ManhattanLife Insurance Review

Term and whole life insurance through group and individual plans

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Manhattan Life

Manhattan Life

Our Take

ManhattanLife offers a range of individual and group supplementary term and whole life insurance policies offered on both a simplified issue and fully underwritten basis. It’s a great option if you want to get good coverage from a company that also offers other types of supplementary insurance coverage.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers up to $3 million in whole life coverage

  • Has several different term and whole life policies to choose from

  • Variety of riders are available

  • Offers mortgage protection insurance

  • Has a family policy that covers your spouse and children

Cons
  • Offers only up to $250,000 in simplified issue term life insurance

  • Does not offer universal life insurance

  • Unclear when you need a medical exam

  • Only up to $100,000 can be accessed under accelerated benefit for terminal illness through the group plan

  • Group coverage is only portable if you leave the company before age 70

Key Takeaways
  • ManhattanLife sells several types of insurance coverage including supplemental insurance, vision, Medicare supplement, and whole and term life insurance coverage through group plans or directly to consumers.
  • The company offers many riders that allow you to customize your coverage.
  • ManhattanLife requires that you work with a ManhattanLife agent or broker to get coverage. 
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1850
  • Kinds of Plans Whole, term
  • Number of Plans 2 types of insurance with multiple plan options for each
  • Payment Options Online, phone, automated payment, credit card, payroll
  • Official Website www.manhattanlife.com/Individuals-Families/Insurance/Life

Introduction

ManhattanLife is an insurance company that offers a wide variety of whole and term life insurance policies with multiple customizable options that you can purchase through an agent, a broker, or your employer. It offers simplified issue and fully underwritten options on their policies.

We reviewed ManhattanLife’s policy offerings, riders, pricing, customer service, industry ratings, and more to help you decide if the policies are right for you.  

Company Overview

ManhattanLife is headquartered in Houston although it was originally founded in New York in 1850. A privately held company, it boasts of having financial strength comparable to a publicly traded insurance company and claims to underwrite $1 million in annuities every day. It offers supplementary benefits in addition to life insurance and annuities and is rated B+ by AM Best for financial strength. 

ManhattanLife is licensed for business in all states but not all of its policies are available in all states. 

Available Plans 

ManhattanLife offers term and whole life insurance policies directly to individual consumers through individual plans and sells supplementary coverage on employee group plans. 

Term Life Insurance - Individual

ManhattanLife offers several different plans under its term life insurance line. There are typically no medical exams as part of the policy application, and you’re only required to answer four health-related questions unless you choose the fully underwritten plan that requires a medical exam but might provide a lower premium if you’re healthy. The application process is quick and easy. 

ManhattanLife offers terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years at level premiums. However, some of its products have term limits depending on age. For example, the Viva Life Family package, which includes accidental death protection and additional insurance for your spouse or children, allows you to take out a 20-year term policy if you are between the ages of 18 and 55. However, you are only allowed a 15-year term policy if you are between the ages of 56 and 60. 

While some packages come with free riders like critical illness benefits, most packages give you the option to choose which riders you’d like to purchase with your plan. 

Term Life Insurance - Group Plan

ManhattanLife also offers group plans with term coverage for either a 10- or 20-year period with coverage up to $200,000. Premiums are level and do not increase during the term, and are also portable if you leave your employer before age 70. 

The policies also have a terminal illness accelerated benefit where you can receive up to 50% of the death benefit if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness or up to $100,000. 

Whole Life Insurance

ManhattanLife offers up to $100,000 in simplified issue whole life insurance and up to $3 million in fully underwritten coverage. 

Its simplified issue plan allows you to choose to pay your premiums over your lifetime, for 30 years, or until age 65, and provides you with different premium options for each plan. ManhattanLife provides between $10,000 and $50,000 of child coverage on these plans for people under 18 and between $20,000 and $100,000 of coverage for adults. 

The fully underwritten policies offer lifetime pay, three-year, five-year, 10-year, or 20-year pay, and pay until age 65 options. The face amounts of the policies are $10,000 to $150,000 for those under 18 and death benefit amounts of $250,000 to $3 million for those over 18. The whole life plans build cash value which grows in value that you can take out via a policy loan.

Whole Life Insurance - Group Plan

Whole life coverage is more flexible for employees since it’s portable and lasts your whole life. ManhattanLife’s policy has a cap of $200,00 in coverage and has an optional family coverage rider where you can get policies as a rider on your plan for your children and spouse. You can also get separate whole life policies for each of your family members, allowing you to take out more coverage for them. 

This policy has an accelerated benefit for terminal illness which means that if you are diagnosed as terminally ill, you can get up to 50% of the $200,000 maximum death benefit to pay for medical expenses. ManhattanLife also offers riders that let you increase your death benefit or get family term coverage, waiver of premium coverage, level term add-on plan until age 65, and an accidental death or dismemberment rider. 

ManhattanLife’s whole life policies allow you to buy a 20-year term policy at a discounted rate as an add-on.

Available Riders

ManhattanLife offers several life insurance policy riders. Some are included in plans and packages while others you can purchase for extra coverage. Note that riders aren’t available on all plans. 

