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MetLife life insurance review 2024

Updated Dec 21, 2023

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Bankrate's take

Policyholders seeking various life, health or other medical insurance policies might consider MetLife as their company of choice. However, it's important to note that MetLife only offers these options as employer-provided group insurance plans. For those looking into auto or home insurance, MetLife no longer provides these policies, and such offerings are now available through Farmers Insurance.

Individuals with access to employer-sponsored group plans, or those valuing companies with a long history and established track record of claims handling might explore MetLife's offerings, especially if interested in life and health options provided through their workplace.

New

What’s new with MetLife?

In April 2021, Farmers Insurance finalized the acquisition of MetLife’s home and auto insurance divisions. Now, MetLife Insurance only provides group life, health and pet insurance, as well as financial products like Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and employer-sponsored retirement plans.

MetLife life insurance

Established in 1863, MetLife has a longstanding history and substantial footprint in the insurance world. Even though Farmers Insurance now owns its prior auto and home insurance segments, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company continues its independent operations, predominantly offering life insurance through employer-sponsored plans and groups.

Bankrate’s MetLife Insurance review reveals that its coverage types are relatively limited. Furthermore, MetLife uses an array of underwriting companies, meaning your policy might not always be sourced directly from MetLife. Here’s a more detailed look at its specific life insurance products.

  • Term: MetLife's term life insurance suite is designed to cater to varied needs. Their Basic Term Life is often employer-paid, providing beneficiaries with financial security for a defined duration. For those looking to enhance their coverage based on changing life situations, MetLife offers the Supplemental Term Life, an employee-paid option that can even extend protection to dependents, spouses or domestic partners. Additionally, the Dependent Term Life ensures coverage for one's spouse, civil union partner, domestic partner and qualifying children. These term life products are usually ideal for young families or individuals seeking coverage for specific periods, like 10, 20, or 30 years, providing both flexibility and peace of mind.
  • Permanent: MetLife offers two types of permanent life insurance coverage: group universal and group variable universal life. It does not offer whole life insurance. Permanent policies may be a better choice for older adults who need the coverage to last the rest of their lifetimes.

Pros and cons of MetLife life insurance

Pros
  • Extra benefits, including financial planning and grief counseling, are available

  • Numerous other types of medical coverage available

  • No medical exam required for certain policies

Cons
  • Limited coverage options

  • Only offered through an employer

  • No option to convert term life policies into whole life insurance

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MetLife life insurance endorsements

If you’re searching for the best life insurance, you may want to consider adding endorsements to your policy to better align your coverage with your needs. Unfortunately, MetLife does not list specific information about riders that are offered on its policies. This may be because MetLife focuses on employer-sponsored plans; different endorsement options might be available based on the agreement with each employer. To learn about life insurance riders from MetLife, contact the company directly or discuss your options with your employer (if MetLife provides your group life insurance options).

However, a few common riders mentioned on its website are:

  • Acceleration of death benefit rider: This rider kicks in if the insured becomes terminally ill, allowing for the early and discounted payment of part or the entirety of the death benefit.
  • Guaranteed survivor income rider: Tailored for beneficiaries' long-term financial stability, this rider gives them the choice to convert the one-time death benefit of a life policy into enhanced guaranteed monthly payments via annuitization.
  • Waiver of specified premium rider: Acting as a safety net, this rider waives the set monthly premium if the insured becomes disabled within specified age parameters, ensuring continued coverage during challenging times.

Keep in mind that riders will likely increase the cost of your life insurance, so you may not get the cheapest life insurance policy if you add them. However, the added protection may be well worth the extra cost, depending on your situation.

Compare MetLife with other insurers

Finding the right life insurance company for your needs involves doing some research to see which carriers closely align with your situation. One of the first steps is figuring out how much coverage you need, which you can do with the help of a licensed agent or even a life insurance calculator. Next, take a look at your needs and decide what policy type is best for you. Then you can start to look at carriers to see if they offer what you need. If you’re not sure if MetLife is right for you, these companies could be good options to compare against:

MetLife vs. Nationwide

If you’re looking for universal life coverage, Nationwide could be a good fit. The carrier offers high coverage limits and highly customizable policies that could fit a wide range of needs. Nationwide also offers auto and home insurance, along with numerous other insurance and financial products, and its life insurance products are available to individuals.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

MetLife vs. MassMutual

If you need whole life insurance, which MetLife does not offer, MassMutual could be worth a look. The company has the highest AM Best financial strength rating possible and a long list of whole life insurance riders for personalization. MassMutual also offers universal and variable universal life, if you’re looking for those options without having to be part of a group plan like you would with MetLife.

