MetLife ended its association with Snoopy and Peanuts gang in 2016 after dropping them from its marketing. It then introduced a new tagline and logo, “MetLife. Navigating Life Together.” It had been more than 30 years since the company made such a drastic change to its brand. MetLife transferred most of its individual life insurance and annuity business in the U.S. to Brighthouse Financial in 2017, a company that was already selling the same annuity products and individual life insurance products.
Even 140 years since its inception, MetLife is still a global leader in life insurance, annuities, and employee benefits programs. So, let’s dive into our MetLife (Brighthouse Financial) Insurance review:
MetLife has been an industry leader for insurance and financial products for more than 140 years, and the company was initiated in 1863. It was formed by a group of businessmen in New York City, under the name of National Union Life and Limb Insurance Company. The focus of the organization was to ensure soldiers and sailors against wartime disabilities during the U.S. Civil War.
However, the company didn’t make a good start, and by the end of 1864 had only written 17 life insurance, and 64 accident insurance policies. This placed it at the bottom of all other life insurance companies operating in New York. It was 5 years later that the company decided to eliminate the casualty part of the business and focused solely on life insurance.
This was the beginning for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Its first office only had 2 rooms, and there was only space for 6 employees. The company faced great struggles during the U.S. Great Depression but then imported English agents to train its sales force in America. This had a galvanizing effect as integrating successful British methods for selling insurance meant that MetLife began writing hundreds of policies every day.
The insurance company grew exponentially, and by 1909 had become the largest life insurance company in the United States. New York City, New York, is still the headquarters of MetLife, till this day and it offers a comprehensive range of financial and insurance products. The company is a leader in retirement, and savings products, and is the biggest life insurer in North America.
MetLife currently sells life insurance through workplaces, as the term limits, policy types, and coverage options are chosen by employers. I have also covered information on the insurance offerings and industry ratings of MetLife to give you a better idea about its products.
To help you understand the different products offered by MetLife in greater detail, I will review their specific policy options and features they offer.
MetLife is a giant of the industry and offers both term and permanent life insurance. Employers have a lot of options from supplement coverage to choose for their employees. These options include accident death payouts, disability insurance, long-term care and more. Apart from that, MetLife has some of the strongest financial ratings in the industry and was ranked second by J.D. Power for the quality of service out of 24 companies.
There isn’t much that MetLife doesn’t offer. The only downside is that in the digital age, it doesn’t offer a lot of online support and learning tools. The shopping experience for life insurance for first-time customers isn’t simple, but MetLife has plans to rectify that. It plans to introduce PlanSmart, a financial wellness program that will educate group plan participants about their finances and insurance options.
MetLife offers an extensive range of investment and insurance products on a global scale to businesses and consumers. The global insurance giant operates in over 50 different countries and still has one of the strongest global brands. The products offered are done through distribution channels, which include direct marketing channels, banks, brokers, and agents. MetLife offers consumers products like:
MetLife offers the basic term life insurance product. The length options of the term will vary from employer to employer, but in general 10 to 30 years of coverage in increments of 5 or 10 are offered. MetLife also sells term insurance, which can be added to permanent policies. This allows policyholders to double on coverage, when they have a large mortgage or when the kids are still living at home. MetLife also offers ‘Dependent Term Life’, which lets policyholders buy more coverage for their children, partner, or spouse.
MetLife has various universal life options, and customers that want a permanent policy can choose either the variable or universal life option. The policies are more flexible than the standard whole life insurance policy and allow policyholders to change premium payments based on their needs.
For instance, if you have more cash in one month, you can pay a larger payment and get greater savings in return. However, in months where you don’t have cash, you can choose to not pay anything (if the cash value of the policy is enough to cover the minimum payment). This means you can choose to customize the payment structure without worrying about the policy lapsing.
The major difference between both options is the way in which the cash value is handled. The variable universal plans help you in strategic investing. It allows policyholders to select from different mutual funds, bonds, stocks, and other channels to increase their savings. On the other hand, in the universal policy, the cash value is invested in an interest-bearing savings account. This way is less lucrative than a strategic investment plan, but there is also less risk involved. The cash balance is also guaranteed to not drop below the set minimum.
MetLife offers the Accelerated Death Benefit rider plan as an add-on, which means you don’t have to purchase a different policy to get this. It is a very helpful inclusion because most consumers consider it to be crucial and very beneficial. The Accelerated Death Benefit from MetLife is also very generous. It lets you use nearly 92% of the total death benefit coverage for covering medical treatments, care, and other expenses linked to impairment or severe illness. This is way more than in other companies, which only allow around 25% and that is generally not enough to cover any ongoing medical expense being accrued.
MetLife also sells the disability insurance as an add-on for its term life policies. However, it also offers disability insurance in a separate policy for people who don’t qualify to buy it as an add-on. If your employer offers disability insurance, MetLife covers both short and long-term policies. The short-term disability policy will replace a part of your income for 3-months to 1-year after you get injured. It is sufficient to cover rehab and medical costs until you can get back on your feet.
On the other hand, long-term disability offers a steady and lasting income, if you had an accident and became permanently disabled. This can be used to pay for recovery costs and medical expenses, and will also cover any living expenses, like mortgage or rent payments, utilities, and food. You have full choice of the amount of disability insurance you need, which means the more money you get from the policy, the more expensive it will be.
The great thing is you can use the MetLife disability insurance calculator to accurately figure out exactly how much coverage you will need to maintain your quality of life and that of your family after an accident.
Apart from the universal and term policies, MetLife also offers a one-year term insurance, which is a product not offered by most companies. The one-year insurance policy offered by MetLife starts at $25,000 and comes with very affordable premiums, which are as low as $13.75 annually. Most of these policies have been underwritten by MetLife, and some of them by the General American Life Insurance Company. The only difference is that the policies by MetLife are guaranteed to be renewable for five years, but GenAm requires full underwriting for renewing at any stage. Both policy versions are handled through MetLife, which means that the carrier isn’t going to affect the payout or signup process.
The one-year term insurance policy is great for extra coverage when you are going through a crucial phase in life. You can get it as a standalone or to supplement a long-lasting policy. The best thing is that the policy doesn’t keep you locked in for several years, and you get enhanced protection by making a cheap one-time payment. The only downside you could face from this policy is that underwriting every time you renew the policy will mean higher premium payments. If you think that you will need this coverage for a longer time, then you can choose to get a traditional term policy. You can also choose to supplement it on top of the permanent policy you have instead.
*With Term Life Policies
MetLife is among the best life insurance companies in the world. If your employer offers you with a life insurance policy through MetLife, you can rest at ease, knowing you and your family are in safe hands. If you want to take complete advantage of your MetLife insurance policy, you should conduct thorough research and learn about the different riders, supplemental coverage, and term length options offered before you sign up.
Purchasing life insurance is a big decision, and therefore you should leave no stone unturned in your research, to get the best possible insurance policy option. When searching for life insurance policies, you will find that MetLife is a company that has got a formidable reputation in the industry for great variety in coverage options, and their outstanding customer support. We hope that you found this detailed MetLife life insurance review helpful in your search for the best life insurance plans and policies.
Our Next Company to Review: Genworth Financial Insurance