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Brighthouse Financial Life Insurance Review 2021

Bottom line: Brighthouse Financial may not be everyone's best option but its wide range of policies and low number of complaints make it a good choice for some.
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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Brighthouse Financial Life Insurance

  • Ranked 3.5 stars out of 5 by NerdWallet.
  • Drew fewer than expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size.
  • Scored last in the J.D. Power study on customer satisfaction for life insurance.

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.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Brighthouse Financial life insurance

3.5 NerdWallet rating

Brighthouse Financial life insurance 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 complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Brighthouse Financial life insurance pros and cons

ProsCons
Drew fewer than expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size.Scored last in the 2020 J.D. Power study on customer satisfaction for life insurance.

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 stays 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, and 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

Brighthouse drew fewer than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Brighthouse Financial scored below average in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study for customer satisfaction, ranking 23rd out of the 23 companies listed.

More about Brighthouse Financial

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.

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.