Brighthouse life insurance review 2020
Originally established by MetLife, Brighthouse Financial caters to a large audience with substantial coverage and some of the most competitive rates on the market.
finder.com’s rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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
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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’s site gets straight to the point, clearly outlining the benefits of its term and universal policies. Though Brighthouse doesn’t offer whole life, you can opt to convert your term life policy within two to five years.
Term life insurance
Brighthouse’s Guaranteed Level Term is its most affordable plan, providing coverage for 1, 10, 15, 20 and 30 years at level premiums that won’t increase for the duration of your term. Coverage starts at a high $1 million, but you can customize your plan with riders and the option to borrow from your policy’s cash value.
Universal life insurance
Brighthouse Premier Accumulator Universal Life (PAUL) is a permanent policy featuring flexibility, cash growth and a long list of riders. The policy provides interest credits that help you accumulate cash value, and you won’t pay taxes on your money as it accumulates. With the right planning, neither will your beneficiaries. Access your cash value with no surrender charges to pay for the unexpected expenses, should you need to allocate your money elsewhere.
Hybrid life insurance
Brighthouse’s SmartCare is a combination of indexed universal life insurance and a long-term care (LTC) policy. This hybrid policy provides a death benefit to your loved ones, just like its PAUL policy, and offers you long-term care coverage should you need it. With this policy, you can elect to link it to an index or indices in order to potentially grow your LTC benefits and protect yourself against downturns in the market.
What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?
- Disability waiver of premium. Waives policy premiums if you’re fully disabled for six months or more.
- Acceleration of death benefit. Fully or partially pays out your policy if you fall terminally ill with a life expectancy of up to 12 to 24 months, depending on where you live.
- Convertible and renewable options. Gives you the option to renew your one-year policy for up to five years with increasing premiums. Or convert to whole life between two and five years.
- Chronic and terminal care. Get some of your death benefits early if you’re diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness. Rather than a monthly charge, you pay a $250 fee each time you access your money. (Not available in California, Florida or New York.)
- Waiver of specified premium. Pay a reduced, predetermined premium if you become fully disabled.
How can I get a low rate?
Insurers look at many factors when determining the cost of your policy. To get the best rate, you’ll need to meet requirements that could include:
- No history of tobacco or substance use.
- Clean driving record.
- Healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level.
- Family history free of diseases.
Pros and cons of Brighthouse Financial
Overall, Brighthouse is a reputable insurance provider offering competitive pricing on multiple policy options. But whole life is available as a rider only, among other potential drawbacks.
- Financial stability. Brighthouse is highly rated by all credit agencies for its ability to fulfill its debt obligations.
- Competitive, comprehensive rates. Plans cater to a large audience with substantial coverage and flexibility at an affordable rate.
- Few surrender fees. Brighthouse is among the few providers that allow you to surrender your policy without fees if you need access to cash.
- Not a lot of options. Many large providers offer a wider variety of insurance policies. Brighthouse offers term and universal policies only.
- Few riders available. It covers the basics, but Brighthouse doesn’t offer the long list of riders you might find elsewhere.
- Extra step to apply. You must first find a financial professional on your own (if you don’t already have one) who will work with Brighthouse on your behalf.
Life insurance companies like Brighthouse
Brighthouse reviews and complaints
Brighthouse is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and it earns a low B- rating based on BBB’s independent criteria. But A.M. Best rewards Brighthouse with an excellent A rating for financial strength.
Online, you’ll find a mixed bag of customer feedback. On the bright side, many customers report having no problems with their insurance. Others mention issues with communication, customer service and difficulty obtaining death benefit payouts.
How does Brighthouse protect my data?
Brighthouse collects your personal information in order to fulfill your requests and complete its business objectives, which typically includes offering or administering personalized products.
To keep your data secure, Brighthouse maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards.
How do I sign up?
To purchase life insurance from Brighthouse, you’ll have to seek out a personal financial advisor, if you don’t already have one. You cannot purchase a policy directly through Brighthouse. Brighthouse does, however, offer tips on working with a financial advisor in the Education section of its website.
More about Brighthouse
Brighthouse Financial was founded by heavy-hitter MetLife in January 2016 as an auxiliary company offering annuity and life insurance products. In 2017, it was spun off as the independent Brighthouse.
Today, Brighthouse reports more than 2 million life insurance policies and annuities in force and more than $220 billion in assets.
Prior to spinning off from its parent company, MetLife, Brighthouse was known for its big-name backing. It was originally created by MetLife to take over individual life insurance business.
In addition to life insurance products, Brighthouse offers the following annuity options:
- Index-linked annuities
- Fixed annuities
- Variable annuities
- Income annuities
If Brighthouse Financial doesn’t suit your needs, explore your options by comparing life insurance providers.
How do I file a life insurance claim with Brighthouse?
Filing for a claim with Brighthouse begins on its site.
1. Visit Brighthouse’s site and click Support.
2. Click Policy Service and Claims.
3. Scroll to Life Insurance, and click Individual Life Death Claim to download the claims PDF.
From there, Brighthouse walks you through the process of completing your claim, detailing the required information and how to submit your documentation.
Brighthouse financial stability and credit ratings
Brighthouse gets good ratings for financial stability and credit. A.M. Best is the most relevant credit ratings agency in the insurance industry, rating companies for decades. Brighthouse was recently awarded an A rating, or “excellent,” referring to its ability to fulfill debt obligations. A.M. Best uses a 16-level rating system for financial stability, and Brighthouse ranks third.
Frequently asked questions
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.