Why Brighthouse Life Insurance Is Not The Smart Choice

Last Updated December 8, 2023

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     Brighthouse Life Insurance broke away from Metlife Insurance in 2017 and offers customers only a select number of life insurance products. How are they doing now in 2023 and are their products worth the premium? The experts at Final Expense Benefits take a dive into their history and products so you don’t have to. 

History of Brighthouse Financial

     Brighthouse Financial was once part of Travelers Insurance Company, tracing its beginnings back to June of 1863. When Travelers Insurance was acquired by Metropolitan Life in the early 2000s, it became known as the MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut (MICC). It was not until recently in August of 2017 that Brighthouse Financial completely separated from MetLife and began selling life insurance and annuity. Brighthouse Financial was not the only separation from Metlife at this time as Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY and New England Life Insurance Company also came from this separation. Since its inception, Brighthouse Financial has been completely independent of its former parent companies and has been solely focused on Brighthouse Life Insurance and Annuities.

Brighthouse Life Insurance Options

Brighthouse SimplySelect

     Brighthouse Life Insurance offers a term life insurance policy that goes for 10-30 years. Coverage amounts range from $100,000 to $3 million, varying by state. Premium payment options include monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually. SimplySelect offers one additional rider, the Acceleration of Death Benefit Rider. This rider allows for a portion of the policy’s death benefit to be accessed immediately should the insured be certified as terminally ill with a life expectancy of less than 12-24 months.

Brighthouse One Year Term

     Brighthouse Life insurance offers a very short-term policy to either take care of immediate insurance needs or supplement a current life insurance policy. This is advertised by Brighthouse life insurance to be covered before pensions begin, being in-between jobs, or to cover short-term business loans. You can add the Convertible and Renewable optional rider in order to extend your term life insurance coverage to 5 years. Note, however, that without paying for this additional rider then this policy only lasts for one year and is non-renewable.

Does Brighthouse Financial Offer Whole Life Insurance?

     Brighthouse Life Insurance does not offer a standalone whole life insurance policy. What they do offer instead is the ability to convert your term life insurance policy into a whole life insurance policy. Like other insurance companies’ whole-life policies, they offer level premiums for the life of the policy and guaranteed coverage as long as you make the monthly payments. In order to get this whole life policy you will have to subscribe to one of their term life insurance policies and then convert it when the policy is near the end of its life.

Brighthouse SmartCare

     Brighthouse life insurance offers a hybrid between life insurance and long-term care insurance with their SmartCare policy. Brighthouse SmartCare is an indexed universal life policy with long-term care benefits provided by riders. Indexed Universal Life (IUL) is similar to a whole life insurance policy except that the premiums can be more expensive and have more fees. They offer you the ability to adjust your premiums, and the cash value depends on certain stock market indexes. Like a whole life insurance policy, there is a graded death benefit and they do offer protection on your cash value should the market experience a downturn. 

     Long-term care insurance is used to cover the future costs of nursing homes, nursing care, and hospice. They are able to provide this long-term care coverage by proving you with monthly benefit payments to cover qualified care costs. Since they send a predetermined lump sum payment, you do not have to send receipts for reimbursement. This is not an indefinite amount of money, however. The maximum amount is determined at the conception of the policy and once the amount given exceeds the lifetime benefit amount, the rider will end. 

    Brighthouse life insurance offers three different options for their SmartCare plan. You can choose Indexed Long-term Care, where the benefit amount has the potential to increase with the market but is protected from dropping below the original policy amount. Fixed Growth Long-term Care plan offers a 5% compound growth annually. Finally, Brighthouse life insurance offers the Level Long-term Care plan where the benefit amounts remain the same over time. Each policy has an Acceleration of Death Benefit Rider and an Extension of Benefits Rider to determine the duration of coverage once a claim starts. Once the claim begins you choose whether a single premium payment is made or annual payments for up to five years. The underwriters for Brighthouse Life Insurance have made this plan eligible for seniors between the ages of 40 – 75. However, seniors between the ages of 66 – 75 must submit their medical records and submit an interview to test their cognitive ability. 

