MassMutual whole life insurance review

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Our take

MassMutual is one of the biggest insurance providers in the U.S. and paid more than $7 billion in insurance and annuity benefits in 2022. The big mutual insurance company, which offers term and whole life,  received strong ratings for being trustworthy from the MassMutual customers who responded to a recent survey by Insure.com. The company’s customers represented a relatively same percentage of respondents, but those MassMutual policyholders liked MassMutual’s policy offerings and almost all said they plan to renew their policy. 

Best whole life insurance ranking: In a recent Insure.com ranking of companies offering whole life insurance, MassMutual was ranked seventh. The company  received 3.47 stars out of a possible 5 stars (which we rounded to 3.5 stars in our whole life ranking). The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has recorded a low number of complaints about the company. The insurer scored well for historical performance, receiving 5 stars. It also received 4.6 stars for its account access.

MassMutual
MassMutual Ratings
Overall Rating:
Financial strength:
Cost competitiveness:
Pricing stability:
Account access:
Historical performance:

Insure.com’s review of the entire company and its full line of life insurance products follows. This review is based on third-party metrics and our survey of insurance customers.. Find the full methodology here , including an explanation of our survey scores.

Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • The company gets high scores for being trustworthy
  • Most of the MassMutual customers who responded to Insure.com’s survey plan to renew their policies
  • MassMutual received a higher-than-average J.D. Power satisfaction score
Cons:
  • A handful of policyholders said the company wasn’t the easiest to work with. 

How MassMutual scores for customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction rankings tell you a lot about an insurance company and how the insurer treats its customers. 

MassMutual received an above-average satisfaction score of 780 from J.D. Power. The industry average, according to data the J.D. Power released in October 2022, was 774. 

Insurance companyJ.D. Power overall satisfaction score (out of 1,000)
MassMutual780
Transamerica 740
John Hancock749
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How MassMutual scores for financial strength

In our whole life insurance ranking, MassMutual received a 5-star rating for financial strength, showcasing its ability to meet its financial obligations. MassMutual also received top scores for financial strength from several third-party ranking agencies. Each rating agency below gives MassMutual a stable outlook for its financial future. 

Third-party ratingScore for financial strength
A.M. BestA++ (Superior)
Fitch ratingsAA+ (Very strong)
Moody’s Aa3 (High quality) 
Standard & Poor’sAA+ (Very strong)

How much does MassMutual cost?

Because term life is generally the most straightforward and affordable life insurance product, Insure.com used premiums collected by CompuLife to evaluate MassMutual’s term life offerings. 

MassMutual’s life insurance’s term life insurance rates are comparable to most other insurers evaluated in the Insure.com survey. Most insurers provided coverage for under $500 a year for 35-year-old non-smokers purchasing $500,000 in coverage for a 20-year-term, and MassMutual falls in that bucket with an average annual premium of $460. Of all the insurers, Farmers charged significantly more with a premium of $614.

The industry average for a term life insurance policy is $481. Compared to the annual average premium of life insurers surveyed, MassMutual is more than 4% cheaper.

Insurance companyAverage annual premium
MassMutual$460
New York Life$465
Guardian$450

How MassMutual scores on cost competitiveness 

In our whole life insurance ranking, with data provided by Veralytic, MassMutual received a 1.5-star rating out of 5-stars. While the insurer didn’t receive the highest score of the companies we ranked, there were still three insurers that ranked lower.

How MassMutual scores on ease of service

An insurer that rates well in the ease of service category makes life easy on its customers. 

In a wide-ranging survey of insurance consumers conducted by Insure.com, a handful of MassMutual life insurance customers responded. Most said they would renew their policies with the company. However many other insurers did better in this category. 

Insurance companyPercent of customers satisfied with the company’s ease of service
MassMutual70%
State Farm91%
AIG77%

How MassMutual scores on policy offerings

A wide range of policy offerings ensures policyholders find the right coverage for their needs. 

Some 80% of the handful of customers who responded to our survey said they were satisfied with policy offerings at MassMutual, which would put the company near the middle of the pack among companies in the survey. 

Insurance companyPercent of respondents satisfied with the company’s policy offerings
MassMutual80%
State Farm 89%
AIG77%

How trustworthy is MassMutual?

