by John Darer CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
MetLife announced on May 3, 2017 that Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company ("MetLife Tower Life"), a Delaware company and wholly owned subsidiary, will become the primary underwriting company for structured settlement annuities. Metropolitan Tower Life was the successor-in-interest to Metropolitan Insurance and Annuity Company ("MIAC)" that was the qualified assignment company used by MetLife structured settlements until about 12.5 years ago. At the time it was announced April 26, 2005, MetLife stated that "structured settlement annuities in-force and/or issued prior to December 1, 2004 are the responsibility of Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company", which held an A+(Superior) rating from A.M. Best as it does today, with a current size category XV. The company is rated Aa3 (High Quality) by Moodys.
Under the new program, MetLife Assignment Company Inc., (MACI) will be the qualified assignment company. The obligations of MACI will be guaranteed by Met Tower Life under an Evidence of Guarantee. With $4B in assets, MetLife Tower Life is a considerably smaller underwriting company in terms of assets than Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. It does however have a strong surplus position of 16.5% of general account assets and a Comdex rating of 96, that exceeds Metropolitan Life Insurance Company [Source: Vital Signs]
MetLife says it will continue to offer annuities out of 150 year old Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, but will require Home Office quoting instead of at the structured settlement brokers finger tips. Other companies such as Berkshire Hathaway only do Home Office quoting and it has not been a problem. MetLife has seasoned and reliable quote desk with a blend of long time veterans and a wealth of experience getting it done for its appointed agents and their clients.
MetLife has been a fixture among structured settlement annuity issuers for over 30 years and has underscored its commitment to the marketplace.
More details to follow.