Principal National Life Insurance Company

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Though it lacks whole life insurance, Principal is a highly regarded company that offers competitively priced term and universal products, with up to $1,000,000 of non-med term life insurance for qualifying applicants.

A.M. Best

A+

BBB

A+

J.D. Power

789

The Good

  • Financially secure
  • Non-med coverage to $1,000,000
  • Strong satisfaction ratings
  • Low complaint ratio
  • Products for individuals, businesses, institutions
  • Investment product availability

The Bad

  • Lack of permanent policy variety
  • Limited online policy managment

Product Availability

Policy Types
  • Term
  • Universal
  • Indexed 
  • Variable
Riders
  • Accelerated death benefit
  • Children’s insurance
  • Conversion extension
  • Lapse protection
  • Waiver of premium

Overall

4.47

Price/Value

4.2

Financial Strength

3.5

User Experience

4.2

Product Availability

3.0

Brand/Size

3.9

Price/Value

How much you pay for life insurance can look vastly different from company to company. 

Life insurance rates are influenced by a set of factors like your age, health conditions, and even your job and hobbies. 

Even your family’s health history can impact your access to affordable life insurance with some genetic conditions.

And each life insurance company weighs the underwriting factors above differently. 

Principal’s life insurance policies are competitively priced for healthy non-smokers, young and old.

Their underwriting is also among the most reasonable for applicants with a range of health conditions, meaning applicants in poorer health often get average or lower rates with Principal than they would elsewhere.

Principal’s rates are below average for people with cancer in their family tree, hypertension, high cholesterol, and those who’ve recently lost weight.

All in all, Principal’s rates are some of the most competitive across the board.

Financial Strength

While cost might be the ultimate deciding factor when you choose a life insurance provider, it’s also vital to buy a policy from a solvent one. 

You can rest assured that Principal is fully capable of paying out claims, based on its financial performance and credit ratings. 

The company boasts over $735 billion of assets under management and $1.5 billion of net income.

Principal also has “A” ratings from all four of the major rating agencies, which make it one of the best life insurance companies in America based on financial strength, security, and solvency.

You can see the company’s ratings here:

A.M. BestA+
FitchAA-
Moody’sA1
Standard & Poor’sA+

These ratings, along with Principal’s size, suggest the company is financially sound and likely to continue to be.

User Experience

Whether you’re exploring a company’s policies, submitting an application, or filing a claim after a loved one passes away, you should be able to quickly and easily complete the task.

To evaluate Principal’s user experience, we used the company’s J.D. Power score and BBB rating, considering their customer complaints, application process, and online communication with clients.

Ratings

  • J.D. Power: 4 / 5
  • BBB: A+

Principal earned a score of 4 out of 5 in the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Life Insurance Study, based on how policyholders rated their experience with the company.

This ranking indicates that Principal is “better than most” when it comes to overall user experience.

Likewise, their “A+” and Better Business Bureau accreditation indicate the company communicates well with clients and is apt to resolve complaints.

Website

The J.D. Power survey also found that most users’ experiences with Principal’s website and other communication channels is above average.

Principal’s website presents educational content on the fundamentals of life insurance, as well as basic information on the policies it offers.

You can also calculate your life insurance needs and get quotes without having to provide your contact information.

Principal helps you along in the comparison process, allowing you to download your quotes as a PDF or easily save the link.

The site also allows policyholders to update their address and manage their payment methods, though forms must be mailed in to update beneficiaries.

Application

Principal’s application process is quick and easy. You can call one of Principal’s employees, schedule a call at your convenience, or get matched with an agent in your area on the website.

These insurance specialists can walk you through the application process. 

For a traditional policy, you’ll be asked a series of questions about your health and lifestyle in a brief phone interview, after which you’ll schedule a medical exam.

If you’re in relatively good health, you may be able to qualify for a non-med policy, which means you can get quick approval for term life insurance without having to undergo a medical exam.

Non-med policies shorten the underwriting process drastically, but even Principal’s traditionally underwritten policies come with a shorter than average turnaround time.

Product Availability

The life insurance products Principal offers range from basic term life insurance to complex products like variable universal life insurance.

Term

One of the more affordable carriers for term life insurance, Principal offers some impressive policy features that not all providers do.

One of Principal’s most advantageous options is its $1 million no medical exam term policy, which uses state-of-the-art technology to determine a person’s eligibility for up to a million dollars of coverage with no physical exam or any kind of blood work.

Principal’s term policies come in 10-, 15-, 20-, and  30-year terms.