  • Child life insurance rider: This rider allows you to purchase term or whole life insurance coverage for your children.
  • Spouse life insurance rider: This rider allows you to purchase term or whole life insurance coverage for a spouse. 
  • 20-year term rider: This rider allows you to purchase term coverage in addition to your whole life plan.
  • Accidental death benefit rider: This rider will increase your payout if your death is an accident. 
  • Waiver of premium rider: This rider will pay your premiums if you become disabled.
  • Critical illness rider: This rider will provide you with your death benefit in advance of your death to cover critical illness-related expenses. 
  • Accelerated benefit rider: This rider is often included in ManhattanLife’s plans and allows you to access part of your death benefit if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness. 

Riders can be added to both whole and term life insurance policies sold via their individual and group lines of business. You need to contact the company for information about the cost of each rider. 

Customer Service: Good Phone, Mail, and Online Options

ManhattanLife allows you to contact them via their online client portal, email, or you can request a phone call from an agent if you want to purchase a policy. If you need to file a claim, you can do so via a form email or regular mail. 

Its customer service hours of operations are from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT Monday to Friday and can be reached by phone at 1-800-699-9030. 

Customer Satisfaction: More Complaints Than Average 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) rates insurance companies to help consumers determine customer satisfaction. Should a company have an average number of complaints, it would score 1. Scoring below 1 would mean the company has fewer than expected complaints and a score above 1 would mean the company received more complaints than expected.  

ManhattanLife has an NAIC complaint index of 3.26, meaning that it receives far more complaints than other life insurance companies. In total, they have 0.04% of the national complaint market share. Many of the complaints received were for billing issues and complaints about coverage. 

Financial Strength: B+ (Good)

AM Best is an agency that analyzes a company’s financial strength, using factors including the company’s business profile, performance, and balance sheet to determine how financially healthy a company is and how able they are to meet their financial obligations. 

ManhattanLife has a B+ (Good) rating from AM Best. 

Cancellation Policy: 30-Day Free Look Period

ManhattanLife offers a 30-day free look period on their policies. That means that you have 30 days after getting a policy to read the fine print and decide if you want to keep it. If you cancel your policy at any time within that period, you will get a full refund with no penalties. 

It is not clear online if ManhattanLife charges penalties after that period if you cancel, so be sure to ask for the full cancellation policy before making a purchase.  

If you have a permanent life insurance policy with ManhattanLife that accrues cash value, you will need to fill out a surrender form when you cancel since they will need to pay out the cash value. ManhattanLife will then calculate the surrender value of your policy. 

Price Of ManhattanLife Insurance: Varies by Policy Type

ManhattanLife does not provide online quotes for either their individual or group plans. To get a quote for a group plan, you will need to contact your HR department. If you want a quote for its individual policies, you must go to the company’s website and request that an agent or broker contact you.

ManhattanLife’s premiums will likely vary significantly if you are purchasing an employer-sponsored policy or an individual policy as the employer-sponsored policies tend to be partially or fully subsidized by your company. 

Your price will also vary depending on things that life insurance companies typically take into account when deciding on premium prices like the type and level of coverage, what riders you've purchased, your smoking history, your age, your gender, and your general health.

How ManhattanLife Compares to Other Life Insurance

ManhattanLife sells both employer-sponsored plans and direct-to-consumer life insurance coverage as well as annuities, voluntary benefits for employers, and Medicare supplemental insurance. Its life insurance policy options are more robust than similar companies because it offers a lot of rider and term options, despite not offering universal life insurance options. 

One downside of ManhattanLife is that it has more complaints than average and it also has a lower financial strength rating than many of its competitors. Some companies such as Minnesota Life Insurance might be a better option. 

ManhattanLife vs. Minnesota Life Insurance

ManhattanLife and Minnesota Life Insurance are both insurance companies that offer group and individual life insurance coverage options. Minnesota Life Insurance makes you work with a financial professional to purchase an individual plan whereas ManhattanLife allows you to purchase coverage through an insurance agent or broker

Consider these other key differences between ManhattanLife and Minnesota Life Insurance:  

  • Minnesota Life Insurance offers universal and universal index coverage options allowing you more options for investing in your policy to build cash value.
  • Minnesota Life Insurance offers far fewer rider options to customize your coverage. 
  • ManhattanLife offers other insurance options like Medicare supplement insurance whereas Minnesota Life Insurance offers options like critical illness coverage. 
  • Minnesota Life Insurance makes it easier to purchase a policy by providing more options. 

Read our full Minnesota Life Insurance review.

  ManhattanLife Minnesota Life
Types of Plans Whole, term Whole, term, universal, universal index
Customer Service Phone, email, online Phone, email, online
NAIC Complaint Index  3.26 0.13
Optional Riders Available Yes Yes
AM Best Rating B+ A+

When buying insurance, you’re entering into a decades-long relationship with a company. Make sure that they have a good financial rating so that you know they’ll be around when you need them.

Final Verdict

ManhattanLife might be a good option if you want to guard against specific situations with riders, obtain coverage for your spouse and your children, and get a significant amount of coverage all from one insurance provider. It sells a robust number of whole and term life insurance options and riders for both individuals and group plans, and the company allows customers to customize their plans considerably with riders. It also offers a significant amount of coverage by providing up to $3 million in coverage on individual plans. 

However, the company does have a high number of complaints and a low AM Best score. It also doesn't offer universal insurance plans, which means that its plans are not optimized for building cash value or investing. If that’s an important component of your policy, you might want to choose another provider.

Methodology 

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company's offerings, customer service, financial stability, cost, and more. For each company, we compared the life insurance products offered, as well as available features, and reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated for over two dozen companies.