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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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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
21 - 54 years old
10 or 20 years
Get a quote in less than 10 minutes with on-the-spot approval and no medical exam.
Haven Life
18 - 64 years old
10, 15, 20, or 30 years
No exams for some applicants
Fill out a quick online application and get approval in minutes with up to $3 million in coverage.
20 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
Depends on policy
Apply for term life insurance online without the medical exam. Get an instant decision and adjust your coverage at no charge.
18 - 85 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Depends on provider and policy
Compare 12+ top insurers side-by-side to get the best possible deal, and shop return of premium policies online.
21 - 60 years old
10, 15, or 20 years
Depends on policy
No-exam term policies up to $1 million online, with the option to upgrade to permanent life insurance later.

Compare up to 4 providers

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