The Top Ten Life Insurance Companies ranked by the Comdex. The comdex is a ranking of financial strength ratings. It compiles four different rater's ratings into one commingled rating.
This 'poll of polls' rates most of the life insurance companies in the United States.
There may be some important considerations that you should be aware of before you should just blindly review their rankings...
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Top Ten Comdex Life Insurers:
In no particular order, as of August 2017 here are the top ten insurance companies ranked by Comdex:
- USAA Life Insurance Company
- Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance
- Thrivent Financial Lutherans
- New York Life Insurance Company
- New York Life Insurance and Annuity
- Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association
- Knights of Columbus
- Berkshire Hathaway Life of Nebraska
- Northwestern Long Term Care
- General Re Life Corporation
What is the Comdex?
The comdex is a compilation score of the four different credit rating agencies. They compute their own overall score by using the Financial Strength scores from the following four firms: AM Best, Fitch, Moodys, S & P.
What is a Financial Strength Rating?
A financial strength rating (FSR) is an opinion written by a Rating Agency about the firm's ability to replay legitimate claims. FSRs are more focused on claims paying ability rather than a firm ability to meet other general obligations, such as regular debts. FSRs are issued by the big three rating agencies, AM Best, and others.
Now - What to Be Careful of:
- The Comdex is a pay for service product. Therefore in order to get a copy of it, you must find someone to show you a copy of it. This is sort of similar to having to rely on an insurance salesmen to provide you a rating of their own product.
- The Comdex uses ALL FOUR credit rating agencies. This has both positive and negative implications. On the negative side, an error by any rating agency will change the overall score. Therefore its hard to see much of a value in distinguishing minor point differences between two insurance companies using the Comdex.
- It is pretty difficult to find much hard data on the methodologies used by any of the Credit Rating Agencies to determine their Financial Strength Ratings. This is not so much a fault of the Comdex as of the Rating Agencies themselves. However since the Comdex uses the FSRs from the Credit Rating Agencies themselves, it becomes a consideration when using their overall rating. Therefore the Comdex rating is of the least opaque rating that consumers can imagine relying on.
- By merging all of the rating agencies FSRs together the Comdex may leave clients with the belief that they can just look at one rating from the Comdex and be done. A better best practice though is to review Financial Strength Ratings from multiple Credit Rating Agencies separately. Compare apples with apples. Do not cross compare.
- The Comdex score does not really consider Policyholder Surplus or PHS, which is another measurement of Life Insurers.
- Financial Strength Ratings are by definition an "opinion" and nothing more than that. They may be classified as a highly educated opinions, but AM Best and the Credit Rating Agencies have been wrong in the past and could potentially be wrong again.
A Note on Life Insurance Best Practices and the Comdex:
Whole Vs Term has time and time again suggested to consumers that they do their homework when purchasing life insurance and not rely on insurance agents or insurance companies to tell them what to do. It is our belief that the Comdex is a useful tool, but it plays a bit too much into the hands of the insurance agencies, which we are one of. Do your own homework and trust the results.
About: Whole Vs Term Life Insurance
Articles Written in the National Press
"When it comes to life insurance, it’s really important that stay-at-home spouses are not left out....Many people incorrectly assume that these non-employed or lower-earning spouses don’t need life insurance."
By Scott W Johnson
"Covered by a group Term Life policy through your employer? Congratulations - not many people are. Take what you can get, but be careful depending on that form of life insurance as your only life insurance policy."
Question: Should I just ignore the Comdex Rating?
Answer: No, ignoring the Comdex is not a best practice. Its useful information however its just not the only financial guide I would suggest.
Question: What were the top ten comdex rankings for 2016?
Answer: We do not provide that type of information. Also Im not certain what the value would be for a consumer.
Question: Where do Insurance Agents get the Comdex Ratings?
Answer: The ratings are calculated by Ebixlife. The actual rankings/ratings are pulled through a software suite called Vitalsigns.
Question: How can consumers get a copy of the Comdex rankings?
Answer: A consumer get get a copy of the comdex ratings from an insurance agent or an insurance company.
Question: What is the difference between a Financial Strength Rating and the Comdex?
Answer: The comdex used four different financial strength ratings to create a pole of polls so to speak. They are the same yet different.