Unbiased and from an Independent Rating Agency
Many websites and individuals are on the internet providing information or discussing various topics related to life insurance and individual life insurance carriers. Good Life Protection takes pride in delivering information to consumers from an unbiased honest approach. In this Mass Mutual life insurance review, keep in mind we are not directly tied to any one carrier at Good Life Protection.
We independently represent and work for the consumers. We deliver up to date information to allow you to make the best decisions for you and your families protection needs.
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company has held its standards high for many years. It is one of the largest life insurance companies that currently exist. Founded in 1851 and currently headquartered in Springfield Massachusetts, the company continues to be a trendsetter and Goliath in the life insurance industry.
Mass Mutual currently employs more than 7,000 individuals in the United States alone. If you add in international employees, the number jumps to 10,600. Mass Mutual is currently ranking in the top 100 on the Fortune 500 list coming in at a solid ranking of number 76.
As of 2016, Mass Mutual enjoys revenues of roughly 30 billion dollars and a total of 675 billion dollars of current assets under management. Talk about making it rain!
Mass Mutual began back in 1851. George W. Rice tossed out $100,000.00 dollars of his own money to begin the monster life insurance company it has become today. Back in the mid-1800’s, minimal amounts of capital were required to get a life insurance company up and running.
Soon, people began to catch on the mutual company’s growth that spiked considerably during this era.
Mass Mutual offers a wide and diverse product lineup that we will discuss here shortly.
Roughly 12 more companies were born after attempting to follow suit with Mass Mutual. Mass Mutual began building its reserves up to have suffice liquidity and funds available for claims until it eventually began to take off and launch.
Let’s look at the timeline for Mass Mutual and how things have developed over the years.
Mass Mutual has been one of the industry leaders for many years and shows no current signs of slowing down. Different Life Insurance products and growth continues to be seen by this life insurance carrier. Some products may be slightly higher than other options available. Overall, Mass Mutual would never be a poor choice to serve your life insurance needs.
Mass Mutual continues to post some of the strongest financial ratings of all life insurance carriers and financial institutions in the world.
Mass Mutual holding these ratings goes to show they have a dominance and belief of continued ability to meet claims. Also, it shows that Mass Mutual remains a top pick for a company that will be around for the long haul.
When reviewing life insurance companies, Good Life Protection finds financial strength ratings to be highly important. It goes to prove not only track record, but future solvency. When it comes to this review of Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company, they pass the test with flying colors.
Although the name clearly gives this away, Mass Mutual is a “Mutual Company”. In a mutual company, the policy owners comprise the ownership of the company. Think of it like this: As a policyholder, you are both a client and owner of the company.
Mutual companies pay this share of ownership in the form of dividends. The opposite of a stock company in which ownership is comprised of only the stock certificate holders of the proportionate shared that is currently owned. There is no public trading with a Mutual Company. Also, there is no fear of majority shareholders making drastic changes or selling off pieces of the company.
So how does Mass Mutual pay back the “part owners” of the company in the share of dividends?
Let’s review this for a moment.
It is important to understand that dividends are never guaranteed. Even from a company with a rich and credible history of paying them to policy owners. Good Life Protection wants this Mass Mutual review to provide you with up to date information. We also want to inform consumers that we have no ties directly to Mass Mutual. You should know the specifics and understand certain statistics are always subject to change from year to year.
Again, dividends are never guaranteed. Here’s a look at Mass Mutual recent dividend history:
We cannot emphasize enough that dividends are never guaranteed by the mutual companies. However, Mass Mutual has paid these dividends loyally since 1869. If that is not enough to feel comfortable, I am not sure what would be. The United States and world economy has gone through many tests and bad runs through time frames. Yet, Mass Mutual seems to have withstood the test of time and kept its promise to policyholders.
INSIDER TIP- YOU ALSO NEED TO KEEP IN MIND THAT DIVIDEND INTEREST RATE DOES NOT MEAN RATE OF RETURN ON PARTICIPATING WHOLE LIFE POLICIES.