Learn more: MassMutual Life Insurance review

MetLife vs. State Farm

The insurance behemoth could be a great choice for those seeking the best term life insurance. Additionally, the availability of local offices may be appealing to those who like to handle their insurance needs in person. State Farm offers numerous other insurance products and banking products, too, so it could be a good choice if you want to keep all your financial products in one place.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Is MetLife a good insurance company?

MetLife has carved out a strong presence in the insurance industry, tracing back to 1863 when it was founded. The company predominantly offers life and health insurance options through employer-sponsored group plans, but MetLife is also recognized for its emphasis on corporate sustainability and its initiatives in diversity, equity and inclusion. Furthermore, third-party ratings have highlighted MetLife's above-average customer satisfaction in service for existing individual policyholders, and it boasts high financial strength ratings from AM Best for its key underwriting companies.

However, it's worth noting that MetLife no longer offers individual life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance or annuities to consumers through agents. Therefore, while the company excels in certain niches, individuals seeking comprehensive individual policies might need to look to other providers to best meet their specific insurance requirements.

MetLife customer satisfaction

When comparing life insurance quotes, it's important to consider customer satisfaction ratings in addition to policy offerings. These third-party ratings can give you insight into how the company interacts with its customers and honors its commitments. Life insurance rates may be relatively consistent across providers, with variables like age, health, policy type and how much life insurance you need largely influencing cost. Thus, factors like customer satisfaction can play a pivotal role in decision-making.

J.D. Power, a trusted consumer data analytics company, releases several service-centric studies annually. In the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Group Life Insurance Study, MetLife secured an above-average score of 806. Such data indicates that policyholders are generally satisfied with their service experience.

On the financial front, a company's stability and ability to pay claims are paramount. MetLife's financial strength is demonstrated through the AM Best ratings of its underwriting companies. Notably, two of its entities, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company, have garnered A+ (Superior) AM Best financial strength ratings. However, it's worth mentioning that American Life Insurance Company and MetLife Insurance K.K. (serving in Japan) are not rated by AM Best.

Study or Rating Agency MetLife Industry average
2022 J.D. Power Group Life Insurance Study 806/1,000 797/1,000
AM Best rating A+ (Superior) N/A

MetLife customer complaints

The National Association of Insurance Commissioner (NAIC) is a pivotal resource when evaluating the complaint profiles of insurance companies. The NAIC assigns complaint indexes based on product type, and these indexes provide potential customers with an understanding of the volume of complaints a company has received relative to its market share. A complaint index of 1.00 is set as the industry baseline, indicating an average number of complaints. An index above this baseline suggests a higher than average complaint rate, while a score below indicates fewer complaints than average.

In the context of MetLife's group life policies, the NAIC has assigned a complaint index of 0.64 for the year 2022. This score sits well below the industry average, signifying that MetLife has received fewer complaints than what might be expected for its size in the market. This lower complaint index is an encouraging indication of MetLife's commitment to high-quality service for its group life insurance policyholders.

Other MetLife tools and benefits 

MetLife’s product offerings are more limited as it no longer sells personal life insurance coverage, but you may be interested in a few of its additional offerings:

  • Dental insurance: MetLife offers a number of dental insurance plans, including PPO plans, HMO/managed care plans and plans for veterans.
  • Vision insurance: MetLife’s various vision insurance options may help you save on exams, glasses and contacts. Some plans even offer discounts on LASIK eye surgery.
  • Pet insurance: Pet insurance is like healthcare coverage for your animal. This is one of the few plans that MetLife sells both individually and through employers.
  • Retirement solutions: In addition to insurance products, you might be able to use MetLife for your retirement plan too, if your employer offers this perk.

In conjunction with the above, MetLife also offers additional services  and resources to its members. Beneficiaries may be able to utilize the company’s grief counseling and checklists to help foster a sense of stability when a loved one passes. The company also offers funeral discounts, funeral planning services, will preparation services and transition planning.

Because MetLife doesn’t sell individual policies anymore, you can work with your employer to gain access to these services If your employer offers group life insurance through MetLife.

Frequently asked questions about MetLife

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Written by
Ashlyn Brooks

Ashlyn Brooks is a finance writer with more than half a decade of experience, known for her knowledge in areas such as taxes, insurance, investing, retirement, finance news, and banking products.

Edited by Editor, Insurance