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Prudential Life Insurance Review 2021

Bottom line: Prudential sets itself apart through its wide variety of life insurance offerings, as well as its willingness to write policies for people living with HIV.
June 1, 2021
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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Prudential Life Insurance

  • Rated 4 stars out of 5 by NerdWallet.
  • Offers several types of term life policies and a wide variety of universal life policies.
  • First major U.S. life insurer to offer coverage to people with HIV.

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. Extra features can be added to some policies to customize coverage.

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 complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Based on these ratings, Prudential is among NerdWallet’s Best Life Insurance Companies for 2021.

Prudential life insurance pros and cons

ProsCons
Variety of term and universal life options.Ranked below average in a recent customer satisfaction survey.
Fewer consumer complaints than expected for a company of its size.
Doesn't automatically reject life insurance applicants living with HIV.

Prudential life insurance policies

Prudential term life insurance policies come with different features and options, and prices vary.

  • 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 all or part of the policy to permanent life insurance, and various riders are available to customize your coverage.
  • 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, which 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 get a one-year premium credit.
  • 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.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Prudential also offers several types of universal, indexed universal and variable universal life, 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 complaints and customer service

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. 11 out of 23 companies for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study.

More about Prudential

Prudential also offers additional products like annuities, investments and workplace benefits.

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.

Methodology: Life insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims, and complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance. 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.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

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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