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Life insurance is not something to mess around with. When you are in the market to buy a new policy, you generally do not want to buy coverage from a provider that is untested or that has poor financial ratings. After all, it may be 20 or 30 years or longer before you file a claim, and you understandably want to ensure that the provider will still be around to honor the policy that you purchased when the time comes to do so. With this in mind, it makes sense to shop for the best life insurance rates from the largest and most well-established providers. These are the top life insurance based on market share.

1. Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual is a true leader in the life insurance industry, and it offers term, whole, variable and universal life to its customers. It even offers a hybrid life insurance policy that combines the benefits of term and whole life together. With an 8.46 percent market share and an astounding superior or A++ rating with A.M. Best, this is a top company to request a quote from.

2. New York Life Insurance Co.

New York Life Insurance Co. is another top contender to request life insurance rates from. This company enjoys a 5.74 percent share of the market. It also has an A++ rating with A.M. Best, and it offers a full range of products. These products include whole, universal and variable universal life coverage. This is one of the few companies that offers a corporate-sponsored life insurance policy.

3. MetLife

MetLife, or Metropolitan Life and Affiliated Cos., has an A+ rating with A.M. Best, and this is also considered to be a superior rating. MetLife has only slightly less market share than the previous option with 5.26 percent of the market. Through this company, you can get great rates on term, whole, universal and guaranteed acceptance whole coverage.

4. Lincoln Financial Group

Another life insurance company with an A+ rating with A.M. Best is Lincoln Financial Group. This insurance company offers its customers variable universal life insurance as well as term and universal coverage. It enjoys a 4.98 percent share of the market.

5. John Hancock Financial

With 4.16 percent of the market share, John Hancock Financial is another company to request a life insurance quote from. This company boasts a 4.16 percent market share, and its products include term, universal, indexed universal and variable universal life. In addition, it has a Vitality Program that gives customers who get regular health screenings and who exercise at a gym a discount.

6. Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial has a 3.91 percent market share and an A+ rating with A.M. Best. This insurance company provides products that include universal life, indexed universal life, survivorship life, whole life, term life and variable universal life coverage.

7. MassMutual

MassMutual, or Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., has a lower market share of 3.82 percent with an A++ rating. Through MassMutual, you will have access to guaranteed acceptance whole life, variable universal life, universal life and term life coverage.

8. State Farm Life

You can also purchase term, whole and universal life insurance through State Farm Life. This company has a 3.6 percent market share. Notable, it has an A++ rating, and it boasts the highest ratings in the industry for customer satisfaction in 2015 by J.D. Power and Associates.

9. Transamerica

Transamerica, or Aegon USA Group, has a 3.57 percent market share and an A.M. Best rating of A+. It offers universal, variable universal and term life insurance with great rates.

10. American International Group (AIG)

AIG is another top contender to consider. This is the first on the list o have an A, or excellent, rating with A.M. Best, and it has 2.87 percent market share. AIG offers term, variable universal, indexed universal and standard universal coverage options.

11. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America

You can also request a quote from Guardian Life Insurance Co. of American, which has a 2.72 percent market share and an A++ rating. Guardian offers its customers policy options that include term, whole universal and variable universal life insurance.

12. Pacific Life

If you are shopping for great rates on term, universal, indexed universal or variable universal coverage, Pacific Life should be contacted. This insurance company has an A+ rating and a 2.65 percent market share.

13. AXA

Through AXA, you can request a quote for whole, term, universal, indexed universal, variable universal and survivorship life coverage. AXA has a 2.56 percent market share and an A+ rating.

14. Protective Life

Protective Life has a 2.07 percent market share, and its A.M. Best rating is A+. Survivorship life, variable universal life, universal life and term life are available through this company.

15. Voya Financial

Voya Financial is not rated by A.M. Best, but it has a 1.94 percent market share. It offers its customers variable universal, indexed universal, universal, survivorship and term life insurance options.

16. Primerica

Through Primerica, you can get coverage from a company with an A+ rating and 1.77 percent of the market share. However, this company only offers term life coverage.

17. Genworth Financial

Genworth has a B++ rating and 1.71 percent of the market. Recently, it halted the sales of new insurance and annuities products, but it continues to service established policies and customers.

18. Sammons Financial Group

Sammons Financial Group is also known as Midland National Life & North American Co., and it has an A+ rating with 1.66 percent market share. Sammons provides its customers with competitive pricing on term, variable universal and indexed universal coverage.

19. Nationwide

Nationwide is a popular name in the industry, and it has a 1.46 percent share of the market. With an A+ rating, it offers term, while, universal and variable universal life insurance.

20. Great-West Life Assurance Co.

A final option to consider is Great-West Life Assurance Co., which has 1.24 percent of the market and an A+ rating. This insurance provider offers term, whole and universal coverage to its customers.