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If your employer offers life insurance through MetLife, it’s worth checking your rate, since group premiums can be significantly cheaper. But if you can get a similar rate from another company, avoid purchasing supplemental coverage from MetLife, since the company has issues with customer satisfaction.
- Pros & Cons
- Company Overview
Portable coverage at group rates
Convertible term coverage
Living benefits included
Does not offer individual life insurance
Poor customer satisfaction ranking
Many complaints with the NAIC
MetLife was founded in 1868 and is headquartered in New York, New York. The company no longer sells life insurance directly to individuals but instead offers group life insurance through employers. MetLife is the nation’s biggest life insurance provider in terms of life insurance in-force. The company offers coverage in all 50 states and more than 40 countries.
MetLife is not one of our top-rated life insurance companies. You can review our list of the best life insurance companies for providers we think are better options.
- Portable coverage at group rates: You may get access to cheaper life insurance coverage through your employer, and you can take the coverage with you when you leave your job.
- Convertible term coverage: You can convert your term policy to a universal policy at a later date.
- Living benefits included: A chronic illness rider and a terminal illness rider are included at no cost with some of MetLife’s policies.
- Does not offer individual life insurance: MetLife only sells policies through employers. Because of that, policy details aren’t available online — you’ll need to talk to your employee benefits administrator.
- Poor customer satisfaction ranking: MetLife was ranked below average in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study.
- Many complaints with the NAIC: MetLife had more than triple the expected number of complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) given the company’s size, which indicates problems with customer satisfaction.
MetLife received many more complaints than expected for a company of its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Every year, the NAIC calculates a complaint index for each insurance company based on the number of complaints the company receives relative to its size or market share.
An index of 1.00 indicates an expected number of complaints given the company’s size, while an index less than 1.00 indicates fewer complaints than expected and is ideal. Over three years, MetLife had an average complaint index of 3.802, which indicates the company received more than triple the amount of complaints expected for its size. The high number of complaints about MetLife is cause for concern.
Most of the best life insurance companies we review don’t have an index higher than 1.00.
While MetLife received high marks for financial strength, the company ranked below average with regards to customer satisfaction. MetLife received an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best, an independent credit ratings agency that evaluates insurance companies. A good grade from AM Best indicates an insurance company is capable of paying claims to policyholders. We typically don’t recommend any insurance providers that score below the A bracket.
While MetLife is financially stable, the company lags behind others when it comes to customer satisfaction. MetLife ranked 14th out of 21 insurers in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, with a score of 756 out of 1,000. That’s below the industry average score of 776. MetLife’s J.D. Power ranking, along with its complaint index, indicates the company struggles with customer satisfaction issues.
Group Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance guarantees a death benefit to your beneficiaries only if you die within the specified period, which is typically 10 to 30 years. It provides protection for your family while you still have financial obligations, such as raising children or paying off a mortgage. If you die after the term has ended, your beneficiaries will not receive a payout. But term life insurance is much more affordable than permanent life insurance and is sufficient for most people.
MetLife offers employer-paid term life policies as well as supplemental, employee-paid coverage and dependent coverage. MetLife term policies can also be converted to a permanent policy later on.
Group Universal Life Insurance
Universal life (UL) insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that doesn’t expire as long as the minimum premiums are paid. It features a tax-deferred cash value and features more flexibility and lower premiums than whole life insurance. MetLife offers flexible universal life insurance coverage that is portable, so you can take your policy with you when you leave your job.
Group Variable Universal Life Insurance
Variable universal life (VUL) insurance is a type of universal life policy in which you can invest the cash value in the stock market. This type of coverage is considered the riskiest form of life insurance since your cash value can decline if your investments perform poorly, potentially causing the policy to lapse.
Riders are endorsements that allow you to get more from your life insurance coverage. MetLife includes some riders at no additional cost, while others are optional add-ons.
Child Benefit Rider
Child benefit riders typically provide term coverage for all eligible children in your family. You can often convert this coverage to a permanent policy for your child later on.
Waiver of Premium
This rider allows you to pause your premium payments if you become totally disabled and unable to work. There’s typically a waiting period before you can waive your premiums, however.
Accidental Death Benefit
This provides an additional death benefit if the insured dies as a result of an accident.
Terminal Illness Rider
Included at no cost, this accelerated benefit rider (ABR) allows you to access a portion of the death benefit while you’re alive if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness. This can help cover the cost of care but may be used for whatever you want. Note that it will reduce the death benefit your beneficiaries receive.
Chronic Illness Rider
Included at no cost, this ABR provides access to a portion of the death benefit ahead of your death should you be diagnosed with certain chronic conditions. To use this benefit, you usually need to have lost the ability to perform at least two activities of daily living or suffer a severe cognitive impairment.
If you use an accelerated benefit rider, also called living benefit riders, you reduce the death benefit your beneficiaries receive.
If you need assistance with your MetLife policy, you can either contact your employee benefits administrator or reach out to MetLife directly. MetLife doesn’t list their customer service hours, but you can use one of the following phone numbers to contact the company:
- Group term insurance: 866-492-6983
- Group universal life: 800-523-2894
- Group variable universal life: 800-756-0124
- Individual life: 800-638-5000 (if you have an existing policy)
Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers
We designed a comprehensive ranking methodology based on consumer priorities and life insurance company fundamentals to rank more than 90 insurers across five general categories: financial stability, customer satisfaction, product and feature variety, the overall buying experience, and cost.
In order to do this, we collected over 5,000 data points and scored each company based on 55 metrics. We grouped metrics by category to see how insurers performed in each; we then weighted category scores to determine how companies performed overall.
To learn more, read our full Life Insurance Methodology.
J.D. Power. “2021 US Individual Life Insurance Study | JD Power.”