- March 20, 2018 - We’ve updated this review to provide a closer look at MetLife’s standout features, including discounts, supplemental coverage options, and additional resources to help you manage your plan. We also investigate what other people are saying about MetLife’s auto policies, so you can be sure you’re getting all you need to know to find the right insurer.
- 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 more than 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 difficult its claims process 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 it 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. It offers 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” can't keep up with 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, so while a low score won’t impact your coverage, it does suggest that filing a claim with MetLife could be more of a pain than it is with other insurers.
A Closer Look at Features
|Price||Quotes will differ from person to person|
|In Business Since||1868|
|Best For||Customers with good driving habits or owners of newer vehincles|
|Not For||Customers looking for budget auto insurance or a hassle-free claims process|
|JD Power Insurance Shopping Rating||844 out of 1000 (Above Industry Average)|
|JD Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Rating||850 out of 1000 (Below Industry Average)|
|A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating||A (Excellent)|
|Moody’s Rating||A3 (Good)|
|Standard and Poor’s Rating||AA- (Very Strong)|
Our Deep Dive
- Unique supplemental coverage: MetLife doesn’t have the most coverage options in the auto insurance industry, but it does offer some standouts. It will waive your deductible if your windshield is chipped or cracked, and it’s one of few insurers to offer GAP coverage, which pays off your car’s lease or loan if the vehicle is totaled, even if the cost to do so exceeds the actual value of the car. MetLife also pays for legal fees if you’re sued after an accident and will reimburse you up to $200 per day for lost wages if you have to go to court to resolve the incident, an exceptional add-on that we didn’t find from any other insurers.
- Driver discounts: Driver discounts can help keep your premium down based on your own good behavior. MetLife offers deductions for completing a driver training course and maintaining an outstanding record, with the ability to earn $50 for every accident-free year (up to $250) that can be used toward paying your deductible after a claim.
- Streamlined quote process: MetLife offers two ways to go about the quote process: customers can either call a company representative to customize coverage and payment options, or they can go online through MetLife’s service portal, MyDirect. If you’re happy with the quote you’re given, your policy can be purchased and managed the same way. But it’s important to note that MyDirect isn’t available in every state; if it’s not, you’ll be forced to call a MetLife representative to explore policy options.
- Flawed mobile app: MetLife’s mobile app allows you to view your policy, pay your bill, report an accident, and more. But all of these capabilities don’t amount to much when users frequently report glitchy interactions, slow loading times, and general unreliability. While it’s nice to have a mobile option available, most MetLife customers will have to call or go online to actually access the services they need.
MetLife vs. The Competition
MetLife vs. Geico
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, both offered by MetLife. 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.
What Others Are Saying
MoneyGeek agrees that coverage is solid but discounts are lacking.
Personal finance website MoneyGeek notes that MetLife’s position as one of the country’s top 20 auto insurers guarantees a certain level of dependability. But MetLife “isn’t a discount insurance provider.” Without as many deductions as its competitors, rates from MetLife may not be the lowest you’ll find for auto insurance. This makes the company best for drivers with solid records or who will benefit from MetLife’s specific discounts and coverage options; shoppers seeking budget insurance will probably be better off elsewhere.
The Bottom Line
MetLife is a solid insurer — it’s just not exceptional. While we’re impressed by its selection of coverage choices, including some supplemental options that aren’t offered by even our favorite auto insurers, MetLife still comes up short on discounts. And the convenience it hails as one of its distinguishing qualities is far from convenient in practice. So while it’s certainly worth getting a quote from MetLife, it’s not the first place we’d check — you’re likely to find a better deal on auto insurance from another provider.