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ManhattanLife (Central United Life) Review

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018

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ManhattanLife Assurance Company of America, previously known as Central United Life, offers a range of life insurance plans as well as supplemental health products. They are a part of a four-company group under the ManhattanLife name.

About ManhattanLife (Central United Life)

Central United Life Insurance Company was formed in 1963, a subsidiary of Central Mutual Insurance. In 1993, they were acquired by ManhattanLife, becoming part of their group of companies, and eventually changing to the ManhattanLife name entirely.

The ManhattanLife group has roots back to 1850 in New York but now operates out of its headquarters in Houston, Texas. Between the four companies, the group serves all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. ManhattanLife Assurance writes individual life and health insurance policies, group benefits, and Medicare Supplement insurance.

Policies are sold through independent agents across the ManhattanLife service area. As part of a group of companies, ManhattanLife products may be underwritten by any of the four underlying companies in the group name.

ManhattanLife Products

ManhattanLife writes a range of protective insurance, from life to cancer policies. They provide coverage for individuals as well as for groups through employer benefit plans. While the Manhattan Life Group also offers annuities, other member companies and not ManhattanLife Assurance underwrite these.

Life Insurance

The two types of life insurance listed on the ManhattanLife site are term life insurance and whole life insurance. Plans are available as either simplified issue or fully underwritten.

The VivaLife line of term policies are simplified issue and available with death benefit amounts up to $250,000. The 20-year term is issued between the ages of 18 to 55, while the 15-year term allows issue age of up to 60. There are three forms of this plan – Professional, intended for a single insured, Family, which can include coverage for two spouses and children as well, and Living Benefit, which is aimed at older clients and includes a critical Illness benefit.

A mortgage protection plan is available with 15, 20, 25, or 30-year terms, as is the Family Protection EZ plan. Finally, the Family Protection Select plans offer either standard or preferred rates on a fully underwritten basis.

Whole life plans are offered as well, again on either a simplified or fully underwritten basis. The simplified issue whole life, Viva Lifetime, can be issued as a juvenile or an adult policy. It also has several payment options – lifetime, 20-year, or paid up at 65. Juvenile face amounts range from $10,000 to $50,000, while adult amounts start at $20,000 and go up to $100,000.

The fully underwritten whole life option is the Family Protection Premier. There are a variety of payment options, including lifetime, several terms, and paid up at age 65. Juvenile life offers benefits up to $150,000, while the adult plan can have a face value of up to $3 million.

Dental, Vision, and Hearing

ManhattanLife offers a dental, vision, and hearing plan that has no network and provides family rates for coverage. Annual coverage amounts of $1,000 to $1,500 are available, with coverage for ages 18-85.

Medical Supplement

ManhattanLife has several plans that offer medical supplement coverage for a variety of out of pocket costs. These include Accident Insurance, Cancer Care, Hospital Indemnity, Hospitalization Benefits, and Out of Pocket Protection coverage to help pay copays, coinsurance, and deductibles.

ManhattanLife offers plans A, C, F, G, and N of the eleven lettered Medicare Supplement plans that are standard in most states. These plans cover a variety of out of pocket costs that are not paid by standard Medicare plans. Plan A is the most basic, while Plan F is the most comprehensive of the options.

Group Benefits

ManhattanLife’s group benefits include accident and cancer insurance and short-term disability. They also offer their Express Series, designed to pay out benefits as quickly as possible.

Rates

ManhattanLife does not offer online quoting for their products, instead, they refer customers to request information and rates from a local agent.

Companies of this nature do not always have the best rates due to the agent commissions, but a large company like ManhattanLife may be competitive with other similar companies.

Claims

ManhattanLife’s claims processing, including form availability, is available only by logging in to the client account management part of the website. This may not be a problem for most products, but for a life claim in which the beneficiary does not have login credentials, it may be a problem. In that situation, beneficiaries will likely have to contact customer service. The company does not offer a dedicated claims line, this is not unusual for a company focused on life and supplemental insurance.

The website offers very little information regarding the claims process, but again that isn’t unusual for a company of this sort.

Ratings and Consumer Reviews

ManhattanLife Assurance Company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with only nine complaints on file in the past three years. Of those, five were closed in the past 12 months.

Under the old name, Central United, we found four complaints on Pissed Consumer. Not surprisingly, since the name change is recent, we found little in terms of reviews under the new ManhattanLife Assurance name.

Overall, there are very few complaints regarding this company.

The Bottom Line

As part of a very large insurance group and with a respectable history of its own, ManhattanLife Assurance has a solid foundation and a good reputation. Without rate information, it is difficult to compare this company to other similar insurers. ManhattanLife may be worth considering for those who prefer to work with an agent, and especially those in search of simplified issue life insurance options.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

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ManhattanLife (Central United Life)
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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

3 Comments

  1. My name is Phyllis Lewis…my mother carried an insurance policy on me all my life…I don’t think it was much but I am interested in keeping it up …my mother is deceased noW but I would hate for her effort to die too…the policy no. is [redacted]…if you could help…I can’t find a place where I can check it myself…Thanks in advance and you can send me an e-mail to [redacted] if you find anything and let me know if I can keep it up…Thanks again …I hope someone sees this…

    Reply
  2. I am very frustrated with Central United Dental, Vision, and Hearing. I haven’t even been a member for one month and EVERY optometrist’ office I have consulted with say they are NOT IN THE NETWORK!!!! That is over 4 companies in Charlotte. It is VERY disappointing and I am thinking of cancelling my insurance with them. They also will not pay for my contact lens for SIX MONTHS — I have to wait for SIX MONTHS to get new contacts??? Very disappointing. Consumers beware!!!!

    Reply
    • There is no “network” for the Manhattan DVH plan.. You can use any dentist you want to use. If you do not assign the payment to the dentist, then the payment will be made straight to you. Most plans have a waiting period before certain benefits are covered.. This is to keep people from buying the plan, using it and then dropping it after only having it for one or two months.

      Reply

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