The Hartford Life Insurance Review

Term life insurance coverage through your employer

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The Hartford

 The Hartford

overall rating
4.0

Our Take

The Hartford offers term life insurance policies that you can only get through your employer, either as a fully covered benefit or as optional coverage that you pay for yourself. It is a good option if your employer offers coverage through The Hartford and you want to purchase additional coverage for yourself or your spouse. 

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Can get whole life insurance up to age 70

  • Offers portability options if you leave your group plan

  • Offers premium waiver for disability

  • Offers a living benefit option for terminally ill policyholders

  • Offers access to programs that help with creating a will or funeral planning

Cons
  • Only offers term coverage

  • Only offers coverage through employer group plans

  • Only offers coverage in multiples of your salary

  • Maximums on coverage portability mean you might not be able to keep your full policy

  • Does not offer guaranteed issue on all coverage amounts

Key Takeaways
  • The Hartford provides only one kind of term policy through your employer that is limited to either three or five times your annual base salary or either $350,000 or $500,000, whichever is less. The policy maximums vary based on the plan your employer has purchased.
  • You can purchase additional coverage of $10,000, $25,000, or $50,000 for your spouse and up to $10,000 for each child. 
  • You can convert your group term coverage to an individual policy if you leave your job, but you cannot convert your plan to a whole life policy. 
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1810
  • Kinds of Plans Term
  • Number of Plans 1
  • Payment Options Payroll
  • Official Website www.thehartford.com/employee-benefits/voluntary/group-life-insurance

Introduction

The Hartford is an insurance company that offers group term life insurance policies to companies in the form of group plans for employees. Employees have the option to purchase or enhance the coverage their employer pays for. It offers an initial amount in guaranteed-issue coverage and additional coverage with a medical exam. 

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

Company Overview

The Hartford is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, and offers several types of insurance products to individuals and companies including auto insurance, property insurance, business insurance, and employee benefits. The Hartford has over 19,000 employees and had revenue of $2.1 billion in 2020. Its policies are sold to employers and you can get options coverage through your employer.

The Hartford is licensed for business in all 50 states. 

Available Plans 

The Hartford offers term life insurance policies directly through employer-paid or supplementary coverage on employee group plans. 

Term Life Insurance

The Hartford offers up to $500,000 in term life coverage through group plans in multiples of your salary. You can get up to three to five times your salary, up to a maximum of $350,000 or $500,000 (depending on the plan your employer has chosen and the size of your company), whichever is less. Sometimes your employer will cover this full amount or they might offer this as a voluntary benefit that you opt into and pay via a payroll deduction. 

You can choose your level of coverage up to the maximum of your work policy once you qualify for coverage with your employer. Generally, the policies are guaranteed issue, but if you want more than the guaranteed-issue life insurance amount, then you will have to answer medical questions and get a medical exam to have the policy underwritten. The Hartford does not say what the cut-off is for its guaranteed issue plans online.  

Terms are usually for 10 or 30-year periods, but The Hartford doesn’t offer level premiums. Instead, your premiums increase as you age and are charged based on five-year age bands. 

The Hartford’s policy has some perks including access to online tools and services that can help you with tasks like creating a will or planning a funeral. It offers portable coverage, which allows you to take your coverage with you when you leave your company. However, you might not be able to take all your coverage with you as some terms and conditions apply, depending on your policy. Make sure to find out all the conditions before buying supplementary or voluntary coverage.  

Level premiums are usually the best way to get a good deal on life insurance since you lock in a low premium over the life of your policy. Policies that use age bands to determine premiums tend to cost significantly more over time.

Available Riders

The Hartford offers several life insurance policy riders that are included in your plan or that you can purchase for extra coverage including: 

  • Child life insurance rider: The Hartford offers this rider which allows you to purchase up to $10,000 in coverage for children under 25.
  • Spouse life insurance rider: The Hartford offers this rider which allows you to purchase up to $100,000 in term life insurance coverage for your spouse. 
  • Living benefit option rider: This rider is included in your coverage and allows terminally ill employees to get their policy benefits before death. 
  • Waiver of premium rider: With this rider, your premiums are waived if you become disabled as part of your coverage and you have up to five days of no interruption in your waiver if you try to return to work. 

Riders are guaranteed issue but might depend on the state you live in if they are available. You will need to contact your HR department to find out the cost of each rider. 

