Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Review

Written by Jeff Root

Northwestern Mutual has an A++ rating from A.M. Best and the highest financial rating from all four of the top credit rating agencies.

They have been noted as one of the top companies for life insurance by Fortune Magazine and have remained strong throughout depressions and two World Wars.

Company A.M. Best Rating Life Insurance Options
Northwestern Mutual A++ (Superior)
  • Term life
  • Whole life
  • Universal life
  • Variable Life
  • Hybrid term/whole life product “CompLife”

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance offers a variety of low rates mixed with many different payment options for permanent and term life insurance.

Pros and Cons

Good for:

  • Low term life insurance coverage that is Affordable for smokers and for seniors.
  • Options to combine your term life insurance policy with permanent coverage.
  • Great customer support and outstanding Financial strength ratings.

Bad for:

  • Anyone who wants a simplified issue specifically for pre-existing conditions or for fast coverage. There is no option from this company for a simplified issue policy.
  • There are limited options in terms of the policy length for term life insurance.

Northwestern Mutual is good for people looking for term or cash value life insurance policies. If you are older or you are a smoker you will find very competitive rates from this company.

They also have a special product called comp life which allows you to combine term and whole life insurance coverage to best fit the situation you are facing not only now but in the future as your needs change with time.

They do not have any form of no medical exam guaranteed issue policy so people who want coverage with a pre-existing condition or who need term coverage for a very specific amount of time such as 12 years or 17 years, might be better off finding coverage from somewhere else.

Of course, everyone else is going to greatly benefit from the affordable prices that this company has to offer.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Products

northwestern mutual life insurance reviewNorthwestern Mutual Life Insurance has term, whole, Universal, and variable policies available. They also have a unique policy called comp life which lets you combine all of the benefits you would get from both permanent and term options.

Each of the permanent life insurance policies provides build cash value so you can receive dividends as a policyholder.

They also come with a benefit called the additional purchase benefit which lets you increase the face value of your policy at different points in time.

This is meant for people whose financial situation changes with time and who may need larger amounts of coverage as they get older or reduced coverage.

Using this additional purchase benefit you get to increase the death benefit you have without having to undergo the same policy application or medical exam.

This is an option only available after certain life events such as after having a child or once you turn 40.

You get to provide your family with different options for the death benefit as well. With Northwestern Mutual your beneficiaries can choose to receive your death benefit in the form of a single lump sum or a series of payments.

Term Life Insurance

There are four separate term life insurance policies offered by this company.

Level Term 20

This is a traditional 20-year Term Policy where your premiums remain the same for the entire length of your coverage.

Level Term 10

This policy actually gives you coverage for 20 years but it functions similarly to having two separate 10-year policies. With this policy, your premiums remain the same for the first 10 years. But after that the price you pay for premiums increases based on your age.

So, short-term your premiums are going to be a lower-cost but they might be more expensive compared to the level term 20 policy depending on your age when you first take out your coverage.

Term 80

This is a term life insurance policy that you can renew on an annual basis. Your coverage Remains the same for each individual year and as you renew it will increase over time.

The policy premiums you pay at the onset of this coverage will start out lower than a normal Term Policy but they can increase significantly with time. You can renew this policy on an annual basis until you turn 80 years old.

Term 10

This is similar to the term 80 policy meaning you can renew on an annual basis however you can only renew for up to 10 years. Once that 10-year time frame is over you have to buy a new policy.

With each of these term life insurance policy do you have the option to convert your policy to a permanent plan with guaranteed acceptance?

If you choose to exercise this option your premiums will be based upon your age. If you have gotten sick since you took out your initial Term Policy it will have no impact on your ability to get the conversion to a permanent policy nor will it impact the premiums you pay with this company.

Whole Life Insurance Policies

There are a handful of whole life insurance policies that give you lifetime coverage and your premiums will remain the same. You can buy these policies until the age of 85. There is a minimum death benefit amount of $25,000. These each have a cash value component to them which increases in value over time.

65 Life

This is a level premium policy that charges you the same premium until you turn 65. Once you turn 65 your coverage will remain in effect but you will not have to pay premiums any longer.

90 Life

This is similar to the whole life insurance policy listed above but the difference is you pay your premiums until you turn 90 years old. Once you turn 90 you don’t have to make any more premium payments but you continue to get lifelong coverage.

Limited Pay Life

There is a limited pay life feature which allows you to choose how long you pay for your coverage. For this you can set up any length of time between 10 years and 30 years.

The amount you pay is obviously based upon the length of time you have chosen and should be a decision you make after reviewing your finances in determining how much you are able to pay. If you can pay significantly higher premiums for the first 10 years then you can set up your whole life insurance policy for higher premiums but after 10 years you will not have to pay anything else.

Obviously, if you can’t afford this you can stretch out the time you have to pay all of your premiums to something more affordable.

If you become terminally ill and you have a whole life insurance policy you can exercise the option of receiving your death benefit while you are still alive. This allows you to spend the money on your death benefit on things like medical expenses or supplementing lost income.

Comp Life Insurance

This unique life insurance product offered by this company is called the comp Lyfe product. You get to choose how your coverage is divided and you can combine whole and term life insurance benefits.

If you decide to purchase a $500,000 policy to cover your mortgage and provide your children with an inheritance you can choose to set aside $400,000 of your coverage as a term life insurance policy and the other $100,000 as a permanent life insurance policy.

This means that you can allocate whatever amount corresponds to the size of your mortgage as a Term Policy, something that expires once you have paid off that financial debt and then whatever is left is something you can have permanently to leave behind.

If you have a smaller mortgage you can obviously divide this such that $200,000 is a term product for your mortgage and the remaining $300,000 is set up to cover expenses for your family in the event of your death.

Universal Life Insurance

There are universal life insurance policies that have two separate payment structures to them.

Single Premium

For this option you pay a single lump sum premium when you purchase your policy. You never have to make another payment again.

Customer Universal Life Accumulator

This is a standard Universal policy and you can pay on a monthly basis or an annual basis depending on what you prefer.

Choosing the single premium policy eliminates any modifications to the premiums you would otherwise pay. And you get cash value with any of these that allow you to take out money against that cash value if you need cash in the present. Whatever amount is not repaid at the time of your passing is simply deducted from your death benefit.

Sample Rates:

Below is a set of sample rates for comparison of a level term life insurance policy for 20 years, with $500,000 in coverage. The example is for a 35-year-old male with good health for the smoker and parent rates and a 60-year-old male with good health for the senior rates.

Smokers and Seniors

If you look at the samples above you will see that the rates are significantly cheaper for seniors and for smokers.

Is Northwestern Mutual the Right Life Insurance Company for You?

Employees and customers alike have great things to say about the company, especially if they were well educated at the start of their policy.

Knowing what you need in a policy and doing your homework can help you to avoid any surprises down the road and to find a policy that affords you optimum coverage given your unique situation.

Working with a third party broker can help you to identify your needs, review your finances, and find an ideal solution.

Our independent life insurance agents can help you compare the best life insurance companies, rates, and policies in order to find the best coverage for you and your family.

Give us a call today to speak with an expert.  Or, get started now using our online life insurance quote tool to compare the best life insurance rates on the market.

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