Trust is at the core of the relationship between an insurance company and its policyholders. MassMutual earns an 80% mark for being trustworthy, which is a good score, but not the best of the companies surveyed.

Insurance companyPercent of survey respondents who find the company trustworthy
MassMutual80%
John Hancock 93%
Allstate75%

Do MassMutual customers plan to renew?

Happy customers tend to be loyal to their insurer. About 90% of customers plan to stick with MassMutual. 

Insurance companyPercent of survey respondents who find the company best for renewing a policy
MassMutual90%
Prudential100%
Globe Life94%

MassMutual life product details

Other services offered

  • Disability income insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Annuities
  • IRAs
  • Investment services 

States where MassMutual offers coverage

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Table
States where MassMutual offers coverage
Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington D.C.
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DC DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY
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Company Background

MassMutual

MassMutual was founded in 1851. It’s a mutual company, which means that its policyholders (rather than shareholders) share in the ownership and can receive dividends. Dividends are not guaranteed, but MassMutual has been paying them to eligible policyholders every year since 1869. 

The company was the fourth largest writer of life and annuity insurance in 2022, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The company has, as of December 2022, more than $950 billion of life protection in force, according to its website.

MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Resources & Methodology

Sources:

MassMutual. “Insurance.” Accessed June 2023.

MassMutual. “Retirement.” Accessed June 2023.

MassMutual. “Investment.” Accessed June 2023.

MassMutual. “A legacy of mutuality.” Accessed June 2023.

MassMutual. “Financial Performance and Insurance Ratings.” Accessed June 2023.

J.D. Power.” Individual Life Insurance Study”. Accessed June 2023.

Methodology

Insure.com in the fall of 2022 surveyed more than 1,500 people with auto, home, life and health insurance. The survey was conducted by online market research company Slice MR. Respondents were asked to name their insurer and the editors then selected – based on the number of responses – the top companies for this year’s Best Health Insurance Companies ranking. Insure.com needed 20 or more of a company’s customers to respond to the survey for that insurer to be included in the ranking, although in some categories the editors did consider companies with 18 or 19 responses.

Respondents were first asked to grade their insurer in the following categories – customer satisfaction, claims satisfaction and policy offerings. The percentage of respondents who said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their insurer is presented in the results.

Survey score calculation: Respondents were then asked to rank their insurer’s top three attributes out of more than a dozen presented – including customer satisfaction and policy offerings. For a number one choice, five points were given; for a second choice, three points; and for a third choice, a single point. The total points for each choice – first, second and third – were then divided by the number of each company’s customers who responded to that survey question to create a percentage. Those percentages are presented in the results as scores. 

Respondents were then asked if they would recommend their insurer to someone else. The percentage who said yes is presented in the results.

They also were given the statement “I trust my insurance company” and asked if they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. The percentage of those who said they agreed or strongly agreed is presented in the results.

The editors compiled the survey results and then collected National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ complaint data, which ranks a company by the number of customer complaints it receives, and A.M. Best data, which measures financial strength.

They also collected insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services (for auto and home insurance), Compulife (for life insurance) and the public health marketplace (for health insurance).

With the help of Prof. David Marlett, Ph.D., managing director of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center at Appalachian State University, the editors created a rating system to determine which insurance companies were best in each sector. For life insurers, we used the following weights to calculate the overall score for each company:

  • AM Best: 25% of total score
  • NAIC: 15% of total score
  • Survey: 60% of total score (10% customer satisfaction, 10% recommended, 10% renewal rate, 10% ease of service, 10% trustworthiness and 10% policy offerings)

To find the industry average annual premium, insure.com weighed the rates from 9 companies: AAA, Farmers, Guardian Life, John Hancock, Lincoln Financial, MassMutual, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual and Transamerica. Rates are based on premiums for 35-year-old males and females who are non-smokers and in good health. Rates are for a 20-year-term policy that provides $500,000 in coverage.

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Chris Kissell
Contributing Researcher

 
  

Chris Kissell is a Denver-based writer and editor with work featured on U.S. News & World Report, MSN Money, Fox Business, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Money Talks News and more.

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