3.8 / 5

MassMutual Life Insurance Review

MassMutual could be a decent option if you want immediate term life insurance with up to $1 million of temporary coverage, but monthly premiums will be costly and you will have to undergo a medical exam.

Tim Torres

By

Tim Torres

Tim Torres

Reviews Editor

Tim Torres is a former reviews editor at Policygenius, where he specialized in life insurance, homeowners insurance, auto insurance, and more. His work has also appeared in PC Mag, Tom's Guide, Tech Times, and elsewhere.

Updated|6 min read

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MassMutual

OVERALL

3.8

3.8

THE GOOD

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    Immediate term policy available

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    Financially stable

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    Potential to earn dividends

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    Unique free policy for low-income families

THE BAD

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    Very high premiums

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    All policies require medical exam

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    Must talk to agents to apply

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    Barely any detailed information available

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. Most policies require medical exams, too. But if you need an immediate decision on term life insurance, then consider applying for MassMutual’s Direct Term.

For our reviews, we rate carriers based on the recommended term life product. In the case of MassMutual, that’s the Direct Term policy.

Policy Details

Availability of such options as term length and no-med-exam availability.

7.9

Price

Average monthly premium cost for a predetermined applicant profile and common health conditions.

1.0

Financial Confidence

Consumer confidence based on scores from major financial rating institutions.

9.3

Third-Party Ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

8.1

Customer Experience

Ease of use, convenience, online tools, and availability.

8.3

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The Details

The Good

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. However, you will need to undergo a medical exam.

Financially stable. MassMutual has top marks from credit rating firms and financial institutions, including an A++ from A.M. Best. They’re 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, meaning policyholders have the chance to earn dividends. Like all mutually owned companies, however, there’s no guarantee you’ll receive anything.

Unique free policy for low-income families. If your family earns between $10,000 and $40,0000 in annual income, you could be eligible for this free term life insurance policy.

The Bad

Very high premiums. MassMutual isn’t the best choice for seniors, smokers, or people with more serious health concerns. Unless you’re young and in tip-top shape, expect to pay high monthly rates.

All policies require medical exam. All of MassMutual’s policies require applicants to undergo a medical exam. There are no policies with no-med options.

Most policies require agents to apply. Only the Direct Term policy has an online application. All the rest require calling up and speaking to advisory agents.

Barely any detailed information available. If you want more detailed policy information than what’s available on MassMutual’s website, you’ll have to call one of their agents. 

The Breakdown

Policy Details

Availability of such options as term length and no-med-exam availability.

7.9

MassMutual offers term, whole, universal, and variable universal life insurance products. Most policies require speaking to an agent directly to apply. 

Shoppers can apply online for only one policy, Direct Term, which is a term life policy that provides an immediate decision. This review focuses on that product.

Term Life Insurance

MassMutual has three term life offerings: Direct Term and a basic term life option. 

MassMutual Direct Term

MassMutual’s fast-track term life insurance product has a simple online application, $1 million in temporary coverage, and an immediate decision. There’s also a low starting minimum and a decent selection of term lengths. This policy is especially useful if you need term life insurance as soon as possible.

But there is a catch. To keep coverage you need to schedule and undergo a medical exam within 90 days of applying, which, depending on your health, could affect your monthly premium amount.

Policy Feature

Direct Term

Eligible ages

18 to 64

Term lengths

10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, 30-year terms

Coverage minimum

$100,000

Coverage maximum

$3 million

This policy is available everywhere in the United States, except New York.

Available riders

  • Accelerated death benefit rider. This lets you access some of your benefit early if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and are expected to die within a year.

  • Waiver of premium for disability. For an extra cost, this rider waives your monthly costs if you become totally disabled through illness or injury for six continuous months. Eligible ages are 18 to 59.

Temporary coverage

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.

Policy conversion

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.

Standard term life

MassMutual’s regular term life product is similar to Direct Term, except there’s no immediate decision and you have to apply through an advisory agent. Term lengths are 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, or 30-years, and coverage amounts start at $100,000. Eligible ages are 18 to 79 (for 10-year terms). Term policies can be converted to permanent ones without a fee or medical exam.

You can add accelerated death benefit or waiver of premium for disability riders to this policy.

Permanent life insurance

MassMutual has several permanent policies on offer, including a whole life product with the potential for dividends, universal and variable universal life policies, and a hybrid long-term care and whole life insurance plan.

There is also the LifeBridge program, a free insurance policy for eligible low-income families. 

LifeBridge Program Details

To be eligible for this free policy, families must earn between $10,000 and $40,0000 annually, between the ages of 19 and 42, the parent or legal guardian of one or more dependent children under 18, and employed full- or part-time. If you fit this criteria you could receive a free $50,000 10-year life insurance policy. If the insured dies during this term, the death benefit is deposited into a trust to pay for the child’s educational expenses

Participating Whole Life Insurance Details

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 Details

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.

This policy has the potential to 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.

Variable Universal Life Insurance Details

This is a permanent life insurance policy with a cash-value component that lets you invest in stocks and bonds. 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 change, 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.

