Prudential Life Insurance Review August 2022

Aug 12, 2022

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Prudential Life Insurance
NerdWallet rating 

Bottom line: Prudential specializes in term and universal life insurance, and is one of few insurers willing to write policies for people living with HIV.

Policies offered: Term, permanent & no-exam.

Financial strength: Exceptional.

Complaints: Fewer than expected.

Buy online? Yes.

In our life insurance reviews, our editorial team considers both the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:

Policies offered. There are many types of life insurance on the market, and they fall into three key categories:

  • Term life insurance offers temporary coverage and a guaranteed payout if the policyholder dies during the term.

  • Permanent life insurance typically lasts a lifetime and builds cash value that can be borrowed against in the future.

  • No-exam life insurance issues coverage without the need for a medical exam.

Financial strength. We use A.M. Best ratings to confirm an insurer’s long-term financial stability and ability to pay claims. NerdWallet does not recommend companies with a rating lower than a B. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Exceptional: A+, A++

  • Strong: A, A-

  • Moderate: B+, B

Complaints. These ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The best life insurance companies have fewer than the expected number of complaints.

Buy online. This indicates whether an insurer allows you to apply for and buy a policy completely online.

Founded in 1875, Prudential Financial is one of the largest life insurance companies in the U.S. The company offers a broad slate of universal and term life insurance policies. It's lenient with some pre-existing health conditions, and allows policyholders to customize coverage with a range of riders.

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure the content on our site is accurate and fair, so you can make financial decisions with confidence and choose the products that work best for you. Here is a list of our partners and here’s how we make money.

Prudential life insurance

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Prudential earned 4 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Prudential life insurance pros and cons

Pros

Cons

Multiple term life insurance options.

Ranked below average in a recent customer satisfaction survey.

Low volume of complaints for a company of its size.

Doesn't automatically reject life insurance applicants living with HIV.

Prudential life insurance policies

Term life insurance

Prudential's term life insurance policies cater to people with different budgets and coverage needs. These are the options:

  • Term Essential: This affordable policy is available in 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year terms, with a premium that will stay level over the course of the term. You can convert the policy to permanent life insurance, and you can enhance your coverage with riders.

  • Term Elite: Like Term Essential, this policy can last for 10, 15, 20 or 30 years and be customized with riders such as the Living Needs Benefit, an accelerated death benefit rider that will pay out a portion of your death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness. One difference: If you convert a Term Elite policy to permanent coverage within the first five years, you'll get credit toward the first year of new premiums.

  • PruTerm One: This policy offers coverage for one year at a time, which may be useful for small business owners who want coverage as they pay off short-term loans.

  • SimplyTerm: With this policy, you can buy $100,000 to $1 million worth of coverage online. Included automatically is a terminal illness rider, which allows you to access your death benefit in advance if you’re diagnosed with a terminal disease.

Permanent life insurance

Prudential also offers several types of universal life insurance, indexed universal life insurance and variable universal life insurance, including survivorship policies. Survivorship life insurance insures two people on the same policy. The policy pays out when the second person dies.

These permanent life insurance policies let you accumulate cash value. The potential for cash value growth varies among the products. The cash value growth in the indexed policies is based on the performance of a financial index, such as the S&P 500. With the variable policies, you pick the underlying investments that will be the basis for cash value growth.

Prudential customer complaints and satisfaction

Over three years, Prudential has drawn fewer than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size, according to a NerdWallet analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Prudential ranked No. 15 out of 21 companies for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power's 2021 U.S. Life Insurance Study

.

More about Prudential life insurance

On the Prudential website, you can get a quote, learn about life insurance basics, update your personal details, change your beneficiary and make premium payments.

Prudential also offers a suite of financial products, like annuities, investments and workplace benefits.

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Life insurance buying guide

Before you start comparing companies, choose the type of life insurance you want, such as term or whole life. Decide which life insurance riders, if any, you want the policy to include. Calculate how much life insurance you need and how long you want the coverage to last. Check that the insurers you’re considering offer the coverage you’re looking for.

When comparing rates, be sure the quotes are for the same amount of coverage over the same period of time. It’s also important to make sure the policy’s medical requirements match your needs. For example, if you want to skip the life insurance medical exam but don’t mind answering health questions, confirm that the application process for each policy you're comparing aligns with that.

Price may not be the biggest driver behind your decision to buy. Look at the number of consumer complaints each company receives, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service.

For more guidance, see our life insurance buying guide.

Life insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on consumer experience, complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. Within the consumer experience category, we consider ease of communication and website transparency, which looks at the depth of policy details available online. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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