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MetLife Life Insurance Review

Russell Cain
Russell Cain Published: 15 September 2020

MetLife Insurance Limited has over 150 years of experience in the financial sector and is one of the world’s largest life insurance companies. MetLife Australia was launched in 2005, offering group insurance through Super. MetLife Retail life insurance has been available since August 2018 — providing a range of life cover products, including life insurance, TPD cover, Trauma Insurance, and Income Protection. 

To determine whether MetLife Australia offers the best cover for your circumstances, you may want to review the feature and benefits offered, policy pros and cons, and how easy it is to apply and lodge a claim.

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Company overview

MetLife Australia is owned by MetLife Incorporated, the holding company for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC) and its associates. The company has grown to the third-largest group insurer in Australia, protecting more than 1.79 million Australians. 

MetLife operates as a mutual company, which means they are owned entirely by their policyholders and don’t work with any external shareholders. This benefits customers because any profits earned by MetLife are either re-invested to improving their services and products or returned to customers in the form of lower premiums.

Is MetLife a good life insurance company?

MetLife has a stable financial history, operating in over 40 countries worldwide, including the USA, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. As the third-largest group insurer in Australia, they have paid out over $3.3 billion in claims. Additionally, they were named Life Insurance Company of the Year at the 2019 ANZIIF Australian Insurance Industry Awards.

Whether MetLife is the right option for you depends on whether their policy options provide the benefits and features you want and can afford. Review and compare their policies with similar policies from other major life insurance brands in Australia.

Review MetLife Protect policy options

MetLife Retail Life Insurance offers a variety of personal insurance options to meet your specific requirements. Carefully consider the type of policy you want by reviewing the benefits provided.

Life insurance

It provides a lump sum benefit to support your loved ones should you pass away or get diagnosed with a terminal illness.

General built-in benefits

  • Death Benefit: Receive 100% of your life cover amount when you pass away.
  • Terminal Illness Benefit: Receive 100% of your life cover if you receive a terminal illness diagnosis that is likely to result in your death within 24 months.
  • Immediate Expenses Benefit: Your loved ones could receive a progressive payout of up to $30,000 to help cover direct funeral expenses.
  • Indexation: Your cover is automatically increased by CPI on each Policy Anniversary to help keep up with the increased cost of living.
  • Involuntary Unemployment Premium Waiver Benefit: If you lose your job due to involuntary unemployment, you can ask MetLife Australia to waive your premiums for up to three months.
  • Life Events Increases Feature: If you increase your home loan, you can generally increase your life cover amount.

Cover amount

There is no limit on your life cover amount. However, the minimum coverage is $50,000.

Entry and expiry age

Generally, the entry age is 15 to 73 years old on a stepped premium style policy, 15 to 59 years old on level premiums, and up to age 54 for a fixed term option (5 or 10 years). MetLife Life Cover policies held outside of Super expires when you turn 130.

Exclusions

No benefits are payable if you commit suicide within the first 13 months of applying for cover.

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TPD cover

Pays a lump sum benefit if you are unable to work because you’re totally and permanently disabled due to an illness or an injury, your TPD cover could help to lighten the financial burden.

TPD definitions available:

  • Any Occupation: Allows you to claim a benefit if you are unlikely to work in any job you are suited to by way of experience, education, or training.
  • Own Occupation: Provides a benefit for individuals who will never again work in their specific occupation.
  • Limited Earnings: Receive 100% of your TPD cover amount if your earning is unlikely ever again to exceed 25% or your pre-disability income.
  • Home Duties: You’ll receive a specific benefit amount when permanently unable to perform all Home Duties without another person’s assistance. Home Duties include cleaning, doing laundry, childcaring, preparing meals, and shopping.
  • General Disability: Provides you with a benefit if you are disabled and cannot do two or more of the Activities of Daily Living without another person’s help, including bathing, getting dressed, using the toilet, eating, and moving.
  • Physical Disability: If you lose the use of one limb or permanent loss of sight in one eye, you can generally claim up to 25% of your cover amount.

General built-in benefits

  • Death Benefit: If you pass away and haven’t claimed on your TPD policy, your dependents will generally receive a $10,000 benefit.
  • Life Events Increases Feature: If your salary increases by 15% or more in a year, you can generally increase your TPD Cover and any Linked Life Cover by up to $250,000.

Cover amount

The minimum amount of TPD coverage is $50,000, and the maximum is $5 million.

Entry and expiry age

Generally, your TPD cover expires once you turn 75 years old. The entry ages are 15 to 64 for stepped premiums and 15 to 59 for level premiums. The entry age for a fixed-term TPD policy (5 or 10 years) is between 15 to 54.

Exclusions

If your claim is a result of a self-inflicted injury, your benefits won’t be payable.

Trauma cover

Provides a lump sum payment when diagnosed with critical illness listed in your PDS. Trauma cover from MetLife Australia will help you pay for the medical expenses and support you and your loved ones to continue your lifestyle.

