Brighthouse Financial, formed from MetLife’s departure from U.S. retail business, offers two types of life insurance.
- Affordable term life insurance
- A hybrid form of coverage – indexed life insurance and long-term care
Is Brighthouse a good option for you? Possibly.
Below, we will review Brighthouse SimplySelect no exam term life insurance and SmartCare hybrid life insurance to see if either of these policies would be a good fit for you.
Table Of Contents
- About Brighthouse and Their Financial Ratings
- Review of Brighthouse SimplySelect No Exam Term Life Insurance
- Brighthouse Offers a One-Year Term Life Insurance Policy
- Review of Brighthouse SmartCare Hybrid Life Insurance
- How to Apply for Life Insurance with Brighthouse
About Brighthouse and Their Financial Ratings
New to the block and rooted in the rich history of MetLife, Brighthouse Financial was formed in 2017 as a result of MetLife exiting the U.S. retail business.
By 2019, Brighthouse was included on the Fortune 500 list.
While headquartered out of Charlotte N.C., Brighthouse also operates out of offices in Boston, MA; Morristown, NJ; New York, NY; Phoenix, AZ; and Tampa, FL.
Brighthouse is independent of MetLife. The spin-off, which occurred in August of 2017, allowed for Brighthouse to be a wholly separate publicly-traded company.
Financial rating – “A” from A.M. Best
Interesting fact – Brighthouse is one of the largest annuity and life insurance providers in the United States, with $224 billion in total assets.
Review of Brighthouse SimplySelect No Exam Term Life Insurance
Only available through PolicyGenius, Brighthouse offers an affordable term life insurance product, often with no medical exam required, called SimplySelect. We will review the 5 key features of this policy below.
There are a number of important aspects to a term life insurance policy that need to be evaluated before making a purchase.
- Issue ages – the age range the carrier is willing to insure
- Face amount – the dollar amount of coverage available
- Policy length – how many years the policy can last
- Underwriting procedures – the risk assessment process
- Wait time – the turnaround time for the policy to be approved
1. Brighthouse Issue Ages are from 25-49.5
To start, the Brighthouse SimplySelect term product has a very limited age range. You must be between the ages of 25 – 49.5 to qualify.
Why such a limited issue age range? To lower risk.
Applicants who are younger than 25 (due to a higher rate of risky lifestyle choices) and applicants who are older than 49 (due to a higher rate of health complications) cost more to insure, on average.
In contrast, most carriers offer coverage to a significantly larger age group. Consider the following examples:
- Foresters Financial – up to age 80
- Nassau Re (formerly Phoenix) – up to age 80
- American National (ANICO) – up to age 65
- Sagicor – up to age 65
- Fidelity – up to age 65
If you are younger and healthy, SimplySelect may be a good option for you.
2. Policy Amounts Range from $100K – $2M
Your face amount is the dollar amount of coverage that is available for purchase.
Brighthouse SimplySelect offers policies for $100,000 to $2 million.
Before submitting an application, you will want to conduct a needs analysis to determine how much coverage you need.
- Annual income
- Debts (credit card, student loan, car loan)
- Mortgage balance or rent
- Living expenses (food, utilities, ongoing bills)
- Future financial needs of loved ones (college tuition)
- Charitable giving goals
Of course, some life insurance is better than none at all. In a perfect world, however, you will want to buy enough protection to financially safeguard those you care most about.
3. Brighthouse Offers 3 Different Policy Length Options
Your policy length is the number of years your term life insurance contract will last. Be sure to select a term length that will match how long your loved ones will depend on you, financially.
SimplySelect offers the following policy lengths:
In addition, other carriers offer:
Note – if you will have dependents indefinitely, consider no exam whole life insurance.
4. No Medical Exam is Required
It is important to note that Brighthouse SimplySelect through Policygenius does not require a medical exam.
Applicants will participate in a health and lifestyle interview over the phone to determine if they qualify for a policy.
Plan to answer questions similar to the following:
- Current height/weight
- Smoking habits
- Lifestyle (e.g. history of alcoholism)
- Avocations (e.g. rock climbing)
- Medical history (e.g. heart disease)
- Close blood-related relatives’ medical history
- Prescription history
Your interview will help determine if you are approved for SimplyTerm. (Remember, though, you must be between the ages of 25 – 49.5, too.)
5. The Wait Time for Brighthouse is Very Fast
Brighthouse SimplyTerm is fast.
First, Policygenius has streamlined the application process so that you will only need to be on the phone for about a half-hour.
You should know, however, that some applicants are required to participate in a second interview if something concerning pops up in the initial interview (e.g. a history of high cholesterol).
Next, your application decision is typically shared within 24 hours.
Finally, your policy is delivered to you electronically within a few days, instead of having to wait weeks for it to arrive in the mail.
Brighthouse Offers a One-Year Term Life Insurance Policy
Brighthouse also offers a one-year term life insurance policy, for those who need coverage for a short amount of time.
While uncommon, there are situations in which life insurance protection is only required for a brief period:
- Protection during a trip
- Coverage while in between jobs
- Protect short-term loans for a business
- Temporary coverage prior to pension or Social Security payments starting
Key Features of Brighthouse One-Year Term Life Insurance
- Issue ages: 18 – 85
- Premiums are based on a Standard health class
- Tobacco rates are available
- Rates are unisex
- Minimum face amount: $100,000
Brighthouse Offers Additional Riders
Riders, or additional features of a life insurance contract, are available for purchase for a Brighthouse One Year Term policy.
