Travelers Life and Annuity Company Review

Customers can purchase workplace life insurance coverage through MetLife

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MetLife

MetLife

Our Take

Travelers Life and Annuity Company was acquired in 2005 by MetLife, the third-largest life insurance company in the United States. Though Travelers Life and Annuity—which is not associated with Travelers Insurance—no longer writes policies directly, consumers can still purchase life insurance coverage from MetLife through a participating employer.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Available in all states

  • Excellent industry ratings

  • Various policy types offered

Cons
  • Polices aren’t written directly by Travelers

  • Coverage is only available through the workplace

  • No online quotes

  • Coverage options will vary from one employer to the next

Key Takeaways
  • Travelers Life and Annuity Company is not affiliated with Travelers Insurance. The former was purchased by MetLife in 2005, which now issues all policies.
  • Life insurance policies are offered in all 50 states.
  • Coverage is only provided through participating employers. Group term, group universal, and group variable universal life policies are available.
  • Very little information is provided online regarding pricing, possible riders, and coverage limits. To see what your options are, ask your workplace benefits administrator.
Company Overview

The Travelers Companies have origins that date back as far as 1853, with the Saint Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. The Travelers group has been a pioneer in the insurance industry, writing the first auto insurance policy, the first air travel policy, and even the first space travel policy.

After a series of mergers and acquisitions, Travelers joined with Citicorp in 1998 to become Citigroup. From there, the company was split into two sections: Travelers Life & Annuity and Travelers Property & Casualty. The former was sold to MetLife in 2005, and the companies are no longer related.

After the MetLife acquisition, Travelers Life and Annuity stopped issuing life insurance policies. MetLife continues to issue coverage, though it’s only available in participating workplaces.

Geographical Restrictions

MetLife is licensed to operate in all 50 states.

  • Year Founded 1853
  • Kinds of Plans Group term life, group universal life, group variable universal life, AD&D, business travel
  • Number of Plans 10
  • Payment Plan Options Bi-weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-annually, Annually
  • Customer Service Online form, phone
  • Official Website www.metlife.com

Travelers Life 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

  • Available in all states: MetLife is licensed to offer life insurance coverage in all 50 states.
  • Excellent industry ratings: MetLife boasts above-average industry ratings from J.D. Power as well as an A+ (Excellent) AM Best financial strength rating.
  • Various policy types offered: Term life, dependent term life, group universal life, group variable universal life, and a range of accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) policies can be offered through participating employers.

Cons Explained

  • Policies aren’t written directly by Travelers: After being acquired by MetLife in 2005, Travelers Life and Annuity Company no longer issues life insurance policies. Instead, coverage is provided by MetLife directly.
  • Coverage is only available through the workplace: MetLife does not sell policies directly to consumers. Coverage can only be purchased through a participating workplace.
  • No online quotes: Because the policy types, features, and pricing will vary from one employer to the next, there are no online quotes offered by MetLife. To get more information about cost, you’ll need to contact your benefits administrator.
  • Coverage options will vary from one employer to the next: Each workplace can choose the policies, coverage limits, and features available to employees. There is little information to be found online, and you’ll want to check with your company to see which coverage options are offered.

Available Plans

MetLife offers a few different life insurance options, all of which can be purchased through participating workplaces. The exact policy options, coverage limits, features, and costs will depend on the employer; potential customers should check with their workplace’s benefits administrator to see which options are available.

Basic Term Life

This coverage provides a specific death benefit for a predetermined period of time, or term. Often the more affordable option, term life insurance can help protect your loved ones during certain phases of life, such as when your children are young, while you’re working to pay off shared debt, or while your family still relies heavily on your monthly income. These policies do not accrue a cash value, do not pay out a dividend, and any premiums paid into the coverage will be lost if you outlive your policy’s term.

Supplemental Term Life

This employee-paid option allows you to purchase additional life insurance coverage if, and as, your needs change over time. Whether you have a baby, buy a home, get married, or begin making more money, this supplemental coverage can help you ensure that your loved ones are adequately protected.

Dependent Term Life

With dependent term life, employees can purchase temporary life insurance coverage for dependents such as their spouse, children, or domestic partner. Coverage limits are often lower than what’s offered for the primary insured.

Group Universal Life (GUL)

With universal life insurance, participants are able to purchase permanent life insurance that builds cash value over time. This policy is portable, meaning that you can take it with you if you change jobs, quit, get fired, or even retire. If you need to adjust your coverage limit and/or premiums over time, this type of policy allows for such.

Group Variable Universal Life (GVUL)

Variable universal life is another permanent and convertible life insurance option, which offers a cash value and flexible coverage. Policyholders can choose to invest extra funds (above the cost of premiums) and earn a guaranteed interest return on funds held within the account.

Convertible policies make it possible for employees to retain their life insurance coverage even after they change jobs, quit, get fired, or even retire. Premiums may increase once converted into a personal policy.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)

This lower-cost policy option offers coverage for deaths that are accidental in nature, as well as a number of different non-lethal injuries and dismemberments. AD&D policies also provide a benefit if the insured loses his or her sight, hearing, speech, or is paralyzed in an accident. When added to an existing policy, AD&D coverage provides an additional payout on top of the standard policy’s coverage amount.