General built-in benefits

  • Comprehensive cover: Trauma Cover pays benefits for several medical conditions, including cancer, heart conditions, and accidental incidents.
  • Medical Travel Expenses Benefit: Receive up to $5,000 to cover expenses when you need to travel more than 100km to receive treatment in a hospital.
  • Severity design with tiered benefits: There are tiers of severity for Trauma Cover, so you’ll receive a percentage of your benefits depending on your condition’s severity.

Cover amount

With Trauma Cover, you can apply for a minimum amount of $30,000 and a maximum of $2 million.

Entry and expiry age

You can apply for stepped premium critical illness cover if you’re between 15 and 64, and for level premiums between 15 and 59. You must be between the ages of 15 to 54 for a fixed-term option (5 or 10 years).

Your Trauma Cover expires once you turn 75 years old. However, it’s important to note that once you turn 70, you’ll only be able to claim benefits from tier 1.

Exclusions

Income Protection

If you find yourself unable to work due to an accident or illness, Income Protection provides a monthly benefit up to 75% of your regular income.

Take note: Agreed value income protection is no longer available to new customers — only indemnity value income protection policies can be purchased.

General built-in benefits

  • Total Disability Benefit: Receive a monthly benefit if you cannot work in your Usual Occupation because of total disability resulting from an illness or injury. This benefit is subject to your occupational rating.
  • Partial Disability Benefit: Should your income be reduced because a partial disability has resulted in you not being able to work at full capacity in your Usual Occupation, you’ll receive a monthly benefit less 75% of the regular income you’re still receiving while on a claim, and 75% of your highest average Monthly Income for any consecutive 12 month period in the three years before becoming totally – or partially disabled, less the income you’re receiving while on a claim.
  • Death Benefit: Your dependents will generally receive a lump sum payment equal to 3 months your monthly benefit should you pass away.
  • Recurrent Disability Benefit: Your excess period (waiting period) gets waived if you have a recurrent disability due to the same illness or injury, 12 months after receiving your total -or partial disability benefits.
  • On Claim Premium Waiver Benefit: You generally won’t need to pay premiums for your Income Cover while you’re receiving Total or Partial Disability Benefits.
  • Involuntary Unemployment Premium Waiver: If you lose your job because of involuntary unemployment, you can ask MetLife to waive your income cover premiums for up to 3 months.
  • Life Events Increases Feature: If your salary (including superannuation) increases by 15% or more in a year, you can generally increase your monthly cover amount without further medical underwriting.

Cover amount

Get up to 75% of your monthly income insured. The minimum coverage amount is $1,500, and the maximum is $30,000 a month.

Choice of excess period

Choose between a 30- or 90-day excess period (waiting period). Generally, choosing a longer excess period will result in a lower premium.

Choice of a benefit period

Select for how long you want your benefit to payout. Generally, the longer your benefit period, the more expensive your premium will be.

Entry and expiry age

A stepped income protection policies are available when you’re between 15 and 64 years old and up to age 59 for a level premium style policy. Your Income Protection Policy expires when you turn 75.

Exclusions

MetLife Protect +Extras

Choose an insurance policy that meets your current requirements and familial obligations by including Extras as your circumstances change. However, you’ll need to pay an additional fee for these Extras.

Life +

  • Home Loan Extras: Pays up to $500,000 when suffering from a specific illness or injury, such as blindness.
  • Buy/Sell Extras: Receive up to $3,000 to help cover the cost business owners might incur should you die or become diagnosed with a terminal illness.

TPD+

  • Employment Extras (Life Cover Buy Back): Restores your linked life cover 14 days after a full or partial TPD claim.
  • Specialist Extras (Own Occupation): Pays 100% of the TPD cover amount if you are permanently unable to work in your specific occupation or trade because of illness or injury.
  • Business Extras: Gives business owners 100% of the cover amount if you cannot work ever again and restores linked life cover 14 days after a claim.

Income Cover +

  • Professional Extras: Receive up to 6 times your monthly benefit when you need retraining before returning to work. Three times your monthly benefit is generally paid out as a lump sum if diagnosed with cancer, if you have a stroke or heart attack, or undergo coronary artery bypass surgery.
  • Provide & Care Extras: Provides up to 50% of your monthly benefit if you need to take time off work to care for your ill or injured child. Or receive up to 100% of your monthly benefit if you are confined to a bed or need specialised health care three or more days a week.
  • Key Person Extras: Receive up to 50% of your monthly benefit if your business suffers financial difficulties when a key employee is unable to work due to an accident or sickness.
  • Sole Trader Extras: Receive up to 100% of the monthly benefit, capped at $3,000, for business owners who would suffer financial losses if they could not work or need to cover costs for equipment leases.