YOU STILL MUST FACTOR IN MORTALITY COST AND EXPENSES IN THE POLICY TO CREATE A NET RATE OF RETURN WITHIN THE POLICY.
That’s a fantastic question and we are glad you asked.
Dividends are simply a way of getting money dumped back into your participating policies. You do have options of what you choose to do with them. Here is what Mass Mutual will allow you to do with your dividends.
Paid up additions with Mass Mutual is by far the most common. It is the most common among all whole life policies that are participating. It allows the life insurance policy to add in death benefit and cash value. This ultimately allows more dividends to be collected on a larger participating policy. It seems that with Mass Mutual’s track record, they aim to provide policy owners with dividends year in and year out.
We thought a few of you still may be wondering, how do these really help my policy? How is my dividend applied to my participating life insurance policy?
So, what would be better than seeing an example?
In our example, we will use a female age 30. This individual was qualified for preferred rates. They chose to purchase a $200,000.00-legacy whole life policy with Mass Mutual. Her annual premium was $2500.00 yearly or $208.00 per month.
At the end of 2017- her cash value in her policy was $25,000.00. We already discussed before in the graph above that 2017 dividend rate with Mass Mutual was 6.7%. We also discussed how this number does not directly relate to the rate of return. Since this lady qualified for preferred rates, her mortality and expense charges (charges to fund the death benefit) totaled $500.00 for the year. Here is what the dividends would be doing for you.
2017 End of Year Cash Value- 2017- $25,000.00 +
2017 Annual Premium Paid- 2017- $2500.00 –
2017 Mortality and Expense Charges- $500.00
$27,000.00 End of 2017 Cash Value- Dividend Interest Rate= 6.70%
$27,000.00 x 6.70 %= $1809.00
$1809.00 + $27,000.00 = $28,809.00 Beginning of 2018 Cash Value
Wash and repeat. Obviously, the interest changes year to year. You can see how the dividends can help you build value and cash within a participating policy. Good Life Protection does not necessarily believe whole life is the way to go. A good company to look at for whole life is Mass Mutual.
So what other products does Mass Mutual offer? Let’s dive into them.
Mass Mutual Life Insurance Review
Mass Mutual offers term life insurance like all other major life insurance carriers. Good Life Protection wants to take a moment to review Mass Mutual and the individual products that they offer. To kick things off we will look at Mass Mutual Vantage Term life insurance.
Mass Mutual offers the Vantage Term Life Insurance in the following options-
This is common. Almost all life insurance carriers are going to offer the same options, so nothing here really stands out. Mass Mutual also offers some attractive riders and features within the Vantage Term products such as:
Some of the riders include-
Waiver of Premium Rider- This lays an extra blanket of protection for the policy owner. It allows the policy owner to waive the premiums. It lets Mass Mutual pick up the tab if the policy owner becomes disabled and unable to pay the premiums.
Accelerated Death Benefit Rider- A lot of agents and consumers such as yourself, could refer to this rider as living benefits. It is the ability to use the death benefit or some of it before death. Reasons that would trigger this rider to kick could be:
INSIDER TIP- ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT THE PORTION USED FOR THIS RIDER IS NOT FREE. IT IS DEDUCTED FROM THE FINAL DEATH BENEFIT.
Convertibility- Mass Mutual takes pride and has a heavy emphasis on the permanent products they offer (whole life). The Vantage Term products will be convertible into permanent insurance with a new medical exam or underwriting. Your original underwriting class will be used. But, premiums will increase to reflect the change.
INSIDER TIP- SPEAK TO YOUR INDEPENDENT LIFE INSURANCE AGENT. PRODUCTS ARE NOT CONVERTIBLE FOREVER. WITH MASS MUTUAL, YOU MAY CONVERT UP TO THE 10TH YEAR OF THE POLICY ANNIVERSARY OR AGE 65, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.
