Few things in life are as important as ensuring your family.
Whether you need auto insurance, home insurance, or life insurance, almost all forms of insurance boil down to protect against catastrophic financial loss.
MetLife is no exception. Where the company is exceptional, however, is their age and experience.
Having been around for nearly 150 years, MetLife provides multiple insurance options for consumers no matter what type of insurance they are looking for.
If you aren't already insured against loss, don't wait.
Not only is a lack of insurance illegal in some instances (liability for auto, or state-mandated health insurance), but a lack of life insurance can cost your family greatly if something happens to you.
Funeral costs, final expenses, and any outstanding debt could fall on their shoulders to handle at a time when the last thing anyone wants to think about is money.
History and Origin
Founded on March 24, 1868, MetLife has 149 years of experience insuring people against loss, making it one of the largest—and oldest—insurance companies in the world.
The company's original name was the National Union Life and Limb Insurance Company and was created to ensure Civil War soldiers against disabilities obtained during their service.
In 1868, five years after being founded, the National Union Life and Limb Insurance Company changed its name to Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and became the company we know today.
Plans to Split
Due to fines and penalties imposed on the company because of "too big to fail" regulations, MetLife set about reducing its total size in 2012 and focusing on the insurance side of the company, but these efforts were unsuccessful.
In 2016, MetLife announced plans to split its retail business away from the core company into a secondary company called Brighthouse Financial, which launched on March 6, 2017, as an independent company with a primary focus on life insurance and annuities.
MetLife Products and Services
MetLife didn't grow to be as big as it is overnight, but rather found its success due to quality product offerings in a wide range of areas.
Take a look at what the main products and services offered by the company are:
MetLife Auto & Home provides basic auto insurance coverage that includes liability protection, collision and comprehensive coverage, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist coverage, and underinsured motorist coverage.
MetLife provides basic dental coverage, as well as more advanced plans like HMOs for specialty work. Dental insurance can be obtained individually or through your employer.
MetLife Auto & Home also provides homeowners, condo, mobile home, and renters insurance alongside their automotive coverage options. Landlords can also obtain coverage for their rental properties.
MetLife is most well known for its life insurance policies. Offering term, whole life, and every variable in between, MetLife helps you make sure your family is protected in case something happens to you. Whether you need to cover your family against a loss of income, education costs, household debts, or even basic funeral expenses, MetLife's life insurance policies can help.
In addition to these types of policies, MetLife offers additional coverage. Employers can get Group Vision insurance through MetLife for their employees. The company also offers disability and accident & health insurance policies.
The Most Popular MetLife Product
The most commonly sought out MetLife insurance policy is, without a doubt, their life insurance policy.
The company does the majority of its business within the United States, even though MetLife is now a global presence with a total worth of $917.43 billion as of Q1 2016.
MetLife Auto Insurance
MetLife auto insurance provides the protection you need when behind the wheel.
Here are the main things you need to know about their policies:
Liability, Collision and Comprehensive
In 48 out of 50 states, drivers are required by law to have liability insurance. Many car dealerships will not lease a vehicle unless you provide collision and comprehensive coverage for the vehicle upon purchase. These basic types of coverage are necessities and are included in MetLife's auto policies.
When you make a claim against your auto insurance, you are required to pay a minimum amount out of pocket. This is called a deductible. With MetLife's Deductible Savings Benefit, each year you don't make a claim you earn $50 toward your next claim, up to a maximum of $250.
No Accident Forgiveness
Many insurance companies offer accident forgiveness policies that prevent your rates from increasing after your first at-fault accident. MetLife, unfortunately, does not. This oversight on their part makes their auto policies lag behind the competition; after all, a foot slipping from the brake might not result in any damage, but if a claim is made for that then you'll pay significantly more in the long run for insurance.
MetLife provides quotes over the phone and via their website. However, keep in mind that the website requires a lot of personal information in order to provide you with a quote. Estimates put monthly premiums at an average of $217 per month, although MetLife claims most customers save an average of $536 per year.
MetLife Home Insurance
In addition to auto insurance, MetLife provides a bevy of different home insurance options.
