Cost & Coverage
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MassMutual could be a decent option if you want immediate term life insurance with up to $1 million of temporary coverage, but the monthly premiums will be costly.
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Potential to earn dividends
Immediate term policy available
Free policy for COVID-19 workers
Pricier than average
Only a few riders available
Minimal information on website
Most policies require agents to apply
THE BOTTOM LINE
Massachusetts Mutual (MassMutual) Life Insurance is a darling with financial ratings experts, but premiums are higher than average and most policy info is hidden from customers unless they contact advisory agents. Only apply if you need an immediate decision on term life insurance.
MASSMUTUAL COMPANY SPOTLIGHT
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Financially stable. Credit rating firms and financial institutions love MassMutual’s ability to pay debts. It’s a solid investment according to the pros, so no need to worry about losing out on benefits.
Potential to earn dividends. MassMutual is a mutually owned company, which means policyholders have the chance to earn dividends. Like all mutually owned companies, however, there’s no guarantee you’ll receive anything.
Immediate term policy available. MassMutual’s Direct Term life insurance policy provides an immediate decision, along with up to $1 million of temporary coverage. If you need coverage fast, this could be your solution.
Free policy for COVID-19 workers. Healthcare workers in hospitals, urgent centers, and other hotspots in Massachusetts and Connecticut can apply for 3-year term life protection, and all premiums will be paid by MassMutual.
Pricier than average. MassMutual isn’t the best choice for seniors or people with health conditions. Unless you’re young and in tip-top shape, expect to pay high monthly rates.
Only a few riders available. You’re only getting accidental death and premium of waiver for disability riders with MassMutual’s term life insurance options.
Minimal information on the website. If you’re looking for detailed policy information, including coverage numbers, issue ages, available riders, and other pertinent details, you’re likely not going to find it.
Most policies require agents to apply. Only the Direct Term policy has an online application. All the rest require advisory agents.
Life insurance costs will vary between shoppers because of individual details like age, gender, location, and your health. Depending on your characteristics, whether you’re older or younger, a smoker, or non-smoker, you could pay more or less than the industry average for term life insurance.
Using MassMutual’s online quote tool to apply for $500,000 of term life insurance on a 20-year length plan for a non-smoking male in “very good health” in California, we found the following sample rates:
MassMutual’s premiums are higher than the industry average, at least for $500,000, 20-year policies. For comparison, AIG offers an average rate of $25.534 for a healthy male in their 20s for a $500,000, 20-year policy. So, unless you’re extremely healthy and okay paying more for coverage, you can find better rates elsewhere.
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Founded in 1851, Massachusetts Mutual (MassMutual) Life Insurance is a Fortune 500 company with about $24.5 billion in capital as of April 2020. Since it’s a mutually owned company, policyholders can potentially earn dividend payments. Of course, that depends on how well the company is doing. According to financial ratings services and industry experts, MassMutual’s doing pretty well.
Here are the ratings:
Credit rating firm A.M. Best focuses specifically on the insurance industry. They rate MassMutual an A++, the highest rating a carrier can get. That means MassMutual has a superior ability to meet the financial needs of policyholders.
Financial analysis firm Moody’s gives MassMutual an Aa3, the fourth-highest rating possible, which means MassMutual is of high quality and subject to very low credit risk.
Standard & Poor’s grades MassMutual with an AA+, the second-best rating possible. That means the company is high-quality, financially sound, and has plenty of cash reserves to pay its debts.
While financial firms are confident in MassMutual, customers are a little more mixed in their response.
Here’s what customers and customer rating agencies think:
The Better Business Bureau grades companies based on advertising and customer complaints. They awarded MassMutual a B- because there were 14 complaints filed against the company that were not resolved. There’s also a 1-star customer rating based on 10 reviews. Complaints mention difficulty accessing accounts and processing claims.
Consumers Advocate, which focuses on a company’s reputation, policies, and stability, gives MassMutual an “excellent” 4.6 out of 5, based on a review from 2017.
Consumer Affairs lets customers directly review and rate companies. Based on over 90 customer reviews, MassMutual is rated 2.5 out of 5. Unprofessional customer service and long wait times are common complaints.
J.D. Power ranks insurance companies based on policies, price, and the clarity of billing and policy information. They rate MassMutual at 751, based on a 1000-scale. That translates to an “about average” 3 out of 5 Power Circles, based on their 2019 life insurance study.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks complaints submitted to state insurance departments. Based on their complaint index, MassMutual has a 0.08 rating. A score of 1 represents the baseline average, and a zero means there weren’t enough customer complaints to count. MassMutual has fewer complaints than the average.
MassMutual offers term, whole, universal, and variable universal life insurance products. Most policies require speaking to an agent directly to apply. You can apply online for only two policies, the HealthBridge free term life insurance for healthcare workers responding to the COVID-19 situation, and the Direct Term policy.
