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Northwestern Mutual Life insurance review 2022

Updated Nov 15, 2022
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Northwestern Mutual is a solid life insurance company with high ratings from numerous third-party agencies. However, you must work with an agent to get a quote and there are no online purchasing options.


  • Superior financial strength ratings from AM Best
  • Ranks above-average for customer satisfaction
  • Several life insurance products to choose from


  • Can only get quote from an agent
  • No option to apply online
  • Most life insurance policies require a medical exam

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.


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Northwestern Mutual life insurance coverage types

  • Term life: This type of life insurance provides a set death benefit for a predetermined range of time, usually between 10 and 30 years. Northwestern Mutual offers term life insurance for 10 or 20 years, or until you reach 80-years-old. 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 policy 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.
  • Universal life insurance: This offers permanent coverage like whole life policies, but with greater flexibility. You can adjust the death benefit and the premium, subject to minimums determined in your policy. Northwestern Mutual also has a survivorship universal life policy, which covers two lives and pays out upon the second insured’s death.

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 life insurance customer and claims satisfaction

Northwestern Mutual reviews from customers are impressive. The company ranks high across several trusted third-party scales for financial strength and customer satisfaction.

Northwestern Mutual has the highest possible financial strength rating from AM Best. An A++ (Superior) rating means the company has a positive history in paying out claims and satisfying its financial obligations, which is important to consider when accounting for how reliably you can depend on your insurer to pay out death benefits to your dependents. It also has a superior credit rating of Aaa from Moody’s and AA+ with Standard & Poor’s (S&P) ratings, further verifying the company’s solvency and strong financials.

In the 2021 J.D Power U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, Northwestern Mutual ranks high in customer satisfaction for individual policies. On a 1,000-point scale, Northwestern Mutual ranks third with 807 points, far exceeding the industry average of 776 points.

Additional policies offered by Northwestern Mutual

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

  • Annuities
  • Disability insurance
  • Long-term care insurance

Northwestern Mutual corporate sustainability

In 2012, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation created the Childhood Cancer Program. Since inception, over $40 million has been contributed to advanced treatment and search for cures for childhood cancers. These donations have funded over 500,000 hours of cancer research through Northwestern Mutual’s partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Northwestern Mutual also funds two scholarships for childhood cancer survivors and their siblings. So far, more than $1.2 million in scholarships have been awarded and funded. Those eligible can still apply for next year’s scholarship program until December 1, 2022.

For more local efforts, Northwestern Mutual — headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin — and its employees are focused on helping residents improve their lives through education and neighborhood improvements. More than 2,100 employees have volunteered over 33,000 hours to give back to the community.

Not sure if Northwestern Mutual is right for you? Consider these alternatives

While Northwestern Mutual may be a great choice to consider for life insurance, it is not the only available option. These alternatives may be worth considering to help you decide if Northwestern Mutual life insurance is the best choice for your needs:

  • MassMutual: MassMutual offers the same types of life insurance as Northwestern Mutual nationwide and in Puerto Rico. It also won a 2022 Bankrate Award for best whole life insurer.
  • State Farm: For those who prefer term life, State Farm won a 2022 Bankrate Award for best term life insurance. It also ranked first for customer satisfaction in the 2021 J.D. Power Life Insurance Study.
  • Prudential: Prudential may be a great alternative for those wanting life insurance without a medical exam. This insurer also offers 13 riders, which allows you to customize your life insurance for your individual and family needs.