7.9 / 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 June 8, 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 Financial

OVERALL

7.9

THE GOOD

    Very affordable term life insurance

    Convertible options are available

    No medical exams for SimplySelect term life product

THE BAD

    Products not available in every state

    Change methods over phone only

THE BOTTOM LINE

Brighthouse Financial offers term and whole life insurance products, including a term life policy that doesn’t require a medical exam. Toss in speedy underwriting and affordable rates and Brighthouse could be a fairly solid solution for customers with low-level health concerns.

Brighthouse is number 4 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.

Cost

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10.0

Confidence

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8.0

Policy Options

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6.1

Customer Experience

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7.5

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

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The Bottom Line

Brighthouse Financial, a Fortune 500 company spun off from MetLife in 2017, has one of the most affordable and convenient term life products for customers below the age of 50 in its SimplySelect offering. Premiums are lower than the industry average, the decision is fast, and there’s no need to schedule a medical exam. However, if you’re a smoker, a person with diabetes, someone who lives in New York or California, or somebody who wants more customization in their life insurance, Brighthouse may not be your best bet.

The Details


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The Good

Very affordable term life insurance. 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.

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

No-medical exam option for SimplySelect policy. 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.

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The Bad

Not available in some major states. Brighthouse products are available nationwide, except for some large states, including New York and California. Residents there will have to continue their life insurance search with other carriers.

Change methods only over phone. There are no online methods to change your beneficiary, address, or other information. To make any changes, you’ll have to pick up and dial the Brighthouse customer service phone number.

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 May 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. Older applicants should look for insurance with a carrier better suited to their needs.

For the costs of Brighthouse’s other products, including One Year Term and the whole life SmartCare policy, you’ll have to call an advisory agent.

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Compare Brighthouse to other top-rated companies

Brighthouse is a solid choice -- but it may not be the right fit for you. Compare top insurers in one place and find your best rate with Policygenius.

Confidence

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8.0

Brighthouse Financial is a Fortune 500 company with over $200 billion in assets, and, in a relatively short amount of time, already has over 2 million insured members.

Here’s what the industry 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 the carrier has an excellent ability to fulfill customer obligations.

Bond credit rating firm Moody’s scores Brighthouse an A3, which means it’s a low credit risk and a great investment.

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.

Customer Ratings

Brighthouse may have over 2 million policyholders but it’s still a relatively new company. As of May 2020, Consumer Affairs and Consumers Advocate don’t have dedicated Brighthouse reviews yet. Until there are more consumer reactions available, we have decided to remove their Customer Ratings from our final score average.

  • Better Business Bureau: A+
  • NAIC complaint index: 0.44
  • J.D. Power: 2 / 5

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

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) 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 May 2020.

J.D. Power ranks insurance companies based on clarity of billing, policy information, and pricing. Brighthouse received a 729 out of a 1000-point scale on its 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Satisfaction Study. That translates to a 2 out of 5 Power Circles, placing Brighthouse below several other companies when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Policy Options

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6.1

Brighthouse offers both term and whole life insurance. The main term life insurance product, SimplySelect, offers affordable coverage with level premiums and accelerated underwriting, so shoppers can get an instant decision with no medical exam. The whole life solution, SmartCare, is a hybrid package that includes both life insurance and long-term care coverage.

Term life insurance

One Year Term

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

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.

SimplySelect

This is a policy with accelerated underwriting, which means there are no medical exams required and decisions can happen within a single day, depending on the application. This is not a guaranteed issue policy.

Customers aged 25 to 49 and a half can apply for 10, 20 or 30-year terms. Applicants above 50 will have to apply for another policy.

Coverage begins at $100,000 and can go up to $2 million. You can pay premiums on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis, and the premiums stay level throughout the term, though they will increase if you decide to renew your coverage after the term period ends.

Since SimplySelect mostly benefits healthier, somewhat younger age groups, this policy works well for people with lighter health concerns. Marijuana smokers, people with anxiety or depression, and people with heavier builds can benefit from Brighthouse’s coverage. However, this policy is not ideal for people who smoked tobacco in the last 12 months, or for those with diabetes or sleep apnea.

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.

Permanent life insurance

Brighthouse Conversion Whole Life

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

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.

Customer Experience

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7.5

Since Brighthouse offers a wide range of products, from a low-cost no-medical exam policy to a hybrid permanent life insurance and long-term care policy, your experience in terms of application and speed may depend on which type of insurance you choose.

Brighthouse offers a decent amount of policy information provided on their website, but since their products are only available through brokers and financial advisors you may be better off looking outside the official site for specific details about policies and to get a quote.

Application process

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.

Application length

SimplySelect applicants answer basic medical questions, go over medical, prescription, and insurance history, and discuss coverage options with a licensed 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

Typical life insurance policies take around six weeks from application to active policy. The SimplySelect product becomes active in three to four days.

Policy delivery

Brighthouse customers get their policies delivered electronically.

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.

Claims documentation

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

Disclosure = Brighthouse SimplySelect 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.