Convertible and Renewable Options Rider
At the time of purchase, you may opt to include a rider that will extend your coverage for five years.
In addition, the rider allows you to convert the policy to a whole life product:
- Coverage will not end
- Level premiums
- Level death benefit
- Cash value growth
Called Brighthouse Conversion Whole Life, the product is designed specifically for term life insurance conversions.
If your coverage needs change from temporary to permanent, you may opt to convert your policy without having to demonstrate insurability (no medical exam).
One-Year Term Life Insurance Sample Rates
Consider the following sample rates per $1,000 of coverage.
Brighthouse One Year Term Rates
|Age||Rate per $1,000|
|18 year old||$0.41|
|20 year old||$0.43|
|25 year old||$0.48|
|30 year old||$0.48|
|35 year old||$0.48|
|40 year old||$0.48|
|45 year old||$0.54|
|50 year old||$0.78|
|55 year old||$1.00|
|60 year old||$1.25|
|65 year old||$2.21|
|70 year old||$4.41|
|75 year old||$9.03|
|80 year old||$19.74|
|85 year old||$49.01|
Review of Brighthouse SmartCare Hybrid Life Insurance
As a hybrid insurance product, Brighthouse SmartCare combines indexed universal life insurance with long-term care coverage. We will review the key features of the SmartCare life insurance policy below.
As an indexed universal life insurance product with long-term care coverage, Brighthouse SmartCare is an advanced form of coverage.
There are two primary components to the policy:
- Indexed universal life insurance with the option to participate in market growth
- Long-term care protection that comes in the form of riders
Different than term, SmartCare is designed to meet your financial needs into retirement.
Key Features of Brighthouse SmartCare Life Insurance
Compare your coverage needs with the main components of SmartCare.
- Guaranteed death benefit
- Long-term care coverage that includes monthly payments
- Option to link your policy to an index or indices for stock market exposure
By combining life insurance protection (with the opportunity for cash-value growth) with long-term care coverage, the policy provides comprehensive protection.
SmartCare Life Insurance Product Details
Familiarizing yourself with the policy’s specifics will help you determine if this form of life insurance is a good fit for your needs.
SmartCare offers this provision to ensure that your policy will not lapse as long as your premium payments are up-to-date. Policy loans may affect the provision.
Terminal Illness Benefit
If a doctor determines you have a terminal illness, with one year or less to live, you have the option to receive a one-time payment. You may choose to accelerate up to 50% of your death benefit, up to $250,000.
Cash Value Included
Indexed life insurance includes a cash value feature. You may access policy loans at any time. However, policy withdrawals are not allowed.
In addition, you may initiate a policy surrender for the full cash value surrender amount.
There are three primary steps to purchasing the long-term care component of a SmartCare policy.
1. Select a type of Long-Term Care Coverage
Brighthouse provides three long-term care (LTC) options.
- Indexed LTC – benefit amount has market exposure (caps and floors are in place for protection)
- Fixed Growth LTC – benefit amount has a fixed growth set at 5% to protect against inflation
- Level LTC – benefit amount remains the same
2. Choose the Benefit Period for your LTC
The benefit period includes an LTC Acceleration of Death Benefit Rider (ADBR) and an Extension of Benefits Rider (EOBR) – to determine the length of coverage once a claim is initiated.
- ADBR – Up to 95% of the policy face amount can be accessed
- The benefit is paid for the first two years of a claim
- The death benefit and policy values are reduced accordingly
- EOBR – After ADBR benefits are complete, benefits are paid by the EOBR
- The benefit is paid for two to four years
The combined benefit of the ADBR and EOBR provides a payout period of four to six years.
3. Decide on premium payment schedule
You have control over when (and for how long) your premiums are paid.
- Single premium
- 2-year premium
- 3-year premium
- 4-year premium
- 5-year premium
Brighthouse SmartCare Life Insurance Policy Underwriting
Brighthouse utilizes simplified underwriting to streamline the purchasing process.
- Ages 40 – 65
- No labs or exams
- Medical records only ordered for serious medical conditions
- No interview
- Application decision made within 24 hours
- Ages 66 – 75
- No labs or exams
- Medical records are ordered
- Cognitive interview
- Application decision made within 24 hours
Important – Brighthouse does order medical exams if the applicant has no evidence of medical care.
How to Apply for Life Insurance with Brighthouse
It’s in your best interest to do a little homework before applying for coverage. There are two things you will want to do when applying for a life insurance policy.
1. Conduct a Needs Analysis
To determine if a product through Brighthouse, or any carrier for that matter, is right for you, conduct a needs analysis, first.
- Annual income
- Debts (credit card, personal loan, car loan)
- Mortgage balance
- Living expenses
- Monetary needs of dependents
- How many years loved ones will need financial protection
Further, you will want to do a quick analysis of your health. If you have experienced a major medical event (e.g. you are a cancer patient), the type of coverage you qualify for may be impacted.
2. Work with an Independent Agent
The best way to find the right policy and the lowest rates is to collaborate with an independent life insurance agent.
Why? You will want to work with an expert who has access to multiple life insurance companies.
That way, your best interest is top-of-mind, rather than only receiving quotes from a single carrier.