EXCEPTION- EXCEPT WITH ANNUAL RENEWABLE TERM WITH MASS MUTUAL, THE 5TH POLICY YEAR WILL BE YOUR LAST WINDOW TO CONVERT IN THIS PRODUCT. AVOID ANNUAL RENEWABLE TERMS WHEN POSSIBLE.
As we discussed previously, Mass Mutual offers the Vantage Term products in 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 Year level premium term options. Good Life Protection wants to break down the pricing of these products for you and go a little further in depth. For all examples, we are going to use a Male- Preferred Rates (2nd best class for health ratings) at $250,000.00 of life insurance coverage.
Let’s not forget the ladies in these examples. Same example. $250,000.00 in coverage at Preferred Rates
Now that you know the rates, let’s see how Mass Mutual stacks up against other carriers on price. After all, a true Mass Mutual review would not leave out the competitors in the same space.
The example will be the same but we will only show one age to keep things simple. Male Age 25- Preferred Rates- $250,000.00 In Coverage or (Face Amount)
30 Year Mass Mutual Vantage Term Vs. Competition
Good Life Protection stacked Mass Mutual against the other two top term providers. Our agency often uses these two due to best options currently available on the life insurance market.
Again, we do not have any direct ties to one life insurance carrier. We only represent and go to bat for the consumer. None of these companies should be viewed as better or worse than the others. I do want to emphasize that I talk to hundreds of people every week. What is the biggest problem I see when speaking with most consumers?As we can see from the illustration above, it is a very close comparison when it comes to price. All three of these companies do certain things great. Many consumers have been told or led to believe that mutual companies term rates are higher.
Sticker shock and window shopping. Yes, reputable life insurance companies all pay claims the same. Some may be slower than others but they do pay claims. Yet, people do not treat life insurance like they do a new vehicle purchase.
When you buy a new vehicle, we would all agree that the more you pay, the more you get. Right? Well, life insurance can be the exact same scenario. Sometimes you are buying built in riders, company strength, and additional benefits that life insurance carriers excel in.
For example, Protective Life is one of few carriers that offer you run past your expiration on your term policy. Also, not have your prices ballooned or skyrocketed. They simply start dropping your coverage down. Any of you reading this that has experienced an expiring term knows this is a huge benefit. Speaking to an Agent who knows these things could save you more than you think in the long run.
This is not necessarily true. It depends on the company and what they focus on. You will notice on almost every blog post Good Life Protection and myself set out to provide, I stress the importance of working with someone who represents all the carriers or one that can give you all the options necessary.
Mass Mutual or Massachusetts Life Insurance Company takes pride in the power of a whole policy which we will cover now. We will look at the good and the bad associated with whole life and how Mass Mutual stacks up against the competition.
Mass Mutual has an entire lineup for whole life insurance. It is known as the Legacy Series. Within the Legacy Series, you have options of different policies that are all unique. These policies will be participating policies that can collect dividends and grow in value over time. Somewhat large growth with a company like Mass Mutual.
Whole Life Legacy 100–
This whole life policy will offer permanent insurance for life with guaranteed cash growth. The level premiums on the whole life legacy 100 will be guaranteed to age 100. After which time, no more premiums will be paid into the policy. Clever name, right? The policy is guaranteed to build cash value of the years and never decline due to market conditions. The growth rate is not necessarily guaranteed, it is only guaranteed that it will not decline and it will grow.
Whole Life Legacy 65–
The whole life legacy 65 is the exact same scenario as the whole life legacy 65. The premiums are guaranteed level premiums to age 65. At age 65, your policy is paid up, growing cash and covering you until death.
Whole Life Legacy 20–
Again, the same scenario as before but this does not stop at a specific age. The whole life legacy 20 pay with Mass Mutual allows you to condense premiums paid into 20 years so that you have a paid-up insurance policy after only 20 years of payments.
This can be an effective way to speed up the compound interest and cash growth while getting ready of pesky insurance premiums. This could also serve as a great supplement to a well-diversified retirement plan.
