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Penn Mutual Life Insurance Review 2020

Insurance, Life Insurance
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at a glance

  • Broad selection of term and permanent life insurance.
  • Quotes are not available online.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, not all companies are accepting new life insurance applications. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this emergency, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. is owned by its policyholders, which means that customers who buy whole life insurance can share in dividend payouts when the company does well. The company set its 2020 dividend payout at $100 million. Founded in 1847, Penn Mutual sells life insurance through its national network of financial advisors and does not provide quotes online. The company also offers fixed, immediate and variable annuities.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Penn Mutual life insurance

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Penn Mutual earned 4.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings from A.M. Best.

Based on these ratings, Penn Mutual is among NerdWallet’s Best Life Insurance Companies for 2020.

Life insurance options from Penn Mutual include:

Term life. You can choose a term of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years and in some cases can convert a portion or all of the term life insurance coverage to a permanent policy. The annual price stays level through the term but increases if you make the coverage permanent.

Universal life. Three types of universal life insurance policies are offered, including indexed universal life, which lets you base the cash value growth on an index, such as the S&P 500. In many cases you can receive part of the death benefit before you die if you develop a chronic or terminal illness.

Variable universal life. The policy’s cash value is based on investments you choose. You can build your own portfolio from a selection of 24 investment funds or choose one of five diversified funds to match your risk tolerance.

Whole life. As with all whole life insurance policies, the cash value grows at a guaranteed rate. Because Penn Mutual is a mutual insurer, the policy has the potential to accumulate additional money in years when the company pays out dividends.

Survivorship life insurance. A couple can both be covered under one whole life or indexed universal life policy. The death benefit is paid after the second person dies.

Penn Mutual complaints and customer satisfaction

Over three years, Penn Mutual has had significantly fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size, according to NerdWallet’s analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Penn Mutual rated below average for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study. The insurer ranked No. 19 overall out of 24 life insurance companies evaluated.

Customer satisfaction category Penn Mutual's score
Overall satisfactionBelow average
Billing and paymentBelow average
PriceBelow average
Policy offeringsBelow average
InteractionBetter than most
CommunicationAbout average

Methodology: Life insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the NAIC and A.M. Best 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.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2016-2018. 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. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.