Metropolitan Life Insurance - Steeped in History

The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company has very interesting roots. Founded in 1863 in New York City, MetLife was created for the purpose of insuring soldiers in the Civil War. Today, the company has over 90 million customers around the world. Its longevity may be attributed, at least in part, to the fact that it has always kept its focus on protecting the working class.

This strong company is rated as excellent by several review agencies including Standard and Poor's, which has given MetLife an "AA-".

MetLife offers a number of options for those looking for affordable coverage that enjoy having freedom of choice. There are five types of insurance available:

  • Whole Life, which offers permanent coverage, cash value growth and guaranteed premiums;
  • Term Life, which suits those looking for temporary coverage with no cash value;
  • Universal Life, which is permanent, yet flexible coverage with little cash value;
  • Variable Universal Life, offering potentially higher cash value and permanent coverage;
  • Survivorship Life, which protects two individuals and offers death benefits to the surviving insured individual.

This company keeps simplicity and flexibility in mind, offering sole insurance policies under one name with a range of add-ins available, as opposed to several policy names with specific options for each name.

MetLife Whole Life Coverage

Lifetime coverage is what this policy type offers. As long as premiums are paid, cash value will grow yearly, possibly paying dividends, and can be accessed via loans or withdrawal. As well, premiums are guaranteed not to increase with age or a change in health.

Rider options include:

  • The 'Enricher' option, which increases death benefit and cash value by way of more premium payments;
  • The long-term guaranteed purchase option , which will guarantee eligibility for future long-term care coverage;
  • The guaranteed issue rider, which allows policy holders to purchase additional policies without having to prove eligibility;
  • The disability waiver of premiums benefit, which waives premiums should the policy holder become disabled.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Term Coverage

Policies can be obtained from spans ranging from 10 to 30 years. Customers can also get term coverage for as little as one year. Annual renewable policies are also available, and all term policies are convertible to permanent coverage once the end of term is reached or if the insured turns 70 years of age.

In addition to the many options for term coverage, policy holders may also choose from riders that can be added to their policy at additional cost. These include:

  • Long-term care purchase, which doesn't require evidence of eligibility to purchase;
  • Early payment, which surrenders the death benefit when terminal illness is diagnosed;
  • Disability protection, which waives premium payments but continues coverage.

MetLife Universal Coverage

Those wishing to have a universal policy have only one choice, which they can customize to suit their desired term of coverage, budget and protection level. The universal life insurance offered by MetLife has several benefits; it provides maximum protection, accumulated cash value, desired term of coverage and a well-defined premium schedule.

Available riders include the long-term guarantee and disability premium waivers found in the term and whole life options, but also include options for survivors, which are:

  • The guaranteed survivor income benefit, which allows beneficiaries to receive a stream of income as opposed to a single lump sum;
  • The guaranteed survivor plus purchase, which allows the policy holder to purchase coverage for up to five additional individuals.

Other Products Offered By Metropolitan Life Insurance

This company's other products include Equity Advantage Variable Universal Life and Legacy Advantage Survivorship Universal Life. Both policy types allow for a range of flexibility for the would-be policy holder.

The Equity Advantage Variable Universal Life option offers funding options from fixed to investment accounts, in types ranging from conservative to aggressive.  As well, cash value can be accessed and riders are available which can offer many benefits to the policy holder, including extended death benefits.

The Legacy Advantage Survivorship Universal Life option can be used for estate planning where protection and transfer of wealth are concerned. Two people can be covered with a single plan, and several riders are available.

While research may seem overwhelming at first, determining which of the life insurance companies available in your state can help narrow your options.  Then, you can focus on which of the policy types or how much coverage your family may require in the event of the untimely death of you or your spouse.

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