With so many options to choose from, finding the best life insurance company can be daunting. The good news is the team at IBUSA is here to help. We have put together this Haven Life review so you can get a better idea of what the company is and what it offers, so you can make the best decision on the right company and policy for you, based on your specific needs and goals.
What is Haven Life Insurance?
Most online insurance brokers are structured as independent agencies. Basically, the agency establishes relationships with multiple life insurance companies and sells policies to consumers on behalf of those companies.
The advantage provided to the public is that the agency can show applicants multiple policy options and premium quotes from among the carriers in its network.
Consumers are able to shop for the best rates and find the specific policy that provides the optimum benefits for their situations.
As a captive agency of insurance industry stalwart MassMutual, Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (“Haven Life”) is an exception to this general trend.
Rather than offering consumers multiple rate quotes and a wide assortment of policy options, Haven Life focuses on expediting the application process and selling plain-Jane term coverage.
Because Haven Life only sells essentially two unadorned term policies, applying for and obtaining coverage through Haven Life is quick and easy.
Captive agencies have some notable shortcomings. But if you’re only going to deal with one insurer, you could do a lot worse than MassMutual, which boasts an A++ rating from A.M. Best (the highest rating).
From the consumer perspective, that means a MassMutual policy purchased through Haven Life is about as safe of a bet as you can get—with next to no risk of the company becoming financially unable to meet its commitments.
Haven Life and MassMutual both also score highly in terms of customer service. With Haven Life in particular, the entire application process—and most communications relating to existing policies—occur online, through Haven Life’s user-friendly website.
Haven Life has been selling MassMutual underwritten policies from its New York headquarters since 2014. Haven Life markets policies to consumers in all fifty states, plus DC. However, one of its two policies (the “simplified issue” option) isn’t available in a few states.
What Kinds of Life Insurance does Haven Life Sell?
If you’re someone who likes to weigh multiple options before making a purchase, Haven Life probably isn’t the ideal broker for you.
Haven sells only two basic policies. Both provide level term coverage, which means the policy provides temporary coverage over a predetermined period of years, with fixed premiums throughout.
And neither is available with any optional riders enhancing coverage, other than a terminal illness rider that comes standard.
Fully Underwritten & Simplified Issue
The principal difference between Haven’s two policy offerings is that one is fully underwritten and the other is simplified issue.
When a policy is fully underwritten, the application process is more thorough, usually including a medical exam. Because the insurer has more information to work with, it can often offer lower premium rates.
Simplified issue policies (sometimes called “no exam life insurance policies,” though not every no exam policy is simplified issue) rely on health information provided in a written application and through medical database searches, but no exam is required.
The fully underwritten variety is Haven Life’s featured, go-to policy, and Haven recommends that any eligible applicants apply for the fully underwritten policy.
Application is open to adults age 65 and below, and available coverage levels start at $100,000 and go as high as $3 million (limited to $1 million for applicants over 60 or who are not U.S. citizens).
Applicants can choose between level term life insurance lengths of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. When a policy’s initial term concludes, the policyholder can renew coverage annually (for a substantially higher premium).
Many young (i.e., below 60) and healthy applicants can qualify for “InstantTerm,” which amounts to a waiver of the otherwise required medical exam.
InstantTerm is more or less the same policy—and still priced as fully underwritten—you just get to skip the poking, prodding, and needles.
InstantTerm coverage is limited to $1 million of life insurance. So, if you want coverage over $1 million, you’ll need the exam, regardless of your current health status.
Haven Term Simplified
For applicants who can’t qualify for InstantTerm but still want to avoid the medical exam, Haven Life offers “Haven Term Simplified.”
Coverage starts as low as $5,000 and goes up to as high as $500,000, and only five, ten, and fifteen-year term lengths are available.
Haven Term Simplified (which is actually issued by MassMutual affiliate C.M. Life) is only open to applicants up to age 55 and is not offered to residents of California, Delaware, New York, or either of the Dakotas.
One last item worth mentioning is that Haven Life differs from most online life insurance brokers in that it also markets annuities (or, more accurately, an annuity).
The MassMutual product “AgeUp,” which is a deferred annuity for people closing in on retirement age, is featured on Haven’s site.
AgeUp allows for relatively low monthly premium payments over time and is intended to provide a steady income source after annuitants reach age 90.
Annuitants can select a return-of-premium option providing a death benefit in the form of a premium refund.
What Services Does Haven Life Provide to Consumers?
In a nutshell, Haven Life lets you get access to term life insurance with minimal effort or time commitment. Other than a medical exam (if necessary), you’re doing everything online.
The life insurance medical exam itself is the only thing slowing down the process, and some applicants get to skip it. As a result, the time you have to commit to applying for a policy is very short. Most people take only 30 minutes or so to complete the online application.
The speed and efficiency, though, is a double-edged sword. The reason the process can be so quick is that you don’t spend any time looking at different policy options or optional riders, and you don’t get the opportunity to review premium rates from multiple carriers.
Lack of Personalization
Even within the two term policies Haven Life sells, there’s hardly any room for personalization. You can pick the policy limits and the term length, and you can decide whether to go with a simplified issue or fully underwritten policy.
But that’s it.
Haven Life policies don’t come with any optional riders–not even a conversion option letting you convert to permanent coverage.
And, of course, cash-value policies like whole life or universal life are completely out of the question with Haven Life.
Now, assuming a stripped-down term policy is exactly what you want, Haven Life can get that for you in a jiffy. InstantTerm allows a lot of people to purchase fully underwritten coverage with essentially zero delay. That’s a pretty nice feature.
Haven Life Application Process
The way Haven Life’s application process generally works is that you start by submitting, through the site’s portal, some personal information, including your age, weight, health history, and nicotine-use status.
You choose the term length and coverage amount you want, and, if the rate quote looks good, you opt to formally apply.
Haven Life will review the information you provided and check medical, DMV, and Social Security records.
Within a short time, you get a coverage decision and firm rate quote.
If a medical exam is required, the decision is contingent on your passing the medical exam.
The medical exams are fairly standard, with a physical and some fluid testing. Applicants have 90 days to complete the exam, and a temporary policy provides coverage in the interim.
Upon completion of the exam, Haven Life sends its formal coverage decision and premium rates if the applicant was approved.
Life Insurance Rates
As for term life insurance rates, MassMutual’s Haven Life policies are more or less average.
Marketing materials suggest that, because there are no agent commissions for Haven Life issued policies, consumers save money.
But the bottom-line premiums don’t seem to be anything special. And, of course, Haven Life doesn’t let you see how much another carrier would charge you for the same coverage.
Haven Life Plus
At no extra charge, a built-in benefit called “Haven Life Plus” is included with most Haven Life policies. Haven Life Plus gives insureds access to perks like CVS Pharmacy discounts, online assistance with basic estate planning, and a couple other digital resources.
Applicants residing in Florida, New York, Washington State, or the Dakotas aren’t able to access Haven Life Plus.
What it boils down to is that, when you work with Haven Life, you’re sacrificing choice and flexibility for simplicity and swiftness.
If you’re certain that a stripped-down term policy is exactly what you need—and if a non-onerous application is a high priority—Haven Life can provide an easy means of obtaining a reliable term life insurance policy from a rock-solid company.
On the other hand, if you want permanent coverage or a policy personalized to your specific needs—or if it’s important to you to know you found the best deal—you’re probably better off working with an independent broker who can help you take a much wider look at the many available life insurance options on the market.