ManhattanLife Insurance Company Review

Simple life insurance options with no medical exam required

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Manhattan Life

Manhattan Life 

Our Take

Through ManhattanLife Insurance Company, you can purchase either term or whole life coverage with no medical exam required. Policies are offered in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., with coverage limits as high as $3 million.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No medical exam required

  • Many term policies available, as well as whole life coverage

  • Both adult and juvenile whole life coverage offered

  • Operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Cons
  • Only a few term lengths to choose from

  • Need to buy through an agent

  • Low coverage limits without full underwriting

  • Lower-than-average financial strength ratings

Key Takeaways
  • Policies are offered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • No medical exam is required; you’ll only need to answer four health-related questions to qualify for coverage.
  • Term and whole life policies are available, with both simplified issue and fully underwritten options. 
  • In order to get a quote or purchase coverage, applicants need to speak with a licensed, local agent in ManhattanLife's network.
Company Overview

Founded in 1850, ManhattanLife has been providing coverage in the United States for more than 171 years. ManhattanLife was formed with the purpose of providing protection for widows and orphans after cholera, and was the first life insurance company to write a policy for a woman.

Today, the company has nearly one million insurance customers and provides both individual and workplace coverage across the country. They offer life insurance, annuities, and a variety of other insurance products, such as mortgage insurance, cancer insurance, and hospitalization insurance, to name a few. 

Geographical Restrictions

Life insurance coverage is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, between ManhattanLife and its affiliate companies: Manhattan Life Insurance Company, ManhattanLife Assurance Company of America, Family Life Insurance Company, Standard Life and Casualty Insurance Company, and Western United Life Assurance Company. Not all products, services, and riders will be offered in all areas, however, so speak with your local agent to decide what’s available to you.

  • Year Founded 1850
  • Kinds of Plans Term life, whole life
  • Number of Plans 7
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly, quarterly, semiannually, annually
  • Customer Service Local agents, phone (800-669-9030 from 8:00am to 5:00pm CST, Monday through Friday), or email (cservice@manhattanlife.com)
  • Official Website manhattanlife.com

ManhattanLife is not one of our top-rated life insurance companies. You can visit our list of the best life insurance companies to read about providers we believe are better options.

Pros Explained

  • No medical exam required: ManhattanLife offers both term and whole life policies without a medical exam; only four health-related questions are required.
  • Many term policies available, as well as whole life coverage: The carrier has a wide variety of term coverage options to choose from, depending on your needs, as well as two whole life policies.
  • Both adult and juvenile whole life coverage offered: You can purchase permanent life insurance coverage as a juvenile or as an adult; coverage limits may vary.
  • Operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.: Coverage is available in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. Some products and riders may be unavailable in some areas, and coverage in some states may only be offered through certain ManhattanLife subsidiaries.

Cons Explained

  • Only a few term lengths to choose from: Though ManhattanLife offers a wide variety of term life policies, coverage terms are pretty limited if you’re interested in simplified underwriting. Though additional terms are available with the Family Protection policies, the Viva series of policies is only offered in 15- and 20-year terms.
  • Need to buy through an agent: ManhattanLife operates through a network of licensed and trained professionals. In order to get a personalized quote or purchase coverage, you’ll need to connect with an agent in your area.
  • Low coverage limits without full underwriting: If you’re interested in no-medical-exam coverage, you’ll be limited to $250,000 in term coverage or $100,000 in whole life coverage. If you need more, you’ll need to choose a policy with full underwriting.
  • Lower-than-average financial strength ratings: Currently, ManhattanLife holds a B+ (Good) financial strength rating from AM Best, which is lower than many other carriers.

Available Plans

ManhattanLife offers a range of term and whole life insurance policies, each with both simplified issue and fully underwritten options.

Viva Life Professional 

This term policy is available to applicants between the ages of 18 and 60. There are two terms to choose from (15 and 20 years) and accidental death protection can be included. There are only four health-related questions to answer and no medical exam required for coverage up to and including $250,000. If you need a higher coverage amount, that is available on a fully underwritten basis.

