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Bottom line: MassMutual's strong lineup of policies and low volume of customer complaints help make it one of NerdWallet's highest-rated life insurance companies.
Policies offered: Term, permanent & no-exam.
Financial strength: Exceptional.
Complaints: Far fewer than expected.
Buy online? Yes.
How we review life insurance companies
Founded in 1851, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. is one of the largest U.S. life insurers. It offers a broad range of term and permanent life insurance, and primarily sells policies through a network of agents across the country.
As a mutual company, MassMutual is owned by its policyholders. This means that certain policyholders are eligible to receive dividend payments based on the company’s financial performance. It’s set to pay out a record $1.9 billion to policyholders in 2023.
MassMutual life insurance
MassMutual earned 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.
Based on these ratings, MassMutual is among NerdWallet’s Best Life Insurance Companies.
MassMutual life insurance pros and cons
MassMutual life insurance policies
MassMutual offers a mix of term and permanent life insurance.
Term life insurance. People ages 18 to 75 can apply online for a term life insurance policy lasting 1, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years, with coverage starting at $100,000. Premiums are typically locked in for the life of the policy, and you may convert to permanent coverage at a later date.
Whole life insurance. MassMutual has a variety of whole life insurance policies to choose from, all of which offer lifelong coverage and build cash value over time. You can apply from age 0 to 90, and most death benefits start at $25,000. There’s no maximum coverage amount, but if you want a lot, you’ll have to justify your need for a large policy.
Universal life insurance. Available to people ages 18 to 85, this universal life insurance policy lasts your entire life. Coverage starts at $50,000. It also offers flexible premiums, which may be appealing to people whose income fluctuates.
Variable universal life insurance. Along with offering permanent coverage and flexible premiums, variable universal life insurance allows you to be more hands-on with the cash value portion of your policy. You can work with a MassMutual rep to choose the investments that align with your goals and risk tolerance.
Other. MassMutual also offers free life insurance for income-eligible parents and guardians through its LifeBridge program. Qualifying applicants can get a free $50,000, 10-year term life policy to help pay for educational expenses.
MassMutual customer complaints and satisfaction
MassMutual drew significantly fewer than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size, according to three years of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
MassMutual ranked No. 7 out of 21 companies in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction.
More about MassMutual
As a MassMutual policyholder, you can manage your coverage, change your beneficiaries, request a cash value loan and pay your premiums by logging into the online portal or downloading the app.
Along with a suite of retirement and investment products and services, MassMutual offers these types of insurance:
Employee benefits, including group life insurance, critical illness insurance and accident 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.