Here are the main ones you're likely to encounter:
MetLife's home insurance options include homeowners insurance, condo insurance, renters insurance, mobile home insurance, and insurance for landlords. Each of these policies covers essentially the same area, but with a different slant to each.
What do these policies cover?
The main thing to keep in mind about MetLife home insurance is the replacement coverage. This policy provides you with the necessary funds to completely replace your home if something happens to it without considering depreciation. This means that even if your home has suffered the usual wear and tear over the years and dropped in value, MetLife still provides you with the amount you need to start over from the ground up.
The usual damages covered by homeowners insurance include damages caused by aircraft, vehicles, explosions, fire, and lightning, riot or civil commotion, smoke damage, theft, vandalism, volcanic eruption, and windstorms and hail. Earthquakes and floods are usually not covered under homeowners policies, although you can get flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.
MetLife's Umbrella Policy
An umbrella policy is designed to provide you with additional coverage, most often in cases of litigation. If you are sued for liability, your insurance coverage might not be enough. When this happens, an umbrella policy usually fills in the gap. Umbrella coverage ranges from as low as $5,000 in coverage to more than one million, and usually for low premium amounts. In fact, some umbrella policies start at just $20 per month.
Like with auto insurance, you can receive an estimated quote for MetLife homeowners insurance either on the phone or over the internet, but not all states qualify for online quotes. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to get a comprehensive quote. MetLife costs tend to be a bit higher than competitors'.
MetLife Dental Insurance
Dental insurance tends to be overlooked in lieu of health insurance.
While this is understandable, multiple studies have linked dental health to your overall health, and as anyone who has ever needed a filling knows, dental services can be expensive.
MetLife provides two primary types of dental insurance: TakeAlong Dental and employer-provided policies.
TakeAlong Dental is a personal dental insurance policy for you and your family that provides coverage regardless of your employer. This is a PPO program that covers procedures like cleanings, x-rays, dentures, orthodontic work, root canals, and more. If you want to ensure your family has dental insurance and your employer does not provide dental coverage options, then MetLife's TakeAlong Dental plan is a good option.
Employer-Provided Dental Insurance
MetLife provides PDP and PDP Plus programs through a number of employers across the country. These plans provide a large network of dentists to choose from, and most preventative care is completely covered. If you happen to live in California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, or Texas, then you may qualify for the HMO or managed dental care plans. These plans have no deductibles and offer basic medical services at lower-than-average rates.
Estimated Rates for Dental Insurance
MetLife provides affordable dental insurance rates that start at just $22.00 per month for single-person policies. Rates will vary based on your location and a number of other factors.
If something were to happen to you, how would your family handle it? Would their financial needs be met?
If you don't already have life insurance, take the time to evaluate MetLife's offerings and see what might be right for you.
Term Life Insurance
MetLife provides term life insurance policies through workplace options. This is the most affordable type of life insurance, but it's also temporary and most often only used to protect you during your working years. That said, term life insurance usually has a higher principal amount than whole life because of its temporary nature.
Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance refers to whole life, universal life, and variable life policies. It sets itself apart from term life in that it remains with you throughout your entire life; there is no expiration date on a permanent life insurance policy.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is the most recommended type of life insurance, as it covers you throughout your entire life with no time restrictions. Whole life premiums tend to remain the same throughout your entire life with no increases, and the cash value of the policy will continue to grow throughout your life. This cash value also means you can borrow against your life insurance policy and withdraw early.
Universal Life Insurance
A universal life policy is similar to a whole life policy in the length of its coverage, but it allows you to pay above and beyond the premiums into a single account. These policies also come with a minimum interest rate, ensuring that you'll earn at least a steady base rate.
Variable Life Insurance
Variable life insurance is very similar to universal life insurance, except that it provides multiple investment options. Like universal life, variable life insurance policies have a minimum base rate. You can withdraw against the cash value at any time with no penalties, and you can start or stop making additional premium payments anytime you wish.
MetLife Insurance Discounts
The easiest way to save money on your insurance premiums is to take advantage of discounts, and MetLife offers multiple discounts, depending on the type of insurance you have with them.