Trauma +

  • Individual Extras: Upgrades Tier 2 conditions from 50% to 100% and allows specific repeat claims for angioplasty and reimbursement for travel expenses up to $5,000.
  • Family Extras: Receive up to $50,000 if your child is diagnosed with one of the serious illnesses listed in your product disclosure statement (PDS).

Pros and Cons of a MetLife retail policy

AdvantagesDisadvantages
A strong financial rating with a Standard and Poors Global rating of AA-, indicating that the company has enough capital to pay out claim today and in the future.Specific exclusions apply to policies — for example, a 13-month suicide exclusion on life cover.
Variety of policy options, including the ability to add Extras as your circumstances change.Extras are only available at an additional fee, thus increasing the price of your policy.
The Life Events Increases Feature allows you to increase your cover without additional medical underwriting when you get a salary increase.Income Protection does not cover redundancy.
You can generally choose up to five beneficiaries.Each Extras benefit has a specific list of exclusions that may prevent you from claiming your benefit.
Policies are automatically updated on the next policy renewal date when the company makes changes to its cover.Your choice of income protection waiting period is limited to only 30 or 90 days.
Get discounts when applying for multiple policies or making healthy lifestyle choices.

How to apply for a policy

To apply for a policy from MetLife Australia, visit their website. Download the relevant MetLife insurance application documents and make an appointment with one of their financial advisers. Alternatively, you can contact them over the phone, request a call-back, or use their online contact option.

For a quick online quote and comparison, complete the form at the top of this page.

How to lodge a MetLife claim

  • Contact MetLife Insurance: Provide them with details regarding the claim you’d like to submit, and they’ll provide you with the relevant claims forms.
  • Complete the claims forms and supply any additional requested information, such as your proof of identity, medical information, and financial information.
  • Send you’re the completed forms an additional documents to your broker or representative to submit them.
  • Wait for your case manager to contact you: Generally, this takes up to 10 working days.
  • Receive the assessment of your claim: The length of time these assessments take depends on the amount of information required and your case’s complexity.
  • Wait for payment: Once your claim is approved, the benefit will be paid directly into your account within the period listed in your PDS.

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • If you get Covid19, can you claim MetLife income protection?

    You’ll can only claim your Income Cover if you contract the Coronavirus, and cannot work at full capacity for longer than your excess period (waiting period). However, the virus generally runs its normal course in approximately 14 days, so you are likely to recover before your excess period expires, meaning you won’t be eligible to claim your income protection.
  • Can you claim MetLife trauma cover when testing positive for the Coronavirus?

    No, the Covid19 virus is not one of the medical conditions listed in MetLife’s PDS. However, if the virus causes you to develop one of the more severe conditions covered, you’ll generally be able to claim for that specific condition.
  • Will MetLife TPD insurance payout if you contract Covid19?

    Generally, you can only claim if the Coronavirus left you totally and permanently disabled and unable to work in your Own or Any occupation, as specified in your PDS.
  • What is the average premium for a MetLife life insurance policy?

    Your life insurance premium depends on a variety of factors. These generally include the amount and type of cover you choose, the Extras you add, your age and gender, medical history, lifestyle factors, and the state you live in.
  • Will my premiums increase every year?

    Premiums typically increase slightly every year to stay in line with the Consumer Price Index (indexation benefit). You can generally request to remove this benefit if you’d like to keep your insurance costs low. If you have a stepped premium style policy, your premium will usually increase every year as you get older and more likely to claim.
  • How do you get a MetLife insurance quote?

    You can request a MetLife quote by visiting their website and sending them an email. Alternatively, if you want to receive an immediate MetLife quote online and compare their offering to other major life insurance brands in Australia, fill in the quote form above.
  • Does MetLife require a medical exam?

    Generally, you won’t be required to go for a medical examination. However, this depends on the information provided in your Statement of Health. The Statement of Health is a questionnaire that asks you to disclose lifestyle and health factors such as whether you smoke or if you’ve ever had high blood pressure.
  • How can you cancel your MetLife policy?

    If you’d like to cancel your policy, contact MetLife or your financial adviser. If you cancel during the 30-day cooling-off period, you’ll generally receive a full refund if no claim has been made. If you paid your policy in advance, you’d typically receive a pro-rata refund of premiums.
  • Will I be covered outside of Australia?

    Yes, MetLife provides worldwide coverage. However, it’s best to confirm with the company before going overseas.
  • Is my Coles life insurance policy still valid?

    Coles Life Insurance, underwritten by MetLife, originally started as an affordable cover option to complement their established car and home insurance products. However, after only two and a half years, they stopped new policy sign-ups, and on January 1, 2017, all their life insurance cover transferred to MetLife Essentials.

    If you have a Coles life insurance policy, your policy will remain unaffected —MetLife Life Insurance will adhere to the terms and conditions of your policy.

Life Insurance Quotes

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Want to talk to a specialist? Call 1300 743 254

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