6.2 / 10

Liberty Mutual Life Insurance Review

Liberty Mutual could be a fine choice for shoppers who want a speedy approval, but beware the higher-than-average monthly premiums and lackluster customer service.

Tim Torres

Tim Torres

Published March 27, 2020

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Liberty Mutual

OVERALL

6.2

THE GOOD

    No medical exam for simplified term life package

    Quick approval decision for term life

    Guaranteed convertible policy

THE BAD

    Higher-than-average monthly rates

    Every change requires a different form

    Customer service needs work

    Minimal information available on website

    Mixed customer ratings

THE BOTTOM LINE

Liberty Mutual, an A-rated Boston-based company founded in 1912, provides a streamlined simplified issue term life insurance product (called Passport Term), with an instant decision and no medical exam. Liberty Mutual could be the perfect choice for those applicants who want to speed up the underwriting process.

Cost

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1.0

Confidence

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7.3

Customer Ratings

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7.7

Policy Options

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6.6

Customer Experience

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8.5

LIBERTY MUTUAL COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

4 out 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

Being the third-largest property and casualty insurer in the United States means Liberty Mutual offers only a few limited life insurance products. That said, its simplified issue term life option requires no medical exam and quickly activates. Plus, a decent selection of riders can provide some customizability. Consider Liberty Mutual if you’re in need of quick-fix life insurance and ready to pay higher-than-average premiums.

The Details


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The Good

No medical exam for simplified term life package. Liberty Mutual’s Passport Term product doesn’t require a medical exam. You’ll only have to answer a few medical-related questions and then it’s just a speedy underwriting process before a swift approval.

Quick approval decision for term life. Customers will be approved immediately after a ten-minute application for the simplified Passport term life insurance product.

Guaranteed convertible policy. Both the regular and simplified issue term life products from Liberty Mutual contain guaranteed built-in convertible policies. You won’t need to go through further underwriting, either.

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The Bad

Higher-than-average monthly rates. Most people shopping for life insurance are probably not in “excellent” health. If you are tip-top, then, great, you’ll pay lower-than-industry-average monthly rates. If not, you’ll be paying more. At least Liberty Mutual’s premiums are level, or fixed.

Every change requires a different form. Changing your beneficiary or your automatic bank payments or anything requires a different form from Liberty Mutual’s website. You can then mail the filled-out form the old-fashioned way or, if you have access to a scanner, email it. Neither way is that convenient.

Customer service needs work. Calling Liberty Mutual’s 1-800 numbers means lots of robotic menus and waiting and transferring between departments. We’ve been pinballed between representatives numerous times for basic answers to basic questions. If you’re calling to ask for product information get ready to be patient.

Minimal information available on the website. Life insurance is not Liberty Mutual’s main product. That fact is reflected in its website, which contains little detail about its term and whole life products.

Mixed customer ratings. Liberty Mutual’s financial future is looking solid, all things considered. But its customer ratings look a bit wanting. That might be concerning until you realize many of the complaints concern the company’s other insurance products, including, auto, home, and renters.

The Breakdown

Cost

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1.0

Monthly rates for life insurance depend on different determining details, such as age, gender, health, and location. Depending on your health condition, Liberty Mutual is an either an affordable or very expensive option for term life insurance.

For example, on their online quote tool you have the option to select your health status. Applicants can choose Fair, Good, Very Good, or Excellent from a drop-down menu.

“Excellent” is considered by Liberty Mutual as being in “superior health”, with normal blood pressure and cholesterol. “Very Good” is described as “generally healthy and above average in the population”, although maybe you take a prescription medication for a minor medical condition other than cholesterol and blood pressure.

We based our sample quotes on a non-smoking male from California in “Very Good” health applying for a $500,000, 20-year term policy:

AGELIBERTY MUTUAL AVERAGEINDUSTRY AVERAGE
20s$34.20$28.02
30s$42.75$32.06
40s$80.55$60.97
50s$241.20$152.00
60sN/A$504.29

Sample monthly premium quotes based on sample rates from 10 top life insurance companies. Current as of March 2020.

Applicants in excellent health will pay closer to the average.

You’ll notice above there’s no sample quote for people over 60. Those in their 60s and above will have to call Liberty Mutual for a quote.

