Penn Mutual Life Insurance Review 2020

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Penn Mutual was founded more than 170 years ago, back in 1847. They are a mutual company, so that means they are owned by their policy holders—their customers, rather than shareholders. This means your policy may earn dividends. Penn Mutual paid their first dividend in 1849 and  paid $1.4 billion dollars to their policyholders and their beneficiaries in 2018.

Pros and Cons

– Wide range of products with a great deal of flexibility
– Excellent financial strength
– Fewer complaints than expected
– No online quoting
– No online estimates
– All policies are sold through agents
– Customer satisfaction is lower than average

Products Offered by Penn Mutual Life Insurance

Penn Mutual offers a wide range of investment products, although this information is hard to find on the website (hint: go to Products and Services for Advisors). 

They offer:

  • Whole life
  • Survivorship whole life
  • Indexed universal life
  • Variable universal life
  • Guaranteed universal life
  • Convertible term
  • Non-convertible term
  • Variable annuities

Whole life insurance at Penn Mutual builds cash value, and because Penn Mutual is a mutual company, it also has the potential to earn dividends. The death benefit is paid to your beneficiaries tax-free. 

Survivorship whole life provides life insurance for two people in one policy. It builds cash value and the death benefit is paid after the second person dies. 

Indexed universal life builds cash value based on the performance of an index, such as the S&P 500. Cash value can build more quickly, but there is more risk. 

Variable universal life works much like indexed universal life, except that you choose the investments and the cash value accumulates based on those investments. You can choose from 24 investment funds, with different profiles and risk levels. 

Guaranteed universal life offers a lifetime of coverage at an affordable cost. 

Both convertible and non-convertible term life is offered in terms of 10 through 30 years. Convertible term policies are able to be converted to whole life policies. 

It’s difficult to assess how much term life insurance is through Penn because they don’t tell you and they don’t offer online quotes. Generally, companies that don’t provide online quotes are priced a little higher than those that do, especially when you consider that all of their policies are sold through agents. 

They also offer the following riders (not every rider is available on every policy):

  • Disability waiver of premium rider
  • Accidental death benefit. Learn more about accidental death life insurance
  • Children’s term insurance rider. Learn more about life insurance for children
  • Flexible protection rider
  • Accelerated permanent paid-up additions rider 
  • Enhanced permanent paid-up additions rider (allows you to make extra payments to purchase more insurance)
  • Over-loan protection rider
  • Guaranteed purchase option rider
  • Surrender value enhancement rider

Penn Mutual offers a wide range of insurance product choices, and the many riders they have means that there is a great deal of flexibility as well. 

Financial Strength Rating of Penn Mutual Life Insurance

AM Best rates Penn Mutual with an A+, or superior. Penn Mutual ranks the second highest out of fifteen rankings. They have an excellent foundation of financial strength with which to meet their financial obligations. 

Customer Satisfaction Rating of Penn Mutual Life Insurance

J.D. Power rates life insurance companies out of a 1,000 point scale. Penn Mutual scored 733, with the median average score being 761. They received two stars out of five, which places them among “the rest,” or 19th out of 24. 

In individual categories, here is how Penn Mutual did:

  • Overall satisfaction: 2/5
  • Product offerings: 2/5
  • Price: 2/5
  • Statements: 2/5
  • Interaction: 4/5
  • Communication: 3/5

The score mostly below average, except on interaction. Interaction, according to J.D. Power, is how clients rate the interaction channels: local agent, website and call center. For interaction, Penn Mutual is better than most. 

Consumer Complaints Rating of Penn Mutual Life Insurance

NAIC gives Penn Mutual a score of .09. The median average is 1.0, so this means Penn Mutual has much fewer complaints than you would expect for a company as large as it is. 

Penn Mutual is not accredited by the BBB. This may seem like a bad sign, but did you know businesses have to pay to get accredited by the BBB? This could just mean Penn Mutual didn’t pay the BBB. It could mean they don’t meet the standards set forth by the BBB. They only have four complaints on the BBB website, which is amazing when you consider the size of Penn Mutual. Overall, the BBB gives Penn Mutual an A-.

Digital Experience Rating of Penn Mutual Life Insurance

Penn Mutual sells insurance policies through insurance agents. Because of this, you can’t get a quote online. You can’t even get an estimate. They like to emphasize the strong relationships they build with customers through their agents. This is all well and good, but not everyone wants that. If you don’t and you just want a quick quote so you can purchase life insurance online, Penn Mutual is not for you.

Policyholders can do the following online:

  • View accounts
  • View transaction history
  • Initiate a claim
  • Pay your bill

You can find Penn Mutual on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. They don’t have a mobile app. 

Last Thoughts

Penn Mutual has been around for a long time. They are a stable company with excellent financial strength. They have a policy to suit almost everyone. They do not have online quoting, so it’s difficult to compare prices. They prefer to sell policies through agents. If you prefer that, Penn Mutual is worth calling. If you just want a quick life insurance quote so you can purchase insurance over the internet, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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