NEWS & ARTICLES INSURANCE GUIDE

In 2017, MetLife, one of the biggest providers of Life Insurance in the United States, established Brighthouse Financial. The purpose of MetLife establishing Brigthouse Financial was so that the insurance provider could focus solely on selling life insurance, as well as annuities, to individuals. MetLife still continues to exist, but they only focus on selling their products to companies that can be used as employee benefits. The insurance policies that are sold through Brighthouse Financial, on the other hand, are only sold via financial professionals.
In other words, Brighthouse Financial is a spin-off of MetLife.

Are Brighthouse Financial and MetLife the Same?

Brighthouse Financial is a new company that was established by MetLife. It is a major provider of life insurance and annuity products, with an estimated worth of $223 billion in assets, and an estimated 2.7 million life insurance policies and annuity contracts currently in force.
While Brighthouse Financial is a spin-off of MetLife, the two are not the same. Brighthouse Financial is an independent company, meaning that they operate completely separate from MetLife. However, while Brighthouse Financial is a completely separate entity from MetLife, meaning that MetLife does not have any direct control over Brighthouse Financial. MetLife, however, is the largest shareholder of Brighthouse Financial, as they retain nearly 20 percent of the common stock.

What Does this Mean?

When MetLife decided to establish Brighthouse Financial, the terms of separation offered common shareholders the ability receive one share of Brighthouse Financial for every 11 share of MetLife they held. This was only effective through 5pm, Eastern Standard Time, on July 19 of 2017. Any common shareholders who sold their shares of MET after this date, but before the end of August 4, 2017, also sold their ability to any Brighthouse Financial common stock. Any MetLife shareholders who owned under 11 shares of common stock or who would have been eligible to receive fractions of the shares, were given cash.

How Does This Affect Policyholders?

If the insurance company that issued your insurance policy was separated from MetLife and became a subsidiary of Brighthouse Financial, there is nothing that you need to do. You will not be charged any fees and there is no action that you will need to take. You will receive information about the change, including how you can contact and receive notifications from Brighthouse Financial. In the event that you do need to take any type of action, you would have been notified.

If you had a financial service representative, that individual will remain the same. As such, you will be able to continue communicating with him or her about any concerns related to your life insurance policy.

If you wish to purchase life insurance from Brighthouse, you will be able to purchase both term life insurance and whole life insurance, as well as variable and universal policies.

The Bottom Line

If you held a life insurance that was issued under a company via MetLife and that company became a subsidiary of Brighthouse Financial when the separation of the two entities occurred, there is nothing that you are required to do. While the two companies are completely separate, your life insurance policy will not be affected in any way. You will still receive the same coverage, and all of the stipulations related to your policy will continue to be the same.

You can contact Brighthouse Life Insurance Company if you have any questions, concerns of comments. Alternatively, you can reach out to the financial service representative that you worked with under MetLife, as this individual will remain the same.

MetLife’s spinoff of Brighthouse Life Insurance company has been extremely successful. The new insurance provider is continuing to grow; they continue to carry a substantial amount of life insurance policies, and their value continues to increase.  Don’t forget, if you are a Metlife client and you are looking to price shop, you can compare life insurance quotes here at Life Ant.

9 Comments

  1. Kathleen M Martin

    I was notified of death benefits from a MetLlife policy from 2016, before the separation. How does this affect my filing a claim. Do I file with Metlife or Brighthouse

    1. If the policy was issued by Metlife you can call Metlife customer service at 1 (800) 638-5433. If a claim or service issue should be filed with Brighthouse they will inform you. The customer service number for Brighthouse Financial is 1 (855) 222-0102

  2. My husband purchased 100 units of Metlife Equity Trust for each of our three children in 1987. What is the value of these units? I assume since it was a trust they were not sold to Brighthouse Financial.

    1. Hi Mary. Please contact the MetLife Shareholder Services department here https://investor.metlife.com/shareholder-services/default.aspx.

  3. I have a MetLife whole life policy that is 30+ years old. Should I have received any shares when they switched over to Brighthouse Financial?

    1. Hi Dave, when MetLife de-mutualized, qualifying policy owners were granted stock or they could accept cash in lieu of stock. When Brighthouse Financial was spun off, Brighthouse stock was distributed pro-rata to MetLife stock policy owners. If your original policy qualified for stock and you took it, and you have not since sold the stock, you likely own both MetLife and Brighthouse stock. Your policy may not have qualified, you may have chosen cash, or you may have since sold the shares. You will need to speak to MetLife Shareholder services to investigate your particular situation.

  4. I just received a letter from Brighthouse offering to sell my 4 shares of stock (foremerly MetLife stock) through a broker at a charge of $3.50 per share to cover costs.. I don’t believe I have any hard copy certificates for Brighthouse or MetLife so selling through my regular broker wuld be difficult. Is the charge fair?

    Further how does this affect my MetLife Insurance policy?

    1. Hi William, the charge is high proportionally because a lot of brokerages execute trades for about a $5 flat fee, but overall you won’t be spending much money on the trade. It may be worth it to you to pay the $14 for the sake of making it easy. You should be able to request physical delivery of the shares that you own if you want to put the time in. It is up to you. Selling will not affect your policy.

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