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Brighthouse Financial (Formerly MetLife) Review 2020

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at a glance

  • NerdWallet ranking: No. 16 life insurance company.
  • Relatively low volume of consumer complaints to state regulators.
  • Only sells policies through financial professionals.

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.

MetLife established Brighthouse Financial in 2017 to sell life insurance and annuities to individuals. MetLife, meanwhile, focuses on products sold as employee benefits. Brighthouse Financial life insurance policies are sold only through financial professionals.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Brighthouse Financial life insurance

Brighthouse Financial ranked No. 16 out of the 20 best life insurance companies as scored by NerdWallet. The rankings take into account insurers’ A.M. Best ratings, volume of consumer complaints to state regulators and J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction scores. NerdWallet scores national life insurers that sell policies to individuals.

Term life: Brighthouse offers terms of 1, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. The annual price and coverage amount stays level throughout the term. The company’s one-year term life insurance policy is for when short-term coverage is needed, such as bridging a coverage gap between jobs.

Universal life’s fast access to cash value: 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 says its low surrender charges (the fee policyholders pay in the early years to access cash value) make this possible.

Hybrid life insurance and long-term care: Brighthouse additionally 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 complaints and consumer 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 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study, ranking No. 22 out of 24 companies included in the study.

Customer satisfaction category Brighthouse Financial's score
Overall satisfactionBelow average
Policy offeringsBelow average
PriceBelow average
Billing and paymentBelow average
InteractionBelow average
CommunicationAbout average

More about Brighthouse Financial

In addition to life insurance, Brighthouse Financial offers index-linked, income, variable and fixed-rate annuities.

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.