Brighthouse Annuities

     What is an annuity? An annuity is a type of financial product or contract with an insurance company. This contract allows insurance companies like Brighthouse Life Insurance to take payments you give them and invest them for future payouts for retirement and other similar circumstances. Annuities are designed to provide a steady stream of income later in life and have two phases, the accumulation phase, and the annuizitation phase. The first phase is where you fund the annuity for a set period of time and it is invested in the market in order to see growth. Most plans offer some kind of protection in situations where there are economic downturns. The second phase is where your invested money begins to be paid out to you. Brighthouse Life Insurance offers several annuities that are only available with a consultation with one of their financial advisors. 

Best $10,000 Burial Insurance Companies

     These $10,000 coverage policies have steady and affordable premiums for the life of the policy. If you are looking for great coverage with low monthly premiums, we recommend these top carriers for all of your final expense needs. This is Final Expense Benefits’ best $10,000 insurance policies for seniors.

Company 50 y/o Male 50 y/o Female 60 y/o Male 60 y/o Female 70 y/o Male 70 y/o Female

These figures were obtained from the NFDA and are estimates only. For a detailed quote, please contact an agent. 

Brighthouse Life Insurance Pros and Cons


  • Several Annuity Options
    If you are interested in an annuity, Brighthouse Life Insurance offers several different options. Be wary, however, that their annuity services scored poorly with JD Power and NAIC pointing out that they may have poor customer service experience.
  • Coverage Decisions in 24 Hours
    Typically, agents working for Brighthouse Life Insurance will get back to you within 24 hours to tell you if you are qualified for their life insurance.
  • Extensive Online Resources
    Brighthouse Life Insurance provides a number of resources for learning about purchasing annuities, insurance, estate planning, and more.


  • Limited Coverage Options
    If you are looking for whole life insurance or final expense insurance, Brighthouse Life Insurance is not the place to do so. They do offer conversations on their term life policies but the face amount minimum is $100,000 which means you are going to be paying an incredibly high premium.
  • Low JD Power Score
    JD Power measures customer satisfaction for different life insurance companies. Unfortunately, Brighthouse Life Insurance ranked towards the bottom meaning that their customer service is subpar. You will need to keep this in mind when buying any kind of financial product from Brighthouse life insurance.
  • Strict Underwriting Process
    If you were interested in Brighthouse Life insurance SmartCare policy, you may not qualify if you have any pre existing conditions or chronic health issues. Diabetics, folks receiving disability payments, and people suffering from mental health issues are immediately disqualified. People taking medications for COPD or receiving chemotherapy for cancer are also denied.
  • No Online Quote Tool
    If you are trying to determine how much being insured under Brighthouse Life Insurance will be you will need to contact a live agent.

Ratings for Credit and Customer Service Satisfaction

AM Best Rating

     AM Best can best be described as a rating agency focused on the creditworthiness of insurance companies worldwide. Their grading system is similar to the education system where they go from A+ to F. They measure the likelihood of a company defaulting on its financial obligations to its consumers. 

    Brighthouse Life Insurance received an “A” rating which indicates a strong financial outlook and will likely meet financial obligations such as paying out claims.  

JD Power Rating

     JD Power uses data and AI (artificial intelligence) to understand complex consumer behavior. They are committed to providing unbiased information and embody the highest ethical and professional standards. 

  During the JD Power 2022 US Individual Life Insurance Study, they received several insurance companies for their overall customer satisfaction index ranking. They did a similar index ranking for their 2022 US Individual Annuity Study. Brighthouse Life Insurance and Brighthouse Annuities both ranked far below the industry average for customer satisfaction.

NAIC Rating

      The National Complaint Index (NAIC) records complaint trends for companies every year. At Final Expense Insurance, we noticed that John Hancock Insurance ranked above average in the number of complaints. At Final Expense Insurance, we noticed that while Brighthouse Life Insurance had a low Complaint Index score, Brighthouse Annuities had an index score of 2.15. That is more than double the average number of complaints.

