ManhattanLife Insurance Review

ManhattanLife Assurance Company of America, previously known as Central United Life, writes life insurance policies, dental/vision plans, and medical supplemental plans across the country and Puerto Rico.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His 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.

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Written by Eric Stauffer
Founder & Former Insurance Agent Eric Stauffer

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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Financial Strength

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

How much are life insurance premiums through ManhattanLife?

A general rule you can follow is that your term should last at least until you retire, and should also cover your longest financial obligation (like a child’s college costs). What you end up paying for life insurance depends on the period of time you request be covered under the policy.

What you pay is also going to depend on what the payout will be. The payout is the amount your loved ones would receive if anything should happen to you before your policy expires. Most financial planners recommend an amount 10-15x your current income.

Monthly estimates for life insurance rates are influenced by a number of factors, but your health has the biggest impact on the final cost. When you’re applying for life insurance plans, companies are going to look into your financial stability, your income, your overall health, age, and other factors to determine what your rates will become.

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What is 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 Manhattan Life name entirely.

The Manhattan Life insurance company 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 and aims to provide quality products. Manhattan Life Assurance writes individual life & health insurance policies, group benefits, and Medicare Supplement insurance.

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

What types of insurance products are offered?

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, which is intended for a single insured. The family form, which can include coverage for two spouses and children as well. Finally there is the 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 whole life, Viva Lifetime, can be issued as a juvenile or an adult policy. It also has several payment options including 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 insurance 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 insurance 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.

Does the company offer competitive 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.

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How does ManhattanLife handle 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.

Are ratings and consumer reviews for ManhattanLife positive?

ManhattanLife Assurance Company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with only nine complaints from customers 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 from policyholders 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.

What’s 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 insurance agent, and especially those in search of simplified issue life insurance options.

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