If for any reason, you don’t get approved for the accelerated product, you can still take the medical exam to get covered.

Principal’s term policies can be converted to permanent insurance with no further tests or proof of insurability.

Universal

Principal National Life Insurance Company offers four tiers of permanent insurance, each of which is a form of universal coverage.

Their universal policies grant you a permanent death benefit with flexible premiums and cash value accumulation.

Standard universal policies come with a fluctuating interest rate with a guaranteed minimum.

You can also purchase survivorship universal life insurance. Also known as a second-to-die policy, it is a great choice for more advanced planning, like magnifying earmarked cash when both parties within an estate pass away.

Variable Universal

With a variable product, you have the potential to gain additional growth by utilizing stock, bonds or mutual funds, which also means great risk.

You can access the cash value without being penalized and can also convert the cash value of the policies into annuities, which are offered by Principal.

Indexed Universal

Indexed universal insurance provides you with a greater chance for growth as well, but a portion of the interest it earns is based on a stock market index.

This growth strategy provides some protection, and it is overall less aggressive and less complicated than a variable policy.

You can also tap into your cash value with an indexed policy.

Other Products

Principal offers a plethora of financial products outside of the realm of life insurance.

As a quick example, they offer a range of annuities, which often go hand-in-hand with life insurance.

You can choose from:

  • Fixed
  • Indexed
  • Variable
  • Immediate (Income)

And if you’re looking for a place to house your old 401(k) or 403(b) or any other IRA-related investment or retirement accounts, Principal can help.Principal also has disability insurance to cover you if you’re unable to work but need to secure your income.

Brand/Size

One of the oldest life insurance companies in operation today, Principal began its journey in 1879 under the name it would hold for over a century, Bankers Life Association.

Edward Temple, who had a history in the banking world, founded the company in Iowa to offer life insurance by membership, with strict guidelines on who would be covered and how the issuer would pay.

After its first decade of business, the company grew to a staggering $29 million of coverage in force.

This growth was significant enough to require the company to move its headquarters to bigger spaces in Des Moines, where it resides today.

After thirty years of business, and the passing of its founder, Principal changed the way it did business by swapping out membership-based coverage, opting instead to be a mutual life insurance company.

Constant growth throughout the next few decades allowed Principal to begin offering health insurance in the 40s, and within just five short years, this division represented more than a third of its revenue stream.

Principal officially became Principal Financial Group in 1985, the name under which it still does business.

The next step for Principal was going global. The company now has an active arm in seven countries across three continents, with more than 17,000 employees worldwide.

Since 2001, the company has been publicly traded as PFG on the NASDAQ.

Philanthropy

The company also gives millions of dollars to United Way and hosts an annual Principal Charity Classic for children’s charities.

They fund numerous community grants and regularly partner in disaster relief efforts as well.

Principal is also hailed for its sustainability efforts, named as a CDP Climate Performance Leader.

The company has been recognized for its inclusive hiring practices and commitment to sustainability, as well, demonstrating social responsibility on all fronts.

Brand

Principal is a popular financial institution, both in the United States and abroad.

In addition to their involvement in the communities they serve, Principal makes an effort to connect with clients across various social media platforms.

They have a sizable following on Facebook and also post and engage on Twitter and Instagram.

The company utilizes YouTube to share their commercials, inspiring stories of their employees and policyholders, and educational financial planning resources.

Consensus

Principal is one of the most well-respected names in the life insurance industry, past and present.

There is a generally positive consensus surrounding Principal. 

Though it isn’t always the highest ranked provider on everyone’s list, Principal gets favorable reviews from several authoritative financial sites. 

This is likely due to the fact that the company lacks whole life insurance, whereas many other comparable mutual companies offer this type of coverage.

But with innovative underwriting, fairly competitive rates, and a nice selection of products, Principal excels at the protection and peace of mind most families need.

Whether you’re looking to cover yourself, your loved ones, or your business, short term or long term, Principal is worth a look.

Principal National Life Insurance Company

Phone
(800) 986-3343
Address
711 High St.
Des Moines, IA 50392

Company Name (and subsidiaries)

  • Principal National Life
  • Insurance Company
  • Principal Financial Group
  • Principal Financial Services, Inc.
  • Principal Securities, Inc.

Author:

Avatar

Jason Fisher

Jason Fisher is the founder and CEO of BestLifeRates.org, LLC. and a multi-state licensed life insurance agent who has helped over a million Americans seek out affordable coverage, compare quotes, or get their family and businesses covered.