Best Company has partnered with Northwestern Mutual. See our advertising disclaimer for more information about how Best Company works with partners.
Founded in 1857, Northwestern Mutual offers insurance products like life and disability as part of their integrated approach to financial planning – including financial services like wealth management, retirement planning, investment strategies, and more.
Northwestern Mutual offers term, whole, and universal life insurance. Its clients work with a financial adviser, which means that customers can receive help evaluating life insurance options and other products from a holistic financial planning perspective for both short-term and long-term financial goals.
Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Northwestern Mutual is a reliable, trustworthy company. It has received high financial strength ratings from Moody’s, A.M. Best, Fitch, and S&P.
In 2018, Northwestern Mutual was recognized by Fortune as being one of the "World's Most Admired Companies." Its financial representative training program is said to be one of the country's best according to Training Magazine. Northwestern Mutual, through its foundation, has donated millions to childhood cancer research.
Moody's, A.M. Best, Fitch, and S&P have all awarded Northwestern Mutual with the highest ratings for any insurer regarding its financial strength. In 2018, Northwestern was ranked first by Fortune in financial soundness among insurance providers.
Fortune Magazine rated Northwestern Mutual number one for the quality of its life insurance products and services in 2018.
The Northwestern Mutual platform offers a number of life insurance products that help ensure financial stability. The death benefit can be used to pay for lingering debt, any final expense, or to provide financial support to the beneficiaries.
Northwestern Mutual offers three kinds of life insurance:
These are some of the most common types of life insurance policies in the industry, so most people will be able to find the kind of life policy coverage they want at Northwestern Mutual.
Clients can select from different premium payment options. The premium rates for level term life insurance policies remain the same throughout the duration of the policy. Or, they can start with a lower premium that increase over time — so you pay lower premiums for your term policy when you're younger and more as your earning potential increases.
Term life insurance can be an especially good idea for people who only need coverage for a specific number of years. For example, people who have loans, like a mortgage or student debt, can benefit because it provides financial security to beneficiaries should the insured pass away. Permanent life insurance offers similar peace of mind; however, its coverage lasts an entire life time.
No matter what policy type you choose, the death benefit can be used to finish paying off debts and to pay for funeral expenses.
Northwestern Mutual also offers its clients the ability to convert their term insurance into a permanent life insurance policy during specific periods of time, known as a conversion period.
This option makes life insurance coverage more affordable because a term life insurance policy initially tends to be significantly cheaper than permanent life insurance.
The ability to convert a term life policy into a permanent one allows a policy owner to buy more affordable life insurance with cheaper payments and convert it later on when their financial situation changes.
For those interested in a permanent policy, Northwestern Mutual offers whole, universal, and variable universal life insurance. Northwestern Mutual’s whole life policies have level premiums, which means that they will never go up — similar to level term premiums.
Its universal life insurance and variable universal life insurance policies, like whole life insurance, can provide coverage that lasts a lifetime. However, these policies also allow for more flexibility with monthly premium payments, and the coverage amount can be adjusted within certain limits once the policy is in effect.
The main difference between a universal life policy and a variable universal life policy is how the cash value accrues. The cash value of both universal and variable universal life policies has the ability to earn interest, but variable policies allow you to invest the cash value in certain funds called sub-accounts, so cash value earnings are tied to investment performance.
Both whole and universal life insurance policies accrue cash value that clients can use during their lifetime. The cash value of whole life policies is guaranteed to grow over time, is tax advantaged, and can be used or borrowed against with a policy loan, at any time and for any reason. Because whole life policies, variable universal life policies, and universal life policies have this ability to accrue cash value, they can also be viewed as a flexible asset.
Permanent life insurance policies can offer greater flexibility, provide coverage for longer periods, and can accrue cash value. Premiums for permanent policies tend to be much higher than those of term policies.
However, as a mutual company, Northwestern Mutual has historically paid dividends back to policyholders to ensure that coverage comes at the lowest possible net cost. Those dividends can also be used towards paying premiums or used to purchase additional coverage called paid-up additions, which helps a policy grow.
While dividends are not guaranteed from year-to-year, Northwestern Mutual has been known for its consistency and industry-leading dividends on whole life insurance policies.
Northwestern Mutual offers different policy options to meet your specific needs. Some policy types can offer living benefits and accrued cash value beyond a guaranteed payout when you pass away.
Northwestern Mutual also offers other products and services that can help you protect your income or plan for the future. Talking to an adviser can help you understand what options fit your needs and goals.
Northwestern Mutual focuses on financial planning services and approaches life insurance from this perspective.
Clients work with a financial adviser to determine their financial goals, assess life insurance coverage needs, evaluate insurance policy options, and receive specific advice for their circumstances and life goals. This unique, integrated approach across a variety of products and strategies ensures clients have a flexible plan designed to help them achieve their goals.
The ability to work with a financial adviser is a nice benefit of choosing Northwestern Mutual.
