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What the Mutual in MassMutual means

What is a mutual—and why does it matter?

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Have you ever wondered what the “mutual” in MassMutual means—and why MassMutual is essential to Haven Life?

Haven Life is owned by MassMutual, a mutual life insurance company that has been providing the financial foundation for insurance needs since 1851. The policies offered through Haven Life are issued by MassMutual or its subsidiary C.M. Life.

What is a mutual company? Essentially, a mutual prioritizes long-term security over short-term profits. Because mutuals do not have shareholders, they put their policyholders first—which is one of the reasons why MassMutual has remained financially secure since the nineteenth century.

Want to know more? Here are three reasons why mutual companies should matter to you:

In this article:

A mutual focuses on its policyholders

Some financial companies are more interested in creating short-term profits for shareholders than long-term financial security for policyholders. MassMutual puts its policyholders first. Since MassMutual is a mutual company, the company is able to make decisions that benefit those policyholders directly—instead of making decisions that benefit external shareholders as well.

However, it’s not the only reason why MassMutual has been able to succeed for the long-term—and it’s not the only reason why a mutual matters.

A mutual prioritizes long-term stability

What’s the oldest MassMutual life insurance policy on the books? Believe it or not, MassMutual is still actively managing an insurance policy issued on September 23, 1929. The ability to maintain a single life insurance policy for nearly a century—not to mention all of the other life insurance policies issued during the past 100 years—requires a single-minded focus on long-term financial stability.

When MassMutual makes an investment—in the market, in technology, in customer service—it does so with an eye on the long-term. Remember, a mutual company’s primary focus is its policyholders. This may mean avoiding a short-term payoff in favor of long-term growth.

This is one reason why MassMutual has been able to maintain a stable financial foundation for so long, and why the mutual company has maintained a superior rating from A.M. Best—the highest possible rating the agency offers.

But that’s still not the only reason why a mutual matters.

Security in uncertain times

During periods of uncertainty—pandemics, recessions, market turbulence—a company with a solid financial foundation and a history of member-focused, long-term decision-making can be more attractive.

It’s also likely to have the resources it needs to help others. MassMutual was able to maintain operations during the Civil War, both World Wars and the Great Depression—not to mention the 1918 flu pandemic and, of course, COVID-19. During those uncertain times, the company continued to provide the financial security necessary to offer peace of mind—and, in worst-case scenarios, helped to provide people with the financial resources to navigate the loss of a loved one.

MassMutual’s financial stability helped life insurance beneficiaries receive $7 billion in life insurance policy payouts and annuities benefits last year—and many of these funds went to people experiencing their greatest time of need.

That’s why a mutual matters—and why Haven Life is proud to work with MassMutual to provide easy, affordable and dependable term life insurance policies to as many people as possible.

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The Haven Term policy is issued by MassMutual, an industry leader with over 160 years of experience.

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About Nicole Dieker

Nicole Dieker has been a full-time freelance writer since 2012, with a focus on personal finance and habit formation. In addition to Haven Life, her work regularly appears at Lifehacker, Bankrate,, and Vox. Dieker spent five years as a writer and editor for The Billfold, a personal finance blog where people had honest conversations about money, and is the author of Frugal and the Beast: And Other Financial Fairy Tales.

Read more by Nicole Dieker

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit:

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