New York Life Insurance Review

Disclaimer: We are not in any way affiliated with New York Life. In fact, we are a direct competitor of theirs. This article is our personal review of their agent sales career opportunity and our personal opinions of the company. If you are looking to contact New York Life directly, call them at 1-800-225-5695.

Are you thinking about starting a career selling life insurance with New York Life?

If so, you probably have questions about products you’d sell, how much money you could make, and what the pros and cons are of a New York Life insurance agent career.

If so, you’ve found the right article!

I’m going to detail what selling life insurance with New York Life is really like for people interested in becoming an agent.

My goal is to give you a fair and balanced overview, so you can determine if a career with NYL is right for you.

Let’s begin!

PS: Check out my other articles on insurance sales jobs for information about other organizations you could possibly join.

NOTE: Are you an aspiring or new insurance agent looking for more insight on how the insurance sales industry works? Check out my free New Insurance Agent Resource Guide to help answer many of your questions (as well as ones you didn’t know you had!).

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About New York Life

New York Life has the highest industry ratings, and is famous for its superior insurance sales training programs and the investment they put in their agents’ personal and professional development in the company.


These are the main products you will be selling through New York Life to both new clients and high-profile renewal accounts.

Life insurance

New York Life is the largest mutual life insurance company in the country. They’ve been offering premium life, long-term care, retirement income, and investment plans for 175 years. 

Term Life insurance policies provide clients with short-term protective death benefits for a preset amount of time. 

Whole life provides the same protections over a lifetime so long as premiums are met, as well as enhancements to your clients’ retirement savings. 

Universal life plans provide flexible investments for long-term protection. Variable universal life plans connect the value of your client’s plan to a stock index that provides opportunities for more growth.

Long-term care

New York Life offers Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance plans as well as combination plans. 

Your clients will want to customize their plans to suit their health needs and their retirement income. Combining long-term care and life insurance gives clients a lot of customizable care coverage for their chosen plans.

Retirement income

Supplementing retirement income will be an important part of long-term clients’ plans. 

New York Life allows large sums of money to be transferred to annuities through their Income Now program to start earning income supplements immediately.

In addition, clients can buy a guaranteed income annuity to defer payments to when they need them later in life. 


New York Life offers premium investment services to its clients including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, annuities, and 539 plans.

New York Life agents help clients find professional managers to manage their mutual funds or find tax-efficient investment opportunities that act as market securities for client investors. 

Annuities offer guaranteed returns while 529 plans provide tax advantages for education-related expenses.

Other services

New York Life also offers premier services for higher-value clients, including retirement, business planning, and estate planning, all of which will be part of an agents’ training when they join New York Life. 

The company hires professional mentors in business, accounting, taxation, and philanthropy to help agents become a financial professional for their premier clients.

Wealth management and estate planning are the main premier services. They will give your clients access to expertise in living wills and attorney planning as well as income tax strategies for estates and inheritances. 

New York Life’s wealth management subsidiary, Eagle Strategies LLC., offers clients investment planning with accredited Financial Advisors and programs designed for their future.

How you find prospects

When was the last time you met your insurance agent?

New York Life offers an extensive mentoring program through its Million Dollar Round Table Mentoring Program and informal relationships on the job. 

Mentors will be your main resource to learn the ins and outs of New York Life and hunt down prospects.

Through seminars, networking events, workshops, and special guest speakers, New York Life offers additional education and outreach opportunities to help agents refine their skills and find prospects.

Special marketing and sales training programs

New York Life prioritizes agent training and expertise in their sales programs. 

With its NYLIC University, New York Life offers comprehensive agent training that includes not only education and skills that will help them succeed in the company but training in real-world scenarios with the New York Life sales principles.

New York Life offers professional designations as well as reimbursement for tuition when agents pursue valued designations through NYLIC University. 

These include:

  • Chartered Life Underwriter
  • Master of Science in Financial Services
  • Chartered Financial Consultant
  • Chartered Leadership Fellow

As a new agent, you will not only be responsible for using your new education to sell plans but also for creating marketing plans and providing unique solutions to premier clients. 

For those who have completed their MBA in the last two years before being hired or have previous business-specific management experience, New York Life will consider you for a Management Fast Track Program. 

Those who succeed in the program can be fast-tracked to management within the first 12 months of being an agent with New York Life.

Starting commissions

As a new agent, the first thing to understand is that there is no base salary – the job is 100% commission-based.

Having said that, your compensation is 55% on 1st-year premium plans, 6% on expense accounts, increasing to 54% for accounts of $750,000 and up. 

Renewal commissions are 5% compensation for 2nd-year plans, 10% for 3rd year, 15% for 4th year, and 20% for 5th year.

Office space and telephone services, as well as system support, are separate flat rate fees that amount to about $110 per month.

How to increase commissions

The biggest issue with working with such a huge and reputable insurance provider is that the monthly sales quotas are very demanding. Your standing with the company could change quickly, even if you sell your minimum 50 policies a year.

The trick to staying with the company and increasing your commissions is to take advantage of New York Life’s extensive employee training and education services to get premium policies or long-lasting annuities to support the intense sales quota requirements.

Is New York Life a scam?

Watch out for final expense lead scams that don't accept credit cards.

New York Life is one of the most respected insurance providers in the country and the largest mutual life insurance provider anywhere. It’s renowned not only for its policies but its employee training services. It’s not a scam or pyramid scheme.

In 2019, New York Life featured as #71 on Forbes’ Fortune 500 List and the “America’s Best Large Employers” list. They remained the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States during that year.

My Thoughts

While New York Life is an excellent insurance sales career opportunity, it isn’t always the best choice for all agents.

What follows below is an overview of the concerns I would have if I joined New York Life to sell insurance.

Must Sell To Friends And Family

Like many traditional life insurance organizations, New York Life follows the “Project 100/200” method to find prospects.

In short, New York Life helps you put together a list of friends, family members, and business associates who’d make good prospects for life insurance.

Then, your job is to approach them and show them how you could possibly help.

While this strategy is fundamentally sound and effective, it bothers many people as it comes off pushy like a MLM.

Many do not want to sell to their friends and family, and be “that guy” that’s always bothering them to buy insurance.

Marriage To One Product

For the first few years as a NYL agent, you can only sell New York Life’s product line-up.

While New York Life’s life insurance line-up is great, it isn’t always the best solution for your client, in terms of premium rates or ease of underwriting.

Whenever you sell one company only, you limit your ability to maximize your closing ratios.

In return, you’ll lose sales opportunities, simply because you do not have the best options available.

After several years, NYL does offer you the ability to broker products outside of New York Life, giving you added flexibility to help your clientele out.

Always Good To Seek A Second Opinion

Prior to joining New York Life or any other field marketing organization to sell insurance, it’s a wise choice to consider other options to fully weigh which option is best suited for your career goals.

If you’d like to take a look at another insurance sales option, take a look at how my agency operates here.

And learn more about my Agent Success Stories in addition to my highly-reviewed insurance sales books.