With thousands of insurance companies all competing every day to draw potential clients in, having an example of what not to do in an insurance company can help.
Metlife is one of the top names for providing life insurance, I know it certainly comes to mind when I begin thinking of it.
But for all its flare and fireworks, Metlife seems to fail where it matters most, keeping their clients happy and secure.
Metlife offers more than just life insurance to clients, being a financial company they can offer you investment opportunities and retirement plans as well, yet very few customers are every truly satisfied with their experience with Metlife.
For a company that is supposed to bring security and peace of mind to clients and their families, Metlife has been a disappointment to thousands and certainly for me as well.
Met Life History and Financial Stability
MetLife, which is short for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, began its operation over 150 years ago as the National Union Life and Limb Insurance Company in the year 1863. The group of businessmen in New York who began the insurer had a focus on providing insurance protection for soldiers and sailors against wartime disabilities during the United States Civil War.
Although MetLife is a massive company today, the early years were quite slow for the firm. In fact, within its first year of operation, only 64 accident policies had been written, along with only 17 life insurance policies. These figures put the firm last in terms of all of the other life insurance providers that were currently operating within the state of New York at that time.
Throughout the years, however, the company began to implement some changes that would prove to be more profitable for them. For example, in the last 1860s, after some reorganizing, the casualty portion of the company was eliminated so that there could be more of a focus placed on the life insurance side. This was the start of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company – and its six original employees.
Once the Great Depression had passed, MetLife soon began to sell hundreds of life insurance policies each and every day. With its headquarters still located in New York, MetLife today provides a full line of both insurance and financial products to consumers and businesses. They are a popular choice for savings, protection, and retirement products – and it is also known as the largest life insurer of in-force life insurance protection in all of North America.
MetLife also holds top positions worldwide, including in areas such as Europe, Asia, Japan, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Overall, Met serves roughly 100 million customers across the globe – which includes 95 of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies within the United States. As of 2014, MetLife held approximately $475 billion of assets under management.
Products Offered Offered by MetLife
MetLife Insurance Company provides its customers – both businesses and consumers – a wide variety of both insurance and investment-related products. These are sold via a number of different distribution channels, which include brokers and agents, banks, and direct marketing channels.
The different types of life insurance coverage that is offered through MetLife:
Term Life Insurance
Like most insurance companies, MetLife offers term insurance plan. Term life insurance is the most common choice for life insurance. One reason is because term life offers death benefit coverage only, and no additional cash value or savings component. Therefore, term life insurance is typically less costly than permanent life insurance – especially for those applicants who are younger and in good health. This type of life insurance is usually offered for certain time periods – or terms – such as 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, or even 30 years. After the period has elapsed, the policy will expire.
MetLife offers different types of term life insurance. One is a level term product. This offers affordable life insurance for a pre-determined number of years, at a set premium price. Coverage for this type of insurance can last between 10 and 30 years, with death benefit amounts that start at $100,000. MetLife also offers another type of term life product known as Simplified Issue. This type of policy offers coverage amounts of between $5,000 and $100,000. However, in return for the lower coverage amount, the carrier offers a more simple application process, as well as the potential for same day approval. This can be a good option for an individual who may have certain health issues and may not qualify for traditionally underwritten insurance plan.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance. This means that the insured will be covered with the payout, as well as build cash value in the policy. This is because funds that are inside of the policy’s cash value component are allowed to grow and compound on a tax-deferred basis, and no taxes are due until you take the money out.
A whole life insurance policy will offer guaranteed level premiums throughout the life of the policy, as well as a guaranteed amount of death benefit. And, unlike term life insurance policies, there is no set time period for whole life insurance policies. So, as long as the premium continues to be paid, the policy will continue.
In addition, the cash value of the policy may be borrowed or withdrawn by the policyholder for any reason. This can include supplementing retirement income, paying off large debts such as a home mortgage, or paying the tuition for a child or grandchild’s college tuition.
The whole life insurance policy that is offered through MetLife Insurance Company provides death benefit protection that starts at $10,000, and there is no maximum amount. With this type of policy, an individual can have a guaranteed death benefit, level premiums, and cash value that can offer long-term financial stability and protection.
