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Bottom line: Brighthouse Financial isn't the best option for everyone, but its wide range of policies and low number of complaints make it a good choice for some.
Established by MetLife in 2017, Brighthouse Financial sells life insurance and annuities to individuals. In contrast, MetLife focuses on employee benefits. Brighthouse Financial life insurance policies are sold only through financial professionals.
Brighthouse Financial life insurance
Brighthouse Financial earned 3.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.
» MORE: Best life insurance companies
Brighthouse Financial life insurance pros and cons
Drew fewer than expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size.
Scored last in the 2021 J.D. Power study on customer satisfaction for life insurance.
» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes
Brighthouse Financial life insurance policies
Brighthouse Financial offers a range of term and permanent life insurance options, including a hybrid long-term care product.
Term life insurance: Brighthouse’s SimplySelect policy can be purchased in 10-, 20- or 30-year terms. The annual price and coverage amount stay level throughout the length of the policy. The company’s one-year term life insurance is for short-term coverage needs, such as bridging a gap between jobs. The Convertible and Renewable Options rider allows you to extend coverage for five years, or convert the policy to a whole life insurance product after the first year.
Universal life insurance: The company’s Premier Accumulator Universal Life policy gives access to most or all of a policy’s cash value within the first few years. The company doesn’t impose surrender charges, which is the fee policyholders pay to access the cash value early.
Life insurance and long-term care: Brighthouse also offers an indexed universal life policy called SmartCare. This product allows customers to use part of the policy’s death benefit to pay for long-term care.
Brighthouse Financial customer complaints and satisfaction
Over three years, Brighthouse Financial has drawn fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size, according to a NerdWallet analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Additionally, Brighthouse Financial ranked No. 21 out of 21 companies in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Life Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction.
More about Brighthouse Financial life insurance
You can make one-time premium payments online without logging into an account. Automatic payments can be set up from your bank account.
In addition to life insurance, Brighthouse Financial offers index-linked, income, variable and fixed-rate annuities.
How we review life insurance companies
In our life insurance reviews, our editorial team considers both the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:
Policies offered. There are many types of life insurance on the market, and they fall into three key categories:
Term life insurance offers temporary coverage and a guaranteed payout if the policyholder dies during the term.
Permanent life insurance typically lasts a lifetime and builds cash value that can be borrowed against in the future.
No-exam life insurance issues coverage without the need for a medical exam.
Financial strength. We use A.M. Best ratings to confirm an insurer’s long-term financial stability and ability to pay claims. For life insurance, NerdWallet typically recommends considering insurers with ratings of A- or higher. Here’s the breakdown:
Exceptional: A+, A++
Strong: A, A-
Moderate: B+, B
Complaints. These ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The best life insurance companies have fewer than the expected number of complaints.
Buy online. This indicates whether an insurer allows you to apply for and buy a policy completely online.
Dive deeper: Ratings methodology for life insurance
Life insurance buying guide
Before you start comparing companies, choose the type of life insurance you want, such as term or whole life. Decide which life insurance riders, if any, you want the policy to include. Calculate how much life insurance you need and how long you want the coverage to last. Check that the insurers you’re considering offer the coverage you’re looking for.
When comparing rates, be sure the quotes are for the same amount of coverage over the same period of time. It’s also important to make sure the policy’s medical requirements match your needs. For example, if you want to skip the life insurance medical exam but don’t mind answering health questions, confirm that the application process for each policy you're comparing aligns with that.
Price may not be the biggest driver behind your decision to buy. Look at the number of consumer complaints each company receives, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service.
For more guidance, see our life insurance buying guide.
Life insurance ratings methodology
NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on consumer experience, complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. Within the consumer experience category, we consider ease of communication and website transparency, which looks at the depth of policy details available online. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.
These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
Insurer complaints methodology
NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.