The benefits explained
- Coverage without medical examination: Candidates in good health can apply for life insurance without having to undergo a medical examination.
- Can pay premiums with Apple Pay: If you’re looking for a policy that lets you pay premiums with your digital wallet, Equitable is your answer. It accepts Apple Pay for some products.
- Number of customer complaints lower than expected: Equitable customers filed fewer complaints against the company than expected.
- Limited types of fonts available: Equitable does not offer many types of insurance products compared to other life insurance companies. For example, you cannot purchase a regular whole life policy or universal life policy.
- Online quotes not offered: It is essential to compare quotes when buying life insurance. But equitable does not provide online quotes. Instead, you must call and speak with a representative.
Index of complaints
According to National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Equitable received fewer complaints than expected in 2021. The NAIC calculates a complaints index for each insurance company that indicates the number of complaints received by the insurer relative to its size. Companies with more complaints than expected have an index above 1.00 and companies with fewer complaints than expected have an index below 1.00.
Over three years, Equitable has an average complaints index of 0.156, which means that there have not been as many customer complaints as you would expect for a company of its size.
Equitable’s financial stability rated excellent, insurance rating agency says AM Bestwhich awarded the insurer an A (Excellent) rating for its financial strength. This means that after assessing the company’s financial situation, the agency believes that Equitable has the financial resources to meet its obligations to policyholders, such as paying claims.
An A rating from AM Best represents the third highest rating on a rating scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor). Companies at the lower end of the scale are more vulnerable financially and less likely to pay death benefits in difficult economic conditions.
Although Equitable gets high marks for its financial strength, customer experiences with the company, judging by another independent organisation, are not entirely satisfactory. In the 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, JD Power ranks Equitable 17th out of 21 major insurers for overall customer satisfaction. The company scored 749 out of a possible 1,000 points, which is below the industry average score of 776, and JD Power didn’t even rank the company in its 2022 study.
Equitable doesn’t offer as many policy types as some of the other insurers we researched. Here is a brief overview of the policies he sells.
Term life insurance
Fair offers term life insurance. This product provides a guaranteed death benefit if the policyholder dies within the specified time. Equitable offers a maximum term of 20 years, which is not as high as the 30 year term offered by many other companies. Unlike permanent insurance, term coverage does not have a savings component. You pay the monthly premium, but there is no cash value. If you decide you prefer a different type of policy, Equitable offers free conversion on certain products that allow you to convert your term coverage to a permanent plan.
Variable life insurance
With variable universal life insurance, your death benefit and cash surrender value are based on the performance of an underlying investment portfolio. It forces you to make investment choices and manage your policy to a greater extent than other types of life insurance. This type of policy is considered the riskiest form of permanent life insurance, but it also offers the potential for greater rewards.
Indexed universal life insurance
Indexed universal life insurance offers the potential for cash value growth based on the performance of an index, such as the S&P 500 Index. However, your account will not lose money if the index drops since it is not directly invested in the stock market. These policies offer more stability than variable universal life since your cash value is only indexed to a specific index rather than being directly invested in the stock market.
A rider is an add-on to your life insurance policy that provides additional coverage or benefits. These endorsements help you customize your coverage to meet your exact needs.
Guaranteed insurability rider
This rider allows you to purchase additional life insurance in the future without having to go through the underwriting process. You can usually increase your coverage on certain trigger events, such as getting married or having a child, or on certain policy anniversaries. Guaranteed insurability can be valuable if your medical condition changes after you take out your policy.
Equitable offers a rider that provides temporary coverage for your children. If a covered child dies before reaching a certain age, the rider pays a death benefit. Coverage is usually convertible to a permanent policy once the child reaches adulthood.
Premium Rider Waiver
This rider protects you if you become disabled and unable to pay your premiums. It waives your payments if you meet specific conditions, such as being confined to a nursing home for at least six months or being unable to perform two of six activities of daily living.
Guarantee rider without forfeiture
If you choose this rider, Equitable guarantees that your policy will not be terminated for a specified period as long as you have paid the premium required to maintain the non-lapse guarantee.
Accelerated Death Benefit: Terminal Illness Rider
If you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, this rider allows you to access a portion of your death benefit before your death. You can use the funds as you wish, so you are not limited to paying for your care. Fair includes this accelerated death benefit at no additional cost with many policies.
Accelerated Death Benefit: Long Term Care Services Rider
This endorsement is similar to the terminal illness endorsement, except that it specifically addresses long-term care expenses. If you have a chronic condition and need to pay for long-term care, this rider pays a portion of your death benefit to help cover the costs.
You can reach Equitable Customer Service at (800) 777-6510 between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday. There is no live chat available or email address listed on their website contact page.
You may also send correspondence to Equitable at PO Box 1047, Charlotte, NC 28201-1047.
Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Companies
We have designed a comprehensive ranking methodology based on consumer priorities and life insurance company fundamentals to rank over 90 insurers in five general categories: financial stability, customer satisfaction, variety of products and features, experience of overall purchase and cost.
To do this, we collected over 5,000 data points and scored each company based on 55 metrics. We’ve grouped the metrics by category to see insurers’ performance in each; we then weighted the category scores to determine overall company performance.
For more, read our full Life insurance methodology.