MetLife also offers a guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance policy option. This plan provides coverage amounts of between $5,000 and $50,000. Applicants for this policy can be between the ages of 45 and 75. There is no medical exam to contend with, so if an individual has an adverse health condition such as diabetes, he or she may still have a good chance of qualifying. Coverage lasts throughout the insured’s lifetime – provided that the premium continues to be paid, and the policy will build up cash value over time.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance is another kind of whole life insurance. These policies offer both a death benefit, and cash value which allows tax-deferred growth of the funds inside. The big difference between whole life and universal life insurance is that with universal life (UL), there is more flexibility in terms of when premium payments are due. For example, the policyholder is allowed to choose – within certain limits – the length of the protection guarantee and the premium payment schedule up front. Both of these are guaranteed not to change, provided that the premiums continue to be paid as planned.
Just like with other types of permanent life insurance policies, cash can be withdrawn or borrowed from the policy, however, an unpaid balance will be charged against the death benefit should the insured die prior to the money being repaid.
MetLife offers universal life insurance policies with death benefits that begin at $50,000, and there is no set maximum amount. The coverage on these types of policies can go up to the insured’s age 95.
Variable Universal Life Insurance
An alternative form of universal life insurance is variable universal life. These policies essentially combine life insurance protection and an investment component all into one product. Because the cash value is linked to underlying market-related investment accounts, the funds have the opportunity to grow more than those that are in a whole life insurance policy, or even in a regular universal life insurance plan.
Here, too, policyholders can gain access to the cash value in the form of either withdrawals or loans. Also, variable universal life insurance policies may also offer a rider – at an additional cost – that will guarantee a minimum death benefit, regardless of the underlying investment performance. Because of this, the policyholder can essentially accumulate cash value while at the same time still providing loved ones with death benefit coverage.
Metlife Term Policies
Metlife offers clients the basic term life insurance package, low rates, select your term from 5, 10, 15, 20, or 30 year periods, and the availability to switch to a permanent policy later in life. From here, the initial problem only seems to be that Metlife doesn’t bring any special benefits to clients, something that is needed to draw in new customers.
But beyond that, actually getting the company to do as it’s supposed to will be a battle. Customer service is very important when looking for an insurance company. Working with families after the loss of a loved one is a delicate matter, one that isn’t easier when they aren’t getting the income they need. Without good customer service, a company will find itself losing customers at a steady rate.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing unique or special about any of Metlife’s other policies as well. You’ll get exactly what you pay for, but no benefits or features you can get from other, more dependable, insurance companies. Having security and peace of mind is exactly the reason people look to the top life insurance companies for policies, for something they can leave their families to help in the tough times after they’re gone.
Thousands of clients have already discovered how Metlife doesn’t care, and the trouble of filing a claim for any reason will be a lengthy and frustrating one, don’t be one of them. Information is free, and the information of how poorly Metlife handles their responsibility can be easily found, as well as better policies from even better insurance companies, and it’s always well worth the time.
Does that mean that I’ll never recommend Metlife to a client? Not exactly. If they come back with a competitive price, we’ll have to at least entertain using them. On the other hand a company like Banner Life or AARP will usually get a better rate for a client.
How and Where to Obtain the Best Quotes
Maybe MetLife is the best choice for you, but they are only one of the choices. How do you know if they are the cheapest policy if you don’t look at other carriers?
Hopefully, this article has given you all the information and resources you need to make an educated decisions about your life insurance coverage. If not, please let us know.
Unless you’re an insurance expert, you might not understand all of the terms and options, but luckily, you don’t have to be an expert. Instead of pouring over company websites, we can answer all of your questions. Some of the most common questions we get are:
- Which is the right type of life insurance coverage for me, whole life, term life, universal life, or variable universal life insurance?
- Will I need to take a medical exam for underwriting purposes?
- How much coverage should I obtain to fit my specific needs?
- Which insurance carrier is best for me?
We understand that the purchase of life insurance can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why we are available to help. You can give us a call at 888-836-7071.
Buying life insurance coverage is something that many people may not enjoy discussing. Without it, you could be leaving those whom you love the most at a substantial financial risk – both now and for many years into the future. Don’t leave their financial future to chance.