MetLife Auto Insurance Review: Typical Insurer, but Possibility of Big Discounts

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MetLife Auto Insurance Review: Typical Insurer, but Possibility of Big Discounts

Fair rates and great coverage for new cars make MetLife a respectable choice for most, and drivers who qualify for group discounts can save even more.

Good for

  • People who can get a MetLife discount from their employer
  • Owners of brand-new cars

Bad for

  • Customers who can't take advantage of a MetLife group discount

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

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MetLife Insurance is a solid insurance company that offers competitive rates to most of its customers, coupled with about-average customer service. But those customers who qualify for an employer or group discount may be able to reduce their rates by as much as 50%, making MetLife an excellent deal for people who are eligible. And special perks applicable to new vehicles make MetLife extra enticing to buyers of new cars.

MetLife: Our Thoughts

For typical customers, MetLife's auto insurance is middle-of-the-road. Its prices, discounts and customer service are solid but about even with its competitors, and the company does not cater to any particular customer type or geographical area. However, MetLife provides group-based discounts to a wide variety of different organizations, such as individual employers and labor unions, which can make a substantial dent—approaching 50% in some cases—in your monthly premiums. Most drivers should shop around to see if they can get a better deal elsewhere, but people who get the best rates from MetLife should feel comfortable selecting the company as their insurer.

MetLife offers a few unique special features and savings opportunities to its customers that may make it a good choice, even if it doesn't offer you the absolute best rates. For example, if you insure a new car with MetLife and it is totaled in an accident before it's a year old, MetLife will pay for a brand-new car without factoring in depreciation. Also, MetLife will pay to replace certain key parts of your car, like brake pads and tires, without considering wear, should those parts be damaged in an accident.

The biggest downsides we found to selecting MetLife as your car insurer are related to its online tools and occasional customer service complaints. When compared to its rivals, the experience of getting a quote online from MetLife is cumbersome. In our research, we found that customers reported particular difficulty using MetLife's online-only insurance product, MyDirect, and had trouble getting help when they needed it. However, it's worth noting that MetLife has a below-average number of customer complaints, so this shouldn't be a deal-breaker.

Bottom Line

We found MetLife to be consistently about even with its major competitors in terms of customer service, features and the monthly rates for typical customers, making it a solid if not stellar choice for most. However, drivers who can take advantage of MetLife's substantial group discounts are likely to find excellent rates on MetLife car insurance.

Auto Insurance Discounts From MetLife

MetLife offers plenty of auto insurance discounts, and the biggest way for potential MetLife customers to save is to get a discount through an organization with which they're affiliated. MetLife offers discounts to hundreds of different organizations nationwide, including private and public employers of all sizes, labor unions, and credit unions, among others. The amount a customer can save varies by group but is substantial across the board—in our research, the savings amounted to 35–49% off a standard auto insurance policy. It's an excellent idea for shoppers to spend a few minutes searching for discounts they might be eligible for.

Besides discounts based on your employer, MetLife offers all the discounts you'd expect from a national car insurance company. Highlights include the following, though keep in mind that availability can vary based on your location. Also, some discounts may not "stack" on top of one another.

DiscountDetails
Deductible Savings BenefitEach year you don't make a claim, you'll receive a $50 credit toward a future deductible payment, up to $250 total.
Automatic Payment/ExpressIT DiscountSet up automatic payments from your bank account or paycheck and MetLife will remove its monthly service fee; group policy members may be eligible for further discounts.
Defensive Driver DiscountUp to 7% discount for taking a defensive driving course in the last three years
Bundle with MetLife Home Insurance PolicyUp to 10% discount
Bundle with Life Insurance/Annuity ProductUp to 5% discount
Good Student DiscountUp to 15% off for high school or college students with good grades
Superior Driver DiscountUp to 12% discount if violation-free for five years, up to 20% if claim- and violation-free
Car Equipped with Anti-Theft or Safety DevicesAmount varies
MyJourney® Safe Driving Tracker10%–30% based on driving score (available as mobile app or in-car plugin)
Mature Driver Discount (50–65 years old)Amount varies

MetLife MyDirect

For drivers who prefer to take care of their car insurance needs entirely online, MetLife MyDirect may be an attractive option. In exchange for agreeing to do everything online, including paying your bills and making claims, MyDirect customers will pay a lower rate than drivers covered by a standard MetLife auto insurance policy. However, user reviews suggest consumers have difficulty using MyDirect; customers indicated frustration regarding the stability and ease of use of the MyDirect site and difficulty getting support from a MyDirect representative when they needed it.

MyDirect is currently only available in the following states: Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Utah.

