Travelers Life Insurance Review

Life insurance as an employee benefit through MetLife

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Metlife

 Metlife

Our Take

Travelers Life and Annuity Company is not affiliated with Travelers Insurance and was acquired by MetLife in 2005. MetLife is a well-rated company with regards to both financial strength and customer satisfaction, so it’s a great option if your employer offers it as a benefit. You’ll need to talk to your benefits administrator to get pricing and other details. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Above-average rating in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study

  • A+ financial strength rating from AM Best

  • Dependent coverage available

  • Supplemental coverage available

  • Portability and conversion options

Cons
  • No whole life insurance products

  • No online quotes

  • Does not sell policies to individuals

  • Policy details only available through benefits administrator

  • Mixed customer service reviews on third-party websites

Key Takeaways
  • Travelers Life and Annuity Company has been acquired by MetLife, which offers multiple life insurance policies and low-cost accidental death insurance as a group benefit through employers. 
  • Travelers Life and Annuity Company is not and has never been affiliated with Travelers Insurance Company, which sells auto, property, pet, and umbrella insurance. 
  • You will need to speak with your benefits administrator to get details like pricing, medical exam requirements, face values, and age limits. 
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1853
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Universal, Variable Universal, AD&D
  • Number of Plans 6
  • Payment Options Online or by mail
  • Official Website https://www.metlife.com/

Travelers Life and Annuity Company was acquired by MetLife, which offers term, universal, variable universal, and accidental death policies as a group benefit to employees. We researched the plan choices, customization options, customer satisfaction, financial strength, and website tools to help you compare the life insurance policy options that MetLife offers with the competition. 

Company Overview

The Travelers Insurance Company was founded in 1853. During the 1990s, several mergers and acquisitions led to the name The Travelers Group, which merged with Citicorp in 1998 to form Citigroup. In 2002, Travelers Property and Casualty was spun off into a subsidiary company, and in 2005, MetLife purchased Travelers Life and Annuity Company from Citigroup. Travelers Insurance does not sell life insurance policies and is not affiliated with MetLife. 

MetLife is the third-largest life insurance company in the U.S., representing about 6% of the market share. Policies are sold through employers as a group benefit. You can’t get a quote or purchase a policy online, and you’ll need to communicate with your benefits administrator to get pricing and plan details. 

The company is licensed to sell life insurance in all 50 states.

Available Plans

For employees and their dependents, MetLife offers term life insurance, universal and variable universal life insurance, and a low-cost accidental death and dismemberment plan. 

Term Life

Basic Term Life

MetLife’s Basic Term Life plan offers protection for a set period and is typically covered by the employer. Details about the product are not available online; you will need to speak with your benefits administrator for information. 

Supplemental Term Life

This plan offers the option to tack on additional coverage as your needs change. It’s typically covered by the employer and may also provide dependent, spouse, and domestic partner coverage. 

Dependent Term Life

This plan offers coverage for your eligible children, spouse, civil union partner, and domestic partner. 

MetLife states its universal policies are portable, but term policies may not be. Check with your benefits administrator to find out if you can take your term policy with you if you leave your job.

Group Universal Life Insurance

This universal life insurance plan is a permanent policy with a cash value accumulation component. The policy is portable, which means you can take the coverage with you if you leave your job. You can also adjust your premium payments and coverage amount as your needs change. Details about the plan aren’t available online. 

Group Variable Universal Life Insurance

This permanent plan offers flexible premium payments, the ability to invest extra money beyond the cost of insurance, and a guaranteed minimum interest rate on a fixed account. You can also access the cash value without penalty should you need a loan or withdrawal. It’s also portable, so the coverage goes with you no matter where you work. 

Accidental Death & Dismemberment

MetLife offers several low-cost policies that provide a benefit if an accident causes the loss of life, sight, hearing, speech, paralysis, and other permanent conditions. 

Basic Accidental Death & Dismemberment

This employer-provided coverage provides an extra benefit equal to the policyholder’s basic term life insurance face value if the insured dies in an accident. 

Supplemental Accidental Death & Dismemberment

This is an add-on to MetLife’s Supplemental Term Life insurance policy and allows the insured to access a portion of the death benefit after a covered loss that isn’t fatal. It’s paid for by the employer. 

Dependent Accidental Death & Dismemberment

This employer-paid coverage protects spouses and dependents with a payout equal to their term life insurance face amount. 

Voluntary Accidental Death & Dismemberment

This is a standalone option that is paid for by the employee. It can also cover spouses and dependent children. 

Business Travel Accident

This employer-paid coverage provides an additional benefit if the insured dies or is seriously injured on a business trip. 

Available Riders

Many life insurance companies offer riders, which are add-ons to a life insurance policy that can help you customize your coverage. MetLife doesn’t list any available riders on their website, but customization options may be available. You can get information from your benefits administrator. 

