The name MetLife is widely recognized in households across the country.
Simply seeing the name MetLife, many consumers feel they can trust the company with their life insurance needs.
Less familiar is Brighthouse Financial, the MetLife spin-off that now manages all of MetLife’s individual life insurance policies.
Determining whether or not Brighthouse Financial is the right provider for you may take a little more digging.
In this review, we’ll lay out the company’s history, financial ratings, and life insurance products to help you decide if it’s a good fit.
Our Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (Brighthouse Financial) Review
Founded in 1863, MetLife was originally called National Union Life and Limb Insurance Company.
With a primary focus on aiding Civil War participants, it was a tough start with little initial success.
After over a decade of desperate business moves, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company was started by James Dow, and the company’s focus was put strictly on life insurance.
By 1879, the company was targeting industrial workers and finally found its swing in the life insurance industry.
Fast forward to 1909, when MetLife had become one of the best life insurance companies of the era, producing the largest amount of in-force insurance in the nation.
In 1915, MetLife became a mutual company, meaning it was owned not by shareholders, but by policyholders. It went public in 2000 under the ticker MET on the New York Stock Exchange.
Today, MetLife remains a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest providers of life insurance nationwide based on life insurance currently in force.
Perhaps one of the most iconic emblems which plants MetLife in the American household, and even worldwide, is its relationship with Peanuts.
Snoopy has adorned much of the marketing material, including blimps, since 1985.
MetLife is also dedicated to making a difference on a grand scale.
The MetLife Foundation has contributed millions of dollars for health and education across the United States and has invested over a billion dollars in renewable energy sources.
The company also has a special arm which aims to aid those with special needs as they work through different aspects of financial planning.
Metropolitan Life is also one of the larger employers of agents and corporate employees in the insurance category.
Its focus on employee benefits lives on, and the company houses the benefit plans for nearly 100 of the nation’s top-performing companies.
For all of these reasons, MetLife has consistently made our list of the 10 most elite life insurance companies.
Financial Strength and Ratings
MetLife is a trusted insurer for good reason. We can look beyond its rich history to its current financial performance and future outlook to assess the company’s viability.
One of the best ways to evaluate a company’s financial strength is to consider its credit ratings, which measure an insurance company’s likelihood to meet its financial commitments.
As the parent of Brighthouse Financial, we can look at MetLife’s credit ratings to get an idea of the company’s financial strength.
MetLife has secured “A” or better ratings from all four of the major agencies.
This is a feat not many companies can brag about in the U.S.
The following are the most updated financial ratings for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company:
- A.M. Best: A+
- Fitch: AA-
- Moody’s: Aa3
- Standard & Poor’s: AA-
MetLife has over $586 billion of assets under management.
Brighthouse Financial, in particular, has over 2.5 million life insurance policies and annuity contracts under management, with $219 billion in total assets.
Based on their financial performance and credit ratings, you can depend on MetLife, and consequently Brighthouse, for your life insurance needs.
MetLife is known for offering an impressive range of life insurance products, with both temporary and permanent options, a tradition carried on by Brighthouse Financial.
We’ll take a look at what each of these policies encompasses below.
Term Life Insurance
Brighthouse offers the traditional term life policies most families opt to purchase, with flexible terms to match your changing needs in life.
These policies come in traditional terms ranging from 10 to 30 years and can be converted into permanent policies.
Beyond their traditional term lengths, Brighthouse has a unique term life insurance product not offered by many of its competitors: annual renewable term.
This life insurance product can be purchased and renewed on an annual basis, as its name suggests, making it a perfect solution for someone with very specific coverage needs, like paying off a loan in a short span of time.
Brighthouse’s term life policies are not underwritten by a medical exam, meaning you can apply simply online and skip the doctor’s appointment, blood work, and samples.
Indexed Universal Life Insurance
Brighthouse’s solution to permanent life insurance needs is SmartCare, a policy that integrates life insurance and long-term care.
As an indexed universal life insurance policy, SmartCare allows you to grow your policy while protecting yourself from market changes.
You can choose from indexes like the S&P 500, MSCI EAFE, and Russell 2000®.
Applicants can also opt for a fixed growth plan or for level benefits.
The plan comes with more flexibility as you can add an accelerated death benefit rider and choose to pay a single premium or pay for the policy over 2 to 5 years.
The indemnity plan is structured in a way that simplifies long term care.
Rather than requiring you to show receipts and expenses to prove the cost of your long term care, Brighthouse allows you to retrieve the maximum amount of your LTC benefit, even if it exceeds your expenses.
While Brighthouse handles all of MetLife’s individual life insurance business, MetLife still offers employer-based life insurance.
MetLife provides several term and permanent workplace products.
They offer both Group Universal Life policies and Group Variable Universal Life policies, which are tax-advantaged and build cash value.
These policies are also portable, so they can go with you if you leave your job or retire.
MetLife also offers term life insurance in the workplace, with Basic Term Life, Supplemental Term Life, and Dependent Term Life products.
The details of the plan vary by workplace, so if you’re eligible for coverage from MetLife, be sure to talk to your benefits administrator for more information.
There’s plenty to love about MetLife and Brighthouse. Consider the following advantages of working with the industry leader:
- Reputation: MetLife has an exceptional track record that spans over more than a century with the financial ratings and assets to show for it. Though newer, Brighthouse has proven to hold itself to the same high standards, with millions of satisfied policyholders.
- Online application: You can apply for coverage online without the need to talk with an agent. If you’re young and in good health, you could get fast-tracked coverage.
- Cost: Brighthouse offers competitive rates. On its larger term life policies, upwards of a million dollars, in particular, you’ll likely find some of the best rates with Brighthouse.
- Riders: Brighthouse’s riders allow you to tailor a policy to meet your unique goals and cover unexpected circumstances that may change your family’s financial needs.
- ART: Brighthouse’s one-year term life insurance policy is a convenient option you won’t find everywhere. If you have a specific short term need, it could give you precisely the coverage you need.
Like any company, Brighthouse Financial has its shortcomings.
Keep the following disadvantages in mind as you consider Brighthouse:
- Online limitations: While you can apply for coverage online, your approval or denial will arrive via snail mail. You’ll also have a hard time altering your policy online. Naming new beneficiaries or ending your policy will require you to print, fill out, and mail in paper forms.
- Long wait time: Along those lines, Brighthouse’s approval time can get lengthy. if you are an older applicant or you are not in good health, you can expect to wait around a month for a decision.
- No whole life coverage: While Brighthouse’s SmartCare policy is an advantageous permanent solution, it isn’t whole life insurance. If you’re looking for the added security of whole life insurance, you’ll have to go elsewhere.
MetLife is a name you can count on.
Though it’s less familiar than its parent company, Brighthouse Finacial is a name you can depend on, too.
With transparency and tools to help you understand its policies and a track record of success, Brighthouse is worth a closer look for most life insurance applicants.
Whether or not it’s the right company for you depends on its ability to meet your needs with an affordable policy.
One of the best ways to ensure you pick the right provider is to get quotes.
With a few moments’ time and a few quick answers about you and your life insurance needs, you could get connected with rates from the nation’s top providers.
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) | Now Brighthouse Financial
- (800) 638-5433
- 1095 Ave. of the Americas
New York, NY 10166
Company Name (and subsidiaries)
- MetLife Services and Solutions, LLC
- American Life Insurance Company
- Brighthouse Life Insurance Company
- Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY
- General American Life Insurance Company
- Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
- New England Life Insurance Company
- MetLife Investors
- MetLife Bank
- MetLife Securities, Inc.
- Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company