Principal National Life Insurance Company has been in business for well over a century, keeping its doors open through some of the most prolific milestones in U.S. history.
But a storied past doesn’t automatically translate to a successful future.
You also need to take a close look at the company’s financial strength today and the specifics of the policies they offer to decide if Principal is worth your consideration.
In this review, we’ll walk you through the details to help you make a well-informed decision on your life insurance purchase.
Our Principal National Life Insurance Company Review
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.
Since 2001, the company has been publicly traded as PFG on the NASDAQ.
Today, Principal offers a whole host of financial tools, with investing and retirement accounts, employee benefits, and more.
The company also gives million of dollars to United Way, hosts an annual Principal Charity Classic for children’s charities, funds community grants, and partners in disaster relief efforts.
The company has been recognized for its inclusive hiring practices and commitment to sustainability, as well, demonstrating social responsibility on all fronts.
Financial Strength & Ratings
As you might suspect from the company’s vibrant history and charitable impact, Principal is in strong financial shape.
The company boasts over $696 billion of assets under management and $1.5 billion of net income.
Principal also boasts “A” ratings from all four of the major rating agencies, which assess the company’s likelihood of meeting its financial obligations, such as honoring life insurance policies.
These ratings make Principal 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. Best: A+
- Fitch: AA-
- Moody’s: A1
- Standard & Poor’s: A+
Along with credit ratings, you can use BBB ratings to gauge a company’s financial strength and relationship with customers.
Principal has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 1948, and it holds an “A+” rating from the organization.
Based on the company’s track record, current performance, and financial outlook, Principal is a life insurance provider you can depend on.
We’ll cover those policies, and the ones in between, below.
One of the more affordable carriers for term life insurance, Principal offers some impressive policy features not all providers do.
One of Principal’s most advantageous options is its $1 million no medical exam term policy.
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.
Principal National Life Insurance Company offers four tiers of permanent insurance, each of which is a form of universal coverage:
- Indexed Universal
- Variable Universal
- Survivorship Universal
The universal and variable universal options both allow you to get a permanent death benefit, with flexible premiums, but the cash accumulation portion is invested differently.
With a variable product, you have the potential to gain additional growth by utilizing stock, bonds or mutual funds, which also means great risk.
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.
With both indexed and variable policies, you can access your tax-advantaged cash value without being penalized.
The last permanent option, survivorship life insurance, or second-to-die policy, is a great choice for more advanced planning, like magnifying earmarked cash when both parties within an estate pass away.
Principal offers a plethora of financial products outside of the realm of life insurance.
As a quick example, they offers a range annuities, which often go hand-in-hand with life insurance.
You can choose from:
- 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.
As appealing as Principal may be, it isn’t the only top-tier provider vying for your business.
When you purchase life insurance, you should always compare multiple companies.
If you’re looking to Principal to meet your life insurance needs, you might want to consider the following companies as well:
- Haven Life: Haven Life offers the same type of affordable no exam coverage with a simplified application as Principal. The difference is, Haven Life’s coverage extends to $3 million.
- Protective: If you’re looking for a universal policy, you should also check out Protective. The company offers the most affordable customizable universal products you’ll find.
- Northwestern Mutual: Principal’s permanent policy lineup lacks whole life insurance. Northwestern Mutual offers whole life coverage with dividends, riders, and conversion credits.
Principal has some outstanding features to consider.
Here are some of the company’s most noteworthy attributes:
- Reputation: Principal is a giant in the insurance industry and the financial world at large. They tout excellent ratings and continue to dominate financially. They’re also community-minded and committed to the environment.
- No exam: Principal was one of the first companies to offer accelerated underwriting for up to $1 million of term life insurance, a major benefit for applicants looking to ditch the doctor’s appointment.
- Product lineup: While Principal lacks whole life insurance, they offer an impressive lineup of flexible term and universal products, which allow you to tailor coverage to your needs.
Like any company, Principal has its shortcomings.
Consider the potential downsides of purchasing life insurance from Principal:
- Underwriting: Compared to some of its competitors, Principal’s underwriting is relatively strict, especially if you have any high risk factors.
- Policy pricing: Along with stricter underwriting come higher prices. While Principal’s rates aren’t outrageous, they probably won’t be the lowest you’ll find on the market.
- Online limitations: You can update your payment info and address online, but beneficiary changes and policy cancellations require paperwork. Your policy will also be delivered by mail.
Principal is one of the most well-respected names in the life insurance industry, past and present.
With innovative underwriting, fairly competitive rates, and a nice selection of products, Principal excels at offering families the protection and peace of mind they depend on.
Whether you’re looking to cover yourself, your loved ones, or your business, short term or long term, Principal is worth a look.
Take the time to compare them to other top life insurance companies.
Getting quotes is quick and easy, and it could connect you with just the right policy at the price you need.