If you can’t get the coverage you need from MetLife, consider a supplemental policy with another company. 

Customer Service: Phone Support

If you need assistance with your life insurance plan, you may be best served by your benefits administrator. But should you need to contact MetLife directly, you have options. You can fill out this online form to have a representative contact you, or you can call one of the phone numbers below. 

  • Individual Life Insurance: 800-638-5000
  • Group Universal Life Insurance: 800-523-2894
  • Group Variable Universal Life Insurance: 800-756-0124
  • Group Term Life Insurance: 866-492-6983

MetLife doesn’t list its business hours on its website. 

If you had an individual life insurance policy with MetLife before those policies were transferred to Brighthouse Financial, you may need to contact Brighthouse Financial for assistance. 

Customer Satisfaction: Mixed Reviews

For MetLife’s group life insurance, the company had fewer complaints than expected with the NAIC in 2020. The company’s complaint index was 0.81, below the industry average of 1.00, with a total of just 34 complaints. However, MetLife had a whopping 154 complaints in the individual life insurance category in 2020 for a complaint index of 4.94, nearly five times the expected number of complaints given the company’s market share of individual policies. 

J.D. Power, which measures customer satisfaction based on six factors, rated MetLife above average in its 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, with a score of 773. That’s 10 points above the industry average. However, seven other life insurance companies had better scores than MetLife. 

Financial Strength: A+ (Excellent)

AM Best is an independent rating agency focused on the insurance industry that scores companies based on their financial strength. A grade in the “A” bracket from AM Best denotes a financially reliable company that will be able to pay claims for life insurance policies. A+ (Excellent) is not the highest score, but it is a very strong indicator that MetLife is on solid ground financially. 

Cancellation Policy: Must Speak to a Representative

MetLife doesn’t list their cancellation policy online, but all life insurance companies allow at least a 10-day free-look period (or up to 30 days in some states) during which you can cancel your policy and have all paid premiums returned. If you do decide to cancel, you won’t be able to do so online. You’ll need to speak with your benefits administrator or a MetLife representative to complete the process. 

Price of MetLife Insurance: Ask Your Employer

Group rates are generally cheaper than getting an individual policy, and most plans are paid for by your employer as a benefit provided at no cost to you. MetLife doesn’t list pricing estimates on their website, so you’ll need to talk to your benefits administrator to find out if you can get a life insurance plan at no cost. 

If you are going to be charged a premium for the policy you choose, be sure to compare quotes from other companies as well.

How MetLife Compares to Other Life Insurance

MetLife only offers life insurance through employers, so individuals seeking a policy will need to look elsewhere. If a MetLife life insurance policy is offered to you at no cost through your employer, we recommend taking advantage of the benefit. But if you’ll be required to pay a premium, you should consider alternatives as well. 

MetLife lacks some of the online tools other companies have, and some other life insurers also have stronger customer satisfaction ratings. What’s more, MetLife doesn’t offer whole life insurance and doesn’t list available riders online, if they offer any. 

MetLife vs. State Farm Life Insurance

MetLife and State Farm are two of the largest life insurance companies in the U.S. Both offer group life insurance policies through employers as a benefit. However, State Farm also sells individual policies. There are several other key differences between these two companies as well:

  • State Farm is the top-rated company for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, while MetLife was ranked eighth.
  • State Farm offers online quotes for individual term life insurance, while MetLife does not.
  • State Farm offers a comprehensive list of riders and provides plenty of policy details online, while MetLife does not.

If you’re looking to get group rates or no-cost benefits through your employer, go with whichever company your employer has chosen to work with. But if you’re purchasing an individual policy, State Farm is a great alternative to MetLife, which doesn’t sell individual policies. State Farm also wins over MetLife due to its high customer satisfaction and financial strength ratings. 

Read the full State Farm Life Insurance review.

Insurer AM Best Rating J.D. Power Score (Industry Average = 763) NAIC Complaint Index Types of Policies
MetLife  A+ (Excellent)  773  Group: 0.81 Individual: 4.94  Term, universal, variable universal, AD&D 
State Farm  A++ (Superior)  838  Group: 0 Individual: 0.26  Term, whole, universal 
Final Verdict

Travelers Life and Annuity Company was acquired by MetLife in 2005 and is not affiliated with Travelers Insurance. MetLife currently offers employer-provided term and universal life insurance plans, while its individual life insurance business was separated to Brighthouse Financial. 

MetLife is a good option if you can get a plan paid for by your employer since the company is financially reliable and reputable, but if you need an individual policy, you’ll need to get a quote from another company. And if you can’t get the customization options you need from MetLife through your benefits administrator, you might also consider a supplemental life insurance policy from another company.

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.