Ethos’s strong partnerships and fast online underwriting make it a life insurance provider to watch as we head into 2019.

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InsuranceRanked Score 3.6
Year Founded 2017
Medical Exam Required? No

Ethos 2020 Review

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Ethos Life Insurance Review – Pros, Cons and Coverage

Ethos’s strong partnerships and fast online underwriting make it a life insurance provider to watch as we head into 2019.

Ethos has an impressive roster of funding behind it. Jay-Z, Kevin Durant, Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Google Ventures have all gotten on board with $46m in funding to date. What is it about Ethos, an insur-tech company, that has celebrity investors so interested?

Ethos is a direct-to-consumer insurance agency which sells 10-30 year term life insurance policies. Term life policies expire at a fixed time.

Besides selling directly to consumers, Ethos also partners with established insurance companies such as Franklin Madison and the HR platform Namely.

If you wouldn’t normally consider life insurance, Ethos wants to convince you otherwise. 99% of applicants don’t need to take a medical exam. Most customers can sign up within 10 minutes. You apply online but can also call Ethos if needed.

Most of Ethos’s customers are Americans and permanent residents between the ages of 40 and 60. Consumers aged 18-75 can apply and must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Ethos: What You Need to Know

Ethos was founded in 2017 in San Francisco by 2 Stanford MBA graduates. Ethos is backed by Assurity Life Insurance and reinsured by Munich RE. It sells and issues policies online with no commissioned insurance agents.

How Does Ethos Life Insurance Work?

Ethos underwrites and sells 10-30 year term life policies. It underwrites customers (with no medical exam) using predictive analytics based on driving records, medical history, and other information.

Though Ethos bills itself as a direct-to-consumer agency, it also does a lot of business through its partnerships. Because the underwriting process is quick and no medical exams are required, Ethos reaches people traditional life insurance companies don’t.

Who Is Eligible for Ethos Life Insurance?

Customers ages 18-75 are eligible to apply.

There are 10, 15, 20, and 30-year terms.

  • Up to 30- year terms: ages 18-55 (nonsmokers) and 18-50 (smokers)
  • Up to 20-year terms: ages 56-65 (nonsmokers) and 51-65 (smokers)
  • Up to 15-year terms: ages 66-70
  • 10-year terms: ages 71-75


You can customize your plan with the following riders.

  • Disability income
    • Policyholders receive a monthly cash payment if they become disabled due to a covered illness
  • Critical illness rider
    • Policyholders get one lump sum payout if they are diagnosed with a covered critical illness such as an invasive cancer
  • Return of premium
    • For 20 and 30-year policies
    • If you outlive your policy, Ethos will return some or all of your premium dollars

Where is Ethos Insurance Available?

It is available in all 50 states except New York.

How Much Does Ethos Cost?

According to the website, $1 a day could get you $1m in coverage (assuming a 30-year-old in good health).

Plans at the base level ($25k coverage limit) start as low as $6/month.

Total costs depend on your age, weight, health, occupation, criminal activity, driving history, and past insurance claims or denials, plus other possible factors.

What Does Ethos Life Insurance Cover?

Ethos life insurance is similar to other life insurance plans. It covers death for most reasons. Usually, death by suicide has a 2-year waiting period.

Risk Factors

High-risk activities that are normally not covered (or that incur high rates) are:

  • Mountain or rock climbing with special equipment
  • Learning to fly a plane or operating a plane (except commercial pilots)
  • Scuba diving
  • Automobile or motorcycle racing

Applicants in hazardous occupations may or may not be eligible for coverage with Ethos. If they are they will pay higher rates.

Contestability Period

Insurers may review policies within the first two years of purchase to ensure information is accurate. This is called the contestability period. Assurity may examine claims filed during this time more closely.

This could happen while a policyholder is alive or after a claim has been filed. It’s crucial for applicants to give accurate information about their medical issues and lifestyle.

Coverage Limits

Coverage limits start at $25,000 and go up to $10,000,000.

