Principal Financial life insurance review 2021
This major insurer offers competitive rates and fast-tracked approvals for healthy applicants.
finder.com's rating: 4.5 / 5 ★★★★★
Bottom line: Enjoy easy online quoting with approval within 48 hours, though Principal doesn’t offer whole life or online claims.
finder.com's rating: 4.5 / 5
20 to 70
$200,000 to $5,000,000
Medical Exam Required
|Policies||Term, universal, survivorship|
|Term lengths||10, 15, 20, 30 years|
|Medical exam required||Yes|
|Available states||All 50 states|
|Issue age||20 - 65 years old|
- User-friendly online portal
- Quick approval process
- Principal TeleApp
- Financially strong
- No online claims
- Policy delivered by mail
- No whole life policies available
- Lack of policy details listed on website
Accelerated death benefit rider
Critical illness benefit rider
Guaranteed insurability rider
Lapse protection rider
Policy split option rider
Sarah George is a writer at Finder who unravels complicated topics about insurance, business and finance. She's been wordsmithing for nearly five years, after earning an English education degree. Her insurance know-how has been featured on CarInsurance.com. You can usually find Sarah sipping hot tea and talking through movie plots in her downtime.
Principal life insurance stands out with quick approvals for healthy customers. Its fast-tracked process bypasses the medical exam and many people get approved within days of applying.
You can choose from term or universal policies and helpful riders like lapse protection, which lets you take out loans without worrying about losing your coverage if you withdraw too much.
However, if you want whole life or more intuitive self-service tools, you might compare other companies with these offerings. Otherwise, Prinicipal scores high in customer satisfaction from top rating sites like J.D. Power, and its coverage and approvals warrant a quote if you’re interested.
Principal Financial life insurance rates
We pulled sample rates using Principal’s quote tool for a 20-year term, $500,000 policy for a healthy man and woman. Principal offers cheap rates compared to its competitors, according to our analysis of average rates.
What affects my rate with Principal Financial?
Principal determines your risk by looking at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Medical Information Bureau and Prescription Database data, a thorough process that’s expected for any insurance company. Its Super Preferred and Preferred rates consider:
- Age. Young, healthy applicants get cheaper rates.
- Bankruptcy and criminal history. Principal checks your record for felony convictions in the last 10 years or bankruptcies within five years.
- Driving record. You must be five years free of DUIs and reckless driving, and have no more than two minor violations within three years.
- Health. Principal has lenient health guidelines. But major medical conditions affect rates or approval, including a family history of death from heart disease, stroke or diabetes before age 60.
- Healthy lifestyle credits. This program offers credits that could boost your rating class.
- Occupation. Those with dangerous jobs may be subject to higher rates.
- Prescription history. Unless your history is significant, this shouldn’t affect your rates.
- Prior insurance policies. If you earned a Preferred/Super Preferred rating for your previous life insurance coverage, this is a bonus.
- Tobacco use. For the preferred rate, you have to prove you haven’t smoked within 24 months.
How to get a quote from Principal Financial life insurance
You can’t sign up for a policy online, an inconvenience that’s common with life insurance. However, you’ll get a personalized quote by following these steps:
- Go to Principal Financial’s homepage. Then, hover over Individuals > Insure > Life Insurance.
- Click Get my Quote.
- Enter your age, gender, ZIP code, height, weight and tobacco use, as well as the policy type and coverage amount. Click See my Quote.
- You’ll be presented with quotes. If you want to purchase a policy, call 800-247-8000 ext 2522 or schedule a call using the online form.
What types of life insurance coverage Principal Financial offer?
Principal’s solid lineup includes a mix of term and permanent policies, but it lacks the commonly offered whole life insurance:
- Indexed universal life. This permanent policy’s cash value is tied to an index like the S&P 500, which may accelerate its growth.
- Survivorship universal life. This joint policy for seniors ages 55 to 80 covers two people and pays out after both die. You can add a term insurance rider that pays 122% of the base policy’s death benefit if both people die within four years of starting the policy.
- Term life. Available in 1- to 30-year terms, this policy comes with fixed premiums and pays a guaranteed death benefit within your term. The insurer offers coverage up to $1 million for those aged 18 to 60 who don’t want a medical exam.
- Universal life. Offers lifelong coverage, the ability to change your premium or death benefit and builds cash value based on market conditions.
- Variable universal life. Lets you change premiums and death benefits, while the cash value is invested aggressively to boost returns. Because of the higher risk for losing money, Principal offers this policy by prospectus only.
What riders can I add to my policy?
Customize your coverage with more add-ons than the standard four or five offered by most companies:
- Accelerated death benefit. Access up to 75% or $1 million of your death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
- Child. Add eligible children to a policy with coverage from $5,000 to $25,000.
- Cost of living. Keep up with inflation by increasing your coverage with no additional underwriting.
- Critical illness benefit. Pays a one-time benefit if you suffer from a critical illness like stroke.
- Guaranteed insurability. Add insurance at specific times without needing a medical exam.
- Lapse protection. Take out loans and withdrawals from your policy and avoid any risk for a lapse.
- Policy split option. Split to two policies with equal coverage if you divorce or see major tax changes.
- Waiver of premium. Waive your premium if you become disabled.
Principal Financial life insurance reviews and complaints
Principal Financial group scores a high financial rating with AM Best, signaling its likely ability to pay out claims. Over at the Better Business Bureau, Principal receives a high rating, yet low star customer reviews cite billing and claims issues.
|AM Best financial rating||
1/5 out of 22 customer reviews
|Trustpilot score||3.2/5 out of 1 customer reviews|
|JD Power score||772|
|Customer reviews verified as of||22 January 2021|
How Principal Financial compares to other insurers
Principal offers a solid list of term, universal and survivorship policies that fit many people’s needs, unless you need whole life. Its 48-hour approval process for healthy applicants is rare for policies like term life that don’t guarantee approvals.
Plus, Principal offers lower rates than the average, with a $500,000, 20-year term policy costing $20 a month for a healthy, 30-year-old man. The same policy typically costs $25 a month with other companies.
However, you can find companies with even higher customer satisfaction scores, more policies and add-ons. It’s best to compare several options to make sure you’re getting the best policy for you.
Compare life insurance companies like Principal Financial
See how Principal fares against other companies’ coverage and features. Tap the Compare box to see up to four companies side by side.
Do I have to take a medical exam?
Principal offers an accelerated underwriting program for all life insurance products up to $1 million and waives the medical exam, an unusual perk for standard policies like term life.
To qualify, complete an online application and a phone interview with a financial representative, who collects and reviews your personal and medical history.
You’ll probably know within 48 hours if you’re approved for life insurance without needing a medical exam. Roughly 50% of applicants in good health get approved as of January 2021.
Frequently asked questions about Principal Financial life insurance
Life insurance ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
Our experts analyze life insurance companies to help you to find the strongest possible policy and premium for your family’s needs. We assess their financial strength, customer satisfaction, policy features and riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects their offering and reputation in the industry. Principal gets four and a half out of five stars for offering a long list of policy customization options and stellar customer satisfaction ratings.