If you want the stability of a legacy insurance company and the user experience of a direct-to-consumer digital brand, Haven Life may be the ideal choice for you.
In this post, I’ll review Haven Life and identify its pros and cons to help you decide whether it fits your term life insurance needs.
Table of Contents
- Haven Life Review: Quick Look
- What Is Haven Life?
- Haven Life Review: Where It Shines
- Haven Life Review: Where It Falls Short
- Examining Haven Life’s Term Life Insurance Product
- Haven Life Also Offers These Insurance Products
Haven Life Review: Quick Look
|Company Name||Haven Life|
|Company Type||New brand backed by legacy insurer|
|Key Features||Self-guided, hassle-free customer experience; A++ A.M. Best rating|
|Downsides||Not built for older individuals or those with pre-existing conditions|
|Best For||Modern digital experience with the financial stability of an insurance dinosaur|
What Is Haven Life?
Founded in 2014 as an independent offshoot of MassMutual, Haven Life’s goal is to offer a more modern, online purchasing experience for term life insurance.
MassMutual is the second-oldest life insurance company in the United States. It holds an A++ rating from A.M. Best. That’s a crucial component when you shop for term life insurance. MassMutual owns Haven Life and backs all its insurance policies.
Money expert Clark Howard says you shouldn’t buy a term life insurance policy of longer than 20 years unless the company has an A++ rating, which indicates long-term financial stability.
Haven Life’s term life insurance application is fast, simple and online-only. Its entire customer experience is self-guided, though it offers help from a human being if you need it.
Haven Life has spent years working on automated, algorithm-based underwriting and streamlining its digital account management system.
Now that its term life insurance business has started to mature, Haven Life is launching new products.
Haven Life Review: Where It Shines
I tried out the Haven Life website and also talked with corporate representatives. I came away wondering why MassMutual and other legacy insurance companies haven’t been quicker to adapt to the modern touches Haven Life has added.
The brand offers the following benefits:
- Easy application. Haven Life doesn’t offer the world’s fastest term life insurance application. But it’s easy, it doesn’t require pen and paper or a fax machine and the questions are relatively simple. The company’s quote estimator is fast and well-designed.
- Self-guided experience. Even after the application process, Haven Life takes a do-it-yourself approach. For example, if you need a medical exam, you can schedule it online at a time and location that’s convenient for you.
- Backed by MassMutual. Haven Life’s parent company has the best possible A.M. Best rating (A++). Haven Life has offered term life insurance to customers for just a few years, which is a blink of an eye in the insurance sector. But it has a huge advantage over other “insuretech” companies by virtue of MassMutual’s ownership in the form of long-term financial security.
- Offers benefits that MassMutual doesn’t. I’ll go into further detail later in this article. But Haven Life offers digital benefits that you can’t get through MassMutual.
- No sales calls or commissions. Not too long ago, the insurance industry practically revolved around individual brokers who earned bigger commissions if they convinced you to buy more lucrative products like whole life insurance. Haven Life doesn’t offer whole life insurance, and it doesn’t have a salesforce that’s incentivized to sell you on things you may not need.
Haven Life Review: Where It Falls Short
The biggest downside of Haven Life is that it isn’t designed to meet everyone’s needs. If you’re 60+, have pre-existing conditions or want whole life insurance, Haven Life is probably not for you.
Here are some of Haven Life’s downsides:
- Medical review tends to be thorough. Haven Life has a reputation for collecting lots of health information on its applications and during its medical exams. That’s the trade-off for its automated underwriting, which facilitates faster decisions and lower premiums but requires additional data to assess you as a risk to insure.
- Not designed for those 60+ and/or with pre-existing conditions. If you’re older than 64, you won’t be able to buy life insurance through Haven Life. If you’re between 60 and 64, you can purchase a maximum of $1 million in coverage. You’ll pay a premium if you have pre-existing conditions or if you’re older, but that’s common in the life insurance business. Also, it’s unusual for someone 60+ to be shopping for term life insurance.
