Without a doubt, MetLife – a company with a 150-year history that Fortune magazine once proclaimed was the “world’s most admired company – is one of the premier providers of life insurance on the market today.
Still, this doesn’t mean that they are necessarily the best fit for everyone.
It is important to consider a variety of metrics when looking at MetLife or any life insurance provider. These metrics include their policies, their track record, history of payouts, and more. Combined, all of this data will help you to determine whether MetLife and the policies that they offer is really the best fit for you.
To help you streamline your research, we’ll go through a thorough overview of MetLife as well as take a comprehensive look at each of the policies that they offer.
An Overview of MetLife
MetLife was founded in 1868, making it one of the oldest providers of annuity, insurance, and employee benefit programs still in operation today. The company is listed in the 42nd spot on the Fortune 500 list, with a little over $900 billion in assets earning them this spot.
MetLife is a diverse company, offering a wide range of insurance products. For the sake of this review, though, we are only going to focus on the company’s life insurance policies.
Before we begin, it’s important to understand that some of MetLife’s life insurance policies are offered by a company by the name of Brighthouse Financial. Brighthouse is a spin-off company of MetLife that has been entrusted with all of MetLife’s retail insurance products, and, for all intents and purposes, the two are one and the same.
One of the first and most important factors to consider when looking at an insurance provider is to analyze their credit rating and solvency. Below is the credit rating and solvency for Brighthouse Financial according to several of the top rating agencies:
- A.M. Best: A.M Best is one of the most trusted rating agencies, and they have given Brighthouse an A rating. This rating is the third-highest rating that A.M. Best awards out of sixteen possible ratings.
- Moody’s: Moody’s gave Brighthouse a very respectable rating of A3 – the seventh highest rating out of twenty-one possible.
- Fitch: Fitch granted Brighthouse an A-rating, which is the sixth highest rating out of nineteen places.
- Standard & Poor: Standard and Poor assigned Brighthouse an A+ rating, which is the fifth highest rating out of the twenty-two that Standard and Poor gives out.
So what do these ratings mean?
By and large, they are used to determine whether or not a company is on solid ground financially speaking. Insurance companies must have enough assets – namely liquid assets – to pay out life insurance claims without creating cash flow issues. According to the ratings assigned to Brighthouse/MetLife, it can be determined that the company is in good standings financially and can, therefore, be trusted to pay out the policies that they offer.
Reviewing MetLife’s Life Insurance Policies
Having concluded that MetLife is a reliable company with good credit ratings, it’s now time to look at the individual life insurance policies that they offer. Outlined below are each of the policies that you can purchase through MetLife:
MetLife Term Life Insurance
For those who favor simplicity, MetLife’s term-issue life insurance policy is the way to go. So long as you are taking out a policy with a face amount of less than $100,000, you can acquire the policy without having to undergo a medical exam.
There are situations where a person might want to streamline the life insurance application process, such as if they are in the middle of a divorce and are wanting to protect their alimony. In these cases, it might be prudent to skip the exam and sign a policy agreement as soon as possible.
However, the coverage offered by term-issue life insurance policy has a pretty low face value that may not be ideal for everyone. To acquire a policy with a higher face value and/or to lower your rates, you will need to go through the entire process of having a medical exam and supplying MetLife with some concrete medical data.
Permanent Life Insurance
For those wanting to take out a life insurance policy that will cover them for the rest of their lives, a permanent life insurance policy through MetLife is an excellent choice to consider.
Permanent life insurance policies offer a number of advantages and are ideal for several situations. One way that permanent life insurance policies are popularly used is for business succession agreements. If several stakeholders in a business want to transfer their respective stakes in the business to their business partners while at the same time converting their stakes into cash to supply to their families, permanent coverage is an ideal solution. Permanent life insurance policies will accrue value over time, making them especially desirable for cases such as this where long periods of time are expected.
Given the nature of permanent life insurance policies, you will certainly want to purchase them through a company with a considerable size and reputation, and MetLife fits the bill. MetLife offers face amounts for permanent life insurance policies that range from $100,000 to $1 million, and you may be able to get more depending on what you qualify for.
As an added bonus, the Enhanced Rate Plus Program that MetLife offers allows you to take out a permanent life insurance plan by just filling out a web form and speaking with an underwriter on the phone – no medical exam required.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance comes with a number of unique advantages. For one, whole life insurance is guaranteed to accrue value as time goes one. Whole life insurance also guarantees to pay benefits upon the death of the policy holder, and it guarantees that its premiums won’t go up over the life of the policy.
In addition to these advantages, a whole life insurance policy from MetLife pays dividends out over the life of the policy. These dividends can be taken as cash payouts, or they can be used to reduce your premium payments.
If you would prefer to skip the medical exam, MetLife offers a low-cost whole life insurance policy that doesn’t require any medical exam called Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life insurance. This policy doesn’t have large coverages ($2,000 to $20,000) but it does guarantee acceptance for anyone under 75, making it ideal for older individuals or those with a pre-existing condition.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance from MetLife is similar to their whole life insurance, except that it offers you greater control over how the policies accumulating value is invested. For example, with a universal life insurance policy from MetLife, you could invest the policy’s cash value as part of your retirement portfolio.
One distinct advantage of MetLife’s universal life insurance policy is that it is age-specific rather than term-specific. This means that you get to specify the age that you wish to be covered to. After you reach that age, you are still free to adjust the premiums that you pay, withdraw money from the policy’s cash value fund, or alter the policy’s face value. Since a universal life insurance policy can extend coverage beyond the age of 80 while others can’t, it is an ideal choice for people who expect to live that long.
In addition to these advantages, other benefits of a universal life insurance policy from MetLife is the fact that it is suitable for applications such as forming a charitable trust, covering estate taxes and fees, and covering outstanding medical bills.
Final Expense Life Insurance
For those who want to avoid saddling their family with funeral costs, a final expense life insurance policy from MetLife is a great choice to consider. This policy covers funeral expenses up to a pre-determined amount. It does not require you to have a medical exam or even answer any health questions, but the policy does have to be in place for at least two years before it will pay out the full face amount.
Final expense life insurance from MetLife is best-suited for individuals who are terminally ill but expect to live at least two more years. For individuals who do not fit this description, a small whole life insurance policy might be a better way to cover your final expenses.
Who Benefits the Most From MetLife Life Insurance?
Every life insurance provider offers certain benefits and features that make them especially well suited to certain individuals. Individuals who are best positioned to benefit from a MetLife life insurance policy include:
- Active Military Personnel: MetLife caters to members of the military and offers a number of attractive deals to active military personnel.
- Marijuana Users: Unlike many life-insurance providers, MetLife does not group marijuana users in the same group as tobacco users.
- Diabetics: MetLife is particularly well-suited for covering people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
- Seniors With Blood Pressure Issues: Seniors who have high blood pressure will benefit from MetLife’s life insurance policies, which are very lenient towards this group. MetLife offers elite and standard rates to seniors with blood pressure levels that would disqualify them from receiving such low rates from many other providers.
It’s important to note, though, that even if you fall into one of these categories, it does not mean that a MetLife policy is automatically going to be the right fit for you. There are still a number of other important factors that must be considered.
All told, MetLife and the policies that they offer provides an excellent array of options for those searching for life insurance. The company is reputable and established, and their policies are often a great deal for many individuals and circumstances.
Be sure to do your research, consult an insurance expert and broker, and choose the provider and policy that is best suited for you. With that said, though, MetLife is a provider well worth considering.