ByMaggie Overholt Contributor

Maggie is a former senior content strategist at Reviews. She’s covered everything from smart hubs and stand mixers to home insurance and mortgages.

MassMutual Life Insurance Review

MassMutual is one of the nation’s largest life insurance providers, and a highly reputable one at that. The company earns top financial strength scores, meaning you can trust it to pay out on your policy when the time comes. In terms of service, customers rank it among other big names in the business, like Guardian, Principal Financial, and New York Life.

MassMutual also caters to a wide range of life insurance needs: It offers a full spectrum of products, including term, permanent, universal, and various no-exam options. That said, its policies are a little less flexible than some companies, with term insurance starting at a fairly high $100,000 and fewer coverage add-ons to allow for customization. In light of this, we recommend MassMutual primarily for no-frills, mid- to large-sized policies. Those looking for more specialized insurance might have better luck elsewhere.

The Claim

MassMutual claims to “help you secure your future and protect the ones you love” with a “variety of insurance protection products and financial needs.” As far as promises go? Pretty boilerplate.

Is it true?

Yes. MassMutual spans the gamut of life insurance products — from term to permanent to no-exam — making it accessible to just about any customer. It also carries separate coverage plans for extra protection, including disability income, Medicare supplement, and long-term care insurance. If you’re looking for multiple kinds of coverage, MassMutual offers the convenience of keeping these policies under one roof.

In addition, MassMutual promises its customers financial security. It holds excellent financial strength ratings from three major agencies (A.M. Best, S&P Global, and Moody’s), which means it can be counted on to pay claims of any size. As a mutual company, MassMutual also pays dividends to participating policyholders. And though dividends aren’t guaranteed, MassMutual has managed to pay them every year since 1869.

“Customers should be wary of life insurance companies with poor financial ratings. Mass Mutual has one of the most solid financial profiles of all life insurance companies, but many lesser known companies do not," according to John Holloway, Co-Founder and Licensed Life Insurance Agent at "You want to make sure the company is still around after you are.”

Thanks to its broad offerings and solid financial backing, MassMutual is a solid choice for most life insurance customers. We only wouldn’t recommend this company if you have very specific life insurance needs. It lacks the “variety of insurance protection products” when it comes to add-ons (or “riders”). MassMutual offers fewer riders than many other top insurers, meaning its insurance is a bit less customizable.

Keep in mind that life insurance is highly personal. The best policy for you has to strike a balance between great coverage and affordable premiums. Since every insurer has different options and pricing algorithms, you’ll have to compare multiple companies to find the best option. We recommend including MassMutual in that comparison.

Product Overview

Best for

Standard term or whole life insurance

Not for

Ultra-customizable policies


Financial strength ratings
A.M. Best: A++
S&P Global: AA+
Moody's: Aa2
2018 J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score
"About average"
Policy offerings
Term limits
Guaranteed level premiums*
Guaranteed renewability
Long-term care insurance available
Accelerated death benefit rider
Term-to-permanent conversion options available
Customer tools
Life insurance coverage calculator
Life insurance blog
Online quotes available

*With term life insurance policies

Flexible policy offerings

MassMutual offers life insurance for just about every situation. It starts with a full range of policies, including term, whole, and universal insurance. This means you’ll be able to choose a policy that matches your financial goals — whether you’re looking for affordable, short-term coverage or guaranteed protection for the long haul.

We also appreciate that MassMutual writes policies with a wide range of face value. Death benefits start at just $2,000 — an affordable way to cover end-of-life expenses — and extend into the millions. Since the cost of insurance depends on its face value, MassMutual’s flexibility makes it easier to find a policy for which you’re comfortable footing the bill.

Long-term care add-on available

MassMutual also stands out for offering long-term care coverage (LTC) in combination with its life insurance. LTC helps cover the cost of assisted living or an in-home healthcare professional and can save the policyholder huge out-of-pocket costs if they need assistance somewhere down the road.

