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MassMutual Life Insurance offers multiple policy types, dividends on whole life insurance, generous term conversion options, and some of the highest third-party ratings in the industry. It also scores highly among our top providers for its no-medical-exam policies and financial strength.
- Pros & Cons
- Company Overview
Liberal term conversion options
Opportunity to receive dividends
Very few complaints for a company of its size
No-medical-exam policies available
Highest financial strength rating
Doesn’t accept online credit card payments
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (better known as MassMutual) was founded in 1851 and is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts. As of 2021, the company had more than $895 billion in life insurance in force and is the fifth-largest life insurance provider in the country, based on market share. MassMutual is licensed to sell life insurance products in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
- Liberal term conversion options: MassMutual allows policyholders to convert term life insurance policies into permanent coverage, without taking a medical exam or answering any health questions.
- Opportunity to receive dividends: While dividends aren’t guaranteed, MassMutual has paid them to eligible whole life insurance customers every year since 1869.
- Very few complaints for a company of its size: MassMutual received far fewer customer complaints than many other insurance companies of a similar size. No-medical-exam policies available: Applicants up to age 64 looking for $250,000 to $3 million in coverage can apply for no-medical-exam life insurance.
- Highest financial strength rating: MassMutual has an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, which is the top grade possible.
- Doesn’t accept credit cards: MassMutual policyholders don’t have the option to pay their premiums with a credit card online. The only payment methods are ACH transfer, mailing a physical check, or, in some cases, making a credit card payment by phone.
MassMutual has far fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size. To determine this, we looked to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which measures how many complaints a company receives and compares that to its market share to create a complaint index.
Averaged over three years, MassMutual has a complaint index of 0.04. Companies with an index below 1 have fewer than expected complaints, whereas an index above 1 means that a company has more complaints than expected. The closer the complaint index is to 0, the better. Of the 91 life insurance providers we reviewed, MassMutual has one of the lowest NAIC complaint scores.
MassMutual also receives excellent marks from other ratings institutions. The company has an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best, the highest financial strength rating possible. AM Best’s letter grades are calculated based on a company’s balance sheet, operating performance, and debts. Most of the life insurance providers we evaluated have AM Best scores of A or A+. Out of a total of 91 insurance companies we reviewed, MassMutual is one of only eight that has an A++ rating.
In addition, MassMutual is rated above average for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. On the list of 21 life insurance companies, MassMutual was ranked seventh, with a score of 782 out of 1,000. The industry average score is 776 out of 1,000.
Every life insurance company has its advantages and drawbacks. Before selecting a company, it’s important to compare several providers to find the best fit. In the table below, you can see how MassMutual stacks up against New York Life and Transamerica.
|MassMutual||New York Life||Transamerica|
|Types of Coverage||Term, whole, universal, variable universal||Term, whole, universal, variable||Term, whole, index universal, final expense|
|Dividends for 2022||$1.85 billion||$1.9 billion||Dividends not offered|
|Online Application||Available||Not Available||Not Available|
|AM Best Rating||A++||A++||A|
|Price for Term Policies||Better than average||Not available||Better than average|
|NAIC-Derived Complaint Index||0.04||0.279||1.370|
|J.D. Power Ranking||7||9||19|
The NAIC complaint index indicates how many complaints a company receives relative to its size. A score lower than 1.0 indicates fewer customer complaints than expected; a score greater than 1.0 indicates more complaints than expected. The closer the index is to 0, the better.
MassMutual offers four types of life insurance. Here are the policies available:
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific period of time, such as 10 or 20 years. The premiums are fixed over the lifetime of the policy, and if you pass away during the term, your beneficiary receives a death benefit. Term life insurance premiums are lower for younger people, and get increasingly more expensive with age. Some term life policies are convertible, meaning you can roll your coverage into a permanent policy, without taking a medical exam.
MassMutual offers two-term life insurance policies:
MassMutual’s term life insurance policy offers coverage for 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years, with the option to convert all or a portion of the coverage to any permanent policy the company offers. That’s more generous than many competitors, who limit the policy types you can convert to. Coverage amount ranges from $100,000 to $10 million, and premiums are guaranteed for the initial term period. To get a quote or apply for the term life policy, you must work with a MassMutual agent. A medical exam is required for some individuals.
Haven Life Term
You can also get term life insurance underwritten by MassMutual through its online affiliate, Haven Life. You can access Haven Life through MassMutual’s website and apply for a policy. Haven Term policies are available for individuals up to age 64, with coverage ranging from $250,000 to $3 million. The policies are not convertible, but they come with a built-in accelerated death benefit rider.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is a permanent life insurance policy that provides coverage for your entire lifetime. It has fixed premiums and pays a death benefit when you pass away. In addition, whole life insurance policies build cash value, which can be borrowed or withdrawn.
MassMutual’s whole-life policyholders are eligible to receive annual dividends based on the company’s financial performance. Dividends can be used to increase the death benefit or cash value, or pay premiums.
- Whole Life 100: Premiums are payable to age 100. This policy has the highest issue age of all MassMutual whole life offerings at 90 years old.
- Whole Life 65: This policy offers level premiums payable to age 65, after which the policy is guaranteed to be paid up.
- Whole Life 10/15/20-Pay: With premiums payable for 10, 15, or 20 years, this policy builds cash value more quickly than other whole life policies with longer premium periods.
- Whole Life High Early Cash Value (HECV): Designed for businesses to use with selective benefit programs for key employees and executives, HECV premiums are payable to age 85.
