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MassMutual Life Insurance Review 2020

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at a glance

  • NerdWallet ranking: No. 4 life insurance company.
  • Offers immediate term life insurance online.
  • Provides a full range of financial products and services.
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.

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. is one of the largest U.S. life insurers. As a mutual company, MassMutual is owned by its policyholders. Customers who buy certain products, such as whole life insurance, are eligible to receive dividend payments when the company does well. The company estimates it will pay out $1.7 billion in dividends to eligible policyholders in 2020.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Take care of what matters most

Your family is unique — your life insurance should be, too.

MassMutual life insurance

MassMutual ranked No. 4 out of the 20 best life insurance companies as scored by NerdWallet. The ranking is based on financial strength, customer satisfaction and consumer complaints. NerdWallet scores the largest nationwide companies that sell policies to individuals.

MassMutual offers a variety of policy options, including term life, whole life, universal life and variable universal life insurance. All policies require medical underwriting and are offered through MassMutual’s representatives. 

The company also offers another term life insurance product that can be applied for online. With MassMutual’s Direct Term life insurance, coverage takes effect immediately if the application is approved. Applicants must take medical exams within 90 days. After the exam results are in, the coverage price is adjusted if necessary. You can cancel the policy and get a refund, or change the coverage amount if the price goes up.

Additionally, MassMutual offers term life insurance online through a subsidiary, Haven Life. Haven Life uses medical information to set rates, but younger and healthy applicants may not need to take a medical exam.

MassMutual complaints and customer 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 scored “about average” overall and in four of six categories in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study for customer satisfaction. Among the 24 life insurance companies included in the ranking, MassMutual was No. 12.

Customer satisfaction category MassMutual's score
Overall satisfactionAbout average
Policy offeringsAbout average
PriceThe rest
Billing and paymentAbout average
InteractionAbout average
CommunicationAbout average
Application processBetter than most

More about MassMutual

MassMutual offers a full range of financial products and services and provides workplace benefits through employers. The company offers disability and long-term care insurance, and annuities, as well as investment, wealth management and trust services. MassMutual also provides services to help parents and caregivers financially plan for loved ones with disabilities and other special needs.

Methodology: Life insurance rankings

How we came up with our rankings: We started with a list of the largest life insurance companies and then calculated a total score based on three measurements, each with equal weight within the score. We then adjusted scores to a 300-point scale:

  1. Customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power, worth up to 100 points.
  2. Complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, which measure each company’s share of complaints to state regulators relative to its share of total market premiums. We calculated each insurer’s complaint index, weighted for the market share of its subsidiaries, over a three-year period (2016-2018). We then adjusted those scores to a 100-point scale, with 100 meaning the fewest number of complaints and 1 equaling the expected number of complaints for companies of a similar size.
  3. Financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims, worth up to 100 points. All of the companies shown have solid financial strength with ratings of “excellent” to “superior.”
Scores are based on the most recently released data as of Jan. 1, 2020.

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 and life insurance.