Whole Life Legacy 10 Pay–
I think you are seeing the trend here. You will be finished paying on this whole life policy in a short ten years. Yes, the premiums will be larger but once it is complete. You are guaranteed to see growth and never pay a premium again.
Another strong tool for children’s life insurance plans when life insurance is pennies on the dollar or when diversifying an estate plan or retirement portfolio.
Whole Life Legacy HECV–
This product is unique compared to the other Mass Mutual whole life options. HECV stands for High Early Cash Value (HECV). This policy guarantees the policy premiums remain level to age 85. The policy offers much higher cash values early in the life of the policy. This is typically a good plan for businesses that need to lighten the impact early in the policy.
Survivorship Whole Life Legacy 20 Pay- This product will allow you to cover two people at the same time. The death benefit will be paid by Mass Mutual upon the second death. Typically, these policies are cheaper than insuring just one individual for the same amount of coverage. This specific option will allow you to condense the life insurance premiums into an easy 20 pay period. You will have a paid-up policy covering you and a spouse or two business partners after paying in for 20 years.
Survivorship Whole Life Legacy 100- This policy with Mass Mutual will perform the same as the legacy 100 for one individual except it will be covering two individuals. Premiums will be completed at age 100 on this specific policy option.
Each of these options could pose unique advantages and disadvantages to consumers. You should weigh your options carefully before making your ultimate decisions. The smaller the pay frame, the larger the life insurance premiums and the opposite is true as well. The longer you pay the premiums, the lower they will be. Makes sense, right?
Mass Mutual Riders Available with the Legacy Whole Life Series
For an individual explanation of each rider, reach out to a licensed professional with Good Life Protection. We are here to help. Or, always feel free to click on the individual riders to learn more about the benefits of how they can help you build the perfect life insurance policy.
Let’s look at example rates for each of these options.
We are going to use an individual achieving preferred rates after completing underwriting. For the sake of the illustration, we will look at all Mass Mutual Whole Life Legacy products on a Male Age 40- $100,000.00-$500,000.00 in Coverage. (Non-Smoker)
INSIDER TIP- FORESTERS FINANCIAL IS ANOTHER EXTREMELY REPUTABLE WELL-KNOWN CARRIER OFFERING WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE AT COMPETITIVE RATES. GOOD LIFE PROTECTION HAS NO DIRECT CONNECTION TO ANY ONE COMPANY. BUT, WE LIKE TO SHOW SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISONS OF EACH COMPANY.$100,000.00 Whole 20 Pay- Male Age 35- Preferred Rates
Universal Life can be a bit intimidating to understand.
MassMutual offers a product lineup for Universal Life as well. Universal life has earned its spot in the industry since it is flexible. Flexibility is something all consumers often strive for. Good Life Protection often recommends Universal Life instead of Whole Life insurance depending on the situation. Good Life Protection also wants to point that other great Universal Life providers are available to you.
Let’s look at some options for Universal life with Mass Mutual.
The UL guard with Massachusetts Life Insurance is built for flexibility. You can tailor to make this policy to fit your needs. The longer you pay into the UL guard, the lower your annual premium will be going forward.
If you prefer to pay premiums over a shorter time such as 20 years or even 10, the premiums will be higher. You can even elect to make only one premium payment and you will be completely done paying for the policy.
You can either elect to guarantee your benefits for life which is known as Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL) or you can shorten the guaranteed time frame. Typically, these policies are great for two major reasons:
It can also be beneficial to use the policies for employee retention as a business or for pure business protection.
Let’s take a glance at some of the rates.
This will be for a 40-year-old male- preferred rates (non-smoker) for a UL Guard with MassMutual.
How does Mass Mutual Compare to Competition for Universal Life?
Let’s look and find out.
MassMutual offers long-term care insurance in the form of their product known as, Signature Care. This product is one of the best long-term care insurance options currently available. This is not a rider or an extra perk on a traditional life insurance policy.
This is a policy of its own to protect against a growing issue that most people, unfortunately, will face. For males and females combined, studies show that the chances of needing long term care are rising over 50%. The average male and female need long-term care typically for 2-3 years.
