8.9 / 10

Brighthouse Financial Life Insurance Review

Brighthouse Financial offers several life insurance options, including a low-cost no-medical exam term life policy available through Policygenius.

Tim Torres

Tim Torres

Published September 9, 2020

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Methodology
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At Policygenius, we're committed to providing objective and transparent advice through strict editorial standards to help you get insurance right. Read more about our methodology.

Brighthouse

OVERALL

8.9

THE GOOD

    Very affordable term life insurance

    No-medical exams for SimplySelect term life product

    Instant decision approval

    Convertible options are available

THE BAD

    Only few term lengths available

    No rate reconsideration

THE BOTTOM LINE

Brighthouse Financial sits on Policygenius' list of the best life insurance companies, based on cost, financial confidence, third-party customer ratings, life insurance policy options, and ease of application.

Best for: Skipping the Medical Exam
Brighthouse SimplySelect allows qualified shoppers to avoid the medical exam while still paying some of the lowest rates around, providing first-class convenience and affordability.

For our reviews, we rate carriers based on our recommended term life product. In this case, that’s Brighthouse’s SimplySelect plan.

Cost

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10.0

Confidence

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8.0

Policy Details

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7.3

Ease of Application

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9.4

BRIGHTHOUSE FINANCIAL COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

2 of 5

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J.D. Power Rating

A trusted customer satisfaction and product quality research agency

A+

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BBB Rating

A nonprofit organization focusing on marketplace trust and product quality

A

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A.M. Best

100-year-old U.S. credit rating agency focused on the insurance industry

IN THIS ARTICLE

The Details


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The Good

Very affordable. For people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, Brighthouse’s SimplySelect term life product is one of the more affordable options out there, with competitive rates below the industry average.

No-medical exam option available. SimplySelect uses accelerated underwriting, meaning there’s no medical exam required for issue ages 25 to 49 and a half. People with low-level health concerns only need to answer medical questions and go over medical and insurance histories.

Instant decision approval. The approval for Brighthouse’s SimplySelect policy usually happens within 24 hours. If there’s something up with your medical or insurance history, credit score, or motor vehicle report medical records, you may have to wait longer.

Convertible options are available. Term life customers can convert to a permanent life insurance policy, without taking a medical exam, after the first year of their policy.

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The Bad

Only a few term lengths available. There are only three term lengths available for Brighthouse’s SimplySelect term life product. The One Year Term policy is technically renewable each year, but will become more and more expensive each year.

No rate reconsideration. Some carriers let you lower your rates if your health improves after a year or so. If you’re hoping to get your premiums lowered after 12 months, you won’t be able to with Brighthouse.

The Breakdown

Cost

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10.0

Life insurance rates depend on several determining details such as age, gender, where you live, and, of course, your health. Do you smoke? Does your family have a history of any chronic conditions? Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions? These details will decide the cost of your premiums.

Brighthouse’s premiere term life product, SimplySelect, is a level term product that provides death benefit protection for 10, 20 or 30 years, with no medical exam required that provides instant coverage. Here’s a sample rate based on a healthy male in his 20s:

AGEBRIGHTHOUSE AVERAGEINDUSTRY AVERAGE
20s$16.17$28.02
30s$28.58$32.06
40s$52.80$60.97

Sample rates for healthy male applicant, $500,000 in coverage. Rates current as of August 2020.

As you can see, Brighthouse is quite competitive compared to other carriers, with costs well below the industry average. For people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, SimplySelect is one of the most affordable options for term life insurance.

In fact, most people with low-level health concerns, including the following groups, are more likely to be considered and approved for SimplySelect:

In general, people with lighter health concerns will benefit most from the SimplySelect policy.

More chronic conditions and habits, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, or smoking tobacco in the last 12 months, will jeopardize your decision for SimplySelect.

Don’t let that deter you from seeking out life insurance though, as there are plenty of companies for nicotine users, people with diabetes, and other situations.

→ Older shopper? Check out the best life insurance companies for seniors

Confidence

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8.0

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing life insurance is the company’s ability to eventually pay your family members. Besides, you should know if the carrier will last long enough to eventually pay your beneficiaries the money they’re owed. For that information, we turn to the industry’s top credit rating agencies.

It also helps to know some background about the carrier. In this case, Brighthouse Financial is a Fortune 500 company with over $200 billion in assets, and, in a short amount of time, already has over 2 million insured members. That’s a solid start for a relatively fresh life insurance company.

Here’s what the financial experts think:

  • Year founded: 2017
  • A.M. Best: A
  • Moody’s: A3
  • Standard & Poor’s: A+

Credit rating firm A.M. Best, which specializes in the insurance industry, gives Brighthouse an A rating. That means they have an excellent ability to fulfill customer obligations. Carriers with a B rating or less are more vulnerable to risk.