Auto Insurance Discounts
MetLife's auto policies have more discount options than the other policies. These are the most common choices:
Group insurance discounts are available to those with employer-provided insurance options.
Multi-policy discounts are available to those with more than one policy through MetLife.
Safe driver discounts are available to those with no marks on their driving record for the past three years.
Driver training discounts are available to those whom complete an approved driver safety course.
Mature driver discounts are available for customers between the ages of 50 and 65.
Multi car discounts are available to those that insure more than one car through MetLife.
Restricted mileage discounts are available to those who drive less than 7,500 miles annually.
Antilock brake discounts are available to those whose vehicles have computerized anti-lock brakes.
Safety features discounts are available to those whose vehicles are equipped with automatic seatbelts, air bags, and other safety features.
Antitheft system discounts are available to those with systems installed to reduce theft.
Good student discounts are available to full-time students who maintain a B average or higher.
Home Insurance Discounts
MetLife offers two main discounts for homeowners:
Home and car bundles can save up to 10% per month on premiums.
Professional, academic, and community group memberships provide a variety of different discounts depending on the specific membership.
Other discounts include employer-specific benefits, group rates, and more.
How to Cancel Your MetLife Insurance
Your MetLife insurance policy can be canceled at any time, but if you use the phone service to cancel, the representatives will talk with you about your options and what steps you can take to keep your service.
To cancel, use the online services page or call the company at 1-800-638-5000 to speak with a representative.
Here are the areas where MetLife soars over the competition.
- You can receive instant quotes for insurance.
- MetLife offers a diverse range of services compared to other insurance providers.
- MetLife has the highest rated life insurance options according to A.M. Best.
- Making claims is a simple, straightforward process.
Despite the multiple strengths of the company, there are a few areas where MetLife could stand to improve.
- Payment options are limited to only a select few.
- The online services leaves a lot to be desired.
- MetLife lacks the online educational resources of its competitors.
How to File a MetLife Claim
Filing a claim is as simple as calling 1-800-854-6011 or visiting the online claims page to get started.
Representatives are available 24 hours per day, 365 days a year to assist you in filing a claim.
You can submit claims online for more specialized services like auto glass repairs or be towing.
You would use this same process to report an accident or damage.
Once the accident takes place, ensure the safety of everyone present and then contacts MetLife to report the event.
The Most Common Complaints About MetLife Dental and Life Insurance
The main complaints customers have about MetLife revolve around their billing and customer service.
Multiple customers report issues with billing.
One customer switched their billing from one bank account to another, but the change didn't finalize until her policy drafted from the first account and caused her to overdraw.
Other customers report spending hours on the phone trying to get in touch with a representative to make a policy change, inquire about the status of a claim, and multiple other issues.
Those that got in touch with representatives say they are always courteous, but provided inadequate or incorrect information.
The services and products offered by MetLife will vary based on your location. While the differences aren't usually extreme, they are determined by the individual laws and regulations of the state in which you live. That said, some states have drastically different insurance laws that will limit the availability of certain services.
How much does MetLife Insurance go up after an accident and/or speeding ticket?
While it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how much your rates will increase after a claim, if you are at fault for an accident or receive a ticket, your rates will increase. If you have the safe driver discount, you'll experience an even greater increase as you lose the discount on top of the already increased rates.
What does comprehensive insurance cover with MetLife Insurance?
Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle not caused by an accident. Damage caused by theft, vandalism, acts of God, and other events fall under comprehensive coverage.
Does my MetLife Insurance cover a rental car?
Yes, MetLife's auto insurance offers rental car coverage.
Does my MetLife car insurance cover me in Canada or anywhere outside the USA?
Canada usually recognizes United States auto insurance as valid, but other countries do not. Coverage in Mexico and Central American countries must come through approved providers.
Does MetLife Insurance use credit scores?
MetLife does not approve or deny coverage based on credit score, but it uses your credit score to create an internal rating based on a variety of risk factors.
What are MetLife Insurance's financial strengths?
MetLife has high financial strength ratings from all of the major rating agencies.
How does MetLife's annuity work?
Annuities with MetLife work the same way as other annuities. The payments you make are combined and then doled out in periodic payments to help ensure you do not outlive your coverage.