Viva Family Life

The Viva Family Life term life policy offers full family coverage with reasonable premiums. Coverage is available for $250,000 or less with no medical exam required; higher coverage is offered with full underwriting. A 20-year level term policy is offered to applicants ages 18 to 55, and a 15-year level term policy is available for applicants between 56 and 60. This policy offers riders such as spousal coverage, a children’s insurance benefit, and accidental death protection.

Viva Living Benefits

Viva Living Benefits is available for $250,000 or less in coverage with no medical exam. If you want more coverage than that, higher limits are offered with full underwriting. Applicants between the ages of 18 and 55 can get a 20-year term policy, while applicants from 56 to 60 can purchase 15-year coverage. This policy also offers a first occurrence critical illness benefit, which provides living benefits to policyholders who are diagnosed with a critical illness during the coverage period.

Family Protection EZ

The Family Protection EZ term life policy offers level term coverage for 15, 20, 25, or 30 years. There is a variety of policy riders available if you need additional protection, and coverage is offered with no medical exam for $250,000 or less. Higher limits are available with full underwriting.

Family Protection Select

This term life coverage is ManhattanLife’s only fully underwritten term policy option. Coverage is available in terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years with level premiums, with a variety of policy riders offered. This policy is available to both standard and preferred underwriting classes.

Viva Lifetime (Simplified Issue)

With only four health-related questions, the Viva Lifetime policy offers applicants from $20,000 to $100,000 in whole life coverage (for juveniles, coverage limits are $10,000 to $50,000). There are three payment options offered for this permanent policy: LifeTime pay, 20 pay, and paid up at age 65, depending on how you prefer to spread out your premiums.

Family Protection Premier (Fully Underwritten)

ManhattanLife’s fully underwritten whole life policy option is the Family Protection Premier. This policy offers between $25,000 and $3 million in permanent protection ($10,000 to $150,000 for juveniles). Available riders include a 20-year term rider, child rider, accidental death rider, and waiver of premium. Multiple payment options are offered: LifeTime pay; 3, 5, 10, or 20 pay; and paid up at age 65.

Available Riders

There are multiple riders available from ManhattanLife, depending on the policy you choose.

Accidental Death Protection

Since accidental deaths are typically sudden and unexpected, they can be even more traumatic to your loved ones. With accidental death protection, your beneficiaries will receive an additional benefit if you pass away as the result of an accident. 

Child Rider

Known as a child rider, the children’s insurance benefit offers coverage for your minor children for the duration of your policy or until they come of age, whichever comes first. 

Waiver of Premium

If you are permanently disabled, your life insurance coverage will remain intact without the need for additional premiums with the waiver of premium benefit. As the name implies, your premiums will be waived but coverage will continue as scheduled.

Term Rider

Available on whole life policies, the 20-year term rider offers additional, temporary coverage to protect your loved ones during higher-need periods. This can be useful if you only need more life insurance until your children are grown, the home mortgage is paid off, or you and your spouse pay down shared debt.

Critical Illness Benefit

With ManhattanLife’s first occurrence critical illness benefit, Viva Living Benefits policyholders can access policy funds if they experience a covered critical illness. These include life-threatening cancer, paralysis, heart attack, renal failure, stroke, or major organ transplant.

Customer Service

Since ManhattanLife customers will need to work with an agent in order to purchase coverage, you may choose to contact your agent if you have questions or want to make changes to your policy later on. 

If you’d like to reach ManhattanLife customer service, you can call them at 800-669-9030 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday. The company can also be reached via email at cservice@ManhattanLife.com.

Complaint Index

Each year, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides a complaint index to help discuss and evaluate an insurance company’s consumer complaint trends. This number, which is adjusted for each individual company’s size and market share, has an average expected score of 1.0. 

