This post is one in a series of reviews for leading carriers offering guaranteed universal life (GUL) insurance. To learn more about this product, which is often referred to as Term for Life or Term to 100, please read a review of GUL here and the pros and cons of GUL here.
Usually, it’s not easy to get quotes for permanent life insurance, such as Whole Life or Universal Life, without working directly with an agent. The illustrations take into account several variables and are not simple to understand. Guaranteed universal life is different since it is basically a guaranteed level term product that is designed to last up to age 121. For this reason, it’s fairly simple to compare rates.
To see rates for many of the leading carriers such as Protective Life, AIG, Banner Life and others, please use our quoting tool for instant rates. Under the drop down box for Type of Insurance, select “Lifetime”. As we explain below, you won’t see MetLife’s Guaranteed Universal Life plan, but we can get that to you quickly upon your request. Keep in mind, we use two other quote engines. This allows us to show you all of the carriers offering GUL.
An Overview of MetLife
MetLife is one of the most well known life insurance companies in the world. Thanks to their ubiquitous advertising and one of the most recognizable dogs, MetLife is a household name. In fact, they are the largest life insurance company in the United States.
MetLife is the holding company for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. They offer a lot more than life insurance, but their name serves as a reminder that they started off in the life insurance business. Founded in 1868, MetLife has grown to the point that they now have over 90 million customers in over 60 countries.
Financial Strength and Ratings of MetLife
- AM Best rating: A+ (second best)
- Standard & Poor rating: AA- (fourth best)
- Comdex Score: 91
MetLife is very well positioned for the long term. They recently discontinued sales of their individual disability insurance plans. They are quick to move if they determine they are not profitable in certain market segments. Even though they are the largest life insurance company in the US, they are quick to make smart financial moves.
MetLife Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Review – Strengths and Weaknesses
- Very low rates. Their Provider Universal Life product has a guarantee to age 95. In many cases, depending on age, health, and face amount, their premium is the lowest.
- One of the strongest carriers. MetLife is a very well diversified and financially strong company as evidenced by the ratings above.
- Competitive rates for diabetics.
- Guaranteed only to age 95. This is a major concern for some folks who are worried they might outlive their policy. A very small percentage of people live past the age of 94, however, people are living longer. To see your life expectancy, please use the calculator at the Social Security site.
- Significant increase in premium at the age of 95. Below is disclaimer MetLife provides: “At the policy anniversary on which the insured reaches the attained age of 95, the annually increasing premium required to keep the policy in force will generally go up significantly. “
- Not easy to obtain quotes: It’s difficult to get quotes for this product. You won’t see MetLife’s GUL product on our quoting tool or just about anywhere else, but we can easily and quickly provide a quote to you. Since most quote services compare GUL products with a minimum guarantee to age 100, it makes it challenging to incorporate MetLife’s GUL — that only is guaranteed to age 95. However, this will likely change in the future (as of April 2017).
MetLife’s Guaranteed Universal Life Riders
- Acceleration of Death Benefit Rider. This rider provides a payment of the death benefit (all of it or partial) if the insured is diagnosed with a terminal illness with 12 0r 24 months (depending on the state) or less to live.
- Waiver of Specified Premium (WSP) Rider. This rider is a little different than most waiver of premium riders. Typically, this kind of rider will waive premiums in the event a disability. This WSP rider allows the insured to select the amount of premium to be waived in the event of the policyholder is totally disabled. The amount specified does not have to be equal to the premium. The WSP rider will stay in effect to age 65.
- Guaranteed Survivor Income Benefit Rider. This rider allows the policyholder to provide different settlement options to beneficiaries. Rather than one lump sum payment, the death benefit can be paid out over time in monthly payments.
A Scenario where MetLife would be a good fit
Let’s take an example of a 45 year-old male (we’ll call Randy) who is married to a 48 year-old named Candace. This couple has four grown children from previous marriages and they had two children together. Their children are under age 10. They both have a small life insurance policy, but were advised that they should each have another $500,000.
They decide to get a 20-year term policy for Candace and a guaranteed universal life policy for Randy. Since Randy has a family history of heart disease and none of his ancestors, including his parents, lived past age 90, he is comfortable with the guarantee to age 95 offered by MetLife. At this point in their lives, they are more dependent on Randy’s income and he expects to work past the age of 65.
The GUL policy makes sense to Randy and Candace for many reasons. Additionally, the shorter guarantee is less money and provides the long term protection Randy and Candace want.
Every Situation is Different
Depending on your unique needs and desires, a guaranteed universal life plan with MetLife (or another carrier) may or may not be a good solution. We will be glad to help you understand your options and provide comparison quotes based on your health history. Please call us for quick and free quotes.