MetLife offers four AD&D coverages:

  • Basic AD&D
  • Supplemental AD&D
  • Dependent AD&D
  • Voluntary AD&D

Business Travel Accident

Travel accident insurance is purchased by the employer. If the insured dies or is injured on a business-related trip, they or their beneficiaries will receive an additional benefit on top of any other basic coverage.

Available Riders

Riders are policy add-ons that provide additional coverage or protection to the insured and their loved ones. Some riders offer an increased death benefit, while others may provide a benefit to the insured while he or she is still alive. Some can even offer beneficial coverage when the policy term ends.

The exact riders offered by MetLife will depend on the options your employer chooses. They are not listed or described on the company’s website; be sure to ask your benefits administrator which options are available to you.

Customer Service

Since MetLife policies are offered through the workplace, the best person to reach out to if you have a question about your coverage is probably your company’s own representative. Your benefits administrator will usually be able to answer these questions, make changes to your coverage, or adjust your policy’s features.

If you still need to contact MetLife directly, this can be done over the phone or via online form. The general customer service number is 800-638-5433; business hours are not listed online.

Complaint Index

Each year, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) issues a complaint index to carriers. This number helps consumers identify trends related to a company’s consumer satisfaction performance.

Complaint indices are adjusted for each company’s size and market share, with an average score of 1.00. A score greater than 1.00 means that the company received more complaints than was expected for its size; a complaint index of less than 1.00 means that the company received fewer complaints than expected.

In terms of group life policies, MetLife received a complaint index of 0.81 in 2020. In 2019, the complaint index was 0.79 and in 2018 it was 0.75. This indicates steady performance over the years and a below-average number of consumer complaints.

Third-Party Ratings

To determine how an insurance carrier performs against its competitors and within the industry as a whole, there are many third-party ratings to consider.

One trusted provider is AM Best, which offers financial strength ratings to help gauge a carrier’s stability. This can help policyholders feel confident that the carrier will remain solvent in the years to come, able to pay out if and when their loved ones need to file a claim.

AM Best has given MetLife an A+ (Excellent) financial strength rating. This is the second-highest grade awarded.

Another trusted third-party rating is provided by J.D. Power. Each year, J.D. Power issues an industry survey, taking into account factors such as a carrier’s customer service performance, coverage availability, product options, pricing, customer satisfaction, and the ease of filing claims. 

MetLife was ranked eighth in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, scoring 773 out of 1,000 possible points. This rating is considered above average for the industry.

Cancellation Policy

Since MetLife policies are only offered through participating workplaces, policies regarding cancellation and premiums may vary. 

In general, term life policies can be canceled at any time without penalty. Since these policies do not build up a cash value over time, any premiums paid into the coverage are simply lost when the policy ends.

Universal life policies do accumulate a cash value, however. Policyholders who cancel their coverage may be entitled to that cash value, minus any applicable surrender fees.

Price

Employer-sponsored coverage will vary in cost according to the coverage options available and the workplace demographics as a whole. To find out how much your coverage will run, be sure to ask your work’s benefits administrator. 

Generally, premiums on workplace policies are impacted by factors such as age, gender, and the level of coverage purchased. Term life coverage is usually more affordable than permanent coverage, such as universal life policies, and adding riders or supplemental coverage may increase your premiums further.

Though individual factors have less of an impact on premiums when it comes to workplace policies (versus personal policies), gender can still affect the price. Non-binary and transgender applicants are welcome to buy coverage, but will generally need to select their assigned gender at birth when applying.

Competition

Curious how MetLife—Travelers Life and Annuity’s parent company—stacks up to the competition?

Prudential Financial is a top life insurance company, also boasting a long history that dates back to the 1800s. Both Prudential and MetLife are licensed to operate in all 50 states, and both have A+ AM Best ratings for financial strength.

Prudential, however, pulls ahead pretty quickly from there. While MetLife only offers workplace coverage, Prudential also sells directly to consumers. MetLife only offers group term, group universal, and AD&D policies, while Prudential also sells indexed universal policies along with a slew of possible riders and added coverage options. 

Prudential also offers instant online quotes for term life policies. MetLife has no online quote options, and pricing has to be obtained by benefits administrators at each workplace.

  MetLife Prudential 
Market Share Third-largest in U.S., 6% Fifth-largest in the U.S., 5%
Number of Plans  10  12 
Service Method  Workplace coordinators  Financial professionals, online 
AM Best Rating  A+ (Excellent)  A+ (Excellent)
Price Rank  Unknown  About Average 
Complaints Trend  0.81 Excellent  0.98 Very Good 
Final Verdict

Since being acquired by MetLife in 2005, Travelers Life and Annuity no longer issues its own life insurance policies. The company, which is not affiliated with Travelers Insurance, offers group life insurance coverage to participating workplaces, via MetLife. Term, universal, variable universal, and AD&D coverage options are available.

Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers

In order to provide readers with the most accurate, informative, and complete reviews, we employ a comprehensive methodology process. This process includes researching and analyzing each carrier’s products and availability, and how those compare to the rest of the industry. We also look at factors such as pricing, customer service responsiveness, and consumer complaints. Trusted third-party ratings are analyzed as part of the review process, as well.