- Limited human contact. Haven Life offers customer support via email, live chat and phone during business hours on weekdays. But directing you to work with the same person throughout the whole process is not part of the Haven Life business model. Some people prefer it that way. If you’d rather have a single, human point of contact, Haven Life may not be for you.
- No whole life insurance product. Clark says that whole life insurance is almost always a bad idea. So for most people, this isn’t a downside at all and could even be considered a positive. But like many insuretech startups, the number of products is more limited at Haven Life.
Examining Haven Life’s Term Life Insurance Product
|Gender/Age||Policy Amount||20-Year Term Life|
Haven Life offers coverage between $100,000 and $3 million with terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. It guarantees level premiums. It doesn’t offer life insurance for people 65 and older, and those aged 60 to 64 can buy a maximum of $1 million in coverage.
The online application takes about 25 minutes to fill out.
Haven Life isn’t as aggressive as some companies (Fabric, for example) about automatically approving applicants who have health challenges. However, if you’re in excellent health, you may qualify for InstantTerm. That’s the company’s name for its term life insurance policies you can get without a medical exam.
Even if you require a medical exam, a company representative told me that Haven Life’s average turnaround time from application to purchase is just 11 days. You can schedule the exam online at a location that’s convenient for you.
The company says its average customer is 38 years old, college-educated, makes $79,000 annually and has gone through at least one major life event in the last year (marriage, new mortgage, new child).
Haven Life’s Riders and Benefits for Term Life Insurance Customers
Riders (think: additional features, some of which are free and some of which cost money) for Haven Life customers include:
- Haven Life Plus. This gives you access to create a free, legally-valid will through Trust & Will, a free subscription to on-demand fitness app Aaptiv, a free subscription to sleep analysis app Timeshifter, a free subscription to online document vault LifeSite and 15% discounts on CVS Pharmacy MinuteClinic services.
- Accelerated death benefit. If a policyholder is terminally ill, this allows them to use a portion of their death benefit while they’re still alive to pay for end-of-life care.
- Guaranteed renewability. This ensures that you can extend your policy even after your term ends, no matter what your health situation is at the time. However, it’s likely that your monthly premiums will be much more expensive if you decide to extend your coverage beyond your term.
- Disability waiver of premium. This optional and requires you to pay an extra monthly fee. If you purchase this add-on and become disabled, you won’t have to pay your monthly premiums until you’re back on your feet.
Other Haven Life Products
Haven Life made a major acquisition in 2018, purchasing online insurance broker Quilt and making it the cornerstone of a small innovation team tasked with creating new products, operating independently from the rest of Mass Mutual.
Here are some of the products that have emerged from those efforts:
If you apply for a standard term life insurance policy, it’s possible Haven Life will offer you InstantTerm (no medical exam).
Haven Life’s “Simplified Issue” is a different product. It offers up to $500,000 in coverage, also without a medical exam. Because an offer isn’t contingent on your medical history and the coverage amount is lower, the application is much shorter and it’s possible to get coverage in minutes.
Haven Life says it created this product to meet customer demand. An alternative to the typical lump sum payout, Haven Secure pays the beneficiary between $1,000 and $10,000 monthly until the end of the policy term.
This is a longevity annuity designed to insure people who believe they’ll live long lives. According to a Haven Life representative, customers pay small monthly premiums until they reach 65. Once the customer reaches a designated payout age, between 91 and 100, the company sends a check each month (typically $2,000-$5,000). You can pay extra for Haven Life to return your premiums to a beneficiary if you don’t live into your 90s.
This policy provides an “emergency fund” for 6 to 12 months if you have an illness or injury that prevents you from working. You can file a claim within 14 days of disability. The company says claims get paid in seven days.
If you’re in the market for basic level-term life insurance and you prefer direct-to-consumer companies, Haven Life could be a great fit for you.
Its digital convenience and benefits make it one of the best term life insurance companies, especially considering MassMutual owns and operates it.
MassMutual has an A++ A.M. Best rating.
Just be sure to compare prices with other A++ A.M. Best companies before you purchase from Haven Life. Even small differences in monthly premiums can add up over 20 or 30 years, so it’s worth your time to make sure you’re getting the best deal.