Ethos Life Insurance Features

  • Founded in 2017
  • Headquartered in San Francisco, CA
  • Offers 10, 15, 20 and 30-year term life insurance policies
  • Claims process is done through email
  • Backed by celebrity investors like Jay-Z, Kevin Durant and Robert Downey Jr.
  • Partners with multiple companies to reach the uninsured consumer market
  • Offers riders

Pros and Cons of Ethos Life Insurance

Here are some pros and cons we found:


  • Fast online underwriting process
  • No medical exam for 99% of applicants ($1m coverage and below)
  • 30-year term policies
  • No wait times for some
  • Coverage goes up to $10m
  • Offers riders such as disability and critical illness


  • Must enter credit card information to see final quote
  • Difficult to find contact info
  • Must create an account to get final quote
  • No mobile app
  • Claims filing process is done through email
  • Website is hard to navigate and has few tips and resources
  • You must start the application to find out what kind of coverage is offered

Ethos Life Insurance Customer Reviews

According to reviews on Google, customers like the online application. Some were able to get coverage instantly as promised.

But Ethos’s promise of fast policies within 10 minutes does not hold true for everyone. Sometimes follow-up takes days, or even weeks.

William Chroust Jr. writes “I filled out the online application and received a follow-up email that asked me to clarify one question for them on my application. I did and a few day later I received a phone call advising me I had been approved at the quote given.”

M Hale had a 4-week wait. He writes “I got a quote for $300k coverage at $39 a month. They said they would get back to me. Understand I'm a 44-year-old healthy firefighter. After about 4 weeks (instant my arse) they got back to me, spent nearly an hour grilling me about my health history. Then they took another week to tell me I was approved, but at nearly 60 a month. I said no thanks. I will find insurance elsewhere.”

How to Apply for Ethos Life Insurance

  1. Go to

  2. Click “Get My Price”.

  3. You must enter the following information

    1. Basic Info
    2. Your Lifestyle
    3. Your Health
    4. Payment Info
    5. Confirmation
  4. During the process you will also have to create an account with your email.

  5. If Ethos doesn’t require additional information from you, you will be able to buy your policy instantly. Otherwise, you’ll get a call or email with some questions.

How to File an Insurance Claim with Ethos

To file a claim, email [email protected] with the policyholder’s and beneficiary’s (or beneficiaries’) information.

How to Contact Ethos

Website: Address: 460 Bryant St San Francisco, CA 94107 Customer support: +1 (415) 843-8467 +1 (415) 516-3538 Email support: [email protected] [email protected]

Does Ethos Offer Other Kinds of Insurance?

No. Ethos only offers life insurance.


The lack of consumer-facing information from Ethos leads us to believe that it is focused on growing its partnerships. With partnerships, it can more easily reach its target market.

Young families may see the appeal in choosing Ethos since there is no need for in-person meetings or long sales calls. There is no danger of being upsold to an expensive and complicated whole life insurance policy.

Other customers may miss the convenience of talking to someone in person and going through the options. Ethos sells a fairly simple product but since this is insurance, there is still much for customers to understand.

It was possible to track down some customer service phone numbers through Google but we found it odd that they aren’t listed on Ethos’s website.

As for actual payment of claims, time will tell. We hope Ethos lives up to the ethical promise of its name, and to the confidence of its celebrity backers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to buy an Ethos life insurance policy?

People between the ages of 18 and 75 are eligible to apply.

Non-smokers between the ages of 18-55 and smokers aged 18-50 can buy up to 30-year terms. Non-smokers between the ages of 56-65 and smokers between the ages of 51-65 can buy up to 20-year terms.

Ages 66-70 are eligible to buy up to 15-year terms. And ages 71-75 are eligible to buy 10-year terms.

Are Ethos’s rates affordable?

Yes. Because Ethos has cut out many of the costs associated with the insurance buying process it can keep its rates low.

What plans does Ethos offer?

Ethos offers 10, 15, 20 and 30-year term life policies.

How can Ethos issue policies so quickly?

Ethos uses predictive analytics that account for your health, hobbies, occupation, driving history, and other factors. Healthier, younger applicants usually get lower rates. A history of alcohol or drug addiction will drive up your rates.

What happens if I miss a payment?

After 30 days of non-payment, Ethos will cancel your policy and you will have to reapply.

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