In the insurance industry, its rare to find a company still embracing its roots in remaining a mutual insurance company, but MassMutual is one such company. By keeping conservative and long term focused, Mass Mutual has been and will remain prepared for turbulent times.
This plays into how a carrier can grow, over time, as a mutual insurance company is owned by policy holders, not stock holders. But is this advantageous for you, in the long run?
Our review of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company will show you what it means to be a part owner, how it can help your policy out perform competitors, and more. We touch on the carrier, their history, their products, and other factors, too.
Our Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual®) Review
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, more informally called MassMutual, began back in 1851 as a mutual life insurance company, just as it remains today. Founded by George Rice (along with 31 investors), who had previously been working for Connecticut Mutual Life, the company made its debut in the neighboring state and has risen to become a staple in the life insurance industry.
With a beginning in strictly life insurance, it remained this way until 1946 when the company began making moves toward group benefits, such as life insurance and pensions. By 1981, MassMutual had begun its offering of other life insurance products outside of its standard whole life, making a move towards universal life insurance.
MassMutual by the Numbers
A Fortune 500 company today, MassMutual has grown to more than $500B in total assets and offers a full line of life insurance products, disability, long term care insurance (also LTCi), annuities, 529 plans, complete retirement planning and more. It continues to be a mutual company, where policyholders own the company, not shareholders; it is not sold on any stock exchange.
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, aside from becoming a financial giant, is considered one of the best life insurance companies in America based on its financial strength. From the major agencies who rate financial institutions, A.M Best, Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s, it holds a nearly perfect score. Here’s the report card:
- A.M. Best – A++
- Fitch – AA+
- Moody’s – Aa2
- Standard & Poor’s – AA+
MassMutual has a strong focus on financial planning and insurance for businesses, families and more. Under its business umbrella, its core competencies are in safeguarding businesses, attracting key employees with benefits, and even succession planning for multi-generational businesses.
Mass Mutual Financial Group, one the marketing sides of MassMutual, offers retirement funding utilizing mutual funds through OppenheimerFunds, Inc. which has a library of more than 60 funds to choose from. OppenheimerFunds, Inc. has become very respected in the mutual fund industry, and is owned directly by MassMutual.
Life Products from MassMutual
Though they focus on more permanent insurance, MassMutual Life has a wide range of products to meet your needs, including:
- Variable Universal
- Whole Life
- Guaranteed Acceptance
Term from MassMutual is fairly competitive, but may not be the best value you can get, overall. However, if you plan to transition to a permanent policy at some time, it’s worth considering one of these policies for their conversion privileges.
The large mutual companies, like MassMutual, Northwestern Mutual, New York Life, and many others, all have a stronger focus on their core products, which are permanent in nature. Because they are mutual, these policies tend to perform better when a dividend (not guaranteed) is offered, helping the policies to grow above and beyond the standard stated interest rates.
But, if you only need term, and have no plans to convert at a later date, you may want to pass here.
A universal policy from Massachusetts Mutual is the simplest way to get into a permanent policy, while still having the ability for built-in guarantees. In addition, among the permanent solutions, it offers the most flexibility.
Like most other universal life options, there is the ability to secure long term coverage with guarantees, like minimum death benefit and duration, assuming premiums are paid on time. A standard universal contract has a stated interest, and is not tied to the market for extra stability.
If you want to mix security and have the prospect for cash growth, too, perhaps a variable universal life insurance policy from MassMutual is right for you. Keep in mind, you will have a portion of your cash value invested into the market, by way of stocks, bonds or mutual funds. You’ll need to speak with a registered representative before pursuing this type.
These policies are best for someone who likes the prospect of growth (and doesn’t mind the necessary risk), but still wants some level of guarantees and a death benefit.
True, whole life insurance, like the policies offered by MassMutual, is a lifelong insurance plan with a guaranteed minimum death benefit and premium. While it’s not as flexible as a universal, the guarantee of a payout at some point in the future, assuming you keep it current, is an absolute.
In addition, because the policy holder company ownership style, you can reasonably expect additional growth in the form of dividends, though they aren’t guaranteed. They may go to something called paid-up additions, or directly to cash accumulation.
One area MassMutual excels is their guaranteed product, which is a final expense product you can’t be turned down for. Meet the minimum requirements of death benefit and age, and you’re all set. Of course, as with all guaranteed products, payouts may differ from traditional policies, which help offset risk to the carrier. Read your policy details before signing the bottom line.
Recognition & Awards
The company has been recognized many, many times throughout its long and stoic history, but some of its most recent awards include “100 Best Companies for the Working Mother,” “Best Places To Work: LGBT Community,” “Top 50 Company for Diversity” and more. MassMutual is also a corporate sponsor for SCORE, which aims to help small business owners get what they need to succeed.
Employing thousands of agents and corporate employees, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company is poised atop the industry, and operates not only in all 50 states, but in many countries around the world. This gives Mass a huge leg up over its competitors, who may not reap the benefits of worldwide prowess.
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company represents everything a consumer or businessman would want in a company: strength, trust and a foundation built and molded for the benefit of its owners, those who transact directly with the company and nobody else. This makes Mass perhaps one of the major powerhouses in the life insurance industry, one that won’t be easily surpassed.
For guaranteed policies, Massachusetts Mutual is a great, affordable option. Their term life insurance can be affordable, as well, for certain demographics, and provides great value. In either case, you can’t go wrong buying your coverage from a superior, financially strong carrier like MassMutual.