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New York Life vs. Brighthouse Financial life insurance

Find out how one of America’s oldest insurers compares to a newly independent company.

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New York Life and Brighthouse logos

In the life insurance arena, New York Life and Brighthouse Financial are heavyweights that are worth hundreds of billions of dollars. New York Life has been helping Americans to protect their families since 1845, while Brighthouse Financial broke away from MetLife to become an independent provider in 2017.

Find out how they stack up in terms of their products and reputation.

Life insurance products with New York Life and Brighthouse Financial

Both insurers offer term life insurance. When it comes to permanent policies, New York Life covers all bases, while Brighthouse Financial focuses on universal life insurance. It also sells a unique hybrid policy made up of universal life and long-term care.

New York Life
Brighthouse Financial


Neither New York Life or Brighthouse Financial disclose rates on their sites.

Policy riders

Each insurer offers a range of riders that can help you to customize your coverage. Some riders only apply to certain states, so double-check those details with your chosen carrier.

New York Life
Brighthouse Financial
Accelerated death benefit
Accidental death
Disability waiver of premium
Chronic and terminal care
Automatic benefit increase
Cash value

Financial strength

Life insurance is an investment in your family — so you want to make sure the company has the resources to pay out claims. That’s where financial strength ratings come into play.

New York Life boasts near-perfect ratings from the four major agencies, and a high rating with J.D. Power, which assesses overall customer satisfaction. Brighthouse Financial also achieved excellent ratings, which means both providers are financially sound choices. However, with J.D. Power, Brighthouse ranked 17 out of 23 insurers, so there’s room for improvement.

New York Life
Brighthouse Financial
A.M. BestA++ (Superior)A (Excellent)
Moody’sAaa (Prime)A3 (Upper Medium)
Standard & Poor’sAA+ (High Grade)A+ (Strong)
FitchAAA (Prime)A (Strong)
JD Power4 out of 5 stars2 out of 5

Customer reviews

Ratings agencies assess the financial resources of a company, while forums like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and TrustPilot focus on the customer experience.

New York Life isn’t accredited with the BBB, but it has earned an A+ rating for its customer service and interaction. The BBB has recorded 74 complaints over the last three years, with many policyholders commenting on the lengthy or frustrating claims process. Customers award New York Life 3 out of 5 stars, which is relatively high for an insurance company.

Brighthouse Financial also isn’t accredited with the BBB, and its rating was recently upgraded to A+. Customers filed 42 complaints over the last four years, and most complaints centered on the confusing transition process in the first few years of breaking apart from MetLife.

Bottom line

When you’re tossing up between these two carries, think about what’s most important to you. Both are financially strong and reputable, but they differ in terms of product lineups. New York Life caters to a larger audience by offering all major types of life insurance, while Brighthouse Financial has a more niched approach.

However, to make the most informed decision possible, it’s worth it to consider comparing life insurance companies.

Compare life insurance companies

Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
18 - 60 years old
5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.
21 - 54 years old
10 or 20 years
Affordable 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies with instant quotes and no medical exams.
18 - 85 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Depends on provider and policy
Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.
Everyday Life
20 - 75 years old
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
Build a customized laddering strategy to target specific financial responsibilities and save on term life.
25 - 60 years old
10, 15, or 20 years
Depends on policy
Get affordable term life insurance with accelerated underwriting or no-exam coverage up to $1,000,000. Available in all states except CA, NY and MT.

Compare up to 4 providers

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