Premiums for a short payment period will be much higher than if you spread out payments for a longer time, but the policy’s cash value will also increase much more quickly.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life (UL) insurance is another type of permanent life insurance that builds cash value. This type of life insurance is known for its flexibility—as long as you have enough cash value in your account, you can adjust your universal life insurance premium and death benefit, depending on how your financial needs change. Some universal life insurance policies can be structured like term coverage, where the coverage is designed to remain in effect for a fixed period of time.
Universal Life (UL) Guard
UL Guard offers policyholders the option to select both the duration of the death benefit period and how long they want to pay premiums. Coverage is available for ages 18 to 85, for coverage amounts as low as $50,000. Policyholders can obtain a chronic illness rider and terminal illness rider at no additional cost.
Survivorship Universal Life (SUL) Guard
SUL Guard is a second-to-die universal life policy designed for couples who want permanent life insurance and guaranteed coverage. Premiums for this survivorship policy are typically lower than for a comparable individual life policy. Policyholders between the ages of 18 to 85 can purchase coverage as low as $100,000. Available riders include an estate protection rider and a terminal illness rider.
Variable Universal Life Insurance
Variable universal life (VUL) insurance provides the same flexibility as a universal life policy, with the option to adjust the frequency and amount of your premiums, within limits. Variable universal policies build cash value, and you’re able to choose where the money gets invested. MassMutual provides a portfolio of investment options to choose from, or you can invest the money in the Guaranteed Principal Account (GPA), a fixed account that earns guaranteed interest on a daily basis.
The Apex VUL policy combines permanent life insurance protection with potential account value accumulation via stock market investments. Policies include a chronic illness rider and coverage amount, which starts at $50,000 minimum, can be increased by exercising the policy’s guaranteed insurability rider if elected at issue or after issue to age 40.
VUL policies are the most risky type of life insurance because if your investments lose value, your premiums may increase, and the policy could ultimately lapse.
Life insurance riders are optional policies that provide coverage for things that your standard policy excludes. Some riders are free, while others cost extra and will increase your premium. Here are the riders available from MassMutual.
Guaranteed Insurability Rider
The guaranteed insurability rider allows you to purchase more life insurance coverage in the future without taking another medical exam. With this rider, you have the option to increase the face value of your current whole life policy, or purchase a new whole life, universal life, or variable universal life policy from MassMutual.
Additional coverage can be purchased every three years on option dates between the ages of 25 and 46, or you can choose the accelerated option to purchase more coverage after getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child.
Waiver of Premium
The waiver of premium rider is available as an add-on to whole life insurance policies from MassMutual. If you become disabled and are unable to work, this rider will pause your premiums temporarily, without affecting your death benefit or cash value growth. It will stay in effect on your policy until age 65, or after 10 years if you are older than 65.
Terminal Illness Rider
When you purchase an individual life insurance policy through MassMutual, you get a free terminal illness accelerated death benefit rider. This rider allows you to use money from your death benefit if you get diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of 12 months or less (although life expectancy requirements can vary by state). This rider is included at no cost on MassMutual’s term, whole life, UL, and VUL policies.
Long-Term Care Rider
A long-term care rider allows you to use some or all of your policy’s death benefit to pay for long-term care expenses, such as hospice care, a nursing home, or a home health aid. In order to use this rider, a medical professional must determine that you cannot perform certain activities of daily living (ADLs), or have cognitive impairments.
Chronic Illness Rider
If you get diagnosed with a qualifying chronic illness, a chronic illness rider enables you to receive a portion of your death benefit money early. Typically, your doctor must confirm your diagnosis and certify that you cannot perform at least two ADLs. MassMutual’s UL Guard offers this rider at no additional cost.
Some riders are only sold in select states. If you are interested in a specific rider, it’s a good idea to speak with an agent and confirm that it’s available where you live, and for the type of policy you want.
To get in touch with MassMutual, you can call the company at (800) 272-2216 during business hours, which are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time. You can also email the company by filling out this online form.
To assess the cost of MassMutual’s life insurance policies versus other life insurance companies, we got sample quotes from multiple insurers for 30-year, $250,000 term life policies for healthy males and females aged 25, 40, and 55 years old. We found that premiums charged by MassMutual were better than average, but not as good as some of its competitors on our list of best life insurance companies.
Before you purchase a life insurance policy, consider getting rate quotes from several different companies and comparing them to help you find the lowest premium.
Is MassMutual Life Insurance Right for Me?
MassMutual is a great life insurance provider for shoppers who are looking for whole life insurance with dividends or are shopping for a convertible term life policy. MassMutual also has fewer than average complaints for a company of its size, and has excellent financial strength, making it a solid option for anyone who is in the market for life insurance.
Also, when you apply for a life insurance policy from MassMutual, you will need to check the box for “male” or “female” on the application. Although transgender and non-binary individuals can qualify for life insurance, there is no industry standard for how premiums are calculated. We recommend reaching out to MassMutual to learn more about its specific underwriting practices for trangender and non-binary applicants.
Our Methodology: How We Review Life Insurance Carriers
We designed a comprehensive rating methodology based on consumer priorities and life insurance company fundamentals to rank more than 90 insurers across five general categories: financial stability, customer satisfaction, product and feature variety, the overall buying experience, and cost.
In order to do this, we collected over 5,000 data points and scored each company based on 55 metrics. We grouped metrics by category to see how insurers performed in each; we then weighted category scores to determine how companies performed overall.
To learn more, read our full Life Insurance Methodology.