Manhattan Life is a smaller company that specializes in niche products, such as no exam life insurance. In the following review of Manhattan Life, we will examine the company more closely to help our readers determine if it is the best choice for them among the many different options in the marketplace.
About Manhattan Life Insurance Company
Manhattan Life Insurance Company (“Manhattan Life”) is the life insurance-oriented subsidiary of Houston-based Manhattan Life Group. Other subsidiaries of the Manhattan Life Group include Manhattan Life Assurance Company, Family Life Insurance Company, and Western United Life Assurance Company.
Manhattan Life also recently acquired Utah-based Standard Life and Casualty Insurance Company—not to be confused with the much larger Standard Insurance Company (a/k/a “The Standard“).
Manhattan Life traces its roots all the way back to 1850, when it was chartered in New York. The company’s Statue of Liberty logo reflects its continued connection to New York, where it still bases its operations (despite its parent company’s home in Houston).
As early as 1854, Manhattan Life began issuing group life policies—the first of which protected a business’s interest in the lives of 700 workers during their voyage from China to the U.S. Today, group plans issued through employers are an important part of Manhattan Life’s business.
Although Manhattan Life spent most of its existence as a mutual company, it was converted into a stockholder-owned corporation in the mid-1980s. Unlike many large insurers, Manhattan Life is privately held and not publicly traded.
Manhattan Life’s financial products are marketed by agents throughout the United States, though products in some states are issued by Manhattan Life Group affiliates.
Manhattan Life Insurance Company Financial Ratings
A.M. Best: B+
Comdex Ranking: NR
Manhattan Life’s “B+” (“good”) rating from A.M. Best, while not horrible, is no doubt disappointing for the company. Many financial advisers recommend a minimum score of A- or A when purchasing life insurance.
Where most life insurance companies report their A.M. Best grades on their websites, Manhattan Life instead advertises its “A” financial stability rating from lesser-known Demotech, Inc.
A.M. Best reports that its rating of Manhattan Life is based in part on Manhattan Life’s balance sheet strength, which is apparently not as impressive as other, higher-rated insurers.
On a positive note, A.M. Best’s most recent ratings increased Manhattan Life’s outlook to “positive” due to improved capitalization adjusted to risk and the company’s strong operating performance in recent years.
A policy from Manhattan Life is by no means a high-risk proposition. But prospective insureds should certainly factor in the company’s score relative to other insureds when making a decision.
Manhattan Life Insurance Company Consumer Ratings:
Manhattan Life has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2013 and currently holds an A+ rating from BBB.
The rating suggests that Manhattan Life is responsive to consumer complaints lodged with BBB.
However, Manhattan Life has received more than a few BBB complaints since 2018, and consumers on BBB’s website only give Manhattan Life an average of one star out of five.
What Products Does Manhattan Life Insurance Company Offer?
Although life insurance has been Manhattan Life’s primary focus throughout its tenure, the company offers numerous supplemental health-related policies, as well.
Individual products include dental and vision, cancer, disability, hospitalization, and accident insurance.
Medicare supplement plans are also a big part of Manhattan Life’s business.
For employers, Manhattan Life offers multiple voluntary benefits plans, including most of the health-related coverages available to individuals, along with term and whole-life plans.
In addition to insurance products, Manhattan Life markets a range of annuities, including multi-year guaranteed annuities (MYGAs), fixed-index annuities (FIAs), and single-premium immediate annuities (SPIAs).
Life Insurance from Manhattan Life Insurance Company:
Manhattan Life sells the two traditional types of life insurance: term life and whole life. More sophisticated universal life, variable UL, and indexed UL are not presently available from Manhattan Life.
While Manhattan Life does not feature a guaranteed-acceptance life insurance policy, its simplified-issue offerings have a streamlined application process with only four health-screening questions.
Most policies Manhattan Life issues do not require a medical exam. However, fully-underwritten policies—with higher coverage and potentially reduced premiums—are available for applicants willing to undergo the exam.
Term Life from Manhattan Life.
Term life insurance lasts for a period of time, the term. Once the term expires, the policy ends. Some term policies allow the owner to renew annually, but usually at a higher premium, which goes up every year.
Manhattan Life’s “Viva Life” series includes both simplified-issue and fully underwritten level term policies.
Simplified issue policies, which do not require a medical exam during the application process, rely on health-screening questions to evaluate prospective insureds.
Simplified-issue term life coverage levels are offered up to $250,000. Higher term coverage is available with fully-underwritten policies.
Viva Life term policies are offered with 15 or 20-year terms, with the longer term reserved for applicants age 55 and below.
“Viva Life Professional” includes additional protection for accidental death.
“Viva Living Benefits” is offered with the same term lengths and includes a critical illness rider allowing accelerated death benefits if the insured is diagnosed with a critical illness.
“Viva Life Family” comes with an additional insured rider extending coverage to the insured’s spouse and a children’s insurance benefit covering minor children.
Manhattan Life also offers a fully-underwritten “Family Protection” plan with term lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years.
Applicants qualifying for the preferred underwriting class are eligible for reduced premiums.
Another product, “MCI Gold,” is marketed as mortgage protection insurance and comes with term lengths of 15, 20, 25, or 30 years.
Whole Life from Manhattan Life.
As with the term policies, Manhattan Life’s whole life insurance coverage includes a simplified-issue and fully underwritten option.
In both cases, the whole life policies feature level premiums, guaranteed-for-life coverage, and cash value accumulation.
“Viva Lifetime,” the simplified-issue policy, provides coverage from $20,000 to $100,000 (or $10,000 to $50,000 for minor insureds).
Due to the higher face amounts allowed, this product makes a good final expense insurance policy for anyone wanting more coverage than the typical offering of around $25,000.
Premiums can be scheduled to be paid throughout the insured’s lifetime or to be fully paid-up when the insured reaches age 65 or after 20 years.
Family Protection Premier
Manhattan Life’s fully underwritten whole life policy is called “Family Protection Premier.” Coverage amounts are increased to as high as $150,000 for children or $3 million for adults.
Whole life Policyholders can choose any of the premium-payment options offered with Viva Lifetime, and three, five, and twenty-year premium periods are also available.
Policies include a 20-year term rider providing supplemental term coverage, a child rider, disability rider (waiving premiums if the insured becomes disabled), and an accidental death rider (increasing coverage if death results from a qualifying “accident”).