The topic of whether consumers are affected by the choice of a mutual life insurance company vs. a stock life insurance company has been a touchy issue for almost two decades. A number of high profile life insurance companies have demutualized since the year 2000 with great results. Today there are less than 100 mutual life insurance companies and a small handful of these gather most attention and market share.
I realize there are strong arguments on both sides and undoubtedly will be strong opposition to any opinion I may express. There seems to be little practical value in exploring the details of these distinctions; the major difference may well turn out to be in the marketing.
Yet in my opinion, with all other things being equal, there is still good reason to prefer a mutually owned life insurance company over a stock life insurance company. Specifically, I see no reason why a consumer would not wish to consider one of the top tier mutual life insurance companies as their first choice when selecting permanent life insurance policy for personal or business purposes. Those companies in the top tier may include Northwestern Mutual, Massachusetts Mutual, New York Life, Pacific Life, Penn Mutual, Guardian Life, Minnesota Life, Ohio National Life, National Life of Vermont, Union Central Life, Acacia life, and Ameritas Life.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with most of these companies over three decades and have had only positive client experiences. In fact, I don’t know a single 50+ year old policy owner who is not pleased with the decision to take a policy with a mutual life insurance company when they were younger. My own decision to take out a small whole life insurance policy more than 30 years ago turns out to be one of the most successful financial moves I have ever made.