Some insurance companies are owned by shareholders and traded on the stock market. Northwestern Mutual is different because it is not owned by shareholders. Instead, it is owned by policyholders. This feature shows that Northwestern Mutual’s decisions are driven by what helps its policyholders and clients.
Additionally, policy owners can be eligible to receive dividend payouts from Northwestern Mutual. A dividend payout is not guaranteed. However, Northwestern Mutual has a strong history of consistently paying dividends to its life insurance policyholders.
In addition to life insurance, Northwestern Mutual offers other insurance products, like disability insurance or long-term care insurance. These additional products are especially beneficial to life insurance shoppers who need other kinds of insurance. More information about these products can be found on Northwestern Mutual's website or by contacting a representative.
Northwestern Mutual's website has a great overview of its life insurance policy offerings. It also has a life insurance calculator that helps potential clients figure out how much life insurance coverage to buy.
However, the website does not have much information regarding the underwriting process, like whether or not a medical exam is required. Some life insurers offer no exam life insurance policies. Products and options can vary based on individual situations.
For more specific information regarding eligibility for life insurance plans, the underwriting process, and specific terms of Northwestern Mutual’s plans, potential clients are encouraged to contact one of Northwestern Mutual's representatives through the website for personalized details and recommendations.
To receive life insurance quotes, interested consumers need to contact a Northwestern Mutual representative.
While it would be nice to have more information about monthly insurance premiums, these vary depending on several factors, like health history and the amount of insurance coverage purchased.
The inability to receive an online quote makes it difficult to get quick cost information, but working with a Northwestern Mutual adviser can help consumers determine what kind and how much life insurance to buy.
My husband got a very low price on a policy and we have had great experience with their customer service.
We are happy with our coverage and our price at Northwestern Mutual. They have always been helpful.
My wife and I purchased life insurance 23 years ago and have not needed it yet! Customer service has been very friendly.
Northwestern Mutual was great for the time we had it. Provided the coverage we needed at a good price.
I have a whole life policy through this company. Its a great plan and we have never had and complaints. They are very easy to work with.
They always send us the update of what’s is going on with our account! Sounds pretty legit to us!
We have a whole life policy. The rates of return are very good and the death benefit is excellent. I feel very secure in the longevity of this company.
I got a full life policy with Northwestern Mutual right after I got married and it was a very good decision that is now paying off as the policy is in full force, but is paid up and worth a lot.
I like how it's a secure company and it's been around for a long time so I feel secure in my investment. It has a stable return of investment.
I personally have my life insurance plan through Northwestern Mutual. I feel confident with the comprehension plan that is set up and my premiums are low. I think because I am pretty healthy and have never drank or smoked I have a great plan. It's nice to know that when I go to bed at night that my family will be taken care of if I die.
Eddie D Banks-Crosson
I was connected with a broker via a colleague as I had expressed interest in obtaining sufficient insurance to protect my assets. The broker I met with was excellent. He maintained consistent contact through the process. The process on the other hand was an absolute train wreck. After 2 months, a two hour visit (which I was told would be an hour) from the nurse who showed up late, and a followup phone call from a "reviewer" who indicated the call would be 10-15 minutes (which ended up being 45 minutes). Made my first payment and was later contacted by a different agent stating that they needed to speak to my therapist (who IS NOT a medical professional) . I declined and asked that the policy be cancelled considering the length of time this had already taken. I later received a notice in the mail indicating they could not offer me a policy for XYZ reasoning (one was that I have ADHD [not diagnosed by my current PCP] conversation), which was totally inaccurate based on what underwriting stated they needed from me. The letter probably should have read something like..."since YOU decided to cancel." Unfortunately this company's practices seem incredibly discriminatory. I would not recommend doing business with this company.
I am a full-time instructor at a community college. About 6 months ago, I was approached by an ex-student (now employed at NW Mutual) and his supervisor. They seemed to be very interested in helping me obtain a life insurance plan that would provide for my 9 year old son of whom I have 100% custody. The plan sounded great and was at a reasonable price. During the health screening process, I told the NP that I had been on Xanax for years to help me sleep due to a disorder. I told the NP that I got off the Xanax when I found out it was linked to dementia, instead taking a few drops of a legal marijuana/coconut oil tincture a couple times a week for sleep. The whole application process took about 4 months to complete and when I was approved and asked to make my first payment, they raised my premium over 25%! The company wrote a letter to me saying my premium was changed due to my “marijuana use” and that my premium may be lowered if I were in a “more favorable risk classification.” I would think that a risk of dementia is a “less favorable” risk as opposed to taking a marijuana tincture a couple of times of week. I actually think the whole thing was a ploy and that the application process takes so long, that they feel they can raise the rates at the last instant and a customer will capitulate. Northwestern Mutual is a shoddy, dishonest company.
I got a variable whole life policy from Northwestern Mutual a number of years back and regret everything about it. It seems like the agent was just trying to make a large commission rather than getting me into a product for my circumstances. Fees were astronomical and canceling the policy was difficult!