Bond credit rating firm Moody’s scores Brighthouse an A3, meaning it’s a low credit risk and a great investment. Companies with an A rating and above are considered upper-medium grade and subject to low credit risk.

And credit analysis firm Standard & Poor’s rates Brighthouse an A+, for long-term stability and the ability to meet the financial needs of customers. Companies are rated on a scale from AAA to D. The higher the rating, the more likely a company is to pay its debts.

Third-Party Ratings

To get a sense for a life insurance company’s customer satisfaction, we look at ratings and reviews from third-party sources, including the Better Business Bureau and other sites that check the pulse of shopper sentiment.

Brighthouse serves over 2 million policyholders, but it’s still a fairly new company, so there aren't many custom reviews available yet. As of August 2020, there is no Consumers Advocate review of Brighthouse available yet. Similarly, Consumer Affairs, which lets users directly rate companies, has a page for the carrier, but there are no reviews accounted for at this time.

Until there are more consumer reactions available, we have decided to remove Brightouse’s third-party customer ratings from our final score average. Here’s what we got so far:

  • Better Business Bureau: A+
  • NAIC complaint index: 0.44

Brighthouse gets an A+ grade from the Better Business Bureau, a nonprofit organization that grades companies based on truth in advertising, customer complaints, and other factors.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is an organization of insurance regulators that tracks the amount of complaints sent to state insurance departments. Its complaint index reveals how many customers have filed grievances, with a score of 0 meaning there weren’t enough to track, and a score of 1 representing the baseline average. Brighthouse’s low score of 0.44 means the NAIC has barely received any complaints about Brighthouse, as of August 2020.

Since these ratings — or rather, the few that are currently available — are based on individual customer complaints your mileage may vary when it comes to the quality of service you receive from Brighthouse.

Policy Details

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7.3

Brighthouse offers both term and whole life insurance. One of their term life products, SimplySelect, offers affordable coverage with level premiums and accelerated underwriting, meaning shoppers can get an instant decision with no medical exam.

Meanwhile, Brighthouse’s other term life offering, One Year Term, could be worth it for shoppers in need of short-term coverage. The whole life solution, SmartCare, is a hybrid package that includes both life insurance and long-term care coverage.

→ Term life insurance is right for most people, as it's affordable and straightforward. Learn more about term vs whole life insurance before you buy.

Term life insurance

Brighthouse has two main term life products, SimplySelect and One Year Term. Of the two, SimplySelect is the better proposition because it doesn’t require a medical exam and its rapid application process.

SimplySelect

This is a policy with accelerated underwriting and most importantly, no medical exams required. Decisions are instant, depending on the application, so they can happen within a single day. Since there’s no need for testing and a decision is made within 24 hours, applying for SimplySelect is a fast and simple process for most people. Those reasons — not to mention the extremely low monthly rates — make this product an easy recommendation.

However, it’s important to note this is not a guaranteed issue policy, and applicants still need to answer questions about their medical and prescription histories during the application process. It is still possible to be denied a policy depending on those factors.

Policy featureSimplySelect
Issue ages25 to 49 and a half
Term lengths10-, 20-, or 30-year terms
Coverage minimum$100,000
Coverage maximum$2 million

Since SimplySelect benefits healthier, somewhat younger age groups, this policy works best for people with lighter health concerns. Marijuana smokers, people with anxiety or depression, and people with heavier builds can benefit from Brighthouse’s coverage. Those are low-risk conditions and habits that will likely get through the medical questionnaire portion of the application.

Available riders
There is only one rider available for SimplySelect policyholders.

  • Accelerated death benefit. This rider provides a payment, or a portion, of the death benefit to the insured if they become terminally ill with 12 months (24 in some states) or less to live.

Temporary coverage
Brighthouse provides temporary coverage during the time of underwriting. If the insured dies during this time the death benefit will be for the applied amount, up to $500,000.

Policy conversion
After the first year of the policy, SimplySelect customers can convert to permanent whole life insurance policy without taking a medical exam.

One Year Term

This one-year policy might be what you’re looking for if you want really short-term coverage.

One Year Term Details

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Available for issue ages 18 to 85, you can renew coverage or convert so long as buy additional Convertible and Renewable rider options. The base policy is not renewable and not convertible. To apply, you must call an independent insurance agent.

The minimum coverage amount is $100,000.

However, premiums will become more expensive each year you renew. Most people will not be able to afford this type of coverage, so we caution against applying for this product.

