Ethos - Life Insurance Review [2024]: $1 Million in Coverage Starting at Just $1 Per Day

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and affordable way to protect your family, this could be it.
Updated Dec. 14, 2023
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In most cases, life insurance is worth it, especially if you can find affordable coverage that meets your needs. If you have family that depends on your income and/or unpaid debt, such as a mortgage, you’ll likely find that life insurance will be essential to your family’s financial security if you die. Fortunately, some of the best life insurance companies make it easy to secure coverage online, and some people may not even need a medical exam.

Ethos - Life Insurance provides term life insurance at affordable rates with an easy online application. There’s a lot to love about the plans offered, and current customers rave about the service. But Ethos is also not the only option available to you. To find out whether Ethos is right for you, keep reading our Ethos - Life Insurance review.

Quick Summary

Get the coverage you need without having to deal with endless up-selling.

  • No medical exams (you just have to answer a few health questions online) 
  • Same-day coverage available for most people
  • Affordable policies
In this Ethos - Life Insurance review

Ethos - Life Insurance basics

Type(s) of life insurance offered Term and Whole
Coverage amount Term insurance: $100,000 to $2 million
Whole insurance for seniors: $1,000 to $30,000
Medical exam required No
Term options 10, 15, 20, or 30 years
Eligible ages Term insurance: Anyone between 20 and 65 years of age
Whole insurance for seniors: Anyone between 66 and 85
Availability U.S. citizens and permanent residents in 49 states and the District of Columbia, excludes New York

What is Ethos - Life Insurance?

Ethos was founded in 2016 by Peter Colis and Lingke Wang, inspired by Wang’s negative experience with traditional life insurance. The goal was to do away with the lengthy application process, confusing paperwork, and high-cost plans.

Ethos is different from traditional life insurance providers. With Ethos, you can complete an online application in just minutes, and some applicants won’t need a medical exam. Ethos makes it fast, easy, and cheap to get the coverage you need.

What’s more, you can rest easy knowing that Ethos policies are issued by Legal & General America and reinsured by Munich Re and Assurity Life Insurance. These companies, established in the 19th century, have an A+ rating with AM Best. Together, they have paid life insurance beneficiaries hundreds of millions of dollars in life insurance claims over the past century.

Current customers have great things to say about Ethos as well. The company has hundreds of excellent reviews on Trustpilot, with many reviewers citing the easy and fast process as reasons for their ratings.

What types of coverage does Ethos offer?

Ethos offers term life insurance coverage. They only offer a whole insurance policy for seniors. Each policy also includes an accelerated death benefit, which allows access to some of the money before your death if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Ethos term life insurance policies come with the following options:

  • Term lengths: 10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year terms
  • Coverage amounts: Choose anywhere from $100,000 to $2 million in protection, with $1 million in life insurance coverage starting at just $1/day for certain applicants.

If you’re not sure how much coverage you need, Ethos has a handy coverage calculator to help you estimate which insurance plan is best for you. You’ll answer a few simple questions to get a suggested plan, and you’ll be able to see other options as well.

How does Ethos - Life Insurance compare to other online insurers?

Ethos vs. Bestow

Like Ethos, Bestow has a streamlined online application, and you don’t necessarily need a medical exam. However, there are some key differences. With Bestow, coverage amounts start at just $50,000. That means you can get a more affordable policy from Bestow. However, Bestow offers only 10- and 20-year term lengths.

We compared initial quotes for a 35-year-old female in great health living in Delray Beach, Florida. Here’s what we found for $1 million in coverage:

Term length Monthly premium amount
Ethos 20 years $34-$62
Bestow 20 years $41.66

Note that coverage rates vary based on several factors, so it’s a good idea to get a personalized estimate from each company before making a decision.

Ethos vs. Ladder

Ladder is similar to Ethos in that it provides access to affordable plans with a simple online life insurance application. But you also get some added flexibility with Ladder; you can increase or decrease your coverage amount at any time should your needs change.

For example, if you buy a home or have a child, you might need more coverage than you initially signed up for. Or, if you pay off your mortgage, you might be able to decrease your coverage amount and save money. Ladder lets you make these adjustments over time.

We compared initial quotes for a 35-year-old female in great health living in Delray Beach, Florida. Here’s what we found for $1 million in coverage:

Life insurance company Term length Monthly premium amount
Ethos 20 years $34-$62
Ladder 20 years $39

Ethos vs. Haven Life Insurance

Haven is another online insurer that provides fast and affordable coverage with plenty of term life policy options. Coverage amounts range from $100,000 to $3 million, and 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms are available.

You get some added perks with Haven as well, such as a fitness app loaded with thousands of workouts; an app that prevents jet lag; and a customized online will that is legally valid in your state.

