Northwestern Mutual is one of the biggest names in the life insurance industry, with a large operating footprint that spans the entire nation.
With an 8.24% market share, it is the largest issuer of life insurance policies in the United States, giving it an incredibly strong position in the life insurance marketplace.
If you are interested in learning more about Northwestern Mutual, continue reading this complete review for everything you need to know.
Table of Contents:
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company Overview
The Northwestern Mutual brand has been around for more than 150 years and has long held a major presence in the financial services industry. Throughout its long, storied history, Northwestern Mutual has issued life insurance policies to its customers. The company was initially founded in 1857 as the Mutual Life Insurance Company in Janesville, Wisconsin, before relocating to Milwaukee two years later.
Although the company’s financial footing was shaky in those early days (then-president Samuel Daggett famously had to personally borrow money to pay out some claims), Northwestern Mutual’s brand has a sterling reputation today and is widely viewed as a financially stable institution.
Northwestern Mutual offers most types of life insurance that customers would expect from a company of its stature, including term, whole life and universal.
Financial strength is one of Northwestern Mutual’s most compelling selling points. Few, if any, life insurance companies can compare to Northwestern Mutual in terms of financial stability. Northwestern Mutual has received higher financial strength ratings from the four major credit rating agencies than any other provider in the life insurance industry.
- Standard & Poor’s Financial Rating: AA+
- Moody’s Financial Rating: Aaa
- AM Best Financial Rating: A++
These exceptional financial strength ratings indicate that Northwestern Mutual is on stable financial footing and will be able to pay out benefits when required.
Northwestern Mutual Company Ratings and Customer Service
Large life insurance companies are often unable to provide the same hands-on customer support that smaller providers offer. However, this does not appear to be the case with Northwestern Mutual, which has very few documented customer complaints for a company of its size.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides one of the best indicators of overall customer experience. Northwestern Mutual has a 0.05 complaint ratio with the NAIC, significantly lower than the 1.11 national median.
The Better Business Bureau has also given Northwestern Mutual an A+ rating, further cementing its reputation for satisfied customers.
All available evidence suggests that Northwestern Mutual is a reliable insurance provider with a large portfolio of life insurance products. One factor that shoppers will want to consider is cost, as they may pay more to get the benefit of Northwestern Mutual’s stability.
- Homepage URL: https://www.northwesternmutual.com
- Company Phone: (414) 271-1444
- Headquarters Address: 720 East Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI, 53202
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Policies
Northwestern Mutual life insurance policies cover the entire gamut of policies that customers expect: Term, whole and universal coverage are all available, as are additional variations within each category. Whatever type of life insurance you’re shopping for, odds are Northwestern Mutual offers it.
Term Life Insurance
Rather than buy an open-ended life insurance policy for their entire life, customers can choose a term life insurance plan that covers a set number of years. There are a wide variety of term lengths available, depending on what the customer needs.
While term life insurance may have its limitations as far as the duration of your coverage goes, it’s often a more affordable option compared with whole or universal plans. Term life insurance policies can be a good fit for people who want to secure their family’s financial future for a certain period of time. For instance, if you just started a family and want to be sure that your children will be taken care of while they’re still in school, a 20-year term life agreement could provide that stability until they have graduated.
One of the perks of Northwestern Mutual’s term life insurance offerings is that customers have the option to roll their plan into a whole life or universal policy. If your coverage is set to expire or you want to get a policy that will set your family up for the rest of your life, a term life policy can be converted into a whole or universal plan.
Whole Life Insurance
As its name implies, whole life insurance covers your beneficiaries for their entire lives. The peace of mind afforded by whole life policies is just one of the benefits that customers can enjoy. Premiums on Northwestern Mutual whole life insurance plans do not go up over the years, even as the insured’s level of risk increases.
Whole life policies also build tax-deferred cash value over the years, giving policyholders more financial flexibility. Customers can put that money toward business investments, emergency funds, retirement savings or insurance premiums.
Universal Life Insurance
Like whole life insurance, universal life insurance covers policyholders for their entire lives. However, universal life insurance plans offer far more flexibility, allowing customers to change various aspects of their coverage over the years, including the amount of coverage, premiums and payment schedule.
Northwestern Mutual offers two different universal life insurance products: Custom Universal Life (CUL) Accumulator and Single Premium. CUL Accumulator gives policyholders the most flexibility possible, allowing them to change death benefits and premium payment schedules as needed.
Single Premium allows customers to buy lifetime coverage using one lump-sum payment. A benefit of this product is that beneficiaries don’t need to pay income tax on the death benefit. Single Premium is a good option if you don’t want to pay a monthly or annual premium and have money on hand to pay for your entire policy up front.
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Riders
Riders act as amendments to insurance policies, often adding supplemental coverage if certain conditions are met. Some riders come attached free of charge, while others will incur an extra cost. It’s important that insurance shoppers review their life insurance rider options before making a decision.
Disability Income Rider: This rider helps protect individuals in the event that they become physically disabled during the lifetime of their policy. Policyholders could receive monthly payments to offset income lost due to that disability.
Guaranteed Insurability Rider: If a policyholder’s health declines – for instance, they have a heart attack or stroke – a guaranteed insurability rider will allow the policyholder to increase their coverage up to the maximum allowance.
Child Protection Rider: This rider allows policyholders to receive a small payout in the event that one of their children dies while their policy is in effect. Death benefits are often far more modest compared with a full life insurance policy, but can offset funeral costs.
Long-Term Care Rider: Policyholders may require long-term care from a private nurse or nursing home later in life. With a long-term care rider, customers have the option of pulling money from their death benefit to pay for those services.
Accidental Death Benefit Rider: This type of rider gives beneficiaries a larger payout in the event that the insured dies from an accident, rather than an illness or health-related issue.
Customer Experience & Online Tools
Northwestern Mutual’s online presence is a bit of a mixed bag from a quote and application perspective. The company does have a life insurance calculator on its site to help prospective customers determine how much coverage they will need. The calculator considers a wide variety of factors – age, location, salary, dependents, debt, etc. – to figure out how much money applicants will want to leave behind to their family members and loved ones.
Beyond that, however, prospective customers will find limited online quote and application tools. There do not appear to be any online methods to apply for coverage.
How to Apply with Northwestern Mutual
Anyone considering a Northwestern Mutual life insurance policy is encouraged to speak directly with a financial advisor to help identify the right type of life insurance for their circumstances and iron out the details of their policy.
From there, a formal application will need to be filled out to see if individuals qualify. Prospective customers will be asked a number of questions about their lifestyle to help underwriters determine how much risk they pose and what premiums should be set. Those include factors such as smoking, drinking, drug use, driving history and participation in other risky activities like skydiving. Applicants may be asked to complete a health exam before their form is accepted, but that is not necessarily the case with every application.
There is little to no information available regarding any discounts that Northwestern Mutual offers on its life insurance products. As such, it’s difficult to state with any degree of certainty how much savings customers can expect with their policies. It should be noted that due to Northwestern Mutual’s industry standing, financial stability and overall reputation, customers can likely expect to pay more than they would with a less reliable provider.*While we make every effort to keep our site updated, please be aware that "timely" information on this page, such as quote estimates, or pertinent details about companies, may only be accurate as of its last edit day. Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.