MetLife is one of the oldest insurance companies in the market, in business for more than 150 years. It offers a wide range of insurance products, including auto, property, and life insurance. MetLife’s renters insurance coverages are below average compared to its competitors. It doesn’t offer some of the basic coverage others provide, and its customer service leaves something to be desired. However, the company has basic no-frills packages that may be right for some renters.
MetLife Renters Insurance Overview
From its New York City office, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company began selling life insurance in 1868. By 1879, the company had expanded to England, where it offered industrial and workers’ policies, with a team of door-to-door salespeople, who sold policies with premiums as low as five cents. Today, MetLife operates in over 40 countries in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America.
YouGov ranks MetLife the 23rd most popular insurance brand in the United States, with 31% of respondents reporting a favorable opinion. The Better Business Bureau gives MetLife an A- rating. In the last three years, around 625 MetLife customers have filed complaints against the insurer, most related to product and service issues.
In April 2020, the MetLife Foundation earned praise for pledging $25 million to support long-term relief efforts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation will distribute the funds through grants to help recipients meet childcare, financial, food, and healthcare needs.
- MetLife includes replacement cost coverage in its renters insurance policies
- Renters insurance policies from MetLife are available nationwide
- Unlike most renters insurance carriers, MetLife doesn’t offer loss of use coverage
- MetLife doesn’t provide online quotes for its renters insurance policies
- MetLife has a subpar mobile app and digital tools compared to its competitors
- The company has more than average complaints for its property insurance
MetLife doesn’t include its renters insurance pricing on its website, but the average premium in the industry is $180 per year, or about $15 per month. Your exact rate will vary depending on a few factors. First, you’ll have to decide how much coverage you need. The more coverage you purchase, the higher your rates will be. Other factors can impact your rate as well, including your location. Living in a region with high chances of inclement weather or a high crime rate can increase your rates.
Standard MetLife renters policies include personal liability and personal property coverages. Personal liability coverage starts at $100,000, which you can increase to fit your needs.
If someone sustains an injury in your apartment, personal liability coverage will help pay the victim’s medical expenses and your legal costs. It also covers the damaged property of others when you’re responsible. For example, if your child accidentally breaks a neighbor’s window, your liability coverage will help pay the repair costs.
Personal property coverage pays to replace or repair items such as clothing or furniture damaged by a covered peril, like a fire. MetLife’s personal property protection stands out in the crowd because it includes replacement cost coverage in standard policies, subject to your policy limits.
So, if a fire destroys your five-year-old television, you can replace it with an equivalent set at today’s price. And, if you paid for improvements to your rental unit, like replacing old tile or carpeting, your MetLife renters policy will cover that, too.
Market research company J.D. Power produces an annual report that rates and ranks renters insurance companies based on billing process, claims handling, customer support, policy offerings, and price. In the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Renters Insurance Study, MetLife did not make the cut.
J.D. Power also conducts an annual insurance claims survey, rating and ranking insurers based on their performance in claims servicing, estimation process, first notice of loss, repair process, and settlement handling. MetLife ranked 11th in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Property Claims Study.
On the technology front, MetLife fell short as well, compared to other major insurers. The provider offers a mobile app available for Android and Apple devices, with limited features and low user ratings.
The quote process isn’t much better. You can call the provider for a quote or fill out an online form to receive a callback from an agent, but MetLife doesn’t provide quick and easy online quotes offered by most top companies.
For comprehensive protection, MetLife offers four optional specialty coverage packages in some states. Each package provides added coverage for your most expensive belongings, such as electronics, jewelry, and sports gear.
Like standard personal property protection, specialty packages include replacement cost coverage, as well as all-risk coverage, which covers your belongings when they’re damaged or lost outside your home, subject to your policy limits.
Specialty packages have a low $100 deductible, and you can choose coverage limits from $5,000 to $15,000.
MetLife also offers a few ways to lower your renters insurance rate, including claims-free and multi-policy discounts. You can also earn a discount if you install home protection devices to your unit, like an alarm system or smoke detectors.
For Metlife’s renters insurance review we evaluated the company based on its customer rating and experience, financial stability, and coverage. To compare renters insurance companies across the board, we calculated a Reviews.com score based on the following:
- Customer Ratings– Customer ratings are an indication of satisfaction with the process of filing a claim. We measured this using J.D. Power Homeowners Satisfaction ratings.
- Coverage– As there isn’t one company to fit everyone’s needs, we evaluated companies by the amount of coverage options available and add-ons available.
- Confidence– It is extremely important for insurance companies to fulfill customers’ claims. Companies with sound financial strength will not have issues paying out claims, regardless of the amount. However, companies with weak financial strength might not be able to pay out claims. We measured this using AM Best.
- Customer Experience– The amount of complaints a company receives is an indicator of the overall customer experience as it expresses dissatisfaction. We have based this measure on the NAIC National Complaint Index.
|Company||Reviews.com Score||AM Best Financial Strength Rating||J.D. Power 2020 Score(On a 1,000-point scale)||NAIC Customer Complaints|
|MetLife Renters Insurance||3.5/5||A-||N/A||N/A|
|USAA||3.75/5||A++||888/1000||Fewer complaints than average|
|State Farm||3.25/5||A++||836/1000||Fewer complaints than average|
|American Family||3.75/5||A||840/1000||Fewer complaints than average|
|Allstate||3.5/5||A+||841/1000||More complaints than average|
|Nationwide||3.75/5||A+||831/1000||Fewer complaints than average|
|Farmers||3.5/5||A||839/1000||Fewer complaints than average|
*All information accurate as of October 14, 2020
MetLife vs. USAA
USAA is an insurance company with an excellent reputation. It receives higher scores from J.D. Power than any other company in terms of both property claims satisfaction and overall customer satisfaction. The company has fewer complaints than average and is the 4th most popular insurance company. While MetLife wasn’t rated in the J.D. Power overall satisfaction study, it ranked quite a bit worse than USAA in terms of claims satisfaction. Unfortunately, USAA is only available to current and former military members and their families, meaning it’s not an option for most people.
MetLife vs. State Farm
State Farm is one of the largest insurance companies and a major provider of renters insurance coverage. When you compare State Farm’s customer service to MetLife, they both have some downsides. Both companies fall below average in terms of property claims satisfaction, though State Farm fared slightly better than MetLife. State Farm also has more complaints than the industry average. Similar data wasn’t available for MetLife.
The Bottom Line
MetLife offers renters insurance in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., making it easy to stick with the same provider if you need to move. The insurer also provides replacement cost coverage in all standard renters policies, a feature many insurers only offer as an add-on.
However, MetLife renters insurance lacks some of the standard coverage offered by other providers, like loss of use coverage, which can help pay your living expenses if you need to move out of your rental unit following a covered disaster. MetLife also doesn’t offer many of the optional coverage renters need, such as identity fraud protection and pet insurance.
MetLife Renters Insurance FAQ
In addition to its renters insurance, MetLife also offers coverage for home, condo, mobile home, and landlords. Other insurance options include auto, dental, life, disability, vision, and accident insurance.
When deciding on your renters insurance coverage limits, consider the value of your belongings. You likely want to purchase enough coverage that, in the event of a total loss, you’d be able to replace everything.
MetLife offers its insurance policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
MetLife is a brand of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company. Policies are underwritten by the company or one of its affiliates.
MetLife renters insurance policies come with personal property coverage, replacement cost coverage, and personal liability protection. The company offers some add-on coverages for valuable items.