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Brighthouse Financial life insurance review 2024

Updated Dec 21, 2023

At a glance

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Bankrate's take

If you are looking for life insurance and long-term care, Brighthouse Financial’s SmartCare policy might be worth considering for your situation. The company offers limited policy options, though, and was the lowest-rated option in J.D. Power's 2023 customer satisfaction ratings.

If you need life insurance quickly, Brighthouse Financial could be an attractive option. With its SimplySelect plan, approved applicants may receive coverage in as little as 24 hours.


What's new with Brighthouse Financial?

Brighthouse Financial released its 2022 Corporate Sustainability Report in September, 2023. The report details the company's efforts toward sustainability, which it defines as a "strategic integration of relevant environmental, social and governance factors" throughout the company. The report highlighted five priorities for Brighthouse: being a great place to work, advancing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts throughout the company, advancing financial security through responsible products, promoting business resilience through sustainable operations and focusing on climate change and the environment.

Brighthouse Financial life insurance

Brighthouse Financial offers term life insurance and permanent life insurance. One of its unique policy offerings, called Brighthouse SmartCare, combines universal indexed life insurance with long-term care insurance. Some customers may have the option to get a policy with simplified underwriting, which, depending on their age, does not require a medical exam.

In addition to the carrier's hybrid SmartCare policy, here are the types of life insurance coverage you can purchase through Brighthouse Financial:

  • Term life insurance: There are two options available for term life insurance — Brighthouse SimplySelect and Brighthouse One Year Term. The SimplySelect term policy provides affordable coverage for 10, 20 or 30 years, with coverage ranging from $100,000 to $3 million. For this policy, a medical exam is not a requirement, plus you may have the option to add an acceleration of death benefit rider for added financial protection. The Brighthouse One Year Term policy provides the flexibility of short-term coverage for one year only, but you may use a convertible and renewable rider to extend your coverage to five years. One-year term policy availability and conditions vary by state.
  • Whole life insurance: If you have a term life insurance policy from Brighthouse Financial, you could opt to convert it to a whole life policy before the term ends if you have selected that option when initially purchasing your policy. Brighthouse Financial’s whole life policies have level premiums for your lifetime, guaranteed coverage as long as the premium is paid, and guaranteed cash value growth. However, keep in mind that Brighthouse Financial only offers whole policies to those who already have term life insurance with it and want to convert, so you will first need to have a term policy in place that is nearing its end.
  • Indexed universal life insurance: Brighthouse Financial offers indexed universal life insurance with its SmartGuard Plus plan. If you’re willing to pay a little extra upfront, you can add a guaranteed distribution rider to ensure that future distribution payments stay above a certain threshold.

Pros and cons of Brighthouse Financial life insurance 

Not sure if Brighthouse Financial has what you’re looking for? Our quick list of pros and cons can give you a quick snapshot of the company:

  • Offers a unique hybrid policy with life insurance and long-term care insurance

  • Excellent financial strength ratings

  • With the SimplySelect plan, approved applicants may receive coverage within 24 hours

  • Must purchase a policy through a Brighthouse financial professional; online quoting is not available

  • Limited selection of life insurance products offered

  • Below-average customer satisfaction score in J.D. Power's 2023 individual life insurance study.

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Brighthouse Financial life insurance endorsements

Brighthouse Financial does not list all the life insurance endorsements available for different policy types on its websites. However, it does advertise the following:

This rider is available for universal life policies and guarantees that distribution payments remain above a certain minimum threshold.
Available for term policies, this rider gives policyholders the option to convert their coverage to a permanent policy or renew their term policy once it expires.
This term policy rider allows you to access your policy's death benefit early if you are diagnosed with a qualifying illness.

If you're interested in how you can personalize your policy, as well as how much life insurance might cost with Brighthouse Financial, contacting an agent or company representative may be helpful.