Brighthouse Life Insurance Reviews

My dad died on October 24, 2022. On the day of his death until today, November 26, 2022, I have been trying to file a claim to receive the benefits of his life insurance that was initially taken out with MetLife. In 2020, a power of attorney was mailed to Brighthouse with a specific request that my dad had made for over 3 years prior to 2020. Brighthouse representatives continue to say that I cannot file a claim online and the forms were mailed to me on October 24, 2022. To date, I have not received the paperwork to file the claim as the beneficiary of my deceased dads life insurance. I guess legal representation will be sought at this point. My dad didnt miss any automatic payments to this ridiculous company. On top of processing my dads death, I have to repeatedly beg for the needed paperwork to file a claim to bury my father.
middle aged man with graying beard
Michael M. ✓
Tulsa, OK ⭐
Called customer service to get information on a LTC policy that a family member has been paying premiums on for 20+ years and now needs to access. After a multi-step phone tree, I reached a human "policy information rep" who could not answer basic coverage questions without putting me on hold for five minutes for each question. Furthermore, I requested a copy of the policy (I had policy number, ID info and the policy-holder all there). They need 7-10 business days to process the request plus an additional 24 hours after the approval to email a copy of the policy That the family member has been paying 5K/year in premiums for years. This is not an insurance company that is prepared to be transparent or helpful with policyholders.
Middle aged woman in spring cafe
Jane V. ✓
Scottsdale, AZ⭐
I was sold an annuity when this was owned by Met Life by a financial advisor when I was an ingenue to investment options. First of all, be weary of ever buying an annuity. Since this company has parted ways with Met LIfe, its customer service has extremely long wait times, and the self-service platform (useless) does not allow you to make and investment changes. Every time you want to reallocate, you must call their service line. Also, they charge exorbitant management fees, just under 2%. Word to the wise, research before making any decisions. Once you are in, you are locked in unless you meet IRS withdrawal terms or pay an early withdrawal penalty fee.
Portrait of happy asian man wearing glasses smiling in garden outside family home
John H. ✓
New York, NY ⭐

Our Review and Final Thoughts on Brighthouse Life Insurance

  While Brighthouse Life Insurance may have some interesting options for annuities they do not have an extensive option of life insurance policies. Seniors interested in their policy would have to be in extremely good health and be able to pay a high premium for term life insurance. Seniors interested in the SmartCare plan may find that their health disqualifies them immediately from coverage, leaving them completely empty-handed. Brighthouse Life Insurance also has a really low customer satisfaction score. You may find yourself becoming frustrated when dealing with their services. For these reasons, we do not recommend Brighthouse Life Insurance. There are a number of high-performing insurance companies that have the life insurance options you need at premiums that you can afford.

     Final Expense Benefits partners with over 20 carriers with customer satisfaction guaranteed. They offer no medical exam options at much more affordable rates that fit your needs.  Some of our highly-rated carriers include:


     If you are looking for trusted and affordable final expense insurance, the experts at Final Expense Benefits have got you covered. Call one of our talented agents today at 1 (866) 311-4338 to get an affordable quote with one of our highly-rated insurance carriers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Brighthouse Life Insurance break away from Metlife?

Metlife wanted to focus on selling their products to companies as employee benefits. Brighthouse Life Insurance was created in order for the provider to continue to sell life insurance and annuities. 

What relationship does Brighthouse Life Insurance have with Metlife now?

Brighthouse Life Insurance is a completely separate company from Metlife now. Brighthouse Financial Inc began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market in 2017 under the symbol “BHF”.

Where is the Brighthouse Life Insurance Headquarters?

Brighthouse Life Insurance is located in Charlotte, NC.

Is burial insurance worth getting?

If you have family or dependents who you want to support should you pass, then burial insurance is absolutely worth it. 

Do I need a medical exam?

Most final expense insurance policies do not require a health exam. You will have to answer some simple health questions in their application. 

How quickly will my death benefits be paid to my loved ones?

Death benefits from a burial insurance policy are not held in probate. So your loved ones should receive the death benefit very quickly.