A combined life insurance/LTC policy from MassMutual offers the convenience of keeping all of your insurance in one place. Comparable providers, like Northwestern Mutual and New York Life, generally offer LTC as a totally separate plan. Those seeking LTC and whole life insurance may prefer the simplicity of getting both coverages through a single policy.

No-exam insurance option

Beyond the traditional term, whole, and universal policy offerings, MassMutual sells a few different kinds of no-exam life insurance. The first, Direct Term Life, is a quick and easy way to get temporary coverage. Death benefits range from $100,000 to $2 million and can be bought in increments of 10 or 20 years.

“When applying for a no exam policy, you will be paying a higher premium in most cases as the insurance carrier will be assuming more risk as they do not have your blood and urine. The underwriting will be simplified with a prescription check, DMV search, and MIB report. In most cases this a very convenient option but again you will be paying a higher premium,” according to Daniel P. Ray, Founder of PinnacleQuote Life Insurance Specialists.

The second type, Simplified Whole Life, provides a guaranteed death benefit between $2,000 and $25,000. These death benefits are intentionally low, meant for individuals between 40 and 80 years of age who hope to cover final expenses and debts for their dependents. Both kinds — Direct Term and Simplified Whole Life — are available without a medical exam, and you can go through the entire application process online.

Helpful resources for insurance customers

Insurance is tricky, which is why many providers rely solely on agents to educate customers. Though you’ll have to speak to an agent eventually — when you’re ready to buy a policy — we appreciate any company that goes out of its way to provide helpful resources on the front end. That way, you can come to the table fully prepared and ready to discuss your options.

MassMutual does just that, with online resources designed to keep its customers in the know. We highly recommend the company’s life insurance blog, where financial professionals discuss everything from choosing a policy to optional coverage to policy conversion. Even better: The articles are easy to understand, even if you’re new to insurance. And if it is your first time considering life insurance, we also suggest trying MassMutual’s coverage calculator. A few simple questions help you understand your unique insurance needs and set you on the path toward building a strong policy.

Possible drawbacks

Fewer coverage add-ons

We’ve found that MassMutual has fewer policy add-ons than other top companies (like New York Life, Guardian, State Farm, and Northwestern Mutual). These optional coverages, or “riders,” allow you to customize your life insurance. They might add extra financial protection in case of injury, disability, or long-term illness.

Some of what we missed from MassMutual that we’ve seen elsewhere: spouse and child insurance riders that allow you to add family members to your policy, a rider that increases the death benefit in the event of accidental death, and a rider that allots a lump sum if the insured is diagnosed with a critical illness. MassMutual doesn’t offer disability insurance as a life insurance rider, either, although the company does sell it as a separate policy.

Average customer service

MassMutual took home a score of three out of five in J.D. Power’s 2018 customer satisfaction survey. This doesn’t indicate poor service, but it’s not a glowing review, either. Overall, customers call their experience with MassMutual “about average.” If excellent customer support is high on your list of must-haves, then we recommend State Farm (the only company to earn a five out of five from J.D. Power) or Northwestern Mutual (which took home a respectable four out of five).

The Competition

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Northwestern Mutual
State Farm
Our review
Our review
Our review
Our review
Best for
Standard term or whole life insurance
Whole life insurance
Term life insurance
Affordable life insurance
A.M. Best financial strength rating
J.D. Power Overall Customer Satisfaction score
Policy options
Term, whole, universal
Term, whole, universal
Term, whole, universal
Term, whole, universal
No-exam insurance option

MassMutual vs. Northwestern Mutual

MassMutual is a strong choice for permanent life insurance. It offers a variety of whole and universal policies and an impressive history of dividend payouts to policyholders. That said, if you’re looking for permanent coverage, we highly recommend considering Northwestern Mutual as well.

Northwestern Mutual holds our top spot for whole life insurance — in large part thanks to its wide selection of policy riders. Extra options like disability income, accidental death benefit, and critical illness riders can help bolster your policy against life’s unexpected turns. Northwestern Mutual also holds a slightly higher customer satisfaction score from J.D. Power (four out of five stars), which is extra important when choosing a company that will be with you for your whole life.