MassMutual’s basic term life package, Vantage Term, provides coverage for a fixed period of time, typically for lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. Unfortunately, that’s all the information the MassMutual website provides.
To apply and find out more information, you must contact an agent.
Policyholders can convert to permanent life plans except for the CareChoice One, MassMutual’s long term care and life insurance plan.
As of April 2020, MassMutual is offering a guaranteed issue and free 3-year term life insurance policy to doctors, nurses, lab technicians, cafeteria workers, and other healthcare workers and hospital employees on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis.
The death benefit for applicants aged 18 to 50 is $25,000, and $10,000 for ages 51 to 60, with annual income of less than $250,000. There’s no medical exam or testing required, and the premiums are paid in full by MassMutual. The policy expires after the three years are up.
This plan is available to applicants in Massachusetts and Connecticut, although MassMutual is planning to roll the plan out to more states.
MassMutual’s fast-track term life insurance product boasts a simple application and an immediate decision. There is a catch - to keep the coverage, you will need to undergo a medical exam within 90 days of applying, which could change how much your monthly premiums will cost.
Premiums stay level for 10-, 20-, or 30-year term lengths. Terms are renewable but then premium costs will increase. Issue ages are 18 to 64, with a coverage range of $100,000 to $3 million.
This policy is available everywhere in the United States, except New York. You can apply easily online.
MassMutual provides up to $1 million coverage between the time of application and your medical exam, and it lasts until full coverage kicks in, you cancel your application, or your application is declined. Policyholders receive this coverage only if qualified. Typically, that means you must be in good health. You also have to pay your first monthly premium.
MassMutual lets term life policyholders convert to permanent life plans without medical exams or questions, but only for a period of two to 10 years, depending on age. Policyholders can extend that time frame for an extra cost. They will also need to consult a financial advisor to complete the conversion.
MassMutual’s whole life plan provides medically underwritten lifetime coverage and builds cash value, which you can use to pay for college tuition, retirement funds, or other expenses.
Although not guaranteed, MassMutual whole life policyholders are eligible to receive dividends.
To apply and find out more information, you need to contact an agent.
Universal life insurance is permanent life insurance but with flexible premiums. This means you can potentially change how much you pay from month to month, depending on your financial situation.
Depending on how much you pay, this policy may build cash value, which you can borrow from at any time to use for retirement costs or other expenses.
To apply and find out more information, you have to contact an agent.
This is a permanent life insurance policy with a cash-value component that lets you invest in accounts of assets such as stocks and bonds. This means premium payments are flexible, so you can choose how much and when you pay. You also have the choice of a level, or fixed, death benefit or one that builds interest. You can also borrow from the account.
We can’t recommend variable universal life policies for most people. A fluctuating market means your premiums and death benefits will fluctuate, plus there are fees, charges, and commissions that can bleed your investment dry. Unless you’re Scrooge McDuck, there’s no reason to go with a variable universal life policy instead of a cheaper traditional term life policy.
The CareChoice One product is a single-premium whole life insurance policy that comes with a long term care insurance rider, which is money taken from the death benefit to help pay for medical care, nursing home or hospital costs, and other expenses.
CareChoice One also comes with a surrender value that increases over time. Basically, if you cancel the policy during a certain period you can receive the cash value back minus any charges, debts, or fees.
There’s no medical exam required for this policy unless the underwriter thinks it’s necessary.
This policy can also provide dividends, though they’re never a guarantee.
MassMutual’s website has very little information for its policies. You won’t find coverage ranges for most products, and there’s no rider information for anything except the term life packages. To find out more, you’ll have to find an advisory agent, which the website can help you with.
You will find an online quote tool, a blog with some general life insurance information, and a calculator that can help you figure out your coverage needs.
There is no live online chat available on the website, but you can call customer service or email but MassMutual asks for the last four digits of your Social Security Number, along with other information such as address and policy, which seems unnecessary and makes shopping without a policy more difficult than it needs to be.
MassMutual agents can be found in 49 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Residents in Alaska can’t shop for MassMutual products.
You’ll have to speak with an agent for most MassMutual policies. Calls with insurance agents typically take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.
Expect to wait up to two weeks for most policies.
Policies are delivered electronically or in the mail.
You can change your address and beneficiary online. There are also multiple forms available in PDF format. To cancel your policy you need to call the customer service number.
MassMutual currently does not accept online payments by credit card. Policyholders can pay annually or on a monthly basis, which will cost extra. You can pay the following ways:
Besides the online quote tool, MassMutual has a mobile app that lets you manage your account and policy, update your address and contact info, view billing details, make payments, and set up automatic payments.
To claim a death benefit, MassMutual requires the following:
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