MetLife offers excellent auto insurance coverage and reasonable pricing, but customers have been less than impressed with the service they’ve received.
New York-based MetLife is most known for selling workplace insurance policies. But they also offer auto insurance coverage for individuals (through their network of agents) with coverages that are hard to find through other auto insurers. Some of their unique auto insurance coverages include:
- Gap coverage insurance
- Legal fee coverage
- New car replacement
- Sound system coverage
- Special car parts replacement
- Usage-based insurance
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Despite all these perks, MetLife had a middling performance in JD Power’s 2019 customer satisfaction survey. If excellent customer service is at the top of your priority list, you may want to explore other options with a reputation for satisfaction, like State Farm.
MetLife Insurance Overview
|Price||Varies by location, vehicle and other factors|
|Best For||New car owners|
|Not For||People who place a high value on customer service|
Defensive driving course
Student away at school
|In Business Since||1868|
|Better Business Bureau Rating||A+|
|A.M. Best Rating||A+ Superior|
|Standout Features||Deductible savings benefit
New car replacement
Custom sound system coverage
No deductible for glass repairs
Special car parts replacement
MetLife Insurance Rates
MetLife strives to provide quality auto insurance at an affordable rate. Its customer service is available 24/7 to answer questions and its online and mobile tools give you convenient access to your policy wherever you go.
|Annual Premium Cost||$25K/$50K/$10K
(State minimum coverage)
You won’t know how much your auto insurance is going to cost you until you get a quote. Insurance premiums are personalized for you, taking factors like your age, driving record, vehicle and address into account. While all insurers look at the same information, every company weighs it slightly differently, which is why you end up with such variance in quote prices.
You should compare quotes from several companies before making a purchase, but don’t choose a company based on price alone. Make sure you go with a company that’s financially stable and is known for efficient claims handling. This is worth paying a little extra because it’ll save you a lot of stress when you need to file a claim.
The Simple Dollar’s MetLife Review
MetLife goes beyond the basic auto insurance coverages to offer extras, like custom sound system and gap coverage, that are hard to find elsewhere. It also offers new car replacement for vehicles less than a year old and glass repairs without a deductible. If you get sued as the result of an auto accident, MetLife will even pay your legal fees.
- Clunky quote tool: MetLife’s online quote tool isn’t as streamlined as many of its competitors. Adjusting your level of coverage requires going back several pages and it doesn’t tell you how much raising or lowering your coverage limits will affect your premiums until the end. Despite this, you can still get an auto insurance quote within a few minutes and purchase your policy online..
- Gap coverage: This coverage pays the balance of your lease or loan if your vehicle is totaled in an accident. Most insurers only pay the actual value of your car, which may not be enough to cover what you owe. If you have a lease or loan on your vehicle, you may want to consider adding gap coverage to your policy.
- Few discounts: Compared to most auto insurers, MetLife doesn’t offer many ways to save. There are a few basic discounts, like multi-policy and claim-free discounts, but it’s missing other common options, like anti-theft device and automatic payment discounts. MetLife does offer excellent rates to members of its partner associations, including companies that offer MetLife insurance as an employee benefit.
- Major parts replacement: MetLife will replace major vehicle parts — tires, batteries, brakes, etc. — with new ones, regardless of their current condition. Most companies only pay the actual value, which after factoring in depreciation may not cover the total cost of a new part. With MetLife, you won’t have this problem.
- Savings for good drivers: Every year you don’t have an accident, MetLife will lower your collision and comprehensive deductible by $50, up to a maximum benefit of $250. This is half of the savings that most companies with vanishing deductible offer. However, the majority of insurers don’t provide this benefit to begin with, so it’s still something to be happy about.
- Coverage for Lyft drivers: MetLife offers auto insurance to Lyft drivers, filling in the missing gaps left by traditional auto insurance to ensure these drivers are protected while working.
- New car replacement: If your car is less than a year old and has less than 15,000 miles, you qualify for new car replacement. If your vehicle is totaled, MetLife will pay to get it replaced without factoring in depreciation.
- Legal defense coverage: If you’re sued in connection with a car accident, MetLife will pay for your legal defense and reimburse you up to $200 per day for lost wages.
- No deductible on glass repairs: If a rock flies up and chips your windshield, you can get it fixed without paying a deductible. This coverage comes standard with its auto insurance policies.
- Custom sound system coverage: If you have a custom sound system installed in your vehicle, you can purchase additional coverage to protect this. Most insurers don’t offer this option, so if it’s something you’re interested in, MetLife is worth a closer look.
- Help if your car breaks down: MetLife offers roadside assistance and towing and labor coverage as optional add-ons to assist you if your car breaks down. And if your vehicle is going to be in the shop for a while, MetLife can also help you cover the cost of renting a vehicle in the meantime.
