- January 24, 2018 - This review has been updated according to the latest credit ratings and consumer reviews. MetLife slipped in some ratings while improving in others — it remains a solid insurer that provides strong coverage to its customers. We’ll continue to update this review as more research becomes available.
Our MetLife Review
As a global provider with over 90 million customers, MetLife knows a thing or two about insurance. It offers coverage that will protect you and your vehicle with all the standard policies you can ask for, plus some supplemental coverage options that are exclusive to MetLife among major providers. But fewer overall discounts mean you’ll have fewer opportunities to save than with other insurers. And MetLife doesn’t always make it easy to manage your policy.
Don’t get us wrong, MetLife will still be able to provide you with solid auto insurance, and you may benefit from unique coverage options that you won’t find elsewhere. But MetLife doesn’t have all the discounts we’d like to see, and a low claims satisfaction score makes us wonder how convenient its claims process really is. As always when shopping for car insurance, your rate will vary between companies. With the perks that MetLife does offer, it’s worth getting a quote to find out how much you’ll pay for a policy from one of the world’s largest insurance providers.
MetLife claims to offer “great savings,” “quality coverage,” and “convenience” for all of its auto insurance customers. So we dug into MetLife’s coverage options, discounts, and support tools to find out if the global insurer could actually back up these claims.
Is it True?
Not across the board.
When it comes to savings, it’s true that MetLife offers discounts to help its customers lower their premiums. These discounts are primarily based on good behaviors from the driver, including up to 7% in savings for completing a qualifying driver training course and up to 20% off for going five years without an accident. MetLife also offers up to 15% off for student drivers who maintain good grades in school, which makes them attractive for families with teens. Overall, however, MetLife has far fewer discounts than its competitors: GEICO, for example, has nearly three times as many available discounts. True, you won’t qualify for all of those discounts, but you won’t qualify for all of MetLife’s either. Having more available deductions gives customers more opportunities to save and MetLife just doesn’t offer as many as the competition, which means your actual savings may not be as “great” as MetLife claims.
Coverage was better. MetLife provides solid coverage choices for its standard protections and offers some unique supplemental options that impressed us: we particularly like rental car coverage and new car replacement options, which will make sure you’re not stuck without a vehicle after an accident. And MetLife offers some deductions that we didn’t find from other top insurers. That includes a discount that will waive deductibles for glass repairs like a chipped windshield, and another for legal defense costs, which covers legal fees in the event of a lawsuit as well as up to $200 per day to reimburse lost wages if you’re asked to attend a trial or hearing on MetLife’s behalf. Overall, these supplemental options made for broad coverage that was on par with many of our other favorite insurers.
Unfortunately, MetLife’s “convenience” was more like its discounts than its coverage. Rather than making it simpler to file claims, MetLife buries its claims form online, funneling customers to file over the phone or through the company’s mobile app instead. There’s nothing inherently wrong with doing so, but we expected a company that lauds its convenience to provide simpler ways to file. Plus, MetLife’s mobile app is far from convenient: consistently poor customer reviews cite a glitchy interface and frequent crashes, leading to a rating of 1.3 stars for its iOS version and 2.4 stars for Android. Dealing with your insurer after an accident is a stressful situation; dealing with an inefficient and faulty mobile app when doing so just adds another layer of inconvenience.
People often treat discounts and coverage as the most important factors when shopping for auto insurance, but there’s another consideration to think about before you even look at plans: if an insurer doesn’t have the financial strength to actually pay out your claim when you need it, it won’t make a difference how much protection you have or how little you pay for your premium. Overall, MetLife has solid financial ratings but they’re lower than those of competitors like GEICO and Travelers. And it scores below the industry average in claims satisfaction. Claims satisfaction is generally treated as an indicator of customer satisfaction as well, so while a low score won’t impact your coverage, it does suggest that filing a claim with MetLife isn’t as painless as it is with other insurers.
A Closer Look at Ratings
GEICO was our overall favorite auto insurer. It earned this distinction with extensive discounts and supplemental coverage choices, as well as a claims satisfaction score that beat out all of our other top contenders’. Plus, strong financial ratings and a top-rated mobile app mean GEICO is well-equipped to handle your claims when you need it. Coverage isn’t perfect: we hoped for a few more supplemental options like new car replacement and GAP coverage, which pays the difference between the value of a wrecked vehicle and the amount remaining on its loan. But the additional choices it does offer were enough to make it one of our favorite providers for overall coverage. And with the second-most discounts of all our finalists, GEICO gives you more opportunities to save on the policy you’re looking for.
Travelers leads the pack in discounts and supplemental coverage. Beyond the standard discounts you expect from a major insurer, Travelers also includes some hard-to-find deductions for families with students away at school, as well as one that rewards paying your policy in full. We’re also impressed by the extent of its supplemental coverage, with add-ons for GAP insurance, ridesharing, and accident forgiveness. Travelers also boasts strong financial ratings, which means it will have the means to pay out any claims you may be forced to file. Unfortunately, Travelers is lacking when it comes to claims satisfaction, falling below the industry average. Even with this shortcoming, Travelers is still one of our overall favorite auto insurers.