We compared initial quotes for a 35-year-old female in good/great health living in Delray Beach, Florida. Here’s what we found for $1 million in coverage:

Life insurance company Term length Monthly premium amount
Ethos 20 years $34-$62
Haven 20 years $43.87

Ethos vs. Fabric Life Insurance

Fabric Life Insurance is specifically designed for parents. As with Ethos, you can apply in just 10 minutes for coverage. Fabric offers two basic products: Fabric Instant, an accidental death policy; and Fabric Premium, a 20-year term life insurance policy. Fabric Instant plans start at just $6 per month. Although these policies are more affordable than the plans offered by Ethos, there aren’t as many options when it comes to term length and coverage amount.

Fabric also includes free wills for you and your spouse and an app that helps you keep track of your family’s finances in one place.

We compared initial quotes for a 35-year-old female in good/great health living in Delray Beach, Florida. Here’s what we found for $1 million in coverage:

Life insurance company Term length Monthly premium amount
Ethos 20 years $34-$62
Fabric 20 years $47.91

How to maximize your savings with Ethos - Life Insurance

Ethos is already more affordable than many traditional insurance plans, as the online application process reduces the company’s operating costs, and the flexible terms and coverage amounts allow you to buy only what you need. But there are also a few ways to save even more.

  • Start now. Ethos policies have level premiums, so you’ll lock in your monthly rate for the entire term. If you purchase life insurance while you are young and healthy, your premium will be lower throughout the term than if you waited to get coverage.
  • Quit smoking. Nicotine usage has a huge impact on life insurance premiums. In fact, it affects your rate more than any other factor. If you quit after you purchase coverage, you may be able to qualify for a lower rate after 12 months.
  • Refer your friends. Ethos has a referral program that allows you to earn a $50 Amazon gift card every time a friend applies and gets approved through your referral link. There’s no limit to how much you can earn.

Common questions about Ethos - Life Insurance

How does Ethos - Life Insurance work?

Ethos has an online application that requires you to provide some information, including your birthdate, habits, and health status to receive personalized term life insurance quotes. Some applicants will not need a medical exam to be approved for a term life policy. You’ll be able to select the term and coverage amount that fit your needs and your budget.

How long has Ethos - Life Insurance been around?

Ethos was founded in 2016 by two Stanford Business School graduates. The company’s mission is to provide affordable and trustworthy life insurance to everyone without complicated paperwork or a lengthy application process.

Does Ethos offer permanent life insurance?

No. Ethos offers term life insurance, which is typically sufficient for most people and far more affordable than permanent life insurance. Term life insurance can cost 10 to 15 times less than permanent life insurance, and you’ll maintain level premiums throughout the term. 

Ethos does have a whole insurance policy for seniors, but you are only eligible if you are between 66 and 85 years of age.

Does Ethos Life require a medical exam?

Ethos only requires a medical exam when it’s necessary for evaluating an application. That only applies to a small number of applicants. Most people are approved online. If you do require a medical exam, know that it will be quick, easy, and free.

How to sign up for Ethos - Life Insurance

Here’s how life insurance works with Ethos:

  1. Visit Ethos and click “Check My Price”
  2. Answer a series of questions about your estimated health status, nicotine use, age, gender, location, and citizenship
  3. Enter your home address, mobile phone number, and full name
  4. Enter your email address
  5. Check your email and click the “Verify email” button
  6. Follow the prompts to complete your application. Note that you will need to provide some additional information, such as your Social Security number.

The final word on Ethos term life coverage

Applying for life insurance coverage through Ethos won’t hurt your credit score, so you’ve got nothing to lose by filling out the application. You can also get a quick estimate of your premium before you apply.

Although our initial quotes suggest that Ethos is more expensive than other online insurance plans, remember that rates vary based on your personal circumstances. It’s a good idea to get an estimate from each of the life insurance companies you are interested in. Also, keep in mind that Ethos’ accelerated death benefit is an attractive rider that comes standard with every policy.

Ethos has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can snag a refund if you’re not satisfied. You’re also free to cancel at any time without paying a penalty.

Be sure to purchase enough coverage to protect your family in the event of your untimely death. Consider your income, outstanding debt, and future financial goals when deciding how much protection is necessary. You’ll feel a huge weight lifted once you know your family’s financial security is accounted for.

Ethos - Life Insurance Benefits

  • No medical exams
  • Same-day coverage
  • Affordable policies
  • Honest advice. No up-selling.

Author Details

Lindsay Frankel Lindsay Frankel is a Denver-based freelance writer who specializes in credit cards, travel, budgeting/saving, and shopping. She has been featured in several finance publications, including LendingTree. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors, playing music, or cuddling with her rescue pup.