Ron Attias is a licensed insurance broker. He has no particular loyalty to any one insurance company, so he is able to shop all major insurance carriers. This means that you always get the BEST plan at the LOWEST price. Each plan can be customized to fit your specific healthcare needs and budget.

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Written by Ron Attias
Licensed Insurance Broker Ron Attias

Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Reviewed by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier

UPDATED: Jun 24, 2022

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident life insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one life insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our life insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

AXA Equitable isn’t a company you hear about often. However, we think they have exceptional products and a strong financial background, so, therefore, they warrant an in-depth review. When we review an insurance company, whether we represent them or not, our primary objective is to present their products, underwriting process, and rates in the most unbiased way possible.

No one insurance company fits every individual out there, but we believe that every individual can be matched with the right company based on their overall needs, goals, and health history. We work with AXA and more than 50 companies. Let’s see if AXA Equitable could be a good fit for your needs.

AXA Equitable Life Insurance History

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company was founded by an American businessman, Henry Baldwin Hyde in 1859. The company is also known by these names: The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, The Equitable, or AXA. As of 2018, AXA has over 15,800 agents in the state of California.

The company opened its headquarters in 1875 near Wall Street, and after the building burned down in 1912, they moved Broadway in Manhattan. In 1943 during WWII, AXA offered group life insurance to U.S. government civilians who worked around war zones, covering about 7,000 employees.

By 1945, they had to pay for only 24 death claims which were around 30% of the collected premiums. AXA goal is to provide stability and peace of mind to its clients so that they can manifest their dreams.

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AXA Equitable Life Insurance Ratings

  • A.M. Best: A (Excellent) 
  • Moody’s: A2 (Good)
  • Standard & Poor’s: A+ (Strong)

Products Offered by AXA Equitable

AXA offers retirement, investment, and life insurance products for both individuals and employers. This review will only cover its life insurance products which are term, whole, indexed universal, and variable universal life insurance.

BrightLife Term

Term life insurance provides temporary protection for a specified period. If the insured dies during that time, the beneficiaries will receive the death benefit, which is usually paid tax-free. It’s the most affordable protection you can buy because it doesn’t have any added features such as cash value accumulation or savings components.

Simply put, you pay for “pure coverage” and nothing else. The premium remains the same through the initial contract and in the end, you can convert the policy to whole life without proof of insurability or continue paying on an annual basis (Annual renewable term). AXA offers 1-, 10-, 15- or 20-year term lengths.

Below are additional highlights:

  • Issue ages: 18–75 (not available on all term lengths)
  • Minimum face amount: $500,000
  • Renewable to age 95
  • Conversion period: on the policy anniversary date or the insured’s age 70
  • Level premiums for 1, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Guaranteed conversion credit of 25% if you convert it during the first five years

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Interest Sensitive Whole Life

For some, having predictability and security is the only way they would prefer to go. If this is you, a permanent whole life coverage provides just that. Your premium and death benefit are fixed for life. When the insured passes away, his beneficiaries will collect the face amount, no matter when that happens.

When you pay your premium, a portion goes towards the cost of insurance (COI), and the remainder is allocated to a cash accumulation account which you can get access in the future should you need a loan. Your cash value accumulation is guaranteed to increase each year and will equal the face amount (the purchased death benefit) at age 100.

  • Issue ages: 0–85 (not available on all health classes)
  • Minimum face amount: $50,000
  • Guaranteed death benefit and premiums
  • Interest rate is guaranteed to never fall below 2%

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

For others who are looking for cash accumulation with flexibility, IUL is the best option. IUL provides guaranteed death benefit with cash value growth that is linked to index performance.

Each time you pay your premium, a portion goes to pay for the benefit that protects your loved ones, and the rest goes to earn interest based on an index or a fixed account. If the index performed well, your account value will grow accordingly.

If the index had negative returns, your cash value will not decrease because a 0% floor protects you. You can access the cash value if you need to get a loan or surrender your policy.

AXA offers three types of IULs:

  1. IUL Protect: Offers an affordable IUL with moderate value accumulation by offering two account options from which clients can choose: the select account which has the upside potential since it’s index-linked or the guaranteed interest that is guaranteed never to be lower than 2.5 percent. For the ones who select the index account, if the interest rate rises, they can get an additional cash value on top of the already earned interest rate. Another notable advantage, this policy comes with a no-lapse guarantee option to age 90 or for 40 years if purchased under age 50. This means you will have a simple premium you need to pay for the policy to be in force.
  2. BrightLife Grow: Is designed for affluent clients who are looking for maximum growth and flexibility. It offers three premium allocation accounts:
    • Market Segment for a guaranteed interest account will never be less than two percent annually.
    • Equity Indexes for large-cap investment such as the S&P 500.
    • Upside Index Cap for those who are seeking maximum growth.
  3. BrightLife Grow Survivorship: Also called second-to-die life insurance because it only pays after the second person dies. It’s universal life insurance with indexed-linked crediting options and flexible premiums.

Variable Universal Life Insurance

Just like universal life or indexed universal life insurance, variable universal life offers permanent protection with a guaranteed death benefit to be paid tax-free when the insured passes away.

However, the allocated portion of your premium is invested in higher risk investment options such as equities portfolio, options, and bonds to name a few. Your policy may be worth less than what you paid in premiums into it.

