Cover - New York Life Insurance Review

New York Life Insurance Review

By David Duford - January 03, 2023 - 5 Mins Read

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


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?


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.

How To Quit New York Life

There are many reasons you may want to quit New York Life, for example, you ran out of money to invest in leads, you ran out of prospects to sell to, or you simply found that the business of selling insurance wasn’t a good fit for you.

The good news is, quitting New York Life is easy.

Here’s how to do it.

First, start by doing your due diligence and find another insurance agency to work for. We recommend you review our Free Agent Resource Guide here for tips on finding a quality insurance agency to join.

Once you find a new agency or carrier to join, you can go ahead and switch your affiliations.

You should keep in mind that as an insurance agent, you are licensed by the state and not by the company. No insurance agency can prevent you from stopping your affiliation with it and doing business with another organization.

You may need to cancel the affiliation with New York  Life. The termination usually needs to be filed within a 30 day window, however canceling affiliation is not always mandatory.

To become properly appointed with the new insurance carrier or agency, you simply complete contracting with the new insurance carrier.

Typically, the window for companies to process affiliations is very short, with most companies approving insurance agent carrier appointments within 1 to 2 weeks on average.

Bottom line, quitting New York Life is no big deal. Simply find another organization that’s better suited to your insurance sales career goals, submit contracting through the new organization, and within the next few weeks, you’re good to go and can stop doing business with New York Life.

Companies Like New York Life

Let’s take a look at some insurance agencies and companies similar to New York Life in case you’re interested in doing a comparison.


Symmetry Financial Group is an insurance marketing organization based out of Swannanoa, North Carolina.

SFG specializes in several life insurance markets, primarily the mortgage protection insurance market. The company also offers final expense insurance, a type of whole life insurance designed to cover medical bills and funeral expenses after the policyholder’s passing.

Bankers Life

Bankers Life was established in 1879 in Chicago, Illinois. The company is a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group.

Bankers Life offers life insurance, long-term care, annuities, Medicare (Supplements, Advantage Plans, Part D prescription drug coverage), critical illness insurance, as well as vision and dental plans. It targets the senior market, typically people age 60 and older who are near retirement.

People Helping People (PHP)

People Helping People was established in 2009 in Northridge, California. The company serves the middle markets for insurance-based financial planning. It focuses on term insurance, index universal life insurance, and fixed indexed annuities.

American Income Life (AIL)

American Income Life, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globe Life Insurance, is a major provider of supplemental life insurance. The company was founded in 1951 and is headquartered in Waco, Texas.

American Income Life’s core markets are labor unions, credit unions, and associations for insurance solicitation. Its insurance products include life insurance and supplemental health.


USHEALTH Advisors is a wholly-owned national sales and distribution subsidiary of USHEALTH Group, one of the largest employers of health insurance agents in the United States.

USHEALTH offers individual health coverage plans and a number of related supplementary products. It specializes in marketing innovative and affordable health coverage plans. The company is focused on providing healthcare solutions to individuals and families, as well as self-employed and small business owners.


Equis is a marketing organization for independent insurance agents and agency builders.

Its main product is mortgage protection life insurance, designed to reduce or eliminate the threat of foreclosure or eviction if the insured passes unexpectedly. The company also offers final expense, living benefits, and indexed universal life insurance products.

Freedom Equity Group

Freedom Equity Group, based in Arroyo Grande, California, is an independent marketing organization (IMO) that contracts with insurance companies to promote and distribute a range of life insurance products.

Freedom Equity Group focuses on selling life insurance and annuities. Its main product is indexed universal life insurance, a form of permanent coverage that provides a cash value in addition to life insurance.

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.


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