MetLife Home Insurance Review

MetLife offers outstanding replacement coverage for your home and personal property, but its customer service and online resources need improvement.

MetLife is one of few insurers that offers guaranteed replacement cost coverage on both your personal property and your home itself. This coverage pays the full amount required to repair or replace your property without factoring in depreciation. Most companies will only compensate you for the actual, depreciated value of your insured items, which isn’t always enough. If you’d rather not risk getting stuck with out-of-pocket costs, replacement coverage from MetLife is worth checking out.

MetLife falls behind most of the industry in terms of online and mobile tools, however. You can’t get a quote or file a claim online. Instead, you must call and speak to an agent or fill out the contact form on MetLife’s website and wait for them to call you. MetLife also falls short on claims resolution. It doesn’t allow you to choose your own contractor, relying instead on its own network. If you have a contractor you prefer to work with that isn’t a part of this network, you may want to consider going with a different insurer by requesting a quote online using the tool below.

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The Specs

Price Varies by location, home size, and other factors
Best For People interested in guaranteed replacement cost coverage
Not For People who prefer to manage their policy online
People who want to choose their own contractor
States Served 50
A.M. Best Rating A
Standout Features Full replacement coverage for personal property
Pays full cost to rebuild your home
One deductible for home and auto

The Claim

MetLife promises a hassle-free approach to home insurance. It offers straightforward, comprehensive coverage and streamlined sales and claims processes, all backed by outstanding customer service.

Is it True?

Sort of. When it comes to coverage, MetLife is hard to beat. It is one of the only insurance companies in the industry to offer guaranteed replacement cost coverage for your home. Most insurers will only pay the depreciated value of your property, which may not be enough to cover your rebuilding costs, especially if the damage is severe. MetLife will pay the total amount to repair or rebuild your home, regardless of depreciation. It also pays the full replacement cost of any personal property that is damaged or stolen.

But while the product is good, the service leaves something to be desired. There’s no way to get a quote or learn more about policy options without getting on the phone. You’ll also have to call if you need to file a claim. There’s no way to submit documents online or track your claim through a web account or mobile app. MetLife also doesn’t allow you to choose your own contractor for repairs. It has its own network of over 2,200 general contractors across the nation. For some, this won’t be an issue, but if you have a contractor you prefer to work with, you may want to explore some other options.

These factors no doubt contributed to MetLife’s average rating in the latest J.D. Power survey. It scored ninth worst out of 28 companies. It fared little better in J.D. Power’s property insurance claims study, where it received the fifth lowest rating. Customers expressed particular dissatisfaction with MetLife’s repair process, but they were happy with the fairness of the settlement they received.

Our Deep Dive

  • Can’t get a quote online: MetLife doesn’t have an online quote tool, so if you’re interested in learning more about its homeowners insurance, you’ll have to set aside some time for a phone call.
  • Few discounts: MetLife offers bundling discounts and safety discounts for those who install fire alarms, security systems, or deadbolts in their homes. You may also be eligible for group discounts through your employer, but that’s about it. Being a new homeowner or remaining claim-free, both of which commonly earn you discounts with other insurers, won’t score you any additional savings with MetLife.
  • One deductible for home and auto: If you bundle your home and auto insurance, you will only have to pay one deductible for both. This is especially useful if your home and vehicle are damaged in the same accident.
  • Full replacement cost of your home: When you file a claim, most insurers will only pay the actual value of your home, factoring in depreciation. This may not always be enough money to cover the full cost of a repair, leaving you to pay the rest out of pocket. MetLife offers guaranteed replacement coverage for your home, so the total cost of repairs is covered, up to your policy limit.
  • Excellent coverage for personal property: MetLife will pay to repair or replace damaged or stolen personal property without factoring in depreciation. If you have valuables like art, jewelry, or antiques that may not be fully covered under the standard policy, you can add an endorsement to raise your coverage limit to adequately protect these items.
  • Must call to file a claim: Unlike most insurers, MetLife doesn’t allow customers to submit or track claims online. Instead, you’ll have to contact a claims representative by phone and wait for the company to get back to you with more details about what’s next.
  • Can’t choose your own contractor: MetLife works with the Crawford Contractor Connection network, which has over 2,200 general contractors across the country. These contractors are highly skilled and all work comes with a two-year limited warranty. However, it would be nice if MetLife let those who wanted to work with a contractor out of the network do so.
  • Lackluster mobile apps: MetLife has mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, but their capabilities are limited. You can view your home insurance documents and pay your bill, but that’s it. There’s no way to file or track a claim, or to update policy information through the app.
  • Identity theft protection services: MetLife includes identity theft protection services with every homeowners policy. This coverage helps cover the costs of restoring your identity in the event that it’s stolen.

