at a glance
- NerdWallet ranking: No. 7 life insurance company.
- Offers term, universal, indexed universal, variable universal and survivorship life insurance.
- Solid financial strength ratings.
Principal Financial Group offers individual disability and life insurance as well as annuities, mutual funds and retirement plans. Principal also provides group insurance plans through employers, including critical illness, dental, disability, life and vision insurance.
Find out more about each element that goes into our review of Principal by clicking below.
NerdWallet rank: 7th
Principal ranked No. 7 out of the 20 best life insurance companies scored by NerdWallet. NerdWallet’s life insurance company rankings take into account insurers’ A.M. Best financial strength ratings, the volume of consumer complaints to state regulators and J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction ratings. NerdWallet scores national life insurance companies that sell policies to individuals.
A.M. Best financial strength rating: A+ (superior)
Principal’s life insurance policies are issued by Principal National Life Insurance Co. and Principal Insurance Co. Both companies’ financial strength is “superior,” according to ratings agency A.M. Best.
Financial strength is important because it indicates how well an insurer can pay claims. It’s especially important when choosing a life insurance company, because claims might not be made until many decades after a policy is purchased.
Consumer complaints: Better than the median
Principal’s life insurance companies drew significantly fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators in 2017 for companies of their size, according to the latest data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
The association assigns a complaint ratio score to insurance companies, based on the number of complaints to state insurance commissioners, adjusted for market share. The median score is 1. A score less than 1 means fewer complaints. Principal’s overall score for individual life insurance in 2017 was 0.06.
J.D. Power ratings: Average
In a survey of customer service by J.D. Power published in 2018, Principal scored “about average” across all five categories. Principal ranked No. 13 overall out of 23 insurers included in the survey.
|Customer satisfaction category||Principal's score|
|Overall satisfaction||"About average"|
|Billing and payment||"About average"|
|Policy offerings||"About average"|
More about Principal
|Types of life insurance sold||Other products & services|
LIFE INSURANCE OPTIONS
Term life: Principal offers term options of one, 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. The coverage can be converted to permanent life insurance.
Permanent: Principal offers four types of permanent life insurance — universal, indexed universal, variable universal and survivorship life insurance. All the universal life policies give the flexibility to adjust premiums and the death benefit. The cash value growth for indexed universal life insurance is linked to a stock market index. Variable universal life provides greater opportunity for cash-value growth, but comes with risk for losses if the underlying investments perform poorly. Survivorship life insurance covers two lives, typically a married couple. The death benefit is paid after the second person dies.