This means that if a company’s complaint index is below 1.0, they received fewer than expected complaints for their size; a complaint index above 1.0 means they received more complaints than expected.

In 2020, ManhattanLife received a complaint index of 6.50, or six-and-and-one-half times higher than expected for the company’s size. However, it’s also important to note that for the year, this only represents two filed complaints

Third-Party Ratings

Currently, ManhattanLife and its subsidiaries hold a B+ (Good) financial strength rating from AM Best. While this isn’t a “bad” rating, per se, it’s lower than most other carriers that we review. 

The company does currently have an A (Exceptional) financial stability rating from Demotech, Inc., however.

The AM Best financial strength scale ranges from A++ to D, with B+ being the sixth-highest out of 13 possible ratings. While this is still considered “good,” it’s notably lower than the ratings of top carriers.

Cancellation Policy

Canceling a life insurance policy through ManhattanLife is fairly straightforward. 

Policies without an accrued cash value can be canceled through your agent or by submitting an online cancellation form. Additionally, if you ever stop paying premiums on your policy, your coverage will cease.

If your policy has built up a cash value, you’ll need to complete a Life Cash Surrender form in order to cancel coverage. You will receive a portion of your policy’s value, minus a surrender fee, and coverage will be discontinued.

Price

ManhattanLife does not offer online quotes or pricing information. In order to build a policy, get prices, or purchase coverage, you’ll need to speak with a local agent.

Of course, the price of your life insurance will largely depend on the type of policy you want to buy and how much coverage you need. Term life insurance is more affordable than whole life, and the more coverage you want, and the longer the term, the more you can expect to pay.

In addition to that, you can expect life insurance premiums to be impacted by a few personal factors, including your age, health and medical history, tobacco use, occupation, hobbies, and even your gender. Non-binary applicants should note that they will still be able to buy coverage, but premiums are often based on birth gender rather than stated gender.

Competition

Curious how ManhattanLife measures up to other carriers? We put this company up against Nationwide—another smaller carrier, with less than 2% of the market share—to help you see what options are out there and where to start shopping around.

Both ManhattanLife and Nationwide offer term and whole life coverage (though Nationwide also has universal life policies) and a number of plans to choose from. Both offer coverage in all 50 states and neither announced any applicable dividends for 2020.

Nationwide, however, offers online life insurance quotes as well as a life insurance needs calculator. ManhattanLife also has a notably higher complaints trend (though this only represents two total consumer complaints for the year) and a lower AM Best financial strength rating than Nationwide.

  ManhattanLife Nationwide
Market Share Unranked, 0.0986% market share 13th-largest in the U.S., 1.9%
Number of Plans 7 11
Dividends for 2020 Not announced Not announced
Service Method Agents Workplace-based or individual
AM Best Rating B+ A+
Price Rank Not available About Average
Complaints Trend 6.50 Poor 0.40 Excellent
Final Verdict

ManhattanLife has been providing life insurance coverage for more than 171 years and was the first carrier to write a policy for a woman. The company has built a trusted reputation and serves nearly one million policyholders today, though they are still one of the smaller carriers around. 

Offering just term and whole life coverage, ManhattanLife provides coverage with no medical exam requirement and only four health-related questions to answer. Policies must be purchased through a network agent, though, and no online quotes are offered, making them a less convenient option than many other household names.

Additionally, ManhattanLife holds a B+ rating from AM Best. While this rating falls in the middle of the scale, it’s notably lower than many other carriers we review. For this reason, you may want to consider your life insurance options and shop around with other carriers before making a decision.

Methodology

In order to adequately review life insurance carriers for our readers, we research and analyze a number of key factors through a comprehensive methodology. This includes looking at the plans offered, where coverage is available, how policies can be priced out and purchased, and how convenient it is to buy and manage coverage. We also compare trusted third-party ratings and consumer satisfaction in our analysis.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. NAIC. "ManhattanLife Assur Co of Amer National Complaint Index Report." Accessed May 4, 2021.