MetLife announced today that they are discontinuing sales early next year of all life insurance products, which leaves me wondering if it’s legal to call yourself MetLife when you aren’t really in the life insurance business anymore. So why this drastic move. It actually can’t be blamed on their guaranteed products, but lies squarely with one of their poorly thought out non guaranteed annuity products. To me it’s hard to fathom how actuaries continue to price products assuming that customers will do the stupid option down the road.
This is kind of one upping the Voya move last month announcing they would discontinue all products with guarantees. I guess Met decided that the way to ensure that they don’t accidentally sell a guaranteed life insurance policy is not sell any life insurance policies at all. When I first read their release I thought they were leaving the door open to continue to buy guaranteed term life insurance with a face amount of $1 million or more, but reading further it appears they are turning that product, and in fact any consumer sales, over to Brighthouse Financial, whoever they are. What they are saying is you will never get a new Met life insurance policy, ever.
The moves by Voya and now MetLife are really bewildering. I mean they can do whatever they want but if they have products that they perceive as unprofitable, why not handle it the old fashioned way and reprice it so it is still available and makes them a profit. It seems to be lost on these and other companies that customers want guaranteed level term insurance and guaranteed universal life. Without those kind of products there is no such thing as life insurance planning since your plan would only be good for a year at a time.
Met will continue to do conversions on existing term life policies but have changed the conversion product to their Accumulator (read that super expensive) universal life policy and just to pretend they are still in the business they will issue that product on Met paperwork. If for some reason you wanted to buy the Accumulator product outside of a conversion you would have to buy that from whoever Brighthouse Financial is.
Bottom line. Without guarantees on prices and the future, life insurance products are useless. Fortunately for every stupid company like Met, there are plenty that still understand that customers want guaranteed level life insurance even if they have to pay a little more for it. If you have questions or currently have Met Life term insurance and are concerned with your conversion option, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.