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Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Review

Rating: 9.5 / 10 (Excellent)
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Founded in 1857, Northwestern Mutual is financial services organization based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company offers a variety of investment and planning services and insurance products such as life and long-term care. Northwestern Mutual is BBB accredited business with an A+ rating and holds the highest financial ratings from A.M. Best, S&P, and a Moody’s.

Background-Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance was founded in Wisconsin in 1857. It is currently one of the largest providers of individual life insurance in the United States with over 4 million customers. It is, along with New York Life, rated the very highest by all independent rating agencies for its credit worthiness and financial outlook. The company features excellent customer services and is rated highly by J.D. Power and Associates. Northwestern Mutual also has a strong community outreach program that includes a childhood cancer initiative and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation.

Its rock solid financial ratings makes it one of the most trusted companies in the insurance industry today. Northwestern Mutual provides a mix of Term Life and Permanent life insurance plans with varying premium, coverage and rider options to suit the needs of short and long term life insurance shoppers.

Company Reputation

Along with New York Life, Northwestern Mutual enjoys the highest possible financial ratings by independent rating agencies. Their score for this metric represents that. The company employs 7,500 staff nationwide and has total assets of over $90 billion.

Standard and Poor’s


Moody’s Rating


A.M. Best FSR


Fitch Ratings



Customer Experience


The National Association of Insurance Commissioners gave Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance a complaint ratio of .04 for 2015, the second lowest of all the companies we rank. For 2015, JD Power assigned Northwestern Mutual a customer satisfaction score of 820. This is second only to State Farm. This combined score puts Northwestern Mutual at the top of the list when it comes to customer experience.

The company seems to prefer to connect customers directly with agents early in the process, as there are no online coverage calculators or quote tools. But given Northwestern Mutual's good performance when it comes to complaints and customer satisfaction, we can only assume the quality of interaction with those agents is good.


Northwestern Mutual is able to offer a wide range of coverage options, and features low limits that could be of particular interest to young people purchasing their first policy. Premiums are generally reasonable and inline with chief industry competitors. Some policy features include:

Guaranteed premiums for whole and some term plans
Convert term to permanent with guaranteed purchase option (no health exam)
Term premiums may increase with renewal but never increase beyond the set rate in contract
Expiration/lapse guarantees
Eligibility to earn dividends

Here are some examples of Northwestern Mutual policies:




10, 20 year terms

Lifelong coverage

For ages 18 to 65

Builds cash value

$100,000 minimum coverage

Possibility to earn dividends

Convertible to permanent insurance





CompLife Insurance

Guaranteed level premiums

Combines permanent life and optional term life insurance

Premium payment options

Highly flexible premium payment options

Guaranteed death benefits

Preserve your estate or business value

Eligible for yearly dividends

Coverage for dependents with special needs





Lifelong coverage

Lifelong coverage

For ages 18 to 90 years

Flexible premiums

$1,000,000 minimum coverage

Potential for greater cash value and death benefit growth but comes with risks

Build equity or cash value

Investment focused

Adjustable death benefits


Flexible premium and payment schedules



Additional Features

Northwestern Mutual offers a robust and industry-leading set of policy features. In fact, some of the company's standard features would count as high-price add-ons in other plans. Flexible options allow policy holders to customize their policy to their needs and plan for any eventuality. The company offers long term care insurance, disability waiver of premium, and accelerated death benefit.

Northwestern Mutual also offers a solid set of plan rider options including:

Guaranteed minimum cash value
No lapse guarantee
Accidental death benefit
Child protection
Spouse protection
Survivorship option

Help and Support

Clients can access Northwestern Mutual by phone weekdays 7am-6pm. You can also email the company through their online form or at one of their many branch offices.

Online Presence

Northwestern Mutual provides a solid online learning center for their clients. It is easily navigable and offers links to articles, videos, online tools, and podcasts. Through it, customers have access to a wealth of diverse financial information. The company does not offer tools for calculating coverage, offer quotes, or allow you to apply online, preferring to connect you to an agent to provide you this information. 

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance

Northwestern Mutual provides a good range of life insurance policies that can be suited to a variety of life insurance shoppers. Its Term Life plans are ideal for bargain hunters looking for short-term affordable plans. Northwestern offers solid rider options for consumers seeking to customize their protection. Highlights of Northwestern Mutual plan features include its cash value accumulation and investment option program, which helps increase the value of your life insurance policy over time. In general, Northwestern Mutual is a solid performer with flexible premiums, riders, and coverage options with industry leading financial ratings.


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