Policy conversion

Customers can convert to permanent, or whole life insurance, without taking another medical exam, so long as they add the Convertible rider.

Available riders

If you want to add more options to your One Year Term policy, you’ll need these riders:

  • Convertible rider. Lets you convert to Brighthouse Conversion Whole Life after the first year.
  • Renewable rider. Allows you to renew your coverage by the year up to five years.

Permanent life insurance

Brighthouse’s whole life solutions are fairly standard, with a policy that term life policyholders can convert to, and an indexed universal policy that ties cash build-up to a stock option.

Brighthouse Conversion Whole Life Details

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One Year Term and SimplySelect customers can convert to Brighthouse’s whole life option, with no medical exam necessary, at a higher premium. Premiums are level and there’s a cash value component.

SmartCare Details

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SmartCare is Brighthouse’s hybrid life insurance and long-term care package.

At its most basic, this is an indexed universal life insurance plan that pulls funds out of the beneficiary’s death benefit that can help with retirement or healthcare costs. Cash value will grow over time, tied to the interest rate and performance of a particular index such as Nasdaq or S&P 500. You can also build your cash value at a fixed or level rate. Just know that as coverage increases, your premiums will go up as well. Interested shoppers must apply through an independent insurance agent.

SmartCare customers can pay a single premium or pay on an annual basis for two to five years.

Available riders
The following riders are available for SmartCare policyholders:

  • Accelerated death benefit. For the first two years of a claim, this rider can pull up to 95 percent of the death benefit and policy values to help pay for long-term healthcare.
  • Extended benefit rider. If the accelerated death benefit has been exhausted, this rider provides additional benefits for an extra two or four years, without reducing the policy value.
  • Terminal illness benefit. This rider provides a one-time payment pulled from the death benefit if you become terminally ill with less than a year to live. The maximum benefit amount is either up to $250,000 or half of your policy’s face amount.

Ease of Application

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9.4

Since Brighthouse offers a range of products, your application experience will depend on the type of insurance you choose.

Application process

For SimplySelect, since there’s no exam requirement, applicants answer basic medical questions, go over medical, prescription, and insurance history, and discuss coverage options with a licensed Policygenius expert—all over the phone. Then, once an offer has been personalized and signed, approval happens in minutes. The whole process takes about half an hour.

Some customers may have to go through a second pass with more follow-up questions or requests for banking information.

Turnaround time

After approval, SimplySelect becomes active in three to four days. On average, typical life insurance policies take around six weeks from application to active policy.

Policy delivery

Brighthouse customers get their policies delivered electronically.

Rate reconsideration

Currently, Brighthouse does not offer the option for policyholders to reconsider their rates.

More information

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State availability

Brighthouse’s SimplySelect product is available in every state, except for California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, or New York. SmartCare is available everywhere, but not in California or New York. Whole Life Conversion is available only in certain states.

Change method

To change your address, beneficiary or make a claim you need to call the customer service phone line. Then, you need to fill out and return the appropriate form.

Payment methods

Brighthouse has a built-in payment portal where you can connect a bank account and pay your bills online. You can set up automatic payments.

Digital tools

If you’re trying to shop directly via Brighthouse, there’s little in the way of online tools or apps. Instead you must apply for the SimplySelect policy through Policygenius or call an insurance advisor for their other products.

Claims documentation

You need to call the Brighthouse support line to request a form to file a claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are MetLife and Brighthouse the same company?

No, Brighthouse spun off from MetLife in 2017 and now operates as its own independent life insurance carrier.

Does Brighthouse offer online quotes?

No, to receive a quote you will have to go through an insurance broker or financial advisor. You can get free quotes for Brighthouse SimplySelect online exclusively through Policygenius.

Do I need to take a medical exam?

No, not for the SimplySelect term life policy. However, you might need to schedule a medical exam for Brighthouse’s other policies.

What are the main health conditions that Brighthouse covers?

People below their 50s with low-level health concerns such as anxiety or depression, and people with heavier builds, can benefit from Brighthouse’s coverage. Marijuana smokers are also covered under Brighthouse policies.

Other shoppers should compare quotes from other companies to find the right fit.

Is the SimplySelect product only available through Policygenius?

Yes. You can get free quotes for Brighthouse SimplySelect online and speak to a Policygenius agent to answer a series of questions about your medical history, insurance history, and other factors.

*Disclosure = Brighthouse Simply Select is offered exclusively through Policygenius. We are an online marketplace that offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.

About the author

Reviews Expert

Tim Torres

Reviews Expert

Tim Torres is the reviews editor at Policygenius. His work has appeared in Computer Shopper, Tom's Guide, and numerous other outlets over the last ten years.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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