With strong financial stability and few customer complaints, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. earns a Best Reviewed pick. It's a good alternative to top-rated Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance if your agent doesn't represent Northwestern Mutual, or if the rates are better. These can vary a bit by individual from company to company. Like Northwestern Mutual, Mass Mutual's customers seem to be happy: It rates an A+ for trustworthiness at the Better Business Bureau, and state insurance regulators found it at fault in only a tiny number of individual life insurance complaints -- six nationwide in 2009. That is far below the median despite its sizable market share (it's the fifth-largest life insurer in the U.S.). Mass Mutual's minuscule customer-complaint ratio gives it a slight edge over Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America, New York Life Insurance Co. and TIAA-CREF, but those companies do enjoy great financial ratings and very few complaints in their own right, making them solid runner-up picks if the premiums are lower for you for the same type of policy.
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.'s ratings at the Better Business Bureau, National Association of Insurance Commissioners and FreeAdvice.com are based on customer complaints. We found financial stability ratings for Mass Mutual at A.M. Best, Fitch Ratings, Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Weiss Ratings.
1. Better Business Bureau
Massachusetts Mutual earns an A+ rating for trustworthiness from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Its headquarters location has logged 11 customer complaints with the BBB during the past three years. This report gives general information about how they were resolved.
Review: BBB Reliability Report for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Editors of Better Business Bureau
2. National Association of Insurance Commissioners
In this database (searchable by insurance company), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) rounds up customer complaints that have been filed with state insurance commissions nationwide. In its "closed complaint ratio report," Massachusetts Mutual posts an extremely small number of individual life insurance complaints.
Review: Massachusetts Mut Life Ins Co, Editors of National Association of Insurance Commissioners
3. Weiss Ratings
With a financial strength rating of A, Massachusetts Mutual ranks as one of the strongest life insurance companies in the U.S. here (free registration required). That rating is noteworthy because Weiss Ratings is considered one of the strictest of the agencies that provide financial ratings for insurance companies, and it doesn't accept payments from the companies it reports on.
Review: Strongest and Weakest Lists, Editors of Weiss Ratings
4. Best's Review
In this report, A.M. Best lists insurance companies that have earned top financial strength ratings for 50 or 75 years. Mass Mutual makes the 50-year list, and it maintains the highest possible rating here (A++).
Review: Standing the Test of Time, Editors of Best's Review, July 2009
5. Fitch Ratings
Mass Mutual earns a AA+ insurer financial strength rating from Fitch, just shy of the highest AAA rating. This rating indicates a "very strong capacity" to meet its financial obligations. You must register to see or search the ratings, but that's free.
Review: Fitch Ratings, Editors of Fitch Ratings
At Moody's, Mass Mutual earns a Aa2 financial strength rating. "Long-term risks appear somewhat larger" than with a top-rated Aaa company, but companies with this rating are still "high-grade companies." Free registration is required to use the site.
Review: Insurance Financial Strength Ratings, Editors of Moody's
7. Standard & Poor's
Mass Mutual earns Standard & Poor's AA+ rating for long-term financial strength -- just below the highest rating of AAA. This rating places Mass Mutual in the category of "high-grade companies" with "excellent financial security." Like other rating sites, you must register to get access, but that's free.
Review: Insurance Rating List: Life, Editors of Standard & Poor's
Half of the people who post reviews here for Mass Mutual say they are "extremely satisfied" with the company. A third say they're "very unsatisfied" -- which is actually a low percentage for this website, where people seem to post reviews mostly when they have a complaint. Twenty-seven of the reviewers say they have life insurance policies with Mass Mutual, while another 20 or so say they have health or other policies.
Review: Review: Mass Mutual Insurance, Contributors to FreeAdvice.com