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Northwestern Mutual Review

Northwestern Mutual life insurance offers a comprehensive selection of coverage options with flexible policy features. The company relies heavily on their representatives to work with clients, so they're not the best choice for customers looking for comprehensive online tools or mobile capabilities. Get Quotes

Fletcher Wilson

Fletcher Wilson

Life Insurance Expert

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Updated: March 19, 2014

The Good

Industry-leading financial ratings:

When shopping for a permanent whole life or universal life insurance policy, it's important to choose a company with solid financial stability and a strong credit outlook. Northwestern Mutual life insurance excels on both of these counts, boasting some of the best financial ratings in the industry. Top national rating agencies such as Moody's, A.M. Best, and S&P all place Northwestern Mutual at or very near the top of their ratings scales, attesting to the company's position among the strongest financial performers in the insurance industry. While there are plenty of other factors to take into account when making a policy decision, Northwestern Mutual's superior financial ratings offer you the confidence and peace of mind that comes with trusting that a company will be with you for the long haul.

Complete coverage options:

With Northwestern Mutual's full assortment of term, whole, and universal life policies to choose from, you can find just the coverage you need to meet your unique insurance requirements. A cash surrender option enables you to end your policy early, while a conversion option gives you the opportunity to extend your policy beyond its original term. With a return of premium option, you can even get your premiums back if you outlive a temporary policy. If you have a whole life policy, you can choose a vanishing premium option to reduce your premium payments when your income begins to fall later in life. A mortgage life option will take care of any outstanding mortgage debt in the event of your death, providing security for your family just when they need it the most. And what's more, Northwestern Mutual offers term and whole life policies with low minimum coverage requirements starting at $50,000, providing good affordability for younger shoppers looking to get their first policy.

Full-featured policies:

Northwestern Mutual's standard policy features rank among the industry's very best and offer a great combination of flexibility and predictability, creating policies that you can rely on to protect you and your family no matter what life throws your way. With cash value access and partial surrenders, you're able to tap your policy's accumulated value if life demands it. An interest rate guarantee offers dependable growth, while waivers on policy deductions and premium payments offer flexibility if you're injured and can't afford to make your payments. Expiration and lapse guarantees provide protection should you miss a policy payment, while guaranteed term renewals and no-exam conversions give you the flexibility to extend your temporary coverage when your term is up. Many Northwestern Mutual life insurance policies also offer the choice of level or flexible premiums and death benefits, and universal life policies even offer you the chance to choose the amount and timing of your premiums.

The Bad

Missing a mobile app:

Although Northwestern Mutual does maintain a mobile website accessible to smartphones, it offers very little functionality for life insurance customers apart from an agent search tool. All things considered, this should probably rank as a pretty minor criticism, but given that mobile apps are so common these days, this omission is hard to ignore.

Mediocre online materials:

Since there are so many policies, options, riders, and features to consider, access to clear information and effective learning materials is key to the life insurance buying process. Although Northwestern Mutual offers a good amount of explanatory material and policy descriptions, they fail to provide comprehensive educational resources. Most notably, they are missing effective beginner's guides, a fundamental feature for most first-time life insurance buyers. Northwestern Mutual also lacks an online quote tool. As it stands, you have to call a Northwestern Mutual agent for help with the quotation process.

The Details

Details
A.M. Best FSR Rating A++
A.M. Best ICR Rating aaa
Moody's Rating Aaa
Policy Offerings Term, Whole, Universal
Standard & Poor's Rating AA+

Features

Financial Strength

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  • A.M. Best "Excellent" or Better - The insurance company has an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or better.
  • ICR Rating "Stable" - The insurance company has an A.M. Best Credit Rating of "Stable" or better.
  • Moody's "Very Strong" - The insurance company has a Moody's rating of "Aa3" or better.
  • S&P Rated "Very Strong" - The insurance company has an S&P rating of "AA-" or better.

Policy Features

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Policy Riders

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Coverage Options

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Customer Support

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Contract Provisions

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Online Tools and Materials

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Payment Options

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