Term life insurance policies sold through what might be a multilevel marketing business model.
Originally established in 1977, Primerica has more than five million active life insurance policies in place. Operating on the mantra of maximum coverage for minimum cost, this provider offers full-service term life insurance.
Beware, however, that Primerica operate under what appears to be a multilevel marketing business model, which allows anyone to become a full-service, licensed agent. These agents help customers decide what policy and options are right for them, and are paid commission on any sales. Because they can only sell you Primerica insurance and not another brand, we suggest you shop around for life insurance prices to make sure you’re getting the right policy for your individual needs.
Keep reading for more on Primerica’s alternative business model, including its product lineup, customer feedback and how to get the best rates.
|Terms available||10, 15, 20, 25, 30 or 35 years|
|Medical exam required||No medical exam for less than $300K coverage|
|Temporary underwriting coverage||N/A|
- Strong financial stability.
- Quick claims.
- Appears to operate under a multilevel marketing structure.
- Strict underwriting.
- No permanent policies.
Primerica is considered financially stable, capable of fulfilling its debt obligations. It received an A+ rating from A.M. Best, which is the most relevant ratings agency in the insurance industry. If you file a claim, you can be confident that the company has the ability to pay.
What is Primerica known for?
While Primerica hasn’t been around as long as other insurance providers, it has certainly made a name for itself in the past 40 years. Known for its alternative approach to selling policies, Primerica is the largest financial service marketing company in North America. Its alternative structure allows independent contractors to become licensed insurance agents to sell its policies. The only ones that aren’t licensed are Primerica’s trainees. But the representative we spoke to did not divulge exactly what it means to be a trainee or how they get paid.
Although this business model allows for a more personal experience, it’s been scrutinized by industry professionals. There’s a conflict of interest between its limited products and commission-based multilevel marketing structure. Despite the controversy, this provider offers comprehensive term life insurance among other financial services.
Despite Primerica’s unconventional business model, millions of customers are satisfied with their term life policies. Regardless, there are a few ups and downs you should be aware of:
- Financial stability. Primerica is rated A+ from A.M. Best, the most trustworthy ratings agency for the insurance industry.
- Simple. Since there’s only one type of insurance, deciding which plan you need is easy.
- Educational. Primerica’s website offers a wide range of resources helping customers learn about personal finance.
- Quick claims. Primerica is proud of its ability to pay claims quickly and states on its site that over 94% of all claims are paid in less than two weeks.
- Possible multilevel marketing structure. While all Primerica agents are licensed, the company is often accused of being a multilevel marketing scheme on the Internet, so you should shop around to find the right life insurance policy and rates for your situation.
- Strict underwriting. The underwriting for term life insurance at Primerica is stricter than other providers. If you’re in poor health or have a pre-existing condition, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
- No permanent policies. You can’t convert your term life policy to a permanent option. However, once your policy expires, you can renew your term policy without going through another medical exam. But choosing to forgo a medical exam does not mean that your premiums stay the same — they’ll likely increase unless you reduce your coverage.
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What life insurance coverage does Primerica offer?
Unlike most insurance providers of its size, Primerica only sells term life insurance. Operating on the principle of maximum coverage for minimum cost, the company encourages its customers to “buy term, invest the difference.” While it offers other financial services like mutual funds and annuities, you’ll need to look elsewhere for permanent life insurance policies.
Term life insurance
Primerica doesn’t underwrite its own life insurance policies. Instead, it acts as a broker and all policies are underwritten by National Benefit Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Primerica. Because of this, its site offers limited details about coverage and options, so call customer service at 800-257-4725 for more details. However, there are a few things that are clear:
- Agents offer a financial-needs analysis to better understand your financial situation.
- Term life insurance is not convertible to a permanent policy.
- Policies are available in different term lengths.
- Policies feature level premiums.
- If your policy expires, the renewable policy does not offer level premiums.
- Increasing benefit. Receive an increased death benefit if the insured dies by accident.
- Terminal illness. Option to receive a payout of up to 70% of face value before you die to help cover related expenses.
- Waiver of premium rider. Your premium is waived for a set period of time if you become terminally ill or are unable to work.
How can I get the best rates with Primerica?
Primerica has two rate classes that reward nearly perfect health with the best rates — Preferred and Preferred Plus. But unlike its competitors, this provider doesn’t advertise how you can qualify for these rates.
To get the best rates, you must meet general health and lifestyle guidelines that include:
- No tobacco use in the past five years
- Low-risk occupation
- You meet the height and weight guidelines (see table below)
- You haven’t been diagnosed or treated for a cardiovascular disorder, diabetes, cancer or any other substantial medical condition
- No diagnosis or treatment for high blood pressure in the past five years
- Neither parent has died from cardiovascular illness or cancer prior to age 65
- You haven’t flown as a pilot, student pilot or crew member of any aircraft other than commercial aircraft in the past three years
- You haven’t engaged in any hazardous sports in the past three years
- Three or less moving violations in the past three years and no DUI, DWI or license suspensions
Primerica optimal height/weight chart
How do I file a life insurance claim with Primerica?
Unfortunately, you can’t file a claim online with Primerica. Contact the claims department via email at email@example.com for more information, or call the claims office at 888-893-9858. You also may be able to access some claims documents by logging into your online Primerica account.
What other services does Primerica offer?
Primerica specializes in annuity and life insurance products, but offers a wide range of others, including:
- Mutual funds
- Managed investments
- Business retirement plans
- Auto and home insurance
- Long-term care plans
- Legal and identity theft protection
- DebtWatchers program
If you’re looking for term life insurance, there are plenty of better options. Unless you are signing up to help out a friend or family member selling Primerica products — which we don’t recommend — there’s nothing that stands out about this company. Prices are average for the coverage you receive. As always, shop around for the right life insurance policy for your current situation before going with one particular provider.