Northwestern Mutual is the best company around. I started a life insurance plan right after I got married and it is paying for itself now and I am very glad that I started it. They have a plan for every part of my life and family and every stage in my life.
Good policies at a reasonable price. We felt like the whole process was fast and easy. They have a wide range of options which was great and do a good job of explaining them to you. I would recommend Northwestern Mutual to anyone looking for life insurance.
This company consistently makes a good return on my investment. My only beef is that’s it’s not easy to pick my agent.
Great options, low prices, more coverage than other providers. I shopped around for life insurance and found that Northwestern Mutual had the best products for the best prices. I would highly recommend anyone looking into life insurance policies to at least check out Northwestern Mutual before making a decision.
My dad used Northwestern Mutual for many years, so when it came time for my husband and I to buy insurance, we took his advice and went to Northwestern Mutual. We like our agent, Jake R, and his assistant a lot. He’s very interested in helping us find what we need at a price we can afford.
I have had a term life insurance policy with Northwestern Mutual for 10+ years. Maintenance has been simple and I have a high degree of confidence that my loved ones would get the benefit if (God forbid) anything happened to me. I would recommend this company for term life insurance.
Northwestern Mutual has made getting life insurance for my whole family so easy. I trust their company, workers and that they found the best policy for my family and our needs.
Along with my husband (now ex) I was a customer of Northwest Mutual for year. Recently I contacted our representative Henry C a minimum of 6 times, and he has never once answered me. While the account I'm calling about is under my ex-husband's name, I've left him messages that I want to establish a separate account since the divorce decree states I'm entitled to 50% of the account. No return calls. My recent message asked him to please have his assistant text me his fax number so I could start the process by faxing him a copy of the divorce decree. Still no reply! What's wrong with these people that they refuse to even acknowledge my calls and messages? I have even spoken with his assistant and explained the situation. Still nothing! How does someone like this have a license to deal with the public? His license should be revoked!
Cori Jacobsen Ollerton
I feel the only time I hear from them is if they want my money. Little communication, hard to connect with when I have questions. Paper trail is the only way I receive answers clearly.
My Financial planner is amazing and found a policy for both my wife and myself that was an easy process to get and covered us in case of any real emergency or death.
They made it easy to sign up for life insurance because he came to my home to take my blood. Best life insurance I’ve ever had.
We have our life insurance through Northwestern. They had the best rates for our type of coverage we wanted. They process to get approved was quick and easy. They can to our house to do the medical requirements which was nice.
We had Norwestern Mutaul life insurance for many years until we rolled it over into our Education IRA. Northwestern always kept us informed and up to date on our policy and our agent was great to work with. Our experience was very positive.
Northwestern Mutual insurance agent was professional, not pushy, explained each policy clearly and answered our questions. I have recommended Northwestern Mutual to all family and friends.
Northwestern Mutual is a trusted name that I can trust with my hard earned money and know that it will be a safe investment for the future for me and my family.
Northwestern is a good company. I've used them in the past. Competitive rates
i refer all my family members and friends here because they are honest, caring, and affordable. They care and it shows.
the agents in the st george office are amazing. they came to my home and explained everything to my parents and I. Price was just right, didn't feel rushed in choosing a plan and best of all, it was affordable. The agent was so kind and patient. highly recommend for all families.
Solid, reliable provider of insurance products
Have a life insurance policy with Northwestern and it has been easy to manage and the value is there and it gives me peace of mind.
Good product, good value, concerned costumer service.
Personal agent with great experience that guided me through my needs. My needs not his commission based needs. Honest!
They have been honest with me. My investment with them has grown for 30 years as they said it would. I'm in much better shape now than I would have been had I not done what they suggested. They are not hard sells.
Northwestern Mutual helped my husband and I get life insurance policies. We had been thinking about it because I was pregnant and wanted to make sure our family would be taken care of should anything happen to one of us. The process was pretty straightforward. Answering all the questions isn’t fun though. Overall, things have been pretty good so far.
Took a new job which offered a 401k. So I signed up and met with my rep. He was more interested in the people I could send his way then taking care of my account. Then a couple of years go by I find out he put me in a annuity. I was 60 when I met with him. Can't get my money out for 8 years from when it was invested. They only look out for themselves. Called the company to complain they said they couldn't help me. Don't invest with Northwestern Mutual.
The rating this company received should be much higher than the one depicted here. Northwestern Mutual may not offer the calculator(s) for cost on their website. However, those calculators are, more often than not, inaccurate and lead to false hope anyways. Their track record speaks volumes and because they are exclusive there is no way to know what is really going on. What I do know is that a 4.5 rating is an insult to Northwestern Mutual and should be reviewed. Especially considering that they have earned the top financial rating(s)/recognition(s) available; they are clearly doing something right. Meeting face-to-face and having an actual person on the other end of the line that knows your situation is the only way to create a proper plan for you, your family, and your future. Adding up the value that you hold in all three of those together and attempting to use a calculator to come out with the answer on your own is a dangerous and foolish way to proceed, IMO.