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Confidence

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7.3

To see if the over-100-year-old Liberty Mutual will last long enough to meet the financial obligations of its policyholders we turn to the expertise of credit and financial ratings companies.

  • Number of Policyholders: N/A
  • Year Founded: 1912
  • A.M. Best: A
  • Moody’s: Baa3
  • Standard & Poor’s: A

A.M. Best, a credit rating company with a focus on the insurance market, assigns Liberty Mutual an A rating. That means the company’s outlook is stable, and they have an excellent ability to meet policyholder’s financial obligations.

Moody’s, the bond credit rating agency, rates Liberty Mutual at Baa3, which describes the company as “medium-grade” and a “moderate credit risk.” That may sound spooky, but don’t worry because Liberty Mutual is still a worthwhile investment according to Moody’s rating scale.

Finally, financial analysis firm Standard & Poor’s rates the insurer with an A, meaning Liberty Mutual has strong financial stability.

Customer Ratings

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7.7

Liberty Mutual policyholders either seem mostly satisfied or mostly aggravated. The customer complaints may look concerning, but most are centered around the company’s auto, home, and renters insurance, not life insurance.

Here’s the breakdown from top customer ratings agencies:

  • Better Business Bureau: A
  • Consumer Affairs: 3 / 5
  • Consumers Advocate: 4 / 5
  • J.D. Power: 4 / 5
  • NAIC complaint index: 0

The Better Business Bureau looks at companies and bases its grades on the advertising and amount of customer complaints. Liberty Mutual gets an A rating. But as of March 2020, there are nearly 1,000 customer complaints, with only around 300 deemed resolved. Customers also give Liberty Mutual a 1-star rating based on over 300 customer reviews. Keep in mind, however, Liberty Mutual sells other insurance products such as auto and home, and many of the ratings and reviews refer to those services.

Consumers Advocate focuses on the policy offerings, reputation, and stability of insurance companies. They rate Liberty Mutual a 4 out of 5, or “very good”, based on a 2017.

Consumer Affairs, which lets users directly rate and write reviews about companies, scores Liberty Mutual about 3 out of 5. Commenters again complain about Liberty Mutual’s auto and home products.

J.D. Power ranks insurance companies based on policies, price, and the clarity of billing and policy information. According to its 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Satisfaction Study, Liberty Mutual gets a 4 out of 5, or 788 out of a 1000-point scale, which places the company in the “better than most” category.

Then there’s the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which counts complaints submitted to state insurance departments. They give Liberty Mutual a zero on their complaint index. A score of 1 represents the baseline average, while a zero means there weren’t enough customer complaints to count. So, according to the NAIC, Liberty Mutual’s life insurance products have barely received any complaints.

Policy Options

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6.6

Liberty Mutual offers simple term life and whole life insurance packages that can be modified with a decent list of riders.

Term life insurance

Passport Term

You may see Liberty Mutual’s term life insurance called Passport Term. You can get 10, 15, 20, or 30-year terms and your payments are guaranteed to remain level -- that is, they won’t change -- for that period of time.

Customers also have the built-in option to convert to a permanent plan before the end of the term period. However, if at the end of your term you want to choose to continue your coverage you’ll have to deal with increasing premiums.

Coverage continues until 90 years of age or death. Anyone from age 18 to 70 can apply for a policy up to $1 million, while the minimum is $15,000.

Simplified Issue Passport Term

Liberty Mutual also offers simplified issue term coverage, which takes about 10 minutes for approval, requires no medical exam, and includes the option to convert to a permanent policy up to five years before the term’s end. Anyone from age 18 to 65 can apply, but the simplified issue policy maxes out at $250,000, which is considerably less coverage than you’d usually get.

Policy conversion

Term life policies are convertible to a permanent plan up to the last five years of the policy term. Customers will not have to go through underwriting again.

