Prudential life insurance review 2020
Score customized coverage and competitive pricing thanks to this insurer's diverse product lineup.
finder.com's rating: 3 / 5
- Get a quote if… You’re looking for a comprehensive term or universal life policy.
- Pick something else if… You want a whole life insurance policy.
18 to 75
$100,000 to $10,000,000
Medical Exam Required
|Free quote||Online, Phone|
|Policy options||Term, Universal, Indexed Universal, Variable Universal|
|Term lengths||10, 15, 20, or 30 years|
|Claim methods||Phone, Online|
|Available states||All 50 states|
|Riders||Accelerated death benefit rider, Accidental death benefit rider, Child rider, Cost-of-living rider, Disability income benefit rider, Estate protection rider, Guaranteed insurability rider, Level term rider, Long-term-care rider, Policy split option rider|
Julia Cameron is a writer and editor who has experience in finance, mergers and acquisitions, content marketing and immigration law. She has a passion for interior design and an affinity for Old Florida, where she lives with her family.
Prudential is a solid choice for term and universal life insurance with the financial standing to offer competitive rates and potentially lenient underwriting guidelines, depending on your health and lifestyle.
But if you’re in the market for a whole life product, you’ll have to look elsewhere. And while the quoting process takes around 10 minutes, getting final approval could take up to eight weeks.
What types of life insurance does Prudential offer?
Prudential specializes in term and universal life insurance, and offers a range of policies to cater to individual needs.
Term life insurance
Available in 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year lengths, with the option to convert to permanent life. Prudential has four main types of term life policies to choose from:
- Term Essential. These standard term policies offer tax-free payouts, an accelerated death benefit and the option to convert to a permanent policy.
- Term Elite. A step up from Term Essential, this policy offers added perks. For example, if you convert this policy to permanent coverage within the first five years, you can get a first-year premium credit towards your permanent policy.
- Simply term. If you’re between 18 and 50 years old, this policy offers simple coverage up to $500,000.
- PruTerm One. An annual renewable term policy that can be converted to a permanent policy within the first five years.
Universal life insurance
These permanent policies build cash value, and give policyholders the flexibility to change their premiums, payment schedules and death benefits as needed.
This group of universal policies offers flexible premiums and payment schedules but fixed investment options.
- Universal Protector. Lifetime coverage and a guaranteed death benefit.
- Essential UL. Lifetime coverage with access to optional living benefits.
- SUL Protector. Covers two lives and pays a guaranteed death benefit when the second insured dies.
- Universal Plus. Cash value growth with access to policy loans and withdrawals.
Indexed policies offer flexible premiums and payment schedules, with cash value accumulation tied to the S&P 500 index.
- Founders Plus UL. Provides a no-lapse guarantee and payout even if your cash value drops to $0.
- Index Advantage UL. Offers the greatest potential to build cash value.
- Survivorship Index UL. Covers two people and pays the death benefit after both policyholders die.
Variable policies provide flexible premiums, payment schedules and investment options for increased cash value potential.
- VUL Protector. Ideal for moderate risk with a no-lapse guarantee.
- Custom Premier II. No-lapse guarantee periods and higher risk for potentially higher returns.
- SVUL Protector. No-lapse guarantee coverage for two people.
What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?
Prudential’s life insurance policies offer solid coverage and flexible options, but your life’s circumstances may require beyond-standard coverage.
Like most insurers, Prudential extends a selection of add-ons to suit you and your family’s coverage needs, including:
- Accelerated death benefit rider. Allows you to access a portion of your death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a serious or terminal illness.
- Child rider. Get affordable life insurance for your children and the option to convert to a permanent policy in the future.
- Cash value rider. Allows for higher cash surrender values if you need to surrender your policy in its early years.
- Estate protection rider. Available on survivorship policies, this benefit increases the death benefit by up to 100% if both of the insured die within four years of purchasing the policy.
- Waiver of premium rider. If you become disabled prior to your 60th birthday, your premiums will be waived for as long as you’re considered disabled.
- Accidental death benefit rider. Provides an additional death benefit if you die because of an accident, like a car accident.
How much does Prudential life insurance cost?
To get an idea of how much you might pay for your policy, we pulled sample quotes for a $250,000, 20-year term policy for an individual in good health. Expect to pay an average of $52 a month, depending on your age, health and other factors.
