METLIFE INSURANCE COMPANY
AM Best Grade: A+ (Superior) 5 stars
Address: 1065 Avenue of the Americas, Richmond, VA 23230
Also known as: MetLife Insurance Company USA, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York
What we know today as MetLife was originally organized by a group of New York City businessmen in 1863. In July 1864, National Life and Limb Insurance Company began insuring Civil War Soldiers with wartime disabilities. The company was not an immediate success, in fact at the end of 1864 National Life and Limb Insurance Co was ranked last amongst all life insurance companies in New York State and was running at a deficit of $1400. After continuing to struggle despite re-organizing and re-naming the company the President at the time, James R. Dow decided to focus on the life insurance side of the business and drop the casualty side. The company became Metropolitan Life Insurance Company on March 28, 1868. After struggling through the depression of the 1870’s the company decided to change tactics by bringing over agents from England to train the American agents in door to door sales. This proved to be very successful because the agents would stop by to pick up their client’s premiums every week and this would give the clients a chance to voice their problems or concerns with their life agents. By 1909, MetLife became the nation’s largest life insurance carrier based off of policies in force. The company has continued to grow ever since, they even financed the Empire State Building in 1929 and provided the capital to build the Rockefeller Center in 1931. In 2010, MetLife acquired American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) from AIG which helped them grow to over 90 million customers and have presence in 50 different countries.
Today MetLife is the number one life insurer in the United States, Latin America, and Korea. The company went public in 2000 with an Initial Public Offering of $6.5 Billion dollars, the largest IPO to date in the United States’ financial history. MetLife currently has $6.4 Trillion dollars of life insurance policies in force, and reported to have paid out over $50 billion dollars to policyholders in 2013. They currently employ about 65,000 people, and are ranked 42nd on the Fortune 500 List. In addition to being “the most admirable company in 2014,” according to Fortune magazine they provide benefit services to 90 out of Fortune’s top 100 companies.
By Ramon Summerour, August, 2015