ING and Met Life Term Conversion Options

by Chris Huntley

ING and Met Life Term Conversion Options

Which term policy has the best conversion option? Something to consider before you purchase a policy!

I recently had a client ask me about which term product had a better conversion option:  Met Life or ING?

To understand the explanation given, you must understand the two options available when the level term period expires on most term life insurance contracts.

Policy Options when Level Term Period Expires

Option 1 is to pay an annual renewable rate, which means your premium is no longer fixed, but rather increases year after year.  Going into your purchase of a 10 to 30 year term policy, no one knows what that will cost.  You do have a contractual guaranteed annual renewable premium in your initial contract, but the rate shown there is a worst case scenario and most likely the renewal premium due would not be that high.

Option 2 is to convert the policy to a permanent, sometimes called whole life or guaranteed universal life policy.  However, this rate is also unknown going into your initial term insurance purchase, since we don’t know what permanent products will be available to convert to 10, 15, or 30 years down the line.

My response concerning ING vs. Met Life’s conversion options

After review of the conversion privileges available to the three Reliastar Life Insurance Company (ING) term products considered for purchase, the TermSmart 10, TermSmart 15, and TermSmart 20, as well as Met Life’s Guaranteed Level Term 10 to 20 year products, I can attest first to the convertibility option with all three products to one of ING’s permanent cash value policies without evidence of insurability as well as Met Life’s term products.

What type of permanent policy can you convert to?

Secondly, I attest to both ING and Met Life allowing you to convert without proof of insurability to “select” permanent products at the time of conversion.  It is impossible to say for sure which company will have the lower priced conversion option 10 to 20 years down the road, because no one knows for sure which permanent products each company will have available to select at the time.

The conversion guidelines for ING’s TermSmart line of term products reads as follows:

“TermSmart plans are convertible, without evidence of insurability, to selected permanent plans issued at that time by the Company.”

Similarly, the guidelines for Met Life’s Guaranteed Level Term products read:

“Conversion can be made to select MetLife enterprise permanent life products available to the producer at the time of conversion.”

While nobody can predict future pricing of either company’s permanent product line, I can attest to the fact that based on today’s current pricing when comparing both companies best priced permanent products that guarantee coverage to age 121, ING’s premiums are lower in all three of your most likely conversion times, 10, 15, or 20 years from now at a $10 Million face value.

Replacing an ING or Met Life Policy

There are many instances when replacing your existing term policy makes more sense than converting to a permanent policy.  Be sure to get quotes for a new term or permanent policy with a different carrier, to compare them to your ING or Met Life conversion illustration.

*Written by Chris Huntley. Huntley Wealth Insurance and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.
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Chris Huntley
Chris Huntley is the owner of Huntley Wealth Insurance, a San Diego life insurance agency. You can find him on Google + and Facebook. Over the past 8 years, Chris has consulted with over 2000 individuals about their insurance needs. He is a proud husband and father to three adorable girls.
Chris Huntley
Chris Huntley

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kern February 25, 2011 at 8:41 am

One thing you failed to mention which is one of the most overlooked thing when buying insurance is VALUE.
1) MetLife has a larger portfolio of Permanent Products than ING.
2) Metlife’s financial ratin gs compared to ING.
3) ING’s permanent products are structured for Death Benefit for lowest premium but Metlife’s products have potential for Cash Value Build-up which can decrease cummulative premiums over time.


Chris March 17, 2011 at 1:29 am

Very good points, Kern, and I guess I left myself open to that. However, the point of the post was to explain that without a crystal ball, we can’t know what future premiums for conversions would be, and to your points I would argue we don’t know that any of your 3 points will be the case years in the future at the time of possible conversion. Thanks so much for your comment, and give me a call if you want to help me work any of the leads from my website. 877-443-9467


Ken February 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Does the owner of the term policy need the signiture of the insured for a term conversion?


Chris Huntley February 3, 2012 at 11:54 am

Yes. No medical questions but there are questions about source of funds, other insurance in force or pending, etc., which require the insured’s signature.


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