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Penn Mutual Life Insurance Review 2021

Bottom line: With high customer satisfaction and a wide range of products, Penn Mutual is one of our top choices. However, you won't be able to get a quote online.
June 2, 2021
Insurance, Life Insurance
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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Penn Mutual Life Insurance

  • Rated 4 stars out of 5 by NerdWallet.
  • Broad selection of term and permanent life insurance.
  • Quotes aren't available online.

Founded in 1847, Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. sells its products through a national network of financial professionals, and it doesn’t provide quotes online. The company 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.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Penn Mutual life insurance

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Penn Mutual earned 4 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.

Based on these ratings, Penn Mutual is among NerdWallet’s Best Life Insurance Companies for 2021.

Penn Mutual life insurance pros and cons

Drew significantly fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.Quotes aren't available online.
Broad selection of term and permanent life insurance.

Penn Mutual life insurance policies

Life insurance options from Penn Mutual include:

Term life insurance: You can buy coverage in 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year terms, and premiums stay level throughout the length of the policy. If you buy the company’s Guaranteed Convertible Term policy, you can convert coverage to a permanent policy without providing updated information on your health. However, premiums typically increase when converting to lifelong coverage.

Universal life insurance: Various 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. The cash value in the company’s variable universal life insurance 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 insurance: As with most 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.

Some policies come with riders that allow you to use a portion of the death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness.

Customer complaints for Penn Mutual life insurance

Over three years, Penn Mutual drew 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.

More about Penn Mutual life insurance

Penn Mutual also offers fixed, indexed and variable annuities. The online portal allows you to pay premiums, download forms, transfer funds on variable life policies, and more.

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.

Methodology: Life insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims, and complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance. 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.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

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. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.