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Last updated on Jul 18, 2020

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Review

Life insurance that boasts top-notch customer satisfaction and financial reliability ​
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Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance

  • Offers term, whole, and universal life insurance
  • Received the highest rating from J.D. Power
  • High financial strength ratings
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How We Reviewed Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance

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12 companies compared

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2 features evaluated

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5 ratings analyzed

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Northwestern Mutual is a company you want to go for if you care about customer service. It has an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), as well as the highest rating in the industry on the J.D. Power 2019 Life Insurance Satisfaction Study. Northwestern Mutual is a respected company by its customers and states that 96% of its customers stay with the company year after year.

Northwestern Mutual offers an array of life insurance policies to suit your needs—term, whole, and universal. You can get dividends on all of the policies. A term life insurance plan covers you for a specific number of years, and you can pay less at the beginning of your term policy if you need a lower monthly rate. A whole life insurance policy through Northwestern Mutual, which covers you for the entirety of your life, comes with a growing cash value. A universal policy also covers you for your entire life, but allows you more flexibility in your coverage and your payments. For two of the three options (term and whole), your policy payment is guaranteed to never increase.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Overview: Financial Strength, Availability, and History

Northwestern Mutual has been around for over 160 years and is a proven leader in customer satisfaction. Additionally, the number of complaints from the NAIC, as well as from the BBB, were much lower than average. Life insurance from Northwestern Mutual is available in all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C., so you shouldn’t have an issue signing up no matter where you live. 

The company received high financial strength ratings from each of the credit rating companies, as well. It received top marks from AM Best, Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch. Therefore, you’re almost guaranteed for the company to fulfill its financial obligations to you when you file a claim. Also, YouGov conducted over 7,000 interviews on its opinion of the company, and 50% had either a neutral or positive opinion about the company. Over half of the people interviewed had never heard of it, which suggests it’s not the most popular choice for life insurance. 

  • In business since: 1859
  • S&P financial strength rating: AA+
  • Moody’s financial strength rating: Aaa
  • AM Best financial strength rating: A++
  • States served: 50, plus Washington, D.C.

Northwestern Mutual best for: Customer satisfaction


  • No. 1 in customer satisfaction
  • Excellent financial strength ratings
  • Serves all 50 states and Washington, D.C.


  • Not as widely known as other companies

The Competition

AM Best Financial Strength RatingJ.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study ScoreNAIC Customer Complaints
Northwestern MutualA++5/5Far below average number of complaints
State FarmA++5/5Fewer complaints than average
NationwideA+4/5Fewer complaints than average
New York LifeA++4/5Fewer complaints than average
Mutual of OmahaA+4/5Fewer complaints than average
PrincipalA+4/5Fewer complaints than average

All information accurate as of May 12, 2020.

The Bottom Line

Northwestern Mutual is a fantastic company that can cost as little as $1 per day, but the exact price you pay depends on many of your individual circumstances. This is the company to acquire when you’re younger because you can convert your term policy to a permanent one and lock in lower premiums. The younger you are when you convert, the less you’ll pay each month. It’s best known for its high customer satisfaction, so we have little doubt that you’ll be happy with your choice if you go with Northwestern Mutual for your life insurance policy.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance FAQ

About the Authors

Tiffany Verbeck is a personal finance writer for Reviews.com. Over the last year, she's covered credit cards, home security, and more at The Financial Diet, The Simple Dollar, and Interest.com.