Customer Service: Good Phone, Email, and Online Options

The Hartford has a customer service hotline for their group plans that operates from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Monday to Friday; they can be reached by phone at 800-523-2233. You can also contact customer service via the online policyholder portal or email. 

Customer Satisfaction: Fewer Complaints Than Average 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) keeps track of consumer complaints and issues a rating to help consumers gauge customer satisfaction. If a company has an average number of complaints, they would have a score of 1. Below 1 would mean that the company has received fewer than average complaints and higher than 1 would mean it received more complaints than average.  

The Hartford has an NAIC complaint index of 0.35, meaning that it receives fewer complaints than its competitors. In total, it has 0.03% of the national complaint market share. Many of the complaints received were for bad complaint resolution and billing errors. 

Financial Strength: A+ (Superior)

AM Best rates a company’s financial strength by analyzing things like the company’s profile, its annual performance, and its balance sheet to determine whether it is financially healthy and able to meet its financial obligations, like insurance payouts. 

The Hartford has an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best. 

Cancellation Policy: Must Contact the Company to Cancel

The Hartford’s cancellation policies are not listed online. Instead, you have to contact your HR department or The Hartford’s customer service to get details. 

You will also need to ask your representative from The Hartford or HR department about whether there is a free look period to your policy and what fees might be charged if you cancel your policy. 

Price of The Hartford Life Insurance: Varies 

What you will pay for coverage through The Hartford will vary significantly depending on how much coverage you’re purchasing and whether it is within the guaranteed-issue amount, or if you need to get a medical exam to get more coverage. 

Your price will also vary depending on things like the level of coverage, how much your employer is paying for versus how much optional coverage you’re buying, what riders you’ve chosen, your age, and your gender. 

The Hartford does not give quotes online for their coverage and does not list any amounts or estimates, so you will have to contact your employer’s HR department to find out more about premium costs. 

How The Hartford Compares to Other Life Insurance

The Hartford offers employer-sponsored term life plans as well as several other types of insurance like auto insurance, property insurance, and business insurance. Its options are very limited for term life insurance and you can only get coverage in multiples of your salary rather than in an amount that you choose. However, it does offer guaranteed-issue riders to cover your spouse and your children, which many of its competitors do not offer.

The Hartford has fewer complaints than average and it also has an A+ AM Best financial strength rating making it an excellent option among its competitors. However, there are some other companies such as AXA Equitable to consider as they have more policy options. 

The Hartford vs. AXA Equitable  

The Hartford and AXA Equitable are both insurance companies that offer group life insurance policy options, but AXA Equitable also offers individual direct-to-consumer options. Both have superior financial strength ratings, although AXA Equitable has a much higher number of complaints. And while The Hartford only allows you to purchase a policy through your HR office, AXA Equitable allows you to also work with a financial professional to purchase a plan. 

Consider these other key differences between The Hartford and AXA Equitable:  

  • AXA Equitable offers many more policy options with whole, universal, and universal index coverage options.
  • The Hartford allows you to get other forms of insurance like property, auto, and business insurance. 
  • AXA Equitable offers the option to convert your term coverage to a permanent life insurance plan.
  • AXA Equitable offers options for retirement planning like annuities and supplementary benefits like disability, dental, vision, and critical illness. 

Read our full AXA Equitable review.

  The Hartford AXA Equitable
Types of Plans Term Whole, term, universal, universal index
Customer Service  Phone, email  Phone, email, online 
NAIC Complaint Index  0.35  3.78 
Optional Riders Available  Yes  Yes 
AM Best Rating  A+  A+ 

Not all life insurance is created equally. Learning the benefits of different types of policies will ensure that you obtain the type of policy that's best for your needs.

Final Verdict

Although The Hartford is well-known for other forms of insurance, its life insurance options are very limited. If you get complimentary coverage from your employer, it makes sense to take advantage of it. However, the company only offers term coverage with limited coverage options and amounts and doesn’t offer term conversion. You are likely better off buying coverage from another insurer rather than purchasing optional or supplementary coverage through The Hartford’s plan. 

However, The Hartford does offer good options for covering your spouse and children easily without a medical exam. So long as you only purchase amounts that are portable in case you change or lose your job, it could be a good idea to get term coverage at a reasonable price.

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.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Business Wire. "The Hartford Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Results." Accessed May 1, 2021.