Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance review 2021

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If you are estate planning, life insurance is often an essential part of the plan. Purchasing life insurance is a great way to take care of your loved ones after you’re gone. Many companies sell life insurance and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company is among the highest-rated of all companies.

Take a closer look at the Northwestern Mutual insurance products available.

Northwestern Mutual life insurance

The Northwestern Mutual life insurance company offers a variety of life insurance policies. Northwestern Mutual is a mutual company, which means it is owned by the policyholders rather than stockholders. Each year, leftover profits are returned to the policyholders in the form of dividends. They can be taken as cash, used to increase death benefit amounts or pay towards premiums. Annual dividends aren’t guaranteed, but Northwestern Mutual has been paying them out every year for almost 150 years.

Types of life insurance policies offered

  • Term life: This type of life insurance provides a set death benefit for a predetermined amount of time, usually between 10 and 30 years. Premiums stay the same throughout the term, but increase based on the age you are at the time of renewal if you wish to keep the policy. Companies like Northwestern Mutual allow you to convert part or all of your term death benefit into a permanent life insurance before the term ends.
  • Whole life: Whole life insurance offers permanent coverage at the same price for your lifetime. This policy is more expensive than term life insurance, but it also has a cash value component. You can allow the cash value to grow over time in an interest-bearing account to use tax-deferred in the future.
  • Single premium universal life: Universal life insurance offers permanent coverage like whole life, but you have more flexibility. You can adjust the death benefit and the premium, subject to minimums determined in your policy. With a single premium universal life policy, you pay one large premium and then never have to make payments again.
  • Custom universal life: This type of custom universal life insurance offers greater flexibility than the single premium policy. With a single premium, you may have to make additional payments if you change the policy. With the custom universal life, you get the highest level of flexibility while still building tax-deferred cash value.

Where does Northwestern Mutual operate?

You can buy life insurance from the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Northwestern Mutual is not licensed to sell life insurance in the following territories:

  • American Samoa
  • Guam
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

Northwestern Mutual ratings, reviews, customer satisfaction and complaints

Northwestern Mutual reviews from customers are impressive. The company ranks high across several third-party scales when it comes to financial stability and customer satisfaction.

Northwestern Mutual has the highest possible financial strength rating from AM Best. An A++ (Superior) rating means the company is very likely to pay out claims, which is important when considering the size of the average life insurance payout. It also has a superior credit rating of Aaa from Moody’s and AA+ with Standard & Poor’s (S&P) ratings, further proving the company’s solvency and strong financials.

In the 2020 J.D Power U.S. Life Insurance Study, Northwestern Mutual ranks high in customer satisfaction for individual policies. On a 1,000-point scale, Northwestern Mutual ranks fourth with 790 points, far exceeding the average of 763 points.

Reasons Northwestern Mutual is a good option

Northwestern Mutual offers several options for life insurance coverage, even for smokers and older individuals. Based on customer reviews and third-party vendor rankings, Northwestern Mutual is a top-ranking life insurance company. However, you cannot get a quote online and have to go through a licensed Northwestern Mutual representative to get a policy. You will also have to take a medical exam to get approved for life insurance, which may deter those with serious health conditions.

With the flexibility offered through conversion of term to permanent insurance and several options for universal life insurance, Northwestern Mutual could be a good fit for those estate planning or needing coverage to leave for their family when they are gone. Your family could grow and change along with your Northwestern Mutual life insurance policy.

Additional policies offered by Northwestern Mutual

Besides high-quality life insurance products, Northwestern Mutual offers:

  • Annuities
  • Disability insurance
  • Long-term care insurance

Frequently asked questions

What is the best life insurance company?

The best life insurance company meets your specific needs at a price you can afford. Based on Northwestern Mutual’s ratings and reviews, it may prove to be an option worth considering, though it helps to review multiple providers before making a selection. Weigh what other insurers have to offer by checking how other life insurance companies stack up in the market.

Will I need a medical exam with Northwestern Mutual?

You’ll need a medical exam for a life insurance policy with Northwestern Mutual, but you could always convert your term policy to a permanent one without the need for an additional medical checkup.

What is a life insurance dividend?

Insurance companies with the term “mutual” as part of their name are owned by the policyholders. Buying a life insurance policy from a mutual company means you’re part-owner of the company and could receive an annual dividend, which is a portion of the profits paid back to a company’s owners. Northwestern Mutual has paid dividends every year for almost 150 years.

Written by
Mandy Sleight
Insurance Contributor
Mandy Sleight has been a licensed insurance agent since 2005. She has three years of experience writing for insurance websites such as Bankrate.com, MoneyGeek and The Simple Dollar. Mandy writes about auto, homeowners, renters, life insurance, disability and supplemental insurance products.
Edited by
Insurance Editor