Prudential Life Insurance Company

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Prudential is a highly rated life insurance company, standing out most for its remarkably fair underwriting for high-risk applicants like smokers.

A.M. Best

A+

BBB

C-

J.D. Power

759

The Good

  • Financial security
  • Excellent high risk coverage
  • Flexible policy options
  • Additional financial products
  • Non-med policies

The Bad

  • Less competitive term rates
  • Average customer ratings
  • No whole life

Product Availability

Policy Types
  • Term
  • Universal
  • Indexed
  • Variable
Riders
  • Accelerated death benefit
  • Accidental death
  • Children’s level term
  • Children’s protection
  • Disability income
  • Enhanced cash value
  • Estate protection
  • Guaranteed policy split
  • Overloan protection
  • Survivorship accelerated death
  • Term conversion
  • Waiver of monthly deductions
  • Waiver of premium

Review Breakdown

Overall

4.00

Price/Value

3.3

Financial Strength

3.8

User Experience

2.6

Product Availability

3.2

Brand/Size

4.6

Price/Value

As signified in its logo, Prudential Financial promotes itself as a company built on a rock-solid foundation.

But there’s more to choosing the right life insurance company than picking a familiar brand, even one symbolizing strength and protection.

You also need to consider the actual value of the coverage Prudential offers, comparing the cost to that of its competitors.

What you pay for a life insurance policy is based on a number of risk factors, namely:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Height and weight
  • Lifestyle
  • Health conditions
  • Family health history

Prudential’s policies aren’t the most competitively priced for healthy applicants at any age.

They’re the least affordable for applicants in their 20s and 30s who are in good health.

However, Pru is the best all-around carrier for high-risk applicants with several health conditions that most companies judge harshly.

Smokers and previous tobacco users are likely to find the most affordable coverage with Prudential.

Prudential’s underwriting is also great for individuals with recent weight loss, as well as manageable conditions.

People with diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and sleep apnea can get excellent rates.

Financial Strength

Another crucial consideration when you shop for life insurance is financial strength.

The company you choose to insure your family should be one with a solid financial performance and outlook.

Prudential certainly fits the bill, employing 50,000 men and women across the globe.

On the customer side of the house, Prudential has over $4 trillion of life insurance in force worldwide, with customers in over 40 countries.

Additionally, the company has over $1.497 trillion of assets under management

Another strong indicator of Prudential’s financial standing is its collection of credit ratings.

With “A” or better ratings from all four major financial rating agencies, including A.M Best, Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s, it is among an elite group of insurers.

Here’s the breakdown:

A.M. BestA+
FitchAA-
Moody’sAa3
Standard & Poor’sAA-

These ratings imply Prudential’s strong likelihood of keeping its financial promises to policyholders and investors.

Bottom line: Prudential is one of the largest and most financially dominant life insurance companies in the industry, a name you can undoubtedly count on.

User Experience

Shopping for life insurance should be simple. So should buying and managing a policy.

We judged Prudential based on its user experience, evaluating how the company interacts with clients and simplifies the life insurance process.

Below is a closer look at Prudential’s customer experience ratings, website, and application process.

Ratings

Consumer ratings give honest insight into how a company engages with its clients.

Two of the best metrics for assessing a life insurance company’s user experience are the Better Business Bureau and the J.D. Power U.S. Life Insurance Study.

Prudential currently has a “C-” rating from the Better Business Bureau, and it is not BBB-accredited.

This considerably poor rating is based on Prudential’s lack of response and failure to resolve customer complaints filed the BBB.

J.D. Power gave Prudential a score of 3 out of 5, signifying its user experience is “about average.”

The annual survey of the nation’s top life insurance companies judges them on factors like their:

  • Website
  • Application
  • Communication with clients
  • Price
  • Policies

Website

Prudential has built a user friendly online experience. The company’s website is transparent, educational, and navigable.

You can learn a lot about Prudential’s history, their financial performance, and their community involvement.

You’ll also find information on all of Prudential’s products, with important details on all its life insurance policies and riders.

The site provides educational information on the basics of life insurance, too.

Perhaps most importantly, you can get online quotes from Prudential by answering a few simple questions about yourself and your life insurance needs.

You may even be able to buy a policy online depending on your risk factors and coverage needs.

Policyholders can update their address, payment methods, and beneficiaries online, as well, which often requires a phone call with other carriers.

Application

Prudential applicants can expect a standard application process, with an additional accelerated underwriting program.

In the 2019 J.D. Power Survey, policyholders gave Prudential’s application process a 3/5, signifying it is “about average.”

For a traditionally underwritten policy, you’ll submit to a phone interview to complete the application and a medical exam to determine your risk and rates.

Prudential’s turnaround time for these policies is slightly lengthier than that of its competitors.

If you’re looking for quicker coverage that lets you bypass the medical exam, PruFast Track can get you covered in 48 hours.

Product Availability

Prudential offers several lines of life insurance products, including:

  1. Term
  2. Universal
  3. Indexed Universal
  4. Variable Universal

We’ll take a closer look at what each policy entails below.

Term

Prudential offers a handful of term life insurance products, which come in 10 to 30-year terms, as well as an annual renewable policy.

They are:

  • Term Essential®: This policy is one of Prudential’s most affordable term life products, with a tax-advantaged death benefit to protect your loved ones or business. It comes with a number of riders and is convertible.
  • Term Elite®: This product is similar to Term Essential, but it comes with conversion credits towards your first-year premium.
  • SimplyTerm: The most basic option, SimplyTerm coverage is limited to $500,000 and comes with 10, 20, or 30-year term options. It can be bought easily online.
  • PruTermSM One: Prudential’s final term life policy comes in one-year terms, making it perfect for small-business owners with short-term debts to pay. This affordable coverage also comes with an optional Living Needs Benefit rider.