Those costs can add up quickly. The long-term care policies with Mass Mutual can help reduce some of the burden.
Let’s break down the plan a bit.
Mass Mutual structures its long-term care to be a participating policy. The same concept as discussed before with whole life insurance with Mass Mutual. It is eligible to receive dividends but they are never guaranteed. It is also a little tougher to see in action on a long-term care with Mass Mutual. The dividends will be credited to your account either when:
The product is currently available for people ages 40-75. Only three underwriting classes are available for the long-term care product with Mass Mutual.
Many options are available with how to structure Mass Mutual long-term care policies.
MassMutual also offers a signature product known as, Care Choice One. It is the downfall for some of you because it is a single premium product. You pay once and then it is complete. I am sure this could also be considered an upside for some consumers as well.
This policy allows you to use cash values from your life insurance death benefit to cover the cost of
long-term care. In the event your life insurance benefits have been depleted, you can still kick in the long-term care part of the policy to cover cost.
The Mass Mutual care choice one is also a participating policy allowing you to be eligible to collect dividends.
Again, dividends are never guaranteed. You virtually are using this product to protect assets and avoid wealth depletion. In exchange for your premium, you will be given either a lump sum death benefit or a four-year benefit of long term care insurance or a combination. Here is a more in depth look at the Mass Mutual Care Choice One product.
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance also offers annuity products. The most popular option is Mass Mutual’s Retire Ease product. The Retire Ease product is a single premium annuity meaning, you would perform a onetime purchase and or premium payment.
In exchange, Mass Mutual would be guaranteeing you an interest rate return and lifetime income. When purchasing the annuity, you would have several options of payout options. These would all greatly impact your revenue stream. Mass Mutual currently offers the following payout options on the Retire Ease product.
Many factors go into deciding which one of these options is best for you and your individual needs. You should work with a professional to go over the pros and cons of the different shapes and sizes an annuity can be structured.
MassMutual offers disability income insurance in the form of their signature product known as, Radius Disability. Your benefit period can be structured to pay after an elimination period of…
Next on the list would be your benefit period of either…
Mass Mutual also offers up to nine additional riders built into the disability policy.
Mass Mutual also offers Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance. The product is only available for individuals ages 50-75. For a deeper look at Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance, see here.
Our overall take on the product at Good Life Protection is that it is flawed compared to other Mass Mutual products. It is higher priced and not advertise in the best light. It reminds us a bit of how Colonial Penn advertises its whole life. Mass Mutual advertises for as low as $10.00 per month but that is simply for a female age 50 at the lowest coverage amount.
Mass Mutual is not the toughest underwriting company that exists. It is also not the easiest underwriting process. Anyone with normal health will have no issues. Even with minor health issues, you should have no problem. Major health issues are not a strength of Mass Mutual unless considering the Mass Mutual direct guaranteed issue life insurance.
Good Life Protection always recommends using an independent broker such as us to analyze your situation. Also, to give you the options for the best life insurance carriers that can fit your budget and health.
Mass Mutual also offers a wide variety of financial planning tools and products. With Mass Mutual, you can begin common retirement planning vehicles such as…
Other options with Mass Mutual
Although it seems most of our review of Mass Mutual has been promising thus far, we do want to point out the ugly with Mass Mutual.
These are Good Life Protections biggest complaints and negative feedback for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance.
It is tough to say anything bad about a company like Mass Mutual. They do a lot of things well and are very competitive in many markets with many products. They perhaps have the best permanent life insurance products available. They have held that reputation for many years. With a huge variety of companies always trying to be in the mix for business, it is impressive in our eyes that they have been able to have such a stronghold on the permanent product market.
Mass Mutual does not show any signs of slowing down and continues to unravel new competing products and stay an industry leader.
Good Life Protection always recommends looking at all options. You should always work with someone who can show you all life insurance carriers. Thankfully, we are one of those companies that can do just that.
Overall Grade Report- A