Cost Rundown

You can’t predict how much your homeowners insurance is going to cost until you get a quote. Rates are highly personalized, taking factors like your address, credit history, and home size into account. Every insurer weighs these slightly differently, which is why your rates vary from one company to the next.

Premium cost also depends on how much coverage you’re getting. A basic homeowners policy protects against the following perils:

  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Explosion
  • Fire or lightning
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Smoke damage
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Windstorm or hail

There are a few disasters, including earthquakes and floods, that aren’t covered by a traditional policy because of the costly nature of these claims. If you live in an area prone to these events, you’ll want to look into adding extra coverage. You can also purchase endorsements for certain valuable items like jewelry or art that may not be adequately covered under your basic policy.

Find the Best Home Insurance Rates

Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

Cheaper (or Free!) Alternatives

If you have a mortgage on your home, your lender will require you to carry homeowners insurance, so there’s no way around it. However, there are some things you can do to cut costs:

  • Shop around. Compare rates from several companies to see which can offer you the best deal. Don’t just look at price, though. Look at coverage options and customer service to see which provides the best value.
  • Bundle home and auto coverage. Most insurers, including MetLife, will give you a discount if you purchase auto as well as home insurance through them.
  • Choose a high deductible. This will increase your out-of-pocket costs in the event of a claim, but it will significantly reduce your monthly premiums.
  • Improve your credit. Insurers look at your credit history as a measure of your responsibility. A lower credit score will end up costing you more in insurance premiums.
  • Get a security system. Most insurers give discounts to customers who have a monitored security system installed in their homes, as this decreases the chance of theft.
  • Disaster-proof your home. For example, if you live in an area prone to bad storms, install storm shutters on your windows. This will reduce your likelihood of filing a claim.

The Competition

GEICO: Instead of offering its own home insurance, GEICO pairs you with one of its many partners who offer this type of coverage. According to the latest J.D. Power survey, customers appear satisfied with this arrangement. GEICO scored fourth out of 28 companies — the highest of any on this list. Before you commit to a purchase, though, you should do some research into the company that will be underwriting your policy.

Allstate: Allstate’s rates are typically higher than some of the other companies on this list, despite its many discounts. Its RateGuard coverage helps make up for this, though. This coverage ensures that your rate won’t go up following your first claim, much like accident forgiveness for your vehicle. Allstate also offers several endorsements for those interested in building a custom policy.

State Farm: Even though it’s not the cheapest option, State Farm still has relatively affordable rates and some of the best customer satisfaction ratings in the insurance industry. It fared well in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey, scoring seventh out of 28. Consumers were particularly happy with their interactions with State Farm’s agents, so it’s a good choice if customer service is a high priority for you.

Progressive: Like GEICO, Progressive doesn’t offer its own homeowners policies. Instead, it pairs you with a partner insurer. If you have a question about your policy or you need to file a claim, you’ll deal with them rather than Progressive. According to the J.D. Power survey, customers are less satisfied with Progressive than they are with GEICO or State Farm, but the margin isn’t that significant.

What Others Are Saying

  • Claim Journal published an article about the bundled home and auto policies MetLife added in 2014. There are two options — Combo and GrandProtect — which offer different levels of coverage. The Combo policy is pretty basic, offering a few perks like a single deductible, while the GrandProtect is more comprehensive and offers additional coverage for valuables, secondary homes, and recreational vehicles. According to the article, “customers can bundle up to 11 different MetLife Auto & Home policies into one package and through their employer are able to save through payroll deductions.”
  • Law360 reported that MetLife was being sued for allegedly shortchanging Arkansas customers on labor costs. MetLife couldn’t be reached for comment, but the complaint argues that the company’s “failure to pay the full cost of the labor necessary to repair or replace plaintiff’s damaged property in the [actual cash value] payment left plaintiff undermined and underpaid for their losses.”

The Bottom Line

MetLife offers excellent homeowners coverage, including some protections that are hard to find elsewhere. The inability to get a quote or file a claim online is disappointing, but it shouldn’t stop you from giving MetLife a call to see what it can offer you.

Find the Best Home Insurance Rates

Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.