Rates for Prudential are provided by Policygenius and are valid as of June 2020 in all states except New York and Montana.
What factors affect my rate with Prudential?
Prudential’s underwriting can result in a range of rates based on your health and lifestyle. But the best rates fall under three classes: Standard Plus, Preferred Plus and Preferred Best.
To get the lowest Preferred Best rates, you must meet specific eligibility in a handful of categories that include:
- Blood pressure. Your blood pressure can be up to 130/80 prior to age 49 and up to 135/85 for ages 50 and up.
- Cholesterol. Your cholesterol should be under 300 with an HDL ratio of 5 or less, with or without medication.
- Family history. Your parents’ or siblings’ medical history should be free of early death due to coronary artery disease, stroke or cancer, among similar diseases.
- Tobacco. You cannot have smoked or otherwise used nicotine in the past five years.
- Driving record. You should have no DWI or reckless driving infractions within the past five years, no license suspensions within the past three years and no more than one moving violation or motor vehicle accident in the past three years.
Talk to a Prudential representative to learn more about Standard Plus and Preferred Plus rate eligibility.
Pros and cons of Prudential
Prudential is a top life insurance provider with the financial strength to back excellent products and solid customer support.
- Range of policy options. With four term life and 10 universal life policies on offer, the insurer caters to a wide variety of coverage needs.
- Possible rate reductions. While Prudential doesn’t advertise specifics, customers say they’ve moved up in rate classes after quitting smoking for a year or more — without reapplying. It’s worth asking your rep for details.
- Lenient underwriting guidelines. Prudential might be a choice if you’re older than 60 or aren’t in perfect health. It’s also among the few providers to offer life insurance to applicants with DUIs on their record.
- Financial strength. Prudential has an A+ (Superior) rating with AM Best, which means it has the cash reserves to pay out claims.
- No whole life insurance. Unlike other providers, Prudential sticks to a range of term and universal policies only.
- Lengthy approval process. Policy approvals can take up to eight weeks if you don’t opt for the expedited option.
Compare life insurance companies like Prudential
Prudential reviews and complaints
Prudential Insurance Company of America isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau. The BBB records 107 complaints over the past three years, many of which had to do with billing and the slow claims process. A little over half of the complaints filed were addressed by the company. Customers give the company one out of five stars.
In J.D. Power’s latest life insurance study, Prudential ranked 11th of 24 insurers surveyed — which means it has a good record for customer satisfaction.
How do I sign up?
- From Prudential’s life insurance page, click Buy Life Insurance Online and then Get an Instant Quote.
- Enter your email address, then answer a few questions about yourself — including your address, state, gender, birthdate, height and weight, nicotine use, and coverage term and amount.
- You’ll then be presented with a quote. You can make changes or proceed with the application process if you’re happy with the quote. To apply, click More Info. You’ll be given instructions on how to apply with an agent. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the quote process.
I’ve signed up. What happens next?
Depending on your medical history, you might qualify without a check-up. You’ll be notified of your acceptance status, and coverage will take effect once the payment for your first premium is received.
Case study: Kelly’s experience
I established my life insurance policy with Prudential through a broker, so I didn’t have any direct contact. They provided the lowest quote for me by far, which was the main reason I went in that direction. The in-house medical exam took less than an hour, and I received a Term Essential policy in the mail a week or two later. This may be thanks to the broker I used, but I didn’t have to contend with the lengthy approval process that other customers complain about.
I didn’t look into this too much during the process of establishing the policy, but Prudential also offers a decent number of add-ons that I’ll likely look into in the future. So far, my policy has done no more and no less than exactly what I need it to do — quietly exist in the background.
How do I file a life insurance claim with Prudential?
Filing a claim with Prudential is straightforward by phone, in person or online:
- Phone. If your policy number starts with V, call 800-944-8786, otherwise, call 800-778-2255 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
- In-office. Speak with your Prudential representative for help throughout the claim filing process.
- Online. Click File a Life Insurance Claim on Prudential’s site and follow the instructions. However, you will not be able to file a claim online if you live in Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma or Rhode Island.
Frequently asked questions about Prudential life insurance
Life insurance ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
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