Does MetLife offer insurance for motorcycles?
Yes, MetLife provides motorcycle insurance as an additional, option product.
What is MetLife's BBB accreditation?
MetLife is not BBB accredited, but has been rated and evaluated by customers via the BBB.
Where can I edit the information of my beneficiary?
The easiest way to change information regarding your beneficiary is through the eForm found on MetLife's website.
Will I no longer have a payout after a certain age even if I have continued to pay the premiums throughout my life?
If you have term life insurance, your coverage will expire after a set number of years. However, whole life insurance will pay out your benefits regardless of your age.
Why do I have to sign a medical authorization report if my spouse dies in a car accident?
Signing this authorization report allows MetLife to access the relevant medical records in order to process your claims.
What should I do if I signed up and have been paying for a policy that is no longer valid at MetLife?
If you have erroneously paid for a policy that is not valid, then you should gather your payment receipts and get in touch with the customer care department and dispute the payments. If you are unable to be refunded for these payments, consulting an attorney is the next logical step.
Will I or my beneficiary be notified when our policy gets matured?
Yes. If you have a term life policy and it matures, the policy ceases to operate—there will be no payout. However, if you have a whole life policy and you outlive the maturation date, then you will receive a cash payout equivalent to your death benefits.
What paperwork do I have to submit to claim the funds for my parents' policy?
The most important document is a signed death certificate from a funeral director. This document verifies that the insured is deceased and allows the insurance company to move forward with processing the claim. In many cases, the benefits will be partially paid directly to the funeral home to cover final expenses. All remaining benefits will go to the beneficiary.
Which life insurance plan is best suited for me?
Most people have a combination of term and whole life insurance throughout their lives. A whole life policy is a good idea if only to cover final expenses when you pass away. However, when you purchase a home or have notable debt (like student loans, a mortgage, etc.) then purchasing additional term life insurance until that debt is paid helps to protect your family from taking on that extra burden.
What happens to the payout when a beneficiary is under 18 years of age?
In the majority of states, a beneficiary cannot be under the age of 18. However, if you have no one else to leave the benefits to, your child can be the benficiary. Keep in mind that they will not receive the benefits until they are of age.
What life policies are available for veterans and civil servants?
There are a number of group life insurance policies provided for public servants and military veterans. The specific policy depends on your current or former employer.
What is the difference between preferred and standard rates and will these change with time?
Preferred rates are less expensive than standard rates. However, even if you are paying standard rates at the moment, you can decrease the amount you pay by improving your health. For example, if you stop smoking and haven't smoked for the past five years, you will qualify for non-smoker rates. Losing weight can also be beneficial, as it lowers cholesterol and other risk factors.
Why do the premium amounts keep varying from time to time?
Premiums can vary based on a variety of factors, and if you begin an activity that is higher-risk (a dangerous vocation or hobby, for example) then your rates may increase.
Will the premiums of my policy increase after I hit a certain age?
Once your policy is purchased, the premiums are usually set for life. However, the older you are, the more expensive the premiums will be for any new life insurance policy you purchase.
What tests are included in the medical exam and who pays for it?
The main tests include measurements of your height and weight, your blood pressure, and blood and urine samples. If you are above a certain age, some tests will require an EKG to measure your heart health. The insurance company usually pays for the medical exam.
Thinking of Going With MetLife—Our Verdict
MetLife is one of the oldest and most trusted insurance companies in the world, and while there are a few glaring downsides to certain policies (no accident forgiveness on their auto insurance, lack of potential discounts for homeowners insurance, etc.), MetLife excels at providing life insurance.
Their policies are flexible and customizable, and more importantly, life insurance is something everyone needs—particularly with the increasing cost of funerals.
Take the time to evaluate what MetLife has to offer before making your decision.
Figure out your needs and then place a call to the company to receive a quote and find out what your premiums would be.
Purchasing a life insurance policy is a life-long commitment, so do your research before pulling the trigger.
That said, we highly recommend finding some form of life insurance if you are not already insured elsewhere.
Do you have experience, negative or positive with MetLife?
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Share your thoughts in the comments below!