AXA offers two VUL:

  1. IncentiveLife Legacy III: Designed to provide a higher growth for your money by providing three accounts in which you can park your money:
    • Investment Options: With over 90 investment options ranging from bonds, sectors, asset allocation, and managed strategies. There is an investment for every person and any risk tolerance. You will also have access to a financial professional who will work with you to achieve your goals and match you with the right portfolio.
    • Market Stabilizer: This option offers some certainty and balance. You trade a high-risk potential for average returns with protection. If the S&P performance is negative, your returns will be zero up to -25%. If there is a more substantial decline, AXA will absorb the first -25% of the loss. Note that there is still a risk of significant loss.
    • Guaranteed Interest: This account has no involvement in any investment and will offer a minimum of 1.5 percent annually.
  2. IncentiveLife Optimizer III: Gives the ability to accumulate even more cash than Life Legacy plan by offering even more diversification strategies and market stabilizer options to protect you against a market decline, but allows you to take part in the gains.

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Optional Riders

Life insurance riders are an add-on to a policy to enrich or enhance its benefit. Note that riders aren’t available on all products and states.

  • Children’s term: Provides term life on the insured’s children. Children can convert the policy to whole life without going through underwriting or an exam.
  • Disability waiver of premium: If the insured becomes totally disabled, AXA will waive premiums and keep the policy active.
  • Living benefits: This rider is added at no additional charge. The insured can withdraw a portion of the death benefit if he was diagnosed with a terminal illness and has less than 12 months to live.
  • Automatic premium: Will pay the policy’s premium using the cash value account.
  • Cash value plus: This rider provides surrender cost reduction if you cancel the policy in the first eight years.
  • Long-term care: If you become chronically ill and are eligible for an accelerated death benefit, you will be able to use it towards long-care expenses.
  • Option to purchase additional insurance: Allows clients to increase their death benefit by buying extra coverage without proof of insurability.
  • Return of premium: Provides the beneficiaries extra death benefit that is equal to the amount of paid premium added to the base death benefit amount.
  • Charitable legacy: Provides an extra 1% of the current face value to qualified charitable organizations chosen by the insured.
  • No-lapse guarantee: Allows fixed premium amounts during the no-lapse period in which the coverage will not lapse and stay in force as long as premiums are paid.
  • Option to split upon divorce: Allows two individuals on a survivorship policy to divide the policy into two individual policies upon divorce without proof of insurability.

AXA Equitable vs. Other Carriers’ Sample Monthly Rates

Male 20-year Term $500,000

 Company Age 30 Age 40 Age 50 Age 60
 Protective  $20.21  $28.38  $75.68  $205.97
 Banner  $20.12  $32.68  $74.39  $205.97
 AIG  $20.24  $30.62  $77.76  $213.57
 Foresters  $21.00  $31.50  $79.19  $223.56
 Lincoln $21.00  $30.28  $78.71  $214.33
 Mutual of Omaha  $21.61  $33.42  $85.05  $249.55
 Principal  $22.75  $31.50  $78.66  $213.50
 SBLI  $21.32  $36.92  $96.06  $286.85
 AXA  $23.94  $35.06  $84.22  $228.29
 Prudential  $33.25  $41.56  $83.56  $250.25
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Female 20-year Term $500,000

 Company Age 30 Age 40 Age 50 Age 60
 Protective  $17.63  $24.94  $55.47  $139.32
 Banner  $17.11  $25.49  $55.47  $145.00
 AIG  $17.21  $27.16  $63.06  $163.40
 Foresters  $18.81  $27.13  $57.75  $165.81
 Lincoln $18.16  $26.16  $58.41  $148.05
 Mutual of Omaha  $18.99  $28.61  $64.05  $169.93
 Principal  $19.69  $26.69  $59.24  $149.27
 SBLI  $19.14  $29.67  $65.87  $173.03
 Transamerica  $19.78  $34.83  $73.10  $204.68
 AXA  $20.09  $32.49  $68.83  $159.46
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Male 20-year Term $1,000,000

 Company Age 30 Age 40 Age 50 Age 60
 Protective  $33.97  $51.17  $142.33  $396.03
 Banner  $37.84  $58.48  $140.61  $406.63
 AIG  $34.95  $53.98  $144.80  $418.14
 Foresters  $34.13  $56.00  $150.50  $438.38
 Lincoln $49.00  $70.00  $147.70  $418.78
 Mutual of Omaha  $37.80  $59.68  $161.18  $481.43
 Principal  $38.50  $55.56  $147.88  $418.78
 SBLI  $35.24  $56.03  $147.73  $457.62
 Transamerica  $39.56  $80.84  $178.02  $483.32
 AXA  $40.61  $60.28  $159.46  $425.36
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Female 20-year Term $1,000,000

 Company Age 30 Age 40 Age 50 Age 60
 Protective  $28.81  $43.43  $101.91  $267.03
 Banner  $28.72  $50.09  $110.51  $294.55
 AIG  $28.89  $47.92  $117.12  $309.15
 Foresters  $29.75  $47.25  $107.63  $322.88
 Lincoln $38.50  $53.38  $108.50  $283.33
 Mutual of Omaha  $31.68  $50.93  $119.18  $324.80
 Principal  $32.16  $46.81  $108.94  $283.50
 SBLI  $29.67  $44.28  $104.57  $272.92
 Transamerica  $32.68  $65.36  $139.32  $388.72
 AXA  $32.92  $52.58  $116.71  $292.84
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*All rates quoted on this page are for a super-preferred healthy individual who does not use tobacco. Monthly rates are updated as of Sep 2018 and are subject to underwriting approval.*

Bottom Line

AXA Equitable is mostly geared to the indexed and variable universal life products as they offer many options and riders to suit most individuals. On the term life, they lack the 30-year term length as the most extended period is only 20 years.

Additionally, they don’t have a no-exam life insurance option and are overpriced at the time of this article.

They do have outstanding customer support and strong financial background, but for the average buyer who is looking for term life insurance, I would recommend looking elsewhere.

We at Effortless Insurance work with more than 50 companies and promise to present all options in an unbiased fashion because we work for you and not the insurance companies.

You can enter your information on the quote engine on the right-hand side to compare all companies with a click.