Last Updated: March 2020
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company covers all the main bases of life insurance. Northwestern has flexible term and whole life insurance policies to cater to your circumstances and budget.
But are they the best life insurance company for you? In this article, we’ll review all that Northwestern Mutual has to offer:
- About Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
- Northwestern Mutual’s Financial Ratings
- Features of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance
- Northwestern Mutual’s Life Insurance Policies
- Should You Purchase a Life Insurance Policy with Northwestern Mutual?
- Compare Northwestern Mutual to Other Life Insurance Companies
About Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Northwestern Mutual was founded in 1857 in Wisconsin while the state was just nine years old. Originally named the Mutual Life Insurance Company, the base shifted from Janesville, Wisconsin, to Milwaukee two years after it was established.
By 1865, the name changed once again, this time to The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company as operations expanded through the Midwest. At this time, policyholders started to receive their first dividends, something that continues today with this mutual company.
With various other types of insurance added alongside life coverage, expansion continued aggressively from the 1960s into the 2000s. The name was shortened from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance to Northwestern Mutual in 2000 to reflect this diversification.
The Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company was formed in 2001, which is a federal savings bank that works as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual.
The Northwestern Mutual Tower was constructed in 2016 after the purchase of LearnVest the previous year.
Northwestern Mutual’s Financial Ratings
Revenue for Northwestern Mutual Life in 2016 was $28 billion, and by 2018 the company was listed at 104 in the Fortune 500.
With over 7,500 employees, the company puts accountability uppermost and continues to service policyholders with the founding values still firmly in place.
Northwestern Mutual comes backed by the highest possible ratings of financial strength from the leading rating agencies.
Here are their ratings:
- A.M. Best: “A++” (superior) rating
- Affordability Index: 9.1
- Ease of Applying: 8.1
- Customer Service: 9.8
- COMDEX Ranking: 100
A.M. Best is the industry benchmark for financial strength in the life insurance industry. The other three metrics are based on a number of factors including our industry knowledge of Northwestern compared with other companies. The COMDEX ranking is a composite score that considers A.M. Best and other top ratings agencies.
Learn more about our process for reviewing life insurance companies here.
Whether you want life insurance, advice on wealth or asset income protection, disability income, long-term care insurance, or investments, Northwestern Mutual offers a great deal over and above life insurance policies.
Features of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance
Here’s an overview of the core features of Northwestern Mutual life insurance.
- Flexible Terms: You can make payments by direct billing, mail, or online. You can also make adjustments to payment frequency and policy length with some coverage options. You’ll enjoy a robust choice of riders (add-ons) to customize coverage further.
- Customer Service: Customer resources on the website are limited and encourage you to call an agent. You can call with general questions Monday through Friday from 7 am to 6 pm CST. Hours for business owners are 7 am to 5 pm.
- Approval Times: Processing times depend on the type of policy and risk assessment. With larger amounts of coverage and more complicated policies, approval time could extend to one month or more.
- Core Features: You can get guaranteed level premiums and also guaranteed renewability subject to specific conditions. Another guarantee comes with converting term life insurance to permanent coverage. You can benefit from an accelerated death benefit rider and a waiver of premiums in the event of disability.
Northwestern Mutual’s Life Insurance Policies
Northwestern Mutual offers three main types of life insurance coverage:
- Whole Life
- Universal Life
- Term Life
Whole Life Insurance
With Northwestern Mutual’s whole life coverage, you’ll get various options for complete coverage through the age of 65 or on up to 90 at the upper end.
Since you can lock in the premiums, you’ll know precisely where you stand each month. As you get older, and even if you end up developing an adverse condition, your premiums remain constant. This gives you unbeatable peace of mind.
As well as an assured payout in the event of death, you can also reap dividends while you’re alive. Beyond this, cash value builds tax-deferred.
You can take out coverage at any age, and the minimum death benefit is $25,000.
Universal Life Insurance
Northwestern Mutual’s universal life coverage is very much like whole life insurance but with even greater flexibility.
You can alter the amount of your payments along with the frequency if you end up with a change in your financial circumstances. This will affect the cash value of your policy.
Universal life coverage comes in two categories with Northwestern Mutual:
- Custom Universal Life
- Single Premium
The custom universal life policy helps you tailor protection to your precise circumstances with more personalization than the whole life policies offer.
The single premium allows you to pay a single lump sum, and your heirs will be provided with death benefits that could even exceed the one-off premium you pay.
Term Life Insurance
If you’re looking for more affordable life insurance for a predetermined period, Northwestern Mutual delivers term policies to meet this need.
Whether you choose a number of years (10 through 30) or coverage up to a designated age, you’ll be limited to death benefits only.
Term life insurance does not give you the investment component that leads to cash value building up, but you do have lower rates. Coverage gets locked in for the duration of the term.
You can sometimes convert your term policy into permanent life insurance as long as you keep paying the premiums, making sure you’re covered for as long as you live.
Term life insurance works well as supplementary coverage alongside an existing permanent policy, and it’s certainly better than nothing if you can’t afford permanent coverage at all.
A hybrid policy offered by Northwestern Mutual is CompLife. This combines elements of term and whole life coverage to give you a more personalized solution.
If you are looking for competitive term life insurance rates, be sure to compare Northwestern Mutual with Mutual of Omaha life insurance company, as they are one of the top 10 best life insurance companies.
Should You Purchase a Life Insurance Policy with Northwestern Mutual?
While at a glance Northwestern Mutual doesn’t seem to have as many types of coverage as some competitors, you can certainly find robust and reliable policies for both term life insurance and permanent life insurance.
- Regarding financial strength, the company is among the strongest.
- As a mutual, you’ll enjoy dividends, although these have been decreasing over recent years. Reporting is not to shareholders but policy owners.
- If you want other products and services, you can add disability insurance and long-term care. Northwestern also provides a full selection of financial planning and investment products.
- Alongside life insurance, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance offers a broad spread of other products and services.
With excellent cash value offerings and a solid dividend history, the company is among the strongest whole life insurance providers. With term policies, you might do better elsewhere.
The primary drawback with Northwestern comes with the minimal online resources they provide. If you’re a first-time buyer, you’ll find little regarding either learning materials or support.
The absence of these valuable resources, quote tools, and mobile apps can be enough to send you looking elsewhere.
To decide if Northwestern Mutual is the right life insurance company for you, first decide what type of policy you need and how much coverage. Then, simply review Northwestern Mutual against other life insurance companies’ rates.
Compare Northwestern Mutual to Other Life Insurance Companies
Northwestern Mutual has its pros and cons, but it is always a good idea to compare rates and policies to other top-rated companies. We have reviews of over 50 life insurance carriers and agencies to help in your search.
Here are some of the other best life insurance companies to consider along with Northwestern Mutual.
- Protective Life Insurance Company
- Haven Life
- Banner Life
- Prudential Life Insurance
- MassMutual Life Insurance
- Mutual of Omaha
- Principal Life Insurance
- Lincoln Financial
- AIG Direct