Nippon Life Benefits Review

Group life insurance coverage for employers

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Nippon Life Benefits

Nippon Life Benefits

Our Take

Nippon Life Benefits only sells group life insurance, so individuals looking to purchase coverage for themselves will have to look elsewhere. Through Nippon, employers can offer group term, supplemental life, voluntary life, and dependent life benefits to their employees. The company has a strong reputation for financial stability and customer service, making it a good choice for employers that want to add life insurance to their benefit packages. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • High customer service scores

  • Customer support available in several languages

  • Some riders available

Cons
  • Individual life insurance not available

  • Not licensed in all 50 states

  • Limited information online

Key Takeaways
  • Nippon Life Benefits is the marketing name for Nippon Life Insurance Company.
  • Nippon is a Japan-based company that was founded in 1889.
  • It sells group life insurance policies.
  • It also sells medical, dental, vision, and disability insurance.
  • It is not licensed in Maine, New Hampshire, or Wyoming.
Company Overview

Nippon Life Benefits is the marketing name for the Nippon Life Insurance Company, a Japan-based company that was founded in 1889. 

The company only sells group life insurance; it does not sell individual policies. Besides life insurance, Nippon Life Benefits sells a range of group insurance products, including medical, dental, vision, and disability policies. 

Today, the company’s U.S. headquarters is based in New York. Nippon is one of the world’s largest mutual life insurance companies, with over $520 billion in assets. It is licensed in most states, with the exceptions of Maine, New Hampshire, and Wyoming. 

  • Year Founded 1889
  • Kinds of Plans Group life insurance
  • Number of Plans 4
  • Payment Plan Options Payroll deduction
  • Customer Service Insurance agent
  • Phone 800-374-1835
  • Official Website www.nipponlifebenefits.com

Nippon Life Benefits is not one of our top-rated life insurance companies. You can review our list of the best life insurance companies for what we think are better options.

Pros Explained

  • High customer service scores: Nippon Life Benefits has a good reputation for customer service. In its 2020 policyholder survey, the company was ranked 9.5 out of 10 in customer satisfaction. 
  • Customer support available in several languages: With some companies, customer support is only available in English. With Nippon Life Benefits, you can get assistance in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, or other languages. 
  • Some riders available: If you are eligible for a Nippon Life Benefits policy, you might be able to customize your policy by adding riders to your plan. Nippon Life Benefits offers riders like accelerated death and waiver of premium benefits.

Cons Explained

  • Individual life insurance not available: Individuals looking for policies for themselves or their loved ones are ineligible for coverage. To qualify for a Nippon policy, you must work for a participating employer. 
  • Not licensed in all 50 states: Nippon is not licensed to sell life insurance in Maine, New Hampshire, or Wyoming. Employers within those states will have to work with another insurer to offer group life benefits to their employees. 
  • Limited information online: Online quotes and detailed policy information are not available online. For details about cost and plan options, employers must contact Nippon and schedule an appointment with a representative.  

Available Plans

Nippon Life Benefits doesn’t sell individual life insurance policies. Instead, it provides group life insurance for employers that offer life insurance benefits to their workers. Employer-provided life insurance can be appealing because it’s usually cheaper than individual insurance policies and you may not have to undergo a medical exam. 

Nippon Life Benefits has four group life options: 

Dependent Life

Dependent life policies are provided in conjunction with group term life, supplemental life, or voluntary life policies. With dependent life coverage, employees can get coverage for their spouses. They can also insure children between the ages of 14 days and 19 years (25 if the child is a full-time student). 

Group Term Life

With group term life coverage, employees can get up to $300,000 in term life insurance. Depending on the size of the employer, guaranteed issue policies can be for as much as $100,000. 

Supplemental Life

Available in conjunction with group term life, employees can use a supplemental life policy to get additional coverage beyond the insurance the employer provides. It is only available to companies that have at least five enrolled employees or 25% participation, whichever is greater. A portability option is available if you leave your job and want to take your coverage with you. 

Voluntary Life

Voluntary life premiums are mostly paid for by workers, but employees can purchase life insurance at lower rates than if they bought life insurance on their own. Employees can get up to $300,000 in coverage, and a portability option is available. 

Available Riders

When you buy a life insurance policy, either through your employer or on your own, you often have the ability to add optional insurance riders to your plan. While riders can increase your premiums, they can be worth it because they can give you additional coverage or allow you to use your benefits under special circumstances. 

Nippon has the following riders: 

Accelerated Death

If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a limited life expectancy, the accelerated death benefit rider will allow you to use up to 50% of your death benefit, up to a maximum of $100,000, while you’re living. 

Waiver of Premium

With the waiver of premium rider, your monthly premiums will be waived if you become disabled before you turn 60. 

Customer Service

Although Nippon Life Benefits’ policies are only available through employers, it does have robust customer service resources available. It has a members portal and mobile app where you can manage your policy and make payments. You can also message benefit specialists through the mobile app. 

