Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company
|Defunct||June 14, 2001|
|Headquarters||Newark, New Jersey|
|Key people||Frederick Frelinghuysen (1848–1924)|
|Mutual Benefit Life Building|
|Location||520 Broad Street
Newark, New Jersey
|Roof||75 m (246 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Structural engineer||George A. Fuller Company|
The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company was a life insurance company based in Newark, New Jersey that was chartered in 1845. The company was headed by Frederick Frelinghuysen (1848–1924). The company was known as the "Tiffany" of insurance companies, a reference to its reputation as the life insurance company to the upper classes.
Mutual Benefit Life was taken into receivership for rehabilitation by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance on July 16, 1991 after losses in an overheated real estate market led to a run by policyholders. As with all life insurance carrier liabilities, the policy cash values and death benefits were taken over by stronger and larger carriers in the U.S. and all policyholders were kept whole.
The following was posted to the New Jersey commissioner's website: Inquiry to Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company
This will respond to inquiries regarding policies originally issued by The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company .
Mutual Benefit was placed in rehabilitation under the supervision of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance on July 16, 1991. Mutual Benefit's in-force policies were transferred to MBL Life Assurance Corporation ("MBL Life"), effective May 1, 1994. Mutual Benefit was ultimately liquidated and dissolved, effective June 14, 2001.
Subsequent to 1994, all former Mutual Benefit policies were administered by MBL Life pursuant to a Plan of Rehabilitation approved by the Superior Court of New Jersey (the "Court"). In 1998, MBL Life entered into various transactions under which policy liabilities were transferred to other insurers. Each transaction was duly approved by the Court and filed with governing State Insurance Departments. Ultimately, an Order For Liquidation of MBL Life was entered, effective January 12, 2000. An Order For Dissolution was ordered by the court on October 22, 2004.
If the policy referenced in the inquiry was in force at the time of the applicable 1998 transaction, it was automatically transferred to one of the following insurers (depending on the type of policy):
Individual Life Insurance Contracts: AIG SunAmerica Life Assurance Company (formerly, Anchor National Life Insurance Company) (Non-New York State Policyholders) First SunAmerica Life Insurance Company (New York State Policyholders) c/o Liberty Insurance Services Telephone: 800-821-7887
Individual Annuity Contracts: AIG SunAmerica Life Assurance Company (formerly, Anchor National Life Insurance Company) (Non-New York State Policyholders) First SunAmerica Life Insurance Company (New York State Policyholders) c/o AIG Annuity Telephone: 888-333-2349
Group Annuity (Pension) Contracts: c/o SunAmerica Financial Services Telephone: 888-502-0600
Disability Insurance Contracts: Reassure America Life Insurance Company (Non-New York State Policyholders) Life Reassurance Corporation of America (New York State Policyholders) c/o Insurance Servicing Center Telephone: 800-743-0122
Please contact the applicable insurer for a response to the inquiry. (With regard to Group Annuity Contracts, participants inquiring about contracts issued under a pension plan may also seek additional information from either the Company personnel department or the Plan Administrator.)
If the policy or contract was not in force on the date of the applicable transaction, either (i) it had lapsed, (ii) it was surrendered for value, (iii) the proceeds had been previously distributed pursuant to the terms of the policy or (iv) the proceeds had been transferred to another insurer at the election of the contractholder. If any of these listed events occurred, the policy has terminated and there are no available records which will provide additional information.
In addition, a small number of active policies (e.g. Variable Annuity and 401(k) Contracts) were not transferred to the above-listed insurers and, pursuant to an Order entered by the Court, were either (i) terminated with the cash value paid to the contractholder or (ii) replaced by another insurer at the election of the policyowner. If the policy was thus terminated or replaced, there are no available records.
Finally, if the inquiry relates to a former group life or group health insurance policy, all such contracts were transferred to affiliates of the Fortis, Inc. Group in 1991. For further information, contact:
Fortis Benefits Insurance Company 2323 Grand Boulevard Kansas City, MO 64108 Telephone: (816) 556-7770
 At the time, the collapse was the largest ever of an American insurer. Effective June 14, 2001, Mutual Benefit was liquidated and dissolved.
Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company
Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company building at 300 Broadway in 1915
|Location||300 Broadway and 2nd St., Newark, New Jersey|
|Area||3.9 acres (1.6 ha)|
|Architect||John H. & Wilson C. Ely|
|Architectural style||Other, Civic Renaissance|
|NRHP Reference #||83004031|
|Added to NRHP||November 17, 1983|
The company's original headquarters building at 300 Broadway in Newark is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The building was sold to the Archdiocese of Newark and served as home to Essex Catholic High School until 1979. The building was again sold, and today serves as a nursing home.
The company moved to larger headquarters at 520 Broad Street in 1957, a modern structure that was built in the International Style as part of the New Newark movement and centered to the north of traditional downtown at Washington Park. As of December 2012 there were plans to convert the building to residentiual and retail space marketed to the city's student population'
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Essex County, New Jersey
- List of tallest buildings in Newark
- History of Newark, New Jersey
- http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/86/THE-MUTUAL-BENEFIT-LIFE-INSURANCE-COMPANY.html History of Mutual Benefit Life
- http://www.emporis.com/application/?nav=building&lng=3&id=520broadstreet-newark-nj-usa%7C520 Broad
- "Frederick Frelinghuysen. Ex-President of Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company Dies.". New York Times. January 2, 1924, Wednesday. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
- International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 3. St. James Press, 1991
- Mutual Benefit Seized By New Jersey Officials
- Re: Inquiry to Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company, New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, Updated December 8, 2005. Accessed May 31, 2007.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- Lurie, Maxine N; Mappen, Marc (2004), Encyclopedia of New Jersey, Rutgers University Press, ISBN 0-8135-3325-2, "John H. Ely and Wilson C. Ely formed a well- known father-and-son Newark ... were responsible for the East Orange City Hall, the Morristown Memorial Hospital...."
- De Poto, Tom (December 19, 2012). "Newark OKs early plan to revitalize the Four Corners downtown district". Retrieved 2012-12-20.
- Derdak, Thomas (editor) (1991). International Directory of Company Histories (Vol. 3). St. James Press. ASIN B000MBNTF0. Article on Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company at fundinguniverse.com:
- Stone, Mildred F. (1957). Since 1845: A History of the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company. Rutgers University Press. p. 237. ASIN B0007DVJKA.
- Answers.com Mutual Benefit Life