Available riders

Liberty Mutual offers a decent number of riders customers can use to customize their coverage term life plans, including:

  • Accelerated death benefit. This benefit is included with most Liberty Mutual plans at no extra charge. It lets policyholders diagnosed with a terminal illness receive a portion of the death benefit. There’s an additional charge for this benefit unless the owner declines it at time of application. The policy owner can elect to accelerate up to 90 percent of the death benefit.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment. Pays an additional death benefit on top of the base policy’s payout if the death resulted from qualifying accidental injuries. The maximum is less than the face amount of base policy. There’s also added coverage in case of a serious injury. The issue ages are 18 to 55.
  • Child protection. This benefit provides life insurance coverage for all eligible children, with a minimum of $10,000 and maximum of $25,000. The issue ages are 18 to 55 for this one, too.
  • Disability waiver. If you become totally disabled you will not have to pay premiums for a fixed period of time. This benefit is payable if the insured is unable to work for two years following disability.

All riders are subject to Liberty Mutual’s varying terms and conditions, so be sure to hash out the details when discussing plans with your agent.

Whole life insurance

Whole Life

Liberty Mutual offers fully underwritten guaranteed whole life insurance with level premiums and a cash component that builds interest. You can access the cash through loans. Anyone, including infants 15 days of age, 70 years of age can apply for a policy up to $1 million.

Simplified Issue Whole Life

As with term life, there’s also a simplified issue plan that doesn’t require a lengthy application or a medical exam. Similarly, anyone from 15 days of age to 65 years old can be insured, but the simplified issue policy caps at $250,000.

Available riders

Liberty Mutual offers a decent number of riders customers can use to customize their coverage plans, including:

  • Accelerated death benefit. This benefit is included with Liberty Mutual plans with no extra charge. It lets policyholders diagnosed with a terminal illness receive a portion of the death benefit. There’s an additional charge for this benefit unless the owner declines it at time of application. The policy owner can elect to accelerate up to 90 percent of the death benefit.
  • Accidental death benefit and dismemberment. Pays an additional death benefit on top of the base policy’s payout if the death resulted from qualifying accidental injuries. The maximum is less than the face amount of base policy. There’s also added coverage in case of a serious injury. The issue ages are 18 to 55.
  • Child protection. This benefit provides life insurance coverage for all eligible children, with a minimum of $10,000 and maximum of $25,000. The issue ages are 18 to 55 for this one, too.
  • Disability income. If you become totally disabled you will not have to pay premiums for a fixed period of time. This benefit is payable if the insured is unable to work for two years following disability.
  • Guaranteed insurability. This offers the option to increase death benefit at certain events of milestones without undergoing underwriting. (Not available for simplified issue plans.)
  • Payor death and disability. This rider protects the payor, or the one paying the premium, in case they die or become totally disabled. (Not available for simplified issue plans.)

All riders are subject to Liberty Mutual’s varying terms and conditions, so be sure to hash out the details when discussing plans with your agent.

Temporary coverage

Liberty Mutual does not offer temporary coverage.

Customer Experience

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8.5

Life insurance isn’t a main focus for Liberty Mutual. That becomes very clear when you visit its website, where you’ll find only the most basic information. The details for this review required some digging, including calling multiple unknowledgagle support representatives on the company’s multiple phone lines. We were put on hold and put through multiple transfers. Customers’ experience may vary.

There is no online chat help.

State availability

Liberty Mutual is available in 50 states. Some policies, riders, and other options will vary state to state.

Application length

Liberty Mutual boasts of a ten-minute application length. Getting a quote and applying online takes about the same amount of time.

Turnaround time

Expect to wait two to six weeks from initial application to policy decision. This is in line with life insurance companies. However, the simplified issue products will arrive much faster.

Policy delivery

You can get your policy sent through the mail or electronically.

Change method

To do anything, including changing your beneficiary or contract details, you have to fill out a form and scan it and email it to customer support. You can fax it, too!

Payment methods

Liberty Mutual customers can pay by credit card, mail-in check, phone, or by automatic bank draft. Deductions from your paycheck are also possible.

Digital tools

There’s the online quote tool and a coverage calculator that asks for income and basic personal info before suggesting an amount based on your responses.

There’s also an app where you can manage claims and view ID cards, but it’s more auto- and home-focused.

Claims documentation

To file a benefits claim, the beneficiary must fill out a form and fax, mail, or email the following information to Liberty Mutual:

  • Name, phone, address
  • Policy number
  • Certified death certificate
  • Coroner’s and police report (if applicable)
  • Court order (if beneficiary is an estate or minor)
  • Trust document (if beneficiary is a trust)

Policygenius 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.

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.