Brighthouse life insurance review 2020
Originally established by MetLife, Brighthouse Financial offers unique coverage and competitive rates.
finder.com's rating: 4 / 5
- Get a quote if… You’re looking for a hybrid policy that includes long-term care and universal life insurance.
- Choose a different provider if… You don’t already have a financial advisor who can help you purchase a policy.
18 to 75
$1,000,000 to N/A
Medical Exam Required
|Policy options||Term, Permanent|
|Term lengths||1, 5, 10, 20, or 30 years|
|Issue age||18 to 75|
|Coverage||$1,000,000 to N/A|
|Medical exam required||Yes|
|Monthly cost||Not listed|
|Claim methods||Online form|
|Riders||Accelerated death benefit rider, Critical illness benefit rider, Disability income benefit rider, Term insurance rider, Waiver-of-premium rider|
Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).
Brighthouse is a reputable choice for life insurance if you’re looking for term or universal coverage. It has competitive rates and comprehensive plans — but you can find more flexible policies with another company.
Brighthouse also only offers high dollar policy amounts. If you’re looking for something within the $50,000 to $200,000 range you’ll have to find another provider.
What types of life insurance coverage does Brighthouse offer?
Brighthouse offers a mix of term and permanent policies.
- Term life insurance. Brighthouse’s Simply Select Term is its most affordable plan, providing coverage for 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. The premiums stay the same for the life of the policy, and the coverage can be converted to a permanent policy before a specific deadline.
- Annual renewable term life insurance. The insurer also offers a one-year term life policy, which can be renewed annually — but premiums may increase.
- Whole life insurance. This policy offers lifelong coverage and accumulates cash value over time at a fixed rate set by the insurer.
- Hybrid life insurance. Brighthouse’s SmartCare product combines indexed universal life insurance with a long-term care (LTC) policy. This hybrid policy pays out a death benefit when you die, and offers long-term care coverage while you’re alive should you need it.
What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?
Brighthouse allows policyholders to customize their coverage with common riders, including:
- Accelerated death benefit. Pays out a portion of the death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
- Long-term-care rider. Allows you to access part of the death benefit to cover the costs of long-term care. Some of Brighthouse’s long-term care rider options account for inflation and indexing.
- Conversion rider. Gives you the option to upgrade your term life policy to a permanent policy within the first two to five years of buying coverage.
- Critical illness benefit rider. Pays out a lump sum benefit if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness, such as a stroke.
- Disability income benefit rider. Pays out a monthly benefit if you experience a disability and can’t work.
- Term insurance rider. Add additional insurance to your permanent policy for a specified amount of time.
- Waiver-of-premium rider. Pauses your policy premiums if you become fully disabled and can’t work for six months or more.
Pros and cons of Brighthouse Financial
- Speedy underwriting for healthy applicants. Young, healthy applicants with no medical conditions can qualify for Brighthouse’s fast-tracked underwriting.
- Online application. You can apply for a policy online — though the form is longer than that of most major insurers.
- Lenient with some health conditions. Smokers and those with high blood pressure and sleep apnea may be able to access cheap rates.
- Financial strength. Brighthouse holds an A (Excellent) rating with AM Best, which means it has the cash reserves to pay out claims.
- Less modern systems. You can’t update your beneficiaries, cancel your coverage or file a claim online. Also, your policy documents can only be delivered by mail.
- Slow application process. In some cases, applications can take up to a month to approve.
Life insurance companies like Brighthouse
Customer reviews and complaints
Brighthouse Financial isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it holds an A+ rating for its customer interaction. The BBB has recorded 45 complaints in the past three years, all of which were promptly resolved by the insurer. Many of the complaints honed in on billing and communication issues.
In JD Power’s latest life insurance study, Brighthouse ranked 17th of 22 insurers surveyed. It earned 2 out of 5 circles, which indicates there is room to improve when it comes to customer service and satisfaction.
How do I sign up?
You can’t purchase a policy directly through Brighthouse — you’ll need to go through a personal financial advisor.
If you don’t already have an advisor, Brighthouse offers guidance for finding and working with one in the Education section of its website.
How do I file a life insurance claim with Brighthouse?
If you’re a beneficiary, the process of filing a claim begins online. These are the steps:
1. Visit Brighthouse’s site and click Support.
2. Click Policy Service and Claims.
3. Scroll to Life Insurance. Click Individual Life Death Claim to download the claims PDF.
After completing the form, you’ll need to mail it to Brighthouse along with supporting documentation, such as a certified copy of the death certificate.
More about Brighthouse
Brighthouse Financial was founded by MetLife in January 2016 as an auxiliary company offering annuity and life insurance products. In 2017, it branched out to become an independent insurer.
Today, Brighthouse reports more than 2 million life insurance policies and annuities in force and more than $220 billion in assets.
In addition to life insurance products, Brighthouse offers the following annuity options:
- Index-linked annuities
- Fixed annuities
- Variable annuities
- Income annuities
Life insurance ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
Our experts analyze life insurance companies to help you to find the strongest possible policy and premium for your family’s needs. We assess their financial strength, customer satisfaction, policy features and riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects their offering and reputation in the industry.