If you’re a policyholder and have general questions, customer support is available in multiple languages including English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and more. You can contact customer service by phone or email: 

English and Spanish:

  • Phone: 800-374-1835
  • Email: customer-service@nipponlifebenefits.com
  • Hours: 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday

Japanese: 

  • Phone: 800-971-0638
  • Email: nippon-jcs@nipponlifebenefits.com
  • Hours: 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday

Korean: 

  • Phone: 877-827-8713
  • Email: nippon-kcs@nipponlifebenefits.com
  • Hours: 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday

Other languages: 

  • Phone: 800-374-1835

Complaint Index

When evaluating different insurance companies, it’s a good idea to look up their complaint ratios from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The complaint ratios are a measure of how many complaints consumers submitted about the company relative to its share of the market. 

In the U.S., the industry standard ratio is 1.0. A ratio over 1.0 is worse than expected since it means that the company received more complaints than expected. Similarly, a ratio below 1.0 is ideal because it means the company had fewer complaints than expected for its size. 

In 2020, the complaint ratio for Nippon’s group life insurance segment was 0.00; no complaints were submitted that year. Its overall complaint ratio was 1.17, slightly higher than the national complaint index. 

Third-Party Ratings

The insurance industry is rapidly changing. Before purchasing a policy and signing a contract, make sure the company you choose is stable, financially able to meet its future obligations, and has a solid reputation for customer service. 

AM Best is a credit rating agency that evaluates insurance companies and issues Financial Strength Ratings based on the companies’ financial stability and outlook. In 2021, AM Best affirmed the A+ (Superior) Financial Strength Rating for Nippon Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries. AM Best recognized Nippon’s strong operating performance and balance sheet in its decision.  

The J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Company only evaluated companies that issue individual life insurance policies. Because Nippon only offers group life insurance, it was not part of the study. However, Nippon Life Benefits does have a good reputation for customer support; it received a 9.5 rating out of 10 in a 2020 customer survey. 

Cancellation Policy

When you get life insurance, you are entitled to a free look period. Depending on your state, the free look period could be 10 days or more. During that time, you can cancel your coverage and get a full refund. After that, the terms for cancelling your policy can differ based on the type of coverage you have and the insurer. 

With Nippon Life Benefits, you can take advantage of portability options. If you leave your employer or are laid off, you can decide to take your policy with you and stay covered. 

Contact your human resources department or benefits coordinator to discuss Nippon’s cancellation policies. 

Price

Nippon Life Benefits doesn’t post its typical rates, nor does it have an online quote tool. However, you will likely find that Nippon’s policies are affordable. Group life plans are generally cheaper than individual life policies, and your employer may cover some or all of your premiums. 

Like other insurance companies, Nippon Life Benefits requires you to select either “male” or “female” when applying for a life insurance policy. Being nonbinary doesn’t disqualify you from getting life insurance, but you should be aware that most insurance companies haven’t updated their underwriting processes to reflect a current awareness of gender issues. 

Competition

Although Nippon Life Benefits offers multiple group life policies and has positive third-party ratings, it only sells employer-provided life insurance; it isn’t available to individuals. If your employer doesn’t work with Nippon or doesn’t offer any life insurance at all, you’ll need to purchase life insurance by yourself. 

One of the best known companies is Northwestern Mutual. It is the top writer of individual life insurance policies based on direct premiums written, and it’s one of our choices for the best life insurers. It has 12 different life insurance plans and offers term, whole, universal, and variable universal coverage. 

The company has very high third-party ratings. Northwestern Mutual was ranked fourth out of 23 companies in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. The study evaluated and ranked companies based on their life insurance options, pricing, and customer service. Northwestern Mutual has an A++ (superior) rating from AM Best, the highest rating possible. Plus, it’s licensed to sell life insurance in all 50 states. 

  Nippon Life Benefits Northwestern Mutual 
Market Share Not applicable Largest in the U.S., 8.52%
Number of Plans  4 12 
Dividends for 2020  Not applicable  $6.2 billion
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives  Not applicable  Not applicable 
Service Method  Employer-provided Agents and advisors
AM Best Rating A+ (Superior) A++ (Superior)
Complaints Trend  0.00 0.50
Final Verdict

While Nippon Life Benefits’ policies aren’t available to individuals, it’s a useful option if your employer partners with Nippon to offer life insurance as part of its benefits package. You can get group term, supplemental, voluntary, or dependent life coverage at affordable rates, and your employer may even pay for some or all of your coverage. 

However, there are limited policy options and coverage amounts available. If you need additional coverage, you’re likely better off purchasing life insurance from another insurer. 

How We Review Life Insurance Companies

Our reviews of life insurance companies are based on a quantitative methodology that analyzes each insurer on its stability and reliability, customer service, claims experience, diversity of product lines, and cost. We compare the terms of each type of policy offered—including available coverage amounts, optional riders, and premium payment options—with those of other major life insurance companies. Lastly, we look at how the company is rated by third-party organizations to determine its reliability and overall reputation.

Article Sources

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  1. Nippon Life Benefits. "Customer Satisfaction Survey Results." Accessed September 24, 2021. 

  2. NAIC. "Nippon Life Insurance Company of America - Complaint Index." Accessed September 19, 2021. 

  3. AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Nippon Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiary." Accessed September 19, 2021. 

  4. J.D. Power. "Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed September 19, 2021. 

  5. Insurance Information Institute. "Facts + Statistics: Life Insurance." Accessed September 19, 2021. 

  6. AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiary." Accessed September 19, 2021.