Auto Insurance Features and Coverages

MetLife offers all the features you'd expect from a national standard insurer. You can get a quote, pay your bill and make an insurance claim online, or you can speak to a customer service agent over the phone 24 hours a day. You may recognize MetLife as the insurance company with Snoopy as its mascot. MetLife offers mobile apps for both iPhone and Android as well, letting you manage your insurance policy from anywhere.

Noteworthy Features and Coverages From MetLife

MetLife offers several special features and coverages you might not be able to find elsewhere. If one of these will help you save money, you should take a detailed look at a MetLife policy.

  • Replacement Cost Coverage for Major Parts: For certain major parts of your vehicle such as tires, brakes and batteries, MetLife will cover the total cost of replacement with new parts without factoring in wear or depreciation.
  • New Car Replacement: If your new car is totaled before it's a year old or driven 15,000 miles, MetLife will pay the entire replacement cost without factoring in depreciation. This coverage does not apply to leased vehicles.
  • Custom Sound Equipment: This coverage is to insure an aftermarket sound system in your car, if you've added one. Note that this is an optional coverage and costs extra.
  • Glass Repairs Without Deductible: Small chips and cracks in windshields and glass can sometimes be repaired, which is both faster and less expensive than having the glass completely replaced. MetLife will waive your deductible when you get a window repaired instead of replaced.

Common Features and Coverages From MetLife

  • Rental Car Insurance: This feature covers costs to a rental agency if you have an accident while driving a rental car
  • Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage: Rental car reimbursement coverage pays for the cost of a rental car while your car is being repaired. It is subject to daily and per-accident limits (for example, $25 per day and $750 total).
  • Towing and Roadside Assistance: This feature covers the cost of having someone come to fix a flat tire, let you into a locked car or tow your car to a mechanic. It is subject to per-incident limits.
  • Gap Coverage: Gap coverage covers the gap between what is owed on your car's lease or loan and its current value, so you don't have to continue making payments on the vehicle, should your car be totaled.
  • Liability Coverage: This pays for the other party's costs of medical care and damages if you are at fault in an accident.
  • Collision: Collision coverage pays for damage to your own car when it is in a collision.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: This pays for damage to your own car if it is damaged by a noncollision event or hit by an animal.
  • Personal Injury Protection/Medical Payments: This feature covers your own medical expenses in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This pays for your own medical and car repair bills if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver.

MetLife Auto Insurance Quote Comparison

We gathered quotes for a variety of driving profiles from MetLife and its competitors to see how rates stacked up. For typical drivers who are not able to take advantage of discounted group rates, we found MetLife's prices to be close to average when compared to other insurers. For example, annual rates for 31-year-old single woman were about 15% cheaper than average, while rates for a married couple in their 60s were about 6% more expensive than the mean.

MetLifeGEICOAllstateTravelersAverage
31-Year-Old Single Female, Clean Driving History$1,708$1,463$2,742$2,120$2,008
31-Year-Old Single Male, 1 Recent Ticket$2,743$2,328$3,173$2,819$2,766
Married Couple in Their 40s, Teen Driver, Two Cars$6,749$5,756$7,536$6,620$6,665
Married Couple in Their 60s, One Car$2,239$1,829$2,691$1,686$2,111

However, MetLife offers steep group discounts to drivers based on their employers, professions or membership of certain other groups—savings of up to 49% off MetLife's standard rates, depending on the affiliation. We collected quotes for a 45-year-old single woman with a variety of employer/group affiliations. In all cases, we were able to get a substantially lower quote when applying these discounts. For example, we found an annual savings of $1,672 for an employee of the Dupont Corp.

MetLife Auto Group Discounts

Even the smallest discount we found, for members of the Teamsters Union, saved our sample driver 35% off her insurance bill. And these savings do not include many of MetLife's other available discounts, such as for buying multiple policies, being a good driver or using automatic payments.

MetLife Auto Insurance Customer Reviews and Ratings

MetLife's customer service experience is about average among its competitors. Though reviews from customers are mixed, MetLife received fewer complaints overall than an average company of its size. In fact, MetLife's rating from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is 0.69, indicating that it received fewer complaints than would be expected for a company of its size, as the median score is 1.00. This score puts it in league with many of its top competitors: for example, GEICO has an NAIC ratio of 0.74 and Travelers has a ranking of 0.64.

The most common concerns we found for MetLife related to aspects of the claims process. Customers sometimes reported difficulty contacting and receiving responses from claims adjusters, and J.D. Power rated MetLife's claims process as only "Average."

MetLife's financial standing, meanwhile, is solid. The company received an "A" rating from A.M. Best, meaning MetLife is very likely to be able to pay out claims made by its customers. MetLife's ranking is not as high as competitors like Travelers and GEICO, both of whom received the highest possible score of A++, but MetLife's "Excellent" rating is well within the comfort zone for most consumers.

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