With Prudential, there is a term product for virtually everyone.

Universal

Prudential offers a variety of universal products for individuals looking to secure more permanent coverage.

Here’s a quick overview of each policy:

  • PruLife® Universal Protector: This basic policy lets you guarantee a death benefit to virtually any age, or for as long as you live. The longer the guarantee, the higher premium payments will be.
  • PruLife® SUL Protector: Policy number two offers the same benefits as the Protector policy, but it covers two lives as opposed to one. When both you and your partner die, the face amount of the policy is disbursed.
  • PruLife® Essential UL: This option provides your loved ones with a death benefit and gives you the potential to accumulate cash value, with a number of optional riders granting you access to the cash value.

With universal coverage, you can get some amount of guarantee without paying as much as you would for whole life insurance.

Indexed

A less common option which is offered by Prudential is their lineup of indexed universal policies.

An indexed universal policy aims to grow cash within the policy for tax-advantaged use later.

A portion of the premium payments goes towards interest or index growth avenues, allowing for greater growth potential, with minimum guarantees attached.

They are:

  • PruLife® Founder’s Plus UL:  This option allows you to choose from either a fixed interest rate, or potential growth tied to the S&P 500. You can add several riders to your policy.
  • PruLife® Index Advantage UL: This policy comes with more potential for growth with four options for building interest. It also comes with a 20-year no-lapse guarantee and riders.
  • PruLife® Survivorship Index UL: Prudential’s survivorship IUL policy pays out when both of the insured die. It comes with a locked minimum rate and the ability to guarantee the policy won’t lapse.

Variable

Last but not least, Prudential offers variable life insurance products.

First things first, you should understand variable life insurance must be sold by a registered representative, not just a licensed agent.

This is an important distinction as variable policies are tied to the stock market and have more risk than standard life options.

Pru offers three variable choices:

  • VUL Protector®: For guaranteed protection with moderate risk, consider the VUL Protector®. You get a no-lapse guarantee for the duration of your life, with potential growth utilizing mutual funds or other investment accounts.
  • PruLife® Custom Premier II: PruLife® Custom Premier II is centered around long-term growth and lets you take on higher risk in hopes of higher returns. Guarantees are still available, at a shorter duration.
  • PruLife® SVUL Protector: The survivorship version of Prudential’s variable policy lets you decide how much risk to incur with your investments. It also has a no-lapse guarantee and optional riders. Once again, it pays out when both of the insured have passed.

Brand/Size

Founded in Newark, New Jersey, where the company’s headquarters remain today, Prudential Financial has been in business since 1875.

It was formally named The Widows and Orphans Friendly Society and Prudential Friendly Society by its creator and founder John Dryden.

In its earliest years, Prudential was a mutual life insurance company, owned by its policyholders, but it has since modified its structure to be held by stockholders.

With the ticker PRU on the NYSE, Prudential began its first official trading year at the end of 2001.

While the company no longer pays dividends to its policyholders, it does have an active dividend structure for its shareholders, which has been consistently paid, although fluctuating in value, since 2002.

Prudential one of the top life insurance companies in all of America, with 20 million life insurance customers.

Prudential also offers a full selection of investment and retirement resources and workplace benefits.

Among those are PruChoice mutual funds, annuities, retirement accounts, and group benefits for small and large businesses alike.

These benefits include AD&D, critical illness, disability, and more.

The company is on track to become a one-stop-shop for most, if not all, financial needs a consumer could have.

Today, Prudential is universally recognized as an outstanding business.

Most recently, Prudential was named the number one life/health insurer on Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list.

Philanthropy

In 2019, Prudential donated $46.8 million in grants to nonprofits, in addition to $25 million of corporate contributions.

Employees also contributed a combined 80,000 hours of community service in Newark and beyond.

Prudential was founded on a mission of making financial security available to everyone, regardless of their circumstances.

By all accounts, the company appears to be carrying the mantle well over a century after its inception.

Brand Recognition

Prudential is one of the most recognized and highly regarded names in the life insurance world and the financial industry at large.

It is constantly ranked by Forbes, FORTUNE®, and other popular names.

The company is also a household name, and it keeps up its relationship with clients on social media.

Prudential has an impressive following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, using these platforms to educate followers on financial topics and interact with their customers.

The rock-solid company also utilizes Youtube to further its brand recognition.

Consensus

With a long-standing history, superior financial strength, and a full array of both insurance and investment products, Prudential has become an iconic institution in the United States as well as worldwide.

The company’s consensus rating isn’t the highest, as it doesn’t make every financial expert’s list of the top life insurance companies.

That’s likely due to the fact that Pru isn’t the most competitive choice for healthy applicants across the board.

However, if you’re looking for coverage as a smoker or you suffer from a common health condition, you could find incredibly affordable protection with Prudential.

On all other counts, Prudential is a solid choice due to the outstanding reputation it has built over its century and a half of service.

Prudential Life Insurance Company

Phone
(973) 802-6000
Address
751 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102

Company Name (and subsidiaries)

  • Prudential Financial, Inc.
  • The Prudential Insurance Company of America
  • PRUCO Life Insurance Company
  • Prudential Annuities Life Assurance Company
  • Prudential Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company

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.