CareChoice One Long Term Care and Life Insurance Details

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 the chance to skip the medical exam for this policy but that’s ultimately up to the underwriter.

This policy can also provide dividends, though they’re never a guarantee.

Price

Average monthly premium cost for a predetermined applicant profile and common health conditions.

1.0

Unfortunately, MassMutual’s rates are not competitive. Below you’ll see a sample of how much each age group will pay for a $500,000, 20-year-long Direct Term policy, which is MassMutual’s immediate decision term life product.

AGE

MASSMUTUAL

INDUSTRY AVERAGE

20s

$29.59

$27.00

30s

$33.94

$30.37

40s

$73.52

$60.76

50s

$181.40

$151.54

60s

N/A

$493.98

Rates current as of December 2021.

Unless you’re young, a non-smoker, and in decent shape, you’re going to pay a lot more than the industry average for MassMutual’s Direct Term policy.

For comparison, AIG offers an average rate of $23.91 for a healthy male in their 20s for a $500,000, 20-year policy. 

Want to know the best life insurance carriers for smokers?

Financial Confidence

Consumer confidence based on scores from major financial rating institutions.

9.3

Founded in 1851, Massachusetts Mutual (MassMutual) Life Insurance is a Fortune 500 company with billions in capital. 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. With strong scores across the board, MassMutual is in an excellent position to pay out claims for policyholders’ beneficiaries and families.

Here are the ratings:

  • A.M. Best: A++

  • Moody’s: Aa3

  • Standard & Poor’s: AA+

Credit rating firm A.M. Best focuses specifically on the insurance industry. They rate MassMutual an A++ (effective December 15, 2021), 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, meaning MassMutual is 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.

Third-Party Ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

8.1

According to third-party sources such as consumer review sites and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, MassMutual customers have little to complain about.

  • Consumers Advocate: 4.6 / 5

  • Consumer Affairs: n/a

  • NAIC complaint index: 0.14

Consumers Advocate focuses on a company’s reputation, policies, and stability. They give MassMutual an “excellent” 4.6 out of 5.

Consumer Affairs has ratings for other MassMutual services, but not for life insurance.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks complaints submitted to state insurance departments. Based on their complaint index, MassMutual has a 0.14 rating. A score of 1 represents the baseline average, and a zero means there weren’t enough customer complaints to count. MassMutual has barely any complaints compared to the average carrier. 

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Customer Experience

Ease of use, convenience, online tools, and availability.

8.3

You won’t find a lot of detailed policy information on MassMutual’s website. Coverage ranges for most products are absent and there’s no rider information for anything except the term life packages. To find out more you have to call an advisory agent, which the website can help you with.

There is an online chat tool, but you’ll talk to a bot, not a live human being. You can call customer service or email, too. 

On the bright side, you’ll find a convenient online quote tool for the Direct Term policy — which you can apply for online. There’s also a calculator that can help you figure out your coverage needs, a mobile app to manage your policy and pay bills, and financial advisors on hand to help with any questions.

Application process

Direct Term applicants can easily apply online and gain an immediate decision, but they will have to schedule and undergo a medical exam. There are no no-med options from MassMutual, unless you’re applying for CareChoice, which may still require a medical exam depending on the results of underwriting.

You’ll have to speak with an agent for other MassMutual policies.

Turnaround time

Expect to wait up to two weeks for most policies.

Policy delivery

Policies are delivered electronically or in the mail.

More Info

State availability

MassMutual agents can be found in 49 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. MassMutual products are not available in Alaska.

Change method

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 customer service.

Payment methods

MassMutual currently does not accept online payments by credit card. Policyholders can pay annually or monthly. You can pay the following ways:

  • Recurring online payment via bank account
  • By phone via bank account
  • By mail via check

Digital tools

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.

Claims documentation

To claim a death benefit you need to call a MassMutual rep, who will require the following:

  • Name, phone number, and address of beneficiary
  • Name, date of birth, and date of death of the insured
  • The insured’s policy number and Social Security number
  • The insured’s will
  • A copy of the death certificate

Frequently Asked Questions

Does MassMutual offer online quotes?

Yes, but only for the Direct Term term life policy. You enter your information, including your birth date, health status, desired coverage amount and term length, and get a quote instantly.

Do I need to take a medical exam?

Yes, even if you apply for the Direct Term policy you'll have to schedule and undergo a medical exam within 90 days. MassMutual doesn’t offer no-med term life products. To have the slightest chance of skipping the medical exam with MassMutual you’ll have to apply for the CareChoice hybrid long term care product.

Can I get free life insurance from MassMutual?

Only if your family earns between $10,000 and $40,0000 annually, if you’re employed full- or part-time, and if you’re between the ages of 19 and 42. If you’re part of a low-income family and you fit this criteria, then you could receive a free $50,000 10-year life insurance policy.

Author

Reviews Editor

Tim Torres

Reviews Editor

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Tim Torres is a former reviews editor at Policygenius, where he specialized in life insurance, homeowners insurance, auto insurance, and more. His work has also appeared in PC Mag, Tom's Guide, Tech Times, and elsewhere.

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