- Average mobile tools: MetLife offers mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, but they’re missing key features, like the ability to file a claim through the app. You can view your policy documents and pay your bill, though, and a customer service agent is just a click away.
- Protection against identity theft: : MetLife is one of few auto insurers to offer optional identity theft protection coverage. This pays for lost wages, legal fees, and other expenses associated with restoring a stolen identity.
In terms of price, MetLife is fairly reasonable. It doesn’t offer much in the way of discounts, but it offers excellent rates for groups. It also offers rewards to safe drivers, including its Deductible Savings Benefit, which lowers your premium by $50 every year you go without an accident. I got quotes from MetLife and several other insurers for an individual auto policy and found that MetLife fell right in the middle, about $40 more expensive than my cheapest option. You may get a different result, but as with any insurance company, you’ll have to get a quote to find out.
Despite its excellent coverage and reasonable rates, MetLife comes up short in customer satisfaction. In the latest J.D. Power survey, it scored average or below in almost every region it was rated in. The clarity of the billing statements and customers’ interactions with company representatives were the most common complaints. The company has improved its Better Business Bureau rating over the years to a current A+. This shouldn’t discourage you from getting a quote from MetLife, but it’s something to keep in mind as you compare your options.
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How to Save on Car Insurance
All states require their drivers to carry auto insurance, though the exact minimums vary. Getting caught without insurance will cost you much more than your premium, so it’s best to follow the law. If you’re looking to save money, though, try some of these tips:
- Improve your credit. Insurers look at your credit reports in order to assess your responsibility. A higher score suggests you are more responsible and therefore less of a risk to insurers.
- Let your insurer know about life changes. Tell your insurance company when you get married or graduate college, as both of these things can help save you money on your insurance.
- Purchase a safe vehicle. Make sure it has high safety ratings and isn’t a model that is known to be a target for theft.
- Limit your time on the road. Less time driving means a lower chance of getting into an accident.
- Take a defensive driving course. Most insurers, including MetLife, give discounts to drivers who have taken an approved defensive driving course within the last three years.
- Choose a high deductible. You’ll have to pay more out of pocket when you go to file a claim, but your premiums will be much lower.
Progressive: This provider turned out to be my lowest quote, and it’s known for its consistently affordable pricing. Like MetLife, Progressive offers gap coverage, which is a nice option to have if you still have a lease or loan on your vehicle. Its customer satisfaction ratings aren’t stellar, but it outperformed MetLife in most regions.
Allstate: It has the most extensive list of discounts of any company on this list, but despite that, Allstate was my most expensive quote. Allstate may be a good choice for you if you’re looking to be rewarded for your safe driving, though. It offers extras like a vanishing deductible and Safe Driving Bonus Check that you won’t find with most insurers. It also has a claim satisfaction guarantee, which will give you a refund if you’re dissatisfied with the way your claim was handled.
State Farm: This is one of the best insurance providers in the industry in terms of customer satisfaction. State Farm’s rates may not be as low as some of the companies on this list, but they’re generally reasonable. There aren’t as many optional coverages to choose from, but if you’re looking for a standard auto insurance policy to cover all the basics, State Farm is hard to beat.
Geico: This is another company known for its low rates, so it’s a good choice for anyone on a budget. It also has a ton of vehicle and driver discounts, which could help you save even more. In terms of customer service, Geico received mixed reviews, but it still outscored many of its competitors, including MetLife, Geico and Allstate.
What Others Are Saying
- Auto Insurance News reports that MetLife has partnered with Hyundai to provide a “New vehicle subscription insurance and maintenance program bundled into one monthly bill, and the insurer predicts the program is cheaper than if consumers bought their auto insurance separately.”
- CNET reported on MetLife’s entrance into the ridesharing market back in 2014. It partnered with Lyft to provide its drivers with comprehensive protection while they are working for the ridesharing service. Lyft released a statement announcing this partnership: “In the coming months, we will work together with MetLife Auto & Home to develop insurance solutions that further protect Lyft’s drivers and passengers when utilizing this new sharing economy platform.”
- Boston.com ran a story about MetLife’s recent legal troubles in Massachusetts. The state attorney general fined MetLife $50,000 for allegedly penalizing its customers for accidents in which they were not at fault. MetLife was also required to refund an undisclosed amount of money to its customers. The company was cooperating with the attorney general’s office to make sure the customers who were wrongly charged would “receive the appropriate refunds.”
- Business Wire ran a press release about MetLife’s new SnapQuote program to, “pinpoint the best available quotes from MetLife Auto & Home and other high quality home and auto insurance providers based on factors like cost and coverage.”
The Bottom Line
MetLife offers solid auto insurance coverage and reasonable rates. Despite its average customer satisfaction ratings, it’s worth taking the time to get a quote to see what kind of a deal MetLife can offer you.