graded along with excellent riders to choose from.

  • Level Benefit: This plan is available for ages 45 to 85 and has a face amount between $2,000 to $40,000.  They also provide an Accelerated Death Benefit for Terminal Illness or Nursing Home Confinement Rider. 
  • Graded Benefit: This plan is available for those between the ages of 45 to 80 with face amounts between $2,000 to $20,000 and a 2-year graded death benefit. United Of Omaha has an A+ rating from A.M. Best Company.

For more information, visit our United of Omaha company review page or give us a call!

What Is Whole Life Insurance?

It’s important to make sure you understand the various insurance types and know exactly what you’re shopping for. Whole vs Term life is one of the most popular and important topics to figure out.

Whole life insurance definition

Whole Life insurance is an insurance contract between the policyholder and the insurance company.  

The company provides coverage to the policyholder until their death or if they choose to surrender their policy.  The policy builds cash value, over time, that can be borrowed against the policy and it’s tax-free.  

Upon the death of the policyholder, the insurance company pays the death benefit to the beneficiary of the policy. The beneficiary chooses a death benefit settlement option such as a fixed period settlement option.  The death benefit from the insurance policy is usually tax-free. These policies cover you for your entire life. Term insurance is only temporary.

Historical Whole Life Dividend Averages

Below is summary of some of the top insurers and their dividend averages over time.

American GeneralNA4.
John HancockN/AN/AN/A5.155.35.555.555.555.75
New England Financial4.654.654.6555555.255.25
New York Life66.
Northwestern Mutual54.955.455.
Penn Mutual6.16.346.346.346.346.346.346.346.34
Ohio National5.45.45.7566.756.656.76.326.15
Minnesota LifeN/A555502554.7566.25

10 & 15 Year Dividend Averages

Here’s a quick comparison of the top whole life insurance companies and their dividend averages over 10 and 15 years.

Company Name10 yr average15 Yr Average
General American5.255.51
John Hancock5.685.89
Mass Mutual7.077.14
New York Life6.156.32
Northwestern Mutual5.836.29
Penn Mutual6.346.25
Ohio National6.086.30

Pro Tip: Rates are the same no matter if you buy direct from the company, call center or from an independent agent. 

How shop the best price

First and foremost, have you come to the conclusion that you need insurance? If you think that a whole life policy is best for you, make sure you shop around.  Comparing rates from multiple companies will help you decide if this is the right choice for your needs and your goals.

It is highly recommended that you go through an independent insurance agent versus going directly through the company directly. You need to understand all of the advantages and disadvantages of term insurance.

Shoppers frequently get confused about buying insurance direct or from an agent can save them money. An agent is extremely important, especially if you have any impaired risk or preexisting health conditions.

Applying for Coverage

Fill out the application then schedule a date and time to take the medical exam, unless you are applying for a No Exam Policy. At this point, you will have to wait until your policy has been approved by the company’s underwriters. 

Once your policy has been approved, you’ll move on to the following steps: Read all the documentation regarding your policy and make sure you ask your agent any questions you might have. Make your first premium payment either monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Once completed, your policy will be fully active!

Should I use Whole Life Insurance as an investment?

You should use your policy in order to provide a death benefit. Investments in general can be risky and this policy has guarantees to protect policyholders from any risks. 

However, you shouldn’t use it as an investment vehicle. Here’s what you need to know- as long as you pay your premium, the death benefit payout is guaranteed. Also, your premium is guaranteed to remain the same and the cash value in the plan is guaranteed to grow. 

life insurance tip

Since whole life insurance has guaranteed benefits, it really should not be called an investment. Instead, consider your policy as an asset that offers benefits to financial freedom.

Is Whole Life Insurance Worth The Cost?

If you are in need of coverage for your entire life which includes guaranteed cash value growth, guaranteed fixed premium and guaranteed death benefits, then the answer is yes! Just know that term insurance is the least expensive option and whole life is often the most expensive.

Whole Life Dividends

Along with all the other excellent benefits, your policy might participate in whole life dividends. Participating life insurance means the policy pays dividends. We have several companies that provide participating whole life insurance and are some of the best providers within the industry.  

whole life insurance dividends

Dividends are referred to as return of premium 

Which the company pays to participating policyholders.  This amount is based on the company’s financial performance over the year. Keep in mind, dividends are not taxable as long as the dividends do not go beyond the policy premiums you paid. In other words, if your dividends are in excess of the premiums you paid into your policy, then the dividends are taxable.

Dividend Options

You can use your dividends to make purchases, buy added paid-up insurance, pay on your premiums or gain interest in the company. If you use your dividends to contribute to your cash value account, you will increase your cash value which means the more cash you will receive from the dividends. In turn, that increases your cash value which increases your overall cash from dividends, etc.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Whole Life Insurance

Advantages of Whole Life

  • A lifetime of coverage
  • Dividends
  • Guaranteed fixed premiums
  • Guaranteed death benefit
  • Guaranteed growth of cash value
  • Paid-Up additions for the best cash value growth
  • Tax-free policy loans
  • Tax-deferred compounding growth
  • Tailored to your precise needs
  • You shouldn’t have to deal with insurance replacement

Disadvantages of Whole Life

  • It’s more expensive than term life

Buyer Beware! Some insurance agents are pushy

For the majority of people, term insurance is the best type of coverage. Term is cheap and provides coverage for most situations. There is a popular debate on term vs whole life insurance and Most side with the philosophy of buy term and invest the difference. With that said, whole life has its place.

However, you need to be cautious if an agent is pushing whole life insurance. You see agents get commissions on policies that they sell. That’s not a bad thing and the cost is built into the policy no matter where you buy it from. 

An agent will get a higher commission simply because the whole life policy is more expensive. Just be aware if an agent pushes you towards any type of policy. They need to present you all of your options and let you decide.

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And there you have it, our Top 10 best cash value whole life insurance companies. Any of these companies can provide you a great opportunity to provide you excellent coverage.

Having a stable and rock solid financial history is the backbone of these companies. But the point is, with the many options this policy provides, you are setup to have a financially stable foundation that can help you in the future. The potential value of such a product is significant.

Next Steps

You can simply run instant whole life insurance quotes anywhere on this page. Just be aware that this article has a unique quote engine. It is not designed to provide term quotes like most of the pages on our website. 

Many companies don’t provide rates direct to the consumer and some require specific quoting software. 

Just contact us with your coverage needs. We’ll be happy to provide you quotes to compare from term, whole, GUL insurance and more. If you’d like to learn more about coverage amounts, make sure to visit our Payout Amounts page.

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