Compare Brighthouse Financial with other insurers

Depending on your priorities, Brighthouse may or may not be able to meet your life insurance needs. You may want to explore some of the carriers below during your research process: 

Brighthouse Financial vs. Pacific Life

Pacific Life offers a wide variety of insurance policies, including two types of universal life insurance. The company is rated above average for overall customer satisfaction by J.D. Power in the 2023 Life Insurance Study.

Learn more: Pacific Life Insurance Review

Brighthouse Financial vs. Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha offers robust long-term care insurance policies. Its wide range of available riders also made it a standout on our list of best term life insurance companies.

Learn more: Mutual of Omaha

Brighthouse Financial vs. Globe Life

Globe Life Insurance offers many types of life insurance, including term, whole and final expense coverage. Additionally, there are policies for accidental death insurance, mortgage protection insurance and children’s life insurance.

Learn more: Globe Life Insurance review

Is Brighthouse Financial a good insurance company?

Brighthouse Financial is a solid life insurance provider overall, based on available metrics reviewed by our Bankrate insurance editorial team. With more than fifty carriers reviewed, our team can help you find the best life insurance company for your needs and give you an overview of how life insurance works

Based on Bankrate’s Brighthouse Financial life insurance review and its offerings, it may be considered a decent life insurance option for many customers. The company offers a couple of standard policies to cover basic life insurance needs, including its signature SmartCare coverage, but it falls short in terms of accessibility and customer satisfaction ratings. It also does not offer an online life insurance quote option. However, if you are looking for long-term care and life insurance rolled into one, Brighthouse Financial’s SmartCare policy might be worth considering.

Brighthouse Financial customer satisfaction

To give you a more comprehensive Brighthouse life insurance review, Bankrate rounded up key third-party ratings. AM Best is a credit agency that specializes in the insurance industry. AM Best gives companies a letter grade that represents financial strength. A high AM Best rating signals that a company has historically made good on its financial claim obligations. This may be particularly important to life insurance shoppers, as life insurance claims can sometimes be in the millions. 

We also looked at J.D. Power’s latest life insurance studies to see how Brighthouse Financial stacks up against the competition — and the results were underwhelming. Brighthouse Financial scored well below the industry average, coming in last place for overall customer satisfaction in the 2023 Individual Life Insurance Study. This indicates that policyholders who value service may want to do some more research before purchasing a policy with Brighthouse.

Study or Rating Agency Brighthouse Financial Industry average
2023 J.D. Power Individual Life Insurance Study 739/1,000 790/1,000
2022 J.D. Power Group Life Insurance Study Not scored 797/1,000
AM Best rating A (Excellent) N/A

Brighthouse Financial customer complaints

Another important metric Bankrate uses to review life insurance companies is the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index. The NAIC tracks the number of complaints policyholders file against insurance companies, and awards each company multiple complaint index scores: an overall score and one for each product line it offers. 

The NAIC sets the average complaint index score at 1.0. If a company receives a score of 1.0, this means that it receives an average amount of complaints for a company its size. With NAIC Complaint Indexes, the lower the score, the better — it means that fewer customers are filing complaints about the company, and customers may be more satisfied.

Brighthouse Financial life complaints 

Brighthouse Financial’s NAIC complaint index, coupled with its sub-par J.D. Power score, imply that the company has a ways to go in terms of customer service. Although its scores remained below 1.0 in 2020 and 2021, it tipped into above-average in 2022.

Other Brighthouse Financial tools and benefits

Brighthouse Financial exclusively offers life insurance products and annuities.

However, the company has a large library of online resources for learning about purchasing the right amount of life insurance coverage, planning for retirement and estate planning, as well as life insurance coverage calculators. If you are new to life insurance or not yet sure how much coverage you will need, how long you want an active policy or if you have other financial planning goals, Brighthouse’s resources may be a good starting place for your research.

Frequently asked questions about Brighthouse Financial

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Written by
Natalie Todoroff
Writer, Insurance

Natalie Todoroff is an insurance writer for Bankrate, prior to which she wrote for a popular insurance comparison shopping app. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and has written over 800 articles about insurance throughout her career.

Edited by Editor, Insurance