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Life Insurance FAQs

Life Insurance FAQs


For most MetLife products, your health does affect the price. Depending on your health status, MetLife will offer you a fair price for the risk that they take on when providing you with coverage (assuming you qualify for coverage). For example, there will be a difference in policies for someone who is a heavy smoker compared to the same person who has never smoked.



Permanent life insurance is protection for your entire life, as long as sufficient premiums are paid. Properly structured and maintained permanent life insurance builds equity in the form of cash value which you can use as you see fit.1
There are many different options and flexible policies to choose from to suit your needs (whole, variable, and universal life, to name a few.)


The two main types of life insurance are term life insurance, which offers coverage that may be purchased for a specific time period, and permanent life insurance, which offers protection for an entire lifetime. MetLife offers a number of affordable term life insurance products and several types of permanent life insurance, including whole life insurance, universal life insurance, variable universal life insurance, and survivorship life insurance.


It depends. The period of time you'll need coverage for should be the main factor. For example, if you have young children, you may want to consider 20 or 30 years of term life coverage to help your children for college or other future financial endeavors. On the other hand, if your children are out of college and supporting themselves, a shorter coverage period might suit your needs better.


Term life insurance is life insurance coverage designed to be purchased for a specific time period, typically between 10 and 30 years. Term life insurance is an affordable way to get maximum coverage throughout that time frame, and so is great for helping to cover specific financial responsibilities, such as paying for a mortgage or saving for college expenses.


Policy owner
The policy owner is the person who owns the life insurance policy. In many cases, the policy owner is also the person who is insured by the policy. However, the policy owner may also be a relative of the insured, a trust, partnership, or a corporation.

A beneficiary is the person(s) selected by the policy owner to receive the life insurance payments upon the death of the insured.

Premiums are the payments made to the insurance company to purchase and keep a policy active.

Death benefit
A death benefit is the amount paid to the beneficiary at the time of the death of the insured.

Face amount
The face amount of the policy is the amount of the death benefit as stated in the policy. This does not include additional amounts that the policy may provide.

Insured/insured life
Insurability refers to how likely an applicant is to be offered coverage based on current health, medical background, family history and other factors.



Consider what your spouse and dependents would need in order to cover day-to-day bills and larger expenses, to live comfortably and to have financial stability. Don't forget to include savings for college and retirement. Also consider the effect of inflation over time; the amount needed for college, say, twenty years from now is likely to be significantly higher than today.  


To keep your premiums as low as possible and save money in the long run:
  • Buy it now. Premiums for the same coverage generally increase the older you become. And the longer you wait, the more you risk developing a health condition that could increase your premium further, or make you uninsurable.
  • If you want permanent life but you're on a budget, consider some term for now. You can save money initially by buying some term life in combination with permanent life. Then later, if your budget increases, consider converting the term policy to permanent life.2
  • Consider group life insurance offered through your employer. It may be available at a relatively low cost. But keep in mind that your group coverage may end or become more expensive when you leave your job or as you get older.


If you already have a life insurance policy, it's a good idea to review it every few years to make sure it still meets your needs. Check to make sure all beneficiaries and other information are current. It might be time to speak with your representative if you:
  • Were recently married or divorced 
  • Have a child or grandchild who was recently born or adopted 
  • Provide care or financial help to a child or parent 
  • Need to provide assistance or long-term care for a loved one 
  • Purchased a new home recently 
  • Have children or grandchildren who are about to enter college 
  • Refinanced your home mortgage in the past six months 
  • Received an inheritance 
  • Retired or your spouse has retired 
  • Started a business


Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder (you) and an insurer (such as MetLife) where the insurer will pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money upon the death of the insured person. There are different types of life insurance depending on your specific needs, including term life insurance, permanent life insurance, accidental death insurance, and more.


A death in the family is not only emotionally tragic; it can also take a tremendous toll on the future financial security of a family. Suddenly, paying the mortgage or providing for a child's college education may become much more difficult.  Those who make the decision to buy life insurance do so to help ensure their loved ones are taken care of financially.

1 Cash values can be accessed through loans and/or withdrawals, but these will reduce the death benefit and may have tax consequances. In addition, withdrawals from some policies may be subject to surrender charges and could have a permanent effect on the cash value and the death benefit.

2 You should check your policy for details on whether it can be converted.

Like most insurance policies, MetLife's policies contain exclusions, limitations, reductions of benefits and terms for keeping them in force. For complete costs and details, see your financial representative.

Guarantees apply to certain insurance and annuity products (not securities, variable or investment advisory products) and are subject to the insurer's claims-paying ability and financial strength.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), 200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166. Life insurance products are issued by: MetLife Insurance Company USA 11225 North Community House Road, Charlotte, NC 28277. And in NY by: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company 200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166.