Pros / MassMutual’s permanent policies earn high dividends.
Cons / The whole life policies have above-average premiums.
Verdict / With many choices for permanent policies and high earning potential, MassMutual is a good option despite its higher rates.
MassMutual has a long history of financial stability as evidenced by its A++ rating from A.M. Best. That’s the best rating possible and better than AIG’s score. MassMutual has very secure financials and can be relied on to pay out claims in the near to long-term future. In addition to life insurance, MassMutual offers IRAs, mutual funds and financial planning services.
MassMutual offers term and permanent life insurance policies. A term policy is the most common and affordable option. It lasts a set number of years and pays out a pre-determined amount to your beneficiaries.
Permanent policies, which is where MassMutual stands out, last as long as you pay but tend to be more expensive. If you opt for a permanent policy, expect to pay up to 10 times more than you would for a term policy. Permanent policies have a death benefit like term policies do, but a portion of your premium is put into an interest-earning account, which increases the value of your policy over the years. Permanent policies also earn annual dividends.
The premium you pay is based on many factors, the most important of which is your health. However, your age, gender, income, debt and retirement plans are also considered. With this in mind, we got quotes for two scenarios. The first was a 45-year-old man with good, but not great, health and a smoking habit. Our second scenario was a 33-year-old woman in excellent health. To keep variables to a minimum, we used the same income and debt for both and looked at policies worth $250,000 with 20-year terms.
For term policies, MassMutual showed a big split in our two examples. Our smoker had a quoted rate of $174 a month, compared to our test group’s average of $144. However, our younger non-smoker got a rate of $17, which is lower than the average of $20.
The company’s permanent policies were also more expensive than average, and we didn’t really see disparities between our two scenarios. Our 45-year-old man was quoted a rate of $571, which is much more expensive than our average of $488. Our 33-year-old was quoted $213, and the average across the companies we reviewed was $186.
One advantage of a permanent policy is you earn annual dividends. MassMutual’s last dividend was one of the highest we saw, with a rate of 6.4%. While dividends aren’t guaranteed, MassMutual has paid them out consistently for 150 years.
Permanent life insurance comes in many varieties. Whole insurance is the most basic type, and tends to be the most expensive. As such, universal life insurance has become a preferred option. With a universal policy, you can adjust the premiums and use some of the accrued value to pay the premium. You can even overpay when you can afford it. MassMutual also offers variable universal insurance. This has the same features as a regular universal policy, but you can also choose to put some the premium into an investment account that tracks a certain market, usually the S&P 500.