Prudential life insurance review 2018 | finder.com

Everything you should know about Prudential life insurance

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A diverse product lineup and multiple underwriting niches allow for competitive pricing backed by strong financial standing.

Founded in 1875, this big-name Fortune 500 giant comprises hundreds of subsidiaries, underwriting insurance, managing investments and providing other financial services to both retail and corporate customers in the US and more than 40 other countries.

When it comes to life insurance, Prudential claims to accommodate customers from all walks of life. If your health — or even your driving record — is less than perfect, Prudential’s willingness to insure high-risk applicants may dwarf the competition.

Its comprehensive, flexible policy options make it a top contender in the world of life insurance. Learn more about whether Prudential is the best fit for you and your family’s life insurance needs.

What is Prudential known for?

Prudential is best known for what its logo is designed to symbolize: the strength and stability of the Rock of Gibraltar. Established as the Prudential Friendly Society, its goal has always been to provide affordable life insurance to the working class. Today, it holds more than $2 trillion in active life insurance policies.

Pros and cons of Prudential

Prudential is a top life insurance provider with the financial strength to back excellent products and solid customer support.

Pros

  • Possible rate reductions.While Prudential doesn’t advertise specifics, customers say they’ve moved up in rate classes after, say, 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.
  • Actual age.Some insurance providers use the applicants “nearest age” to determine rates, which often means rounding up if your birthday is in the next six months. Prudential uses your actual age at the time of application.

Cons

  • 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.
  • Strict underwriting for best rates.As with many insurers, lowest rates go to those in ideal health — including no tobacco or nicotine use in the past five years.

What life insurance coverage does Prudential offer?

Prudential specializes in term and universal life insurance, reflected in a large selection of flexible policy options. Its flexible underwriting means you’re protected within many classes that account for those with less-than-perfect health, occasional smokers and even risk-takers, like weekend aviators.

Term life is typically your most affordable coverage. The same goes for Prudential’s offerings, available in terms of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years, with most allowing the option to convert to a permanent policy.Prudential compares term life insurance to the process of leasing a car: You pay a set amount monthly, and at the end of your term, you can let the policy lapse or renew it, typically with a higher premium.

Each of Prudential’s six term policies feature level premiums with adjustable payment schedules and tax-free death benefit payouts:

  • MyTerm and Term Essential. These standard term policies don’t come with permanent conversion.
  • Term Elite. A more flexible and comprehensive version of Term Essential.
  • PruTerm WorkLife 65. Term life insurance for coverage over your working years, up to age 65.
  • PruLife Return of Premium. Returned premiums — tax-free — if you outlive your policy.
  • PruTerm One. Year-by-year term life coverage.
Prudential doesn’t offer whole life insurance, instead jumping to universal life policies. These permanent policies tend to be more expensive than term life but build cash value over the life of the policy.Premiums and payment schedules are flexible, and you can contribute beyond your existing premiums to further grow the value of your policy.

This group of universal policies offers flexible premiums and payment schedules but fixed investment options.

  • PruLife Universal Protector. Lifetime coverage and a guaranteed death benefit.
  • PruLife Essential UL. Lifetime coverage with access to optional living benefits.
  • PruLife SUL Protector. Covers two lives and pays a guaranteed death benefit when the second insured dies.
  • PruLife 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.

  • PruLife Founders Plus UL. Provides a no-lapse guarantee and payout even if your cash value drops to $0.
  • PruLife Index Advantage UL. Offers the greatest potential to build cash value.
  • PruLife 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.
  • PruLife Custom Premier II. No-lapse guarantee periods and higher risk for potential higher returns.
  • PruLife SVUL Protector. No-lapse guarantee coverage for two people.

Where does Prudential life insurance fall short?

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:

  • Serious illness rider. Accelerates your death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a serious or terminal illness.
  • Disability rider. Ensures your policy remains in force if you become disabled.
  • Additional death benefits. Provide affordable life insurance for your children or an additional death benefit if you suffer a fatal accident.
  • Cash value rider. Keeps your policy in effect or increases its cash value under specified circumstances.
  • Estate planning rider. Allows you to adapt your policy as your life changes or minimize taxes for your beneficiaries under specific circumstances.

How can I get the best rates 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.


How do I file a life insurance claim with Prudential?

Filing a claim with Prudential is straightforward by phone, in person or online:

  • Phone. To start the claims process, call 855-277-8061 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.
  • In office. Speak with your Prudential representative to walk through the process in person.
  • Online. Click File a Life Insurance Claim on Prudential’s site and follow the instructions.

Prudential Life Insurance

Regardless of what method you choose, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Policy and Social Security numbers
  • The policyholder’s full name and date of birth
  • The policyholder’s date of death
  • The funeral home’s name and phone number

What do customers say about this brand?

Prudential Insurance Company of America isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but it earns an alarming F rating based on the company’s complaints history, transparency, advertising and more. BBB reviews include claims of stiff insurance premium increases after underwriting and difficulty in processing claims.

Looking beyond to online forums and review platforms, you’ll find a mixed bag of good and bad. Many customers are happy with customer support, but negative reviews mention issues with fee and tax transparency, high commissions and poor service. Still others report hassles in getting Prudential to pay out benefits.

For context, Prudential is among the larger insurance providers out there. Research specific issues you find important and ask detailed questions to make sure you understand the provisions of your policy.

What other services does Prudential offer?

Prudential specializes in life insurance products but offers a wide variety of other products that include:

  • Employer insurance plans and pensions.
  • Retirement plans and annuities.
  • Mutual funds.
  • Asset management.

Prudential financial stability and credit ratings

Prudential is highly rated for its financial stability from trusted credit ratings agencies.

A.M. BestA+ Superior rating
Standard & Poor’sAA-
FitchAA-
Moody’sA1

Bottom line

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 you’ll need to carefully read the terms of your policy, asking questions about anything you don’t understand, to avoid surprises later.

To make sure you’re getting the exact coverage you’re eligible for at a price you can afford, compare your life insurance options before settling on any one provider.

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