Updated April 13th 2017

MetLife Whole Life Insurance Review

In the next article you will find our MetLife whole life insurance review, but we will start by looking at the company first.

NOTE: MetLife stopped selling directly to consumers life insurance products in the beginning of 2017 as MetLife. They rebranded to Brighthouse Financial… So you will not be able to get a new Metlife whole life insurance.

Brighthouse Financial Review

(Read the full report here)
Brighthouse Financial is the new name that you may find for MetLife in your old policies or statements. We have received many questions about who is Brighthouse Financial. The reason for the name change is that MetLife re-branded themselves as Brighthouse Financial. In addition, they sold their agents and field force to MassMutual.

Brighthouse Financial does not offer a whole life insurance. If you would like to get a good alternative to MetLife whole life, you should probably consider MassMutual whole life. As a matter of fact MassMutual was the one that purchase, and merged a large portion of their business with MetLife.

MetLife sells and services many types of insurance policies, including whole life insurance. So how does their whole life insurance stack up to the competition?

The company is one of the largest providers of insurance, with tens of millions of customers spanning more than 60 countries. Since its founding in 1868, MetLife has established a reputation for being one of the top insurance providers in regards to price, service, and coverage type.

In this review we will cover the following topics:

    1. Top Rating
    2. Participating Whole Life
    3. Shopping Experience
    4. Competitive Pricing
    5. Payment Options
    6. Financial Stability
    7. Products
    8. Riders
    9. Non Mutual
    10. Dividend Rate

The Good

Top Rated

If you are concerned about doing business with a company that has a less than stellar rating, you don’t have to worry about MetLife.

For more than 100 years, the company has been providing customers with a high level of service, all in a stable financial environment. This has led to some of the best ratings in the industry, which include:

  • M. Best Rating: A+
  • Standard & Poor’s Rating: AA-
  • Moody’s Rating: Aa3

Does MetLife have the highest ratings in the industry? Not really, but it does stand out from the crowd with consistent ratings towards the top end of the scale.

Participating Whole Life Insurance

First of all, MetLife’s whole life insurance products are participating. So this mean that they get paid a dividend on top of the guaranteed interest rate. The dividend is not guaranteed and is based on company performance and profitability. In order for a whole life insurance to have good performance on the cash value and death benefit growth, it needs to be a participating whole life insurance.

Hands On Shopping Experience

The primary drawback of many insurance companies is the inability to shop for coverage online. MetLife fights against this by providing an online system that allows for ease and efficiency during the research and purchase process.

If you are the hands on type, you will thoroughly enjoy everything about the MetLife website.

Competitive Pricing

MetLife does not have the cheapest whole life insurance products, but it is far from the most expensive. Considered middle of the pack in terms of pricing, you never feel like you are paying too much when you do business with MetLife.

Compare any MetLife whole life insurance quote to the competition and you will find some that are cheaper and some that are more expensive. When you add in the other benefits, such as a streamlined shopping experience and top notch customer service, you can see why so many customers rely on this company.

The Not So Good

Lack of Payment Options

If you are the type who is okay with paying by check or bank transfer, you will not have any problem with MetLife.

Conversely, if you want to use a credit card to pay for your policy, perhaps on an auto-charge basis, you will run into some issues with MetLife. The inability to pay with a debit or credit card may mean you have to juggle some funds around when the time comes to make a premium payment.

Non Mutual Company

This is the main downside to a MetLife Whole Life Insurance. Today MetLife is committed to pay a dividend, however, we are not sure how long that commitment will last. MetLife is not a Mutual company. Mutual companies base their business practices on paying dividends to all policy holders.

MetLife is a stock company, and they have to keep shareholders happy, not the policy holders. So when you run an illustration with MetLife keep in mind that their dividend commitment could be lower than companies like New York Life, MassMutual, Ohio National etc.

Finances

As a publicly traded company, there is a lot of financial information available on MetLife. Some of the details worth noting include:

  • 2015 operating earnings of $5.5 billion.
  • Full year 2015 net income of $5.2 billion, or $4.57 per share.
  • Total operating earnings for the Americas of $1.2 billion in 2015.

Products

Here is the product list for MetLife whole life insurance. The main difference between all of these products is how long you will pay for them.

  • MetLife Promise Whole Life (PWL) – Premiums for 100 years.
  • MetLife Promise Whole Life 120 (PWL 120) – The best product for death benefit. You will pay premiums for 120 years.
  • MetLife Promise Whole Life Select 10 (PWL 10) – This whole life is fantastic for cash value accumulation. Your premiums will only last 10 years.
  • MetLife Promise Whole Life Select 20 (PWL 20) – Only pay premiums for 20 years and have a fantastic balance between cash value and death benefit.
  • MetLife Promise Whole Life Select 65 (PWL 65) – This product is used often for retirement purposes. Pay premiums until age 65.

Riders

MetLife offers a wide range or riders. So here is a list of the available riders (additional features) that you can select for your whole life insurance. Be aware that some of these riders come with an additional cost.

Free Riders

Enhanced Care Benefit – You can access up to 90% of the death benefit if you have a prolonged illness.

Acceleration of Death Benefit Rider – You will be able to access a portion of the death benefit if you are terminally ill.

Paid Riders

Disability Waiver of Premiums Benefit – If you become totally disabled for 6 months you will not have to pay premiums on the policy, but you keep the policy in-force.

The Enricher® Rider – This rider will add more cash to your policy. It is a great rider for people using life insurance as an asset or looking to grow cash value faster.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider – As the name says it adds more death benefit that would pay in case of an accidental death.

Children’s Term Rider – Gives more term insurance on any legal children you may have. This is insurance on the kids, not for the kids, that is an important distinction.

Flex Term Rider – You can add more term coverage with this rider that goes along your whole life. The best use for this rider is if you want to make your whole life insurance more “affordable” or you want a higher death benefit for a certain price.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider – You will have the ability to get more whole life insurance without having to do another medical. This rider can be great if you get a whole life insurance on kids. That way the will have the option to add more coverage when they are older.

Applicant’s Waiver of Premiums Benefit – Similar to waiver of premium, but this rider is waives the premiums if the parent of an insured child becomes disabled.

Many of these riders are valuable, but some are critical to have like a waiver of premium rider.

Dividend Rate

MetLife has committed to making their whole life insurance a competitive product with anyone in the market place. However, MetLife’s whole life insurance dividend for 2017 is 4.70%. As we mentioned they stopped issuing new policies to individuals, but on current existing policy holders the dividend is 4.7%. That is not close to being competitive. Check out the announcement here: MetLife drops dividend.

Here is the history of the dividend since 2000.

200020012002200320042005200620072008
7.607.607.357.106.606.606.256.256.25
2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
6.256.255.755.505.505.255.105.105.004.7

The dividend has decreased over the last 16 years, however keep in mind that interest rates have steadily decreased over the same period of time. The way the dividend has decreased is similar to the competition. However the current dividend is not among the highest in the industry. There are multiple companies with a dividend rate on the high 6% range like: MassMutual and Penn Mutual.

Final Word

When you focus on the right companies, shopping for whole life insurance can be a simple process. As one of the best providers in the industry, MetLife serves millions of customers.

Finally, MetLife’s whole life insurance was among the best in the market. In most of our comparisons it rates among the top 3 constantly. You cannot go wrong with Snoopy, but unfortunately, they do not sell life insurance products directly to consumers anymore.  

Top Whole Life’s – MetLife Whole Life Insurance Review:

We give MetLife 3.5 Stars. Only because you can’t get their whole life anymore.

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