MassMutual vs. State Farm

Looking for shorter-term coverage? Our favorite company for term life insurance is State Farm — a national mainstay and a strong provider across the board. Like MassMutual, State Farm has highly rated financials, guaranteeing its ability to pay out on a claim if necessary.

But what separates this company is its wide variety of four term life options designed to meet different needs and financial goals. Whether you’re looking for quick, cheap coverage, financial protection for your mortgage, or a more robust policy (that would put the kids through college, for example), State Farm has an option to fit. We appreciate the company’s flexibility, as term insurance is meant to be accessible and affordable for just about everyone.

That said, the best company will always depend on your coverage needs and risk factors. We recommend looking at quotes from both State Farm and MassMutual to see which is the better (and more economical) choice for you.

MassMutual vs. Transamerica

We also like Transamerica for term life insurance, for one reason in particular: It offers a huge range of policy sizes. Term coverage starting at just $25,000 makes Transamerica accessible to just about anyone. Plus, the company returns consistently low premiums in our quote comparisons. By contrast, MassMutual term life insurance starts at $100,000 — and since a bigger policy means bigger premiums, MassMutual’s insurance will cost more right off the bat.

However, it should be noted that while Transamerica boasts lower premiums, it also received a lower rating from J.D. Power in overall customer satisfaction (two out of five stars). That’s enough to lump it in with “the rest” as noticeably below average. That being said, it’s not a guarantee that you will have a bad experience with the company and you should definitely consider getting a quote from Transamerica when shopping around.

MassMutual FAQ

How is MassMutual rated?

MassMutual earns top financial strength scores from all three major ratings agencies: AA++ from A.M. Best, AA+ from S&P Global, and Aa2 from Moody’s. These scores indicate a stable financial outlook — meaning MassMutual will be able to pay out on any insurance claim filed, no matter how large.

As for customer service, MassMutual earned a three out of five in J.D. Power’s 2018 customer satisfaction survey. That’s considered “about average” and puts MassMutual’s service on par with other top companies like Guardian, Lincoln Financial, Principal Financial, and Pacific Life. Popular companies that scored higher than MassMutual for customer satisfaction include State Farm, MetLife, Nationwide, and Northwestern Mutual.

What products does MassMutual sell?

MassMutual sells a full range of individual life insurance products: term life, whole life, universal life, and variable universal life. Term life and whole life are available in limited amounts without a medical exam (called “Direct Term Life” and “Simplified Whole Life”).

In addition to life insurance, MassMutual sells a variety of supplemental coverage. Disability income, long-term care insurance, and Medicare supplement are all available as separate policies. Of these, long-term care insurance alone may be combined on a single policy with life insurance.

MassMutual also partners with employers to provide benefits in the workplace. Offerings vary, so be sure to speak with your employer about what’s available where you work.

How much life insurance do I need?

This will depend on who and/or what you need to cover. We consulted a group of life insurance experts to help answer this question. “If you are using life insurance to replace your income the general rule of thumb is to get 8x-10x your current salary,” says Chelsea Ball, Licensed Life Insurance Agent and Marketing Manager on “Remember if you continue to
increase your salary you will also want to reevaluate your life insurance.” Holloway echoed this sentiment: “it has to be a coverage amount you can afford for the long term. Some coverage is better than no coverage, and you can always add more later as your budget increases.”

What is mutual life insurance?

As a mutual insurance company, MassMutual is owned by its policyholders. This means that the company’s profits are returned to you each year — either as an annual dividend or as credit toward future premium payments. However, it’s worth noting that only “participating” policies (read: whole life policies) are eligible to earn dividends.

The Bottom Line

MassMutual is a strong choice for just about anyone. Thanks to a full range of products, most customers will be able to find a policy that fits their needs. And with impressive financial scores from every major agency, you can rest assured that your MassMutual policy will be there if (or when) you need it.

Ultimately, you’ll have to compare policies and pricing from multiple insurers to find the best life insurance for you. We recommend including a quote from MassMutual. If this company can provide the coverage you need at a competitive cost, it’s absolutely a good choice.

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